tv Public Affairs CSPAN May 1, 2013 1:00pm-5:01pm EDT
became available. it was a couple of our european allies, i think, who came upon it initially, as i understand it, but i have to go back and review the chronology. i don't have it committed to memory. >> anna? >> [unintelligible] >> i don't think we should put in no flag zone on capitol hill just for the record. i'm against it. [laughter] >> you just mentioned, too, that the vast majority of what's affecting civilians is artillery fires. just love your assessment on how effective no fly zones would be. the country is pretty washed in ep weapons right now. so two things that lawmakers are calling for. what is area assessment as how they would be effective on the ground in syria? >> well, militarily effective. we could make them more
effective, whether the military effect would produce the kind outcome i think that not only members of congress, but all of us would desire, which is, you know, an end of the violence, some kind of political reconciliation among the parties and a stable syria. that's the reason i've been cautious, is the right word, about the application of the military instrument of power because it's not clear to me that it would produce that outcome. now that said, the options are -- and if it becomes either if it becomes clear to me or if i'm ordered to do so, we will act. but at this point, that hasn't occurred. >> francine? >> hi.
>> whether it's in syria, iran or north korea, the crossing of red mine obligates a military response. >> well, first of all, you're asking the wrong guy. i don't set red lines. in fact, and in the 21st century, you can actually check that. i didn't set red lines on the budget. i don't set red lines on our military i have nots -- activities the globe. i simply prepare for options when asked to produce them. and so you are literally asking the wrong guy. >> brian. > two questions. to engage militarily, you would. >> yeah. >> will you still do that even if you thought military would
not achieve the goals -- >> i think so, sure. >> so even if you thought the military option would not achieve those broader goals -- first of all, besides being the chairman and the military advisor to the sec and the president, i'm a member of the national security council. i do have the opportunity to express my personal judgments as these issues evolve. once the nation, the president of the united states takes a decision to do something, of course i follow orders. >> now, my real question is you talked about bad habits that has built up over the years with this nearly unlimited defense budget. can you talk more specifically about what you think those bad habits are? because the outside observer sees a defense budget that's doubled effectively in the last decade. not including the price of the wars. so you can't just sort of blame it on that. >> yeah.
>> so what's gone wrong? were you finding yourself in such a tight spot right now, with a relatively small percentage of your budget kind of set aside? >> sure. >> is it defense contractors? is it congress? is it the military leadership? what more specifically is the bad habits we need to get rid of? >> a few thoughts that are certainly not an all inclusive list, but i think in our acquisition programs, you know, i think there's certainly room to become more efficient. i think over the years, our health care costs have exceeded expectations in a no pun intended, unhealthy way. i think that infrastructure -- and these are place where is we can use the help of the united states congress, actually, on infrastructure, we have have not had to -- we haven't had to reduce the scope and scale of
our infrastructure accounts. i think that in -- even in operations, i think that there's times when we probably overinvested. we might be able to accomplish the task in different areas of the world with fewer resources if we force ourselves to think about how to do that. i think that the -- you mentioned contractors. i think are reliance upon contractors -- our reliance upon contractors is excessive and in particular of certain aspects of the use of contractors. so i think what -- that strategic choice, management review is that we will have to look at those place where is we
have most -- where we have grown most and decide whether that growth is justified and my suspicion is we'll find that in many cases, it's not all justified. >> i've spoken to multiple combat commanders who said the afghan -- is going to be the deciding factor on whether they will be successful after our drawdown. i wonder if you agree with that assessment, what you think of their current state and what's going to happen if the u.s. polls the majority of their doctors out by the end of 2014. >> first of all, i do think that or casvac there's a difference in that what we're trying to establish is the cass ac capability.
we are paying close attention to that. and it's one of the reasons you've seen us increase our purchase of mi-17's and it's one of the reasons as part of our enablers forum we're trying to establish field of hospitals at key regional nodes around the country as well as building up their own medical specialists and combat lifesaver capability. so sure. i think that is a key factor in how confident they will be and with a little less than two years to build it, the assessments that i have and my personal observations suggests that we'll be able to make it
and have them in a position where they can do most of that if not of it themselves when they have to. to your point about, you know, will they be able to take up this responsibility? you know, the province is a great example for me. as you know, there's a large percentage of the violence in afghanistan normally occurs in a handful of districts and provinces. and those districts and provinces proudly provide a glimpse of what's going to happen in the future. the urban areas are generally under control. urban village, you know, towns, if you will, are generally under the control of the afghan security forces. a lot of the space in between may not -- is contested, and i think that probably for the foreseeable future well bond 20 14rks that will be the case in
some of these districts and provinces. the question will become can the central government through the afghan security forces will it choose to impose its will that may remain contested? so if the metric of success is can the taliban raise a taliban flag over a particular district center, if that's the measure, we're going to be pointed but if -- disappointed if the government having seen the flag can reimpose itself and recur it on behalf of the central government of afghanistan, then i think we're onto something that's proudly sustainable over time. but that's kind of my observation today, 20 months or so from the end of 14. >> alexus. will you speak up a little? >> -- u.s. munchak going to the karzai government as an impediment to what it is that
you're trying to accomplish there and the second question is it just came for the president's news conference and he said he was looking back at a way to close guan, that he saw -- uantanamo. >> on the first -- what was the first one again? oh, yeah, karzai money. well, first of all, the money that the department, the d.o.d. generally controls is the afghan security forces fund and some degree of supper. the commanders emergency response program. and so i won't speak about the money that other agencies might be dispensing in afghanistan. i think to answer your question, an sometimes our money be, you
know, create dependencies, sure. absolutely. which is why over time, we've tried to dial back the afghan security forces fund and we've tried to dial back surp so that the central government will take more responsibility. whoever is dispensing money, you do have to be careful that over time, you don't create dependencies. >> ok. break. >> on guantanamo. you know my responsibilities on guantanamo are the safe and secure operation of the fit. -- facility. and until that mission is no longer given to me, that's what we'll continue to do. i'm not sure i can help on capitol hill with the issue of whether guantanamo should stay open or closed. i'm sure i'll be asked but my
mission is to secure it and provide a safe operating environment not only for the detainees, but for the soldiers that oversee them until such time that it is no longer there. >> what do you mean you can't help? >> well, what would you like me to do for if congress is concerned about other options, you're saying you cannot help persuade them that there are other options? >> what i'm suggesting is it's not my role to find other options. >> so you would wait for instructions from home to do that? -- whom to do that? >> as long as guantanamo's open, we'll secure it and provide a safe operating environment and that's really all i can say about it. >> we've got about 19 minutes eft. jamie weinstein and tom and we'll close with karen de jonge. howard. >> -- that iran e]
also considers the use of chemical weapons of the red line and at least perhaps implying that they might get involved or more involved in syria if there as some proven use of chemical weapons. how does that change your calculation or how does that affect your calculation of what measures you might recommend or what the u.s. might do if there is a chance of becoming embroiled or confronting the iranian military? >> first of all, i would like to see the iranian proclamation turned into something tangible because as far as i can tell, the iran's interest in syria is
ensuring a safe passage of arms and ammunition into lebanese hezbollah and doing what it can o to prop up the sinner -- syrian regime. i see no indication that they are putting on the syrian regime to act responsible. and i can't answer your question about confronteding the iranian inside syria because we've not yet been asked to look at options to place ourselves in syria. but as i said, i don't see any indication whatsoever that iran is putting any pressure on syria o act responsibly. >> -- in order to provide it with military drones and generally speaking, it's such a
request would -- if you would get such a request, what kind of process with the u.s. government set in motion in order to evaluate it? >> i'm afraid we missed the first part. if we got a request to do what? >> to void it with military jones -- to provide it with military drones. >> what would be my response? >> yeah. did you receive such a request? >> yeah. you know, i haven't seen that. there are plenty of nations that are considering acquisition of that technology and that will enter into all of the systems of our government that determine whether, you know, whether we will provide any particular technology is a combination of
our relationship, our confidence , in-use monitoring, but i haven't heard of any request on the part of the germans and at some point, if that request were to come in, i probably would be asked about my military advice and i would provide it. clearly, one of our strongest allies, but i haven't had to deal with that at this point. >> do you want the next question to be a long one so you can have a bite of cake? >> no. i like long questions. they require long answers. >> jamie? >> the president has said that al qaeda has been decimated. is that your view in the military, not only in the afghan-pakistan region but willing at the al qaeda threat and affiliated groups around the world? do you view that the al qaeda threat has been decimated? >> my understanding what the president said is that the al qaeda core has been decimated.
the movement has clearly spread to the iran peninsula to the horn of africa, to north africa to west africa and the president's been very clear that he recognizes that the al qaeda threat among its affiliates persists, but al qaeda core, that is to say, those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the al qaeda senior leadership that have here tofert -- heretofore provided their hierarchy has been decimated. the challenge is recognizing as these affiliates spring up, you know, how many of them have local aspirations? how many of them have regional aspirations and which one of them may have global aspirations -- so n to address those
you don't have to do in places like afghanistan. that's what the president is coming from and i agree with that as a strategy. >> tom. >> sir, i have a question to you hat relates sequestration. do you have the ability to train and enforce the no-fly zone in the combat of sanderge rescue to accompany that and if you do have that, are you doing it? > it is a good question. we're very well postured in sen come. we're very well postured in the pacific we're very well postured the afghanistan. and we have maintained a global response force. think of that as the strategic reserve. and so if we were asked to do something in syria, your question is do i have the capability and the capacity to
do it? and the answer is yes. but i've also said in testimony, actually, that we would require supplemental funding because the issue would be i can certainly get what i need to do something immediately, but to sustain it over time would require additional funding. >> but are those skills perishable -- [unintelligible] >> they are. yes and yes. they are getting the training they need and it is perishable and as you know, the air force and testimony recounted that they've got about 12 squadrons of aircraft that are right now grounded. so over time and unless we get our budget house in order and i mean both us internally but also the government at large, i will be concerned about atrophying skills and reduced readiness. >> karen. > thank you.
there were a number of hearings at which state department officials and also pentagon military officials testified and spoke about whether there would have been an opportunity to send some kind of assistance mission there and the general spoke about it quite a lot. the results are testimony saying that plans were going to be made that assessments were going to be made as to whether response time could be improved from military assistance to those diplomatic installations that are under particular threat. could you tell us what plans have been made, if any changes have been made or what the status of those assessments are? >> yeah, sure. right after the benghazi instrument, the secretary approached me and asked if we could collaborate on a survey of diplomatic facilities globally and to offensive before identify
those that we consider vulnerable. the question was is there a new normal in particular in north africa, west africa. but also taking a look at other parts of the world to see if we were more vulnerable than we have been in the past. and as a result of that, i won't give you the exact numbers because they're classified but we've identified a number of posts, consulates and inbees where we thought it would be prudent to increase our military presence and we're in the process of building that out in order to do that and some of it include hardening facilities and we're in the process of state departments in the process of building that out as well. now in the interim, we looked at response time for fast teams,
fleet, anne terrorism support teams, commanders in extremist forces. we have several of these, let's call them quick response forces that are positioned in places in the med, in the gulf, and we looked at placing additional lifts with those forces which would increase their response time, and we looked at changing their alert status so there's two things to think about. one is the alert status. ormally, you think of it as an in our sequence -- n our sequence, and the other was response time, which is really, a function of n sequence plus travel time. and to the extent we could, we increased the alert status. it has to be sustainable over time. so some of this we dial up and dialed back based on threat. and then we improved response time to the greatest extent, possible. but two important points to make
and to continue to make. one is the limitation in north african ka and west africa is really basing. we don't have bases in those places, and when you don't have bases there, it should probably be fairly obvious that it increases the response time because you're flying from places like bahrain or someplace else. the second point is it is always the host nation's responsibility to protect our diplomatic facility. s. it's not ours. our defenses and to do that, we get a preemptive decision. if we get a warning and if the r.s.o., the regional security officer says we think we might need additional protection here, we can get it in there. but it's very, very difficult -- it's very is in
difficult to force your way into a sovereign nation over those distances and -- distances and make a difference in the timeline you need to make them. and a key is a closer collaboration between the departments and preemptive decision making. >> is there anybody who haven't had one who wants one? >> kind of what that means for our security and have you in your absence been using in the way the investigation and what raised new questions about russia and what's going on in russia with terrorism? >> well, my thoughts -- first of all, my thoughts and prayers go to those affected. and we did mostly our national guard who were there initially to support the race itself and took immediate action and lifesaving skills and so forth. we provided nilling that --
anything that the f.b.i. have asked for. they are very tight with the analysis of it. and that will continue to be the case, but this is very clearly -- clearly the law enforcement and the lead -- in the lead with military capability and support. appropriately, by the way. you ask about the russians. i've been out of the country for the last 10 days so i actually don't know the degree to which we're in contact or in collaboration with the russians although i'm sure that we are. talk more specifically -- >> i don't know that i have. i know that the intel communities, the f.b.i.'s intel arm and others have been closely collaborating. initially, there was some talk
about e.o.d. expert on demolitions to make sure that there was nothing else around the site. but beyond that, i'm not aware of any additional requests. if we got them, we would provide them. >> over time, are there worries that chechnya is a hot bed or becoming a hot bed? >> i think that chechnya has been a concern for some time, actually. it certainly has been to the russians and i think that, you know, if this is an indication -- if, this is a big if, if this is an indication of them exporting that to the united states, then certainly, we would have to do the analysis necessary to understand better than we probably have. but i will say the real issue is if it doesn't turn out to be that and does turn out to be
self-radicalization, then we go back to some of our internal actions in the military in the wake of the hassan case, for example, you might remember that we applied far more resources to recruiting, to counterintelligence, to understanding the insider threat that could occur over time because of self-radicalization over the internet. if the information weren't sitting on the internet, this wouldn't be self-initiated. so there is this, i think, of al effort to take some our more vulnerable, notably muslim young men and women in a direction counter to our values. and it bears increased interest, it seems to me. -- in the aftermath of the boston tragedy.
>> if the interest of having you come back sometime, we'll end on time today. >> great. >> thank you very much for coming. >> it's good to see you all outside the pentagon. there is life outside the pentagon. >> great to have you here. >> thank you. >> and if you missed any of this discussion, you can see it any time on our website, c-span.org. earlier today, the center for strategic and international studies released a new report analystizing the future of u.s. military ground forces. key findings indicate the u.s. faces future regional contingencies including ground force options. the current defense department do not align with future ground force demands. here's more on that. >> with the c.s.i. study and with the global trends study, and a bunch of others, we have
several data points that tell us that uncertainty is the norm in our environment. the potential for conflict is increasing and the types of conflict are most likely the kinds that can't be resolved with mere disruptive power. the global trend studies comes right out to say that the potential for multiple forms of war comes at a time of rising uncertainty as to the united states willingness or ability to be the guarantor of security and at a time of increased ambiguity as to the stability of international systems in times of such uncertainty and ambiguity with increased likelihood of conflict, we need to tell ourselves the truth, not to hold onto our fiction. a, strategic leaders need more options, not less. and the options associated with the kinds of complex contingencies that in the c.s.i.
udy or the kinds of hybrid warfare, intrastate warfare, will require more ground force we prefer, at least a clearly defined state-based threat that the u.s. military must deter and defeat. unfortunately, this is not the reality that we face. we do have some potential threats like this and we have to have the military forces necessary to deal with them. these now have become, unlike the past, the less erin colluded contingencies. he balance is to have enough forcers to handle the risk utlined in this study. the problem is doing so doesn't
fit our story. because making these adjustments may require more ground forces, not less. changes not stability. unfortunately, reality has a way of forcing its on a nation with global responsibilities and global interests. certainly the johnson administration did not want to get bogged down, the bush 43, didn't want to fight terrorists and nation building. some future administration may well find itself having to do what it does not want to do. when they find themselves in the position and turn to military for options time and decision space will not be on their side. orces count much less.
so the c.s.i. study that we're talking a today is clear. the varieties of confrontations and conflicts that have seen part of our strategic future cannot be resolved by our destruction alone. the real threat, my view anyway, the real threat is ourselves and the ability to deny what we need and choose what we prefer. >> again you can see the entire event at our website on c-span.org. coming up in 45 minutes president obama is set to make a couple of perm nell announcements at the white house. mel watt o nominate and tom wheeler. we'll have the announcements
ere on c-span scheduled for 2: 15. a tour for the bush library and leading the tour is former first lady laura bush. you can watch the tour of the new george w. bush tonight at 8:00. we'll follow that with a discussion on the presidential library system and how the libraries are funded. 's, a conversation with congressman john duncan. we will bring you highlights of the c-span's libraries throughout the years. it includes the first president bush and lyndon jon and this is tonight starting at 8:00 eastern on c-span.
host: nicholas burns is our guest. thank you so much for being with us,cy. guest: great to be you. host: he's always with the harvard kennedy school. we want to talk to you about what is happening in syria the newspaper article says the u.s. is closer to arming rebels. give us a sense of where things are right now. is anything changing at this moment? guest: it does look like the .org administration is considering greater u.s. assistance that does not mean that the u.s. will put american troops on the ground. that are not going to do that. might the united states transfer arms to the rebels who are fighting the dictator assad. 80,000 people have been killed, there is more than 1.4 refugees
that have left syria. ere is a greater number of people that have left the country, lost their jobs. he dictator is using conventional forces -- flighter aircraft against populations and their allegations by the united states, by israel, by france, and by britain that assad has weapons, serin gas, which is illegal under international law. the united stateses is reportedly, if you look at the washington post the u.s. is considering going on beyond here we've gone and that is to possibly arm the syrian
opposition. host: you did a piece that syria is melting away and obama has no good options but doing nothing can't be the answer. what are the answers? guest: the united states have september money to help build refugee, to provide water and food to people who are hurting. that is one thing we can do. the second is to give greater support the syrian opposition forcers. these are all the people who have come out of their homes and communities in the last two years to fight the assad regime to form these regular ma malicious sha groups. some of are quite moderate and some are radical. that's an option for the administration. whether we should provide arms that is the big question and the
controversial one. if we provide arms they could form into the wrong hands, there is an al qaeda group there. so the president doesn't want to do that so he has been cautious and patient. i agree with hill. you don't want to leap into something you don't know. i think the stakes are very high. if we don't act to do more for the rebel opposition there is a likely hood that assad will continue, the war will continue, and more people will be killed. there is a possibility that the war could spread into neighboring countries. so i think the calculation is if we provide more lethal and decisive support the opposition groups it maybe they can drive him out of power and bring the war to a close. as i said, it is now doublely
difficult because of the use of serin gas, chemical weapons, by the assad administration to it's own people. we don't want to see the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world, special in the middle st that is so sush you leant bloody. we are still the world leader, we're the only country that can provide the vigorous support to pull the rest of the world world.r to bring host: if you like to call and talk with nicholas burn, here are the numbers.
host: let's listen to president obama speaking yesterday about this very issue. [video clip] >> i have invested in trying to bring about a solution inside of syria. obviously, there are options that are available that are on the shelf right now that we have not deployed. that's a spectrum of options. as early as last year i asked the pentagon, our military, our intelligence officials to prepare for me what options might be available. i won't go into details of what the options might be but you'll clearly -- that would be an escalation in our view of the threat to the security of international community, our alley lies and the united states and that means and this that means there are some options that we might not other exercise
that we would strongly consider. host: president obama speaking yesterday. u.p.i. has a story saying that the president is close to deciding in giving aid to the syria rebels and will make a decision within weeks. what would arming look like? guest: the rebel force grew out of their communities. these are people from all works of life that took up arms when they were attacked two years ago. we're talking about providing light arms, anti-aircraft, material to the technology, to the rebels. assad has control of the sky. his war planes control the airspace and they are bombing civilian neighborhoods for well over a year. we'll give him arm if this happens to defend themselves and
take the fight to the assad regime. this is a big step because the s. has tried to stay disengaged in this war. we have other countries in transformation, from egypt which is now under going a political crisis. libya where we lost our ambassador in benghazi, that country is in a revolution. yemen is in great turmoil. we can't be everywhere. we can't fight everyone's battles. increasingly the human tear crisis and given the apparent use of chemical wars we need to be more active in syria to limit the possibility of a war. that is where the washington discussion and continuation is now heading. host: let's go to the democrats
line. caller: were you under secretary of state during the bush administration? guest: yes, i was. i was a career official. i also served in the clinton administration. i was an intern in the carter administration. so i served in a lot of different administrations as a career diplomat. caller: did you ever explained to the president what the heart of secretary and violence s? i do not think the president was aware of a sunni, and what the asis of the conflicts are. this is lack of knowledge. also, these countries were created by the british and the french after world war i when they defeated the ottoman
empire, and they created the countries for their own self interests. it paid no attention to tribal alliances. they had product -- problems almost immediately. iraq was never a nationstate. i am looking for you to impart knowledge, not to get generalities. what is the heart of the problem? what is the cause of the problem question mark make -- problem? make the american people understand this is religion. host: let's get a response. guest: you make some good points. disagree with some. one of the principal causes, not the only one, is religious differences. you have had a faction of shia islam led by the assad family
that has been in control of syria. the majority of the population is sunni muslim. you are seeing a battle between he majority sunni muslim population, and on the other side, the loi, the kurds, the business community -- it has a sense of religious conflict, but it goes beyond that. there is no question that ideology in place. assad has ties to russia and iran. the sunni population does not ave those relationships. where i disagree is i am not sure if you are referring to president obama or president bush, but these are intelligent men and they know that difference between sunni islam -- president bush was involved in the middle east, and president obama inherited those wars. whether you are a democrat or
republican, we have had smart eople in office. i disagree with you on that point. host: nicholas burns, either comparisons between how the obama administration is approaching syria and how the bush administration approached iraq? are there similarities? uest: there are similarities because american interests tend to continue from one administration to the next. hat was true in my career. president obama, when he ran for the senate and the two times he ran for president, he was clear that the united states had to be careful about getting into land wars in the middle east. he brought us out of iraq and is
on a path for afghanistan, and you saw him yesterday on the question of chemical weapons, there are some that want him to leap into the war and use force against the side, but the president has said we have to establish the facts and be sure of what we mean and what we say. that was part of the problem in 2003. it we said one of the justifications for the war in iraq was the presence of weapons of mass destruction, and it turned out while they had been there in the 1990's, they were no longer there in 2003. i think president obama is, in my view, right, to be patient, prudent and cautious. let's establish all of the facts before we launch another military adventure in the middle east. even if the president decides to act, he could arm syrian rebels,
but i do not think he will put american troops in syria. host: nicholas burns served as undersecretary for political affairs in the george w. bush administration. he was career foreign service for 27 years. he was also the u.s. ambassador to nato, to greece, and served on the national security council at the white house. he is now at the harvard kennedy school, a professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics and directs the future of diplomacy project and is faculty chair for programs on the middle east, india and south asia. don. centreville, virginia. you are on. caller: good morning, mr. burns. i must disagree with you on your
response to the previous aller. i spent a big portion of my life in egypt, and i was shocked, dismayed, frustrated and disappointed by the response of the current administration to the so-called revolution in egypt. it is said that people that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat mistakes. that is what is happening now. this administration lacks a basic understanding of the makeup of the people in the middle east. i agree that president obama is a highly intelligent man, and president bush was a highly ntelligent man, but the makeup of the people, and the way older and younger generations think seems to be hard for this administration to grab. look at where egypt is now -- under the control of a gang of the muslim brotherhood. after the resolution --
revolution happen, hosni mubarak, who was an ally of the united states, was thrown to the curb because people took out to the streets in egypt. a big portion of the people that moved to the streets were made of hamas and the gangs coming from the west bank. host: let's give ambassador burns a chance to respond. guest: thank you. i will have to disagree with the first thing you say. we have a lot of smart people in ashington. sometimes the government does not function very well, though we had smart, sophisticated people who understand the middle ast. people who spend their entire lives training for this. i would not want you to think
that we are unaware of basic realities. i think we are. we can differ about policy. i happen to think that the arab revolution that began in cairo and entire square in -- tyree or square, these were difficult issues for president obama and he has done well in responding. it was true that hosni mubarak was an ally of the united states, but he clearly lost credibility in egypt and control of the streets when you saw well more than one million people on a daily basis in the streets. it was a difficult decision for president obama to cut loose our ties with him and throw support for the young people in the streets. what is now challenging for us is the muslim brotherhood supported government is in power. they have not performed well in
cairo. they have mistreated the liberal, secular opposition and not make good decisions in terms of economic reform. a lot of us are concerned about basic stability in egypt. it is a keystone country in the middle east, the largest country, a trendsetter. if the revolution does not do well, it will have a profound impact on other countries. we have to hope egypt can write itself, and the united states an support it if we can. host: on twitter, bill asks about the role of egypt in syria -- egypt has the biggest and strongest military in the region, let them handle the mess and then mark says turkey and jordan have a major role to play in the situation. explain what is happening there. guest: one of the reasons why syria is so important is where it is located.
i do not think you will see egypt take on a major role. egypt is imploding on the weight of its own problems, but the twitter response was correct in that surrounding countries are involved. jordan has been inundated with refugees from syria. in iraq, which is very unstable and violent, is also being affected, and turkey, a very strong country, is one of the leaders in responding to this crisis, supporting the opposition and opposing aside. - bashir al-assad. as the u.s. thinks about what we ought to do, we can rely on the sport -- on the support of turkey, qatar, saudi arabia. we are not going to be alone on this, but it is important for us
to lead and it is in our interests to help stabilize this key country in the heart of the arab world. host: jamie. woodstock, georgia, go ahead. caller: good morning. i am a long-time watcher, first time caller. as far as backing the rebels, in the 1970's the united states backed saddam hussein, who was a rebel at the time. in the late 1980s, we back bin laden as a cia informant to give us information on the middle east. the syrian rebels right now have an alliance with al qaeda after a 12-year war and we're going to tart backing them. whatever is going on over there -- i think that the american
government owes the people to speak the truth, and this has been going on through history. you have gaddafi that we back, noriega that we back, and i will take my answer off the air, hopefully truthful one. thank you very much. guest: thank you for your comments and questions. where i agree is we do need a national conversation about this. i do not think there is a prospect of the united states getting involved on the ground n another big war. we just had to really will big ones in iraq and afghanistan, but we certainly need to talk to the people more about why it is important for the united states to continue to lead in the world. why in the 21st century, where we are so much more integrated, why it is in our interest. where i disagree with you is the
united states never supported saddam hussein when he was in power. certainly never supported osama bin laden. we never supported noriega in anama. host: we see in "the new york times" a poll is showing an isolationist streak in america. here are some details from the oll. does america have responsibility in syria? 62% say no. 24% say yes, the u.s. has a responsibility in syria now. then it says that those that are
following the news closely are far more likely to think the u.s. has a responsibility to get involved there and nearly half of the group thinks the united states has a responsibility, but about the same amount think they o not. to expand on that, we have from twitter -- even if they are chemical weapons, how do we know who set them off or if we will install a better regime, and joyce says what about the stakes for the u.s.? we do not know who these people are. guest: those are tough questions that the united states will have to answer. i am not surprised by the whole that you quoted from from "the new york times." we have a lot of people hurting at home. we had this major effort in iraq and afghanistan where hundreds of thousands of troops have served with great valor and the
country does not want to leap into another foreign adventure that i certainly understand that. on the other hand, our interests are at stake. a lot of our jobs depend on how successful we are overseas. we have an alliance system in urope, a nato alliance, we cannot afford to abandon those people. isolationism has been in american history since the founding of our republic. we go back and forth from withdrawing from the world to engaging in the world. in the 21st-century first century we have to be committed to lead and be involved in the world because any other stance n the united states, to pull back, he would be a recipe for failure -- economic and political failure. we have to be involved. where your callers, and the
people on twitter, where they are right to be asking the tough questions is we cannot be involved everywhere. we have to pick and choose. i already said that i think president obama's caution has been right here, but now the events in syria are spinning out f control. millions are suffering. the world leader, the united states, has to organize the rest of the world to at least get them economic assistance and maybe arm the rebels to this deed -- to speed the end of this ugly war that the assad government started. host: eugene robinson had a piece in "the washington post" called "stay out of syria." he said if we --
host: that is liberal columnist eugene robinson. is there a point no return? guest: there is. the problem with terry intervention and we have -- military intervention, and i think winston churchill said this, once you start a war, you do not know where it is going to end. that is a problem for president obama. the administration had a lot of smart people. i think there is a way to fund humanitarian support, to provide legal arms for the opposition, to do all of that, but not be drawn into a land war.
we were able to intervene in bosnia and kosovo and essentially use air power to end ig wars. we only put troops on the ground after the wars ended after we put together peace in both laces. that was resident clinton's administration, and it was done well and effectively. that is a possible model for resident obama to look at. host: nicholas burns, the harvard kennedy school. lily is our next caller. california. democrat line. seek out good morning -- caller: good morning. i do disagree with you on your stance on the u.s. getting involved in syria. you say that we can fund the rebels.
ho are the rebels? how do we know the rebels we assist will not later turned against us as did the people in afghanistan where we provided them missiles? secondly, with respect to gas being used, i employ you to look at japan where terrorists used gas on commuter trains and look at what the affect was there. a fox analyst had observed staff without a mask on, and the next day the hospital staff had masks on and they even put something on the patient. i do not believe the united
states should borrow funds from china to pay for weapons to give to the rebels, and not fund social security, which i am on, and do not want to see that cut. host: tali, billy. touching on that -- thank you, lily. from twitter, as china agreed to lend us money? guest: i do not think china wants to see interference in international affairs. he caller asks a good question on who we will help, and this is my president obama has been prudent and has hesitated. we need to make sure we can find rebel groups in syria that we believe, should they take power, they will not be adversaries. they will be moderate groups
that essentially want to build a democratic government. we do not want it to go to an al aeda offshoot. there is a group that are al qaeda-affiliated, and we would not want to see them in power. can the united states government and turkey and jordan arrange arms transfers only to the good guys? that is difficult, and that is why the president has hesitated. you are right to raise the problem of the japanese group that launched a chemical weapons attack in the tokyo subway 20 years ago in 1993. these chemical weapons are so dangerous and the president spoke to this in his press conference yesterday -- we need to be careful to do everything we can to see that they are not used again. that is another reason why i
believe we ought to be more active in syria to make sure they cannot use chemical weapons because the president around the world is dangerous. host: nicholas burns, former undersecretary of state. jim. republican, georgia. aller: good morning. no insult to anyone in washington, d.c., and i am not a obama supporter, but let's go back through history. intelligent people gave us korea, vietnam, 60,000 people killed, not including civilians. the cold war. trillions of dollars wasted. when will we keep our nose out of other peoples business? those people are religious anatics. guest: well, sir, the point i was trying to make earlier, as i said, i have served in both republican and democratic administrations.
people in washington are trying to do their best. they are well-meaning, intelligent, and they are trying to serve the american people well. these are tough questions that you race, going from wars in korea and vietnam to more recent wars. we had a big national debate when i was young over vietnam. we certainly had a debate over whether it was right for us to go into iraq. i would say we have to be skeptical about the use of force. we cannot shoot and ask questions later and we have to be tough-minded and ask the right questions before we get into a conflict,, but i would not agree that the united states should just stay home because there are times where we have to do the right thing and help people in distress. i mentioned before, in the clinton administration, there was a huge humanitarian crisis
in bosnia and kosovo, and americans were skeptical that we should go in, but we went in, save lives, stop two wars, and we did not lose a great number f american soldiers. i would grant you that iraq and afghanistan have set a different tone because they have been so costly in terms of human life and have dragged on so long -- we are still in afghanistan. we have to be judicious about the use of force on the but we also have to lead. i am in favor of american engagement with the world because that is in the interest of our own country at our jobs are at stake. our young kids have to compete to preserve american jobs against competition from the rest of the world. we have to help allies survived and countries in great istress.
host: nicholas burns joins us from boston at the harvard kennedy school. here is a recent pc did for "the boston globe." "syria is melting away." he writes -- here is a tweet from becky -- if iran and syria are allies, could ran perceive u.s. intervention in syria as an attack on iran and retaliate? guest: they might not like it, they will oppose a we do, but they will not see it as an ttack. iran is a difficult, brutal regime, but it is a rational government and it will not take us on because we are a lot stronger. that is a different issue on
what we should do to stop them from becoming a nuclear weapons power, but one of the reasons there is a benefit to support rebels in syria would be to decrease terrain in influence in the arab -- or rainy and influence in the arab world. host: joy, california. emocrats line. caller: i actually agree with one of the republicans that called in that we should not have to fight these fights alone. we should have more help from ur allies. i disagree that we have to be the leaders of this -- these conflict. another point i would like to make is in regard to iraq, and
you can find it on youtube, john mccain said we would be in and out of their in six months and here we are. one last thing, and i will get off the line, is that mr. burns made the comment that both president obama and president bush were both intelligent man. well, as far as i am concerned, bush could not put a complete sentence together. thank you for letting me alk. guest: i would just say it is where would agree with you is not on your last comment, but your first comment. we should not try to act alone in the world. we are the world leader, the most powerful country militarily and economically, yet we need to have other countries help s. if we send rebels -- weapons to opposition forces, we will have elp and i would agree -- share
the responsibility, ask other countries to step up and paid for a lot of this. i think some of the arab countries will pay on is all appropriate. we are the world leader. no country approaches us in power. because of that position, we have a responsibility to the rest of the world, and as i said before, it is in our interest to be active in the rest of the world. i try not to be partisan. i support president obama. i must say i served president bush. e is a good man. he is someone who wants the best for our country. i think it is important to be air to people. whether you agree with president bush or not, he is a good person and he is very smart.
host: mont vernon, illinois, robert is on our republican ine. caller: i had a comment that i feel that the reason we are being bombed and all of these threats against us is because we are sticking our nose in businesses that do not need to be stuck into, and the people we are killing, the innocent people, they grieve the same way we do, and they will retaliate. host: ok, robert. nicholas burns, danger on either front -- anger at the u.s. or other nations for not getting involved or for getting involved. guest: the first thing to remember is we have a lot of friends in the world. some of the people that have been bombing us, let's take 9/11, that was osama bin laden nd al qaeda.
we were right to strike back against them in afghanistan in october, 2001. i live in cambridge, massachusetts, and right acr the river, two weeks ago, we had a bombing. the two young men who are alleged to have carried out these bombings, they went to school and live just about one ile from the studio. from what we know about them and why they undertook this terrible action, i do not recognize any legitimacy in what they did, and nobody in boston or around the country does. these were young men with evil in their hearts, and they chose to set off bombs in crowded places and to maim little kids and innocent people. the united states needs to stand up against that kind of terrorism. we are not the cause of it. we did not bring this upon ourselves. we did not do anything to
promote such action in the hearts of those awol young men in came -- two young men in ambridge, massachusetts. i am not ready to blame the united it's because we are active around the world. i do not think that is an excuse to take up arms. now we have the right to put dzhokhar tsarnaev on trial and a right to convict him. we had a right to go after al qaeda for the damage they inflicted on us on 9/11. host: nicholas burns and 27 years in foreign service and it was under secretary for political affairs under the george w. bush administration and he is now at the harvard kennedy school. thank you for joining us this morning. guest: thank you. a pleasure to be on the show.
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> live pictures from the east room this afternoon where president obama is tote make two staff nominations mel watt to be head of the financial agency and versees fannie mae freddie mac. those announcements are set to e held in just moments at 2:15 eesh. tonight, we'll take you on the new george w. bush library. it opens today. it was dedicated in a ceremony last week. heading the tour is former first lady laura bush. ere's a quick preview. >> your husband has had a lot of critics. will this change our people view
his presidency? >> it is not meant too that. it is meant to explain what happened in history and all the things we faced as a country and the choices he made or respond to whatever the challenges were. i think people will learn a lot. i think there's a lot of things that people don't know like the aids program the generosity of that the american people funded. i think there's a lost interesting people things that the people did not know before. it will give them an idea of president.like to be their successes and failures we all have that and our presidents are human and we'll have the same sort of records. >> has it met your expectations? >> it has. i think people will find it interesting. we tried to include everything,
of course, you can't include every single thing. we haven't talked about our support for the freedom movement that is part of this wall that i'm looking at behind you. >> you can watch our tour of the new george w. bush library tonight at 8:00. we will follow that with a discussion on the library system also have highlights of the presidential libraries throughout the years and that starts tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. live coverage from the east room and president obama is set to make personnel announcement. mel watt to head the financial agency and tom wheeler will be the form the s the former television system he will chair the f.c.c.
>> again, we're in the east room of the white house this afternoon. we're waiting if president obama he is set to make two staff nominations, congressman mel watt to be the head of the finance agency, that agency oversees fannie mae and freddie mac. tom wheeler will replace the outgoing chair of the f.c.c. the announcement is set to happen here in just a moment ere on c-span.
>> president obama set to appear here in the east room of the white house in just a moment making a couple of staff nominations. congressman mel watt districting the finance agency and replacing julius genachowski is the chair of the f.c.c. would be tom wheeler who is the former president of the national cable television. homeland security chair announced today that they have set a date for hearings to taking place, examining the boston bombings and implications
for homeland security. that is scheduled for may 9. witnesses include the boston police commission davis and senator joe lieberman of connecticut. that is next thursday starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern. we will likely cover that. from the associated press today, three more people in custody accused of helping the bombers afterwards. that is according to massachusetts governor deval patrick. two have been held in jail for more than a week on allegations they violated their student veesass, the identity of the third suspect has not been released.
>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by congressman mel watt and thomas wheeler. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, everybody. please have a seat. thank you. thank you so much. good afternoon, everybody. today i'm proud to put forward two outstanding individuals who are going to help us grow our economy but also going to be looking out for the middle class. seven years after the housing bubble burst triggering the worst financial crisis of our lifetime and costing americans millions of jobs and in some cases their homes, our housing market is beginning to heal. construction is expanding. just yesterday, we learned that home prices in many cities are
rise at the fastest rate since 2006. so we're starting to see bright spots in one of the most important parts of our economy. but i think everybody you saids we have more work to do. we have more folks to help, we have responsible homeowners who have never missed a payment but are not allowed to refinance. we have working families who are doing everything right but owe more on their homes than they are worth. we have young people who are trying to start a family and get into the housing market and they are having difficulties. there's a lost areas that need significant improvement. that is why i called on congress to give every homeowner a chance to save $3,000 a year at today's low rates. $3,000 is like a tax cut for every family that refinances. families who would be interested in refinancing should ask their
representatives why don't we move on that? i'm ready to sign that bill. i know we're talking to members of congress on both sides of the aisle who recognize there is something that needs to get done. in the meantime, i will keep taking whatever steps i can on my own. one of the best things i can do to lead inate mel watt the finance agency. mel was raised by a single mom who is here today. it is wonderful to see you, michelle says hi. [applause] like many people, when i first met mel's mom she said, i want to see michelle. [laughter] that's kind of how things go for
me. [laughter] anyway, mel's mom mel's mom raised mel in charlotte, north carolina, just outside. "she never let us know we were poor or couldn't do anything anyone else could do." mel to congress, where he has served for years. he has reigned in unscrupulous he has foughtrs, to give more americans and low income neighborhoods access to affordable housing. mel understands as well as anybody what caused the housing
prices. he knows what it will take to help responsible homeowners only recovered, and he is committed to helping posters homeowners- helping like his mom. mel, thank you so much for agreeing to accept -- [applause] you can tell he is a good congressman because some of his staff is choking up. [laughter] my second nominee will have a very different job but equally important to the future of america's economy.
the federal communications commission was founded, it was in charge of overseeing a few hundred radio stations and phone lines. today the cc says at cash today fcc sits at the the center of the universe that is growing faster than you can tweet. that is why julius jan schakowsky -- julius genachowski, an old buddy from law school, as on its -- as and one of the toughest jobs in washington. he said to priorities as and if the fcc -- making high-speed internet available everywhere, and keeping it open to everyone. thanks to his hard work and fcc has madehe extraordinary progress on both fronts. we are unleashing the airwaves to support the latest in mobile technology. we are protecting the internet as an open platform for
innovation and free speech. and we are poised to do even more thanks to do julius' efforts. he has been in next ordinary fcc chairman, but julius is decided to move on to new challenges -- he has been an butaordinary fcc chairman, julius has decided to move on to new challenges, so i have nominated tom wheeler to take his place. give, big round of applause. [applause] aboutbody's wondering is's qualifications, tom the only member of the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. he is like a jim brown of telecom, or both jackson of
telecom. [laughter] that is because for more than 30 30rs am cash 30 year -- thes, tom has been at forefront of changes in the way we live our lives. he is part of a group that advises the fcc on the latest technology issues. he has given american consumers more choices and better products. tom knows this stuff inside and out. julius will attest to julius hase benefited frequently from tom's advice. i want to thank mignon clyburn, who has been an incredible asset to the fcc the last three years. [applause]
mignon is going to be acting chair until tom is confirmed. and together they have an important mission -- giving businesses and workers the tools they need to compete in the 21st-century economy and making sure that we're that we're staying at the cutting edge of an industry that again and again we have revolutionized here in america. and as technology continues to shape the way we do business and communicate and transform the world, we want to make sure that is american ingenuity, american innovation, and that we are setting up legal structures and regular story structures to facilitate this continued growth and expansion that can create good jobs and continue to grow our economy. julius and his family, his wonderful wife, rachel, and their entire family for their extraordinary service. i want to thank mel, i want to
thank tom, and their families for agreeing to step into these new and challenging roles. and i'm going to thank the senate now -- [laughter] for what i am sure will be a speedy confirmation process so these two gentlemen can get to work right away. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. [applause] if you missed any of this event, you can see it and in the c-span video library. cspan.org. coverage kicks off with
vice president joe biden at the jefferson jackson fundraising dinner in columbia, south carolina. representative jim clyburn and former senator fritz hollings. south carolina is excited all the first southern presidential primary in 2016. live coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. tonight is the opening of the george w. bush library. it was dedicated last week. leading the tour, laura bush. here is a preview. >> as you well know, your husband had a lot of critics. of this change the way people view his presidency? >> i don't know if it is necessarily -- if it will necessary change the way. it is not meant to do that. it will explain all the different things we faced as a
country and his choices and decisions he made to respond to whatever the challenges were. i think people will learn a lot. there are -- things people don't know about far and its relief program, -- pepfar and andaids relief program, there are a lot of things that people alone about that they don't know about before. but it will give an idea of what it is like to be president. there are successes and failures, just like in anyone's life. we all laughed that, and certainly our presidents are human -- we all have,, and certainly our presidents are human. ?> hasn't met your expectations -- has it met your expectations? >> it has. you could include everything. but support for dissidents and movement is part of
this will. >> mrs. bush - thank you very much. >> thank you very much, steve. >> you can see the george i made 8:00 -- the tour at 8:00. discussionlow with a of presidential libraries. 's will bring you c-span presidential library coverage throughout the years, including a walk-through the reagan library with nancy reagan. all of that tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. tuesday, former president bill clinton deliver the first of four lectures at georgetown university focusing on the people, events, and principles that affected his career. he mentioned is legal battle with kenneth starr and made
reference to a political cartoon that humorously or trade mr. starr.rayed mr. he also talked about ngos. clinton graduated from the georgetown school of foreign service in 1968. >> good morning. it is my pleasure to welcome you all here today. this marks the beginning of a journey we will take together over the course of the coming years to learn from one of the most accomplished global leaders of our time and someone we are proud to call a son of georgetown. [cheers and applause]
president clinton, it is an honor to welcome you back to the hilltop. we are grateful for your contributions to our community throughout the decades and for the extraordinary impact you have had throughout our nation and our world. i wish to welcome our colleagues here from the clinton foundation and the clinton global initiative. i wish to welcome everyone watching on our webcast. after president clinton delivers his lecture, he will take questions from both our students and students from the clinton school. a senior in our school of foreign service and past president of the georgetown university student association will join the president on stage to asking your questions. this is a historic day on our campus. we celebrate the inaugural lecture in a series we believe have a deep and meaningful impact not just within our
community, but throughout the academy and global affairs. we are privileged to have one of the most local practitioners in our time, a member of the georgetown family, international affairs major in the school of foreign service to his years as a road scholar in oxford and a law student at yale to his tenure as governor of arkansas to his eight years in the white house, and his extraordinary host presidency work through the clinton global initiative, he has demonstrated unmatched political mind and ability to bring people together to forge real, tangible change, and to serve with extraordinary clarity and lasting solutions to our most pressing needs. during his presidency, he helped to reform the welfare system and strengthen environmental regulations, and turned a
massive federal budget deficit into a surplus. he also helped to expand international trade, intervene to end ethnic cleansing in bosnia, and to promote peace in ireland. in recent years, he has brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 nobel prize laureate, and many others to address some of our world's greatest challenges. the clinton global initiative, members have made more than 2300 commitments that have improved the lives of more than 400 million people in more than 180 countries. president clinton represents the very best of our tradition at georgetown, a tradition that is guided by our catholic and jesuit identity and he calls us to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and of our world and to use that knowledge for the betterment of humankind.
one of the great forms for this work is a lecture series such as this one. in these forms, we look to our leaders and thinkers to distill their expenses and share their insights and lessons learned and vision for the future. president clinton offered such a series of lectures here once before in 1991 as then governor of arkansas and as a candidate for president. he presented three new covenant speeches to students in gaston hall on responsibility on building the american community on economic change, and on american security. he has also returned here many more times by his presidency and post-presidency, speaking to our community about such topics as the responsibility of citizenship and the clinton economics of the 1990's. through this series we launch today, president clinton will
continue the conversation he has had with us throughout the decades. he also continued the tradition of so many iconic members of our community who had shared the wisdom of their careers and their lives through defining courses and lectures. president clinton has recalled such icons from his time as a student here. father joseph and his classes on world cultures. ulrich on the history of political thought. it was one of them who coined future preference -- president clinton called upon this idea in his acceptance speech for the democratic nomination. it is an idea that will serve as a guiding theme throughout his career. in 1993, he addressed members of the diplomatic corps from the steps come explaining that professor taught him "that that
future could be better than the present and each of us has personal, moral responsibility to make it so." president clinton has lived in these words throughout his career. he joins us today. we are deeply honored by his presence here today and his continued commitment to georgetown, our nation, and global family. ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to introduce to you president bill clinton. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much.
thank you for the walk down memory lane you gave me. i want to say thank you for presenting your questions. i told her she could ask whatever she wanted. i often say the great thing about being a former president is you can say whatever you please. [laughter] the sad thing is that no one has to care anymore. [laughter] i want to thank my friends who are here, and georgetown classmates, members of my administration, people i have known for many years. sometimes in both categories. i'm delighted to be back here.
the speeches i gave at georgetown in the late 1991 set the stage for my presidential campaign and for what i would do if i got elected. they were important not only for the campaign, but for me. it forced all of us who are trying to win that election to really think about where we were, where we wanted to go, how we were supposed to get there. i thought it might be helpful to the students here and this talk is mainly directed to you. i understand you showed up at 4:30 to get a seat. i also hope you do not get pneumonia. [laughter] i'm honored that you took the trouble to come. you can see i have prepared
this. i thought a lot about this. what i would like to do is to talk about organizing a life for service and the public good. whether as an elect an official or someone in private life want to do public good and i have given a lot of thought to this. i have had a lot of time to do it. i will be coming back to georgetown for my 45th reunion. those 45 years pass quickly. i am grateful that a whole set of chance circumstances brought me here today.
i only applied to one college when i was in high school. i knew that i wanted to come here. i was not accepted until june. [laughter] i think when i showed up -- as a matter of fact, the first jesuit i met said, what is a southern baptist from arkansas with no foreign language except latin doing here? i said, we will just have to figure it out as we go along. [laughter] i knew i wanted to come here. when i was 16, i literally made a decision that although there was no basis based on my family or circumstances, i wanted to go into politics.
the typical route to that when i was a young man was to go to to a state university and make as many friends as you could and look for your chance. at that it was more important to be well prepared. i felt that the world is getting smaller and that i needed to understand things that i could never learn if i never left the borders of my state. i had come to washington in the summer of 1963 with the american legion. i wanted to come back. their service had the reputation of being the best and the most cosmopolitan undergraduate program in the city. i applied. i waited and waited and waited.
they let me in. i'm very glad they did. i'm glad i came. after i left georgetown, i spent five more years sort of preparing to live my life. i went to oxford. i came back for law school at yale. that is where i met hillary. i briefly taught for law school and start my political career. i was involved in politics for 27 years. after i left, i set up the clinton foundation and i have done that since. that was interesting to me because hillary was the person
in our family who is always involved in foundation activities and in doing public good as a private citizen. working in the legal clinic when we were at yale. organizing a group called arkansas advocates for families. that is still doing well today. when we came home, 49th in per capita. she lived this stuff. she was on all kinds of other boards. when i was president, she got me to start meeting with civil society leaders, to meet with nongovernment organization leaders. i did that in india and turkey and various other countries and
in latin america. i will never forget some time after i left the white house, i thought to myself when looking in the mirror, my god. i had become an ngo. [laughter] i say that because i have the opportunity to see the grassroots up how politics work through dramatic exchanges. the year i graduated from georgetown is one of the most tumultuous years since the end of world war ii.
then i had the opportunity to start an attempt to build a nongovernmental organization with a very specific focus that works in many countries around the world. this whole thing has been extremely interesting to me. especially these last 12 years, i have had a good time. everyone asked me, don't you miss being president? i tell the truth. i do. when there is a problem that i think i know a lot about or some dilemma that i feel well-suited to solve, i think, i would like to do that. but it is foolish to spend one day of your life wishing you could do anything you can no longer do. our days are limited.
these 45 years have passed quickly. it is always best to focus on what is at hand and what you can do. we can imagine or reimagine the task that you are involved with. i have really had a great time doing this. i realize i am part of something much bigger. one of the good news stories of the turn-of-the-century and early 21st century is the explosion of the nongovernmental movement. the u.s. has about one million foundations of various sizes. community foundations up to the gates foundations. they do wonderful work. that does not count the 355,000 religious institutions all across our country of all
different faiths that try to do public good as part of their mission. half of those foundations have been established since 1995. you see it in india. half one million active ngos. there are a lot more registered that may or may not be activated depending on the financial means of the people who register. china has about a quarter of a million registered. probably at least that many more registered for fear of political reprisal of one kind of another. russia used to have -- but mr. putin seems to think they are a threat. in some ways, they are. in ways that are positive.
i remember thinking about the freedom component of ngo movement. there was a hilarious cartoon that appeared in many newspapers in america. the middle of my second term, when i was in a long-running battle, in this cartoon i'm speaking to a political leader and say, you ought to allow more political liberty. you keep putting these people in jail. they would be out there speaking on the street corner. he said, yeah.
and kenneth starr would be in our jail making tennis shoes. it was a cartoon, so it was really funny. [laughter] made me rethink our position on liberty. [laughter] no. they have pushed the envelope of liberty and political responsiveness in a way that i think is very positive. having had the benefit of about 40 years of experience in politics and in ngos, i have reached the firm conclusion that 21st-century citizenship requires every thoughtful person to try to do some public good even if they are in private life. when we all came here almost
when we all came here almost half a century ago now, the definition of good citizenship was something like this -- you should stay in school as long as you can and do as well as you can. when you get out, help the world. if you have a student loan, repay it. you should try to do a good job at whatever your work is and if you start a family, and try to do a good job with that. raising children in society is as much important work. you should pay your taxes and be informed enough to cast an intelligent vote at election time. now even then there were lots of people involved in public service as private citizens. there was a local united way and people volunteering in their
schools in wealthy people would give money to art institutions and things like that, but nothing like today. it was viewed as the nice thing. today was explosion of internet giving, cell phone giving through texts. the tsunami disaster were the u.s. gave $1 billion and the median contribution was $56 that people gave over the internet. in haiti after the earthquake, the american people gave $1 billion. the median contribution was $26 because so many people texted "haiti" and another number for the red cross and any other number -- the empowerment of technology has helped with the
possibilities and more responsibilities. whatever your politics and whatever you do with your life, 21st century citizenship requires some way of doing public good as a private citizen. around the corner or around the world, in office or out. what i wanted to do for the series of talks of which i think there will be more common is to talk about how to compose and live a life where service is important.
i think that it is important because the world is interdependent. it is full of opportunities. two more planets sighted in a constellation far outside our solar system. appeared to be far enough away from their sun and dense enough to support life. i want to find out. we have constant new discoveries in particle physics and super colliding in switzerland, which should have been in texas, but i lost economic agreement. the human genome is stunning.
there is an open of developments as soon as they have them. they send to every cancer office in the world, in every continent. the have discovered because of their ability to do genome testing the answered to a terrible, rare, and dangerous form of childhood brain cancer. the drug already approved by the fda has 100% cure rate. it seemed to be causing the death of all the other kids. 25% of the people who have this condition. because they are able to do
genomic testing, they found that in the cluster of kids that were not responding positively to the medicine, there was a difference. a different set of genomes. a must as an act of god, they decided to give the minority group half a dose of the approved medicine. they all got well. they thought they were giving everybody too much. they give cap does to the majority group and it did not help them. they had to have the whole dose. this apparently simple solution was made possible by the exploration of the billions of genomes in the human body. i spent $5 billion of your money to figure out the human genome. and now cost them $5,000 per person to do the test. it will soon be down to $3500.
so it is an exciting time to be alive. what we all know the world is many challenges. too much inequality and instability. it is a terrible constraint on growth and opportunity, investment. there are not enough jobs being created, not even for college graduates across the world. one of the reasons for the demonstrations of young people in tahrir square was that the egyptian education system was producing dozens of college graduates. mexico under the recently departed president caldiran, many universities produced in a country population of -- 113,00
engineers. stunning achievement. will there be enough jobs for them? will there be enough investments of the poor can find their path out of poverty? we have to do something about this. you want stability. if there's too much much instability and too much inequality, the whole thing starts to go down. the world we are living in is clearly in sustainable. we have global warming. 90% melts -- in years past it
has been 50%. oceans are becoming more acidic. they are trying to absorb more carbon. it is interrupting a lot of the fishes in the world. they are a source of protein for many people. they are caught more in fish farms than in oceans and lakes. as a result, we will have bad consequences, the details of
which we do not know. so the way that we consume and produce energy and other local resources have with us on an unsustainable path for the future. not sure how many views on that new york times article about how many chinese parents are desperate to find a way to leave china because their children are all getting as much and they are sick. how many have the money to do so and put their children in schools when their athletic fields are covered with tents and serious air filters so children can get for what passes for outdoor exercise? i could give you lots of other examples. that the point is the world has
too much in sustainability. finally in this modern world where we can look at planets hundreds of light years away, it might be my great-great-great- greg child home -- great-grand child's home, allowing all of us to have four physicals a year by stepping into canisters that will measure us up and down and find all melinda sees or they can be possibly big enough to -- malignancies before they can possibly kill us. when to zap out tumors because all of us have cancerous cells in our body.
it is an amazing time. what is tearing the world up are the oldest divisions. the religious divisions. the political divisions. yesterday we read there might be a new civil war in iraq because the sunnis rejected extremism of al qaeda in iraq and organizing around the old office ideology. they do not think the shiite majority had been fair to them. we read today this morning is stored -- a story of an ongoing war with boca from -- a muslim organization that feels like it's people have not been fairly
treated and the confederation, which is nigeria, and on and on. you know all of this. it is very interesting that in spite of all of this globalization and opportunities and diversity i see in this crowd, we still see the world but at risk -- put at risk if two young brothers from -- were given a chance to come here and get an education and it did not work out so well. you have the boston marathon incident. a young man tried to blow up a car bomb in times square a couple of years ago.
he and his wife both at university degrees in this country and were made to feel welcome. for a while they had good jobs and the home and the mortgage like many of us do when we start out. then it didn't work out. he decided an appropriate response was to learn how to make a bomb and take it to times square. one of the things we have learned in the genome study is that all people are 99.5% the same. even the gender differences are only a small percentage of the genome. we have people in this room today from all over the world. if you look around, every difference you can see between somebody else and yourself is rooting and one half of 1% of your genomic makeup.
yet every one of us come even those of us who are apolitical, spend 99.5% whirring about the small percent of us that is different. we can all laugh about being taller, thinner, faster. i might've had a different life. [laughter] that tiny bit of difference gave albert einstein a brain bigger than most people. he put it to pretty good use. i can give you lots of other examples. i can say that i was 99.5% the same as gandhi, but he had a pretty remarkable life that was different. on the other hand, most of the truly great people who have ever lived taught us how to connect a little bit of us that is
different with the part that we have in common. you are going to live in a world where you have to figure out how to reconcile all of these challenges with all of these opportunities. i believe you will have no choice but to do public service, whether you are in private life or not. i think it will make a big difference. one reason is that there is always a gap between what the private sector can produce and what the government can provide that you need nongovernmental groups to try to fill. two, and the poorest countries, systems have to be built and reformed and more often than not they cannot be done entirely within.
the whole reason is to figure out how to work with government and with the private sector to do things faster cheaper, better, break through the limit that the current arrangements imposed on people all over the world. to do any of that as well if possible it is necessary to think about what you are doing and have some idea. if you want to take survey seriously when they went to be a political candidate or the person who does right, there are four requirements. you should be obsessively interested in people, session people who are different from you. -- especially people who are different from you. you should want to understand them and understand how they perceive the world.
and how they perceive what their needs are and what their dreams are. two, you should care about principle. what is the purpose of service? what is the role of government? what is the role of ngos? how do you organize this in your mind? three, what are the policies? the ones that you believe will advance those? four, one of the politics -- what are the politics of the situation? how will you turn your good intentions into real changes?
on a couple of people, purpose, policies, politics. -- i want to talk about people, purpose, policies, politics. most people get into real trouble and abuse power. they forget that the purpose of the power is not to impose their will on others, but to let other people be empowered to live their own lives better or as i say, to have better stories. i want to start with that. people ask me, how in the world did you get elected president? [laughter] when i was born in arkansas during world war ii, i think our
per capitva was -- no one in my direct family had ever been to college. my mother went to nursing school. my grandparents raised me until i was four with a lot of great help from my uncle and his wife. people talked about that like it was a disadvantage. it was actually the key to my later success. you cannot imagine life without a cell phone and a computer. i was born to a different family without a television. without even a private telephone line. we were on what we called party lines. you heard about six? your neighbors could pick up the phone and listen to who you were chewing out. it was by conventional standards
poor. it was deeply segregated. in both the black-and-white communities, families were more coherent up and down the economic spectrum than they are today. there were more two-parent household and less divorce. there is more character building, if you will, at home. i have employed at one time or another for members of the kearney family, an african- american family in a tiny town of a thousand in southeast arkansas. there were 19 of them. 17 kids and a mom and a dad. mother was a domestic and dad was a sharecropper. kids that college degrees.
the other 4 did real well. all of them had a first name the started with a j. when i made chairman of the public service commission in arkansas, he graduated from harvard law school. one was my diarist in the white house. one was in the attorney general office. as long as i got the kearney family to vote for me, i cannot lose an election. [laughter] they had a family reunion that included a stop at the white house when i was there. 15 of the 17 kids were still alive. the dad was 102.
i say that because i could give you lots of other examples that people are not defined just by their per capita income. there are incredibly powerful, dignified people who manage to compose a life out of their poverty. rum that we can learn how to help them and the children get out of poverty. this is to all over the world. my great-grandfather whom i used to love to go stay with, the longest living man in my family, he lived to be 76, everyone since then, no one has made as long as i have. i would like to emulate my great-grandfather. he lived in an old house in the
country. a wooden house that was unpainted and build on the ground. you needed a storm cellar because it was attorney no caps off of america than. -- tornado cellar because it was the tornado capital of america background -- back then. he was a very good man, as was my great-grandmother. i learned a lot from them. things that are still valuable to me today. most of the lessons i got from
childhood i got from my grandfather and my great uncle. i grandfather in the great depression to give you an idea of how different then and now was, a lot of you might be worried about student loan debt and finding a job and all that, in the great oppression am a 25% of americans were out of work. i grandfather worked on an ice truck. refrigerators were called ice boxes. they actually took ice walks -- blocks to keep the food cold. i grant further carry these blocks of ice on his back -- my grandfather would carry these blocks of ice on his back. fast forward. 1976, i was running for attorney general of arkansas. i went back to the town where i was born. i saw this guy who was a judge. he could be active in politics. he said, i have to be for you. why? during the digestion when i was 10, your grandfather who had no money himself still hired boys
like me to write on that ice truck -- ride on that ice truck and would give us a quarter. without that was all the money in the world. the first time i got a and your grandfather gave me a quarter, i asked if i could have two dimes and nickels i would feel richer walking home. i started shaking the coins home coins in my pocket. one of them fell out of his pocket and he looked for it for an hour and a half. never found. i always look for that dime when i go by that spot. [laughter] i say that because it is very important for you if you want to do this work to realize something i learned from my
grandfather and from my uncle. everybody has some kind of story like that. my uncle had a six good education and 180 iq. the smartest man in my family. -- sixth grade education and 180 iq. the smartest man in my family. people remembered the depression. they try to grow as much of their own food as they could. i started to farm with him. he was one of the funniest people i have ever seen. i would sit there with them and laughed until i cried listening to them talk about ordinary people in our town at the grocery store at the drugstore for someone at work at the factory where my aunt worked
out. why am i telling you this? because people ask me all the time, where did you learn to speak? i learned to speak by learning to listen. and our family, no one could afford a vacation. there was one movie theater in our town that did not change movies very often. my family had hunting, fishing, and dinner, meals. meals were a feast because people could tell stories. you could not tell a story unless you proved you could listen to one. somebody would tell a story and my uncle or my aunt would look at me and say, did you understand that? i said, i think so. what did you hear? then if you had something to tell, you could tell it.
what i learned in the toll thing is that everybody has a story. -- whole thing is that everybody has a story. everybody has something inherently interesting and a value to us even though most people cannot get it out because they are too self-conscious or shy or whatever. the point is, in the beginning, i learned that you cannot really speak unless you can first listen. not in the way people can hear. i see it today when i see a lot not in the way people can hear. i see it today when i see a lot of these verbal spats going on in washington. wherever it is coming from, as yourself, did this person say that thing to genuinely be heard by people who disagree with him or her?
or did this person say that thing in that way because they wanted to be on television? or because they wanted to reassure their own crowd that they are carrying this year forward? -- the spearr foward. in a free society, if you want democracy to work, people have to be able to hear each other. whether someone can hear you depends in part on what you say, but maybe even more on how you say it and whether you had first listened to them. i learned all these stories. when my great uncle was nearly 90, he could remember the names of hunting dogs he had had in the 1930's, who sold him the dogs, and the way he bargained for them.
how they ran, in the springtime when the frost lifted. been, i could have listening to singing because of -- i could have been with into listening tp -- with int because of the the way he told a story. i am not trying to romanticize poverty. i would like everybody to get through it. that is not what i am trying to do. i am trying to get you to not the little people who know less than you do, have less than you do, less credentials than you are. there is a reason why the jesuits have spent centuries serving the poor. there is a reason why all the scriptures of all the different faiths acknowledge that what we have in common in our soul is
important. it tells me today when we try to help farmers in rwanda to have heard the stories of people who seem to be poor, but in fact were rich. don't ever romanticize poverty. it is way overrated. but do not denigrate the people who live in it. there is a mountain of evidence that there is a lot of dignity there. i saw those stories when i was young. when i was older, i moved to a town that was the polar opposite of the one i was born in. springsi saw those stories whe, the first land set aside under andrew jackson as a natural reserve. thomas jefferson sent a friend of his there to look at the hot sulphur springs to see what the
profits were because people bathing in them since the 16th century when a man thought he discovered the fountain of youth. a large number of people left littlend their way to my home town. this was when world war ii ended. there i was in the middle of arkansas with a doctor running a restaurant. who was from czechoslovakia. with a greek orthodox community with two synagogues, with muslims coming from syria and elsewhere. was when world war ii ended. there i was in the middle of arkansas with a doctor running a restaurant. who was from czechoslovakia. with a greek orthodox community with two synagogues, with muslims coming from syria and elsewhere. all in my little home town. the saw a microcosm of
world, even though i was living in the segregated south, with all its problems. i was at the time still trying to figure out what was going on. i still learned more from the stories of the kids i went to school with, the people i saw on the street, and my teachers. even though i had a television from the time i was 10. i would like to give you a flavor of what it was like. i had a science teacher. manye told the story times. it is the most important thing i can tell you. it was the eighth grade. a retired coach. to put it charitably,he was not a handsome man. [laughter] he was overweight and his clothes were too tight, he had thick glasses and smoke cheap cigars out of a plastic cigar holder.
he had a beautiful wife who was a history teacher. my had a beautiful sister, geometry teacher. the family was there. they were terrific people. saidld science teacher near the end of our course, i was 13. this was 63 years ago and i remember this like it was yesterday. he said, kids, you are not going to remember anything at taught you in science. if you do not remember anything else, you remember this. every morning, i get up and go into the bathroom with shaving cream on my face, shave, wash lookhaving cream off, ithis wad vernon, you are beautiful. [laughter] he said, you have got to
remember that. everybody wants to believe they are beautiful. everybody. he said, if you remember that, it will keep you out of trouble and bring a lot of possibilities to your life. 53 years later, that is what i remember about my science class. [laughter] in my home town all those years ago, 50 years ago, i met the first person i knew was gay. he was a teacher. was unthinkable 50 years ago that he would come out. all of his students knew and we loved him. there was a practice hypocrisy in my home town about it that as long as you did not say it, it was an interesting thing. of --rted half a century as long as you didn'teverybody. he said, if you remember that, it will keep you out of trouble and bring a lot of possibilities to your life. say it, you would be accepted. it was an interesting thing. it started half a century of
thinking about identity in a way i had never thought about it before. when i came to georgetown, i was most influenced by the fact that for the first time in my life, i was around students from everywhere. including places in america i had never been, like new york. my roommate at georgetown, i thought i was going to liberal georgetown, i would escape from arkansas. i get my room and there is a bumper sticker on my door for president. [laughter] everybody thought i would be a
southern redneck. i was for johnson. at i thought, oh my god, i came here for this? from long island, a friend whose father was an elected judge. he thought it was too liberal. [laughter] -- he thought goldwater was too liberal. [laughter] fast forward, i lived with that guy for four years. i still talk to him all the time. i will see him at the reunion. he is as good a person as i have ever met in my life. one day, his politics came to conform with his private life. through a set of family misfortunes, his wife's sister had a child with cerebral palsy that she could not raise. my friend and his wife took her in and raised her as their own. she lived a successful and independent life. when he was a pilot living in orange county california, their idea was to live in mexico and help poor people.
he called me one day when i was having my fight with the pre tea party tea party. when i was trying to decide to veto their budget, and everybody said, they will kill you if you do this. one night, this man, a book ihei might have judged by its cover, called me and said, let me get this straight. he said, i am an air line pilots with a good living. they want to give me a tax cut, in return for which they want to cut spending for disabled like my daughter. i said, that is it. he said, my daughter's best friend, who also has cerebral palsy, go to school together. her mother is a minimum wage worker who travels one hour a day to work and one hour a day home on public transportation. as i understand this bill, it
will cut the transportation necessities of the bus ride will be more expensive. it will cut subsidies for her child a wheelchair and shoes, and by the way, that at least, children -- then at least children with cerebral palsy had to get six pairs of expensive shoes every year. they would take all the way to get me a tax cut? i said, that is right. that is what will happen. he said, that is immoral and you cannot let it happen. you have to veto it. valuesnd's catholic overcame his political upbringing. his story overwhelmed the circumstances under which he lived. at i thought, oh my god, i came here for this? from long island, a friend whose
just like his daughter, except she had no money. he knew what would really happen it was not a theoretical discussion. the story pierced his heart and changed his mind. i could give you lots of other stories. if father celebrated his 75th birthday and took me for a hamburger when i was a freshman and he asked me if i had ever thought about becoming a jesuit. [laughter] i asked him if i had to become a catholic first. [laughter] longer the case. he saw a live child he had taken to raise who had a friend just like his daughter, except she had no money. he knew what would really happen it was not a theoretical discussion. the story pierced his heart and changed his mind. i could give you lots of other stories. if father celebrated his 75th birthday and took me for a hamburger when i was a freshman and he asked me if i had ever thought about becoming a jesuit. [laughter] i asked him if i had to become a catholic first. [laughter] he said, what do you mean? i said, i am a southern baptist. i am not eligible. he said, i read your test papers and it is not possible. you think like a catholic. we agreed it was only because of his overpowering skills as a professor that he reworked my mind. i was was and i did not become a longer the case. he saw a live child he had taken to raise who had a friend just like his daughter, except she had no money. he knew what would really happen it was not a theoretical discussion. the story pierced his heart pri. i think life worked out pretty well for the both of us. [laughter] but i love the jesuits for a reason that i do not know would even be popular today. they were to hunt gary and professors who had gone to the hungarian professors who
had gone to the fourth grade together in a town in hungry. one taught international economics and the other top world religion to a class of 200 students for all non catholics took it. it was effectively called buddhism for baptist. [laughter] at the end of the course, the father gave an oral exam in 12 languages. he said, if you do not feel comfortable writing this exam, i will give you an oral. he started reading of the languages he would give it in. i thought, you know, i would like to be educated in a tradition that uses that much of my brain. at the end of the course, the father gave an oral exam in 12 languages. he said, if you do not feel comfortable writing this exam,t, five classis, 40 people each. assignedo sit in an seat and attendance was mandatory until thanksgiving. toer which, you never had come back and if you did, you could sit wherever you want. i am not making this story up. [laughter]
fast forward, we are at the end of the second semester. withwalking down a hall one of my classmates, niel, who oversees people for my campaign later. he said, father, can i come see you? i am worried about the exam. he said, what did you expect? with one of my classmates, niel,you . he had memorized every student and developed a system which enabled him to tell which of the 200 were there and where they had been. i could not believe it. for a long time, i thought it was some sort of magic trick. 10 years later when i was governor, i came back to see the father. i was in his office. a woman called him who was a
year older than me and ask him for a job reference. he said, what is the job? send me the information and i will write you it. he hangs up the phone and says, do you remember her? she had an eighth the first semester and bb-plus the second semester. no computers. he has got a card catalog stack with him. he goes down to her class and pulls out her card and showed it to me. i wanted to be able to think that well. there was a big movement at the end of my time at georgetown to liberalize the curriculum, which i think was done. all my classmates and i, we did
not have a single elective until the second semester of our junior year. no electives. because of the influence of the professors, i was opposed to changing it, which made me about as popular as, you name my fellow classmates. [laughter] but i came at a lifetime friend of the father. he lived in a little room after that ended his own research. when he died, i got a lovely letter from a young priest who found him who said he kept a role of letters from his former students and the letters i wrote to him when i was governor, and he sent them to me. he sent me an account of his last days and the last picture taken of him in the vatican. i still have it. why am i telling you this? because when these boys grew up
and became the order, their lives had different turns. one went to asia because he spoke all the different languages. the communist chinese did not like it that he was doing his missionary work and they put him in a four by 4 foot hole and he lost a lot of stomach. he came out and he was anti- communist. he thought the vietnam war was a great deal and he knew i thought it was a terrible mistake. he looked at me one day and he said, because of all the fights on campus, we have these terrible disagreements but we will be friends. [laughter] i said, why? he said, because we have all the same enemies. [laughter] how weird is that? [laughter]
why am i telling you this? because as you wander through life, if you just pay attention, you would be amazed many encounters like that you can have. it can serve you well. the thing that bothers me about modern politics is that we have made all this progress, racism and sexism and homophobic as we used to be, and we just have -- wethe thing that bothers med sexist and homophobic as we used just oned we have remaining bigotry in america, which is that we do not want to be around anyone who disagrees with us. people are organizing massive living patterns in the country around dealing with somebody that agrees with them. if you do not believe me, read something by bill bishop.
in 1976, president carter and president ford had a close election. only 20% of americans voted for either one of them by more than 20 points. 28 years later, in 2004, when john kerry and president bush had a close election, and bush's when john kerry and president bush had a close election, and bush's reelection was the narrowest margin of victory for a reelected president since woodrow wilson in 1916, nonetheless, 40% of america accounting voted for one or the other by more than 20%. so americans are not hearing enough stories from other people. it is a big mistake. if we had all the time in the here, i would keep you
until tomorrow morning telling you all the stories. when i was at oxford, i took myself all the way to russia, even though i did not speak russian. because i had a friend there, i wound up at a university which the soviets had built for third world students. i was with nigerian students nonetheless, 40% of america accounting voted for one or in the first week of 1970 when their bloody civil war killed millions of people ended. there were students there from both tribes whose families werek myself all the way to russia, even though i did not speak russian. fighting each other. there had been no war when they came there. over the radio, it had been announced the war had ended. i saw people crying in each other's arms whose families were back home killing each other. it struck me that most of the things we kill each other over are not worth it. whenever i asked myself, is this worth it, i think about those young people who were basically liked put in a test
tube and pushed away from their country because they could still see and hear each other. as we go along and talk about politics, i will tell more about what happened and what i learned through the stories. but i hope you will remember this. the purpose of service is to help other people, not to make you feel good about yourself, although you will, not to impose everything you think should be done on other people, but to create a world where we can all live together. it is so interdependent. if we do not, the consequences to our families and future will be adverse and severe.
every place in the world, people are trying to cooperate. they are doing pretty well. every place in the world, people elevate our differences common humanity. every place in the world where we can no longer hear what people who are different from us are saying, where our ears areevery place in the world whee we can no longer hear what people who are different from us are saying, where our ears are closed and our minds more closed, there is trouble. so, do i think it matters what policies you adopt and how you conduct politics in or out of the political arena? i think all of that matters. but you have a much better chance of living both a successful and rewarding life of service if you begin by
finding something to learn from everybody you run into. if you begin by believing there is a certain inherent dignity to people who will never be on television and will never be in a newspaper article, are just a statistic to most people who talk about politics. lastl close with one story. the i was working on tsunami with the first president bush, i got very attached to indonesia and the un asked me to stay on for two more years and i did. one of the ways that i disappointed people is that i could not immediately solve the housing problem, just like the problem in haiti and still people in the katrina area who do not have homes back again.
it is always the hardest thing in any natural disaster. we were going to miss a deadline in indonesia in housing. i said, i have to tell them face-to-face. i want them to know we have not forgotten about them and that we will do this. we went to the biggest camp, and there were probably still 15,000 people in the camp. every one of the camps had an elected president. i arrived at the camp. the president is there. his wife is there. just a simple man who was trusted by other people to the president of the camp. his son was there. the boy, i still believe, is the single most beautiful child i have ever seen in my life. this indonesian boy.
breathtaking. luminous. i asked my interpreter, who had been a very interesting young indonesian woman, who give up a promising career in television, just to be an interpreter until things were put back together. as i meet the president and his wife, i said, i believe that is the best looking boy i ever saw in my life. he is just gorgeous. she said, yes, he is very beautiful. before the tsunami hit, he had nine brothers and sisters and they are all gone. now here is what i observed. i never said a word. but pretty soon, the boy and his
mother left and this man, who had lost nine of his 10 children, a man with no formal education, a man who had never been more than a few miles away from his home in his entire life, who led me through his mother left and this man, his hep, and every place, all ever talked about was what the people there needed. he knew them. he knew their stories. byeased his own pain advancing their lives. it was one of the most astonishing examples of service i have ever seen. then we get to the end of this tour. because they knew about my foundation's work in health care, they saved the clinic to last. all the sudden, the president of the camp's wife shows up again with her son. but she is holding a baby. the lady starts talking and the interpreter says, what she is telling you is, they are very grateful you have come to the camp and listen to their concerns.
is this is the news, this the most recently born baby in this camp. we want you to name the baby. because we appreciate your coming. she went on to say that, in their culture, when a woman had a baby, she got to go to bed for 40 days and not get out. i thought, if that gets out and america -- [laughter] that is why the mother did not come herself. she was in her period of declining. .- reclining i looked at the mother and said, do you have a word in your language for "new beginning." i was afraid it might cause her to cry because she lost her children. she got this huge smile on her face. she said, yes.
ours lucky for you, in language, unlike english, the word "dawn" is a boy's name and not a girl's name. we will name this boy "dawn" and he will be the symbol of our new beginning. have you ever met anybody of any positions of importance at any level of wealth who could have dealt with the loss of nine of her 10 children with more dignity and honor and orientedness? the stories, if you want to serve, you have to begin with stories. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you, president clinton, for your stories this morning. and urging us to listen by sharing some of those moving stories. we have a few questions from the audience here at georgetown and also back in little rock at your school. questiontart with a from a student at georgetown. sorry if i mispronounce any of your names. if you were a professor at georgetown, what class would you teach and why? an international economics and politics, because i believe it
is very important that every person in your generation have a world view, whether you are a conservative, liberal, a republican, democrat, independent, or you come from another country, we need a common understanding of what is the nature of the modern world, what are the biggest opportunities and biggest challenges, what evidence do we have about how best we can deal with them. that is what i would teach now. when i was in georgetown, i think my favorite course was in great ideas of the western world, which was taught by a palestinian professor.
it was a two-hour seminar once a week. there were 14 books. once a week, the student got a book. it started off every week with a presentation by the student. if you talk more than 10 minutes, they would cut you off and say, you obviously did not understand the book, or you would have explained it in 10 minutes. if i were a professor, that is what i would teach. >> the second question is from little rock. from your school. "i am a first-year student at your school. i will be doing a service project in haiti this summer. recognizing your support of building haiti's economy, how would you defend against criticism that this approach benefits american interests more than haitian interests? secondly, come visit me?" [laughter]
i will answer your second question, i go once a month. i would be happy to see her. or him. on the textile front, i disagree with that. for decades, haiti had all these textile jobs. a korean company, a huge complex, is moving the first mill the company has ever had. they will have the capacity to produce their own clothing. they have never had it in the history of their country. they are doing it because haiti has a duty-free access to the united states and have a chance to do it. you cannot turn down the potential of 20,000 jobs if you can get it. and if you will make a living
wage and environmentally safe way. the --t think this age that this helps the american economy any more than any other clothing imports do, and it is a big difference for haiti because now they will have the potential to develop their own indigenous clothing operation because this will be their first textile mill. >> the third question is from a georgetown student. which public policy instituted during your tenure are you most proud of? >> that is hard to answer. i love americorps, the national service program, and i think it should be bigger and more
people should have a chance to do it. but i think that before the recession, health care reform did weigh more good than harm. there were things that congress insisted on that i thought were not good. the problem with the welfare reform law is we capped payments they were gaining in february of 1994. when they dropped 60% when i was president, states had a lot of money, which they were supposed to put into education and training and other things. lefthappened is, after i office, a lot of them were permitted to stop spending that money on poor people, which i think was a terrible mistake. i am still very proud we did it. i am most proud of the economic policy that we began with the passage of one vote by both houses of my economic plan in 1993 because that drove down interest rates and drove up investment, and accelerated new
jobs and new technology. 30% importantly, we had more jobs in my year, 30% more than in president reagan's term, but we had 100 times as many people move from poverty to middle class. it is the only time of shared prosperity we have had in the last 35 years. itove americorps, the nationald still means a lot to me. i still have people come up to me and tell me they worked their way from welfare into a good, solid job, and they raised their children to have a better life. that is still the most important thing to me. it has gotten surprisingly little notice and surprisingly little academic analysis. how come the economic path we chose and the paths chosen by my predecessors in both
had --trations, they recessions, so poverty increased. i do not count that. we had 100 times as many people moved to poverty in the middle class. we gave them a chance to make their own stories. >> if you were to become an international economics professor at georgetown, would that be your research? your path of research contribution to academia? [laughter] >> no, because i know the story and i know i would not be trusted. i would rather have somebody else do it than have somebody else do it and does agree with them. them. disagree with i should not be too self- serving for me to do it. if i were here, i would be focused on what we would do to increase the level of employment
growth the wrong world. one of the real problems we are having, i.t.-driven growth. it has been a godsend. when we rebuild the industry in indonesia, and we put all these men and women back in boats, we gave them cell phones for the first time. their incomes averaged a 30% increase. they could figure out what the real price of fish was every day. no one could lie to them anymore.
we started rebuilding haiti and 90% were unbanked. 90% of haiti's income each year was from remittances from the nine states and canada and -- the united states and canada and dominican republic and france. for the banks, you just charge a fee and you could put both currencies in the board and they do not want to worry about serving poor folks and making loans to little businesses. so, you know, i would like to talk about things like that, how we started a small business loan there. we need the best minds we can to think about how we are going to talk about things like that, how we started a small business loan there. we need the best minds we can to think about how we are going to create more jobs. in spite of all of these in i.t., they make everybody so productive. you can do more with people. how are we going to find sustainable employment in poor countries, and in the rising countries? how are we going to do this? how are we going to make the adjustments for different cultures and different possibilities and different
levels of natural resources? there is way too little research on that. when i got elected, i had been governor of a state which had an unemployment rate never less than the national average. until i ran for president. we worked 10 years on the economy. the american people need some sense of how we're going to do this. so do people throughout the world. we do not have, we do not know enough to know how these new realities are different from what we did in the 1990's. if we did everything we did then, it would not produce the jobs we need. i have some ideas. but i think we should do more on it. a another question from student here in georgetown. "during a time as president in 1996, you passed the immigration reform act.
what do you think it will take to pass the comprehensive immigration reform?" >> you have two obstacles. will there be a filibuster in the senate? househe speaker of the allow any bill that passes the senate to be voted on the house floor if the majority of the republicans are not? -- are not for it. that has been their policy since newt gingrich was speaker. it was formalized. formalized under dennis hastert. john boehner deserves a lot of credit. he allowed the house to vote on the violence against women act, which did pass by a big bipartisan majority, but not by a majority within the republican caucus.
i think they will pass the immigration reform. i would be surprised if it doesn't get 70 votes in the senate. because of the pure demographics of it, 75% of the latino vote. the numbers will only get bigger. the same thing is true of asians. we had a huge influx of asian immigrants. a lot of the vietnamese were militantly anti-communist. they were inclined to vote republican because they perceived republicans were more anti-communist than the democrats and that the democrats had driven the country's disengagement from vietnam, even though president ford was in office when the last shoes were drawn. all that has changed since the immigration business.
big the democrats get a majority. for sheer demographic reasons, i think we will get it. also, keep in mind there are economic imperatives here. the united states, one of the things that gives us hope about our economy is that we are younger than europe. we are younger than japan. we are not resistant to immigrants historic plea. ally.storic only ireland is younger than we are. thanks to the catholics, they have still got a high birthrate. [laughter] and, by the way, now that you are laughing, you should know that the irish were very open to immigration. there was a huge variety of
immigrants. a lot of those folks when home mostly to central europe. they will come back again if things pick up again. this is an economic imperative for us. i do believe it will pass. it is possible depending on the details that there will be a majority of the republican house caucus for it and they will have to decide to let it come to the floor and all that. i really think this will pass. >> the next question is also from a georgetown student. what was your motivation for starting the clinton organization? -- the clinton foundation?
and what distinguished it from other humanitarian initiatives? >> i started the foundation with a clear notion, but i did not have the details filled in. i knew when i left office, i did not want to spend most of time talking about current political issues were talking about my record and legacy. i wanted to spend time on issues i care a lot about as president where i can still have an impact. there were a lot of things i cared about as president that had a relatively small impact, like peace between palestinians and israelis. i spent a fair amount of time in the middle east since i left office. i still keep a contact there and i do what i can. but that is more the province of governments as facilitators, also what the leaders and people of those countries want to do.
it would be foolish, i think, for me to do one more of the voices saying, believe me, they all know what i think about it. it does not matter. i do not have a position anymore to have as much impact. in all these other things, i do. i started out with that in mind. then i began working with nelson mandela when there was no global fund for aids and malaria. there was no pat favre program program.r the united states was providing about 28% of all the money the world was spending to fight aids. we were trying to raise more money. it was a pittance. from there, i got into being asked to do with the systematic challenges facing the caribbean, which then had the second fast growth rate of aids in the world next to africa.
everything else fell into place after that. a few years later, i got interested in whether one of my staff member suggested to me, we ought to have a meeting at the opening of the u.n. because withe could come and meet the people who come from the u.n. and leaders in business. i said, who would pay from new york during the u.n. when it has the worst traffic in the world already? i said, we will make it even harder for them. when you come to our meeting, promised to help somebody somewhere and keep the promise if you want to come back. in the first meeting, we asked people to meet with people and make commitments. it has worked out pretty well. it was a widely. wild leap.
these things have come up and then i took up child obesity because it is a public health problem in the country. i tried to chart these programs within the framework of my record and my passions as president where i could still have an impact. and to have the discipline to try to stop doing things when i thought i could have an impact and it turned out not to work. we keep trying to measure for impact and do that. >> final question is from another student at your school in little rock. it ties very nicely back into the theme of your talk today. "i heard you say the last remaining widespread bigotry is toward those with whom we have ideological differences. what can we do to bring people together?" >> well, very interesting. i will never forget i had a
very interesting encounter when i was attempting to change the pentagon policy of gays in the military 20 years ago. everybody knows we failed. but most people don't know what happened or what it was really designed to do. that is not important now. there was a survey that came out on this issue. it said in the population of the united states as it existed in 1993, very different from much more diverse now in every way than we were then, the public was about evenly and i had pushed it to where in the survey, it was 48 to 45 for my position on allowing people to serve without regard to sexual orientation. it was a political loser
because the 45 who disagreed, 33% of them were intensely opposed. and only 16% of the people who were for me were intensely for it. the real political vote was 33 vs 64. for. that was a problem my friends who are trying to pass the gun legislation are having. i do not agree with it anymore. i passed an assault weapons ban and it did just fine. it was allowed to expire in 1994. what happened in 1994 congressional elections, when people who were for what i did, the majority, said thank you very much, i think i will vote on something else. the people against it said, i will kill you. [laughter]
i would not vote for you if you were the last candidate on earth. the fact that we had majority support did not amount to anything. it is the intensity of support you have to measure. people say, there is 90% support for this, how could they vote against it? they all believe the opposition is more heated. i think they are wrong this time, by the way. the problem with a cat that sits cat hot stove is that that will never sit on a hot stove again, but it will never sit on a cold stove. i think this is a cold stove and we could do this. that is what the problem is, anyway. i did not answer. [laughter]
i didn't answer your question. >> how then do you engage the opposition? [laughter] >> here is what i think you have to do. first of all, there are legitimate differences over gun control. it is basically an open deal. an urban-rural deal. cannots something you reach. if you think you need protection in your home, you are way better off with a shotgun than an assault weapon. trust me. it is not even close. this is mostly a deal. an urban-rural deal. remember senator murkowski talking about in the far reaches of alaska, if somebody wants to sell a gun to their next-door neighbor, how could you possibly ask for a background checks? congress set this up this way so that rural states had this
influence in the united states senate. i think they need to keep talking about it. i think they can do that. i think the president having the two dinners with the republican senators is a good thing. president meeting with the women senators was a good thing. the first one of these dinners, they did not seem too stilted because everybody had something they want to say to him, so it took the whole two hours they set aside for the dinner. after endless hours of listening to people, and finally and digging and digging, it does not always work. one of the reasons we are in the mess we are in in the middle east today is that i spent eight years listening and i proposed a peace proposal and israel said, yes, and it was the -- and arafat would not say
yes or no, even though he told me he was going to. and it was the most colossal political error of my lifetime and a lot has flowed out of this. one of the reasons we are still stuck is he said he wanted settlement. -- settlement freeze. so hillary and other people went out and got settlement for 10 months. ofwas a big deal out netanyahu's government. they would not talk to him. they waited until the 10 months was over and he said, give me another 10 months and maybe i will talk to him. of netanyahu's government. bad move. it does not always work.
the second thing i want to tell you, if you get into politics, nothing lasts forever. it is a human creation. people come to me all the time and say, were you not sick that president bush took your economic policy and we went from a surplus to debt? i said, yes, it made me sick. but the american people made it possible. i am constantly amazed when people vote and then they are surprised that the people they vote for do what they promised to do. it was not like he made a secret of what he was going to do. most politicians actually do try to do what they say they will do. thisould be the basis for kind of communication.
i do not know how much these people are talking. it may not be possible. i know this. america has come back. genomego, the human center of america. orlando, the computer simulation center of america. even in cleveland, with all its trouble, the cleveland clinic and the community college are training the hardest unemployed population we have to do jobs the health-care industry. you look around the countries. -- the country. the places where you are doing well and where there is critical operation. -- cooperation. one of the problems in washington today is that the congressional districts are drawn so that the most liberal and the most conservative of our members in congress have to worry far more about being purer and being defeated by a primary challenge than losing the general election because they did not work with people from the other side to get things done.
there is a political reality in a lot of these house districts and it is very different than the national political reality and the screaming hunter of the of theeening hunger american people to see people make honorable compromises and get the show on the road. you cannot get tired of listening. you have to keep getting after people and figure out where they are coming from and what their motives are and where their interests are. with all these peace deals i tried to work out, i never argued so much about what i thought was right or wrong than what i thought was in their interests to take it. there is no easy answer here. but disengagement is a recipe for failure. getiew is, you just cannot tired of just reaching out and going ahead with it.
and get the information that he was given at the time, and then be prodded by the press, like what are you going to decide? what are you going to do? it does not reinforce his decision, but it shows people what he was faced with, the information that he had at the time, why he chose what he did, and it just puts people in his shoes to see what they would have done if they had been president. it also gives people an idea of what it is like to be president and to have those serious decisions to make. and in fact, nearly every big problem does come to the desk of the president of the united states. >> to join former first lady, barbara bush, for a tour of the new george w. bush library museum tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
>> president obama signed legislation ending furloughs for air traffic controllers. bloomberg news reports the law allowed the federal aviation administration to move as much as $253 million within its budget to end the furloughs. those unpaid days off were required by the sequester budget cuts and had caused delays around the country. also, white house secretary j. conni briefed reporters. one topic was the gun legislation that stalled last month. >> centre kalle had a confrontation at a town hall meeting >> jeff blake posed on his facebook page was of his gun control vote his popularity level is roughly the same level of pond scum. do these statements give the white house any confidence that you may be able to go back and pass some kind of gun control
legislation in the coming days, weeks and months? >> i think that we have seen is at americans out there who engage on an issue, feel passionately about an issue and feel like it is the common-sense thing to do, don't appreciate it when their representatives disagree with them. and when i say them, i mean 85% of the american people and vast majorities of the constituents of arizona or new hampshire, virtually every state in the country. what the president made clear in the rose garden after the background check votes went down, americans who were disappointed by the failure of the senate to listen to the people they represent need to speak up. because in the end, change comes from the bottom-up. congress acts when the people they represent insist on it.
when there are entrenched interests that oppose action, it is all the more important that average citizens make their voices heard, that they speak up, that they hold their leaders accountable. i wouldn't want to predict at his point whether that means we will get this done sooner rather than later, but we will get it done because it is the right, sensible and common-sense thing to do and the american people overwhelmingly support it. [inaudible question] >> i think that is absolutely what we are going to try to do. this president made clear that we are in round one, and we are going to push, and we are pushing now to get it done. somebody asked the other day will you wait until after the next election? the answer is no. it will get done because the american people demands that it get done. but it requires the voices, the
participation and the engagement of average americans, especially in a situation on an issue like this where we are dealing with entrenched interests that don't represent the majority but have powerful sway in congress. >> also in washington today, the bipartisan policy center, a discussion on the use of drones for targeted kings. you can see it tonight on crap at 10:10 eastern. here is a few comments from the discussion with a former state department advisor during the burks -- the bush administration. we are talking to someone who was the legal advisor before and after 9/11, who responded to the commission's requests to what were you doing to make the country safe and why didn't you do enough. i can tell you as someone who
has been in the white house that it is difficult. they are all on one side of the spectrum, and they are causing us damage around the world. on the other hand, if you are the president of the united states and his advisors sworn to make the country safe, and your c.i.a. director is suggesting there are threats against you, and another 9/11 could happen and you do nothing, then you also could have a problem. i am sure this administration looks back at the investigation done by the nfl commission that suggested that enough had been done, and is mindful of that. i only want to make the point that although all of us have raised some concerns about drone strikes, i don't want the pendulum to swing so far to suggest that these are not incredibly difficult decisions if you are the president of the united states and his advisors. >> all of that discussion on drones and targeted killings from the bipartisan policy
center in its entirety on c-span at 10:10 eastern. you can watch it any time at c-span.org. the center for strategy and international studies released a report on challenges facing the u.s. military's ground forces. the study found that the pentagon's priorities don't align with ground forces. his is an hour and a half. >> all right, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. those of you who were they chow line can stock up and head to your seats. we generally try to have enough food here to make it through until lunch, keep you alive for a short period of time here. good morning. on behalf of our c.e.o. and
president, dr. john hammer, i want to welcome you to the center for strategic and international studies. i don't know in my mic is loud enough. are you picking me up ok? all right. i've got a couple of administrative details, and then i want to outline what we are here for and are doing today. we have a wonderful terrific timely report and topic to discuss this morning. straightively, we are going to be here -- administratively, we are going to be here about 90 minutes. if you are on the web, he should be able to download a copy of the report and follow along at home. we probably won't refer you to page numbers as we go, so you will have to do a little work on your own. i am not sure, but you also may be able to download the view graphs. you will be able to see them from the web as well. this is on the record. we are recording this. there will be an archive of the video and audio as we post it
afterwards. if at the end of this you say what the heck did frank say, you can go back and pick up on that afterwards. what a time we are in. we are in the middle of, as all of you know, our fourth downturn in the last 65 or 70 years, and we have no idea how low it is going to go, how far it is going to go, et cetera. you've got some very important questions about what do we need this military for, and how do we size and shape it properly? how do we align strategy, perhaps, policy and resources going forward? ou had in the past week some very lively exchange. i would urge you to watch the videos if you haven't, between the chief of staff of the army and members of the various armed services committees.
it is quite a robust example of the difference between article i of the constitution, and article ii. you can look those up on your own time. [laughter] we are really wrestling with questions like are we looking for the force we can afford, or are we trying to figure out the force that we need here? and are we preparing for a world that we are trying to make it come out a certain way, or are we preparing for a world that is what it is and dealing with it. it is a complex set of questions. i am making it look like binary issues, but they are not binary at all. the military has assessed the adequacy of its forestructure against a set of threats and the war plans that are designed to met those threats. but that is probably not the approach that we are going to need in the future -- or really it is that and a lot more. we have a complex set of future
scenarios, and we call them in this report ven yes, it is because we are not -- vignettes because we are not quite ready to distinguish them with the acronym or name scenario, because then you have to devise a plan to deal with it. but from the vignettes platform, it allows you to look and a large scope of issues. we haven't talked about the budget requirements to deal with these vignettes if you will. that is work yet to be done. this report is focused not on the whole world, but on the parts that have primacy in the strategic defense guidance issued january a year ago. focus, rong centcom asia, counterterrorism, et cetera.
the theaters don't mirror one another the way they did when i was growing up in this system, where it was pretty fungible to have one set of plans for one theater be relevant to another. all of that adds to the complexity. then comes word from the wire services, one headline said army seeks to complement air-sea battle. the secretary said the army is moving forward. they talked about this office of strategic land policy in this room in november of last year, to deal with ideas about forcible entry, power for direction, anti-access and aerial denial operations. to cover all that, we have both a nice thick document and a very robust conversation here this morning. leading this is our senior fellow, nate friar. he was a career army officer, spent time at the army war
college, spent time at o.s.d., and in theater rations, especially in iraq. he has been a fellow here now for six or seven years. he is joined by a marvelous panel, and he will introduce the panel. i want to ask you all in joining me to welcome nate csic. - friar, [applause] >> we can move out here to the podium. thank you david. that is a very kind introduction to what has been a very what i think is has been an exceptionally challenging report and study in a time of great change inside the department of defense. before i begin talking about the substance of the report, let me first take an opportunity for some thank-yous and also introduce my panelists
before proceeding. first i think this report would not have been possible without the possible of the army g-8, and in particular, the army quadrennial review office, with major general john rossi and others. their assistance has been invaluable. we also received a great deal of support from u.s. pacific pant, u.s. central command, the service component commands underneath them, the joint staff, o.s.d., et cetera and their contributions to the substance of this report have been both invaluable and many times ground-breaking in the ideas we arrived at through their assistance. we had a great working group and a great senior review group who spent time with us going over our ideas, flushing things out and testing things. they, too, deserve some credit. you can can see who was
involved in that when you leaf through the report. we are indebted to several c.s.i. senior scholars who helped us a great deal in guiding the report and arriving at the original insights we came to. let me publicly mention the research team who worked very hard at getting a report that i think will be influential going forward in the defense review service. stephanie sanek, senior fellow and future director of the national security program, jacqueline guy, curtis, j.p., our military fellows, and sammy and megan loany, interns. they have been great teammates in this process, and i wanted to thank them publicly. as for the panel, i'm going to spend about 10 or 15 minutes talking about the report
itself. i am joined on stage here by this panel that i think will bring a great deal of insight and experience to the discussion. on my far right is mr. barry pavel. he is director of the center on international security at the atlantic council. he spent 18 years inside the department of defense in various positions in the senior executive service and also was a special assistant to the president and a senior director for defense policy and strategy in the white house from 2008 to july of 2010. to my right is lieutenant genre tired james duvik, he is a fellow at the institute for the study of war. he is a career infantry officer. i am sorry to hear about that. i am an artilleryman. he commanded the 25th infantry division at forth lewis, and the multi-national security
transition command in iraq. then my old friend and colleague, mr. frank hoffman, he is a senior research fellow at the institute for national strategic studies. marine officer. i am sorry about that. >> who has walked and carried a pack as well. >> he has left the naval office for capabilities and readiness. he is published on hive wid warfare. we have been mates and co- conspirators together for many things. we want to ask everybody to turn all cell phones, blackberries and other things off. after the presentations, we will have time for our discussion. let us run through the discussion and then we will open it up to the floor. for questions, there will be
microphones present. i will moderate the "q & a" and make sure you are called on in an orderly fashion. the intent today is to talk about a report that was on rtered by army it -- g-8 the future potential and deployment of u.s. ground forces, that being u.s. army, marine and special operations com s in the cencom, pay and other areas. in addition we were sort of charted to evaluate what the department of defense calls future challenges risks associated with the deployment of those forces. with that we started the process in october of really -- right around the beginning of october of the previous year, of last year, going through this process, and what you see here today is really the culmination of that effort. so if i could, the next slide, please. here is our study purpose. it is all in the past tense now
thankfully. this is what we did. our charter really was to identify core interests in the two regions and identify ground relevant hazards in the regions that are most likely to threaten those interests in the next two decades. as i said, before we developed a framework to assess future challenges and risk, and assess it against a set of 20 regional vignettes that grew out of our assessment of the trends and insights in the two regions of concern to the report. finally we compared our risk assessment to the current direction of strategy and polt to arrive at certain judgments general risk mitz fashion and policy risk mitigation measures going forward. let me make a few qualifications because i think they are important. number one, large-scale in the context of this report is not
necessarily what was considered large scale in the past or would have been interpreted as large scale. our floor in this report is really an army division, the ground combat element of a marine expeditionary force or some combination of marine and army forces that equal to that. that is the floor. the ceiling could obviously be much higher than that. that is large scale for us. the subjects are qualitative, not quantitative. we are charted to look at what the force might be asked to do, not the extent to which the force would be asked. that is a follow-on to this effort. following what we labeled and a question that i have been interested in for quite sometime, we tried to account for problems that emerge from disorder with the failure of competent authority to control territory, dangerous resources, et cetera, as well as
unfavorable order, which would be what it sounds like, a rival regional pee r, another great power that rises up in traditional military fashion that threatens u.s. sps. >> i am going to cut to the chase. we came to four key findings. we came to a lot of findings. it is a very big report. but there are four themes, finding themselves that rolled out of our report. the first is that the u.s. does face future contingencies where it will want to consider large scale deployment of grand forces. that may appear to be a mom and apple pie conclusion grangly, but our view was in the contemporary debate where you really do have this perfect storm of resource challenges inside the department of defense and long experience with the wars in iraq and afghanistan, the trend and
strategy and policy right now is to really discount a large number of potential contingency events in the future as not necessarily breaching a threshold that would have us employ ground forces, but we think it is future is somewhat different than that. when looking at the roles for army, ma arenas, general purpose forces and special operations forces in both regions, one thing we found is the more conflict and crisis involve challenges between peoples, the likelier that ground forces provide a qualitative advantage in the u.s. military response. second, after looking at the vignettes that we developed, which i will talk about in a bit, we found that large scale ground force responses in the future really fall into what we type are five basic arc -- archetypes.
waialae talk much more about ose -- i will talk much more about those as i go forward. we found it more plausible that ground forces are more likely , some ond to border dord type of conflict than they are to respond to over cross-border aggression by an adversary of the united states. in this crurkt of the five doctor construct of the five, there are two real war fighting missions, which are the limited security and the limited conventional campaign. we found the distributed security to be the largest cluster of demands over the next 20 years and therefore identified as the best or likeliest war fighting force for the forces going forward.
perhaps the most controversial finding we came to is classic combat operations of the kind we have experienced over the last 12 years are likely the lesser included case in the next two decades. regional shaping we found to be a dominant demand for all the ground forces across the board going forward. some would argue that it should be a force driver, but we see it as a dominant mission going forward. but important as we found in nsultation with regional strategists, the most important efforts are those with partners that appear to be most capable and willing to actually participate in future contingency operations with the united states going forward, number one. and second, they should focus on preventing the most dangerous outcomes and preparing to respond to the most disruptive outcomes in the regions. >> finally we found the current
defense priorities and service priorities may not align well with what we see are the future demands for ground forces. i will get more into that in a few moments, but satisfies it we have six basic categories. they were either increasing or static in all categories. strategy and policy are too focused on the traditional state-based challenge and not focused enough on consequential disorder. distributed security itself is inconsistent with the current direction of policy, and we found this idea of enabling support actions to be somewhat countercultural to service culture. finally i think one of the biggest contributors to this problem is the fact that the force itself has become conditioned to respond to one contingency type in particular, which is counterinsurgence from a fixed and very sophisticated
support architecture, which we don't feel will hold true in the future. here is a pick torle of the five archetypes, which is what we get. the large circle talks about the fact that the army in particular has a very large theater setting bill. the army provides the foundation for all major operations in the areas of communications, i.s.r., logistics, et cetera, and that on top of that, all of these operations would occur. we placed the distributed arche type nette or in the center of this chart it's success draws on the capabilities necessary to conduct the other operations, and therefore, we think it is kind of the snrp of future capability. next slide. what we wanted to depict in
this chart is the way d.o.d. assesses risk, they assess it in four cat gorse, institutional risk, force management operation, operational risk and challenges risk. borrowing from frank hoffman, this is the chart. the bottom line is institutional and force management risks provide the foundation upon which the other two can be assessed and rest. in the current sort of structure, the way d.o.d. assesses risk going forward is operational risk being sort of over the next 24 months can we perform our war plans? it is heavily favored and more formalized than is this view of future challenges risk. what we have try to do is actually take a crack at rewriting the balance of that chart. one thing that is important that we see is really today's operational risk is tomorrow's future challenges risk. they really are a continuum.
one assesses the aability of the force to respond to problems it sees now. the other assesses the force's ability to respond to problems we see in the future. they have similar characteristics and are joined somewhat. as a con text, we identified five core interests. i am not going into detail in the interests, but it was a charter in the study. we think these core interests we derived from assessment of 25 years of national security policy, public pronouncement of interests by policy makers, we think these provide a foundation and are translateable across combat apt commands. you can see their individual implementation or manifestation in these commands. these core interests provided a foundation upon which or through which we could look at
the challenges in the particular regions and arrive at conclusions on what the likeliest demands would be in those regions. next chart. in the process also as we came up with the interest, we also developed a set of insights. we have 10 basic insights that we worked off of, and these insikets, like the interests, became a bit of a lens for us to look at the regions and determine what the nature of the challenge in those regions will be. let me go over these a little bit. these insights by the way sort of are both a combination of assumptions and preliminary conclusions as we went into the beginning of the study, and they held as insights largely because they were confirmed in the course of the study. we do think that the united states will maintain its military advantages, but those advantages will erode. that is very consistent -- erode over time. that is consistent with current
policy and thought in this area. however, having said that, inspite -- in spite of the erosion, given the commitment to deterrence of major conflict between the united states and other great powers is largely preventable. the area that we have the least capability to prevent is the area of civil conflict inside states, especially states of importance to the united states as well as proxy resistance to the united states by another great power. we think two areas of the report are particularly trouble some with respect to the cop -- ention threats to core consequential threats to the core conclusions. wars between nations and peoples, and the conflicts that ey actually generate will be important to u.s. strategy and
policy going forward and will be the subject of contingency planning for time to come. we do think the threats are really and that state and non-state actors will continue to generate threats to access and threats to our ability to maneuver in specific operational areas. that threat is becoming more prolific and the capabilities are migrating down and democratizing. c.b.n. will be a problem in the future. their control, proliferation and development will be a problem for the united states and a primary concern in u.s. strategy for the next two decades. >> one key finding that i think is important is this idea that everyone calls the information revolution, this is almost having a viral effect on the ability of conflicts to sort of spread. not only is it a challenge to operational security, but it allows a greater, more diverse
universe of actors to interact with one another, organize at distance and at range and conduct some somewhat coordinate eighted actions that complicate u.s. interests. a host of ack sell rants will be a problem going forward. they include challenge governance, catastrophe, climate change, environmental gradation, and the increased competition for strategic resources. the united states will continue to have a number of strong bilateral multi-lateral partnerships going forward. but frankly in the same way american defense resources are declining, the resources of many of our partners are declining as well, which will leave us in a position where we will remain sort of the most capable and able to respond to many instances of common concern between our alleys and us -- allies and us.
finally i would like to say we think that strategic warning for the most traditional military challenges will remain stable and significant, whereas strategic warning from those instances please.slide in trays that we identify ..s. centcom we talk about these trends in particular the takeaways. the trends are the most important to this report. the bottom-line is we think there are two basic trends that will be the focus of defense strategy and planning toward -- going forward. , androlific challenge