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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 21, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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for military response. there will be some discussion about how tough you are and reiterating article five. whether you start moving military assets into the baltic states. whether you begin to offer the ukrainians something rather more substantial than a meal ready to eat as potential assistance. those issues will be very important. therethere will be this questio, what kind of sanctions and how can we make sure we all suffer equally because the, the odd thing about globalization or this economic relationship between developed with russia is that it does differentiate from the situation in the cold where where there wasn't an economic relationship. there weren't huge russian banks with stakes in the city of london and so on. that's changed and it give us leverage over them but it also gives them leverage over us. we have to work out, are we prepared, we can certainly do
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them some damage economically but we in doing so would damage ourselves and how do we strike that balance and how much pain are we willing to take and so on? and also, we have to try and begin to think through the russian reaction because, you know, if putin is in full great patriotic war mode one thing we know about the russians is they can take a great deal of privation when they feel national interests are at stake. i don't think we can feel overconfident that these economic sanctions will with russia in internationalistic mode will change course but we have to try to do something. i think a lot of the reaction of the europe and u.s. together will come down to personalities of leaders as it often does. i think it is potentially significant that the two most important leaders, obama and merkel, are both intrinsically
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quite people. you saw that in the libyan crisis when obama and merkel were both very reluctant to go for military intervention and that was driven by cameron and sarkozy and quite hotheaded. cameron despite his lange quid air he is faced with a crisis of somebody who wants to act. i think obama is somebody who wants to think. we'll know more about it but he seems slightly paradoxical at home. he seems quite paralyzed. overseas he has been quite activist with marley and so-and-so. he might be in the sort of cameron we've got to do something camp. i think in the end obama and merkel are more important and their instincts just as human beings and leaders have been more intrinsically cautious. so i suspect we're going to get, we're not growing to get sort of churchillian, harry truman type speeches. we'll get something that looks
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to be firm and aims to avoid looking ridiculously weak and so on but that's not going to be tough something. i think a bit like, i don't know, some you probably heard scowcroft and bra brzezinski last night. they said we may not get there but keep some sort of space with russians and i suspect that is the ink tinge for the moment will prevail. this is moving situation. who knows what it will look like by the time obama arrives in europe, if there have been incidents and the russians are beginning to look greed i wily at eastern ukraine and the whole situation is different once again. a final point. about how the russians might be reading this and how everybody has based. i think it is important that we look forward and not have a who lost crimea debate. very striking for me in your visits to the city to see that the shape of the u.s. debate
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about, well is this all consequence of obama's weakness and he was cautious over libya. that he, on syria obviously drew a red line and erased it. and that's an interesting debate but i think that, if my guess is that actually as much as thinking about america's reaction or lack of reaction or weakness or lack of weakness, president putin will have looked at european weakness. and, european reaction. after all, remember this started as a tussle with the european union over the fate of ukraine. and, a bit like stalin has meant to have said to the pope, how many divisions does the pope have? how many divisions does the e.u. have? the e.u. doesn't really do military power. doesn't think in those terms. thinks of itself as a soft power. has nascent military ambitions and but very, very small stuff. just more generally what putin was facing as a european union
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that is incredibly internally focused. obsessed with the euro crisis. that is recovering barely from a very severe recession, a couple of these countries are still, deep, deep economic trouble. european union is facing european parliamentary elections where pop you is, far right, far left could get up to the 25% of the vote. this is not a european union really up for a confrontation with russia. it may have to gird itself and get there anyway but i think if i was sitting in moscow you would think these guys are shallow. they're internally divided. they're obsessed with their own little problems. they're not thinking strategically. they're not really going to be a problem. around for the european union to overcome that, actually fairly accurate assessment and get its act together is going to be a really big challenge but not just for next week. but for the next couple of years and more. >> gideon. thank you so much.
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that was terrific. joe, i'm sure you have some thoughts on the u.s.-german relationship and the role that germany will play throughout this crisis. >> thank you, heather. i don't pretend to know what obama is going to say and do in europe but i, so i want make it easier for myself and just step back and describe the new stage where both he and the europeans are going to be operating and isolate to draw the contrast is to look back at 2008 and before the election when obama had a real triumphant gig, and i mean gig, at the victory column in berlin. he drew 200,000 people which is probably, as much as free concert of the rolling stones would have gotten.
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from that, he bestowed the stage then as -- bestrode as a rock star and redeemer. footnote between him and angela merkel who had told him no, you can't do a reagan, you can't speak in front of the brandenburg gate. he had to move off half a mile to the columns. it didn't start off on a good foot between them. but putin as i tell you in a moment has done worse to merkel. he is the rock star and redeemer. as you know mortal redeemers never deliver what they promise some disappointment was about to set in very quickly and if you say go into the pew charitable trust figures you see that approval rates for obama began to decline pretty quickly after the, down by double digits in all of europe and the
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middle east by the way. so why, what, but there's, so how do we explain the decline? of course frustrated expectations. earthly redeemers don't redeem but europeans didn't like a few other things like the drone, drone violence which up compared to the bush administration. and of course more recently the nsa snooping in europe. europeans conveniently forget the brits in gshq and french with doing exactly the same thing although on somewhat smaller scale but the brits being in a much better position than the nsa because they set
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astride eight transatlantic cables which all end up in london. so nsa snooping, disappointment in somebody who couldn't possibly deliver but people expected him and i think most importantly perhaps was a sense of, hey, this guy, this guy treats us differently than previous american presidents. previous american presidents had spats with them, big spats but never were we faced with a kind of indifference obama seeps to exude and indifference of course became more concrete in these, like rebalancing pivot, europe. it has no longer a problem. we have to play the next power game in asia. so this was kind of a, of
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course, where america actually did pivot to not so much towards china the pacific and middle east and you know all the syria and iran and only to buoy with this. this was the stage until two, three weeks ago. now the new stage is really quite interesting because it, it displays two pretty interesting watersheds in the affairs of nations. and the european-american alliance. what surprises me is two things. first, first time there was the american superpower no longer taking the lead as it had done the last 70 years. and so the action kind of fell upon others, notably, notably on germany.
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and that is the second surprise because that is not the game plan for germany. hasn't been for the last 50, 60 years. it was happy in its cocoon of alliance integration and not happy, indeed loathe to take a strategic role. i will take this, germans moved to center stage because they're so strong but mainly because the others at this point, are so weak. think about france. and libya -- takes lead in bombing. you don't hear much from paris these days. the brits, who for decades faithful american lieutenants, always buy its side. what do they do? they vote in the commons not to get engaged in syria. which kind of pulled the rug under obama but i think he was happy to have the rug pulled out from under him because he was pretty leery to actually use
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force in syria. so, here is that first watershed, the surprise about how the old prayers shaped up and showed up in a new way. the second watershed, we've been talking about, everybody has been talking about the last two, three weeks, what you might recall the return of history. the return of the kind of history which dominated the first part of the 20th and 19th and 18th century. power politics. zero sum games. he constant readiness to use force for all the great players. and, surprise, surprise, after 70 years or so this was the first time borders were changed
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or by violence after the verdict of world war ii. lots of borders of course had been changed by violence. two water sheds and surprises. if this is the return ever history as i just outlined. it is turning out, what does the stage look like? look at the two key players i must mentioned. they share similarities though they are far apart in size, economy and so on. i would submit that neither germany nor the u.s. is very comfortable with its role. why so? well the u.s., has been in reaction mode. obama's america has been in retraction mode. i don't have to go through the
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details except to stress one key engine of retraction which is this offrepeated phrase by the president, time for a little nation-building at home. i think he said it about a dozen times in speeches. retraction in a way, final victory of george mcgovern and his campaign slogan, come home america. plus of course the opinion figures in this country which tell us pretty much, pretty clearly, we've had it with all this war stuff. iraq, iraq, afghanistan. enormous application of force, enormous expenditure but not much to show forfeit we look at what the middle east is doing. so suddenly the united states is being dragged back into a game
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in europe it thought it could safely abandon. the germans, unlike the germ mans of the 20th century are not exactly pushing on to center stage. they found out that, they didn't do very well in 20th century trying to grab germany and a -- more misery. they're not kind of rushing in like a latter day william the ii. they have been kind of dragged into it like the united states is being dragged into it. so, you know, hacks like us, we always have to come up with a nice little phrase to amuse or, not to lose our readers so i will do this one. i will call them, i call both of them the two great garbled powers. a bit older and know the movie cannon, may remember greta garbo
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and her famous line, i want to be alone. and she had her huge sun grasses on. -- sun glass glass. there is a greta garbo here. i want to be aloan. expressed by mitt romney when obama chided romney, hey, man, haven't you figured out, haven't you realized the cold war is over? well the cold war is back but it is not a cold war in a classic sense but idealogical dimension is missing. now the germans totally abandoned the strategic role in the last two generations. and they kind of saw themselves, what they call a civilian power and one that is lodged in the heart of the e.u. called the empire of peace. we don't do war. we do all kind of other stuff. we trade, we give aid, we help
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people build democratic institutions. we're diplomats. we're intermediaries. we don't do war. and so but you know, this is, this is kind of the situation. i mean this is the mind-set with which these two key players bestrode the stage. strategy by hard power is back. zero sum games are back. zero sum games meaning your gain is my loss. and both of them are facing an opponent who i think is probably the most brilliant strategist on the global stage today. this is no czar nicholas i who got russia into crimean war in the 1850s and sustained enormous losses. he was impulsive and vain.
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this guy is not impulsive and not vain. he is very smart. he knows an opportunity when he sees one. boy it was hard to resist this opportunity. my turf. i have some historical claim to it. the west is far away. the balance of interests is on my side. local power is on my side. it's, it was perfect. notice i'm not making any moral judgments. i'm just giving you like a theater critique. somebody turned out to be a brilliant, brilliant actor. minimum force, maximum gain and even better, the man has by doing so gained what we call street credit. why is street cred important? once you establish a reputation for the willingness and ability to use force and to be ruthless about it, you don't have to use
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force and conquer next time. you just establish a reputation as a nasty bastard and so people will, you don't have to wield power in order to have it. so he may stop here because he has now so much intimidated the ukraine that the ukraine will do his bidding. however, if he goes, if he goes farther, i don't think we're going to do much about it either, because again, it is our periphery but his century. he is close. he is got the determination. he has got the street cred. how in the end will the game unfold? one, i don't think we'll use military force. i'm pretty sure, to dislodge, to dislodge putin. to dislodge somebody is a hello of hell of a lot more dangerous
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than to slip in when nobody is looking. too much risk. so both the u.s. and germany will use civilian incursion. you know what it is like. kick them out of the g8. travel bans. freeze bank accounts. the e.u. is now extending again an association agreement to, to the ukraine. and we'll do a number of demonstrations of military power. demonstrations, not use of military power, on the eastern edge of nato to reassure poles and baltics. the problem with this is that the time frames don't match. i mean putin has grabbed the crimea and he will now consolidate. these civilian sanctions outlined will take a long time to, to achieve its goal. it doesn't, you can't redirect
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gas flows overnight. you can't redirect frayed flows overnight. and if you look longer into the future it take as while to reverse what is true for the entire west which is long-term decline of defense spending. those chickens have finally come to roost in the united states too. take the great power of germany which spend 24% of gdp and much less than the brits. much less than the french and certainly a lot less than the united states. >> joe, you want to wind up real fast. >> i'm be almost done. so what are we doing here? we're looking at a, maybe there is a new cold war but minus the idealogical component. certainly putin has won the first round and may win the second round if he goes to the
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eastern ukraine. and, because the ukraine is more important to him than is to us and i think we're not, we really do not, we find it very hard to reverse some of the trends that, that i mentioned. but if this game persists you can't just let the other guy play the game. we wily nilly have to restart playing the old game of power politics again. >> thank you so much, joe. roger. >> thank you very much, heather. i must say nirvana for european analysts had been pretty high on my list of oxymorons before you suggested that. it might actually exist in reality. so i'm grateful to you for that. i'm not sure i can add a whole lot after those two brilliant
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exogesiss from gideon and joe. but this is a very important trip to he europe, much more important than it would have been a couple months back. brussels is not, brussels is a rather anodine dateline. it is not zare sarajevo, it is not paris or berlin. but think the moment has come despite the dateline for some powerful symbolism. i think the body language will be almost as important as anything to demonstrate that, the transatlantic unity is not just some quaint idea from the 20th century but he is still there. and still matters. let's face it. president putin has acted because he is perceived the
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european union as weak and, president obama, the united states in general, as distracted, looking elsewhere, pivoting to asia. winding down on the post-9/11 wars in a phrase of retrenchment. and that is the basis on which he has acted. and i don't think we can have any illusions any longer about him. i think we were inclined to think he really thinks the breakup of the soviet union was one of the great, the greatest strategic tragedy of the 20th century and it was such a almost farcical statement that we waved it away. but the fact is if you look at the invasion of georgia in 2008 as a kind of a trial run for this, as his whole perception of the post-cold war humiliation of russia, the need to recreate, if
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you like, the soviet space, there is coherence, there's a plan as joe just said. there's a strategic mind at work. and he means what he says. and he cares about it. and if the language he understands is force and i think, unless there is a strong response and a united response above all from the united states and europe together to this and a reassertion of the importance of the transatlantic alliance and of nato, then we could be heading in a very worrying direction. if you look at putin's speech it's really worth reading for anybody in the room who hasn't yet read the whole thing. it's very clear the way he's thinking. he talks no only of the grab for crimea that, unjust way in which
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crimea was taken away from russia but he talks repeatedly of eastern ukraine and southeastern ukraine in exactly the same language. so it is far from impossible that crimea will have a sequel and i think we need to be very realistic and clear about that. clearly we're not move and the president has said it, we're not moving in the direction of the use of military force but certainly ukraine has requested communications equipment, intelligence-sharing assistance. other materiel and i think they should get it. i think we should make that clear. as joe said, we should underscore the importance of article v, the fact that is a solemn commitment to the baltic states and make that very, very clear. i think there was a powerful piece in my newspaper today about the possibility of, these
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second-tier lieutenant who is were targeted in these sanctions that really was, that combined with meals ready to eat, that just does not cut it, ladies and gentlemen. and i think the lang width -- languid leg crossing by the white house throughout this crisis that doesn't cut it either. this guy doesn't cross his legs in the kremlin. he just doesn't. we need, we need a sense of resolve. this doesn't mean we're hurt telling to war. as soon as you say something like that, people, a lot of people these days immediately, you know, start talking about iraq and afghanistan and these have been long and extremely burdensome wars that have marked the united states and will for many years to come. but, u.s. resolve matters in world affairs. u.s. red lines matter.
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and i hope that we will get from this visit, a series of coordinated, my sense of germany is, you know, germany acts with caution and germany is hesitant about leading for obvious reasons but there is real shock and indignation in germany. this is real. it goes from chancellor merkel on down. i mean germany thought it had a relationship with russia wherein it could use its influence to prevent this kind of thing and you know, it did not happen. so i think there is resolve. these two leaders as gideon said are cautious but i think, i think both have a sense that this is a watershed moment. this is pivotal moment. there hasn't been an annexation in europe since world war ii. the german for that is ancelus
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we know what happened then. the situation is combustible. i think the best way to make it less combustible is not through weakness but through resolve, cali greated resolve, intelligent resolve but sill that resolve that is to be there. i will be brief because we don't have a whole lot of time. i would like to say a couple of words about the germ man-american relationship which i think is, is absolutely key and i think is in the worst condition i've seen it in for a very long time. it goes down from the leaders. joe alluded to the unhappy beginning with chancellor merkel. you're just a candidate. you can't hold a rally at the brandenburg gate. this did not go down well with the president or his aides. ever since there have been problems. there were huge problems over syria as gideon pointed out. history means that privacy as
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central and cardinal value in german society that may be hard for americans to understand and as a result, the whole nsa scandal has had an impact in germany unlike elsewhere. so i think there's a, a lot of work to be done in trying to repair that german-american relationship. i think foreign minister steinmeyer has had some interesting ideas. he has talked about the fact that, you know, while the atlantic alliance may resonate for people of our generation, we have to think about how german youth -- snowden is much more popular among german youth i would submit than president obama today. i mean obama was a rock star in 2008. if there is a rock star in germany today, it is edward snowden. and that is a serious state of
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affairs, ladies and gentlemen. and it needs addressing. stein meyer has proposed a kind after cybersecurity summit or conference or dialogue and i think more than ttip or these far off ideas we need something in the nearer term that really addresses these issues. because young people in europe need reminding of what, of what the transatlantic -- the most successful at liance in human history. what it has achieved, what it means and why it's important in light of what president putin has done today. has done of late. there needs to be finally, i think, some real focus on just helping ukraine out right now. the country is in financial chaos. and there needs, there needs to be a program of assistance and it needs to be coherent.
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and for that the united states and europe must work together. john kornblum who is sitting right here, reminded me of a breakfast that when the president went to berlin last year he made a speech in which he mentioned the european union not once, not once. and you know, this is noted and so there's a lot of work to be done, not only in redressing the u.s.-eu relationship but this whole sense that the united states under the obama administration simply lost interest to a large degree in europe. the president did the dutiful minimum. he did what was dergere and he didn't do more than that i think
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we're seeing part of the price today of that, i think, somewhat foolhardy disregard for this pivotal alliance in global affairs. thank you. >> all transatlantics said, amen. we have, about 20 minutes or so before a coffee break for some good questions. let me throw out a few. then we'd like to open this up, if it is okay with the panel, why don't we gather some questions an we'll let you sort of have a final round and closing comments. we keep focusing naturally on the role of leadership here and you've just heard a very sobering assessment of the likely bandwidth politically, economically, for that leadership. so my question is, sometimes the moment makes the leader. they don't come to it willingly. can we foresee that this is a
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moment where the transatlantic leadership will come forward? i've been very impressed by chancellor merkel's statements, but again, we can do the rhetoric. that part we do fairly well and have done fairly well so far. we're very, not good at the implementation part. i think the weakness of what we are, you know, actions speak louder than words. in some way ways mr. putin's actions are louder than his words although his words are very loud as well. i would like you, can this be a moment? what does the president have to say in brussels. he is planning a major speech which i'm sure now has been rewritten and will be rewritten on the plane there. so question one, what does the president have to say, what does europe have to say to move, to have this message of transatlantic unity? nato, nato is six months out, less than six months out from a summit on september 4th and 5th. prior to this nato was searching for its new purpose afghan began
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and wasn't finding it very quickly. secretary-general rasmussen was here. he was in washington. gave a speech yesterday. again, a very tough speech. does this repurpose nato? in some ways, putin i think, this is all about nato in some ways. this is all about nato getting too close to russia. there is lot of commentary. we've caused crimea. we've caused crimea. we've done this. we pushed too far. we pushed too close to his interests. how does nato have to respond to this? and we're also going to select a new secretary-general of nato. what does that individual need to do? those are some thoughts for you to consider. and now please, colleagues, if you have a question, raise your hand. please identify yourself. speak very loudly in that microphone. because sometimes it's a little hard to hear. keep the questions short so we can get a few in. we're start here, carolyn, with mike. thank you.
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>> mike musetta, pbs online news hour. do you think these events will fores the e.u. into more strategic thinking? in washington their lack of strategic thinking in kissinger's columns and scowcroft's comments yesterday, the e.u. is a pinata to bash on. if not full strategic thinking, will it at least increase communications which are formally nonexistent at the moment between two organizations that sit in the same city, e.u. and nato? >> great. we'll stay in this cluster. was there another hand raised? yes, sir. >> american university and transatlantic academy. actually myself posed the question to mr. rasmussen yesterday about the, about nato finding a new role in the world and he said that nato has no new
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role in the world. it doesn't have to reinvent itself in the 21st century as it did at the end of the cold war. i certainly agree with mr. cohen on the fact that the u.s. has to show to the european publics the vitality of the transatlantic relationship, particularly to the younger generation like myself who has come to a world where we take it as a precondition, we take it as something for granted. but back to ukraine, i think, that it seems that the ukraine crisis illustrates a crisis of the transatlantic relationship because i think that e.u. underestimated the attractiveness of its own model while on the other hand the u.s. got very late wake-up call. had the e.u. put membership on the table we could have a -- of this -- averted this crisis i think. yesterday, mr. rasmussen called the defense summit something
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remarkable, defense summit in december. personally i think it was a remarkable failure. as we're heading towards the nato summit in wales and nato is electing a new secretary-general do you believe it is time to have a serious dialogue, a transatlantic dialogue when it comes to security and defense? and that we need truly strategic relationship between nato, the e.u. and the u.s.? and rethink the relationship between these institutions in based on a pragmatic understanding of the european security and essentially don't you believe it is i am pertive the e.u. develop as new security strategy followed the failed and ineffective security strategy, outdated security strategy of 2003? thank you. >> great, thank you. i'm going to, let's sigh wheel take a colleague here. >> thank you.
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as it was said, it is clear that putin has a strategy and he has a vision and this vision is very clear and strategy is very simple. he wants to extend his empire based on the force. brutality basically. it's there. my question and, welcome meant, i don't know, is that what is it that europe and the united states are proposing to this vision? all we hear today is talking about sanctions and i don't think talk about sanctions is the vision. it is kind of reaction. it is okay, you're a bad guy. now we're pogue to cut the whatever, freeze bank account of unenr important people. if it was important people it would still be the reaction. what this u.s. european summit should being exactly about this
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vision. whether europe is ready to extend the borders of free world as opposed to empire world that putin is proposing to that part of the world. is the ready to extend its borders what it is beyond today. my question to the panel whether, what do you think whether europe and united states are ready for this extension? or enlargement is announced and parts of that positive vision we are looking forward from that part of the world where i come from? otherwise again what we're looking today is leader of one nation with a very clear vision, with a very strong strategic plan, moving ahead, year by year, picking up the piece that is he lost after that big political tragedy as he called it and there is no vision from the other side. and obviously not question just for this year's summit but it is happening right now. the statement you would expect today but also it is for the
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nato summit obviously. thank you. . . >> this far and to further, no fur. and when i hear mr. cohen talk about article v, i really don't need to hear anything else but
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that word, article v. are we prepared to defend article v far and no further? >> thanks, terry. we have two, three questions here, so one in the back and then one there and there. and then we'll wrap it up. >> thank you. my name's -- [inaudible] vietnamese-americans. would this be an opportunity for the u.s. and e.u. and nato to work to expand the energy market for the u.s. so the u.s. can help to establish oil and gas through ukraine and help to supply the e.u., especially germany and britain, great britain, with oil and gas? that way we show that we supporting our allies, and we also show to russia that it's only weapon, energy to the e. u., is now being shaken if it doesn't shape up its own actions if thank you.
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>> stanley kober. we've said that there has been no forcible change of boundaries in europe since the second world war, and that's true. but there was in asia. the vietnam war. north vietnam sent practically its entire army south and conquered south vietnam, incorporated into united vietnam. we have reconciled with vietnam. we now recognize it, presidents have visited. what are the lessons of the vietnam war that would apply today? >> thank you. [inaudible] united american diaspora. mr. cohen said perfectly, i think, the trial run in 2008 with georgia, i think the bucharest summit where we needed to make clear on enlargement we failed. in ukraine i think we're seeing
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the mistakes with georgia and hopefully those are not happen with macedonia. but i do want to know last month 40 members of congress sent a letter to kerry urging clear support for integration for macedonia, a partnership for peace with kosovo. where do you see the u.s. position on this in light of the nato summit? will we see a clear decision on nato end largement? -- enlargement? >> well, panelists, that was a wonderful array of questions. so i think, gideon, if you're ready, i think we'll just work our way down the line. >> okay. well, lots of questions, i'll try and answer as many of them as i can. on the question that was asked -- [inaudible] does nato need a new role, i guess they're beginning to look at their new role as their old role. it comes back to the question of how do you deal with russia. nato enlargement, i think people will be very cautious about that
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in the current mood because we're suddenly realizing, we are focusing on exactly what article v means. are you prepared to -- in the end, you have to fight for these countries, and you have to ask yourself, are you prepared to do that? i think that they will -- my guess is they won't rush to expand nato in the current mood. be things get much worse -- if things get much worse, then maybe there'll be a sense that that is a step that has to be taken, but i don't think it's high up the agenda right now. the question of the e.u.'s strategic failures, and you said that it's fashionable to bash the e.u. here which puts me in an unaccustomed position of trail trying to defend -- actually trying to defend the e.u. i think there's a misunderstanding of what the e.u.'s all about. to see it simply as a kind of geostrategic player, actually, for most people merchandise the e.u. that are operating or
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citizens of the e.u.; that's fairly low down the list of what the european union's about. it's common markets, an area of free movement of people, and it's a currency area. its goals traditionally have been cupid of economic and social. -- kind of economic and social. the strategic aspect is relatively new and not to really been thought through, you're correct about that. and i'm not sure that we necessarily want to now -- one thing the europeans are really good at is spending years on agonized debates about the purpose of the union. i'm not sure now is necessarily the time to have a debate about the e.u.'s strategic purpose. i think they toe is -- nato is an institution that exists and that works and really that, i think, is the institution that's going to have to do the strategic thinking about how to deal with this, with the kind of military aspects and the strategic aspects of all this. the question of e.u. enlargement to ukraine is felt, i know here,
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as to the massive missed opportunity by the european union. why didn't they do this years ago? viewed from european capitals, the answers are quite, you know, simpler, that there was very little appetite for further enlargement amongst the populations of the european union after the last enlargement that the, what's actually involved in incorporating a country into the e.u. is massively complicated, and it's a process of many, many years. so i can see what the scowcroft and the kingennier -- kissinger's are getting at, but it is more complicated than it seems from this side of the atlantic. energy and gas, i think that's going to be very important, and i think that could be one very positive thing about this crisis if it gets the americans to kind of resolve the debates about the exports of the clear energy bonanza in the u.s. that would be good news i think,
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actually, for measuring as well, but also certainly for the your boons. and just a last concern europeans and just a last thought on, you know, this theme that's underlied a lot of what we've been talking about, that putin has play 3 a fantastic hand and we've been, you know, hopeless and don't really know what we're doing. i mean, i think it's too early to say this is a master stroke on the part of putin. i mean, it seems to me if you look back at the history of the last 20, 30 years, one of the lessons is that countries that use military force generally it looks quite good the day after or the month after, it often doesn't work out too well. so for russia going into afghanistan in 1979 was arguably the death knell of the soviet union. i'm not sure that the interventions in hungary/czechoslovakia look so great in the light of history. he may get away with crimea in the sense that there's an
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element -- it's a strongly pro-russian area, so you may not get an insurgency. if he goes into eastern ukraine, i think that would be a disaster for russia in the long term even though it might look strong in the short term. and even for us as we think about our responses to this kind of thing, you know, obama's not wrong to think, actually, american military interhavingses in recent years -- interventions in recent years haven't worked out so well and perhaps one should think about other responses before you start rushing to put on your military fatigues. and so i think that, as i say, that he who uses force in the modern world, it's kind of a certain are the row thrill, but it doesn't actually work out that well generally. >> great. roger, we'll just walk down the line. >> thank you. well, on nato i have colleagues on the op to ed page -- op-ed
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page who have argued this view that is a great mistake after the end of the cold or war or was extending nato eastward. this gave russia a sense of being corner ld, and here we are. my view is more or less exactly the opposite. i think it's the greatest achievement of the post-cold war years was precisely extending the protection and security of both nato and the e.u. to these nations that had been enslaved within the soviet empire. and i think what we're witnessing today is how much tore sight and diplomatic -- foresight and diplomatic brilliance was shown in achieving that. if lithuania, latvia, estonia to name the most prominent examples and perhaps the most threatened nations by putin's vision of a reconstituted soviet space, if they were not within these
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organizations, they would be eminently at risk. and the if there's any -- if there's any sense left, sir, of this far but no further, it is precisely in article v of the north atlantic treaty alliance. and i still believe in it, you know? i think -- i don't believe the united states will renege on that commitment. that is a treaty commitment, and whatever the retrenchment, whatever the wavering, whatever the araised red lines, that is a treaty commitment. i believe it's credible to has cow, and i believe the fact -- to moscow, and i believe the fact that it is in place toddy minishes the risks of this combustible situation escalating. i don't think we should allow any veto from moscow on the extension of the e.u. or nato to
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other nations further east, and i think it's the moment to make that clear. that doesn't mean that these things can be accomplished overnight, and they won't be. but personally, i'm in favor of leaving the door open because i believe that history shows us that that's the way you lock in peace, rule of law, security, values to which many people on the face of this earth are deeply attached. yeah, the pinata of the e.u., you know, that's what it is to many people. in europe too, you know? e.u. bashing is a great british sport and not only a great british sport -- and the e.u. has had enormous problems as
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everybody knows over the last few years. nevertheless, i think countries want to get into the e.u., and it's not for nothing. serbia and kosovo have resolved their difficulties having been at war recently. why is that? because they both want to get into the e.u., and they know what they have to do to get there. so, you know, e.u. communications are weak. the e.u.'s efforts to build its image and to have a global image that reflects its actual importance, weight and achievement -- and we've just been talking about this, is there a european narrative. americans know what they celebrate on july 4th. what do europeans celebrate? how can we revive this remarkable but amorphous thing? and i think those are issues going forward. just finally on the -- and by
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the way, macedonia, you know, what i said about leaving the door open, certainly, that applies to macedonia. there was a question about the vietnam war. well, nations and relations do repair themselves over time, and we've certainly seen that with vietnam. we also know that the cost of that war and the tens of thousands of american dead and the imprint of it on the more than consciousness -- on the american consciousness is indelible and, i believe, in perhaps a little more of a minor key the experience of the iraq and afghan wars on the american psyche and consciousness will also be indelible. so we don't want to get into wars. wars are terrible things. we're speaking here on the centennial of the outbreak of world war i. but i think if the postwar
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decades tell us anything, it's that the way to avoid wars is through resolve. it's not simply through folding and weakness. >> thank you, roger. that's great. joe, you have three minutes to bring us home. >> i'll pick two questions, one about nato and one about cuba. cuba is a very interesting analogy. first of all, nato doesn't act. it's governments that act. just like in the crisis it wasn't the e.u., it wasn't nato, it was various foreign min structures -- ministers that did. and in the past it was, obviously, the united states that acted. and if i had my druthers, i would, i would ask, suggest to mr. obama to do a repivot. go back to the central arena and
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do what president john f. kennedy did in '61 when he was challenged by khrushchev. he was a young man, i'm going to teach him fear. and and one of his responses was put, i think, 30,000 fresh american troops into europe. but again, nato and the e.u. don't act, and this is a nice little story which has the advance of being true, the foreign policy representative was asked henry kissinger asked 40 years ago what's the phone number of the e.u.? she says we have a phone number, it's mine. dial the phone number, and then you get the computer and it says for germany, press one, for france, press two. of. [laughter] so the repivot is one word i would use. cue what is -- cuba is interesting because it was the reverse. it was when the soviet union challenged the united states on its turf.
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with the balance of strategic power, the balance of regional power and the balance of enters was clearly on the side of the -- of interest was cleary on the side of the united states. you don't want to challenge the other guy on your periphery. you want him to have to dislodge you from your center or which is what putin has done with the crimea. that's why it's going to be very difficult to dislodge. now, in the long run, yes, i think in the long run history favors us. russia is what soviet union was, an extraction economy with nuclear weapons whose fate depends on the price of energy. the reason why the gorbachev soviet union went down was that the price of energy suddenly hit the same real level as before the '73 oil crisis. so that's on our side. putin has taken a giant leap
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backward from the global markets, from investment, from exchange, from technology transfer. not good for the economy. empire's costly. the mess -- you have to pay a lot to clean up the mess that is both the eastern ukraine and if he grabs it and the crimea. and, you know, within five or ten years there will be oil and be gas coming from the unite, but don't think that -- from the united states, but don't think that's going to start flowing today. there may even be gas from the israeli fields in the mediterranean, but that's kind of medium-run consolation. the nice thing about history being on our side -- which i kind of believe -- is that if history's on our side, we don't have to do anything. we just let history come to fruition. the problem with policy today and tomorrow is that the time frames don't quite mesh.
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so i come back to the beginning. coalitions don't organize themselves. there has to be an organizer, there has to be somebody who assumes the cost, and that's why i demand from mr. obama, mr. obama, stop this pivot bullshit. come back to europe. [laughter] i don't think he will. [laughter] >> i like two words, resolve and repivot. i like it. please join me in thanks our panel for a -- in thanking our panelists for a wonderful discussion. [applause] >> today on c-span, "washington is next. then vice president biden speaks at a conference of the national association >> in about an hour, we will unity health care
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official vincent keane. host: this month marks the fourth anniversary of the affordable care act. we will look at one aspect of health-care system and that is a community health center. we will be live from unity, on your screen there. it is a couple of miles from the capital. that segment begins in about an hour. we want to start off this morning by discussing this new by the media insight project. it is called the personal news cycle.


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