tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN December 19, 2016 10:02am-12:03pm EST
states count the votes for the president of the united states. we will have live coverage of the counting in illinois, pennsylvania, michigan and virginia starting at 11:00 a.m. eastern. tuesday night jerry green field talks about creative and business practices. >> the idea that we could not sell enough ice cream in the summer in vermont forced us to look at other markets. >> wednesday night on the future of the defense department under president-elect donald trump. >> i think the challenges are very great. i think over the years we have done damage to meet. >> a new administration is going to have to look at that kind of
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good morning all. thank you for joining us i am the associate vice president here. given that it's in south asia, it's only fitting and let me welcome my panelists for today's event. before that, let me just say that i don't -- when ever you come to india and pakistan, you almost have to say that it's an interesting time. this is a particularly interesting time for the india pakistan relationship. you would know that since mid-september both countries
have been in a crisis mode after the attack in india and killed soldiers and constant fighting across the line of control of the cashmere and then there's violent protests for a numb irof months and then this time for the first time in what many are calling about it on the shift, india claimed that it retaliated for cashmere and conducting and it's to do india and pakistan. they're still debating it. one of the days we will find out what happened. in another thing there's for the first time india has been avery explicit in the policy and it's going to be an isolated globally. that's to retaliate and we have the heart of the constant and on afghanistan where the defect and then the foreign minister and
then it was treated fairly roughly according to the pakistan newspapers and if you follow those, there's ben approximate ffit for that and that remains inconclusive. we know that tensions are high and fighting is going "on the record" the line of control, and both sides are armed to the teeth. we mentioned the nuclear weapons and this is not a happy read. in the u.s., india and pakistan remain completely off the radar when it came to the campaign as did a lot of other foreign policy issues. at the same time we do know that yand and pakistan and our priorities for the u.s. will go forward. president elect trump did make the headlines for a couple of days and suggesting that he would be in resolving the dispute and cashmere. if it goes that way, it would be a major departure from the u.s.
policy and that's the pakistan relations and that's of each other and try to build the partner ships respectively. if that policy changes and if there's a u.s. move towards working on the india pakistan relationship, what is installed for us? what stakes should the u.s. do? if it does, what is realistic? if it does, how does one manage the relationship? >> these are the issues that we will discuss today and we could not have a better panel than what we have managed to get and let me just briefly introduce them and then we will move to the conversation. to my right is toe by and he is the director of the policy program for the international peace. then a residence fellow at the american enterprise institute
and a scholar of india and just returned from india last week and so is fresh from the ground. also just back from a two week trip to india and pakistan and then editor of the fourth coming and volume of the vcrisis and south asia and then last but not least the former director of the pakistan and security counsel and state department official and then i should also mention that toby just put out a book called not war and peace and that looks at how to manage the terrorism problem from pakistan into india. so very much everything that we're discussing here. as we announced this event is goes to go different and i have requested them to keep the intervention ises to very short opening remarks and answering a
specific question and which is if they were advises the next or the in coming add machine administration, what would they be advises on how to manage the india pakistan relationship and the current and future tensions. then we will move to a free flowing conversation among the panel lists for about 30 or 40 minutes and then we open it up for q and a and i will make sure that we leave time for that. without further adieu, we will go to toby and then that's how they wanted to go. before that, let me not forget. i was ordered by the panel lists to tell you what their twitter handles are. i'm not on social media so i do not understand the importance of
it. >> okay. thanks. it was put to us to offer the policy objections and having never been involved, i have a lot of advice to give. i will take a few cuts of this ask then we will get to the broader discussion on the e vechblt the first point that i can say is that we have to have an honest accounting in the region and then we're obviously continuing to deepen the relationship for i long term in asia. there's a lot of concern in pakistan that make for a good reason why we should not take any hasty moves with respect to the issues of terrorism, conflicts, et cetera. clearly we're in a process of applying the graduated and conditional aide, and i think that the process is going to continue at the pace, and it's important to keep in mind some of the things that we value with terms of the intelligence,
homeland security, terrorism and the prospects for a future isil at the end of the day i think that we need a relationship to stabilize in afghanistan. at the same time we can think of dynamic incentives and being more responsive in terms of the punitive measures whern we don't see it making good on things to expect. we can be more when we make the process. i think one example is the 2015 and they did not appreciate the efforts and maybe there's a good reason for that, but then the
cross border attack as and if we have analysis and i am getting this from india and then the activity on the line of control over the past couple of years and that's been a little bit more focused and it's evolved to get the hard tarts of the security forces and then the civilian targets. while the united states should make very clear that the activities need to be dialed back and leeched to some degree, even if we don't push for something like the dismantlement, there maybe some measures that we can push for. something that is not about going after the heart but perhaps helping to restrain and
it was a general sense that they may want to compete with them. i i think there's a good way and we can still stay in the game by identifying in the region. there's one and india and chie sna is puttings down a lot of investment and hardware. there's con srn for trade and to avoid the power by china and access to the lending should the oil prices spike and then it starts to erode. the other thing is china brings hardware to pakistan, the u.s.
can bring software. that's in terms of social and management systems and investments in the health care systems and the development of sort of the economic labor force and education, and things like that that the ugs has compared advantage and we do not have to compete on the hardware side. last there's a lot of expectations that china is going to play a role in the crisis management. my conversation has been colleagues that study china and suggest that they may not be able to do that now. i think the u.s. is a critical crisis manager seen by both sides and the event of the future crisis. the last point is just about the policy when it comes to the two borders that we care a lot about. that's also the afghanistan one as well. so one thing that we can also do is just to start to make the policy with respect to the two
borders. right now they are silo and they appear to be across purposes and then the other regions and then major contested areas of the world and we don't necessarily make the policies with terms to iraq. there has to be a coherent in thinking of the iraq relationships and the relationships with iran. in the same respect we have to understand how policies on one side of the border will affect the other side. not just by the u.s. and by india's policy and respect to afghanistan and the policy to india. so having some more coherence on the two borders would help. i think there's a push for the conflict resolution.
we can not help in creating the facts on the ground and when i think of the border hardening, it's not just in terms of that but india and that means that the assistance and guidance in hardening the borders for it's defensive capabilities. one of the most where it should not be happening and helping
what this can do on the imagining of the flow and people across the borders and risks along with that. it's not going resolve the conflicts but the facts on the ground to manage it. i will just leave it at that. >> okay. thanks. torks by? >> and then it's advising whatnot to do and i realized that was not the task but it's important to think it through. in this category there's a temptation to see issues as bine erie without understanding the history and if followed can lead
to big trouble. we lated to that and making the statements and that's also important. if you say that you're going to negotiate, you better have something behind that other than i think those are three things for the administration to not do it's really important that there's some sense of prior sags and i looked at this largely in terms of issues that carry significant risks for the u.s. let me highlight two of them. first as we have seen over the last six months, the potential
for a crisis in south asia to escalate is not something that exist just on paper. it is now something that we can see in the dynamic that the politics and the demand in india for retribution and this is something that that is growing and that could be a serious disruptor of the policy there. so finding the leverage on these two risk is important. and it would be the next administration to think about what a next crisis could look like and what some of the
for the issues that i provide. both is a catalyst of the crisis and also given the threat of the terrorism and potentially coming to the u.s. we need to maintain the relationships regardless of what else is happening in the bilateral relationships. what i want to get in here is that and it's possible that it could be stabilizes and at the very least we could think on if we see the china engagement and recognizing that there are significant concerns on this. and then the pet issue for me specifically on the nuclear
things and then there's a temptation and there's been a temptation and a real effort in this administration to me gosh appreciate and we have to take real care of the issue and the dangers and then the relationships to the pakistan and if we want to go down the road, we have to have both guys open and how important it is in the region. >> thanks so much.
it's often been an after thought in the policy and then that comes when there's a crisis and when it's actually happening and then we realize that we do not have a plan in place to prevent them from happening and we go to crisis mode and that's kind of the starting point that we have to say and when we're making recommendations and i find that to be slightly iconic and challenging because within of the main interest in south asia
is to prevent the nuclear escalation and so that the foundational interest do not match up with how we design the policy and how we set up the infrastructure to manage it. i actually see it more as a policy management system than a conflict apreach. and then the fear is real. it's also real when two countries have nuclear weapons it's real. we have to be more really e lis tick about this. and this does not mean that they have not done anything to control them subpoena it does
not mean that they're not interested in controlling them, but there's a dynamic between the pakistan state and the antiindia militants and in particular and the area and that does not give the state a lot of flexibility and there are two many trade offs and that limits the states behavior and we have to corey about that and the implications of that when it arrives with india and then the notion that there's less india restraint should something happen and should there be a cross border attack. i would tell you that this is not going to happen and so many attacks have happened that have linked back and the indian government has not responded. i'm not sure that i can actually say that now. it's something that we have to pay attention to and the increased risk of the unknown. second is on the go politics side of things and the speakers
have mentioned that, you know, the india u.s. relationship is expanding and the russians are interested in that as well. i worry that some of the new diplomatic options produce the need of it and should something happen, they might take the conflict further and they have these big brothers behind the scenes that they can go to and use as leverage a. that's something that we have to pay attention to and then the next add machine administratrix should think about. afghanistan is going to be an issue as long as the u.s. is there and as long as pakistan is helping the u.s., and i wonder on the events and when they go and dialed up or down and how much of that is actually related to the indian presence and then the concerns on that and then the u.s. and they have flipped
you're not looking at things in a regional perspective. that's the one ask thing that has to happen. the second thing is when ever there's a new administration coming in regardless of the political party, they want to solve the india and pakistan relationships. let's avoid the grand piece narrative. it's never worked and not realistic. there's a tendency for that. another one is private and we know that and someone eluded to this already, we know that public statements don't work well in had the region. when they make a statement, it can be used for whatever reason and so we have to be cautious on what we say and i think that the public narrative can hurt us in many ways. so thinking critically on what kind of narrative that we want
with both countries and who delivers that message, and that's where i think that the role is really important in the state department and using the ambassadors and connecting the kind of u.s. foreign service officers in delhi and making sew sure that they're having conversations on the issues is important and having the modest goals. so not solving. do we look at india, afghanistan and pakistan differently. we know that india is not going leave pakistan. we know that's an area that we have have the modest improvements and the issues. then finally i would say that as a closing point, we have not mentioned the economic engagement yet, and i think that there's a will the of space for collaboration between india and
pakistan and there has been in the business community and joint projects on the development and engagement and these are really important because when conflict does happen, sometimes the countries need to show that they're stopping something or halting something so they recollect access and then you need to have the levers to push and pull and have a development in the broad economic engagement and can allow for that and get both sides the breathing room. the support is there and it would build a long term as well and then where as on the security developments i don't think that's easily done. >> thankings. >> thank you. i am going to bring a slightly different presentation to this. i follow it closely and i have been in india over the last couple of months, and i would say that only three big points and the first one is that the political dynamic india is
dramatic and it's not simply the election of 2014 and what we're heading into over the next two and a half years and so the next f you have an election and that's ichbd octavia's largest state and this is seen as a semifinal before the final and that's the national of 2019 and that means that now india is back in election mode in general election mode. which makes a big difference. the second point is that i think the attacks and then the so called surgical strikes seems quit clear that india policy now is going to be much more unpredictable than it was in the past. i don't think that it necessarily suggests that every time there's a terrorists attack on an indian army camp, that india will necessarily retaliate, but i think that it shows that the old assumption
ises this that it would not retaliate and pick the diplomatic tools over the military tools and that's basically gone out of the window with the response and so with that i imagine coupled with the political popularity off that act really does increase the odds of o india and responding militarily to the attack and not only in kas mer but in the mainland. the second point that i want to make is that we all follow it closely and it's though the one of the top five policy concerns with the administration.
and we have what is happening in the south china sea and then the relationship now become the incoming relationship and the chinese. it's going to push them lower in the terms of the priorities than where it's been earlier what these two things together mean is that there's sort of india and that's becoming more hawkish and not just politically but in terms of public opinion. e i will give you one example i think it's just counter productive and not a very good
idea. i was struck by the amount of blow back that i got on social media and else wrvmt a few years ago a, this would not have happened. it would have been a fairly main stream po position. if you can take a tough position against terrorists groups or everyone against the pakistan government for not doing enough but that things like sports and others and i found that the mood is changed spaharply. in some ways it's a slowed moved and going back all the way and some ways it's something that reflects the news channel and environment in india, and also the rise of of the modern industry and coming together. i think that india is going to
be and the political pay offs for that is quiet clear and particularly now and given that the prime minister that done something do megs i cannily on the front and nuking 86 percent of the cash supply. he is going to be looking for ways to recover ground and i would imagine that this is something -- i'm not saying something necessarily would happen but it's more heightened than i would have said six months ago or a year ago. in terms of what it means for the u.s. policy, it means that at some point there's going to be a wreckening. the idea that the u.s. policy could on the one hand draw it more and more to a more active role in east asia and particularly in south east asia and the navel presence and then the ties with japan and so on
why ignoring the concerns on what is happening in pakistan, that can no longer be squared in what is happening with the domestic politics. if and this is a big if, there's another major terrorist attack and then it builds on rial appreciate, the u.s. going back to what is the motive and then that's quit successful in the past and that's to urge restraint upon india in order the stabilize and that's a greater thing to the u.s. and india developing the closer relationship than it would have been in the past. >> that's great. thank you. hank you to all of the panel lists. let me quickly turn to all of you and prompt you a few
questions. let me begin with you because you made the point in which i think is crucial it's skon flick management and not resolution. the other thing that i want to have with you is it realistically possible for the u.s. to secure the interest in south east asia without some resolution if not total and complete of the u.s. relationship. for instance, afghanistan. pakistan's policy is a direct by-product of the tensions in a lot of ways. how do they do that and there's a problem and so are we not only looking at the symptoms here? i'm not saying that it's resolvable sh but is it realistic to expect that they can have the interest while the
problem remains? >> well, it's sort of what we have been doing this whole time. >> it's not working out too well? >> well, i think we're in a mode where we deal with it when it becomes a problem because there are bigger issues that we're working on, so on the pakistan u.s. side we think that it's the number one you issue. it's not the relationship with india. that's in a reaction mode and we will deal with that when it comes. i don't see that changing unless we're going to go to kind of a zero troops and afghanistan within the next year. i don't anticipate that. until that afghanistan situation changes, i think that the u.s. is constantly going to have to balance how it approaches peace between the two countries. i remember having a conversation in 2008, and at that time we were giving a lot of money and
being at the state department and a very senior official said it's not really a national security interest. i don't see a national security threat there unless there's an escalation, and as long as we can manage india, i think that we will be okay. i think the comment is very interesting and that is what needs to be focused on and the unknown and the india side and they're not going to respond to u.s. attempts to restrain them anymore. we don't know what they're going d do. i would be curious if you can elaborate and what could happen in the event that they pick not to respond u.s. pressure. >> well, you saw the interesting debate breakout after the attack on september 18th where in the beginning india it looks as though india was going to follow the playbook and people wrote
articles and there was a handful of people saying no, he will not because of what elected him and then because of it, it could be weird and it could be irrational, but the rule that. so you saw the surgical restraint and that's carefully and planned by india and while doing the international turn out. so what was outward facing was the fact that india only went off the launch pad and not the military:it had not used air w power and declared it and all of it was suggesting restraint.
what they did was recognized that the domestic media has no restraints at all and they were cooking up stories and that's great for the government and all untrue. they mansiaged go and get out o both sides. i would not be surprised if there's a pressure or cause for it and then another attack to do something similar and up it. then the question is what does the u.s. do? my tradition of what they did after the surgical strikes was that it agreed with the position and in the sence that it did not lean on india and say don't. the question is does it do it
gain or go back to an old one that says no india you must stand down because of the interest of the stability and region is at stake. if that happens, there will be i don't think that it's going to work first of all, and there will be sharp psh back from the administrati administration. >> you have done a lot of work on this and the bulk. i have done this in various ways and what they're saying is well taken. what happens and the question is india does something next time and let's resume the response and then what is the world's only super power going to watch the next nuclear war or is there a moment that in the past both india and pakistan wanted the u.s. in some ways to say back
off. >> i think there's a couple of issues that we pick up on here. one is the hazard point that i was suggesting and that's system of the response is maybe there's some calculation of the provocation that would bring the u.s. in. now you you have an unpredictable of the size and i think that you you have it on the u.s. side too. and they're going to be concerned about this and the administrations and that's a problem. i think it's a problem in what affect and is it going to be a tactical affect and are they going to actually try to change
the behavior in pack tan and if they're trooing to do that the means is significantly different than the strikes and more. now, what is interesting is that since the attack and even to the extent before that, you have seen more of an effort by india to try to isolate it regionally. you have to cancellation and then you have the heart of asia and then you have the water and then the structure and should there be another crisis? should i suggest that the levers that you could sort of influence but not break the relationship, do those go away that there could be a break? all of that is kind of a pretext and if india wants the change it, and then the approach to do
that is more cohearsive and then the force and that places a lot of pressure on pakistan in their own domestic and then the difficulty and then the political class for the attacks to take on the groups like let. that's really hard, and there's going to have to be some response. you see the domestic sources are on both sides. that's difficult for anything that you said here to think about and influence that and that would buy time and then the escalation of the move. >> so if i may ask as we discuss on the panel and there's a conversation of the pakistan and cutting pakistan off in delhi and how you does one square this urge to banish pakistan or cut
pakistan with the crisis management process. if you have no relationship with one country, how do you influence it whichever way you want? if the u.s. loses the able, are we not leaving the space open for china even if they're not ready yet to capture more of that and perhaps the you power were issue should e laps? >> okay. let me take up a couple of threads before i get to the crisis management question. the first is on the restraint and escalation, so this might be an up poplar vurks but i don't think that india broke out of the mold of the restraints. at the end of the day they decided that the cost of it outweighed the benefits. they showed the political gains without much cohearse effects and i don't think that they're
testing the threshold that much in the actual actions and then the public statements that came after it are more pushing that, and to me that seems like restraint for the most part held and then it was an operation and so held and so i just don't think we sort of push that bounds yet. on the crisis manage. do we, does the united states if it tries to punish and foreclose on levers of influence in a crisis, potentially. i think that's constantly a concern but i don't think our concerns are just about the crisis management angle. frankly, if anything, pakistan will be more interested in us playing a role in the crisis management so that's not a concern as much as the united states for levers for other things, afghanistan in terms of intelligence cooperation for homeland security, something i think europeans think a lot about and goes unnoticed on a day-to-day basis but if european governments are concerned about sort of the flow of non-state
actors through pakistan, through afghanistan and they don't have good intelligence on where they can track these guys or where they're going they're sort of, whether it's good or not, one of their core sources of support for this is going to be pakistan. so on the crisis management thick, i don't think we need sort of new levers of influence but we're going to be involved in the process one way or another and i don't see china filling that void any time soon. they don't seem to be ready for it. it's not necessarily we're an honest broker but i don't think the chinese are closer to us in that process, certainly not from standards and i honestly think pakistan would still want the united states to be involved in the room in those conversations. >> let me be able to trust that relationship in the crisis will become tougher. >> pushing back on one point i agree if you measure india's response purely in military terms it did not break the
bounds of strategic restraint but i think that when it comes to andia and pa ndia and pakist the rational thing after india tested was to not tst and take a big package but the fact then given this backdrop and the fablgt that in both countries the theatrical element is so important, means india going out, having a press conference saying look we did this, has greater significance. >> i would argue the paradigm shift is not how much was done but how it was presented perhaps. so let me, if i may let you just put this out, let me push you one more time which is are we part of the problem, and we means sort of the intellectual
space, the social media and media. reassume pressure is on both sides they won't be able to hold back. there were attacks before the september attack. in some ways it was not in kashmir in that way and so much more of a light. if the indian account is correct pakistan absorbed the strike and did nothing, just denied it. i wonder whether there is more space and one of the well-known pakistan scholars in town steve cohen has made this argument in the past that actually salvation states are masters at manipulating this public sentiment and use it as they want. we have more space than we are giving credit to both sides. >> quite possibly and i'm not saying that something has changed in the sense that now indian retaliation has become a certainty. i don't think we've moved from one kind of certainty to a new kind of certainty but i do think
the amount of uncertainty has been raised quite significantly. >> shamel? >> i think india has more space to do the lower level forms of retaliation mainly because of the stronger relationship with the united states. this is a by-product of this strategic relationship the way it exists right now, and we keep talking about changing pakistan's behavior but the indians are also doing this to change the americans' behavior, right, so this is what we're going to do now, the americans won't say anything and pakistan absorbed it. the u.s. will intervene if it's at the 11th hour. in most of the cases in the past that's what u.s. intervention looks like. it doesn't come in after there's been some kind of retaliation to a cross border attack. i do think there's more space for india to do this. there is an unknown. we don't know what they will do and if it will rise to that level, but as kind of the u.s. gets closer to india, this could
happen more frequently, and i do think there is an inclination within the american bureaucracy to be accepting of that approach. it's actually an out for the americans in some ways, because it puts checks and balances on militancy in pakistan without the u.s. having to make any kind of public statements. >> sure. >> i just wanted to follow up briefly on the theater point, and this picks up on your point about sort of twitter and ultranationalist media. the theater can be helpful to the extent that there are linkages, including cultural linkages that allow people to interpret theater on both sides but to the extent those are being shut down and it's much harder to do that interpretation, you essentially end up with very captive narratives, and not much ability to read the signals between them so i think that's another yet one of these new kind of unpredictable elements of thinking through this. >> the only good news is, if both sides pull back on the
cultural side, there will be all these movies smuggling through. indian movies and pakistan soap operas won't stop. samir, we were talking about the dangers and always talk about the arms race, we talk about pakistan and its nuclear weapons and tactical nuclear weapons, et cetera. and we are pushing both sides to make sure they manage this relationship in a responsible manner. at the same time, i would argue that neither side is doing anything that is purely irrational, so pakistan talks about india and says, look, india should work out a conventional arms control kind of arangement with us, if the conventional disparity is not as huge we'll have less incentive to do things on the nuclear side. i think it would be crazy for india to do that, it's looking at china and other things and doesn't make sense. if it doesn't make sense for india, pakistan looks and says i
got to build up on nuclear, may be destabilizing and dangerous but i've got to defend myself. where is the u.s. coming? on the one hand we are in a fairly strong arms relationship with india, on the other hand, we also provide support to pakistan, and what we see at the end of the day is that the biggest value all of you seem to be suggesting is nuclear in one way or another and that only increases with this paradigm. is there a policy, internal contradiction in policy in terms of how we're approaching this when it comes to india/pakistan military combination? >> i wouldn't say these decisions, i'll take one at this, because there's probably a lot of other opinions on the panel, i don't think they are irrational when you look at pakistan's calculations but what i think might be happening they may not be internalizing the full set of risks. they may not have a long time horizon to calculate some of these things.
for one thing there are a lot of nonstate actors roaming around in pakistan. some which they tackled, some they haven't or can't, some in between. those put a lot of risk out across their borders that they may not be able to manipulate and control so it's taking that ability of escalation out of their hands and that's something that if it was factorred in, it might lead to the cost of benefits because of the risks. similarly with india, they're exposing themselves to certain risks by choosing to not take certain actions particularly in kashmir. they have a lot of vulnerabilities and fish us easily exploitable by other actors, some are within that region and routine ly, i shouldn't say routinely, but in a new one that changed in
different ways and that they are referring to the same other talking points, other actors driving this process when there seems to be much more organic unrest within kashmir that's both exploitable and also sort of vulnerable to violence. one last point, there's arms that protect themselves internally or externally balanced and there's a question of sufficiency and how much is enough, whether it's a nuclear conventional capabilities and in this case again i think the worry that gets expressed within some parts of the united states and analytical community is if you start to push yourself in one direction to sort of fully build up and compete on every conventional platform or develop every nuclear capability to plug every hole in the escalation ladder, do you start to run out of the resources underpin your security and your military strength. >> sure. >> one clarification.
my biggest concern is not the nuclear question. my biggest concern from a u.s. policy perspective is that the india/pakistan problem may derail or has the potential to derail larger u.s. interests in the region, which are being driven by u.s./india cooperation. >> got you. that's good. if i may quickly come to you, you mentioned this, everybody mentioned this one way or another. pakistani behavior and the question of changing pakistani behavior which is principal u.s. sort of focus, effort for a number of years, you have been in government and tried your hand at it, others have. what changes pakistani behavior? a lot of people they talk about increasing and you know, whatever behavior change the u.s. wants, ultimately what is going to change it? one argument is it may well be the india/pakistan relationship but that may not be doable. is there anything here that
realistically the u.s. can do at this point to change pakistani behavior, whichever way it wants? >> in short, no, i don't think that strategy works. we've seen that over the past decade and prior to that. pakistani behavior changes when it realizes it has certain interests it wants to pursue. we did see a change in pakistan's orientation towards certain militant groups in the northwestern areas. that's observable, they went after them. they suffered the backlash of that, there were costs, they knew that, and they continued to kind of explain to the public that we'll continue on this path towards the other militant groups on our own time line, so if i were to kind of look at that as one example, it strikes me that once pakistan's own sense of security is threatened domestically, they start to look at these groups differently, right? when they only look at them through the national security paradigm, it's not going to work. you can't change their orientation, if they feel
increasingly threatened by afghanistan or india and feel circled in, they're not going to change their behavior, but if there's a sense of increased sense of threat to the state, i think that opens it up for possibilities. now, when it comes to the anti-india groups and punjab it becomes tricky because there's a connection to kashmir. it's not just that these groups could target pakistani citizens, right? they're a very useful tool in its relationship with india so i think that's where it becomes more complicated. i think on the assistance issue, this is something we have to tackle. the next administration may not choose to do that, but if we don't do it now we have to do it in eight years or four years. the u.s. assistance relationship with pakistan is a crutch for pakistan. they know, the pakistani kind of mind-set is okay, the americans will come in at the 11th hour because they have so much invested in us, whether it's in afghanistan or on the nuclear issue, that kind of relationship will continue to be a crutch, so
that affects the orientation towards india and pakistan knows that if we just go too far the americans are going to get worried and come in and save the day or not save the day but they'll come in for us, right, so i think until that changes, it's status quo. >> got you. toby? going back to your book, the premise of which is how do you, as india, manage the cross border terrorism problem from pakistan. what about the other scenario, which may not be the most problem but is realistic, which is the default position is a terrorist attack happens because of the history, because of the, what has happened in the past. india's default is of course to say must be pakistan, we need to do something about it. there are elements like isis, there are elements like aqis now, and i wonder what happens to a crisis where actually it's
a third party actor, not one of these groups that we know of that manage an attack, in a situation where lost in all of the conversation about india/pakistan crises is that india and pakistan do not talk on terrorism. and you have a third party, think about it as isis. what is the best thing i can do, get pakistan and india close to a wall and if it's a nuclear one, great. how do you manage that situation as the u.s.? if you're not talking to each other about that possibility is it not made up? >> it's a real concern and valid question. i don't know we have good levers to facilitate that intelligence discussion and the trend now seems to be avoid those discussions and to set prerequisites to have any kind
of discussion. at the same time there's no real mystery here, too. people on both sides know what needs to happen on kashmir, they know what needs to happen in afghanistan and the problem is largely those views are really difficult to sustain politically because they're not nationalist, because they're internationalists. so i don't see any impetus on either side to take up this question of are there actors that are not under the control of the pakistani state that could catalyze some crisis. but i would imagine that there are people like the national security adviser in india who have thought through that issue and probably would like to do something and maybe there are channels via the national security advisers where you could start to approach this in a way that isn't so politicized, is a little bit more on the margins, out of the lime light. could the u.s. facilitate something like that? i think we'd have to have a clear agenda what we're doing.
this isn't talking kashmir, isn't the normal cross border stuff. this is there is a threat that we perceive is a threat to both of your states as well, can we formulate an agenda that addresses that threat. it's possible. now, our intelligence relationships with both states at this point bound by certain agendas or structures that make that hard? probably. but shouldn't be impossible. >> to put this in perspective, we're having this uniformly grim conversation but if we'd been speaking just a little bit less than a year ago it was a very hopeful time. so there is this yo-yoing aspect, maybe we'd have a different conversation three months from now. i think that one of the things that has made this conversation
hard from new delhi's perspective is the lack of progress of anything after the mumbai attacks. that's been a trust breaker not just at a policy level but a public level. i'd say that if pakistan was serious about getting at least the more moderate or thoughtful sort of indian interlocutors to recognize there is, indeed, some sort of strategic shift under way in pakistan, there are ways to do this. one would be to in fact show progress on mumbai. this is eight years now. it's not like it happened yesterday. there's nothing. to show some willingness to clamp down on others, you have leading public prayers, the person who is responsible for 166 deaths in mumbai, including six americans, and when you see that, you can see why the indian
position becomes sort of extremely cynical because of these things, and i think if they were in fact concrete progress on two or three of these things, where you could sort of say look, we have done this. just as there was concrete progress on a domestic pakistani perspective on going after the it, tp or going after malik and lev, if there some equivalent, even if it's not exactly the same thing but something concrete which you can undeniably show and say that any dispassionate neutral person will look at this and see there's progress against groups and individuals who have hurt indians badly, i think then you'd begin to open up a little bit of a window. >> keep the mike and tell us, you mentioned this issue about india/u.s. and then india pakistan sort of coming in the way if you will in some ways. i want to ask you about attention in the indian thought,
which is on the one hand it makes perfect sense, the india/u.s. partnership, the larger space and india/pakistan not influencing that in a negative way at least. on the other hand, the more this solidifies, the more the china/pakistan relationship in some ways becomes more and more natural, which is something of what is india and if you got to look at a peaceful economically integrated asia the one ideal scenario could be the north/south access connecting to the east/west which goes through india/pakistan if they're trading and investing in each other's countries. how do you sort of square that? in some ways indo/u.s., but there's no interest in pushing pakistan and china further into each other's arms to challenge the indian rights. >> i think pakistan and china are in a pretty tight embrace and i don't think that, you know, india is effectively
making that embrace. it's hard for it to be tighter than it is or it has been for a long time. so the pakistan/china relationship i think has independent history. it's the famous all weather friendship. pakistan, china has recently stepped up support for pakistan, for example, in the u.n. on the issue, so i don't think that india, india is in fact, worried about this in terms of china being pushed close -- russia being pushed closer to russia, that's a very live debate in india. >> pakistan/russia? >> not just pakistan/russia but china/russia because of u.s. policy. >> got you. >> but nobody in india thinks that by getting closer to the u.s., pakistan is -- because pakistan and china are already so close that i don't think this is sort of seen as something. >> so we'll turn to the audience and take questions, but before that, let me, if i may, ask all
of you, in one line, no more, suggest where you think the u.s. policy on india/pakistan, the india/pakistan relationship will be in two years' time perhaps before the administration takes over? >> i think it's going to look the same as it looks today, no change. >> there's another way to put it is muddling through it the same way. >> i think it will be worse. because we're in the process of moving out. >> define worse. >> our leverage on the situation will be much diminished. >> i agree, i think we'll have less leverage. >> on that optimistic note let me open it up, if you can raise your hands, please, identify yourself and then ask a brief question so that we can get through as many as we can. let's begin here and i'll try and come to all of you. if it's okay, we'll collect a
couple and then sort of come back. please. >> i'm ian hutchinson a masters student at gw. with modi establishing the idea of surgical strikes, is there a possibility that this could lead to using these as basically domestic pressure valves, kind of like people accused clinton of the monica lewinsky strikes in yugoslavia, is there a potential for this to lead to a further, you know, precedent for this, for other politicians? >> let's take a couple and then come back to this. i see a hand back there. right there, yes. >> good morning, everybody. this is fazana from pakistan. i want to know what role the u.s. can play in terms of conflict resolution, because when there is a clear stance from the indian side that india/pakistan dispute is a bilateral issue and they will not allow any third party intervention and i also want to know about what is restraining
the u.s. to go further? is it the domestic politics of india/pakistan or the international some kind of international issues which are active and we can see that kashmir issue or dispute is not as active as we can see the other issues. what is restraining the u.s. from going further. >> all right, you want to take the first one? >> i think you're absolutely right. this is a precedent, and it's been politically a very successful precedent. i don't think it's something, i don't know what you meant by other leaders, do you mean future prime ministers? >> perhaps pakistani leadership will take a similar task of just using this to manipulate domestic pressure off of themselves. >> yes, i don't know about that. maybe someone else could answer the pakistan side of it, but on the indian side, it's certainly something that i think the domestic political calculus is certainly part of this. i think this is going to be
heightened over the next two and a half years as you head into the 2019 election. >> i'll just one quick thing on this idea there's a pressure release valve. this is something states already do. we've made a big deal out of the surgical strike for various pr purposes but they always sort of issue the fitting replies and publish an account in a newspaper that says "x" number of people were killed in cross border, artillery fire or raids. this is not particularly new but the other part we're not paying attention to, we talk about pressure as if it's exogenous. i think it's stoked by governments on both sides so it's not simply a bottom-up pressure that the public is beying for blood. there's definitely moves being made both by media cells within governments on both sides that are trying to sort of push this. these things coming into all the leaked stories that came into the leaked media different than the account reported by the army
chief weren't just coming out of thin air. there's definitely some sort of active cultivation of this, so one method for managing pressure is to maybe just not cultivate it as much. >> if i could just add on that, i think your question is also looking ahead could you imagine using this as a way to divert from let's say the modernization is such a disaster that you need another surgical strike to recover from it, you know, i think we're probably not quite there yet, but you know, it was a big pr victory in india and one of the reasons or one of the ways that seems to be explained in pakistan is that it had to be a false flag because it allowed for this so the problem with that it delegitimizes in the pakistani narrative of the problem of these kind of attacks taking place in india. that's really challenging and again it sort of speaks to the need to be able to translate across the border there.
>> the second one? >> so i like the way that you phrased the question, which is what is restraining the u.s. from doing something. it's an interesting perspective, and you know, it's just not the top priority of the u.s., in the suite of national security interests in south asia, kashmir just is not at the top of the list. i wouldn't even say it's the top three. >> or ten. >> yes, or ten, and once -- in the conversations i've been in, in my career, once you actually have those discussions of should we go in and how and this and that, there are way too many costs to each bilateral relationship, right? so the u.s./india relationship exists in its own vacuum and the u.s./pakistan relationship exists in its own vacuum and the bureaucracy isn't structured to look at it in a unified way. there's no one position or envoy that works on india/pakistan engagement for example. think about that as kind of a new policy prescription for the next administration.
so i also think there's something else happening which we don't talk about that much, it's becoming harder to defend the pakistani position on militancy and when you talk about kashmir, you can't ignore that, and kind of the use of proxies, and the past decade we've seen this issue become much more violent in afghanistan, it affects american interests directly and so when you translate that and looking at kashmir, i think you'll find there's not a lot of u.s. support for the pakistani position and something for the pakistanis to think about. >> thanks. one, two and three, please. if you can make this short. >> sorry, i won't be. i have two comments and then probably a question. the first is -- >> sorry, honestly because of time, i need to get to others. let's make it as crisp as possible, please. >> talking about u.s./india, pakistan/india and the u.s., and
then deciding what policy should pakistan or india have on their borders, i think pakistan and india are sovereign states and they would decide what is good for the policy. and the second thing is we have talked about what would india do in case another attack happens. what would u.s. do, so with all these efforts of diplomatically isolating pakistan and the liberties which are already not there, my question to the panel is what do you think pakistan will do if it is cornered? >> who would like to take that? just to make clear i don't think we're deciding on any indian or pakistani policy but we are debating it, so i don't think there's a problem there. let's go here. >> hi, my name is karen fisher. i'm currently not associated with anybody, but i've just returned from nine years of living in kashmir and 20 years in india, and my question is
to -- is that your name? i'm really very happy that you brought the modi context in this debate because i think there's a lack of understanding of the radicalization that is happening in the area as a result of modi's prime ministership, and there are a couple of things -- my questions are such. in the last couple of days, there's been a new army chief appointed in india, and there's been a huge argument about why he was selected because there were two other people high on seniority, and from what i can understand, based on the writings by some of the army people i know, he was selected because of his experience in covert operations, and
asymmetrical warfare. now this takes me to the whole issue of baluchistan, and i'm wondering to what degree is the u.s. concerned that india, in addition to surgical strikes and other things they have increased, may actually itself get more involved in working with non-state actors and destabilizing areas within pakistan, because there's a lot of debate about this. and one more question i had. >> could we move on and i'll come back if we have time because we're literally ten minutes away. we had a third hand, right there. >> my name's ed rushton. i was a field officer with the michigan gop and you talked about, shoot, now i can't remember. you talked about how our issue
is risk, just management instead of solutions and that's what we should aim for. however i don't see our next administration playing the role of a moderator, and in that case, where the pressure would be on us to take a certain side, do you think a heightened interest in the issues of india and pakistan would evoke a sort of heightened interest from russia in order to kind of turn that area into a powder keg? so do you think this would evoke a sort of pressure, not necessarily a pressure but a reaction from russia to sort of turn, force us to take a side? >> sure. who wants to take the what would pakistan -- >> i just want to respond to both, the embassy question and this one. i would not recommend that we pursue an approach that isolates pakistan. it's not possible. it hasn't happened in the past decade given the difficult issues worked on it's not
realistic to pursue that. the modi strategy of kind of building kind of anti-pakistan sentiment amongst the sarc countries is not a strategy shall it's a tactic. also the united states and within the region and the russia/china factors i think are the biggest ones in making that, it's not possible and i didn't hear that from anyone up here and i don't think any of us would advocate for that. there's great harm in that. there would be great harm in eliminating all u.s. assistance to pakistan, no one would ever advocate for that if you want a stable bilateral relationship so i just want to be on the record as saying that. russia has a long history there, already engaged. i think the china/pakistan engagement that we see in this closer embrace will bring the russians in more. they have expressed some interest in the economic routes that china is pursuing and
pakistan and building off on that to pursue their own economic interests, so i think a lot of that is more organic and independent of whatever the u.s. chooses to do. >> can i maybe pick up on the covert one and hand it over? i think you've seen an interest in india now for several years to develop more covert and special operations capabilities that it could use against targets in pakistan, whether they be terrorist targets or state targets or further sowing some sort of discord and violence in baluchistan and elsewhere. that was one of the options that we addressed in our book analysis of things that india could do, and i think what we see there is that the risks for india are probably lower than employing the army or the air force in a more sort of direct force way, but it also raises a lot of questions about how you
would connect that to a strategy to change pakistani behavior, in part because if it's covert, you can't claim credit for it. you can't do that in domestic discourse, i have seems to be increasingly important for this government. you can't do that because many of the things may be seen as illegitimate and would actually undermine the diplomatic isolation strategy that india seems to have in place at the moment. so i think you can see that temptation and i would predict we'll see more of that but my question would be, is there a case in india where people think that will ultimately lead to some change or is it just merely punitive and part of this unstable equilibrium across nuclear conventional, subconventional kinds of capabilities? >> thanks. on the isolation pakistan question, i agree that it's both greatly unrealistic and also undesirable.
you can't turn pakistan into north korea. that's ridiculous, but i do think that there could be some benefit in pakistanis themselves asking questions about why other neighboring countries including bangladesh and afghanistan in particular, it started out being so vocal about pakistan being part of the solution. the fact that the policies they have pursued have independently in my view, i don't think this is modi ginning up, this is something the modi administration has welcomed but i argue bangladesh and afghanistan have independently come to the conclusion that pakistan has not been a very helpful actor and sometimes it has in fact been a harmful actor. so if there is an internal conversation in pakistan that looks upon that, and sort of asks the question sort of takes it away from the india/pakistan relationship which tends to be
neuralgic, perhaps that would lead to policies that would be helpful. in terms of the army chief, you know, i don't really read too much into that. i think that the indian army chiefs are, you know, completely under political control. which general has which specialization. this is more like the bjp chose this guy, they liked this general. there was a bit of a controversy because he superseded two other generals so they have to say he's got great experience and this is what it is. i don't think, i don't read too much into the choice of a particular general in terms of signaling policy. i look at other things that are signaling policy in terms of including things like modi's speeches. >> i just wanted to jump in on the baluchistan question. i see it as probably something of long blinds, a tit-for-tat for future bargaining on a much lower scale than i think has sort of been talked about. i think, you know, it's sort of
probably counter pressure to some things that are going on in afghanistan, maybe in kashmir. there's good points people have made if you look at the literature back to 2009 what the expectations are india might be doing there and one is the scale is so low so even if there is some activity, it's not really sort of having that dramatic effect the way let's say what's going on in afghanistan is. states can be involved in providing material supports to nonstate actors in so many different ways, such a wide variety of scales, passports to money to arms to training to direction, and where on that spectrum will then sort of have an effect on the outcome of the conflict. if you looked at the assessment of this in 2011, the point was basically if the indians were trying to do this seriously, you should see a much larger scale of activity in baluchistan. clearly the indians demonstrated the capability for this in the past in bangladesh and sri lanka. if they wanted to do something
much bigger they could but given the scale of what's going on there, it might be some low level support as a bargaining chip but probably in the anything on the scale of what's going on in afghanistan. >> we'll take the last round, the two hands here, and then come back to the panel for final words. >> my name is anjat, i'm from the london school of economics and hudson institute. lot of the ideas you talked about premised on fact there's public support but that politically manifested itself in the modi government coming into power in 2014 which is not a confrontational government, then at least a nationalist government in comparison to the past. in pakistan however, a year ago, a mainstream centerite government came into power, even though support for religious military is indemic in pakistan. how do you explain this political manifestation of nationalism on one side and not on the other. >> and the final question here. >> my name is aman, i'm from
pakistan a ph.d. candidate. my apologies in advance but the impression i got from this overall discussion is that india and all have -- and it's pakistan that is doing all -- so none of you talked about colonel prohit, none of you talked about, what was he doing in baluchistan and you talked that pakistan should change its behavior but my understanding is that it's the big brother that needs to change its behavior and in south asia it's india, not pakistan and about surgical strike, even the indian politicians are asking for evidence, if whatever surgical strikes, where are the evidence my question. >> so last word to the panel, the questions and if there's anything else. >> just a very brief, i'll let
you take the question on the nationalism, if you want. i just think that pakistan's national security policy as it's been constructed at least for the past decade it just hasn't worked. it doesn't work for the country itself. it's much more dangerous, there's lots more violence a tacks against the state internally, i mean not talking about with india, so those kind of non-state actors that are involved in that process are also involved in afghanistan and in india, so that's the common link, and that's what i'm focusing on right now, and during my time as a policy maker in the u.s. government, that's what we were kind of honing in on, and that's the, you know, the india/pakistan relationship has tons of problems, many of which will just be bilateral and the u.s. doesn't have a role until it's needed, but i do think that if you want to focus on pakistan itself you really have to question do these policies work? is it in our interest to continue whatever engagement we have with non-state actors? is it areal in our interest in
the context of the region and countries like the united states, the uk, other countries in europe are looking at this with deep concern especially with isis and other trance national jihadist elements finding private support networks in pakistan, whether the state is involved or not, right, so this is a much bigger issue than just india not being responsible or pakistan being the bad guy here. >> so two things on the modi election. one from my understanding and he can probably give more details on this the main reasons based on exit surveys and surveys that came out after that was he was elected primarily on the issue of the economy and management, his stewardship and the stagnation in the indian economies seemed to be one of the drifrsz. even if he wasn't elected on nationalist credentials, pakistan has a history of working with nationalist counterparts and making progress in terms of sort of the peace process, right, so the dialogue
with vajpai's government for many years, his government was a government that launched the nuclear tests and had a driving nationalist agenda and still the opportunity for making deals and sometimes people think the hard liners are the ones who are most likely incapable of making such deals. if you look at the literature on the israeli/palestinian peace process, the people that come to make deals are hard liners. so i think it doesn't, just because modi is a nationalist, even if we accept the premise, doesn't foreclose on the prospect of making actual progress and composite dialogue. >> on the last question, you know, about us focusing on groups and behavior in pakistan and why that's a problem, i think this goes back to something that shamayla suggested earlier, the narrative pakistan has portrayed here in the last several years doesn't carry much water at this point. i'm not saying that's right or wrong. i think it's an analytically
important point though, to the extent that that reflects policies in pakistan that here are not seen as carrying the country forward in a positive direction, and it makes it harolder for the u.s. to engage pakistan in a productive way, that's really unfortunate. >> i'll just echo what samir said. it's certainly true in terms of policies modi was elected in 2014 to be india's mr. development, the model of development, foreign investment, better economic management, all of those, there's a big question mark on a lot of that right now but that was what he sold himself as primarily, but it's also true that he satisfied an indian craving for a so-called strong leader and one element of being a strong leader is the idea that modi would not be pushed around, and i attended several of his campaign rallies in the run-up to the election and even though the focus was mostly on jobs and inflation, there was never a speech where
he didn't mention the weakness of the manmohan singh government when it came to being slapped around by pakistan. there were both elements in it. certainly the economic aspect was dominant. eessentiallyially he's a strong leader, what he sort of styles himself as the indian version of putin or thaksin, erdogan, take your pick. that's why this becomes so important for him because anything that erodes this sense of him being a strong leader, which is why i argued that he would respond to and he did, becomes very politically significant for him. >> thank you. i was trying to finally end time but we sort of missed it. sorry to those we couldn't get to. let me wrap up very quickly saying my standard line after these events which fits every single one of them, there isn't a black and white here, it's
really so complicated and complex that drawing simplistic conclusions will be dangerous. i leave you to decide what is the sum total of the conversation today is, but i'm also often accused of being a pessimist so let me try my hand at being an optimist this time and challenging the panel and all of you and we'll end with this, which is yes, it's very difficult to work on this india/pakistan problem. management is realistic, resolution is difficult. i would point out as i challenged myself to think about this. it's an odd rivalry, which is intractable in a lot of ways, but if you think of the major outstanding problems, each one of them has a solution that's known. you can look at kashmir, you can think about where you'd end up, it will be somewhere around that four-point formula they agreed to. you can think back in 1989, the solution is pretty much -- even terrorism i would argue is intrinsically linked to this larger space.
it's a chicken and egg problem, which one is handled first and second but i would challenge all of us to think through whether it is really as imupon as we think, because at the end of the day, nobody can disagree that an india/pakistan normalization solves everybody's problem. so not saying we'll get there but i think there is space to think about it more boldly for all of us than perhaps we have in the past. so with that, please join me in thanking the panelists and thank you for joining us. [ applause ]
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the last many years done serious damage to our capabilities a new administration has to look at that kind of world and obviously define policy that we need in order to deal with that. to confront that kind of world. >> thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern a look at the career of vice president-elect mike pence. >> amidst the shifting sands of contemporary culture and law we stood without apology for the sanctity of life the importance of marriage and the freedom of religion. >> on friday night beginning at 8:00, farewell speeches and tributes to several outgoing senators, including harry reid, barbara boxer, kelly ayotte and dan coates. in week in prime time on c-span.
mac thornberry on military readiness and defense policy now, also efforts to improve the military acquisition process and defense innovation. he leads off this recent conference on security. >> thank you, chris. it's great for me to be with you and especially to be here with chairman thornberry and we're going to have a conversation that's going to touch on a number of topics and then take some questions. i want to say before i ask you the first question. we're going to talk about current readiness and we can safely say the report is not very good at all. and a lot of things you can say in the last few years are responsible for that. but a lot of agencies but not the house armed services committee. we're grateful for your leadership and the consistent way you have stood up for american security and the men
and women of the armed forces. so withal come. >> appreciate it, thank you. >> so i thought we would get at this by giving you an opportunity to talk about the personal tour that you have engaged in recently in the number of american military installations. i think you followed some of e those abroad and learned a lot of things. but really talked about readiness issues. so maybe you can talk about what you found and what the implications of it. >> thank you. and i appreciate your kind words, but i have to say i did not fully appreciate the state of our readiness and the damage that has been done by sequestration, by the high pace of operations, a combination of factors and at least until i started talking with the people who are trying to live with it
every day. as you mentioned earlier in the year, started traveling to various installations here at home. one of the pilots said you know, ronald reagan sent this plane to bomb gadhafi in 1986. it's my plane. something when i was in flight hit part of the plane. i had had damage but we couldn't get the part to fix it. this is the pilot talking. i'm taking my family through a military museum and see an f-18 on static display there in the museum and get the bright idea that maybe i could borrow a part off the museum aircraft.
so we had to work his way through the museum bureaucracy and then through the d.o.d. to make all this happen. took apart off of the museum aircraft. if turned out the holes were drilled in imappropriately places, so back in the early '80s, you know, it didn't exactly fit. he had to come up with a plan b. as i continued to talk with others getting planes out of the bone yard and extends beyond the flying. we have hey testimony from a navy captain, his ship was tied up at dock, so that they could take 13 parts off of it to put on other ships that had to deploy right away. so what we're doing is cannibalizing and then what goes with that is we don't have enough aircraft available for training and our folks are not getting the training they're supposed to get.
you get this cycle that is headed downward. until you talk with the -- and one other thing. so you have these old aircraft to stay with airplanes for a second, what you're really doing is stressing your maintainers to keep from flying. so i have talked to maintainers that said, you know, i'm not seeing my family anymore at home than i was when i was deployed because we are literally working seven days a week, often 12 hours a day. you debt the depots backed up and this cycle that gets worse and worse. so you're right, i followed one squadron to the middle east. i saw the problems getting ready to deploy, once they got over there, they took a plane just to borrow stuff off of. they have not enough experienced pilots so they have to manage the experienced pilots and less experience and their missions and so forth.
maintainers working around the clock. are they pulling off or bombing isis in this case yes. is it an uncredible stress on the force, yes. and it takes its toll over time. so i think what we are seeing and it's not just anecdotes. you're seeing in accident rates for all the services going up. you're seeing consequences build of these readiness shortfalls and we've got to turn it around. last thing i will say is i think it's morally wrong to send people out on missions for which they are not fully supported and fully prepared. we're kind of doing that. we're not fully supporting them now. that's wrong. we have to turn it around no matter what. >> that's a powerful statement. as you know, if those problems are existing and they are across
all the services, we know that day-to-day readiness is one of the last things this system wants to sacrifice because it's embarrassing to everybody. if they are sacrificing that it, what does it say about the long-term readiness issues that you've also talked about so well? >> and i do think we make a mistake both the military and those who are around it a lot by e seeing readiness as some sort of a code for just a unit. it is broader. and so the only way you're going to make some of these aircraft squadrons ready is to get new airplanes. you can only do so much with the 1980s that are way beyond their flying hours. you can say the same with ships and all sorts of things. i do think it's important to look at readiness more broadly. not just units, but individuals
and also our capability to deal with the variety of threats, high end to others that we face. >> the irony is that this is happening because of the desire to save money and yet it will cost so much more, as you know, and you warned the colleagues, you tell the colleagues, it's cutting off your nose to spite your face. but getting a concentration of energy and will to do something about it is a lot harder. >> it's like not patching your roof and letting it go. one of these days you're going to have water in your house. think about the cost of that. just that small example we can all relate to large across the u.s. military is what we're facing. >> i love your museum example. what i was thinking when you were talking about it was, when we do finally take some of these platforms off the line, somebody is going to show up at the antique road show with of them, b52 or something and say
what can i sell this for? you have to laugh or cry. so we have a new president coming in who gave, what i thought, was an outstanding defense speech with a very good defense plan over the summer. love for you to comment on that if you want to. one of the things i liked about his plan is the emphasis in it not just on capabilities, on the technological edge that we're losing and that we need to maintain, but also he did focus on numbers, on capacity. there's been a tendency in these last few years and chris mentioned the defense panel and others, for people to get so in love with capability that the third offset all that's important, they forget numbers matter, too. you want to comment on his speech or on that issue or how you see that going forward? >> i agree. i think his focus on rebuilding
the military is exactly right, as was the piece that you wrote that chris mentioned. and numbers do matter. i mean, part of the reason we're challenged right now is we don't have enough aircraft, i'll just continue with that example, so the ones we have, we are flying more and more hours and that's part of the cycle of how hard it is to get things ready if you don't have enough and what you've got you're just flying the wings off of. but what else is true, recently i was in the asian-pacific region that you can have more capable ships. we have this debate all the time with the obama administration. you can have a more capable ship but still only be in one place at one time. you have to have numbers to cover geography and these days when you have such a huge array of threats from russia and china's aggressive action, iran,
north korea, terrorists that not only have not gone away but are spreading out in more places, there's no substitute for numbers. and final point is like with aircraft, we can wear out our and so day after tomorrow in the house, we will pass this year's conference report for defense authorization bill. one of the primary features is we stop the drawdown on end strength and all the services, especially acute for the army. so part of what has happened is we have drawn down the numbers so much we have worn people out. we are more than 4,000 maintainers short, partly because the airlines are hiring, partly because we're wearing our people out and they can only do so much. >> i'm co-chairing at the bipartisan policy center, a task
force on personnel with secretary panetta and jim jones. and when you really get into these subjects, it's interesting what you find. one of the things we're seeing is all throughout the force, one of the reasons morale is suffering so badly is that people feel like they are having to do two or three jobs instead of one. and they will do that in a wartime, but you mentioned stress. over time these are volunteers. they don't have to stay. it's amazing the force is held up as well as it has. >> it is a credit to them. and one last point. when you do the drawdowns like they are in the process of doing, who are you losing? you're losing the people with some experience and so forth, so you lose that capability. even if you try to turn it around tomorrow, you're not replacing the experience. you're bringing in a new recruit. got to go through the training
and so forth. so the best thing is don't lose them to begin with. >> because building up will cost more and take time. you also tend to lose war fighters because to some extent this is the tooth to tail ratio. and i know you've worked on getting that reduced. but problem is, they have to sustain -- let's take the army. you have to sustain the institutional army in order to be able to continue as an organization. which means that your end strength cuts are going to fall in the brigades and war fighters, which is exactly what we want to see out there in the fields. so capacity is important going forward. and we can all -- and i'm sure you'll be working on this figuring out what is the right capacity, but at minimum, we don't keep drawing down. i want to talk because we have been talking about the decline in our strength as a result of all these factors.
but the decline, when you talk about the strength of the american military, it's relative to the missions that they have to reform and the threats they are confronting. so part of the danger is we're not only gradually getting weaker, maybe not so gradually, but many of the potential adversaries we're facing are getting stronger. do you agree with that? >> no question. two years ago when i first became chairman, we had a number of hearings, senator mccain did the same in the senate, just state of the world. and among others, henry kissinger made the comment that probably never before have we faced so many complex threats at the same time. in addition to that over the past 18 months or so, our committee has had a number of classified, unclassified sessions where we look at our eroding technological advantage over others.
and this is another area that in some ways kind of may have crept up on us, but now if you look at it objectively, we are clearly less superior than we have been in the past. so you look at what russia and china are doing where they are making their investments. it is directly focused on the way that we conduct warfare. and poses a real danger, whether it's nuclear deterrence, whether it is all the various cyber or counter-space activities, and a variety of other capabilities that the defense has. >> integrated air defense. >> absolutely. so you look at that on the russia side. you look at some of the missile work, cruise missile work that china is doing. and they are not the only ones.
you see iran and north korea accelerating their missile testing among other things. isis is getting more sophisticated. in its use of cyber. the point is we have this huge array of threats more than we have ever faced and their sophistication is growing and we have to deal with it all. and i think that's the key factor. we spend so much more money than all these other militaries combined. we also have more responsibilities than anybody else combined. and without us, others step into the vacuum. i think we're starting to see some of that. and more aggressive activity in the world. >> i, too, deal with that. we spend more than other countries combined. i have thought about how best to capture the right response. because it's a fair question. we want people to ask questions like that. but you have to have apples to
apples. so what are we spending vis-à-vis potential adversaries in their regions of the world. you take china, which admits to spending 140, $150 billion a year. it's probably half again that much. virtually all of the power they are getting is concentrated in east asia and in their near seas. so the question is are we spending the equivalent of several hundred billion dollars a year in order to maintain presence in that part of the world. the answer is no. we're like a company that's trying to market in all 50 states and one of its regional competitors is spending three times as much in five states as you're spending. you're going to lose market share in those states. so you're really correct. we're going to go to questions in just a minute. so be thinking about it. but i want to have -- time goes by so quickly. i do want to make certain that we touch on industrial base issues, because when you look at
the build up, and this is a difference between now and 30 years ago when reagan did this. we have an incoming president-elect who i believe is committed to a major rebuild of america's armed forces, but he doesn't have, in my opinion, anywhere robust a defense industrial basis as president reagan did. maybe that's overstating it, but would you talk a little bit about that. >> i think it's self-evident. we are down to one or maybe two suppliers in many instances. if you talk to the major defense contractors, they are very dependent, many times, on a single sub contractor for various components. and much of the reason for that has been the erratic budgeting that has come from our political system or not come from our political system. some of the cr's, all of that
has taken a toll on our industrial base. one of the things as you know one of the areas i have focused on has been acquisition reform. and part of the reason is i have grown increasingly concerned that innovative companies that do commercial work and do work with the government are going to make the decision it's not worth messing with the government. and i have had executives with some of them tell me that has been their calculation. it's just not worth it. and you think about the way the world is moving, the investments that our adversaries are putting in. if we lose the innovation that comes from a whole series of companies in our economy, we are going to have a very difficult time defending the country.
and so when you think of the industrial base as the prime defense contractors, which is absolutely true, they are essential, but really it's a much larger group and we have made it very hard to do business with the department of defense and we have made it very slow to take advantage of their innovations. so while it is really important to get more value for the money we spend, what is even more of a driver for me is we have to be faster. we have to be more agile in fielding the best technology that will protect our people better, but also meet the adversary and to do that we have to have a better acquisition system and the industrial base improving those relationships. it's been a very hostile one. i understand, they're in it to make money, there has been arm's
length transactions and all that, but we need to get back to everybody being on the same team for the same purpose in order to harness that tremendous innovation that's in the american country. >> we'll go to the questions because i could monopolize the chairman for the whole hour. i want to go to your questions. a lot of that is creating a deeper understanding and mind set among the colleagues and even within the defense or the press that's covering these things, and obviously a lot of the trade press understand it, of how this system works and what kind of oversight and what kind of standards to hold them to are appropriate. when they really are perfect pretty well, and when the $400 hammer shows that something is really wrong, and that's hard to create that.
i know a big part, we'll close with this. one of the big things that the chairman of the house of armed services committee has to do is to help colleagues in the house understand how this hugely important but very different part of the government works. most of them will come into office having looked at health care and look at education, looked these issue others but they don't understand this. so how do you see your role in that and how do you think that's going? that's a question you don't get every day. >> there's always more work to do. and for me it starts with members of my committee. and we have had a lot of informal conversations with people that help get a better feel for that. but for example, a couple of months ago, i took 20 or 30 folks over to the pentagon and walked around a little bit. got to hear firsthand from many of the service chiefs. i do think for all the reasons
we have been talking about, nearly all members of congress feel a responsibility when it comes to national security. >> i agree with that. they absolutely do. >> but as you're right, it is in many ways, not something that many of them are used to dealing with. except we do have some key veterans who have been elected and they bring their perspective. >> i don't want to overstate. >> but i think you're right. i think there is a hunger for members to understand better what's happening in the world about our military capability and so part of our job is to help provide the information, but also just the understanding. >> the framework of how that works. >> the rest of the story is i don't want to just explain to them how this very complicated bureaucratic system works. part of our job is to reform