tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN November 21, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EST
, the timetable for u.s. troops in afghanistan. later at 7:00 a.m. eastern it is "washington journal." it will talk about the lame duck agenda and the republican leadership in the 112th congress. >> night, sam brownback delivers his farewell address from the senate floor. he is retiring from the senate, but was elected as est.'s next governor and will take office next january. in his address, he talks about bipartisanship and the importance of working together to get legislation passed. this is 10 minutes. . . setting this period of time up. this would be my last speech probably to the body. it's a speech that i want to give in talking about leaving the united states senate. i was jt elected to be governor of kansas, which i'm very excited about that post.
i have served here a period of 14 years, which has been a wonderful chance to be able to serve the people of kansas, the people of the united states, and i love this body and i love this country. a lot of folks talk about when they leave about the partisanship and the bickering. i like to think about the beauty of the country and the ability to come together because it does happen. the predecessor of the person sitting in the seat, i worked one of the flagship pieces of legislation on human rights protection, it was on human trafficking. the initial bill was with paul wellstone that i worked with from minnesota. a delightful individual. it was a great chancer for us -- a great chance for us to work together on something we couldn't hav been further apart. i think he was ranked the second most liberal member of the united states senate. he aspired to be number one, but he was second. he was a delightful man and dealt from the heart, and we got things done. i say that because i think that's really how we work in this place, is we fight about 20% the issues, they are
important, big issues, and then we can cooperate and work together on a whole host of bipartisan issues, such as dealing with things like human trafficking. and you do that i think primarily with people that deal from the heart, people like paul wellstone, ted kennedy, jesse helms. there are a lot of others and many people get many things done in this body, but i think it's just best when people deal from the heart. and when they do that, then there's a chance for us to come together around key and heartfelt things. this has been a great body to serve in and i've delighted in being able to do that. there's much to be done, much to be done for the country. we've got to deal with creation of jobs in america. we have to deal with our debt and our deficit. we have many, many issues to deal with the -- my hope for here and my hope for our country is that we go back to theirtues of the
greatest generation and look to those for ways to move on forward. it's kind of looking back at the old path at what worked in tough times and moving on forward to the new path. i was -- i came into this seat after bob dole served in this body and served in this seat. senator dole from kansas i think is the iconic figure of the world war ii generation and of that greatt generation. just got out of walter reed hospital. he's been very sick and ill this year but is coming back and recuperating. i think he's 87 years old this year. most everybody in america would agree about the greates generation. they'd say that world war ii generation really hit the mark of what it is to be an american, what it is to sacrifice, what it is to fight for a gad cause -- fight for a good cause. and they did it with a set of virtue as that are timels, that are known and that i think we've got to emulate this time for us to deal with the problems we have now. they were courageous, they were selfless, they were courteous,
they were people that would fight for aause, they were ones that exhibited charity, thrift, certainly known in that generation. and i think these are things that we've got to bring back. hard work, compassion. that's -- that seems to me when i think of that generation -- and nobody's perfect and that generation's not perfect -- but those are ideals and those are ideas that i saw in practice, whether it was them on the battlefield in world war ii or if was them raising their families at home or if it was thr educating of the families, if it was saving for the future generatios. that's what they did. and i don't kw if you -- if you ask people in that generation, did you do this on purpose? they might not say -- they may say, well, we didn't or we didn't, but most of them would say well, this is the right thing to do and it's the thing we needed to do. and i think it's what we need to do now. i think we need to emulate those virtues of the greatest generation and apply them to our
problems. their problems were more foreign than ours are. ours, i believe, are more domestic, dealing with our own debt and deficit as a country and as a society, and as individuals and individual households, us creating and saving for that next generation in the country and investing to do that. and being selfless and sacrificial in doi that. building family structure and doing things that are for the good of our families. they are things that we need to do and that virtue and that old ancient path that they followed, that they said we just did because it was the thing we needed to do, i think we've got to do the same thing. and i hope we will as a country. there has been a debate that has started up in america that i don'agree with and it's whether or not this is a special country and whether or not america is an exceptional land. and i, for one, fully embrace the notion that this is a special place.
i believe in american exceionalism. and i've been in many places over the world that you see this in action. and i've been in many places in america where you see this in action, where somebody lflessly takes care of other individuals. or last night i was at the korean embassy and we were talking about what's taking place in north korea. and one of the people working there at the south korean embassy was just amazed that people in the united states would care what happens to people in north korea. i said to one of the people with me were just saying that that's how we look at the world. if somebody else is in bondage, if somebody else is in difficulty, we -- we feel that and we want to help out and deal with it. and that, to me, is part of what erican exceptionalism is all about. this is a special place, and has a special calling, and if it isn't us doing it, in many cases around the world, it doesn't get done. i've been in the sudan and they aren't calling on the chinese to
lead sudan into a freer time period. i've been in other places in africa and on north korean border, and if you're looking for somebody to solve their pro, it's the americans that go in and do it. our task now is to not only do that around the world but it's to do it here domestically. i just think we've got to look more and more at ourselves and say, we are a special place and i think we have to look at ourselves as a baby boomer generation that i'm a part of and say that you've got to prove and earn your exceptionalism. i think we've got to step up to the marks the greatest generation -- as the greatest den ration did and be -- as the greatest generation did and be willing to serve in a tough way, in a sacrificial way the best inrests for the future of our country. and we've got to do it and now's the time to do it. i'm appreciative that the president had a deficit task force that he appointed and that they came up with some ideas,
some which i agr with, somef which i disagree wh. but i'm glad that they've started the dcussion and the debate. if the figures i've seen are accurate half the american households receive an entitlement check from the federal government. half of the american households. we've got a deficit and debt that is structural. it's not just based upon one-time war funding, although war funding has contributedo it, but it's structural and we've got more going out than we've got coming in. and it is time that this is dealt with. and i think that's part of the message from this last election cycle is the american people are ready to have an intelligent discussion, a difficult discussion of what we're going to do to be able to save ouelves fiscally. and now's the time to do it. and we actually have the structure set up to do it, with a republican house, docrat senate, democrat presidency, this would be the time and the structure to talk about this sort of difficult issue, and our
generation should step up and deal with it. i am not going to be here for that discussion a debate but it's time we have it and it's time we bring back these timeless virtues to deal with our domestic problems the way we've dealt with international problems in the greatest generation. mr. president, as i leave this body, one of the rites of passage is to sign your desk and i just did that. i did it in pencil. i figure that all of us will fade with time and that signature will fade with time as well. but the things you remember are the lives that you touched and the lives that touched you. and the souls that are touched. and it's people that deal with -- from the heart are the ones that touch your life, the ones that touch your soul. i want to express my deep appreciation to my colleagues that have touched my heart and i hope tha i've been a positive statement to many of them.
the palm that som that comes tos one that says, "andis place that knew him no more," the palmist wrote. -- the psalmist wrote. so you sign the desk, you move on, you look bacat the signatures that are in the desk and you don't recognize any of them. the place will know us no more. but the hearts that we touch, the hear that touch ours will remember forever. and i certainly will. i want to thank you and my colleagues in the senate for letting meserve with you. it has been a great joy. it is a fabulous nai the natione greatest nation on the face of the earth, and it was an honor to serve here. god bless america. i yield th that's the first time that's
happened in almost 60 years. with that race called, there is a complete 100 members. democrats maintain control, including two independents. but republicans picked up six seats this election cycle and will have 47 members when the senate gavels in thesked year. one of those new republicans is jerry moran of kansas. he will be sworn in after serving kansas first district in the u.s. house. now fils the senate seat left vacated by sam brownback who won the position of kansas governor. >> earmarks account for less than one half of one percent and they're part of the agenda. find out what earmarks are on
line at the c-span video library. search and watch programs explaining earmarks and the arguments for and against them. >> now, more from the nato summit in lisbon with remarks from president obama. after meetings he spoke with reporters on several issues including renewing the start treaty with russia and nato's 2014 timetable for withdrawing troops. >> afternoon, everyone, we have concluded an extremely productive nato summit. we want to thank the people of portugal for their hospitality in this beautiful city of
lisbon. i thank my fellow leaders for the sense of common purpose to the work we brought here. for more than 60 years, nato has proven itself as the most successful alliance in history. it's defended the independence and freedom of its members, it has nurtured young democracies and welcomed them into europe that is whole and free. it has acted to end ethnic cleansing beyond our borders and today we stand united in afghanistan so that terrorists who threaten us all have no safe haven and so that the afghan people can forge a more hopeful future. at no time during these past six decades was our success guaranteed. indeed there have been many times when except particulars have predicted the end of this alliance, but each time nato has risen to the occasion and adapted to meet the challenges of that time. and now as we face a new century with very different
challenges from the last, we have come together here in lisbon to take action in four areas that are critical to the future of the alliance. first, we aligned our approach on the way forward in afghanistan, particularly on a transition to full afghan lead that will begin in early 2011 and will conclude in 2014. it is important for the american people to remember that afghanistan is not just an american battle. we are joined by a nato-led coalition made up of 48 nations with over 40,000 troops from allied and partnered countries and we honor the service and i sacrifice of every single one. with the additional resources that we have put in place, we're now achieving our objective of breaking the taliban's moment up and doing the hard work of training afghan security forces in assisting the afghan people. and i want to thank our allies who committed additional trainers and mentors to support
the vital mission of training afghan forces. with these commitments, i'm confident we can meet our objective. here in lisbon, we agreed that early 2011 will mark the transition to afghan responsibility and we adopted the goal of afghan forces taking the lead for security across the country by the end of 2014. this is a goal that president karzai has put forward. i have made it clear that even as americans transition and troop reductions will begin in july, we will also forge a long-term partnership with the afghan people and today nato has done the same. this leaves no doubt that as afghans stand up and take the lead, they will not be standing alone. as we look ahead to a new phase in afghanistan, we also reached agreement in a second year. a new strategic concept for nato that recognizes the capabilities and partners that
the alliance needs to meet the challenges of the 21st century. i want to give special thanks to secretary-general rasmussen for his outstanding leadership and vision that preserves the alliance while adapting it to meet the missions of the future. as i said yesterday, we have reaffirmed the central premise of nato. our article 5 commitment that an attack on one is an attack on all. and to ensure this commitment has meeting, we agreed to take action in a third area, to modernize our conventional forces and develop the full range of military capabilities that we need to defend our nations. we'll invest in technologies so that allied forces can deploy and operate together more effectively, we'll deploy new defenses against threats such as cyber attacks and we will reform alliance command structures to make them more flexible and more efficient.
most important, we agreed to develop a missile defense capability for mato territory, which is necessary to defend against the growing threat from ballistic missiles. the new approach to european missile defense that i announced last year, the phase-adaptive approach, will be the united states' contribution to this effort and a foundation for greater collaboration. after years of talk about how to meet this objective, we now have a clear plan to protect all of our allies in europe as well as the united states. when it comes to nuclear weapons, our strategic concepts reflects both today's realities as well as our future aspirations. the alliance will work to create the conditions so that we can reduce nuclear weapons and pursue the vision of a world without them. at the same time we have made it very clear that so long as these weapons exist, nato will remain a nuclear alliance and the united states will maintain a safe, secure, and effective
nuclear arsenal to deter adversaries and guarantee the defense of all of our allies. finally, we agreed to keep forging the partnership beyond nato that helped make our alliance a pillar of global security. we'll continue to enhance nato's cooperation with e.u., which i will talk about in my summit later this afternoon with e.u. leaders. after a two-year break, we are also resuming cooperation between nato and russia. i was very pleased that my friend and partner, president dmitry medvedev, joined us today at the nato-russia council summit. together we have worked hard to reset the relations between the united states and russia, which has led to concrete benefits for both of our nations. now we're also resetting the nato-russia relationship. we see russia as a partner, not an adversary, and we agreed to
deepen our cooperation in several critical areas. on afghanistan, counter narcotics and a range of 21st century security challenges. and perhaps most significantly, we agreed to cooperate on missile defense which turns a source of past tension into a source of potential cooperation against a shared threat. so overall, this has been an extremely productive two days. we came to lisbon with a clear task and that was to revitalize our alliance to meet the challenges of our time. that's what we have done here. of course, it's work that cannot end here. i'm pleased to announce that the united states will host the next nato summit in 2012, a summit that will allow us to build on the commitments that we made here today as we transition to full afghan lead, build new capabilities and expand our partnerships and ensure that the most successful alliance in history will continue to advance our security and our prosperity
well into the future. i said to the prime minister that considering he has thrown such a successful summit here in lisbon, i have been taking notes. you have set a very high bar of outstanding hospitality and so i appreciate everything that the people of portugal have done and we will try to reciprocate that hospitality when we host in 2012. so with that, let me take some questions and i'm going to start with margaret warner of pbs. margaret, why don't you get a microphone. >> thank you, mr. president. what message do you hope this summit sends to senator john kyle and other republicans in the senate who are resisting voting on and ratifying stark in the lame duck session? >> well, a couple of messages they just want to send to the
american people. number one, i think that americans should be proud that an alliance that began 60 years ago through the extraordinary sacrifices in part of american young men and women sustained throughout a cold war, has resulted in a europe that's more unified than it's ever been before, that is an extraordinarily strong ally of the united states and that continues to be a cornerstone of prosperity, not just for the united states and europe, but for the world. this is a direct result of america's efforts and american sacrifice. and i think the world appreciates it. the second message i want to send is that after a period in
which relations between the united states and europe were severely strained, that strain no longer exists. there are occasions where there may be disagreements on certain tactical issues, but in terms of a broad vision of how we achieve transatlantic security that, alliance has never been stronger. that's something that americans should feel good about. number three, that i think the americans should know that american leadership remains absolutely critical to achieving some of these important security objectives and i think our european partners would be the first to acknowledge that. what we ratified here today is the direct result of work that we have done over the last two years to get to this point. and just to take the example of
afghanistan, i think that if you said even a year ago or even maybe six months ago that we would have a unified approach on the part of our allies to move forward in afghanistan with a sustained commitment where we actually increased the resources available and closed the training gap in order to be successful, i think a lot of except particulars would have said that is not going to happen. it has happened in part because we have rebuilt those strong bonds of trust between the united states and our allies. the fourth thing and this finally goes to your specific question, unprompted i have received overwhelming support from our allies here that start the new start treaty is a critical component to u.s. and
european security. and they have urged both privately and publicly that this gets done. and i think you have seen the comments of a wide range of european partners on this issue, including those who live right next to russia who used to live behind the iron curtain. they have the most cause for concern with respect to russian intentions and who have uniformly said that they will feel safer and more secure if this treaty gets ratified. in part because right now we have no verification mechanism on the ground with respect to russian arsenals and ronald reagan said trust but verify, we can't verify right now, in
part because of the -- united states and russia. we have received enormous help from the russians because of sanks on iran that are tougher than anything we have seen before. there are a whole range of security interes in which we are cooperating with russia and it would be a profound mistake for us to slip back into mistrust as a consequence of our failure to ratify. and the third reason is that with the cold war over, it is in everybody's interests to work on reducing our nuclear arsenals which are hugely expensive and contain the possibilities of great damage. if not in terms of nuclear war,
then in terms of nuclear proliferation. so we got our european allies saying this is important. we have got the u.s. military saying this is important. we have got the national security advisors and the secretaries of defense and generals from the reagan administration, the bush administration, bush one and bush two as well as from the clinton administration and my administration saying this is important to our national security. we have got the republican chairman of the foreign relations committee saying this is in our national interest to get done now. this isn't an issue that has traditionally received strong bipartisan report. we have gone thrgh 18 hearings. we have answered 1,000 questions. we have met the concerns about modernizing our nuclear
stockpile with concrete budget numbers. it's time for us to go ahead and get it done. and my hope is that we will do so. there is no other reason not to do it than the fact that washington has become a very partisan place and this is a classic area where we have to rise above partisanship. nobody is going to score points in the 2012 election around this issue, but it's something that we should be doing because it helps keep america se. and my expectation is that my republican friends in the senate will ultimately conclude that it makes sense for us to do this. all right. karen young. >> thank you, mr. president. i wonder if you could talk to us a bit about your
conversation with president karzai. he has made some complaints recently, part of a long line of complaints, did he raise those with you and did you address them correctly? has he stepped back from his call to reduce the military footprint there? thank you. >> karen, i want to put your question in the context of what has taken place this weekend here in lisbon. president karzai is the head of a government of a sovereign nation that has gone through 30 years of war and understandably, he is eager to reassert full sovereignty including control of security operations within his country. at the same time the united
states and all of our allies have every interest in wanting to turn over responsibility, security responsibility to afghan forces as soon as is practicalable. our interested are in line and our 2014 date that was stated in the document that was coming out of the summit and was widely agreed to didn't come from us, it wasn't an arbitrary date. this was a date that president karzai identified as an appropriate target for when afghans could take over full responsibility. between now and 2014, our constant effort is to train up afghan security forces so that they can take more and more responsibility. that's what transition is all about. and during that time, president
karzai in his eagerness to accelerate that transition is going to be interested in reducing our footprint, finding ways that afghans can take more responsibility and those are things that we welcome. we want him to be assertive as possible in moving towards afghan responsibility. but in that transition, there are also going to be a whole series of judgment calls and adjustments that are necessary to make that effective. so, for example, president karzai raised concerns about private security contractors and what he perceived as heavy-handedness on the part of these contractors in afghanistan. i think that concern is perfectly appropriate.
on the other hand what i have told him in the past and i repeated in our meeting today is i can't send u.s. aid workers or civilians into areas where i can't guarantee their safety. so theoretically it would be nice if i could just send them in and they could help build a road or construct a school or engage in an irrigation project without a full battalion around them, but i have to think practically and so we're going to have to balance the issues of being sensitive to our footprint with the need to get certain objectives done. now i have instituted ongoing conversations with president karzai. i have talked to him by video conference at least once every six weeks or so. secretary clinton and secretary gates are in constant communications with him. general petraeus, carl agen
berry are in constant communications with him. what i have communicated are two things. number one, we have to make sure we understand that our objectiveses are aligned, the end point that we want to reach are the same, and number two, we have to be in good enough communications with each other that when issues come up that raise sensitivities about afghan sovereignty that may ail in that afghan populations, that we should be sensitive to them and listening to them. at the same time, he has to be sensitive to our concerns about the security of our personnel, but making sure that taxpayer dollars from the united states or other partners aren't being wasted as a consequence of ruppings. that sacrifices that are being made by our military to clear out areas are reinforced by
good governance practices on the part of the afghans so that we're not just clearing an area, but unable to hold it because people have no confidence in, for example, the administration of justice in that area through afghan government structures. so that's going to be a constant conversation. i don't think it's going to go away immediately, but we're trying to do is make sure that our goals are aligned and then work through these problems in a systematic way. i will say that for all of the noise that has existed in the press, the fact of the matter is that over the last year we have made progress and i expect that we're going to make more progress next year and it will not be without occasional controversies and occasional differences. "wall street journal."
>> to follow up on the last question, mr. karzai is the president of the country. if he makes a request, why isn't that good enough and why wouldn't there be a change of course? and on just to -- on we're getting close to december, excuse me, do you think the strategy, the surge strategy is working and do you think at this point that you'll be able to make a substantial troop reduction in july? >> let me take the second question first. when i went through a rigorous and sometimes painful review process as you remember last december, our goal was to make sure that we had blunted the taliban. the whole point of ramping up our troop presence was not because we wanted to maintain a long-term presence in afghanistan, but it was to
immediately blunt the momentum that we saw from the taliban and created a space for the training of effective afghan security forces. and on both those fronts, i think the objective assessment is that we have made progress. you have fewer areas for afghanistan until taliban control. you have the taliban on the defensive in a number of areas that were their strong holds. we have met or exceeded our targets in terms of recruitment of afghan security forces and our assessments are that the performance of afghan security forces has improved significantly. so thanks to the hard work of people like dave petraeus and others and obviously the incredible sacrifices of the troops on the ground, we are in a better place now than we were
a year ago. as a consequence, i'm confident that we are going to be able to execute our transition starting in july of next year and general petraeus is in fact in the process now of planning and mapping out where those areas where we feel there is enough security that we can be thinning out our troops in those areas, where are areas that need certain reinforcements as certain areas get thinned out so we can continually consolidate the security gains and then backfill it with the effective civilian improvements that are going to be needed. so we have made progress. the key is to make sure that we don't stand still, but we keep accelerating that progress, that we build on it, and the contributions of our coalition
forces around trainers is particularly important and i have already said this, but when countries like canada, which had originally said they were going to pull out at the end of next year say we are willing to supplement the training forces, a very difficult political decision when countries like italy are willing to come in and step up on the trainers, that's a testament to the confidence they have in general petraeus' plans and the fact that we are much more unified and clear of how we're going to achieve our ultimate end state in afghanistan. now to go to the point about president karzai, we are there at their invitation. you are absolutely correct. afghanistan is a sovereign nation. president karzai believes that it is very important for us to help him with security and
development issues over not just the next couple of years, but over the long term. that partnership is obviously a two away street. so -- two-way street. so that my message to president karzai is we have to be sensitive to his concerns and the concerns of the afghan people. we can't simply tell them what is good for them. we have to listen and learn and be mindful of the fact that afghans ultimately make decisions about how they want to structure their governance. how they want to structure their justice system, how they want to approach economic development. on the other hand, if we're putting in big resources, if we're ponying up billions of dollars, if the expectation is that our troops are going to be there to help secure the countryside and ensure that president karzai can continue
to build and develop his country, then he has got to also pay attention to our concerns as well. i don't think that's unreasonable and i don't think he thinks that's unreasonable. there has to be a constant conversation to make sure that we're moving in the right direction and sometimes that conversation is very blunt. there are going to be some strong disagreements and sometimes real tensions. for example, the issue of civilian casualties. that's an entirely real issue for president karzai. he is the president of the country and you have foreign forces who in the heat of battle, despite everything we do to avoid it, may occasionally cause civilian casualties and that is understandably upsetting. i don't fault president karzai for raising those issues. on the other hand, he has got to understand that i have got a bunch of young men and women
from small towns and big cities all across america who are in a foreign country being shot at and having to traverse terrain full of i.e.d.'s and they need to protect themselves. so if we're setting things up where they're just sitting ducks for the taliban, that's not an acceptable answer either. so we have to go back and forth on all of these issues. chuck todd. >> thank you, mr. president. i want to follow up on margaret's question. it sounds like you believe senator kyle's opposition on start is purely political or mostly political. is that what you're telling your fellow world leaders on this stage and do you think failure to ratify by the end of the year, is that going to undermine your ability on the world stage? second, you care to comment on
the dust-up over t.s.a. patdowns? >> i have spoken to senator kyl directly and i believe that senator kyl wants a safe and secure america just like i do and is well motivated and so what i said in terms of partisanship is that the climate in washington is one where it's hard to get parties to cooperate, especially after a big election. that's understandable. folks are reorganizing. you got a lame duck session. there is a limited amount of time. it's been a long year. we have done a lot of stuff. people are thinking about thanksgiving and then thinking about getting off to christmas and i'm sure that the republican caucus in the senate is really focused on next year and we're going to have a
republican house and what are the things that we want to get done and what are our priorities? senator kyl has never said to me that he doesn't want to start ratifying. he never said he was opposed to the treaty. he said he thought there wasn't enough time to get it done in the lame duck. i take him at his word. but what i have been trying to communicate is that this is an issue of critical national security interest that has been fully vetted. it has been extensively debated. it has received strong bipartisan support coming out of the foreign relations committee. it has received strong backing from our u.s. military.
it has received strong backing from republicans predecessors in the national security office, in the secretary of defense's office, secretary of state and so in that context, i want to emphasize to everybody that this is important and there is a time element to this. we don't have any mechanism to verify what is going on right now on the ground in russia. six months from now, that's a six-month gap in which we don't have good information. so even if you -- let me say it this way. especially if you mistrust russian intentions, you should want to get this done right away. i happen to think that president medvedev has made every effort to move russia in the right direction. so if you agree with me on that
front, then it's also important that we don't leave a partner hanging after having negotiated an agreement like this that is good for both countries. and there is another element to this. we have instituted iran sanctions thanks to the work of the e.u., thanks to the work of russia, thanks to the work of some of our other partners, these are the strongest sanctions, we have ever implemented. we have keep pressure on if iran decides to return to negotiations on its nuclear program. this is the wrong time for us to be sending a message that there are divisions between the p-5 plus one, there is uncertainty. my point here, chuck, is, there are a lot of issues to debate between the democrats and republicans over the next year. this shouldn't be one of them.
with respect to the t.s.a., let me first of all make a confession, i don't go through security checks to get on planes these days, so i haven't personally experienced some of the procedures that have been put in place by t.s.a. i will also say that in the aftermath of the christmas day bombing, our t.s.a. personnel are properly under enormous pressure to make sure that you don't have somebody slipping on a plane with some sort of explosive device on their persons. and since the explosive device that was on the man was not detected by ordinary metal detectors, it has meant that t.s.a. has to try to adapt to
make sure that passengers on planes are safe. now, that's a tough situation. one of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created a whole security apparatus around us that causes huge inconvenience for all of us. and i understand people's frustrations and what i said to the t.s.a. is you have to constantly refine and measure whether what we're doing is the only way to assure the american people's safety and you also have to think through, are there ways of doing it that are less intrusive. but at this point, t.s.a. in consultation with our counterterrorism experts have indicated to me that the
procedures that they have been putting in place are the only ones right now that they consider to be effective against the kind of threat that we saw in the christmas day bombing. every week i meet with my counterterrorism team and i'm constantly asking them whether is what we're doing absolutely necessary? have we thought it through? are there other ways of accomplishing it that meet the same objectives? bill plant. >> thank you mr. president. nato's commitment to afghanistan extends through 2014, what about the u.s.? it's possible, given the circumstances that there maybe a need for troops and combat action after 2014, is the u.s. committed? if it's your decision, will you
transitioned in iraq, we will have successfully transitioned so that we are still providing a training and support function. there may still be extensive cooperation with the afghan armed services to consolidate the security environment in that area. but our every intention is that afghans are in the lead and we're partnering with them way we partner with countries all around the world to make sure that both our country and their country is safe. the other thing that i'm pretty confident we will still be doing after 2014 is maintaining a counter terrorism capability until we have confidence that al qaeda is no longer operatives and is no longer a threat toe the american
homeland and to american allies and personnel around the world. and so it's going to be important for us to continue to have platforms to be able to excute those counter terrorism operations. and that's true in iraq as well. and obviously that's even more true when it comes to core al qaeda. we don't want after having made these extraordinary efforts by so many countries, we don't want to have to suddenly find ourselves in a situation where they waited us out and they reconsolidated. but my goal is to make sure that, by 2014, we have transitioned, afghans are in the lead, and it is a goal to make sure that we are not still engaged in combat operations of the sort that we're involved with now. certainly our footprint will have been significantly reduced. but, beyond that, it's hard to
anticipate exactly what is going to be necessary to keep the american people safe as of 2014. i'll make that determination when i get there. last question is from portugal. >> good afternoon, mr. president. thank you very much for answering my question. first, i'd like to ask you in what way is the recovery of the american economy can boost european economy. this is a matter of great concern here in europe. and secondly, this is your first trip to portugal. what are you taking from lisbon? thank you very much. >> one of the things that we learned over the last several years as we have dealt with this worldwide economic crisis is that every economy is
interlinked. we can't separate what happens in the united states from what happens in portugal from what happens in korea from what happens in thailand, what happens in south africa or brazil. we are all interconnected now in a global economy. and obviously, as the world's largest economy, what happens in the united states is going to have a profound impact on europe. the same is true, by the way in the reverse direction. our general assessment is that the trajectory of u.s. growth was moving at a stronger pace right before the issues of sovereign debt in greece came up in the spring of this year. and when that happened, not only did that cause a significant dip in our stock market, but a lot of companies
contracted in terms of their investment plans because they were uncertain. they understood that what happens in europe could end up affecting what happens in the united states. the most important thing that i can do for europe is the same thing that i need to do for the united states, and that is to promote growth and increased employment in the united states. we have now grown for five consecutive quarters. we have seen private sector job growth for ten consecutive months. but the pace is too slow. and my main task when i get back to the states and over the coming year is to work with republicans and democrats to move that growth process forward and the make sure that we are growing faster and that we are putting people back to worth. it is a difficult task.
historically what's happened is that when you have a financial crisis, the recession that follows is more severe and long-lasting than a normal business cycle crisis would be. and we are i think digging out of a hole of debt and deleveraging and the severe fall in our housing market, and all those things, create a strong head winds when it comes to growth. but we've taken some important steps already. that's why the economy is now growing instead of contracting. i want to take more steps to encourage business investment, to help small businesses hire. we think that infrastructure development in the united states has the potential of boosting our growth rates at a significant level. we're going to have to do all this though at the same time as we're mindful of a significant
public debt that has to be dealt with. and it would be nice if we didn't have the inheritance of a big deffssoit and big debt, and we could simply pump up the economy. what we have to do now is to make sure that we are speeding up recovery but still focusing on reducing our debt in the medium and long-term. but i think every european should have a great interest in making sure that the united states is growing faster. one thing we talked about at the g-20 was the fact that for all of us to grow faster, we need to rebalance the world economy. before this crisis, you had a situation where the world economic engine was u.s. consumers taking out huge debt
using credit cards, using home equity loans to finance a lot of imports from other countries, and other countries developing huge surpluses a lot of money washing around the world financial system looking for investments with high rurps that all of which contributed to the instability of the system. and what we said at the g-20 and what we will continue to push for is countries with big surpluses have to figure out how they can expand demands. countries with significant deficits, we've got to save more and focus not just on consumption but also on production and on exports. the currency issue plays into this. and there's going to be an ongoing debate about making sure that surplus countries are not artificially devaluing their curnssess in a way that inhibits not only our growth but a world economic growth. in terms of portugal, everybody
has been magnificent. i admit that the weather is better today than it was yesterday. everybody assures me that lisbon is supposed to be beautiful this time of year. yesterday was a little down but i was indoors so it didn't matter. but the people of portugal have been unbelieveably kind and generous to us. i want to thank again the prime minister and the entire government for the excellent work that they've done. and i hope that we're going to be able to return the favor next year. thank you very much. [applause] >> along with our coverage of
>> next, it's washington journal. our guests include michael sheerer of the "new york times" and what the 12th congress can expect from its newly elected leadership. then wesley clark, the former supreme allied commander in europe talks about progress being made in afghanistan and other national security issues. and after that, former house speaker knut gingrich discuss it is incoming republican led congress and the similarities between now and the