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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 25, 2014 3:00am-5:01am EDT

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where you need to change your focus. we continue to pile it can billion dollars a year on the 22,000 premier border patrol agent, and various ice contingencies all over the country. someone explain to me why we did not objectively look at that. that is what congress is doing. i agree with security about this important issue. we're doing the same thing over and over again piling resources. this has been a change in the minds of the american people. obviously, we're not doing it right. host: we will go to texas, steve. caller: how are you doing. aid to all five of those countries involved. for clinical reasons, but why not go to these
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and tell all the leaders of each one of the that it will be shut down -- will not be shut down until they stop the crime and killing in their respective countries? what's on that point, the wall street journal reported this morning that president obama is meeting with the president of el salvador, honduras, and guatemala on friday to discuss ways to stem the crisis, including the thorny question of how to appreciate tens of thousands of youngsters to countries without putting them in harms way back home. ki fed is an important meeting the president is having. met with theaucus ambassadors to each country, repeating the issue, that we want to help, we are allies, but there is a corresponding responsibility as well.
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what we need to do, the percentage that goes to latin america compared to the rest of the world is miniscule. most of that money going into training,, equipment, it is important. here is the deal. human development, economic development, that is where there needs to be focused. people need to have jobs and they do not want to leave their countries. in a civil society, one of the recommendations i approve of is with united -- united nations building up the judiciary and the independence of that judiciary and law enforcement. pay law enforcement. when the cartel can offer you $10,000 in more money, then the correction will be rampant. civil society and no consequences and the rule of law, those are things we can help build up in those countries. that is nationbuilding.
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nationbuilding is not telling us what to do. it is understanding we need to support them. each country is different. each country needs a specific kind of attention. international monetary fund puts restrictions on how they lend money to el salvador if they do not do certain things. will continue to protect their coffee as an export. those kinds of issues, we need to look at until the monetary fund they need to go in there aggressively and develop associations without conditions. >> douglas, republican caller. you're on the air. caller: i am living on social security. i expect to live on $600,000 a month on food stamps. i do not know where these folks are getting this money to
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transport their children. i do not have that kind of money. i cannot go and visit my >> i do not have a good answer to your question or comment. it is unfortunate. where do they get their money and what changes they have to go through, how they get to these cartels in order to move the children to the border, that is a desperation tactic and i have no idea how they come up with it. journale wall street reporting this morning, a sharp decline in the last week. the week before, 300, last week was fewer than 100. what do you see in our zone -- in arizona? more facilities opened up in texas than need to have the facility for processing. 1300 became less and less important than the number began to drop here it it has to do with the campaigns in those
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countries in terms of the dangers associated. it has to do with the fact those have an opportunity to work with our government to get real, substantive, concentrated assistance for the communities. the big assistance is a reduction of violence. drop,pite the recent there are still things that need to be tackled. congress would have to change the law were significantly increase resources. i agree. we have to increase the resources. that is part of the president's when. i would hope the administration at some point is more definitive for which one of those strategies they're looking at. one secretary will say one thing.
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the president basically has not commented on that. definitive, i think you can put whatever political effort into getting that done. at this point, i could be criticized for saying that will not cross the line according to the law. there has been no real directive as to where we go on this for the administration. >> have you told the president that himself? from themmittee dishes caucasus, we have been firm and our chairman was pretty firm, beyond the point we will not go. if that requires voting against the supplemental, that will happen. you think there are enough votes to pass the supplemental? guest: i think we would need democrats to pass it. were a negotiation
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point in which we could deal with the law, and pass an expedited resource to get the attention the kids need to follow the law, i think you would find a lot of support. for parts of the senate bill, you would find a lot of support. to make the centerpiece a protection of human traffickers it is ok, is to say, we will get rid of the law and there will be no protection for a huge,, that is fundamental, historic mistake the congress has made. and they will vote no. guest: with the exception. claire. host: have you talked to mr. claire? guest: cordial, but there is a in the approach. what happened to some of my democratic colleagues in the house is they jumped through the trap too soon.
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they do not let the american public come to grips with what we are dealing with here. as people begin to understand ofrything, the level to die down and the decent american people get to comedie down and the decencye american people begins to come up. long enough,wait politically speaking, strategically speaking. they jumped at it. now, it becomes something not just in this moment, but for a long time, that is part of their legacy. springs national park, arkansas, elizabeth, independent caller. caller: i get disgusted when i hear congressman and senators who i feel are totally un-american when you come to this country and the people, the mexicans and people from latin america come here and do not
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become americans. they keep wanting more of their people coming in. i do not want to go to south america, i do not care for the people there. host: why would you say that? i am beingeel like held hostage as an american to pay for these people. if i were to go for with a backpack and did not speak the language to south america, i don't think they would take care of me for a week, even. host: ok. congressman? guest: interesting question, i am careful about how i responded to this to be honest. underlining this whole immigration, there is an underlying grid to it, unfortunately. that has to do with changes going on in this country demographically. it has to do with many people feeling fearful and threatened that their america is not there america as they wanted to be.
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the fact remains that america is changing. latinos in this country have been in this country forever. the presence of a latino community that both serves the military, pays taxes, i was born in this country -- it is just the reality. the underlying grid that involves the issue of race is one of the most disturbing divisions you see in the debate. it is coming more and more to as the frail elements begin to control the discussion. for the good of america, the sooner we get around to dealing with immigration reform as a whole, the better off we're going to be. like on "mash" when i was a kid. new englandht
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doctor who once said my family has had trouble with immigrants since we got here. the same situation is repeated, and much uglier terms. florida, you are on with congressman grijalva of arizona. caller: good morning. hi. my opinion is that america should clothe the children, pampere children, the children. the parents should fight for their children's liberty. give them all the material they need to get it done. then send the kids home to their parents. the bible says that you should be nice to a foreigner. because one day a foreigner might be nice to you, hopefully. that is what you do. you be nice, you clothe them.
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get rid ofparents the drug cartels, kick them out of the country. >> --host: you were saying something similar earlier about cartels. guest: that is the root. just like we did with -- like we're doing with russia in terms of sanctions and like we are doing with terrorist organizations and the friends they have in the u.s. fronts fronts -- and the they have in the u.s. you begin to squeeze their ability to do business, lending and financial institutions are processing the money. you begin to squeeze them the way you squeeze every other group that has been a threat to our country. this is a threat to our country, those cartels, they should be treated as that level as an international threat, not just a border phenomenon we deal with occasionally. host: this is a piece written by
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jeb bush and a co-author, a of th "the solution to the border disorder." jeb bush saying the members of congress have offered more pragmatic ideas than the president. the speaker of the house called for the national guard. legislation by john mccain and not cnn, all from arizona, where thousands of children have been sent, have introduced those to treat all the little immigrants entering from mexico in the same way. allowing their immediate return. to their native country. fundamentals the difference. mr. bush is embracing a philosophy that we need to change the law and we have to make it a priority enforcement issue. i grew up on the border and i represent almost 400 miles of border arizona.
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the men and women of the border do a fine job but i respect them. to further militarize the region that most of my colleagues do not know about and continue to talk about, we need to do that. that inind it ironic texas it depends so much on the economic exchange of mexico for their economy. per capita it has the highest number of it and documented -- of undocumented people working for their economy. i found it ironic that the only solution they can come up with is seven national guard to the border. it is sensationalism at its best and political opportunism. host: republican caller, go ahea d. in referencealling to the children. i'm not sure if you are a senator or a congressman -- host: congressman from arizona.
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caller: he said they do not want to leave, i have been to these countries, central american countries -- that is not true. my wife, for the past year, i've been having trouble getting her home legally. we have two kids that are u.s. citizens that are stuck down there. beenf my daughters has diagnosed with hepatitis a and i cannot get her home for treatment. i apologize, you are breaking up quite a bit. i think this gentleman is talking about something that many of us feel is also a resource question. something that can help ease the issue of immigration reform. there are millions of people like the spouse that are waiting to be called in, that have passed everything. it is not a question of any
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illegality, they are waiting for that visa to be reunited and bring their citizen children home. millions. and that backlog has nothing to do with anything else other than a severe backlog. these people continue to wait. philippines, a 13 year wait. 8, 5, 6 years of waiting when they have done everything but are just waiting to the call. that is an easy fix that would legitimately process people and bring them to the system to be with their families. barbara, st. louis, missouri, independent caller. caller: i don't think the whatr has been hearing people are saying. he did not say anything on securing the border. issue is, we are almost $18
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.rillion in debt we borrow money from mexico and pay our current bills. where does he think all this money is owing to come from you he talks about violence and drugs in these other countries -- has he ever visited chicago? does he know what is going on in detroit? host: we've got your point. good point. we have domestic issues, some of them are very grave. we have a failing education system. we have too much gun violence in our country on the we do nothing about putting any kind of gun safety legislation together. it has been rejected by the rebel and again and again. we have proposed that there be a fair balance to the taxation policies of this country so little class people are not
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carrying the butter in -- carrying the burden for everyone else. that requires congress to have some level of courage to be able tell corporate america that you need to pay your fair share. so that the deficit, the debt, and the resources we need to take care of the issues you laid out is available not only to the federal government, but the state government as well. we've been on this, some of the house is going to pay, we run our government on two wars on a credit card. the complaint is that this deficit has been caused by the people trying to change that system. i think this country can do much better and they can be much fairer. part of it is how we deal with our revenues and where we get it. host: mike in ohio, democratic caller. caller: good morning.
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guys arey 31, you going on a month recess. know -- i theo republicans still going to send back a delicate -- send back a delegate to check out benghazi, how much are they going to spend? if this immigration thing is so important, why are you staying in session to get this hashed ?ut guest: we should. it is not only the issue of immigration. it is dealing with transportation. a variety of issues that will be put aside while people take a month off to campaign or do whatever. we need to do it during that time. i cannot agree more. if this is a priority, it looks like there is no resolution for the kids in this humanitarian
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crisis on the border, this refugee crisis on the border, there seems to be no middle ground or compromise. , i us to leave that undone think, would be a mistake that would aggravate not only the american people, but make the crisis even worse. going to get difficult in august for any of these relief efforts going on. i think we should act before then. host: on twitter "must take care of domestic albums equally or discrimination will be harsher." republicanalifornia, caller. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. i would like the congressman's is, when iwhy it watch the news at night, i do see the immigrants. i never see a reporter in el salvador, guatemala, i am very
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aware that violence takes place in mexico, israel are on our border. i don't argue with that. i have yet to see one reporter from cnn, any network you can who is reporting to me, saying i am down here in guatemala and here is why these people are coming up here. i have yet to see that. i admire you for taking this on. i would not want your job for all the tea in china. i might be doing the job americans do not want. great point, i agree with you. the mass media that does report univision,do, azteca. they have full-time reporters talking with families and the level of violence, interviewing
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moms as kids are in detention centers. i agree, i wish there would be one in which the american people would see the profile, the reality of what is going on in those countries. brewer, arizona republicans ever, put out a statement saying this. "the obama administration has chosen to avoid digital agents and is releasing unaccompanied alien children into the custody of so-called sponsors." guest: i think the vetting in the background checks and any that takesfamily
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kids has to be scrupulous and in detail. governor brewer has made .mmigration her signature issue she denied kids drivers licenses that were protected under the law. that was thrown out by the federal court. she raised money to build a wall on the border, which she is not allowed to do. unfortunately, these kids got r politicalnother trap. see howe the drumbeat, much reaction we can get. unfortunately, these kids are getting exploited both on the political front and not being
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dealt with to the degree that they should be so we can on this crisis -- so we can end this crisis. what i find most offensive is that all of a sudden these kids have become cannon fodder for political campaigns coming up. host: how would immigration reform fix this? guest: in the senate, there was additional money for judges. host: in the senate comprehensive bill? guest: that has always been a shortage, immigration judges. there was additional money for dealing with children. last year in the appropriations bill, money was added to the children's line item. otherwise, we would have been out of money a month ago.
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a congresswoman was able to do that and in helping and we'll be joined by ofresentative lofgren california to discuss immigration. she's the ranking member of the judiciary subcommittee on security.n and border "washington journal" is live on c-span every day, 7:00 a.m. eastern. join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> 40 years ago the watergate scandal led to the only resignation of an american president. tv revisit 1974 and the final weeks of the nixon administration. this weekend the house judiciary
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committee as it considers president and the the charge of abeution of power. >> you have your questions about in mind,framers had question about whether the that had been found out by the committee and by the senate watergate committee were indeed impeachable. and thirdly, can we prove that aboutd next son knew them -- nixon knew about them and even authorized them. >> watergate 40 years later, sunday night at 8:00 on american history tv on c-span 3. spaces of the house committee spoke with two astronauts on thursday. commander steven swanson and wisemanngineer reid talked about their mission. this is a little more than a half-hour.
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i'll recognize myself first for an opening statement. tod morning, and welcome today's event with two american theonauts direct from international space station. through satellite communications we will speak with nasa astronauts, receive swanson and board thean on international space station. above usrbit 260 miles traveling 17,000 miles per hour. nasaver 13 years, astronauts have lived and worked station.ace the space station is roughly the football field including the end zonings. it has more livable space than house, along with science labs that will allow six astronauts to live and work
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there. include twots today americans, three russians and one european. fromwill speak to us today the destiny lab where they are conducting scientific experiments on weightlessness in space. aboard the space station we can develop new materials and medicines that will make their into the commercial products earth. use here on the microchips in our computers, light weight melts alloys, using our cars to touch pad screens on our i pads. more importantly, the station is a place to test new technologist that could assist future astronauts when they venture to mars and other moons and planets throughout our solar system. space inspires future big andons to dream work hard. astronauts serve as role models
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who inspire students to study science, math and engineering. they also encourage scientists to develop the innovations that keep our economy strong, and america remains globally competitive. but space is about much more than the tangible benefits of the technology spinoffs that earth. our lives here on our accomplishments in space remind americans, some of our accomplishments. many americans remember where nay were 45 years ago last when apollo 11 landed on the moon. the first footprints on the surface were made by americans. the u.s. should always lead the in space exploration. inspires ourus and curiosity about what's out there much it also inspires us and to push our mental and physical boundaries and seek weanses to timeless questions about life, our existence and the meaning of
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it all. thank nasa both at johnson space center in houston their headquarters in washington d.c., for their hard work in making this possible. also after today's event there will be a showcase of i.s.s. hardware and research presented by nasa, the center for the advancement of science and space the national space biomedical research institute much these organizations are in micro gravity research and you'dlyization of the international space station. next-door in room 2325 down the hall. so please go take a look and listen to the roundtable discussion that will be held. i will now recognize the ranking member, the gentleman woman from texas, miss johnson, for her opening statement. >> thank you very much, me welcomen, and let our audience and also welcome our former chairman of this that just came in,
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mr. garten. i'm looking for to hearing from my astronauts today about life on the international space station and the challenges and opportunities they face. i hope that we can follow formal event with a hearing at a later date that comprehensiveore examination of the international space station and its and support of exploration as well as for basic and applied research. this past weekend the 45th anniversary of the landing on the moon. it was a bold achievement. recent assembly of international space station. success of both of these ventures depended on the pastation and bravery of and present members of the astronaut core. the risk, they willingly face the name of science and exploration. members join me in saluting them. while the road to the completion
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one, theg international space station stands at one of the emerging age, and amodern testament to american ingenuity and perseverance. in addition, the international partnership of the international stood the testas of time, providing a foundation for few long-term space parper inships much the international space station has great inspirational value for our people and you see many of here. as evidenced of by the intention interest of our students and talking to the orbiting and in developing science projects that may fly on the station. of that interest from my district. yet the stark reality is that stationrnational space is a parishable commodity, and the future is now. in terms of utilizing this unique facility. welcome the president's proposal to extend the international space station
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least 2024, wet need to make sure that the years that are available are used effectively to answer the research of engineering questions that can only be answered on the international space station. to make one more point. thee want to ensure that international space station carries out the needed research and technology activities in a productive fashion, we have to be willing to make investments. the international space station research budget is stagnating, and the agency's life and micro science's budget has been cut deeply over the past decade. funding forate biological and physical research and fiscal year 2014 accounts less than 3% of the total stationional space funding. clearly this is a situation
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rectify.can and must in closing, i look forward to today's downlink and the ourrtunity to hear from astronauts. i thank you and yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. i'm going to introduce our astronauts now. the first is astronaut steve joined nasa as a flight engineer on the shuttle training aircraft in 1998. that year he was selected as a mission specialist. dr. swanson's third space flight. he launched earlier this year along with two russian cosmonauts. call three are expected to return to earth in september. received his bachelor of science of engineer and physics at the university of colorado, master after plied science from florida atlantic university, and his doctorate in science from texas a & university. sprawt reed wiseman began his career as a naval aviator. his initial training he made two deployments toed any
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operationspporting southern watch, enduring friend and iraqi freedom. was selectedeman for the astronaut program in 2009, while he was deployed to the middle east. you may recognize channeler wiseman from the many photos that he tweets from the international space station. overwitter account has 160,000 followers. commander wiseman earned his bachelor of science degree from a lary --er rensaeleer. let me go now to the mechanics going to first let me thank the members who are present here for their interest and many of them for their participation as well. we will do our best to go through questions and answers as efficiently as possible. questions for the astronauts will alternate between the majority and minority, each sigh
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minutes. a total of 10 and members recognized will have two minutes each. and let me say to the extent members can be brief, we won't go over that two-minute and then allber members or more members will be able to ask questions. there will be fewer members, there's a hard hard the and that'sto why there's only 10 minutes on the side. i have participated in downlinks past, so i will forego my question, and hopefully this for anotherore type member. we have a few moments before we start the downlink process much as a reminder, when you speak to the astronauts, press couplelk button, wait a seconds, and then speak. you have to wait for the to get to the station. once you're finished with your question, please turn the for ahone off and wait response. this is so that the astronauts do not get feedback on their side. most importantly, please do not
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interrupt the astronauts while are speaking. the delay in transmission does back and forthd conversations. so it must be nice to be an not beut and interrupted. we've now come to a time where we are going to wait just a few minutes for the downlink to begin. to havee're just going a pause here. this is dangerous to allow so many membersth so here. maybe i should say no one is iing to be recognized for provizations or jokes, so we'll just have to be patient and wait for the downlink. and again thank not only the members for being here, but it's nice to see a full house in the audience as well. this is a special occasion, i done think this has been in congress for many, many years. it's a nice thing to witness firsthand, it's historic in lots
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of ways, and again i do think the international space station our greatest engineering feat, and we'll see the astronauts in action today. with that we'll just be quiet few >> mr. chairman, maybe former chairman ralph hall. what i wasexactly worried about. >> maybe former chairman ralph hall can entertain us with a few from the great state of texas. >> well, you couldn't give me enough time. >> thank you, ralph. way just a minute. >> this is mission control houston, please call the station for a voice check.
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me?ow do you hear >> we hear you loud and clear. >> that is great. from california will be recognized for a quick question. >> i appreciate this opportunity direct question, and i'm sure, well, you may have but sandravie, bullock just had a movie called thevity" and it dealt with whole idea of space debris. you mightwondering if be able to give us an understanding of the challenge spacece debris, how the station deals with it. and if there's some other that we mayike that not be thinking about here that we have to deal with before we new station in space in the years ahead. >> it's a good question,
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congressman. do have to worry about space debris up here. couple nights a ago we had to do a da bring avoidance -- debris avoidance maneuver. hase lucky mission control a good program set up sob when they see that, they go ahead and execute and it within a few hours we're out of harm's way. we have people on the ground mo that for us. they can track that and keep us safe. gentleman from texas, mr. johnson, is recognized. >> thank you very much, and greetings to commander wiseman and dr. swanson. excitement on this end watching you. i'd like both of you to comment the as respects of the international space station program that's most important. and enabling human space beyond the earth
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orbit. >> well, i don't want to take your entire day up, i could talk about this subject forever. intoy it's getting humans low earth orbit and having us live up here right now for six months at a time. a year we'llver have scott kelly up here for an entire year, and it's all the human that happen to the body and also what our spacecraft needs to provide to like oxygen, to breathe, water to drink, all the food, the supplies and just running this machine through its paces over six months or even a year time, that's what we're going to need when we go onward and spend two or three years in space. so we knee to test this stuff on the space station, so in a decade or so we did go to mars successful journey. >> mr. hall is recognized.
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thank you forn, i linking our committee to these two astronauts. i remember the house floor on june 23, 1993, and this committee in this room, when this committee came within one vote of killing the space station. congressman markey had fought forever. we wanted to provide something our children can dream about, so i'll just ask a simple question. the space think station has inspired young people and can give us some efforts on the space station to engage young peep and inspire them to pursue stem education, what would you say to greatest station's legacy? i yield back. >> well, i do agree with you tremendously about the stem program. matter of fact, one of the got heredid before i was work on piers with students
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the local high school. the kids themselves get to program the spheres satellite so they float around, and they have competitions. when they got though have their program, they got so enthused and technology it .as fantastic >> thank you very much. thank you so much. i have to tell you, i am so excited, i wish i could be you when i grow up. question and greetings to low weissman, a follow marylander. driedpack such freeze crab kaks for you up there. tell us -- you could i got that signal. i wonder if you could tell us, though, the importance of the work that you do and how you inspired to join the space program. because ired you,
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think it is really a challenge for us to figure out what inspires the next generation of explorer. a great question, and i think back to my childhood and certainly it was when the space was just beg developed and launched back in 1981. thes around 6 years old at time and i definitely remember a i7 flying over maryland, and was in towson with my parents, of thegone up to the top hill for the simple act of watching a space shuttle flay on a 747.k of and that probably started the course they was onto become not pilot, test pilot and then an astronaut, so to me know as adults, we never know thatly thing that ofl spark the imagine nation a child's minute. for me it was a simple aairplane, that act of being with my parents, that's what sparked my nanl r imagination.
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as much as we can from up here and nasa on the ground to to thisexpose them world, this stem world that's in known, i think you never when you're going to start their imagination. >> the gentleman from mississippi. is recognized. >> hey, reed and steve, thanks today.king to us hopefully the chairman of the full committee will allow us to have a congressional trip to the station in the near future. i have a question for you from constituents in south mississippi. suzanne would like to know how the incredibleh school towd -- solitude for the length of your respective missions. is an interesting question. each person probably does it differently. of the things we like to do that helps keep us motivated at time was look out the window on our beautiful planet.
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tree time we go over to this window, we call it cupola. that's what keeps us going, just our bool planet. >> the gentleman from california recognized.s >> thank you, mr. chairman and hello gentlemen. a question for our a, we struggle yourder you could give us perspective on how important space research is to maintaining science?n's lead in right atcertainly it's the cutting edge, and this is just one of our many pieces, i in our overall u.s. portfolio of leading this thatological revolution we're living day-to-day. so i don't know, right here just right, screen to the there's the arm of robonot.
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out last night to do some upgrade and we'll bring it out and get it in full maybe with a set of legs down the read. -- down the road. the work is thanks to government funning and pumping money into this research that's nation, not our just five years down the road, the50 and 100 years down road. alabama,ntleman from mr. brooks, is recognized. >> hi, i'm mo brks from alabama's fifth district, the home of the marshall space flight center. i grew gel the ground shake as a rob it was tested nearby. vividly remember when neil declared one small step for a man, one jibe leap for man kind the apollo program was exceptionalism at its best. it made us all proud to be
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americans. is, what mission should america's space program nextembark onto be the giant leap for man kind? beyes, i believe we should getting ourselves to mars, i know it a difficult road to get can dobut i believe we it. we have to learn how to live in eace and recycle everything we need to from water, air, everything we need to do, grow all that stuff so we can reduce the amount of right hereth us, and we're starting it off. i any going to mars is our main goal. >> the gentle woman from massachusetts, miss clark, is recognized. >> thank you, and it's great to be here. i have some questions from the summer program students in cambridge, massachusetts. submitted over 40 questions, so i'll be quick.
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from dante, how do you pack, do you bring a suitcase, and what's the temperature? use chloe, what fuel do you shuttle.t the space and luke, has anyone had a birthday, and if so, how did you .elebrate >> okay, so we pack in a very very small suitcase, it's about big, we get about one and a half kilograms. the fuel we why for our rocket ship we basically use kerosene and oxygen to get up here. we're on the space station we have a fuel mix that we use to keep us here, but we enginesve to burn our very often. we did have a russian crew mate who had a birthday and right the camera we have a dinner table there, and we all gather around that table, all six of us, and we share u.s.
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food, european food, russian much our juices, some of the russian teas are very nice. and we just join together and have i really great evening. unfortunately, i don't think tore were any presents unwrap, but sasha, i think he was happy enough. so it was a great event. >> the gentleman from florida, recognized.s >> dr. want son and commander wiseman, sometime it's hard for americans to understand why human space station exploration is so important. take a moment to explain how the work you're doing now on the international space station benefit americans? what are you up to? >> there are a few different question.ok at that when we're doing research right now, on the scientific aspect, we do, from new ways to learn it detailsks, and part of it, we do medical
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research, through station with wayse've come up to get chemotherapy to the body moreas of the effectively. the other thing you have to look that humans are meant to explore, i believe, and this is we need to it fulfills that idea for the humans and that's one thing we need to do much the other as respect, i believe this good vem, a lot of spinoff technologist come out of that, for the economy. it creates money for our a better world far out of us. ismr. kill her her recognized. you, mr. chairman. get a senseg to more of how the space station to the effort to go to
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market, a little more specific about what the utility is of the space station much he also wants look out into this century, what's on the horizon, what other new frontiers do you think we're wallsanceisit and he to know how many other planets to is that right? all right. >> let's start with the end question. planets. limitless. just depends on how good our lifetimes asn our to how many we're going to discover. perhaps every time you like up night at any system you have to think there's a solar system that start. for the space station, how does this play and our long duration missions much if we're going to a three plust on year journey. that could be your heart, your
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muscles, your bones, that could solarr engines, your rays, any piece of that pus el qualm as part and now you've mission to mars. so this is where we start the fundamental blocking acing and eling of this challenge to get to the research. intocycle our urine drinking water. we recycle water into oxygen, we amazingeally regenerative system up here and it proving extremely effective working on liability. and i hope that covers enough questions. >> the gentleman from texas. thisank you for having broadcast today, as you are my constituents i appreciate what you're doing. i'm also proud of our friday and our support of you, but some of may know that up here it's
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not universal support. which i think is a mistake. and what would you, if you were me, what would you tell my colleagues why they should be supportive of your efforts and timeswe should vote three the amount of money that we're supporting right now. times, do i -- i don't care. >> i would be happy with twice, but that's a really good question. again it goes back to what do we provide for the taxpayer and i to provident research and development, that's what we get out of this, we get new science, new research, which always helps a future, and again that creates new companies but it's better for the economy. are explorers are, which again help the whole human race.
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>> the gentleman from california. my questions today come from the bay area and i aspiringe young astronauts with questions, san ramon the first question is an for commander wiseman and that is what is your favorite food in space? and also for dr. swanson, the question is do you think one day we'll encounter life from climate? lover, but there is one particular food that they know when they open the desserts all chocolate pudding cake wiseman'stly to reid locker. so i'm harding chocolate pudding cake, i cannot get enough of this stuff. i tried it on earth and didn't like it that much. but there's something about this i'm in love with.
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i'll pass it to dr. swanson for the followup. >> for the followup question, i have to say yes. an, as reed pointed out, there are so many solutions out there, so many possibilities. i figure that it just mass to be, and sometime it will happy. >> the gentleman from arizona, is recognized. mr. chairman, and howdy.f wants me to say in your experience so far whash have you found that has robust,d you on what's has held up quite well on the what have you and found that is fragile that you see we're going to have to do future engineering on it. >> so i would lead that off, sir, with this is my first space the space i've known
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station information man years, day of theur 5,000th exhibition here. agingcted to see an system, i expected it to be from the tv maybe it does look messy, but every one of these wires has a purpose much and this is a lab arer to, it's in amazing shape, it's been very exits a testament to the engineering that went in, design.stness of the this thing looks like a brand new machine up here. very i pressive from that aspect. such things that aren't quite as reliable, the things that have yourised me a little bit is really get to see how quickly technology on earth develops here.ou come up this was developed in the eight and 90's, and really you do see net cables running all around the outside because we that tech not when they built it. tablets,lew up some
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there's a device that a year ago hardly knew, and now i cannot live without. you can see the evolution of technology up here. i don't know how you account for that, but something we'll have to look at. >> the gentleman woman from connecticut is recognized for the last question. >> thank you. the students of water bring, connecticut know what they can best do to become astronauts of the future. studyalways goes with hard. you have to do well in school, that's a given. also it's fine something that you are really passionate about in life. of course it helps if it's science, tech not or engineering to get in job, but you find an area that you're passionate it well, enjoy it and that will show when you try to become an astronaut. for,s what they're looking somebody who is passionate about the things they do.
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>> unfortunately we are out of time. we want to thank you both for spending 20 minutes with us today. appreciate all your answers to the questions. we look forward to supporting you in the future, we'll talk again. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> just a reminder, please go to hall for then the showcase on the i.s.s. hardware presented byrch nasa, and thank you all again for being here today. this was a special event.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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>> a couple of live events. the house oversight and government reform can he is looking into political activities at the white house. the house foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and north africa will mark up resolutions related to the israeli-palestinian conflict.
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>> a bipartisan group of senators is introducing a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the middle east to halt the fighting in gaza. this is 15 minutes.
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>> thank you for coming. bipartisanship still reigns when it comes to the israel-palestinian relationship. i am glad we have kept a bipartisan focus. so we will be unveiling a resolution that i think is an important statement at an important time. everybody would like the violence to stop but we want the violence to end forever. and our belief is that there is no moral equivalencey between what is happening between hamas and israel. hamas is doing everything it can to put its civilians at risk hoping that israel will attack a target in civilian casualties will ensue for political purposes and they are doing they can to kill israeli children. the best way to protect palestinian children is to stop trying to kill israeli
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children. at the end of the day, a ceasefire that leaves hamas in place is dooming everybody in the palestinian world who lives under the hamas yolk and puts israel at risk. so we are calling on a ceasefire that gets to the heart of the problem. and i believe the heart of the problem is hamas wants to destroy israel. there is no amount of negotiating ever going to get that out of their system. so we hope that a ceasefire will be done upon conditions not to repeat the mistakes of the past. that a cease fire will be done in such fashion as israel can deal with the tunnel threat which is new and lethal effectively and permanently, that they can deal with the rocket sites being positioned to hospitals schools and apartment complexes that when the cease fire is done israel will have an opportunity through diplomacy or military action to deal with the threat. and finally when a cease fire
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is done, we hope the palestinian people will have a chance to live in peace and that means hamas has to go as a governing entity. there is no way to get there from here if you leave hamas in place. we have had two ceasefires in the last four years and the same thing happens over and over again. they rearm, they attack again. because the one thing they want is the one thing we are not going to give them the destruction of the state of israel. >> let me thank my partner on so many different issues, and all of our colleagues here today. we all mourn the loss of innocent life on the israeli and gaza side of the border. there is one word that describes the reason. there is one word that explains the reason that there is such a loss of innocent life. hamas. if hamas had agreed to easefire, which egypt, a
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muslim-arab country proposed, there wouldn't be such a loss of life. but hamas doesn't want to do that. the last time they agreed to a ceasefire it lasted about five hours hamas then continued to launch rockets. so the ceasefire was virtually useless. the only way to have a ceasefire that is going to make a difference is to make sure that hamas no longer has the capability of launching rockets into israel or sending killers through tunnels into israel. so you need a ceasefire that is going to work and be permnent and long term. occur t ceasefire should only after hamas is denuded of the missile and only after the tunnels are no longer useful. it amazes me and typical of hamas, they got a limited amount of concrete into gaza,
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they said they needed to construct schools and homes and what did they use it for? tunnels. all these tunnels are lined with concrete in an effort to kill israeli civilians along the gaza border. many of us are just frustrated with the double standard. we see it on the news, we see it among the commentators, we see it among average folks, too, sometimes. which is both sides are equally to blame. that is just not true. hamas doesn't recognize israel's right to exist. hamas has sworn to the destruction of israeli citizens and has prime minister netenia huh said aptly israel uses missiles to shield and protect its people. hamas uses people to protect ts missiles.
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>> let's just call hamas we know it's a terrorist organization and what we see happening at this point there is no moral equivalencey between what israel is doing to feevend itself and its people and what hamas is doing often using the civilian population in palestine as shields and that's the mark of terrorism. so israel has to have the right to defend itself and to address the means that these terrorists have not only the tunnels but we have seen instances where they have actually put in u.n. school missiles that they have directed towards israel and the israeli people. so this ceasefire, a ceasefire for the sake of a ceasefire that leaves the means in terrorists' hands to continue to terrorize the israeli people, to terrorize in many instances the palestinians by
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using civilians for shields, that is not a true ceasefire that will lead to peace. and so we need to make sure that hamas no longer has the means to be able to terrorize not only the israeli people what it has done to lob rockets towards israel but also the palestinian people as they are used as shields and really used completely by hamas for their means to try to terrorize israel. >> first let me thank my colleagues for being here. this is clearly a nonpartisan support for what is right, what is fair. last thursday i was proud of the united states senate. we passed unanimously a resolution that recognized israel's right to defend itself, recognized that the violence is gg caused by hamas terrorist group. recognized that hamas cannot be part of the governing structure of the palestinian authority. that was passed unanimously
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last thursday. since that time, as senator schumer pointed out the egyptians have brought forward a ceasefire, israel was prepared to move forward on it. hamas said no. we had a short time-out for humanitarian aid. israel complied with it, hamas did not. it is very clear, the world now knows that hamas as embedded its missiles in schools and hospitals. it has used human shields. it hides itself its own network underneath hospitals and schools? order to protect themselves. that is known. it is now clear to everyone what hamas' strategy is all about. we all want to see peace between israel and the palestinians. we want to see that. that has been our dream, that has been our goal. but it is also clear to us that a ceasefire cannot occur until israel is protected against the missiles entering their country aimed at innocent civilian
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populations. and it can't end until these tunnels are brought to an end. these are not the tunnels that were on the egyptian border used to bring missiles into the gaza. these are turnls being used to terrorize the israelis, to try to capture israelis for kidnapping purposes and trying to terrorize the country. that also needs to end. so our message is pretty clear. we want to see a ceasefire, we want to see peace, but the missiles from hamas must end. the tunnels must also end. >> i just want to echo the comments made by my colleagues. i think this is the most systemic use of human shields in modern history. there is a video now leaders of hamas going on television in gaza telling people to go to the rooftops and stand up against israel that this is an effective means of resisting. meanwhile they're hiding in bunkers. some of these command centers are underneath hospitals. what is even more outrageous is
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not just the reaction of hamas but the reaction of some in the international community. just yesterday the so-called united nations human rights council made up of such illustrious members of cuba and china and others condemning israel and calling for an investigation. a 700-word report with not a mention of hamas. a brief mention of rockets. and no mention of the use of human shields. we have never seen in the mod rn history of the world any organization use human shields the way hamas is. that's an outrage. and to leave these people in the position of power means we will have another one and another one. here's the bottom line. as long as hamas is in gaza there will be no peace in this region. >> i think that at a time of partisan differses, this moment is a rare and profoundly important time for us to come
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together and express our nation's moral revulltion. it is more than just a political sentiment. what an just a sense of is tactically right but a moment of deep moral re vullings. that's the sense of outrage that our entire world community should have at this moment when children are used as human shields. that is a systemic practice that is unprecedented in the anls of lore. it is the essence of terrorism to destroy innocent lives. that is why it rouses terror and that is what hamas is doing here. so a ceasefire will end this conflict for the most but it will not absolve of hamas of
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the moral responsibility and rep hention for these desperate despicable tactics. > thank you. >> do you believe israel went too far today in shooting at the schools wrr the refugees were held? >> no. i don't believe israel has gone too far at all. just put yourself in israel's shoes. how far would we go? what would we do if we were attacked by a neighboring country missiles coming into our country tunnels dug under our borders and people coming into our borders to kidnap citizens and use holy sites, use schools, the press report that one of the u.n. schools they found rockets in the school and the u.n. gave them back to hamas. that was pretty dumb. so no. i don't find israel going too
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far. i find the international community going too far. there is no moral equivalencey as senator ayotte said. the ukrainian rebels they're thugish they're brutes they were drunken around a site of human tragedy. these guys are boy scouts compared to hamas. >> i don't know of any country that has gone to such extremes to try to protect the civilian population. everything they have done is to get innocent people out of harm's way with the obligation that israel has to protect its own citizens from missiles coming into its population centers. so i give israel a great deal of credit for the manner in which they have tried to warn palestinians and obviously they are face with an unprecedented situation when you have the missiles and control centers embedded into civilian facilities such as schools and hospitals mosques.
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>> first, the loss of life, at the school is so regrettable. but the blame falms on hamas' shoulders because they have repeatedly used civilian sites including schools to hide missiles. hamas is the group that under palestinians not to flee. why? the only logical answer is they wanted them killed so they could use them in their propaganda war. and so we regret the loss of life. it is horrible. the reason it is happening is hamas. that is the problem here. hamas using people as shields, shooting missiles at israel, storing those missiles in schools, holy sites and civilian areas. >> i think all of us have visited israel. and some of us together. and we talked to israeli leaders about not only this latest situation but about others that they faced which
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perhaps with fewer extremes have involved the same tact 86 on the part of hamas. i can tell you, having seen heir faces, listened to their voices, the leaders of israel, share the pain and grief. and they go to every possible length with great emotion not just intellect but deep and sincere emotion to avoid these kinds of carbles. -- casualties. so none of this is done lightly. it is survival. israel is fighting for survival. and as senator graham said so well, if the united states or any other country faced the onslaught, the attack, the aggression and sought to defend itself as carefully with such cal bration as israel has done, they would be praised. >> thank you, all.
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when you're in a think tank your real utility is not trying to second guess the policy maker on the issues of the day be help to raise their day to help them look over the horizon to see what are the issues that i'm going to confront a year from now five years from now ten years from now, how do i think strategically about america's role in the world. >> on the next "washington journal" we'll focus on foreign olicy.
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>> a couple of live events. the house oversight and government reform can he is looking into political activities at the white house in a hearing on c-span-3 at 9:00 eastern. at 9:30 on c-span 2 the house foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and north africa will mark up resolutions related to the israeli-palestinian conflict.
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>> up next, a senate foreign relations can he on iraq. members heard from a representative of the state department, a former c.i.a. analyst, and a former u.s. ambassador to iraq. this is a little less than 3 hours.
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good morning. this hearing will come to order. today we folk ous on iraq and u.s. policy options, but to fully examine the crisis in iraq we must acknowledge the broader context of developments across the region. earlier this year i heard a hearing on the spillover of the syria conflict to examine the impli implications of continued violence in syria and how it would impact the stability and security of neighboring countries. now we are seeing the very dangerous results of that spillover. with the advancement of isis, the increase in sectarian violence, underscored by the discuss solution of any real border between iraq and syria and the designation of isis of a caliphate across syria and iraq that is threatening to create a security vacuum in the heart of the middle east.
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while the today's hearing will not focus specifically on the regional threat posed by isis or on u.s. syria policy, i want to take this opportunity to restate my long held position that we must enhance our support to the moderate syrian opposition. the only ones willing to challenge isis and other al qaeda affiliates in syria. it seems to me that at the end of the day supporting moderate forces must be one pillar of a broader u.s. policy in the region. no one should be surprised that iraq is the victim of this spillover. but we should be extremely concerned by the rapid expansion of isis and alarmed by iran's clear involvement in iraq. and we should be dismayed by the convenient alignment of interests in response to recent developments. especially in iraq. at its core, this alignment is about self-preservation of rogue actors that seek to maintain power by destabilizing others
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and keeping weak governments susceptible to malign influence. in my view, iraq does not have to proceed down this path and it is up to iraq's leaders to chart a different course for their country. i'm deeply disappointed that after years of u.s. investment and time and resources, the loss of thousands of american lives, and the commitment of billions of dollars to support iraq's political development and the creation of a responsible, capable iraqi security deserted communities they were responsible for protecting, abandoned u.s. military equipment and fled from isis fighters. at the same time, isis' expansion across iraq and its reception by iraq sunni communities and tribes would not have been possible except for the accumulation of years of destructive sectarian, corrupt policies by the central government in baghdad. iraq has the potential to be an economically prosperous, diverse and politically representative
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model for others in the region. but iraqi leaders have focused on their own sectarian and ethnic interests for too long at the expense of building an iraq for all iraqis. the time is now for iraq's elected leaders to form a national unity government, that is truly representative. i applaud the recent progress in nominating a speaker and two deputy speakers for iraq's parliament, and today's promising news that a president has been named. i encourage iraq's leaders to continue this critical work and finalize the government with leaders committed to leading an iraq for all iraqis. while iraq's leaders continue negotiations to form the next government, the department of defense has completed the assessment of iraqi security forces. i look forward to hearing from our administration witness on the findings and recommendations provided by u.s. advisers and plans going forward to counter the threat from isis and congress' role in this effort. let me take a moment to highlight the particularly dangerous situation of minority communities in iraq and
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particularly iraqi christians. i recently joined senator stabenow in a meeting with archbishop bashar water from the diocese of erbil. his description of the terror that isis inflicted in iraqi christian communities is truly horrifying and i hope our witnesses today will share with us steps the administration is taking to address the urgent and unique situation of iraqi christians. senator stabenow has asked i submit several letters for the record, which i will do without objection, regarding the plot of iraqi christians and i look forward to working with her further on this critical issue. i also want to acknowledge that the iraqi ambassador to the united states, ambassador
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ramadi, parts of baja, tikrit.
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though significantly outnumbered, isis managed to overwhelm entire divisions of the iraqi army, many of whom removed their uniforms and ran. isis also has claimed credit for a recent string of bombings in baghdad, as responsible for systemic persecution of christians. thousands of whom are being forced to flee their homes under penalty of death. they don't convert and pay a tax. the report that last month was the deadliest in iraq since 2008, with 2400 iraqis killed, two-thirds of which were civilians. for those of us who were here during the debate over the hard won gains of the surge this is hardly an outcome that would have been imagined back then. and though our intelligence picture in iraq is woefully
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inadequate, the situation should not surprise us for two reasons. the crisis is connected to the disaster in syria, which our country has largely ignored. isis militants have long enjoyed freedom of movement across the porous border in anbar providence and had been in control of fallujah and key parts of ramadi for months prior to the takeover of mosul. since 2009, malachi has systematically shredded an politicized the entire structure of the iraqi security forces, replacing competent commanders with incompetent yet loyal commanders and creating a more sectarian institution that scares the average iraqi as much as isis. despite the connection to syria, it is important to note that this is not just an invasion from foreign fighters. isis simply cannot hold this
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much territory in iraq while maintaining operations in syria without help on the ground. whether we can look -- rather we can look at this as a civil and sectarian war being exacerbated and exploited by a growing terrorist threat. this is yet another signal of how badly prime minister malachi has alienated the sunni population. even if malachi leaves, without political reconciliation among iraq's key communities, no amount of military support can make a difference. but on the other hand, if we do not help iraqi government survive and hold territory now, there is a possibility we will not be discussing political reconciliation in a few months because the country could break apart. today in this hearing i hope we can confront this dilemma head on. i hope we can start to identify the right mix of security assistance and political steps that will help get the country back on the right track.
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i'm open to working with administration to determine what we can do as a nation to help shore up the defenses of the iraqis and encourage political reconciliation among its iraqi leaders. i want to thank you for being here today. i look forward to this hearing and i look forward to us weighing in on what we believe is a most appropriate steps forward. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator corker. let me introduce our first panel, with us today is deputy assistant secretary of state for iraq and iran, brett mcgurk, who has just returned from a six-week trip to iraq where he was assisting the embassy team. and miss elissa slotkin, performing the duties of the principle deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, whose experience in iraq ranges from the intelligence community to the national security council to the state department and now to the defense department. let me remind both of you that your full statements will be included in the record without objection. i ask you to summarize them in about five minutes or so that the members of the committee can
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engage with you in a dialogue. and with that, we'll start with you, mr. secretary. >> thank you. good morning. chairman menendez, ranking member corkers, members of the committee, i thank you for inviting us to discuss the situation in iraq with the focus on the u.s. response since the islamic state of iraq attacked mosul nearly seven weeks ago. let me first review the bidding on why this matters. isl is al qaeda. it may have changed names, may have broken with senior al qaeda leadership like zawahiri but it is al qaeda and doctrine and ambition and its threat to u.s. interests. should there be any question about the intentions of this group, simply read what its leader says, and it is important to pay attention to what he says because we cannot risk, underestimating the goals, capacity and reach of this organization. baghdadi on may 2011 eulogized the death of osama bin laden and promised a violent response. training camps in syria are named after osama bin laden.
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in his audio statements, he issues veiled threats against the united states promising a direct confrontation and in his feud with al zawahiri, he is clearly seeking to lead the global jihad. additionally, isl is no longer simply a terrorist organization. it is now a full blown army, seeking to establish a self-governing state through the tigris and euphrates valleys in syria and iraq. it now controls much of eastern syria, and in january in iraq moved into anbar province taking control of fallujah, and on june 10th, it moved on mosul. i arrived in erbil on june 7th and i'll begin there. in meetings with local officials from mosul and kurdish officials on june 7th, we received early indications that isl was moving in force from syria into iraq and staging forces in western mosul. we immediately asked and received permission from kurdish leaders to deploy peshmerga forces on the eastern side of the city, but the government of baghdad did not share the same sense of urgency and refused the
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deployments. iraqi military commanders promised to send nine brigades of force to mosul in response to our warnings, we stressed however that the forces might not arrive in time. on june 9th, the situation remained extremely tense, and we continued to urge the immediate deployment of additional security forces to protect against an isl attack from west to east. in the early hours of june 10th, isl launched a complex suicide bomb attack against a strategic bridge and poured forces into the eastern part of the city. iraqi resistance collapsed, which led to a panic and snowballing effect southward through the tigris valley and the cities of tikrit, samara and balad. the result was catastrophic. five divisions were dissolved. i flew to baghdad first thing that morning with the focus on ensuring our people were safe, working with ambassador croft and our country team and working with the iraqis to make sure the northern approaches of baghdad were bolstered. my written testimony sets forth the crisis response.
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we first made certain that our people would be safe, including contractors working in bases outside of baghdad, who are evacuated with the help of the iraqi air force. at the embassy, in the airport where we rebalanced staff to manage the crisis and brought in additional department of defense resources to ensure the security of our facilities. at the president's direction, we worked eed improve our intelli direction. these intelligence and security initiatives were undertaken in parallel with regional diplomacy led by secretary kerry to better focus attention on the serious threat. we finally sought to stabilize the iraqi political process, recognizing that this attack took place at most vulnerable moment following national elections that were held in april 30th in which 14 million iraqis voted built prior to the formation of a new government. this process remains extremely challenging but now has some traction. a new speaker of parliament was chosen last week. he is a moderate sunni arab
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elected with the overwhelming support from all major components in the new iraqi parliament. today, just about two hours ago, the new iraqi parliament elected a distinguished kurdish statesman to serve as the next president of iraq. he too was elected overwhelmingly with support from all major components in the newly elected parliament. iraqis are now proceeding along their constitutional timeline to choose a prime minister. which must happen within 15 days. as a president has said, it is not the place of the united states to choose iraq's leaders. it is clear, though, that only leaders that can govern with an inclusive agenda are going to be able to pull the country together and guide the iraqi people through this crisis. the current situation today in iraq remains extremely, extremely serious. isl remains in control of mosul and it is targeting all iraqis, sunni, shia, kurds, who disagree with its twisted version of a caliphate. it joined in an unholy alliance
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with the baath party and some former insurgent groups like the islamic army of iraq. going forward, the iraqis with our support must seek to split the latter groups from isl and isolate isl from the hard core militant groups from the population. the platforms we have established through the immediate crisis response are providing additional information to inform the president and national security team as we develop openings to protect our interests in iraq. any further decisions in this regard will be made in full consultation with this committee and the congress. any efforts we take moreover must be in conjunction with iraqi efforts to isolate isl from the population. this is because while we have a serious counterterrorism challenge in iraq, iraq has a serious counterinsurgency challenge and the two are linked. based on my last seven weeks on the ground in iraq, there is a clear recognition by iraqis from all communities that substantial reforms must be undertaken. this will require the formation of a new government, together with restructuring of the security services. emerging consensus in iraq which
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we can fully support is a functioning federalism, consistent with iraq's constitution, based on the new realities on the ground, and focused on the following five principles. first, local citizens must be in the lead in securing local areas. second, the citizens defending their communities must be provided state benefits and state resources, perhaps modeled on the lines of the national guard force type for structure. third, the iraqi army must be restructured. commanders have failed in mosul and have since been fired and replaced with new commanders who work very closely with. the federal army should also focus on federal functions such as protecting borders and rarely deploy inside cities while providing overwatched support when necessary. fourth principle, there must be close cooperation between local, regional and national security services to gradually reduce operational space for isl, particularly in the province. the government through the new parliament and cabinet must work on package of reforms that can address legitimate grievances from all communities and ensure
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adequate resources. these five principles can begin to address many of the core grievances in the sunni majority areas of iraq and also importantly denying space for isl to operate and there by protect the shia majority and other groups from isl attacks. iraqi leaders from all communities have asked for assistance in implementing this program, and general austin our commander is on the ground today to further assess the situation and discuss concrete ways in which our assistance might be effective. this model of a functioning federalism is achievable, and it is essential if we hope to deny space for isl within the borders of iraq. i look forward once again to discussing more details in the answers to your questions and thank you again for the opportunity to testify this morning. >> miss slotkin. >> thank you chairman menendez, ranking member corker, and distinguished members of the
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committee. i appreciate the opportunity to discuss the administration's response to the current security situation, my remarks will focus on what the department of defense is particularly doing. i just want to foot stamp some of the things that brett just said, the u.s. does have a vital national security interest in ensuring that iraq or any other country does not become a safe haven for terrorists who could threaten the u.s. homeland, u.s. citizens or interests abroad. as the president has said, isl's advance across iraqi territory in recent weeks and particularly its ability to establish safe haven in the region poses a threat to u.s. interests and the middle east. and i don't restrict my views and comments today just to iraq. the geographic borderses of iraq. i believe we have a real regional problem on our hands. as brett has said, the situation on the ground is complex and fluid. we are therefore taking a responsible, deliberate and flexible approach to the crisis.
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but i do want to be clear there is no exclusively military solution to the threat posed by isl. the iraqis must do the heavy lifting. in the meantime, the department of defense remains postured should the president decide to use military force as part of a broader strategy. our immediate goals as announced on june 19th are to, one, protect the people and property -- people and property in iraq. two, to gain a better understanding of how we might train, advise and support the iraqi security forces should we decide to do that. and number three, to expand our understanding, particularly via intelligence of isil. all three are critical to any future u.s. strategy vis-a-vis iraq. and to that end we have done four things through the department of defense. we have added forces to protect our people. the safety of our citizens obviously is our highest priority. the department has met the request for the department of state as described in the war powers notifications. we transmitted the department of
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defense has sent what is called a fleet anti-terrorism security team, what we call a fast team, a crisis response element, and additional military assets and personnel to reinforce security both at our diplomatic facilities in baghdad and at the baghdad international airport. the secretary of defense has also ordered the am fib with us transport ship uss mesa verdi into the arabian gulf. the presence in the gulf is added to other naval ships including the uss george h.w. bush and provides the president additional options to protect american citizens and interests in iraq should he choose to use them. number two, we have vastly increased our intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance isr assets. at the request of the government of iraq, we surged isr over iraq since the fall of mosul and increased our information sharing activities. these isr sorties which are up to 50 plus per day give us a much better understanding of isil operations and disposition
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and allow us to help -- help the isf counter isil. we're now capable of around the clock coverage of iraq and have been focusing our efforts on isil controlled territory and baghdad. we also sent in u.s. assessment teams and stood up joint operation centers. on june 19th, the president announced these additional measures including the deployment of just about 300 additional u.s. military advisers to evaluate how we must -- might best train, advise and support the isf. the small teams of special forces are working to evaluate the isf in and around baghdad in particular. the teams are armed for self-defense, but they do not have an offensive mission. and then the two joint operation centers, one in baghdad, one in erbil in northern iraq, they have both been established to help support the efforts on the ground. secretary hagel and chairman dempsey received the draft assessment of the isf last week
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from central command. department leaders are undertaking a deliberate and rigorous review of the assessment which will inform recommendations to the president. meanwhile, additional assessment work continues as you heard general austin is on the ground today with respect to the developing situation on the ground. in closing, i want to reiterate that we have a vital security interest in ensuring that iraq or any other country not become a safe haven for terrorists. we do need a regional approach and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. yesterday -- during yesterday's hearing with the house foreign affairs committee, you both argued that the policy of the united states should be for a unified iraq with a strong baghdad base federal government. but many look and say that what is happening on the ground is accelerating towards a breakup of iraq because too many of iraq's communities no longer trust the malachi government. and the question is whether there is anything we can do to
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prevent it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think we testified clearly in my written statement as well the model is a functioning federalism under the iraqi constitution. so nobody is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. it simply won't work. there is a model within the constitution for this functioning federalism in which you recognize a very substantial devolution of authorities, the principles of local security control, and that is something that i found in my last seven weeks there is an emerging consensus around. and through the process of forming a government, i think the details will be flushed out. i know general austin is discussing some of the concepts as we speak, special restructuring the security forces. don't think anyone is trying to create a strong central government that will retain control all over the country. in fact, i think everybody recognizes now that from the center out you're not going to be able to retain control in all parts of the country, but also most importantly, locals and tribes on their own also will not be able to deny space for
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isil because of isil's very significant military capability. you need a principle of local security control, but with a national resource base. and that is all within the federalist model of the constitution. >> the question is, though, okay -- so federalist model. the question is can you even get to a federalist model the way things are evolving in iraq? >> i think we can -- i think you can because of -- >> what needs to happen? >> well, first we have to get a new government formed. and that's very important. because the new government will obviously be the body that directs where -- >> what do we envision the time frame of that being? it is past due, right? >> under the constitutional framework and the timelines, as soon as there is a new president, which just happened, there is now a 15-daytimeline to charge a prime minister to form a government. and so we will know within 15 days the prime minister nominee, whoever that is he then has 30 days to name a cabinet and present the cabinet to parliament for a vote. those timelines, however, can be
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substantially accelerated. for example, under the constitution once there was a speaker, there are 30 days to name a president. they did that in i think eight days. and we are working very hard to accelerate those timelines. >> now, if it ends up being prime minister maliki, how do you think you keep the government together? this nation together? >> as i mentioned in my statement, as the president said, it is not our job to pick the leaders, but the leaders do have to have a very inclusive agenda and pull the country together. >> i'm not asking you to pick, nor i do suggest we should. the question is that if that is the result, by their own choice, it seems to me that it is very difficult, based upon what has happened so far, based upon sunni responses to isis, at least in the context of their grievances with president national government, that what is -- isn't the likely outcome of that to be more possible to see a divided iraq?
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>> the prime minister will be chosen from the shia political blocks. and grand ayatollah sistani interestingly over the last month has been very active and laid down some guide posts for how to form the next government. first, it has to correct the mistakes of the past, meaning it can't look anything like the current government. second, you need new leaders that reflect a national consensus. we had that now with the speaker and the president. and so the prime minister will also have to reflect that emerging national consensus. it remains to be seen whether the existing prime minister could build such a consensus. but that remains very much in question. >> you commented in the house hearing yesterday that options being developed for the president are more concrete and specific as a result of the u.s. military advisers in the ground and increase intelligence collection. what guidance have you received in terms of timing for these decisions and how will the political and security conditions on the ground influence the president's
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decisions? >> well, as i said, the assessments came in last week. they're dense. they're significant. and so we're still working through those. after we have done that, the president -- i'm sorry, the secretary and the chairman will make informed recommendations to the president. >> are you going to be able tell us anything more than what i read in "the new york times," more than i knew before you came here? >> i understand. i would caution against using elite half report in "the new york times" as your basis for understanding it. >> the absence of having information leads me to only publicly report it and resources. so when do you intend to come to us in whatever setting to advise the congress? this committee has jurisdiction over arms sales. and my reticence to arms sales to iraq has in some respects been proven true when in fact we have had much of our equipment abandoned and now in the hands
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of isis. so unless you're going to give us a sense of where the security forces are at, moving forward, this chair is not going to be willing to approve more arm sales so they can be abandoned to go to the hands of those who we are seriously concerned about, in terms of our own national security interests. >> sir, i understand. and our intent is to come and brief congress at the time when we have piled through it ourselves. we have kept the congress very informed. i know i've been up at least twice a week for our committees. we are committed to remaining in close contact with you and there is no attempt to hide it from you. >> i would just add, mr. chairman, i think we're in a race against time. there is no question. >> that's my point. >> and one thing we have found, first of all, by surging special forces teams, by surging intelligence assets as you mentioned, we do know more than we knew even six weeks ago. security forces around baghdad and particularly north of baghdad, i described this in my written testimony, are trying to do some things to fight back.
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they have taken a thousand casualties in the last month. these units, we have relationships with, are fighting, they're capable. and those are the types of units that we're looking at ways to further assist. but, again, this is all being discussed by the national security team as we -- >> you have influences here. my understanding is assad has been part of bombing isis in iraq. of course, you have iran here. how is that going to complicate or instruct what you might be willing to do? >> it is part of the overall assessment and i can just speak for my own firsthand experience in the initial days of this crisis as isil it looked like was moving down the tigris valley and our information was very sketchy and there was a bit of a panic throughout the iraqi security forces and we had to bolster them and try to create a circuit breaker so that that advance halted. there was a security vacuum it that there is no question that our strategic competitors sought to step in and fill.
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and iraq lacks any capacity to do deep strikes in their border regions. countries show up at their door and say, hey, we can help you with that. the iraqis have pushed back in some regards, but in some respects they have accepted support. >> they have accepted assad bombing, have they not? >> no. we have no indication there is any coordination with the assad regime when it comes to security cooperation. but they're very concerned about the collapse of their border, particularly the collapse of a strategic border town which fell about three weeks ago. >> they have accepted iranian support? >> they have accepted low level iranian support. there is no question, yes. >> senator corker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just along those lines, how do you assess u.s. influence right now? i know there are a number of other regional interests that are playing a role. i know that those of who visited
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recently know that, you know, before this all occurred, u.s. influence was at an all time low and really almost not present. i know that's changed some. but where -- where would you assess our influence to be in iraq right now? >> senator, i would -- since this crisis particularly in mosul, we have been embraced particularly, our military personnel, who have come in. i was at the joint operations center, which we have set up now. i was there on thursday, speaking with all of our military personnel there, all of whom have years of experience in relationships in iraq. we have been embraced by their military, particularly special forces assessment team, the iraqis have given us full access to air space for intelligence flights, they have given us the legal requirements we need to be there. we have been embraced and i think there is an opportunity because they certainly want our assistance. they want our equipment, they want our training, our fms case is about a -- our package is $15
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billion total. they paid about $11 billion of that. they put $193 million in the federal reserve into that account just last week. so the iraqis are very eager under our strategic framework agreement for u.s. assistance to be the backbone of their response. but, of course, there are things they need to do as well. that's the conversation we're having with them. >> and are there competing interests? as you all are deepening the relationship again and helping in the way that -- in the way that we are, are there conflicts or competing interests that you're dealing with there on the ground? >> yes. and in fact some of the tactics that the iraqis pursue, we totally don't agree with. and in fact i think by moving in aggressively as we have over the last six weeks we'll increasingly increase our influence over some of the tactics. we have advised the iraqis, for example, not to go into urban areas. lessons we learned. the iraqis made a decision to go into tikrit, we didn't really support that decision. we have advised the iraqis since january not to go into fallujah. they have not gone into
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fallujah. there is a military conversation which is a little bit outside of my expertise and that's why general austin is on the ground talking to their new military commanders, and just a point on our influence, we -- i had a number of conversations with the prime minister on down, since january, and said your generals, mr. prime minister, are not telling you the truth about the situation. that clearly was true. particularly in mosul. those commanders are now gone. and they have appointed a series of new commanders who we happen to work very closely with and we hope that type of relationship can continue. >> i think that kind of involvement that we had and we lost, you know, where we were able to have the shuttle diplomacy and have the kind of activity that is now taking place has helped create the situation on the ground. no doubt, on the other hand, prime minister maliki has not been the kind of prime minister to create any kind of sense that a central government can resolve
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the ethnic and civil issues that exist there. do you really believe, bottom of your heart, there is somebody in iraq, the shia sect, that can do that as prime minister if we move through this process? >> senator, we had extreme frustrations with the iraqi government, particularly over the last year. and this one reason we focused most decisively on making sure elections happen, they happen on time, they were credible, and they did happen. they happened on april 30th. they have created a new parliament and through that parliament new leaders will emerge. there are a handful of very capable leaders who may emerge as the next prime minister of iraq, but we'll have to see this one unfold fairly rapidly over the coming days. >> miss slotkin, i know there was a little discussion between you and the chairman relative to the assessment that is taking place. can you just broadly tell us of anything that you all have learned over the last three weeks that you did not know prior to the assessment? >> sure. i think the thing when we put the assessors on the ground that was the biggest open question
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given the march isil had across and into mosul and down is what is the status of baghdad, would the isf be able to defend baghdad. that was our critical first question, especially given the size of our mission there. and i think one of the early things that we saw as we got on the ground was that there was a stiffening of the iraqi security forces in and around baghdad to protect the capital, which we thought was critically important. we certainly weren't aware until we got on the ground. i do think some of the early indications are frankly mixed. that there are some very capable units that have high morale and that are willing and capable of fighting and there are other units where morale is lower, where there may not be as much capability and willingness to actually fight. and it is sorting out the details of that that we're working on right now. >> and if you were to surmise after you do this assessment, what do you think the range of options will be that will be presented to the president
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relative to our activities, militarily, in iraq? >> yeah. i think without crowding any decision space, all of the military options we could possibly consider have to fit into a much wider regional strategy. that's not a lead by the -- >> tell me what that means. you said that in your opening comments. >> sure. >> i think most people on this committee have been concerned. we have very, very strong support for efforts in syria. are you referring to syria and iraq? is that basically -- >> syria in iraq given isil's march, but in particular making sure the -- we don't see a further spread. i mean, i know everyone -- >> okay. >> and jordan has been very particularly a focus for us given the border area there with iraq. but this is part of the administration's attempt to try and create this counterterrorism partnership fund to shore up particularly the neighbors of iraq and syria, to make sure
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that they have a flexible way to respond to the threats, to make sure we don't see that spread. and then to ask for funding for training the vetted syrian moderate opposition so we have some sort of attempt to -- from the inside of syria, to secure up the areas as well. so the -- it is impossible to just look at the isil threat at iraq only because it is, as i said yesterday, it is kind of like air in a balloon. you squeeze on one end, it just goes somewhere else. we need a comprehensive approach outside in and inside out. >> so it is interesting you say that. i think people on this committee have been saying for like a year and a half that when the time was right, when we could have taken steps and in syria, could have prevented this, they weren't taken. and so now it is interesting that the administration's looking at a regional approach. is that solely because now there is a counterterrorism issue that the situation has gotten so bad,
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it didn't have to, but it has, it has gotten so bad now that it is a threat to the homeland and that's the reason you're looking at a regional approach. what do you think it is that has taken so long, with so many people crying out on both sides of the aisle, to, please, do something relative to the moderate opposition in syria, knowing that there is no border there, knowing that it was destabilizing iraq. is it this counterterrorism issue solely that is now caused the administration to look at it regionally? >> so i think the administration has been looking at this regionally for a while. i don't think -- >> has been looking at it. >> well, i don't think that's fair. i think that we have invested heavily in serious border security work with jordan. we have done programs with lebanon. we have done programs with turkey. this is not beginning from anew here. but i do think that the thing that surprised us, frankly, was the collapse of the iraqi security forces in and around


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