tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 12, 2014 11:00pm-1:01am EST
>> thank you. madam chair. >> senator cochran? caucusstand that if your concurs you will chair the committee in the next congress. is that right? >> i hope so. >> senator cochran, please. >> thank you, madam chair. directed to the secretary and it relates to what was discussing. the concerns about some of the facilities being envisioned by the department and the funding is being requested in this unable toal may be byt the goals established the administration. specifically, i have concerns provided for the creation of more than 50 centers ebola treatment may be totally inadequate to
administration's goal. when is your reaction to that? >> thanks you, senator. let me take an initial response and ask my colleague to jump in. first, the request h that we are making here -- that we are support a u.s.to government funded total number of 20 treatment units. number in aarger global strategy and one of the things we have been doing at the state department is to encourage donations from partner governments around the world. expertse view of the fix unit number of treatment beds is critical to controlling the epidemic but we resources for community care centers that can into rural places and be mobile for spikes in the disease isolation and containment. let me ask nancy to join in here.
>> simply that. looking at a strategy that is care and isolation and safe burials and intensive social to that people change their habits all take be together is what we are -- all is what we are seeing in how many of the highly toective areas is beginning yield results and we need to keep at that in a way that is so that as the virus changes and moves we are able to elementright strategic against it. >> madam chair, thank you very much. let me commend the panel. think the quality of the discussion and exchange we had today is excellent. certainly to inform -- better inform the members of of our committee. a serious responsibility that all of you have. have and i understand that you do take it and i commend you for your efforts. >> thank you, madam chair. i have been following part of
office.m my ovicys you have burwell always been available and i appreciate our talk we had earlier this week and secretary too.on, you have, i have known him forever and ever. his hair was dark and i had hair when we first met so. ask this question of the doctor and anybody else this and go ahead.try today as i understand it, zero americans have died of ebola we seeough headlines every day but thousands of americans die every year of disease.tagious i influenza,of i that we can curtail.
half of ourn population gets vaccinated for the flu. disconnect here? should the news be putting up a ebola,rt saying zero 2253 flu deaths? mean would that make people start paying attention? >> well, you bring up an point, senator, that when you have something that is look at whatyou goes on in west africa, it is rather cataclysmic. look at when has happened with ebola because of dr. friedenty as described the contact tracing to an outbreak here you are absolutely correct. from the standpoint of the very well.have done often we forget when you have something that year after year has a terrible burden of illness and disease you kind
it and you take it for granted. but i'm very glad you brought up issue of influenza which is an ex-interest ordinarily disease that we face constantly season after season after season with always the looming threat of a pandemic. and so there are things that we can do about it. you brought up one of them. we need to make sure that ageyone from six months of or old gets vaccinated for influenza. we could tee crease dramatically death and of disease, for influenza. shouldn't forget other important diseases in our society. >> i use that as an example and you, not to downplay ebola at all but i'm at virries from state
to -- varied from state to state sometimes almost dramatically dn measures taken on healthcare workers who have come back from liberia or places with ebola and i realize people are trying often times people have no medical knowledge are trying to protect everyone and i understand that. do we have a counter veiling this might have that we are going to make it more difficult to find healthcare workers who are willing to go from the states to follow the commitments the united states helpnment has made to countries like liberia? >> that is one of the reasons said itral of us have is very important to respect the tolthcare workers and develop policy is that are based on fundamental science to them when they go, to protect them when they are there respect and protect them when they return. i take your point very strongly
because i feel very strongly myself being a healthcare worker having some of my college colls who have actually volunteered back and wantome to resume their regular lives and their duties. my wife is aout medical-surgical nurse and when she was working she was highly, highly infectious patients and do all of the things that now i see on putting on the scrubs and all of the rest that they did. want to question hethy ask and anybody that wants to answer, feel free. the president requested unhs of of dollars for the development and testing of an vaccine. knowing the pam o amount of timt takes to develop and vaccine and test it, what are we talking about in time? >> we as you may have heard have
fully enrolled a phase one trial that started on december 2. i just reviewed -- september 2. data. row viewed the it looks good. we will move on towards the end phase 2-3 trial to determine efficacy. this will be two trials. one that will take place in liberia and one that will take place in sierra leone. one in liberia a randomized by the n.i.h.al and the other a step wedge trial the c.d.c. is responsible for. if in fact this is an effective vaccine and the infection rate remains at a high level we could of 2015the middle whether or not we have an effective vaccine. will are hoping that that be the case, but we fully are start this geared to towards the end of this year and the very first month of 2015. appreciate that very much. and the hai chair is back.
to --d >> senator collins. you have been remarkably patient and we are just going to go republicanwn the aisle which they would like anyway. kirk, is senator moran coming back? senator hobaen in and senator alexander. get started and we will go to kirk and see who else is here to ask questions. me firstchairman, let thank you for your leadership this of of this commit he would. longer be our chair but i know you will still be a committee.on this dr. frieden, all of us are grateful to the healthcare workers who have traveled to western africa so help control epidemic and treat the
there.s >> but a major reason that the alarmed aboutc is washington's response to ebola that the c.d.c. seemed to be rather thanevents getting out in front of them and examples.e you some the, first of all, the c.d.c. c.b.p. did not begin ofanced entry screening individuals arriving from west diagnosisil after the and subsequent death of thomas duncan. second, the c.d.c. did not issue use of --ides on the did not issue updated guidance on the use of personal protection equipment until after the diagnosis of the two dallas nurses. c.d.c. did nottish revised guidance for monitoring
and movement of individuals with exposure until after it had told one of those was free toshe travel on two commercial airline flights and until after dr. craig spencer who fortunately has recovered from subway, went out to dinner and even went bowling. all of those activities could potentially have exposed others to the violence in iraq russ. the department of defense implements a totally different protocol for military members areite the fact that they not involved in direct patient care. my perspective, it is americanising that the public is concerned about
response from washington is the correct response. also no surprise that so many state governments including major states, large states, new york, new jersey, georgia, illinois, virginia, florida and my home of maine have lost theirence and have used authority to implement policies that go beyond the c.d.c. guidelines. so i guess my bottom line you sureto you is are that the c.d.c.'s guidance is best way tothe people?the american >> c.d.c. bases its guidance and its actions on the best and experience. we have faced now the first case of ebola in the united states. guidance we provided was based on decades of experience
in africa and had been effective protecting our own staff and others. when it did not work here, we guidance.at we will change our guidance based on the experience and based on what the science and data shows us to be most protective of healthcare workers protective of americans. what we know clearly is that we our approacht based on experience. right now we are dealing with a mali.r in that cluster has to be controlled or we will have another front in the battle ebola. and we have staff on the ground doing that there. u.s., we are intensively working with healthcare workers to increase and the resources in the emergency funding request would allow us and other parts h.h.s. to scale that up even more. >> doctor, let me commend you for taking care of one of the
nurses who was infected. should we beience worried about the ebola virus mutating into a virus that could theore easily transmitted way the flu is, for example? for thatr, thank you question. the ebola virus continues to mow mutate because it represent play replicatesrapidly. all r.n.a. viruses do that. the mutationsre associated with significant virusonal changes in the and by functional changes the question someone asks can a all sudden go from a virus that is not transmitted by the respiratory route like flu where it does not now, could it do that? the answer is it would be extremely unlikely that that is case. and the reason i say that, and i
say extremely unlikely but with you never say never and never say always. the reason i can comfortably say extremely unlikely is that this because unprecedented of all of the viruses that replicate and mutate there are that hases of a virus completely changed its method of transmissibility. get a little more a little less virulent. but to completely change its of.od >> >> translator: mix would be someon unprecedent. it would be an unprecedented virology.in >> thank. >> thank you. forve one question dr. fauci. could you describe your opinion inthe technical expertise the aia and medical and
canadian government? >> they are very good. have many colleagues in canada and deal with them almost on a continual basis. you can get.ood as >> if they are very good why were they wrong in shutting down visa line in the source countries of ebola? wouldn't say they were wrong. i would say that they made a what theirsed on judgment was for the best for their citizens. when we do, weo when make our decisions based on the scientific data which might be who arent from people in good faith trying to do the best for their citizens. and it say they are wrong don't criticize them. >> and yet we made a different decision. insisted on keeping the visa line open in source countries. i would say that is likely a mistake. we should probably follow the direction of our canadian allies.
>> may i comment on that, please? one ipecific question is thought a lot about myself. fact, the number of flights that are coming from woulden ablehat you to get here have been onmatically reduced and those flights only about 30% of those passengers are holders fromvisa those three countries. a number of visa applications denied by our sit department se department already. my big effort concern with limiting the number of visas is that if the united states of america does that, a lot of other nations are going to follow us which will have the effect of isolating those countries which i don't think we want to see happen. i'm proud of the forecast that our military, our healthcare workers are leading the effort there. i don't want to see this country become a leader in isolating countries and so the
reality is given who we are as a what we do is followed by other countries in the world and my overriding concern with taking that action. let me have you characterize the scientific and medical expertise of the australian government? >> again, similar to canada. they are excellent. as good as you can get internationally. their case they made a similar decision to the canadians on i think it was they shut down their visa line in the source countries. excellent why would we ignore the action that they have taken? secretary johnson? >> well, of course, i pay very close attention to what our friends in the canadian government to. in fact, they have limited the visas.of they haven't banned them entirely. and it is what i said before.
leading the international effort there and i'm concerned that if we took have ae action it would cascading effect on other nations in europe most prominently that would have the effect of isolating those countries and making it harder for healthcare workers to go in and out of those countries. we have to pay very careful attention to what the inline industry would do reaction to limiting visas because if you -- if the airlines start canceling flights then there is just no way to go. and >> and i would just like to add, senator, in terms of one of the to us isrtant things protecting the homeland. we know and we had this conversation through most of this. we knowe four things about this disease. detect. isolate. trace. and treat. and aslity to do that the secretary said there are no
direct flights here. anyone who is coming here is coming indirectly. right now our ability because we funnel and not only we had five airports that did 94, now we funnel all. and we funnel through and we create a monitoring mechanism departuree point of where everyone who leaves that country is checked. their them is checked and they are questioned. they come to the country three things happen. get the temperature checked and and they write down their contact information so if they feed to be referred the c.d.c.ep is they go to for a further effort there and then we to the monitoring. and that is an important part what we have seen work. and whether that is when she is seen in the cases in oregon, oklahoma, across the country when we can be on top of it ofause we know and get ahead of it as dr. fauci and dr. frieden have said before it can spread.ic and it is our judgment that is the
best way. especially when a large percentage of those returning are actually american citizens from these countries. >> if i may add one thing about the visa operations. we have taken steps to ensure that we are asking the same applicantsf visa this are asked when they are departing and transiting. >> could i follow upper who. have sent a letter to you on october 17 and i wonder if the state department could respond to the letter? >> absolutely. >> good. thank you. just conclude by saying any of the questions are answered affirmatively. visa and it is not issued and refer to c.d.c. to that person can travel. >> senator moran? >> thank you very much. as you can see, there continues to be a lot of interest in this quarantining poem quarantininge west africa.om it was indicated in the testimony about the difference between the department of and others and there was
a comment that was made that clarified.as been clare it has been explained. i don't think it has been the rationale for how we treat troops versus how we are going to treat others. i would like to ask. who is present at the table if i aboute question how successful we are in the thedination efforts among various agencies and departments? what strikes me is that the cord coordinator isrd fater not part of the panel. maybe that is a committee choice and not yours but i would think the member interested in topic, i remember the hearing on september 16 in which the question was asked i think it mostly about coordination africa and the answer a.i.d.. that doesn't make sense there
story or more so the are we really trusting u.s.a. id activities.e the the president has now appointed thatola coordinator and person isn't part of the witness panel today and that strikes me as odd. >> the chair would like to take the responsibility to respond. i reached out hill. the white house declined his participation saying that he had no operational role. his role is that of a and was an employee of the white house and the president. the white house then rather than us getting into a lot of and forth because i had some, you know, you and i many oflot of like on these practical things. >> thank you for that compliment. >> that really going become to presidents we go all the way reagan andald whenever there was an employee
of the white house that had an the rightrole it was of the president to decline there. thisdent obama didn't to but they felt that the people who had the real responsibility doing the actual governance who woulde and ones be in charge of the money from this committee should be the ones to testify. and i think by all accounts this group so thatlid is why. >> certainly, we agree in regard to this being a very solid group appreciate the testimony and education that i have had today. but i did notice among committee on our september hearing this concern about coordination and i would like to follow up find out what has transpired since we met, asked this question and how the coordination has changed, improved, been altered since then. dr. fauci, what developments have occurred in -- in some ways answered this question,
i think, but when is did diffet than the last time we met when you were here and testified is september 16. when changed in the care, three-point, protocols, i guess dr. friedena question as well. what transpired that is different today than it was when a month and half ago in regard to treatment and the prospect of hope in this pattle against ebola? battle against ebola? >> the first thing is that at time wet we met last were still in the stage of doing tracing of people who were exposed in this country. and it is a turns out, now when at the contacts of the infected individuals, they are the 21-day period. comfortably say that the united states is ebola free. couldn'tis something i tell you at the last hearing
because we were not sure at the time. next is that we have made significant progress on the road to the testing of a vaccine for its efficacy because we had just started the phase i trial at the time of the last hearing and now results look good in that trial and we are all set to go at the end of the we are into efficacy -- end of the year into the efficacy trial in west africa. the other thin thing is that the downturn in liberia is encouraging. we are not saying that the ballgame is over by any means but the downturn there is means that thech prevention and contact tracingnd funeral issues have worked. testified oney who september 16 indicated that he hisunable to say whether treatment improved his condition or not. can we answer that question today? >> no, we can't. and i'm glad you asked that. because that is the real important argument for doing the
controlled clinical trials that planning. we had a meeting last evening at where we brought together all of the people who taken care of ebola patients in the united states. and emory and others. they presented all of the data was clear that we had no idea what works or what doesn't work because it was just given on and empiric basis which is strong evidence for clinical trials. you very much. >> thank you. my first question is for assistant secretary lumpkin. if your statement you mention of of themillion president's recent request for the emergency funding will go to darpa to develop tech followings to provide temporary immunity. defensetand that the
threat reduction agency has been availabler rapidly treatments.es and can you elaborate what darpa if thereooking for and are technologies in the pipeline that show promise in the short-term? don't proprose to promise anything. this is a research capability we trying to fund to accelerate development program. and i think the key to look at this, this is in conjunction with n.i.h. efforts in conjunction with detra efforts out allave to full stops as we look at doing ground breaking new innovative technologies to address the treatment and ultimately a ebola. to prevent so, darpa has unique and methodologies how they look and do problem wiled to many of the
capabilities of everything from g.p.s. to the mouse that runs computer. they have innovative technologies is the way they look at the problem solving. we would like to resource them to look at this problem set and set of eyesone more to move this forward as fast as possible. >> and then to coordinate that of for the with d elfed tra. >> and n.i.h. as well. think of it as a continuum in the earliest stages. are not always just the early jest stage and then n.i.h. next level and then barda. thinking about the continuum of getting product from initial idea through production and use. >> okay, madam secretary, i see for the h.h.s. request researchl advanced development authority is requesting $167 million to manufacture vaccines and
synthetic therapeutics for use in clinical trials. upper midwest region there is promising therapeutic notas i understand it is necessarily synthetic meaning it is, of course, developed outside lab. that has proven effective with mers and with flu. how is your request flexible enough to take advantage of this?technologies like >> what we want to do is work zmate have been working on which is tobacco based currently one of the things in terms of of the getting enough production to even do trials. this is a therapeutic. turned to synthetics is because we think we get volume. with any of the issues we want work to what will get us there faster and to the hell of production. level of production. with the finances we were given by the committees we have been working on zmat also if objection.tic
nonsynthetic fashion. >> given that many drug fail, how many candidates will barda be able to the $157 million request? >> i will turn to dr. fauci to number of the different, there are two main vaccine candidates there but there are a number of others on the list. i will let dr. fauci. >> and does the funding allow scaleup for manufacture when you find something that works? >> so answer to the question is as secretary correctly said there were two major ones but there are three right behind them that barda has their sights on. can barda asking what do in the development we are talking about five. >> i would add depending on where and how quickly the issue those,distribution of there is some manufacturing and production which barda is distributiont also and that is why we have put in the contingency fund a part of contingency fund is if we get something and at that point
believe we need to support further distribution that is something that we would do as well. successfulte a vaccine. >> so that allows for large-scale manufacture and then distribution? >> right now we have put in funds that will help us get to the manufacturing. we are focus on in the barda element. >> okay. thank you. much, senatorery hogan. as we wrap up today's hearing, i would like to todayour witnesses here for their cogent testimony. i think we have learned a lot. i think it gives us great insight into the president's and why that significant amount of money is needed, and why even though it might not be a headline the urgency continues like to follow the model that was established under and then with
president obama when we had an infectious disease situation before. before i wrap up, i also want to just comment about dr. frieden lot of fauci who spent a time both dealing with the disease and also dealing with public hadat the around the disease. and you did a great job while were trying to do southbound ral otheseveralother jobs. burwell, do you think beenwork would have facilitated, the question is who is america's doctor? rapidly tolso move confirm a surgeon general which work way minimizes the that these men have significant operational responsibility and acted asays they america's doctors which they did a great job and we are greatful. be helpful. one of the things i think as i mentioned in my opening testimony this is something that is scary to the american people
so having an additional voice that would be a voice that is a trusted doctor voice about how to think about this and how to understand it is certainly helpfulg that would be in ebola but it would be helpful also in things that the opiods anddoes like other things that are problematic throughout the nation. it would be helpful to us and thank you to dr. frieden and take thatwho did responsibility globe and they did do that job. >> they did that job. >> and had a lot of other jobs from clinical trials to whatever. we will wrap up, but i just want in our civilyone service. all of our federal employees support administrative team all the way up to the top level. and also, of course, for our military personnel. but for the civil service, our federal employees, often trashed bashed, i would like to say thank you. and i think we need to acknowledge this, that in a
democracy, we need to be able to that isivil service reliable and continues to do job. you just can't dial up the civil service. it atn't order amazon.com. i know that in every single one facee agencies that they sequester, they faced a shutdown just one year ago they were told and nowe nonessential bewant them to risk their lives or to spend night and day trying protect america. so i think we need to respect them and i think the way we show respect is making sure that they have resources to do job that they were. and this also cautions us when we make unnecessary travel restrictions our federal government doesn't -- we are not about taking a exotic foreignan capital like many of us do. we want to say thank you and we to thank every single one
of them that we need to do our when they havee to do their job. thank you very much. this, thank you, we have heard today that the received 60lso written submissions from 116 organizations that will be made the hearing record. if there are no further questions, senators may submit questions for the committee's official record. we ask the agencies not to take usual 30 days. we ask the agencies to respond in two weeks. the reason why is this committee moving on this request and the senator vs. a right to -- senators have a to have their questions answered. sure anyne could make additional questions are and senator shelby and i working guidance of our leadership intend to be moving on the urgent request but also our responsibilities for fiscal
2015 for which we need to do our others can pet on with theirs. -- can get on with theirs. the committeeat, now stands in recess subject to the call of the chair and i everyone very much. >> thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
on c-span tonight, three new sworns are congress are in. then a look at the negotiations over iran's nuclear program. bay discussion about laws.gn finance this weekend on c-span -- arrived late at night morning.ber 11 i arrived in my home in los angeles. at 6:00 a.m. in seeing the second airplane hitting the twin tower live. and i was traumatized because knew that this is terrorism. it is not a one airplane accident. so i ran to the phone and i called many people in egypt. comfort me.m to
especially after i learned that muhammad atta the leader of the cairo,orists was from the same city i came from. and i called around eight people thing,all said the same even though some of them don't they told me how dare you say that this was done muslims, don't you know this is a jewish jews did it.he and i hung up the phone and wept. i said to myself i cannot relate my culture of origin anymore. hard feeling very how the can't relate to people you love and you are manyht up with for many, years of your life that they
reality as it should be. >> the entire interview sunday eastern on8:00 p.m. c-span q. a.nd karen armstrong on religion and conflict. president george w. bush on his biography of his father. history tv onn c-span 3 all day live coverage from the same pose yum at norfolk. atd the complete schedule c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. or e-mail us. tweet @ c-span comments. members of congress were
sworn in to office today after elected to finish out the seats.f vacant after being sworn, in the new welcomed by colleagues and their state delegations. this is 15 minutes. representatives elect raise their right hand. do cow solemnly swear you will the constitution of the united states and bear true simh and allegiance to the and take this obligation freely without any mental reservation thatrpose of evasion and you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which you are about to territory, so help you god? congratulations. of the now members congress. [applause]
gentleman in new jersey is redoing niced for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. rise today to congratulate and welcome our new colleague, congressman donald norcross. let me tell you -- [applause] .ver >> you will all learn to love have. norcross the way i he comes from a union background and he is a fighter. he always fights for the little guy. and he also is bipartisan. he wants to work with the republican side to get passed as he did in the state, as he did in the state senate and he has reputation in the state senate where he chaired one of the committees of actually passing legislation. >> and would the house please be in order. the gentleman may proceed. i just want you to get to know him well. as i said, you will learn to love him. a great congressman
and you will learn over the next canyears how effective he be. congratulations again, donald. thank you. [applause] myi would like to yield to colleague from new jersey. >> thank you. i join in with congratulations donald nor it icross. a statenown donald as legislator and before that we worked together at a local level. always put his con at this time wents first and put his -- constituents and district first. he will be a great a asset to this congress. and i look forward to working with you, donald. congratulations. [applause] >> good evening. and thank you very much, speaker, leader pelosi, and certainlyoan
my colleagues from new jersey. standing man who is next to me is my grandson donald an excellent job. plows. job. >> and the spokesperso spokespeo keeps my -- special person who lovelyy life in order my i would andrea up there with my daughter cory and my son my son donald jr. and his wife and my grand daughter. great to have you here. [applause] one person who is truly the leader of my house is my mother, carol. hey, ma! [applause] >> and many friends, family, supporters from new jersey brothers,my three george, vaughan and phillip and my extended brother robert.
good to have you here. extended physical fly labor who i -- family who i with and support hes and volunteers who worked with us over the past 10 months, thanks. life always brings us some twists and turns and you never be. where you are going to i grew up in the protection as electrician and look where we are now, a member of the house. [applause] the americanuly dream. and i'm proud to be a part of it. i look forward to working with on behalfcolleagues of this great nation and the people who live in it. thank you very much. [applause]
>> without objectionion istleman from north carolina recognized for one minute. mr. speaker. adams,ues, alma representative adams has served our area in north carolina in excess ofbly two decades. in raleigh she is known as the legislative lady with the hat. mr. chairman and mr. speaker i'm to you and tosent legislativecolleagues the lady with the hat, alma adams from north carolina. [applause] >> and mr. speaker, i yield to the fourthan from district, david price. >> mr. speaker, i thank the dean of our delegation, howard coble addyielding and i want to to his words of introducks for
adams elected to fill the of mel wattred term who as we all note has taken the federalip of the housing finance agency. this is the 12th district of north carolina. born in highs point, north carolina. attended college at north a and t university. doctoral degree, p.h.d. from and becameuniversity a teacher. she had a 40 year career as a bennett college in north carolina. her introduction to -- >> the gentleman would suspend. >> the house will be in order. the gentleman may resume. adams' career began on
the school board. general assembly in 1994 and then was elected in her successive terms. a distinguished term of service assembly.eral known for her unseasoning tee sire to improve the lives of women and children and families her issues cloud domestic pregnancy,eenage affordable healthcare, public education. she chaired the legislative caucus. she also chaired the bipartisan women's legislative caucus. alma adams, my colleagues, comes to us very, very well equipped productive and constructive and cooperative body. of this it is my honor and pleasure to introduce her to you tonight, alma adams! [applause] >> congratulations.
you, mr. speaker, coble andn congressman price. as we all know, journey to and iss is not made alone could not have made it here without my faith, my family and friends. i want to take a moment to give special thanks to my mother who tortiont be here today my children, billy and janelle, and my four grand meldren one is on floor with tonight to my siblings and everyone who made the trip to ohre in this momentous expectation with me. i stand here on the shoulders of the fearless women who shattered ceiling by coming to congress and representing our country with pride, tenacity and integrity. is with great honor that i stand before you tonight as in the 113than congress. [applause]
served' meho have have proven that when women succeed we all succeed. i traveled across the 12th congressional district, i heard the calls for us to work to create jobs, invest in education and to be a voice for the working men and women struggling to make the ends meet. and i'm answering their calls by theging to work with members of the north carolina delegation and each and every this chamber. to the people of the 12th congressional district, 10 of no representation stops now. i'm here. i'm here and i'm rolling up my sleeves and i'm getting to work. mr. speaker, i yield back to you. >> all right. >> all right. [applause] --eady
objection, the gentleman from virginia recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i would like to newest member of the house of representatives from glennia, dr. dave brat of allen, virginia to the chamber. [applause] >> dave is joining this body as a new member representing the district of virginia. over the pat year he has talked with his friends and neighbors the challenges facing our knicks and what congress can do to help grow our economy and sector createte
jobs. dave is uniquely positioned to work on issues related to american jobs and the economy. inh an undergraduate degree business administration and p.h.d. in economics his policyund in economic will them body deal with the most pressing issues of the day. years dave has been a faculty member at randolph macon ledge where he served as the chair of the department of economics. family mano a strong and with his wife laura has two children. mr. speaker, it is my pleasure dave to the united states house of representatives. joining us today are fellow members the virginia delegation welcome you and look forward to working with you. i yield to the gentleman from virginia exploration scott for opening remarks fly rise today to welcome congressman brat to the people's house and virginia delegation. our delegation has a long history of working together. long time teen
senator john warner set the together. working while we may not always agree on every issue we will always try to work together for what is for virginia and our nation. it is the virginia way. majority be replacing leader eric cantor and at end of delegation will lose two of its more senior jimers, frank wolf and moran. with the departure the wane a bitcloud may but will be reinvigorated by new workingcommitted to together for the commonwealth. dave comes to congress after a career as an economics professor. he has been appointed to state severalnd commissionspy virginia governors including the joint advisory board of economists. know he will put these experiences to good use. toelcome dave and his family congress and look forward to working with him on issues the richmond region
and the entire commonwealth of virginia. i yield the balance of our time newest colleague the gentleman from virginia, mr. brat. [applause] >> mr. speaker, thank you very much. thank you to my new colleagues of thank you to the people virginia's 7th district who entrusted me with the honor of with their representative and p of them are with us tonight in the gallery. coming.u for we are proud that the 7th district is the home of the father of the constitution james the voice of the revolution, patrick henry. road and verylong few gave me a chance we the journey began. thank my wife laura and my children johnathan and sophiey for believing in me and to thank god as this
would not have been possible without his assistance along the way. throughout my campaign as president reagan said i tried to appeal to people's best hopes and not their worst fears. i have strived to elevate the on solutionsfocus especially on the economic issues facing our country. approach the will weighty responsibility with which i have been entrusted. all, god bless you all. and may god continue to bless this great nation. mr. spooker, i yield back the -- mr. speaker, i yield back balance of my time. you all. [applause] defense secretary of staff chairs will discuss the military campaign in iraq and syria isis.t watch live coverage of the house
armed services committee on c-span3 and c-span.org. are jut a few of the comments we recently received from viewers. calling to tell you how enjoy "q and a." i turn off my phones and get my cup of coffee. the most enjoyable hour on television. >> the guests today were very informative and good opinions. to him andistening the comments today. me, myself over in the middle east, he was very accurate and he was on point. he was not using his own innuendos and i greatly enjoyed it and i hope you have gets like that. but mr. wanier was right on target this morning. say that iing to
think like many people c-span is wonderful but as to criticisms i almost have none and i'm a very partisan kind of person. the reason i almost have none is a tremendousll do job of showing just about every side of everything and the way people look at things in d.c. and elsewhere. my hat off to you. thank you very much. >> and continue to let us know what you think about the watching.ou are call us at 202-626-3400. e-mail us at comments @ or sent us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> the united states, russia, france, china, britain and germany have been in negotiations with iran over its program since january. those talks are set to expire on november 24. at the wilson center in
washington, journallities discuss what progress negotiators have made and the likelihood of reaching a deal before the deadline. is an hour and 15 minutes. >> i especially want to recognize michael's sister ellen, his brother-in-law barry, and his girlfriend ira, who traveled from germany to stay here. a few weeks before michael died, andrew seeley and i went to to
have breakfast with him in his georgetown home. though he was clearly ill, his eyes gleamed. andad on a starched shirt, he served as a full breakfast, a little bit of which he ate. he was optimistic about the future. that is how i think we should remember him. theever happens and we hit november 24 deadline for the iran nuclear deal, some of my own interested in has been -- in it has dimmed, because michael won't be telling me about it and because i won't be able to share his excitement. the wilson center has had many butlars, and has many, whether because of his talent, his personality, or the incredible impact of his expertise, michael stood out.
we honor his legacy today. more specifically, we wanted to do something else, so we will be putting up a plaque to the library where michael spent countless hours, to commemorate more permanently his contributions to the center and to his beloved subject, the iran nuclear deal. also a picture of michael hanging in the library, located in the gallery to the left of the library entrance. staff will be on hand to direct you to the space. we have the perfect panel here today to celebrate michael. rob, the vice president for scholars, and one of our featured panelists, will say more about mark and david in a moment. they will say that, yeah,
are smart and well known, but just remember -- they wrote some of their best books right here at the wilson center. and they are going to write their next best books right here at the wilson center. rob served on the national as director ofl, nonproliferation in the clinton administration. that was in another century, folks. he just put out a very important monograph on iran's nuclear chest. i can think of no better tribute to michael than the conversation we will have today. only one thing is missing in that conversation -- michael. discussion, of our join us for a reception in the dining room, which is right here on the sixth floor. let me say just one more time how much we love michael, and i will turn the program over. thank you for coming.. [applause]
>> thank you, jane. it is fitting that we honor michael today by addressing the vital issue on which he worked with such passion and determination in his final years. michael is missed for so many reasons, his friendship and collegial presence, the integrity of his work, is clarity of thought. -- his clarity of thought. this panel includes two on my left, david times,"f "the new york and a national security correspondent. policyas a public scholar. he bore recently wrote "the way of the knife." a meeting on a
rant's nuclear challenges would have focused on the possibility of u.s. airstrikes on iran. now nuclear diplomacy is playing out against the backdrops of u.s. airstrikes against isis, in tacit alignment with the run. -- iran. negotiators just meant in oman to narrow the gap between the two sides. before hand, president obama eader,to the supreme lae urging him not to miss a historic opportunity. so what are the prospects for a nuclear deal? the division of labor on this panel is that i will frame the nuclear issue within the broader context of u.s.-iranian relations. david sager will follow with a more detailed assessment of the nuclear diplomacy.
mark zandi will conclude to assess how the tumultuous regional developments, particularly the war against isis, will affect nuclear negotiations. after these initial presentations we will have an exchange among the three of us and open the floor to questions. it should be a straightforward trade-off between technology and transparency. iran would retain a limited nuclear program under international safeguards, in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. , such as details numbers of permissible centrifuges, the scope of international inspections, and a timetable of sanctions based on iranian compliance, could be worked out. antechnical grounds, such agreement would fall within the declared u.s. and iranian position.
iran's nuclear program is determined and incremental, but it is not the manhattan project. it is a crash program to acquire a weapon in the face of an existential threat. the dilemma is that iran has mastered uranium enrichment. centrifuges that can spend to produce low enriched uranium for power reactors can keep spending to yield highly enriched uranium for problems -- for bombs. country that has attained this level of technological advancement is a virtual nuclear weapon state. from a national security nuclear hedge is a rant's strategic sweet spot, maintaining the potential of the nuclear option, while avoiding the regional and international cost of international weaponization. "as long as we can enrich
uranium and master the nuclear fuel cycle we don't need to do anything else. our neighbors will be able to draw the proper conclusions." president obama has declared that the u.s. objective is to prevent iran from obtaining weapons. by drawing this redline and preventing weaponization, the president has signaled that the united states would not launch a preventive military action to deny iran any nuclear hedge options. this is the main point of contention between president obama and this congressional -- and his congressional critics and president netanyahu, who want a full rollback, to deny iran any hedge. since the nuclear diplomacy is focused on founding, not eliminating, the enrichment program, the regime will retain the option, a hedge for a nuclear weapon. the major stumbling block in the
negotiation has been the scale of the uranium enrichment program that iran would retain. the number of centrifuges and their sophistication, as we will hear from david, are key to extending the timeline for a potential breakout. that is the number of montserrat would need to enrich weapons grade material, if the regime made the strategic decision to weaponize. the u.s. position is that this breakout. for converting a hedge into a weapon should be long enough, at least 12 months, for the united states to have sufficient strategic warning to mobilize an international response. in other words, an agreement should not leave iran one screwdriver turn away from a bomb. between these two points on the technology continuum, hedge versus weapon, there ran and the united states should be able to work out an agreement. the hard reality is that the nuclear impasse as so far proved
intractable because of its quintessentially collected -- political character. for both iran and the united states, the nuclear issue is a proxy for a more fundamental debate. this embedded status remains the key determinant of whether nuclear diplomacy can prove successful. is aan, the nuclear issue surrogate for the defining debate of the future relationship with the outside world. "the islamic republic is a revolutionary state or an ordinary country." and france nuclear challenge has also been a proxy for more fundamental debate about the threat posed by rogue states in the post-9/11 era. the obama administration dropped the term rogue state used by the bush of ministration, and instead called it ran an outlier -- iran and outlier.
irredeemable, that they're threatening behavior was inextricably linked to the character of their regime. central to theas bush administration's case for preventive war in iraq. the outlier rubric was explicitly intended to ready for its around to rejoin the community regimeons, if the tehran complied with the treaty. yet the tension between the competing ejections of regina change in behavior change continues to churn the debate, has a major criticism of obama posner nuclear policy is that it does not address other threatening behavior such as state sponsorship of terrorism that derives from the character of the terror on regime. -- tehran regime.
was the finding that tehran's decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon, irrespective of the political, economic, and military costs. this analysis countered the depiction of the rent as an under, irrational, rogue state. president obama has questioned there any regime's ideological commitment is such that they are not making a simple cost-benefit analysis." when asked whether the regime was messianic or rational, president obama said that "iranian decision-making they care about the regime's survival." obama has further argued that the crippling pressure of sanctions, granting the iranian theomy to a halt, prevents
tehran regime with the opportunity to make a strategic calculation to defer a decision to weaponize. the paradox of nuclear diplomacy with iran regime is captured and an anonymous quip about the economy -- your rent is not respond to pressure, that without pressure iran does not respond. -- the punishing international sanctions that it weakens the economy. while acquiescing to the nuclear diplomacy in the wake of his june, 2013 electoral mandate, the supreme leader remains the final arbiter of any respective agreement. 's decision will hinge on how he manages the unresolved tension and around's competing identities. sanctions, whose effects are now compounded by
the drop in the price of oil, brought around to the negotiating table. it will crucially affect the supreme leaders decision to accept or reject terms for a comprehensive agreement that meaningfully bounds iran's nuclear infrastructure. that strategic calculation will be based on whether the economic benefits of the agreement, for outweigh theief, political costs of alienating the core, hard-line interest groups, especially the revolutionary guard upon which the regime's revival depends. so here we are as the deadline approaches. there are three possible outcomes. breakthrough, breakdown, or muddling through. a breakthrough that strikes the right balance i hedging -- by hedging and give each side a winning narrative. the tehran regime said he could stand up to bullying, thereby
, and fendedts hedge off efforts to link the nuclear issues to other issues. the obama administration could claim that it has capped a latent iranian capability latent by extending the breakout. -- potential weaponization break up for potential weaponization. they could put them on a slippery slope of demands for the west for additional policy changes, and for that reason, he may balk. a breakdown in negotiations with not inherently push iran into a nuclear breakout. no immediate national security imperative to acquire nuclear weapons. would maintainme a hedge, keeping the weapons option open while avoiding the international and regional all-out of weaponization. diplomatict of a
breakdown, the possibility of military action would invariably come to the fore. obama's redline on weaponization pushes off the decision on the use of force, and is a reflection on how unattractive that option would. -- would be. that would be the most telegraphed punch in history and it runs up against major liability. it would not end the program but merely delay. knowledge."omb even a so-called limited strike could escalate into a general war. that military action would lead to a iranian retaliation against u.s. interests worldwide. in addition, bombing active carry ainstallations significant risk of spewing radioactive toxins into the environment and causing civilian casualties.
finally, a military strike could well generate a national backlash within iran with a perverse consequence of bolstering the regime. increasingly plausible is the outcome of neither break through nor breakdown but muddling through. another agreement which would incorporate what progress has been made and extend the talks. given theausible major political investment both sides have made a nuclear diplomacy and their mutual interest in averting a breakdown with all its uncertain as going toward potential. latory potential. iran would be willing to work with united states against isis if is the obama administration would be more flexible in the nuclear negotiations. by attempting to leak the -- to link the regional conflict with isis, it risks overplaying its hand. the campaign against the islamic offers the tehran regime
leverage in the nuclear negotiations, nor a reason to hold out. the united states has given way to diplomatic realities and fallen off it maximalist position of zero enrichment centrifuges spinning. +1 are now offering around a straightforward trade-off between technology, a program, and transparency. assurances that a civil nuclear program is not a masquerade for weapons program. that tehran regime should take the deal and not miss a historic opportunity. let me turn to david sanger, who will provide more details of the negotiation. >> thank you. i think michael would have been extremely pleased to see this room completely jammed in a
aboutn that is much more him than about anything we can say. i was lucky enough to be working on finishing up the inheritance here when michael first joined as a fellow. at the end of the day, he would come by, my office or his office, and his endless thissity for how all would play out -- his love of the wonderfully ambiguous nature of dealing with the iranians, the questions of whether or not the specifics of the deal led to a much greater political reconciliation, a subject that my colleague will take up in a moment, really fascinated him. but he was also wonderfully competitive, in that way that somebody who is going to --
someone who has been a reporter all his life can be. when i reported in the book i wrote after i had done the inheritance that the united in as had been involved lengthy cyber sabotage effort against the iranian nuclear one that was really the first use of a cyber weapon by the united states against i think michael was probably the first person who called me the day we ran the excerpt in the paper. his mind had already moved three steps out to have the iranians or notespond, whether they would have to set up their whether weapability, have set back our efforts, whether the publication of this story would help or hurt the negotiation. he was completely wrapped in all of this. he is not here today because i am sure that he
would stand up and heartily disagree with several things i'm about to say. make sure that you discount my comments to that end. suggested, there are two ways to look at this deal. one way, a way that many in iran look at, and many in congress look at, is as a political deal. don't bother me with the details -- i don't want to count centrifuges, i don't want to know how many tons of enriched have -- ie iranians want to know if we have a political will on both sides to make a decision that will end 35 years of enmity between these two countries and begin to move us into a different place. that is one way to look at the deal. is second way to look at it -- the way i think the israelis
look at it, people at the weapons labs look at it, and the way president obama has to look at it given the way -- given the things the united states has said about an outlier state. case -- and that is to say, look, it would be wonderful to have a changed relationship with iran. but in the end, this is as much about physics as it is about politics. in the end, we have to have the assurance that if they did break out for a bomb or tried to sneak out for a bomb and breakout in sneak out are two different things, that we would have sufficient notice, that we would have time to react. our difficulty here, as rob that president
obama's vision of what our ultimate goal is here, to stop iran from having the ability to produce nuclear weapons, is slightly different from the israeli's definition, which is stopping iran from becoming a threshold state. in that same interview, where he state," we asked the president did he was prepared to let you ran get -- left in ran that screwdriver step away. he thought about it and said i will not parse that issue. it has been important with the administration not to parse it, because once they start doing that, you end up getting into an argument with congress, with s, with with the saudi everybody else, about how close close.lose -- too
if i had one safe prediction, it is if there is a deal, it won't be perfect by any means. it will start that argument that the administration has tried to delay about how close is to close? what are you willing to live with? would you have time to respond? would you have the political will to respond? that is why it is important that if there is a deal, it is strong enough that it can withstand all of those kinds of questions. it is not really a choice between a political deal and a technical deal, you are going to have to have both. briefly at what it
would take to get there. wendy sherman and secretary kerry have both used the same phrase in the past month or two, which is that iran has four pathways to a bomb in the united states has cut off each one. the first two are essentially the same pathway from different places. they are enriching uranium, either in a plant or in the deep underground plant that iran had , widget informed the iaea about. pathway is really one about mathematics. if there is more fuel on hand in
iran, you need to have fewer centrifuges so that fuel would take longer to produce that fuel. iran, have less fuel in you can have more centrifuges. ranso the story that we with 10 days ago that described an interesting, temporary agreement that has been reached between iran, russia, and the to ship out much of its fuel -- we don't know yet exactly how much -- so it could be turned into fuel for the -- nuclearlector reactor at bashir, could be the key to unlock this. they could be one of the technical solutions that unlocks the political equations, where those two circles meet. but it leaves many things open. first of all, there are some in congress and some in the arab states and certainly many in
israel, who will go back to the original position, which is you can't afford to have any centrifuges are any new rear fuel and arrive -- fuel in iran. that was the position of the bush of ministration. unfortunately, they turned down the deal in which they might conceivably have frozen a few hundred centrifuges. now we are in a negotiation with iran at a moment where they have 19,000, which are actually running. suggested, we are going to have a deal in which they have something spending, and the question is, can you limit that enough? the politics of this, as a matter of national pride. the supreme leader declared over thatummer several times iran would eventually have to
have a capacity that is roughly 10 times the existing centrifuge capacity. he actually talked about having 190,000 swu, separated work units, and michael could describe to you much better than i could what those are. you had the supreme leader the throughput of centrifuges, i don't think i have ever heard a national leader do that, certainly never president obama. creates islty this that the negotiators have to find a way to strike a deal that ultimately, at some point in the future, doesn't get in the way of a supreme leader's ultimate goals still being the national goal out here. a number simply said around the existing capacity that would have been possible. by setting a number that was so high, he has made this difficult.
fortunately, he didn't say when. one of the big arguments is how and will this deal last, when it is over, does it around become like japan? japan? iran become like essentially lifted of any sanctions. so that is one big issue. two -- 18 pathway two.ay one and pathway the united states has one weapon the united states believe could get at it. -- added. you have got a slightly different technical problem about having the ultimate deterrent. the third pathway to a bomb is producing plutonium, that would be through the iraqi reactor.
a heavy water reactor. it looked like they had come up with a space-saving idea, turning it into a research and development plans -- i don't think the americans particularly care if it was a bowling alley. they just wanted it to be something where you could not be producing plutonium. to crack was beginning a bit come the fall, and we will have to see on the 24th whether or not they have come up with a solution. the essential element there is havethe israelis so far never liked one of their adversaries fuel one of these reactants. a 1981,is were about to they lost the reactor. the syrians were preparing to in 2007, that reactor disappeared one night. it is important here that they get to a point where they are not actually fueling it.
the last element, the last pathway to a bomb, is the one that the fewest people in congress discuss. that gets almost no discussion in the political realm, and yet if you went out to los alamos or the complex in tennessee, it is the one that captivates everybody who has got technical knowledge. the covert pathway to a bomb. design ah harder to negotiated settlement that puts restrictions on a facility that may not exist now, that whether it exists or not you don't know about it, or may exist at some point in the future. two of the biggest elements of the deal to look at is if they actually get to one in two weeks itif they provide -- if
provides enough insurance that inspectors can crack back to the earliest elements of nuclear material. this was something that fascinated michael. making sure that you will never gets diverted to a place we don't know about. secondly, whether you could have very invasive inspection and all the little spots around iran, where they produce the centrifuges. thirdly, and this would be the hardest one for the iranians, because it would get so much into an issue of national pride, whether the iaea can answer a list of 12 questions about pre-2003 to the current day about what work was done, if any, on what they delicately called the possible military dimensions, which means work on the design of a weapon. you all read about the
laptop in 2005. the arabians have said it is all publications -- but the fact of the matter is that this creates a division between those who say this agreement is all about the future. what we need is to forget what the iranians have done in the past, this is not a reconciliation process, this is about stopping them in the future. if you don't say, understand the full past then you don't understand how long it would take them once they have the fuel to actually make a weapon. the united states has never declared itself fully on this issue. it is said it is up to the iaea, for these guys to come clean, but they never say how much they are going to press that. you should be looking for that because it gets to the question of how invasive the inspections will be, how embarrassing, whether the answers that iran
provides would be provided in public. that is the nuts and bolts. hatback off just a bit -- w , asthe options if this is rob suggests, a model through? and i would never go against rob. it would, i think, be just short of miraculous to have a full agreement by the 24th. with all of the details ready to .ublish, to hand everybody out maybe it will happen. nobody would be happier than me. i would like to write about something else. but the fact of the matter is i think it is unlikely. my guess is that there will be some enunciation in which they
have come to some agreements, some areas where they can't agree yet, another extension, more discussion, and this becomes a little bit like the mideast peace process, where you try to resolve a few issues and come back and try to add on and you hope you are not back flipping on the ones you have already agreed on. there is some riskier that the same thing will happen in a smaller agreement, where everybody stood in front of the camera and said we have an accord. it involves fuel for the tehran research reactor. in the supreme leader killed in -- then the supreme leader killed it. will the supreme leader have endorsed it prior to that announcement? the same question could be asked here because the president clearly believes he can do the sanction lifting by his own authority. there are many in congress,
including the newly elected republican majority, who want to take a vote on this. that could have a big effect on the outcome. if the iranians do not believe in their hearts that the house and senate could permanently lift the sanctions, they might well hesitate to sign a deal. them if wed blame were in their position -- we might well take the same position. if on the other hand the president tried to get that lifting early on in the agreement, it would probably fail. and he would not be in a position to have his fingers on sanctions. he wants to lift sanctions as the youians reform, --
radians perform. that does not lend itself well to congressional votes. do not look at it as a deadline, look at it as the end of a quarter in all of this, because in the political process in iran and in the united states, there will be a lot left. i often say to people that getting this deal doesn't require having one deal, it requires having three deals. it is a deal between the u.s. negotiators and the iranian negotiators, the easiest of the three. the presidenten and the foreign minister. and the supreme leader and the irgc. is a deal that has to be struck between our president and our congress, that is an equally tough deal. the 24th is a fascinating
marker and i'm sorry michael won't be around to have it in his books. i think we have a long way to go. >> thank you, david. are playingtiations out against the backdrop of war in syria and iraq which threaten the viability in the states, the campaign against isis to explore how this regional tunnel is affecting the negotiations. we turn now to mark. >> thanks for depressing everyone thoroughly by comparing it to the middle east peace process. it is a real honor to be here. when rob asked me to be on the panel and said they were doing it in honor of michael, of course i said yes, although i said the iran nuclear negotiation and the details and
intricacies are not a primary topic of my coverage, and there are people far more expert who could be with us today. he said, there are other aspects of this that you are more at the risk ofso violating, we will let you get up and talk even though you don't know what you're talking about. i figured i would definitely stick to what i was more familiar with, which i think is a critical part of everything we have just discussed, which is how what is happening now in the middle east really is central to these negotiations. i just want to say that i spent 15 months at the wilson center. some of the 15 of the best months i have had professionally, working on my book. i can't think of my time at the wilson center without also eating of michael.
t is an integral part of my memories of these place. sharing offices close by, and then we would meet for lunch, and then we also shared a terrific research assistant, who is here. we fought over her time. she was that good. and just the conversations i had ongoing,about these endless negotiations -- how to incorporate them into his book, and the memories i have would be there would be another round of negotiation that was announced, whether it be in vienna or moscow, and michael was so torn. he would say, i have to stay and finish this book -- but i really want to be there. i think i can go, i think i can
go. michael, you could get really get access -- she said no, they're not going to talk to anybody -- we are going to be shut out. but he realized that being there was important. he was a reporter. is, i think, the first rule of being a reporter -- you have to be there to find the story. michael truly believe that and -- this wasimagine a topic that was so central to his coverage. not being there for whatever was happening critically at that just felt like he always had to be where the action was. -- that is ay really strong memory for me. iran, howue of isis, all of the recent events in the
middle east play into what they the discussed -- i think last six months, to put it mildly, just made everything a lot more complicated. it said at the outset that would be hard to imagine months ago or year ago having a discussion on this topic without the prospect of a possible airstrike or a military action in iran. implausible,lly was the idea that we could have a discussion on this topic and one central part of it would be that iran and the united states are working fundamentally close with very common interest on a critical issue in the middle .ast, isis if you backup for a second, you had before the last six months, before this summer, you have this calcified set of issues on iran, iraq, syria.
things were pretty intractable and weren't going to move. you had a bloody civil war in on and on with a her rent this loss of life. iran was directly invested in it. but clearly, the obama administration was not. the obama administration -- president obama said time and time again that this was not a fight that the united states could make an appreciable difference in. it was his role to keep the united states out of it. we heard in so many interviews that he would compare the syrian conflict to an african civil war or something that was really win the u.s. looked at its own interests. that was the civil war against a
ssad. we wrote however many stories about how there was this debate about -- debate within the administration, but fundamentally president obama never really believed it. he didn't believe that it was that important. on the other hand, you had a rant, which was clearly heavily invested in supporting the assad regime. money, personnel, troops, weapons to the assad because it was about keeping the assad regime, central to iran's interest. there was this real mismatch of interest. allowed, at, that least from the united states point of view, to compartmentalize the issue stop you could compartmentalize the nuclear negotiations from the broader issue of syria, the
violence in the middle east, because the united states was not all that invested. the priority of the administration was getting a deal with iran. it was going to be part of president obama's legacy, maybe the linchpin of his foreign-policy legacy, dealing with the iranian program. the lack of interest in other aspects of the middle east, i think, allowed the administration to be so singularly focused. but then june and july happened and what we saw was the push by isis to go into northern iraq, to take over mosul, to make a march on baghdad. already they had carved out large parts of syria, but that was not really on the radar and the senior levels of the administration, because it was all part of the messy syrian civil war that the united states
was determined to stay out of. but then it became an iraqi problem, and it became a question of does isis breast in baghdad? baghdad?hreats in see the united states once again militarily involved in the rack and also with airstrikes in syria. this has totally changed the landscape of how we deal with these various partners. you now have instead of a sod assad beingenemy -- the enemy, you now have a common enemy that everyone is lined up against. yous the one enemy that ran, israel, saudi arabia, the -- itthe united states sounds like a joke -- they had all come out against isis because isis as seen -- is seen
by so many as a significant threat. that is a scrambled picture. it changed the calculus for the various parties. simple asonger as it was. reason, i think it is going to have at least a tangential impact on the negotiations that rob and david talked about, because the u.s. interests have shifted. the u.s. now has as much of an interest in the perception of the obama administration, as much of an interest in beating back isis, as it does in do nuclear rising iran. denuclearizing iran. there was very little attention
comparatively compared to what it is today. so how does it ran interpret that? it could be interpreted in a couple different ways. j solomon wrote a great story last week about obama posner, -- letter. the warsion about how against isis would impact the ongoing negotiations. -- this have indicated is leverage. ok, the united states is now invested in this region in a way it wasn't before. it now needs iran. it considers isis such a fundamental threat to the region , it knows that it would need a rand paul help in order -- it would need a ran toss help in order to beat back isis.
the united states does need them to some degree. any direct military cooperation between the united states and iran, but i would there wouldess that be some indirect intelligence discussions going on. because that is what intelligence officials do. whattried to figure out the other side is up to, especially when there is some common ground. a little bit of speculation on my part but it wouldn't be surprised at all. there is this common interest that iran might interpret as leverage and could overplay. they could think -- this is their chance to get the most of what they can get because the united states needs them against isis. but there is a risk here as well. ran --ger that faces he
completely miss playing its own strength -- mi strength.ts own not only do they have a regime in syria to prop up, they now have to deal with the isis threat in iraq. there have been reports that they don't have the manpower to -- int they do in a rack, iraq, and they are relying on conventional military activity to fight isis. iran does not have limitless military resources and they had already got this regime in syria to support. they presumably do not see the prospects of having to fight a years long war against isis as something that they relish
because of their own limitation. the other reason that time is not necessarily on the side of a iran is the price of oil. the price of oil is sinking. this is putting pressure on iran. that would be another reason why iran shouldn't take it just because the united states need them for isis -- they could play out the clock longer and longer. just a couple points to close. obama hasnt indicated, this war against isis is going to be long. it is going to be something that will be low-grade for some. some period of time. on the bright side, it looks like the united states and iran may have common interests on a
very significant subject for a long time to come, as long as this war is fighting to stop as long as isis is a threat, the united states and the randall common -- will have common interests. i don't think anyone is dealing with this had on because we don't know the future of a ssad. it that wants to train rebel forces in syria to fight and somewhere down the road we will deal with the assad problem. whenever that happens, that is what will put the united states and iran on a collision course, because once again their interests will come head-on. hopefully before that happens there will be a nuclear deal. >> thank you. i wanted to threat the
discussion -- thread the discussion. einstein famously said that politics is more difficult than physics. in the case of the iranian nuclear challenges, how do you view the leakage issue? i argued that compartmentalizing the agreement may be the way of financing this gap between -- nessing this gap. space on the technological continuing to region nuclear agreement. that workout does suggest a political narrative that is not unattractive for both sides. iran could say they stood up to bullying and got sanctions relief, we have preserved a rand
paul's rights. america could say they are not a screwdriver turn a way. -- turn away. see that coming to some sort of resolution? >> i do think that is a narrative that will bring to some kind of resolution. whether it will be by november 24 is another question. i thought it was interesting at the united nations in september ant both foreign minister secretary kerry were saying these issues are not linked. we are not going to do a trade-off of the nuclear deal for cooperation on isis. i think that was the right approach. it was the right approach for the united states because a deal in dealing with isis is a temporary thing.
but the half-life of a deal on isis is a lot shorter than a half-life on uranium or plutonium. they need something that is long-lasting on the nuclear side. that doesn't mean they are completely unrelated, but to trade-off the nuclear for uncertain gains elsewhere i think would have been unwise for the u.s. i think it would have been unwise for the uranium's -- the uranium's. iranians. they are stretched extremely thin. oil prices are dropping. if you believe the projections they will drop some more. it is dropping fast enough that you even wonder whether the russians want this deal to happen because the last thing they might want to happen is for the iranians to come back on the market with more oil and bring
the price down. even faster. if you are the supreme leader and you are playing this out, i think that you want to keep possibility of a cooperation against isis out there in the hopes that it will give you some advantage. but you don't want that to be explicit. if you had a model here, think of president kennedy removing the missiles in turkey. they were separate announcements, six months apart, complete deniability. if i was the united states or the iranians i would want to keep it that way. >> mark, in your presentation you mentioned that in iraq and and iran areates kind of tacitly in alignment supporting the central government, perceived as a
broader shiite government. in syria the interests begin to diverge over the future of us on assasd. how do you see that tension playing out over time, particularly when you have u.s. where you also have a rainy and forces -- iranian forces. some inadvertent action that run up against each other -- how do you see these issues getting worked out over time? is intriguinghe
prospect of american forces in iraq somehow not fighting alongside but in some kind of iranination with whatever is doing against a common enemy. the current debate in iraq is to what extent the u.s. advisers there are going to be engaged in combat. that is very much a disagreement depending on on whether you talk to someone at the pentagon are at the white house. certainly the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff have indicated that the pentagon envisions they will be working with iraqi forces on the ground, calling in airstrikes. that raises some very interesting prospects for er they are doing to beat back isis in iraq. i think the real question that we can't answer at this point is --what extent does the syria
what is the ground picture in syria? obama has ruled out roots on the ground, -- boots on the ground. it is hard to imagine that he is going to go back on that. but a lot can happen in two years. the question is if there was a military presence in syria, who will they be fighting and to aat extent does this issue of collision course -- assad remains at the center of the picture. thes in my mind in reporting i've seen -- i still haven't quite figured out how whatever force that has been trained to be the boots on the ground, what they are going to
do, and you they are going to fight, and how that is going to be worked out with either an american presence or the presence of another arab nation. isyou can imagine -- iraq actually an easier thing to envision in syria, which is a far more complicated prospect. >> thank you. let's open to the floor for questions and comments. if the speakers could please identify themselves. >> thank you. it was announced earlier this week that they have agreed to construct eight new nuclear reactors and you and. reactors any rand. what are the impact of that
announcement? david, you broke the story week about the possibility of fissile material going to russia, this opens the door to the possibility there might be some patriot actle needs for the fuel cycle program. what's your take? >> it's an excellent question and i think that the upside of iranians has been we're enriching fuel for a set of reactors that do not exist. the russian supply it and will be supplying it through 2021. now the agreement that was announced