tv Reagan National Defense Forum - Global Conflicts Alliances CSPAN January 4, 2019 8:01pm-8:49pm EST
impact of the government shutdown. and then in our spotlight on magazine segments, wired magazine contributor john gardner talks about his recent article discussing climate change. be sure to watch c- span's washington journal live at 7 eastern saturday morning, join the discussion. ♪ washington state democrat adam smith spoke at an event at the reagan national defense form and he called on president trump to end his america first policy and biltmore military alliances. his remarks ran about 45 minutes. well welcome everybody, thanks for showing up. it's mid afternoon, time when some people start to get distracted so it's great to see everybody here. i am going to read a couple things here because i will mess
it up otherwise and then we'll get right to it. i wanted to let everybody know that this is a live audience and the audience may submit questions via rndf app and it is www.rndf2018.org. and people viewing across the country can submit questions via twitter, #rndf. we will get to some of those questions toward the end. but anyway, thanks for everybody for being here. as you know, we are here to talk about allies, particularly in the context for the us and its ilife in the context of this great power competition that we have with china and russia. you know, at other times in history it's maybe singular focuses of problem sets. but in this case, currently,
you can name the issues that the us certainly confronts. and all the usual suspects, all those different issues, north korea, iran, china, russia, syria, afghanistan. everything are all different the way i was thinking about it, though, is they have one common theme which is a reliance on a network of allies. so, what i wanted to do was to kind of skip down the path here and ask our panelists to kind of answer a quick question. but first to my right, this is congressman adam smith who is soon to be the chairman of the house armed services committee. . and then to his right, john rudd, from the pentagon, he is the undersecretary for policy there. and then we have our token
ally, [ laughter ] that's right. defense minister from the uk, gavin williamson. . so, can i just ask east of you to, starting with you congressman, briefly because we do have a tight thing here. to just kind of tell us how you see, how you are seeing the world now in view of the need for allies as the us is up against this great power. >> it's complicated, so i hope to not go on for too long. number one we have the national security picture that we face. it's incredibly complex, as russia, china, north korea, island and trends terrorist. that's what we are dealing with to make the world more peaceful and prosperous. understanding the threat to environment is number one.
number two is understanding that the world has changed a lot and that the us dominance of it isn't what it used to be. and i know a lot of people lament that and talk about how this complete collapse. and it's not that, it simply a recognition of how history has evolved. and i will use the statistic that seems like a non sequitur. but in 1948 the united states of america was responsible for 90% of global manufacturing, which is a staggering statistic. and that put us in a very powerful position. but basically that was a historical accident. the entire industrial world save us, had just been blown off the face of the map. we had no competition. that wasn't going to last. so that type of dominance, hoping that we will get back to the point where we will dominate the world recently so they will have the been to our will, is not going to happen which is why the alliances are
so absolutely critical in terms of how we meet those challenges that we just described. we cannot do it on our own. we simply do not have the resources and the size and the capacity. so we need to build as many friends as we canned and also preferably try to reduce the number of enemies. i will say a positive thing about donald trump to start and that is i like that he's talking to kim jong-un. it is far, far better than running the risk of a war so that we had to do what. so to build those alliances we have to have a coherent message. so why should these countries work with us? what is it we are trying to accomplish and why do what we these countries to work with us? i think the coherent message has got to build around the notion that defense minister from the uk, gavin williamson. . because the other thing that those countries have in common is that they are all
autocratic, they don't have much political or economic freedom. we offer greater freedom. so i think we have to develop that message and say we will give you freedom and protect you from autocrats who don't want to give you that freedom. so we have got to have a message and we got to have allies and we have to got to understand that we can do it on her own. >> perfectly brief, thank you very much. >> thank you gordon, it's terrific to be here at the reagan library to have a discussion about the role of alliances and the importance of building new partnerships. because you know, we are very familiar with the president's dictum of peace through strength. he really did give great prominence to that. of course yesterday we saw regrettably we lost president reagan's price vice president, a president who later became president, george hw bush, the 41st president of the united states. one of the things he was known for course was the amazing coalition he put together during the gulf war.
but i think ironically, lesser functions focused on these days is the role that he played when the soviet union was ending and the wall was coming down in berlin. this amazing management that he and margaret thatcher and the other allies did to prevent many of the horrible's that we expected to happen during that period of time. now, i am in of course and george hw bush was somewhat i looked up to when i was starting government service 30 years ago at cia is an urn intern. i remember waiting for couple of hours to watch and visit at cia headquarters to see this person that i had followed through years of government service. for us, of course today in the administration were focused on the role that allies play and meeting the great challenges that we see articulated in the national defense strategy. and the national defense strategy sets the clear priorities in saying that the greatest long-term threat to the united states and our
allies is china. but in many ways, russia is a more lethal near-term. this return of great power competition, not transnational terrorism, the greatest threat to the peace and prosperity of the american people and that of our allies and was very firmly noted is north korean and iran and certainly other major challenges. now as we go forward to do that, one of the things gordon that i see from my seat in the pentagon is that i see is that there is a real focus on practical, tangible improvements with friends and allies. for instance, we have the defense secretary of the uk here. and at the last nato summit, some very noteworthy agreements there are real capabilities for the alliance, for example agreeing on a readiness initiative called the 430s. that is to say, 30 years quan, 30 naval combatants and 30 mechanized infantry need to be ready to mobilize in 30 days.
another measure of merit the weight alliances stepping up in 2014, the allies had only three of us that met 2% of our gdp devoted to defense spending and that the wales summit an agreement by the alliance for all allies to get to 2% by 2024. now as we sit here today, eight countries have now made it to that level of 2% and 19 have come up to the level that by 2024 they will be spending 2% on gdp. all allies last year agreed to spend more, 5'2"% total increase across the lines, since president trump took office, $41 billion of additional spending committed to by the allies, so in terms of real commitments for real capabilities, we see that the uk is leading the way, even with the brexit different decision, a firm commitment to stay 2% or more of gdp. and then in other ways when we
talk about the commitment of the alliance to commit to more forces for places like afghanistan, to the training mission in iraq, real changes in the command and control structure of the alliance, and i'm pleased to see that. and that's the kinds of tangible steps that we have got to see taken to deal with these threats in, and i'll just mention briefly, in asia another area of focus for us to develop new partnerships and expend those alliance relationships, for example, indonesia is a very high priority for secretary matus, ny, as secretary matus, calls it flows through indonesia's water in and around the country. that's about half the world's global trade. a strong push to increase relationship with countries like vietnam. and then to reinforce relationships and renew them with long-standing allies, like japan, the rok, and australia
and to continue the work that successive administrations have put under way with india to create a new relationship with that country and some noteworthy achievements there. so i will just close by saying i could go around the world, the middle east or certainly in this hemisphere and speak of other examples. but again from my perspective, a focus, particularly under secretary mattis's leadership on tangible, specific things that are going to burnish those relationships, lead to the growth of them, and allows to meet shared challenges together. >> thanks john.? well, can i just say what a privilege it is to be as a token ally? >> i prefer to call you an army of one [ laughter ]. >> it's nice to be allowed in. and from a uk perspective, obviously, may i pass on our condolences about the sad passing of president bush. he was a man who very much epitomized someone who believed
in the strength of alliances and what they can actually bring, not just to the world but actually importantly, and was able to articulate what they could also bring to the united states. he was often referred to as the only texan in the royal court at buckingham palace, so it's obviously very sad to see him go. but alliances have been vital for the united states over numerous decades. and when you have seen the united states step away from the world stage, when you have seen the united states the isolationist in its approach, it has been able to sustain that for a short period of time, but in the variably, what it has had to do is to deal with the realities of what is happening around the world. and we have seen over the last 20, 25 years, a truly extraordinary set of events
which has meant that the united states has been the sole superpower on the world stage. but that world. and that chapter has come and is rapidly coming to a close. so how does the united states amplify and magnify its strength, and it has to be through those alliances? you would probably say that is not surprising, coming from a uk defense secretary. but actually, it puts a responsibility on allies themselves, because actually the point about other nations paying their way, contributing, actually stepping to the mark in terms of what it spends on defense is absolutely right. it shouldn't just be the united states, britain and a few other countries that are spending a minimum of 2%, and we shouldn't see 2% as a minimum . it's a floor and it's most certainly a ceiling.
but actually, it's not just about what you spend. i think we have got to actually have a complete change in attitude and approach, because in the last 20 years, you have been seeing united states taking a lead in so many different parts around the world, whether that is in afghanistan, whether that is in iraq, whether it's increasingly in the asia-pacific region as well. but actually for alliances to really work, we have got to be looking at how other nations, whether that is the united kingdom, whether that be germany, whether that be france or italy or australia, actually taking a lead in different parts of the globe. the united states cannot lead in every part, on every continent, in every conflict zone. and actually, to really prove the worth of alliances, other nations have to be the ones to say we will leave. and over the last 20 years, you have seen the uk and other
nations who have contributed to the missions that united states has led. what we need to do is to switch that round. because what unites us is those common values of democracy, justice, freedom. and actually what we have got to be doing and thinking is where in the world can britain lead and maybe the united states come in behind us and support what we are doing and helping us deliver on our values and our shared and common aims in these countries? and when we start seeing that more and more, which i'm sure we are going to do over the coming decades because of the threats, as was discussed over lunch, the threats aren't getting less. and you cannot expect the united states to deal with every single one of those threats. and when we start doing that more and more, i think it sends a very powerful message, not just to the people of the united states but also to the
people in great written and right across europe, right across the western world, that these alliances that bring benefit to all. >> thank you so much. thank you. >> i wanted to jump in on china first. and in preparing for this panel, i was speaking with a friend who reminded me of a foreign affairs article written by two former obama administration officials who faces its most dynamic and formidable competitor in modern history in china. meeting this challenge, however, and meeting it properly must mean doing away with the hopeful thinking that has characterized us policy wondering from each of you, if you could share with us if you share that view and particularly for the congressman, is there a bipartisan approach to to countering china, and how to see that happening? how do you bring allies along with it?
>> well, that statement can meet a lot of different things. i did read the article and i get what their point is, and i think secretary mattis actually did the best in terms of focusing this and he said, what is it, yes we are going to compete with china. they aren't economic power and in one way or another we are going to compete with them. but what are the redlines? what is it that we want to try to prevent china from doing? what are the truly bad things? because i honestly believe that there's plenty of room in this world for a rising china and a continuingly powerful united states. how do we do that? and there's several steps that we can look at. the biggest thing that we obviously want china not to do is to become a hegemon in asia. is to not start land grabs as they are trying in the south china see to try to not impose themselves on the sovereignty of nations around them and i
think that gives us a natural outreach point to work with other countries, because they don't want that either. so we want to prevent that and then the second is what they are doing in terms of stealing intellectual property. and i do think, you know, putting tariffs on steel, sort of misses the point. the biggest problem with china is in the way that they are stealing intellectual property, stealing technologies and not competing in a fair way. so we have to figure out, what are we trying to stop trying from doing? it will freak out because china is, you know, providing foreign aid in africa and they do it in a way that isn't necessarily outstanding, but that doesn't concern me as much. i mean, if we look at other great economic powers, they are going to start to try to build economic power in parts of the world that have been struggling. and that's not a bad thing. so i think we've got to be focused on what we want to stop china from doing. and i think secretary mattis has done a great job of this.
china, for all of their progress, for the 6 million or 700 million people they've taken out of prop poverty, they're going to the point where they are having a problem breathing and that's a problem. global warming, the use of reliance on fossil fuels, we can work together on that. they faced threats from violet extremist terrorist groups as well. so we need to look for places to work together and this is where, just make things a little bit more interesting, you know. i think there's room for criticism in the way that the trumpet administration has approach this. i think dod is doing it. i don't know how many ambassadors are paying attention to it. i mean, lord knows that rex tillerson was doing there but it did work out too well. is it gotten better? i don't know. i do net know that there are a ton of ambassadorship's that are unfilled. there seems to be a disdain for diplomacy outside of everywhere but the pentagon.
and i really do praise you folks over there. you're trying to build partnerships with india, meanwhile the state department seems to be sort of thumbing his nose at everybody and i'm a great admirer of george w bush. as well. but but both he and his son had a way of building coalitions that were a little bit different. when iraq was invaded, and i don't know if this is true or not, but i read it in a book, george hw bush is first phone call was to the secretary general of the un to say on the hey, we have got a problem. how do we solve this together? an inclusive approach. and we all know that our current president has a slightly different tactic in terms of how he talks to people and i've got to believe that that's a problem.
that people, as a general rule do not like to start conversations by being insulted. and where does that leave us? and i'll give you just one example. america first? we should flat-out stop saying that. because if you're trying to build these alliances that are so crucial to everything that were doing, now you are a very patient gentleman and i'm sure you get along quite well with us and you can take the occasional bar and see the broader interests and work with us but as a general rule was the clichi, you catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar? and what america says to the rest of the world is screw you, we are in it for us. and you know, if you have got something that's going to help us, we will do it. if you don't, get away. so, i think diplomacy needs to be significantly improved, whether we are dealing with china or any else. if were not going to undermine the very things that all three of us just talked about, and we do have better models, like i said, you know, the coalitions that described, that george asia bibi bush was able to put together by respecting other people, by respecting their interest, and working with them
in a way that isn't insulting, i think it does matter. >> i like to come back to you on something, but let me just go on to john. go ahead. >> sure. with respect to china, i think that as i mentioned, that is the greatest long-term challenge we face, and is the greatest long-term challenge both because of the magnitude of that challenge and the potential to affect our way of lives, but also it's a very complex challenge and it does not resemble exactly or neatly those that we faced before. even during the cold war. and what you see china doing is not only propagated larger influence in its region but also trying to expand that influence globally, and really competing for influence across the globe. the chinese leadership, led by president for life now, chinese president xi jinping is a very ambitious group of people, and very self-confident one, and i think president xi aspires to be, perhaps, not only the most influential chinese leader in modern history but perhaps the china's long history.
and i think the perspective of the china's leadership is that they would disagree with this characterization of the united states, while they've gone through a bad century, that china will be back to take its rightful place in this world. it's really about is it a fair competition is a competition that seeks unfortunately what we see china doing is trying to overturn the global order put in place in the post-world war ii. to allow for free movement of people, free movement of ideas, openness of expression, promotion of democracy, respect for individual human rights, individual digital rights in terms of their relationship with their state. respect for the sovereignty of other state and not seeking to overturn those disputes simply through use of force. respect for intellectual property, trade, patent rights, etc., and so there are many
reasons why we have concern now. the approach that we have taken in the defense sphere is first to try to base line ourselves and secretary mattis of course has led the way on this to explain our strategic intentions to china and to begin with a discussion around along the lines that we are the two nations on earth with the greatest potential for good or if we have conflict, for ill. and if we change the global landscape, it's been a long time since we have had a global conflict between the great powers, and we want to avoid that and we want to avoid being another chapter in the many pages of history with emerging powers choosing to militarily confront the established powers. and so, beginning with an explanation of what our strategic intentions are, explaining the competition in our lexicon does not mean, and we are not destined to be posed, where not destined to be a future of conflict. that tutor is for us to write. but there are certain things that we think that global
system has actually aided in china's rise. that the demise of things like the ability for free movement of people and ideas and goods is not in their interest. but at the same time, we can't do that and we certainly don't wish to do that by ourselves. that is where the role of friends and allies is so critical, and we have had and we continue to have a special relationship with her majesty's government. you have got to start with those things at your core, but in addition to that, as i mentioned, the growth of these alliance relationships are very important. for example i mentioned indonesia. we have done $1.8 billion in for you and military sales with indonesia. where trying to cultivate a different relationship with vietnam after the vietnam war. this last year we had, for the first time since that conflict, the visit of an aircraft carrier to vietnam. the secretary of defense has met with his counterpart there
four times. we have begun transferring and having defense trade relationships with indonesia. first, through an excess coast guard cutter but also through uavs, trainer aircraft. now these aren't easy relationships and we have to deal with the legacy of conflict. for example one of our projects at dod is the cleanup of ancient coins or dioxin in vietnam. so you got to deal with the legacies of conflict. you got to be clear eyed about a complex relationship, but the hard work of not only maintaining our core relationships and building them and keeping them vibrant, but building these new relationships has got to be a part, taken hand-in-hand while we retired to the chinese and try to manage that relationship and their rights in a way that we are cooperative with them. but also being vigilant and knowing we've got to have that only defense capabilities but we've had friends and allies for this to work well. >> if i could just jump in, i think a lot of folks want to see, and this gets diff a different conversation about the national defense strategy and the assets. people want to see where the us
is going to challenge china, militarily or otherwise. and i don't mean getting into a conflict or war, but they're looking to, you know, i think a lot of the rhetoric has been let's work with china in a lot of ways when i think there's, a signal, were challenging china in the south china sea right now. you know, we are sending our air craft carrier battle groups the waters that they say we shouldn't be able to send through. so we're kind of doing, i don't think there's a lot of call for like you said, for us to lob a missile at them. >> no, of course not. >> but we are challenging them. we are deterring them in a variety of different ways. and many of the ones that you just outlined i think are crucial by making more friends in the region but go ahead.
>> i think the real strength is not necessarily, always acting alone. so when we saw the attack on ourselves and saulsberry with use of chemical weapons on the streets, if i said you a year ago that we would see the use of the novichok virus in a sleepy english cathedral city nestled in the countryside, you probably would have thought it was crazy. the strength of the response is actually about nations coming together and speaking with one voice. you look at china, without a shadow of a doubt, china presents the globe with so many great opportunities. but also, it does present it with challenges, and actually the way that you will best be able to influence behavior is not expecting the us to do all the running, or to be doing all the running on its own. but actually, for other nations to be actually saying a common thing, so whether it's the south china sea, it's good that the us does rights of passage, but actually other nations have to be doing the same and that's
why you have been seeing british vessels actually transiting through the south china sea for the first time in a number of years. but we also have to be willing to call out poor behavior, not constantly turning the other cheek. and actually where there is something that frankly some of the nations with whom we have shared values, if china is doing something wrong or rush is doing something wrong, the strength of speaking with that one voice and saying why it is wrong and what the consequences could potentially be to that. >> earlier this week emmanuel macron mac said that president trumps recent decisions have been done to the detriment of its allies. the elephant in the room to me and i think some of you have alluded to it earlier is the mixed signals that come from the us government to allies.
and i just wanted to ask you all to kind of expand on that a little bit. how do you bring folks along when you do have, in many ways, mixed signals, mr. trumps kind of transactional approach to allies can make it very difficult, you know. looking at you to some point to speak as an ally, what it feels like, what it means. but you know, with mr. trump's own popular in europe so low, how do you bring, or how does your government bring your people? >> well, it's talking about the value of alliances and actually the common values that you have between nations and actually, it's very easy to focus on divisions. it's very easy to focus on different, a different style, or different approach.
but what is important, actually to see the common value that all nations have. and i'm not sure if many of you have ever been to the interior war rooms in london where you saw, where winston churchill executed the second world war, and the most powerful image that you see there is you look at the map of a globe, where are the greatest number of pinpricks? it's not in france or italy or north africa or the far east. it is in the north atlantic. that vital bridge that united two continents, two sets of, you know, europeans and americans in a fight against something that we all knew was evil and would destroy our sets of values and everything that we stood for. and actually, we need to talk positively about alliances and what they bring to both nations, and actually if you look at what the united states is doing in terms of in
nato, you are seeing an increase in terms of investment, and increase in terms of the commitment to what nato does. so i say judge a nation by its actions. that's the most important thing to do. but again, it comes back to my earlier point. it's about all allies pulling their weight. you cannot outsource european defense and security to the united states. it's simply not right, and is not a sustainable argument that the american people will buy. but we do need to be doing is showing and activism and an interest and a willingness to be involved across all european nations and i think britain can play an important leadership role in that. it's always been a useful bridge between the united states and the rest of europe. but actually, it's not just about your. it's right across the globe, because sometimes nations such as britain and france were able to reach into parts of the
world. there's actually, which actually frankly the us sometimes would struggle in doing so, so we have got to show that leadership. but again, let us focus on the values that are common between our nations. let us focus on all the good things. let us not sort of constantly bicker over some of the smaller or minor things that occasionally divide. >> and if i may, i think there are plenty of places now are other nations are leaving the example. that leads to my mind is west africa where we have a lawless region in there with all kinds of international criminals, terrorists and elsewhere it's really france that has, because of the history there, that has taken the lead in trying to confront and sure of, you know molly and niger and sort of deal with the problems that have come out of libya. so that's been where the leadership has started and i
think the other thing is, and not trying to figure out how to say this in a not terrible way. >> americas about more than just president trump, thank god. sorry. just had to. it's late in the afternoon, and so i think while the rest of the world may not think president trump, may not find him popular for some things he's said and done, i think when you look at a great written and when you look at europe, they can have problems with our president and still may say america is still america. it's still that vital leader in the world, that vital partner in a whole series of levels, so just because the president tweets something unbelievably offensive about one of our allies, i think hopefully what happens in those countries to recognize that larger relationships and it's about more than that. and then also, within the trump administration, there are a lot more people that are doing just the opposite. now this is the mixed signal problem that you say. i don't think that there ever been an administration that has
had this that a schizophrenic schizophrenia problem from one sweet one day to someone saying, no actually, no we didn't really mean that to the next. but at least there is that other, okay? at least there's the department of defense and others out there trying to mend those fences and trying to show a different pace. i don't know, maybe it's some sort of mad scientist strategy here that trump scares them and everybody else comes in and tries to make them feel better. i don't think that's the case. and i do think we would be better off if our president occasionally stuck a more conciliatory and tone towards both our allies and our potential alleys for that matter. so it is a problem, but again i'll just say, america is about more than who happens to be president at the moment. there is a problem, but i've talked for too long. there is one other issue that's worth getting into but i'll save that for later. >> i've been on numerous trips with defense secretary mattis, where you stop in country x, y,
or z and the headline is, you know, he sought to reassure allies, blah, blah, blah. how, from where you sit in the pentagon do you manage these mixed signals? >> best that we can send as secretary mattis is fond of saying, our role is to get it done and so look at some of the actions that we take and i think that that is the best way to explain it to deal with sending the right kind of message. so, for example in europe one of the things that we have tried to student with the european deterrence initiative is part of nato is a substantial increase in commitment, whether that's during the trump administration, $3.1 billion of additional spending for that purpose, the commitment of advanced capabilities to the
activity, but it's got to be, as secretary williamson was saying, we hope that this is a shared commitment. i mean, that's the kinds of things that we are going to make an alliance more vibrant. so while we saw complications to the nato command structure, as i said to make it fit for our times, and be willing to confront the kinds of rights that we face. getting these practical real things done based on not as it doesn't have a cell or a fagade of capability, but real capabilities for things like the nato alliance. that is the best way that we can keep the relationships vibrant. that's the best way over time where, we all live in democracies where there's germany or france or the uk, this alliance of democracies occasionally have a cacophonous sound that emerges and if we are true to the purpose and we are willing to take joint steps together and it's not just there. if i look elsewhere i spent a
lot of my days on the isis campaign, that 75 nations engaged as a secretary said, 79 if you include the organizations also part of that activity. but they're not just coming with words. there is real money. there are real capabilities, and in other areas, you know we have had a good relationship, as congressman smith started to say with our front french colleagues in africa and we are playing a supporting role there. this is a french-lid, european- let activity. but it's one that we support because we see not only an affinity in the alliance but we also see some shared aims there. and were going to have to keep that vibrant also by renewing our focus on as much as there are occasionally differences among our states, we have core values that are similar about democracy, about promotion of freedom, about individual liberties, and as secretary mattis would say we don't buy
our friends here in the united states, we earned them. we earned them through working together on these kinds of activities. and for me and my team, that's what we try to do every day at the pentagon. we try to earn these relationships, we need to earn that capability and that trust and go out and work on those things together. >> thank you. let's segue real quick because we have a very few minutes left to do the russian portion. but do it through the lens of nato and as you may have heard earlier in the conversation earlier it was a survey they did here. a majority of americans are favorable towards nader and favorable towards nader and 20 for% unfavorable. even the majority of those with a favorable view of nato think that our allies should do more. and it goes down, i think you, thank you i didn't give aná. what is your kind of gut reaction to the survey that suggest that members need to
put in more nato? >> i agree with the survey. [ laughter ] let me just say, that's always the case. you would always like your partners to do more. and i don't think in fairness that's ever going to be changing. >> and in fairness, you see the uk, we are upping the spending on defense above inflation every year. where sort of increasing the proportion of gdp that we've been spending on defense. and as was touched upon by john earlier, you know, every nation and nato is increasing the amount. now, as to whether it's the pace that people want to see, some people will argue that it is in a speedy, but a direction of travel. the trend is heading in the right way. but it isn't just about spending, and it is not just about pounds, shillings and pence. it's actually help you use and
how you develop those capabilities and how you come together to use those capabilities to deal with the common threats. and yes, 2% is a very, very important powerful political tool. but is not actually about percentages. it's actually what you are spending that money on, and how you use those capabilities going forward, and i think people are expecting us to do more and i think we will have to do more because the threats are increasing. >> john, real quick if you could just respond to that real quick and then i have a brexit question. >> well, i think, i'm not surprised by the survey results as was discussed and certainly i'm not that is in the category, also i favor neighbor nato and also think that our allies should do more. her majesty's government leads in so many areas. we have got to be more serious of purpose in that regard.
and it's not just the level of spending, it's not just that these are usable capabilities, but it's the degree that some of the parts is greater than the individual elements and some discipline amongst our allies and that is where, you know as an example, we are favorable in general towards the idea that some european union states or the european union as a whole would increase its capabilities. but done in a way that is complementary, then adds to the capabilities of nato, because after all, as the nato secretarial general is fond of pointing out, while there are many european union member states are also members a nation that does nato, today 82 percent if you include the uk 82 percent of the spending resides outside of the european union and nato. so this differentiation of capabilities, this willingness to recommit to a capability of approach where, if you will, different allies are having different capabilities that they bring so that the sum is greater than the parts. that's the kind of approach we've got to take.
>> and the only thing i would add is, that the partnership is not just about nato when we want our allies to do more. and you say will how much are you putting in the nato and that the all and end all of it. there are a lot of other ways that we partner. i do a lot of work on global health and the department for international development and great britain is a major leader in confronting global health challenges. you know george w. bush helped put together the lines on combating hiv in africa, but that was an alliance that was global. so when we as americans, like, what we ask what our partners are doing to help us, i don't think we should narrow it simply down to what they are spending on defense. there are a ton more issues out there. >> agreeing with your ally bear. fairpoint. quick brexit question because we haven't talked about it. >> here's the question i'm going to add to it, how has
brexit affected european security policy without the voice of one of our more reliable alleys of the table in brussels? will eu member states be less likely to take decisive action to counter russia or terrorism? >> there is a common misunderstanding with brexit. people look at it as your exiting the european union. and i would say it's quite the reverse. britain wants to add and will play a much more significant part on the world stage. and this will give us an opportunity to be more decisive and more clear about standing up to our values and not just talking about her values. let's not forget that it's actually britain that is been involved in european security, not just since the creation of the european union but i think it's fair to say we've been interfering on european security for a fair few
centuries before that. and we are going to have no less an interest in terms of making sure our interests, our values and our friends are properly defended whether we are out of the european union or not. but i do think, i think for us, for britain actually the importance of nato grows even more than it was beforehand. actually as a form to reach out and to talk, and there is a challenge that there may be influences within the european union, should we say, gaelic influences, that will have a different vision of the european union without written there. but this is why it's so important to make it clear as to what nato delivers, not just your. not just the united states and canada right across the north atlantic, but actually what nato can do in terms of a plat form of a platform of nations
that actually care passionately about the values that we all subscribe to, and how we use that more and more around the globe and we see that in afghanistan today in terms of resolute support. afghanistan was never thought of as a country that nato would operate in it was created over 69 years ago. but actually nato delivers a value to so many parts of the world and that is how we need to expand it more into the future. >> in deference to our allies let the ally have the last word. i will always ask everyone to join me in thanking our panel today. [ applause ] the ratings demand
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