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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 15, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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up and until we have someone who can speak the truth, i will be very leery. thank you for taking my call. host: harry in pennsylvania. republican. have you chosen a candidate? caller: donald trump. he is right on trade policy, right on illegal immigration. he is right on national security. i don't care what the experts say. i'm voting for trump. thank you for taking my call. host: have you gone to a rally? we've lost him. oceanside, new york. republican. hi, ian. caller: i am absolutely for trump. businessman,sful not somebody who's done nothing. whoever gets in office will have to grab the most by the horns
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and do what he has to do. you will get a do-nothing congress. they hate trump. they were buddy buddy. is -- ted cruz, but he all his legislation, i'm afraid he doesn't believe in executive orders. those are things that will have to get done because you will not get things through congress. trouble get everything straight. -- trump will get everything straight. christie and people like that don't even believe in the second amendment.
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host: let me ask you this. next debate is about national security. what do you want to hear from the candidates? caller: what trump said was on point. a very respected general. lissen, i believe that my grandfathers who fought in world war ii were very intelligent people. and the people ahead of them were intelligent. by saying you're at war with a theology, fundamentalist, you don't know where people stand. they are in our country just like if a rules committee? you have a president just want to keep important people that are going to grow up and be the next wave of disenfranchised people. who let's say -- america wasn't paved with gold for them. hit us. people fter they had everything good.
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we don't know what is up. we were just attacked. cops are around the block training. once a month they trained in the building and still elvis left the building. by the time these people got there, they were gone. host: all right. get in dianne why in bucksfield, maine, a democrat. good morning to you. go ahead. caller: i'm going to vote for bernie sanders. host: why? caller: he's not taking money from the big moneyed people. more equal in his personal wealth. host: have you given money to his campaign? caller: pardon? host: have you given money to his campaign? caller: yes. host: how much, if you don't mind telling. caller: $30. host: do you plan to give more? caller: yes, if i can. i'm on social security. it's pinching the pennies. host: mark in ohio, independent.
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mark, you'll be our last. have you chosen a candidate? caller: yes. bernie sanders. he believes in the values i believe in. the only exception would be i would vote for donald trump. if he chose bernie sanders to be his vice president running mate. i want to say ted cruz, marco rubio, and their families they should be sent back to cuba. host: i'll leave it there. we got to run. that does it for today's "washington journal." thank you for calling n we are going to bring you to the center for american progress. they are hosting special envoy todd stern, the top u.s. climate diplomat and chief negotiator to get his insights on the negotiation the agreement means for the future of international efforts to combat climate change. live here on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> i'm thrilled to see all of you for this fantastic conversation. for years the science has been clear for anyone who was willing to pay attention to it.
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unchecked, climate change poses major challenges to our society and the natural world. threatening the world's cities and infrastructure. food security, public health. and the survival of countless species. despite this very real and present danger, our congress has stood by and done almost nothing. since 2011, the only legislation that congress has considered has been to stop action on climate change. promote highly polluting sources of energy, block funding on research, and even prevent the state department from working with other countries on solutions. fortunately, none of these bad ideas have become law. but while congress dithered, president obama got to work. in june 2013, the president allowanced his climate action plan, and in the 2 1/2 years since we have seen bold and
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unprecedented leadership from the administration on the issue of climate change. they have taken steps to enhance efficiency, boost renewables, curb tailpipe emissions, and cut clution from our power sector. -- cut pollution from our power sector. as impressive as these accomplishments are, and they certainly are, we have also known that climate change is not a problem that can be solved by the united states alen. -- alone. we can lead but others must follow. that's why since 2009 the state department has persistently and resolutely toiled to bill consensus toward a global agreement on climate change. that work was not done in isolation. over the past year, the french demonstrated remarkable diplomatic skills and the chinese and indians stepped up to the plate. the private sector, civil society, and officials from every government around the world worked hard and it paid
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off. on saturday, 195 countries came together in the spirit of cooperation and solidarity around an historic climate agreement that will reduce carbon pollution and make the world safer for our children and grandchildren. the paris agreement has been characterized as ambitious, flexible, transparent. the world is already transitioning to greater clean energy use. this agreement establishes a strong foundation for that action that will accelerate the shift to a clean energy economy. -- economy for the world. as the administration has worked toward this achievement, the center for american progress has been right there. thinking through the problems, identifying solutions, and focusing the public's attention. our work on the green climate fund identified the tremendous opportunity the fund creates and how to get it off the ground.
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our work on the legal form of the agreement is an excellent primer for those hoping to understand what types of international agreements need to be considered by the senate and which ones don't. our work on loss and damage list a path for how this important issue could be resolved. and throughout the run up to paris, we were always thinking how do we increase the ambition? so many people from so many recognition erve for the work that made this agreement possible. but there is one man who has been the face of the united states to the world on climate change since 2009. and no one in the united states deserves more credit than he does. todd stern's career boasts an impressive list of accomplishments from harvard law school tosteinor white house negotiator at the kyoto and benos aires climate negotiations, to the senior role
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in the treasury and senate judiciary committee. not to mention his time here at the certainty for american progress as a senior fellow. todd is the lead u.s. negotiator and we are so very pleased and honored to welcome him here for his first appearance after the paris agreement for a conversation with cap senior fellow, peter ogden. please, todd stern, welcome to the stage, pete, please join us. [applause] todd: there was a point in time in washington where everybody who was a democrat had worked for either john or tony, and i actually worked for both of them. i also want to thank everybody at cap and everybody else who is involved and has been involved and engaged in the n.g.o. world. or in some other aspect of
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working on and pressing on action on climate change because i think that there was a huge amount of momentum around the world this year coming from n.g.o.'s in the u.s. and in europe and around the world come interesting business, the french were really good at developing what they call the pillar four for the paris event. hat channeled that kind of intense interest and activism and momentum. it was a really very different story if i think all the way back to kyoto where the business was basically lined up hard against action. so it -- all of that i think played a part. so i start with the thank you to all of you who have been engage intense interest and glad to be here. pete: maybe a good place to start would be to get your kind of perspective on what the key elements of the paris agreement are. then we can dig into that.
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and talk a little bit about what it was like on the ground for a couple weeks. todd: i think that we have -- that we have, in fact, a major historic agreement that is built on a number of elements. andt of all, it's universal lasting. kyoto. t of a not it's an agreement whose expectations and requirements and so forth apply to everybody. so we tried the kyoto model. model was all obligations aimed at developing countries. and that failed as matter of politics but fails as a matter of being able to substantively deal with the problem. universal and lasting. it sets us on a path of high so-called ilt model was on the
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indc's, the targets that 186 countries had put forward before the paris talk started. there are five-year cycles, so countries will have to ratchet up the targets every five years either on the basis that they put in a new target or if they are in the middle a longer target period they have to whether to cide crease at that time in light of science and technology and so forth. or at least put forward a communication saying that they have looked and they are going to keep -- stay where they are for that period. five-year ratchets which we thought were really critical. there are strong goals in the agreement both goal of keep temperature rise to well below two degrees and so-called tryine efforts to hold the increase to 1.5. as well as essentially carbon neutrality or climate neutrality in the course of the crentry. strong ambition.
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third -- century. strong ambition. third, strong new transparency regime we think is critical. this piece of the agreement is legally binding. and it applies to everybody. it's built on countries having to do inventories, having to report on the progress they are making toward their targets, getting -- being subject to expert review and pier -- peer review. all built into a transparency system that applies to both developed and developing countries. really important. it enhances the focus more than has ever happened before. with a particular emphasis on planning, al international cooperation, support from richer countries to
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poorer countries, and so forth. then i guess, we could have started here because this is quite fundamental to the agreement itself. the architecture of climate -- of the climate regime has changed. the core here is that of course there has to be differentiation of the poorer countries, and so forth. then i guess, we could have started here because this is uite fundamental to the agreeme really insisted and pushed for years since you were running around at the state department, pete, for a differentiation regime that is built on essentially forward-looking rather than backward looking approach with nationally determined activity based on capacity and circumstances at the core of it. rather than saying every country that is in this category, set of science and technology and so forth. or at least up in 1992, is only expected to do x and developed countries are expected to do y. even if those countries are china or korea or singapore really insisted and or the oecd countries now in that category. that doesn't make any sense. so instead we have essentially changed the architecture. then there are provisions on the financial assist an technical
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assistance which we think are strong and balanced and those are the key elements. pete: one of the things you mentioned at the very end which is one of the -- one of the threads that's been spun way back starting in 2009 how to move forwards an arrangement in which the major economies are see an hung up or obstacle in setting a low-carbon path. one which they think can be consistent with their own development priorities. do you peal like something is -- what's changed between 2009 when that was so hard to see and for countries to want to embrace to today when not only do they set that but they agreed to a system of ratcheting them in perpetuity. what do you think changed? todd: i think it's a really good question and it's going -- this is a question the answer to
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which will evolve with more reflection and more kind of review of what's actually happened. but i think i start the answer copenhagen, which is widely regarded as a massive failure, and definitely chaotic and failed in certain respects actually did very important things. in copenhagen was the first time where -- we come in, the president gets elected. secretary clinton comes to the state and i come in with her. and we are catching a negotiation that's right in the middle because that negotiation was launched in bali in 2007. so it's a two-year negotiation, and we are jumpping on to a moving train. that moving train basically still premised on the notion that you are going to fundamentally have -- have a real fundamental difference between the kinds of things that
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developed countries would do and the kind of things that developing countries would do. one side would be legally binding and economywide, etc., and the other sort of do what you can as you can. and we came in with -- i have been through the wars in kyoto and buenosaries after that. i have been working on climate continually. i have been through those wars. i continue to be involved in my capacity at c.a.p., as i was also practicing law. great, great, great many countries were just not prepared to have that basic kind of understanding that they thought that they had agreemed to -- agreed to in bali where you would still have a kyoto like separation.
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we came in and said at that time we are not going to do a legally binding agreement just for the developed countries. we'll consider the legally binding agreement if it's set up the right way, but not for just one side. not for us with leave china and all the others out. that royaled the waters a -- roiled the waters a lot. the danes who played a great hand all the way up to the last couple months figured out early on that this was not going to be the treaty that people were expecting because you weren't going to be able to get that. so they started to convert this whole notion quietly and bit by startedin a way that -- to talk about publicly. this would have to be agreement that would be politically binding but not legally binding and where at least the bit players all did something. and that actually happened in
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the copenhagen accord. but there was -- not without a lot of broken crockery. there was huge upset. huge kind of haven't reaction -- kind of violent reaction against being yanked out of the sold old system. that started it. the old system wasn't kind of finitively surpassed at that point, but that started it. think that then you sort of have years of negotiation by the mandate for this one was reached in durbin. there were two critical things in the durbin mandate. one was that the agreement was going to be applicable to all. they took that plunge that everybody was going to be in. in a way even well beyond what happened in copenhagen. and -- at the same time they got language in there that they felt protected them.
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it was going to be under the convention. it was going to be protected by the classic principles of common responsibilities and so forth. i think those things were quite critical. and then if you look at this agreement, there are still sort of protections from -- in terms of the way they would look at it. we reached an important one line fix in the famous china, joint announcement with china in 2014 where we took that kind of differentiated responsibility sentence which doesn't automatically mean this, but it's traditionally read by countries to be these two categories, we add add few words in the negotiation that was a part of that short statement which changed the formulation a little bit to make it more forward-looking, more -- with ore of a sense of evolution.
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that line then got dropped into the lima negotiation last year. it was a bit by bit, people getting more acclimated. and we were just -- we were just quite insistent. -- insistent about this for a long time. people knew, i think, there would not be an agreement with the united states unless we move past that whole architecture. pete: you mentioned that one of the challenges was trying to figure out the right legal form that would allow you to make -- to secure those gains. maybe we can talk a little bit about, again, the diplomacy on the ground. just as a general matter, one of the issues that arose at the very end was the question of some language in the text and the question of what it would
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mean, the overall legal architecture of the agreement. can you speak a little bit to that? how you felt when you saw the text. todd: so the last draft of the text that we were supposed to be less iteration, i guess, came out around 1:30 on saturday, and comes online to everybody's computers. we all started printing it out. i started reading it right away. i was the one who saw in article 4, paragraph 4, this word shall that wasn't supposed to be there. it was supposed to be a should and it should shall. it was a paragraph we had worked on very carefully and we had orked on in concert with the french. we worked through -- shared our -- the language and had agreement with the chinese. and all previous drafts had in
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that pivotal word had always been the same. the word matters because basically shall means legally binding and means should not gally binding in the way the drafting of international agreements goes. somehow or other a gremlin got into the french typewriters and computers and the word popped out. it is a very interesting mystery as to what happened because somebody, somewhere in the french or secretariat system decided to do that because you don't auto correct from should to shall. the law of fabios, the president of negotiations, and key drafters we were very close to, didn't know anything about it. i saw -- i actually saw the word. secretary kerry was there. we called him right away. he had no idea it had happened. none of the key drafting people knew it had happened. but somebody, somewhere changed
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it. we couldn't actually go forward because that would have made this whole agreement legally binding for the united states. that for reasons that are probably obvious, that wouldn't have been so useful for us. but it was a genuine mistake. and i think the chinese knew this and the french knew it. but on the floor -- i wasn't -- i wouldn't say i was deeply, deeply worried, but i was worried. but there was, at that point, such a sense in the room and there had been an earlier rearing in the plannery an hour before the text -- menery an hour before the text came out. -- plenery before the text came out. i can't imagine it would fall apart over this, but there is a history of tremendous amount of
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distrust and september sism in these negotiations. the notion everybody thought it was a mistake as opposed what did the u.s. do? what did they fix? it's not that easy, you have to get over that. then even the way -- these negotiations, this is a hardball environment. even for people in many difficult, are fair number of difficult countries may come as a shock to you, but there are, so for some those negotiator, whether it was a mistake or not, it was there. it was an opportunity. ok, you want me to agree to let this be fixed? what am i going to get? that would have unraveled the whole thing because you wouldn't have been able to stop that. there was 90 minutes of a lot of hustling around, diplomacy right on the floor and the back rooms french and the
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around the big podium area to fix that. ultimately we did. the french handled it. there was a lot of talking to a lot of people to explain what happened and quiet things down and to get the bolivians to talk to the nicaraguans and chinese to you talk to the south africans. there's a lot of calming that had to be done. pete: you said at the end there again, the french sort of handled that moment well. sound like they handled a lot of moments well. i think they have got a -- for people -- it's one thing to say it was diplomatically skillful. that word can sort of be abstract to people. what does it mean to be -- are there moments when you thought, you know, this is really well played. the french are doing this right. this was smart. or you sort of were able to -- in a more concrete way that people can wrap their heads around. todd: yeah.
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i think that they certainly played that moment guy well. and -- quite well. and once there was enough discussions had gone on and the proceedings resumed, they had a guy from the secretariat who has been there for a long time and o is just the picture of a pure contract, just get up and read through like 10 little corrections. there was supposed to be a comma here. just read through all these things at 90 miles an hour, including, and in paragraph 4.4, opening line says -- and just read the way it was supposed to be. never said it should shall, we changed it to should. it just went really quickly. and then went to fabius. seeing broad support in the room. bang.
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the whole thing was over before anybody kind of knew it. which was good. pete: i think that throughout the ltimately we -- i think tht two weeks but also throughout the year, i think they did a good job in -- just focus on the two weeks in paris. they did a good job in having the process feel open and clusive and giving people, giving countries a sense that everybody was getting an opportunity to be heard. and sometimes you do -- you have sessions that feel like they are -- a big waste of time. but there's a purpose to them. there was -- there were two sessions on wednesday and thursday night of the second week that went on for hours late in the night. where there was a room with a sort of gigantic square table. probably 85 countries around it.
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of like ries were kind giving speeches. sort of sitting there thinking we have things to do. we have actually got provisions left to get worked out. what are we doing. it's a waste of time. i think it wasn't a waste of time. i think it was actually smart to do. to give people that sense of being included. they spent the entire day on friday having groups because many different groupings. you have the islands, africans, and the least developed countries. like 15 different groups of countries. and each coming in to sit with fabius to say this is what they were concerned about and to kind of knock that back and forth a little bit. i think that probably took 10 hours. it was a long day. again, first of all, in that case it was an important
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substance that happened because they learn where there's really, really problems that still have to get worked out. but gives people a chance to be heard. this is an art not a science managing these kinds of negotiations. of it's an odd kind international body because -- and process because there is a new cop, conference of the parties meeting, at the end of every year and every year it's a different place. now the french know how to do it now. but they are not doing it. like the mexicans were great in 2010. and they kind of mastered it. but then they were done. you do it for one year and you're done. then somebody else comes in and they don't have a clue what they are doing. so there's that kind of built in oddity in the way this process works. pete: it will be interesting to
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hear about, not just the diplomatic success of the french, this was a c.o.p. in which you were there for two weeks. president obama was there for several days. secretary kerry was there for much of the two weeks. there's a huge amount of on-the-ground activity leading up to that moment the last several years. what was the sort of theory of the case? in paris? todd: that's the right question. i should go back a little bit in time because the -- not to toot our own horn, but but an awful lot of this agreement reflects the theory of the case that we had from the beginning. go become to durbin, 2011, in december four years ago. we came out of that conference with this new mandate to do, as i said before, a new agreement
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legal in some form but not clear what the legal form would be. applicable to all. sort of covering various areas. to me it wasn't very complicated to figure out, it also was not the case that other countries had gotten there right awafmente we figured out pretty much right away, the only way to do this agreement would be to have a bottom up structure in which countries naturally determine what their commitments are going to be as opposed to the kind of negotiation that occurred in kyoto which, because it was very limited in terms of the countries, developed countries, and having been there i can tell you the negotiation fundamentally was a three-corner negotiation between the u.s., japan, and e.u. about what our targets were going to be. there's some other developing --
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developed countries on the sides of that. that was the core of it. it was a real negotiation about countries agreeing to each other's targets. you couldn't have targets -- you couldn't have that kind of negotiation. you have 195 countries, including all the developing countries. you had to have a bottom up structure. which turned into -- it was originally determined commitments then nationally determined contributions for reasons not spending time on, and then we had the additional idea -- you have to start that way, but you also don't want to let countries off the hook easy. you want to put as much kind ofal two -- kind of salutary pressure. so we came up with the idea let's have a first round intended determined contribution that would go in six or nine months before the end so that countries would have to be exposed to the sunlight. i have to put my target down.
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guys like you and other n.g.o.s and the press and think tanks and analytic bodies and other countries are going to look and say thumbs up, thumbs down. that's good, that stinks. whatever. you're going to have pressure put on countries, reputational pressure. most countries care about that. the e.u. favored and tool -- actual more involved assessment process to determine whether the proposed targets were good enough. we didn't oppose that in the sense that we could have done that for our own purposes, we knew that wouldn't fly. no way the developing countries were going to put up with that. we just thought the sunlight in and of itself would help drive. and then we were -- we have a pretty clear idea in our mind about the legal nature that the agreement -- legal form the agreement would have to take. usefully and actually not
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through any connimbing on our part because but because they were useful self-starters, new zealand put forward a proposal that was very -- very constructive from our point of view. it was an approach for the legal form of the agreement basically said this should be a hybrid. it should have legally binding commitments to put forward your target. and to have all of the elements of transparency and accountability, legally binding, and rules legally binding, but not the target itself. and that was, from our point of view, a very useful construct because it would still be legally -- legal agreement but very important part of it wouldn't be. that also was something that we started to work on and socialize. which didn't get settled all the way to paris, although it was one of those things that didn't get settled because countries -- one of those things where everybody knows where it's going to end, but the e.u. and others didn't want to say so until the
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end. transparency was going to be key. you've got -- you have all of ese determined targets, it's great. how do you know countries will o what they say. are there penalties? are they punitive? is this binding in that sense? the answer is no, because you can't possibly get an agreement for that at this stage. legally binding but not in a punitive way. and all of those elements are elements that form the kind of core architecture of this agreement. and again the notion that we, as i said before, we were going to have to have differentiation. completely unfair to think everybody is supposed to do the same thing. we are completely, always have been completely supported the notion that developing countries should have the capacity to act in this area, but in a way that
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preserves their imperatives of development and growth and poverty eradication and all that. all of those were sort of the key building blocks of this thing, which we had mapped out pretty much from the beginning. we have this forum that we started called the major economies forum. interestingly it was a forerunner that was started by brush. it was a major economies meeting. don't actually know what the real story was kind their setting up. i always thought -- it was -- there were not focuses on getting an international agreement done in the bush administration. t i think they had sort of undergone quite a lot of criticism for having pulled out of kyoto. i think at some point along the way they wanted to start to put a more positive face on activities in the climate arena. they put together this group of
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17 countries developed and developing. and we inherited, we didn't decide to change -- more or less the g-20 minus about three. we took that group, gave a slightly new name and mission which was help facilitate the negotiations as well as a couple of other things. and we used that -- it's always been a tremendously useful body which has met anywhere from three to six times a year. and it's a place where -- speaking of c.a.p., i wrote an ticle for c.a.p. between the democratic administrations, that called for the creation of an e-8 i called it at that point. which is the eight counted europe as one. not that different from the 17 that ended up in major economies forum. but the notion was you need to have a place where having gone
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o quitoo and buenos aires -- kyoto, realize that's where you can't have serious conversation aboutspolicy. we needed to create that at a ministerial level, get together often, and have trust and intimacy built up between countries over time and have it be a place where you can socialize ideas, not make decisions, negotiate. but socialize ideas. you were at a number of them, and i think it had that effect. i'm rambling. pete: and yet in paris itself you found the need for new coalition. it todd: i'll give you a little bit of tactics closer in. i was sort of giving you broader strategy what it would look do the patient
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dim macy, major economy meetings, my team goes three, four times a year to the formal sessions of the 195 countries orking on the agreement. this year we came into the year with about a 90-page compilation text which wasn't really a text of an agreement. it was everything but the kitchen sink thrown in by countries who wanted to make sure that their own pet ideas were included. that all gets put together and you have this huge ungainly thing. it dew point change that much over the -- it didn't change that much over the year. there were four meetings at the subministerial level, negotiator level, one notch below me. and the first meeting didn't change that text very much. the second meeting they got it from about 90 to 85 pages.
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nd then the third one still -- it was still in this unmanageable form. and then that was early september. and then the last meeting of the so-called formal meeting of the negotiator took place october 19, 2013, and the co-chairs of the negotiation, not the french, but one guy from the u.s., one guy from algeria at that point decided to go for -- to make the big move from this big sort of ungainly mass to a stripped down, clear, coherently organized and very short text which is about 10 pages for the agreement and another 10 pages for the accompanying decision. they decided or they were pushed in this direction by the french i'm not sure, but
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places where they just made a choice among options. and they made that choice too early in the process. you might think october is getting to be pretty late, not in this process. they also had a hope early plac that by october it was going to be wrapped up and we would have a celebration in paris and for the actual meeting. and the other is old dogs who had been through this a number of times knew that was wildly unrealistic. although there are other negotiations that work that way. there were two other international negotiations this year that one for the financing for development and the other post-2015. both of which basically wrapped up a month or so early. climate didn't work that way. they go in with this stripped down text and there's an uproar in the meeting in october. and the g-77 leadership, which is the ambassador from south africa, really pulled together
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the hardliners and pulled g-77 meeting,hole all the developing contry, and even the progressive voices among the developing countries were pretty much silenced. you had this roiling, angry, acrimonious meeting just a month before paris, basically. so i and the two weeks after that there was a session of which happensries every year called the prec.o.p., meeting of ministers, this is bigger than usual, usually about 40 countries, but chaired by the french, and i went to that meeting because of the experience of october very much focused on rekindling a coalition that the e.u. had pulled together fete of durbin -- at the time of durbin to get durbin done. e.u. worked with the island and least developing countries who had interest and perspectives
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that often are different from china, israel, and brazil. pre-c.o.p. to the very much with a mission to get that coalition restarted and to put the u.s. firmly in that coalition where we had always been on the margins. and to show flexibility in certain areas, different from what we had done all year to try to get them more -- get that sort of countries more revive them and get them more sort of open and synced up with the u.s. and e.u. i think we did that successfully six that sort of five or days in paris of the pre-c.o.p. then that gave rise to what became known as the high am mission coalition in -- ambition
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coalition in paris which was enormously important tactically. there was various meetings along the way in the first meek, but there was then a dinner sunday night the 6th in paris that's hosted by sort of a combination of the u.k. and the leader from one of the islands, the marshall islands, their minister is very good. there was maybe 30 countries at this dinner, including us. and then there was very close kind of ongoing collaboration and inner action of this coalition in the days that followed, including, forget whether it was wednesday or thursday, but a press conference where i think eight or nine of us were up on the stage, including the u.s. for the first time. and the press conference room
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was completely packed. this was already big news. and i think it had a big impact. it was remarkable moment on the idday menery -- plenery on saturday. the text wasn't ready but fabius was walking through what would he happen that day and gave a strong speech himself, but there was basically a march from the meeting room in the u.k. delegation all the way -- this is a big, big center. this was like a long way. it wasn't like from here to there. and it just sort of swelled and there were like a zillion cameras and people were cheering. it was amazing moment. i think it was -- it was both a moving moment, but i also think it was a tactically important
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message to send to the whole body. pete: i think it's undoubtedly ne of the defining moments virbleually that will be remembered and associated with that. i know that -- we could continue to unpack what happened for a long time. i want to just use our few minutes remaining to talk a little bit about what's to come. i know you probably have not had a lot of time to think about this, but as you said one of the successes of paris was because of the activity of civil society, private sector. they were all -- all had a big hand in this victory. so people start to think about 2017 and beyond, not to sort of put you on the spot and say these are the only three things to focus on, what kind of questions do you still think could benefit from more thought and investigations when you move
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forward and try to make the most of this agreement? todd: i guess the first thing is that there are going to be a number of areas where further work, clines, or whatever, will need to be put in place to implement -- guidelines, or whatever, will need to be put in place to implement -- perfect example is the whole transparency regime. we had a -- we had a one real priority which -- there, which was not allow the effort which was an actual explicit effort by a number of countries to have a super short, super minimalize transparency section which basically would say we agree to establish a new transparency system, details next year, because we wanted the moment when we were in the spotlight to be able to say, no, it's got to be this kind with these basic parameters.
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then you can spell it out more. you don't allow the people who are sort of more recalcitrant to push it off into a year where there would be less focus and where many of them would try to -- try if there hadn't been enough texture, to say, but this still developed countries do this and developing countries do that. so we got what we needed and then some in terms of spelling out enough detail. but it's still not -- you still need to do more than that. there will be guidelines that will need to get negotiated there in other areas. those will be important and important to make sure that the world is still watching and that n.g.o.s and others are making clear and making sure the press aren't looking the other way because that's where people who are trying to pull back will try o do their work.
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there will be some number of actually in the international negotiations where we will need to do further work and we are actually just -- my team is not even back yet. we all know that the next step will be to kind of map out exactly what those areas are and what the plan is to carry them forward. it's also true that there will be a tremendous amount of what needs to happen now that needs to happen at national levels. or in cooperative levels between , whether it was bilaterally or in some plural lateral configurations, but the name of the game now is the countries have to take the steps which are almost always at a national
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level to meet the targets that .hey put toward there's -- put forward. there's a ton of work to do with developing countries to get -- help them develop the sort of enabling environments that can attract investment that tends to be when you talk about finance in these overly politicized negotiations, you tend to get the response often that we don't want to talk about the private sector. we just -- you owe us. it's your fault. blah, blah, blah. obviously there needs to be substantial public money. if you look at the -- there was n actual process that was -- gone through this year to see how far we have -- where are we in the course of getting to that $100 billion commitment that goes all the way back to copenhagen to mobilize $100 billion for developing countries
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by 2020 from all developed countries? the oecd did a study and showed we were about 62 to 65 billion per year through 2014. about 3/4 of that is public money. it's not the case that the public money isn't happening. -- step the case that back. what all of this is about, everything we have been talking about is transforming the global economy to low-carbon. that's what this game is. that's the only way we actually combat climate change. to be teps that need taken to make that possible are key and the capacity to get private sector finance flowing around the world is critical. and that requires the right kind
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of investment environments in countries around the world. you can see countries that are doing it. even sometimes really surprising ones. nicaragua, of all places, totally hard line in the negotiations, by the way, ncluding in those last minutes that we talked about earlier. they have gone -- don't have exact numbers in my head right now. but somewhere in the range of 20% to almost 50% renewable energy that we talked about earlier. and they have attracted -- it's a small country but they have attracted, i forget exactly, but somewhere between a in about fi $2 billion of private investment. they have done it because they have made regulatory and legal changes very deliberately where they were paying way too many for energy where they were relyle on diesel and expensive stuff and they got religion now. and they are going just
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completely whole hog. malaysia is doing well. well. ines $2 billion of are dg and it can be because you put in a feed in tariff. you put in changes that make it possible for countries, for investors to actually depend on the power purchase agreement that's part of the facility that's built. but there's a zillion countries where that's not true. it's going to be really important if you think about sort of clean energy transformation that needs to happen to do those things. it's going to be very important to drive assistence -- asince for adaptation in countries that are really poor. -- assistance for adapation in countries that are really poor. the initiative that prime minister modi called, don't love the name, i love the fact he named it, mission innovation. was really, really good idea that we well. and it worked on with the french and indians and was -- in
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which bill gates had a very important role. but its premised on all -- getting as many countries, we ended up with 20, which is stroor since the whole thing start to finish was less than three months, to agree to double their investment in r&d, energy r&d, clean energy r&d within five years. with gates having rounded up, i any about -- i think about 25 of his multibillionaire investor friends, to agree to invest in he output of that kind of r&d. that's hugely important because we have tons of cleaner energy alternatives, to some extent we are using them, but a lot more that we can do with what exists, but what exists is not enough to
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actually lick this problem. need still transformational discoveries and inventions, and that happens through doing really serious basic research and having investors ready to get discoveries over the various death valleys that make it hard to go from discovery to commercialization. i was really very excited about this development. there will need to be more activities like that. it's sort of like the game is on now. we have created a framework for international action that's going to last. that is going to ratchet up every five years. that has a structure for what countries are supposed to do in terms of them -- mitigation and transparency and financial support and all of that. that's now for the first time ever established. and now it's game on. now everybody's got to go and --
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under the banner of this -- under this structure, take action. pete: we have a few more minutes here before todd will have to leave and start playing that game. i'd love to be able to take a couple questions from the audience, if you don't mind. if you could please announce your name and organization affiliation, please, gentleman here in the front with the tie. >> walt, partnership for responsible growth. there is no question that what you have negotiated is an extraordinary achievement. there's also talk that even if every country achieves the targets, nobody falls on time, we are still only getting halfway to where we need to be. probably less than halfway if we are really shooting for a degree and a half as opposed to two
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degree increase. what do you think the impact would be internationally if we were able in the united states, the next congress, to elect -- to enact a revenue neutral fee on carbon emissions? couple that with a border tax adjustment tariff to give other countries the economic self- interest incentive to do the same thing. would that get us where we need to be post-paris? todd: thanks for the question. let me say a couple of things. first of all you're right that these indc's don't get us all the way there. nobody in their wildest dreams thought they would. i he -- i would note the study by climate action tracker which is a very good analytic body analyzing the trajectory we are on. a year ago they projected based on the policies that existed we
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were on a path to 3.6. october first this year they preadvised that to 2.7. a long way from two and longer way from 1.5 but also a long way from 3.6 in one year. i tend to see that glass a little more halfful than half empty. that's very important. pricing carbon is a big, big, big, big deefment we sort of have implicit prices on carbon. obviously the president tried to get a real price on carbon back with regard to cap and trade legislation, but that -- some way that's going to happen. one hopes it will happen sooner rather than later. but we -- the president has done what i think by any assessment has been absolutely amazing job of driving forward change in this country on the basis of legislation that already exists. in the power sector, the vehicle
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sector, buildings, and so forth. you can do more if you have congress. i think that that's -- my guess is that's something in our future. again, the seener -- sooner the future can come, the better. border adjustment that's another issue. i don't want to jump into that one. think what you'd rather see ideally is a world in which there was carbon pricing taking place all over. the chinese are getting close to putting in a national cap and trade program. whether it's priced at the right level or not, probably won't be right away, but again if they get the structure, that could be a start. . i think that thing will be kind of important. the other thing is we need to get ourselves -- and i think it's already happening, but we need to get ourselves into a
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circle where more action begets more action and at the point where -- we're definitely not there yet, but at the point where the straight economic ase says you're better off going with clean energy than the alternative then things can happen very, very quickly. you don't need legislation for mputers to make i.b.m. selectrics obsolete. there was better, cheaper alternatives so -- >> we have time for one more question. gentleman in the far back there. yes. >> thanks. i'm curt with common sense. i have a question really about psychology. i can't get agreement around my own dinner table and i'm amazed you can get 195 countries to agree what day it is much less as something as complicated as
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this. i wonder if you had any explicit work on it. did you have a team of psychologists to make people more constructive or cooperative or was it the french wine? do you have any tips for me? mr. stern: i didn't have a team of psychologists. we had occasional french wine. you know, -- so it's actually never the case that you get everybody to agree with you. these get is -- and are very contentious negotiations. they always are. the sense at the very end of everybody, like, feeling pretty positive about it was striking to be sure, but what you're oing is trying to build enough -- find the landing zones, socialize those with enough important players. recognize that everybody's
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going to be unhappy, to some extent, and you're trying to get the unhappiness limited enough or leveled enough by places in the agreement where they can be a little bit happy that nobody's ready to jump off a bridge. you're not -- there's never a kumbaya moment in negotiations like this except maybe when the gavel comes down and everybody is relieved and pleased that something's happened. again, i will say even for the toughest nuts to crack, there as a lot of smiles at the end. that was interesting and saving. i mean, -- if i get some time off one of these days to sort of think about how it all comes together but it's a matter of
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countries evaluating the national interests in a pretty hard-headed way. and you also have a phenomenon, i suppose -- there's different negotiating styles. we tend not to be this way. i think generally developed countries, for whatever reason, don't tend to be this way. i don't mean to say paint with a broad brush that all developed countries are. you have some dynamic of a smile where countries ask for the moon knowing they're going to get a lot, a lot less. and so when they don't get the moon they're not actually that disappointed because they didn't think they were. there's just a lot of patient work that goes bit by bit and trying to put a package together as i say no one is so unhappy that they're prepared to block it. >> thanks. and the paris agreement, i don't know if you got the moon but you got something that was
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historic and would not have happened but for your 70 years of relentless day and night of work. thanks so much for coming here today. thanks everyone for joining us and we look forward to keeping it going. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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>> and more live coverage this morning as president obama attends a naturalization ceremony that's being held at the national archives in washington, d.c., on the 224th anniversary of the bill of rights, which is kept at the national archives. you can watch live coverage of the ceremony starting this morning at 11:25 eastern time over on our companion network c-span3. and a speech by presidential candidate hillary clinton on national security and combating terrorism. she will be speaking at the university of minnesota in minneapolis at 3:45 eastern. > the reagan narrative was a lightweight grade b actor with premature orange hair which is what gerald ford said about him in 1976.
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he's turning prema turrill orange. even with all of the successes of his administration, historians have consistently rated reagan low. i believe out of ideological bias. >> sunday night on q&a, ronald n craig looks at reagan and after his death. >> i grew up in the 1980's, developed in the 1980's. i also write about the facts. i don't make things up. and i don't believe that ed meese or lou cann makes anything up. we've succeeded in repositioning people's thinking about ronald reagan so it was -- the picture that emerged is of a very serious, deep-thinking, contract, solicitous man. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern
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on "q&a." >> secretary of state john kerry is in moss could he for talks on ukraine and ending the syrian civil war. last week the group new america hosted a discussion on humanitarian and security implications of the syrian refugee crisis. this portion includes the german ambassador to the united states. germany has allowed entry of more than one million immigrants this year, many of them syrian. >> thank you for our final panel. we'll have to slip out at 3:30 to get to the next urgent appointment so we're going to start now. kati: good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. this is our final session and
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heretofore we have had some very powerful and personal presentations about the scale and the depth of the and the ian crisis respond f the world to to. i hope we can move on to possible solutions to the problem. four do that we have onderful and extremely qualified commentators. we're going to start with anne-marie because as we've been told, her family is waiting for her at princeton so we don't want her to miss her 3:30 train. i'd also like to welcome ambassador wittig of the federal republic of germany who has a very important role to play in the refugee crisis.
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germany being the most responsible civic citizen in the world right now. i don't think that's an exaggeration. and gregory maniatis, who is an expert on the european end of the refugee crisis but also works for the secretary general as well as for open society. so we're very fortunate to have you, gregory. and leon wieseltier, who needs no introduction whatsoever, who will take the discussion to an even higher comblectual level which we've -- intellectual level which we've reached so far. so the challenge is yours. anne-marie, let's start with you. no one is disputing the scale of the problem, both humanitarian and national secretary. anne-marie: you've asked us to focus on osolutions and my designated job often is to be
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provide ideas that are not on the current table. in my opening remarks, last one i said we need to start thinking about refugees as an opportunity. actually my 19-year-old son texted me earlier this morning and said, mom, you know, why aren't refugees the answer to greece's problems? and only an 19-year-old who is not sufficiently steeped in the cynicism of politics -- although my husband has done his level act to make sure he's steeped into cynical politics but his point was, here you have greece. you have a country that has all sorts of economic problems. many of those demographic in the sense of not having the kind of economy that is needed. indeed, that's true throughout europe. if we were -- had a panel on
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democracy, we would be looking at a rapidly aging population and not nearly enough young people to support the older generation. and from that perspective, admitting hundreds of thousands, millions of refugees is exactly what europe needs. so he's looking at that without the politics or anything else. but honestly, that is right. what that's not taking account of is, of course, religious differences, language differences, cultural difference it's, general suspicion. still, that is the way the united states has built itself, regular waves of migrants but including refugees. so i guess what i would say is, are we focusing enough -- and we heard a little bit about this in the last panel -- on actually creating incentives to
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admit people rather than protecting -- rather than providing help to the refugees themselves? so imagine if -- you know, you're told, you're in greece, you're in italy, you're in germany, you're in france, if you take in refugees you get money from the u.n. to build a new school, you get money from the u.n. to build a new clinic, you get money from the u.n. to improve your infrastructure in countless ways? now, in fact, the spention on refugees, at least in germany, and perhaps we'll hear from the ambassador, is going to jump-start the economy. in fact, i was at a dinner where i noted such economists was essentially saying the spending on refugees and security is part of what europe's going to need to get its economies going. but my point is rather, instead of thinking of this as desperate people whom we must help, if there are ways, both in terms of the public narrative but also how we deliver assistance so that it is in fact people who take
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these others in get direct benefits and the economy as a whole actually gets a new generation of young people, that is a very different frame than these are desperate people who have terrorists among them. kati: but the loudest voices heretofore have been the fear mongers, the ones who identify refugees with isis. and ambassador wittig, i don't hear enough from the other side. it started with the prime nister of my former country, hungary, but the virus has now spread throughout the continent. and to our shores as well. how much longer the virus of anti-refugees, because they're bringing with them the threat of isis, how much longer can
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your country sustain this really exemplary role you're playing heretofore in opening your gates to refugees? ambassador wittig: well, this refugee movement is one of the most serious challenges for europe and also for my country since the second world war, since the inception of the european union. it's an epic movement of people of almost biblical proportions, and it's the first digital movement of people in the history. so we have a new phenomenon here. my own country, as you know, took in a million this year. until a couple days ago, we got -- we received 10,000 a day. just to show you the proportion, sort of in comparison with the discussion here where the american discussion reinvolved around taking 10,000 within a time span of a year and a half.
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so we got that 10,000 on a daily basis. ow, it's subsided a little bit through the inclement weather. the challenge shuge. my country decided to -- and with the chancellor at the helm, to live up to our humanitarian standard, to keep up our liberal asylum law that we designed as also as a lesson f the nazi regime. and we have a no refusal policy for asylum seekers so far. there are huge challenges. there are backlashes. there are political problems. there are practical problems of coping with that number. the infrastructure is in part sort of overwhelmed. and there are political -- and this is what you refer to. there are political fault lines that are emerging in the
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countries. xeno is a resurgence of phobic elements. there are people who are probably the losers of globalization who are driven by fear who don't see the opportunities but rather risk. d you refer to the greek crisis. we went through a difficult problem where the fault line between rich and poor and north and south and we have the danger, at least, of a new fault line between east and western europe where eastern countries at the eastern rim of the european union are much more hesitant to have a liberal asylum policy. that's a huge problem and it strengthens the central focal forces within europe and that's dangerous and it needs strong leadership.
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it needs a commonality of values. lso, a coalition of leaders to fight that movement through the right and the movement of populism that we've seen throughout the countries. kati: gregory, what does the e.u. even stand for in light of this current challenge, which it does not seem to be living up to its original values and core message for? what is the e.u.? gregory: you strike right at the heart of what's wrong now. if we come up with the right solutions we need to look at what's happening in europe. this is a humanitarian crisis and we've been talking about it as much but we need to pull back and it's a political crisis for the e.u. let me explain why that is. europe over the past decade has experienced through major crises -- the financial crisis. the russian invasion of georgia
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followed by the russian invasion of ukraine. and the cumulative effect of those three crises have brought the european union to its knees. it has strained relations among the states to the breaking point. the hero of the story in this migration crisis is chancellor merkel. she is now distrusted by her fellow leaders for having done something we recognize as being quite heroic but they say it's politically reckless. i think it was the right thing to do and i'll explain why i think it was the right thing to do. we have interstate relationes that are strained as a result of the crises. we have the politics on the ground being quite toxic at this point. europe advanced because it was able to pick the low hanging fruits among the integration states. these three crises showed when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to financial policy, europeans aren't there yet. the most s is perhaps
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-- people talked about russia invading ukraine and georgia. and opinions that greeks were lazy, not lazy. you had all of that. but everyone has an opinion about the refugee crisis. i'd like to remind people there is not a pro-migration, anti-migration camp. there's a little bit in each of them. it's easy as a dom gauged politics to tap into it. it's not the east-west divide. where are the parties -- far right parties on the rise in sweden, one or two. number one and number two. number one in the netherlands. number one in -- governing coalition in denmark. it is a pan-european problem, not to mention france, right? the strategic part for the united states, for the world, i think, has to be to help europe
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and to help germany. that's the number one strategic priority. it's no one else's strategic priority. it is not the russian strategic priority. there are ways to mitigate the crisis, right? what ot hard to look at the european response was this year and scratch your head and say, why did they promote a mediterranean military mission on a theory for months this was about the failure of libya, it was a failed state, they were bringing governors to brussels negotiate with them in order to have a military mission in them. the flows had switched to greece. that was one really bad analysis. the second bad analysis, what we have to do is take people from greece and bring them to the rest of europe and they came up with a relocation plan that had not been properly preprared and had not been politically prepared. today there's a total of 130
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people relocated from greece and italy at a committed level of 160,000. at a need of serve hundred thousands. so you have to now build a european response. you have to support germany first and foremost. if you lose chancellor merkel you have lost the engine of europe and european integration and cannot go forward without germany and chancellor merkel. you have to support her. you have to support europe, and the international community now has to play its role. it's not a european problem. it's a global problem. it was framed a european problem, including by the europeans, unfortunately. this is a global responsibility to protect the refugees who are coming out of syria. the compass toyota do that isn't there. we have to build that. kati: why, leon, does the united states not identify this as the problem that it is and in its self-interest to support europe, to support germany in more than a rhetorical way?
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leon: well, because we're not internationalists the way we used to be anymore. and because -- yeah, we're not internationalists and because the humanitarian dimension of our foreign policy, a notion that our values are a pillar of our foreign policy. the foreign policy that was deeply exercised by questions of relief and rescue has fallen away in the obama years. has simply fallen away. you can argue about that another time. but as an impeercal -- no, there's more to say. it's fallen away. i think as of three weeks ago, since the beginning of the syrian war, we have taken in 2,138 syrian refugees. and three weeks ago the united states took 3 1 syrian refugees. so the first thing to be said is shame on us. but the -- but it's important to understand when we speak of
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the west, there's the american west and there's the european west and they're very different in their political cultures. so the american failure to do anything for the refugees, and it's already a failure because this is -- one of the things we have to -- we talk about when it comes to questions about refugees is whether the united states government or any western government is any longer capable of meaningful emergency action. these are -- there are some problems in which time is of the essence and it's going to start to snow in europe on these people and they are going to have their first winter. and the flows -- there's still 2,000 people coming a day through greece. there's rescue. there's relief. there's rescue. we're doing nothing. and what -- but the europeans -- i guess what i want to say is this. the refugees, what they pose to europe is a threat to the traditional european understanding of the nation state.
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according to the traditional european understanding of the nation state, every nation should be incar nated a state and every state should exeveryoneify or personify a nation. that is to say ideally the political boundaries and the political boundaries should coincide but of course they never do they and they develop this thing the problem of minorities which europe was dealing with now. what this means is what europe has already lacked in its conception of its national identities is any conception of a naturally multiethnic society. and one of the things that has been happening in europe in recent -- and now the refugee crisis will exacerbate this is that pressure is being put on national old theory of the perfect fit of the nation and the stay and europe is being pusheded towards some sort of multiethnicity for which ropean culture is singularly ill-equipped because we all know the history of europe's
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attitudes towards the other and the stranger and so on. the united states by contrast is with the terrible example of the native americans aside, we are a naturally multiethnic society. we were multiethnic before we became multicultural or. and so when we fail to do anything about the refugees, we are actually betraying the nature of our own society. kati: so we are no longer in a position to lead because the not e that we present is one welcome point to? leon: people with hyphens, all of whom come from somewhere else, should make us a model in an age of globalization, whatever that means, for societies that are going to include many groups. only to the fact we are no longer interested -- you know,
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bush and obama together, they were like the two males in the coffin of interventionism and nationalism. they played their part brilliantly and we are not internationalists. gregory: i said earlier i wanted to talk a little bit about why chancellor merkel did what she did at the end of august. it was a humanitarian gesture but i think it is much more than that. and she recognized that europe was at an inflexion point. that there was this wave of anti-refugee sentiment or bond. the others we don't want muslims and she felt, i think -- i don't know this. she had to stand up for european values as they've been embodied in the european union since the end of the -- essentially since the end of the second world war. europe was going in a different direction. it's stalling because of this. she felt she had to take a
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stand. even if the burden was going to fall on germ northeast and now she has to get that to fall on the rest of europe. and i think there's another reason as an east german she also recognized the inequality that led to -- that led to this crisis. and that drove people to come to europe as well. and she wanted to address that. kati: that does not seem to be spreading. quite the reverse. it's the counterexample. it's the example that seems to be gaining traction. so germany is now virtually alone. how long can that position be sustained? ambassador wittig: can i, before answering that, defend the u.s. on two accounts? kati: somebody needs to. anne-marie: go ahead. ambassador wittig: number one, we might wish the u.s. take in more syrian refugees. that's difficult in the current environment. what it does, it's the most
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generous donors for refugees in the region. and this is one of the important questions when we solutions, keep the syrians in the adjacent countries of jordan, turkey, lebanon, and help the i.d.p.'s, the internal displaced persons within syria. there are seven million. all in all, it's about 11 million. and the u.s. is by far the most generous donor for catering for the refugees there. kati: fair enough. ambassador wittig: and the second thing is -- of course, that goes to the root cause of this movement of people. that's the war in syria. and here in the end we need the military combat against isil. but also we need a political process. here. we are grateful to secretary
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kerry for leading this initiative to establish a political process. two good points. kati: we're going to go to anne-marie. hold that thought. you wanted to jump in. anne-marie: and i will leave on a more optimistic note with respect to ultimately stopping the source which is to end the syrian civil war. we will not do it for the reasons that both leon and i think we should have done it from the beginning. but even from the beginning, the internationalists argument about why we should have intervened much earlier was both, in my case anyway, a strategic one, if we do not things will get worse and worse and worse and it's obvious that is so. but the other was standing up for our values is a part of our power. d the internationalist impulse in the united states has been both. it's a strategic calculation and this is not just good work,
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this is part of our identity. that's part of our power. we didn't go in for those reasons. we will now go in because of isis. that's not the right reason to go in. as we just heard. it's not isis that's driving those refugees. it is assad. but that doesn't matter. the public now sees this as we must stop isis. because that is the origin of the fear we're feeling domestically, and because of that and because of we're in an election year, i do predict we have -- we will do whatever it takes to get the various folks to the table. and i will predict we are going to get a political settlement within the next year. and that will not solve everything. it will at least some people go home and take the immediate pressure off. and with that optimistic prediction i have to leave you. kati: don't wait. -- hope you nk
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make the train. leon: one, the discussion of the refugee crisis should not be incorporated either into the discussion of intervention or into the discussion of immigration which is what is happening. i think if you incorporate into the discussion of immigration, which is what happened in our coming up with these feeble numbers of 10,000 which, of course, 10,000, etc. we are global refugee policy. we don't understand the urgency. a refugee is an immigrant but a refugee is a special kind of immigrant with a special kind of urgent problem. you don't -- and we cannot absorb it into discussion of intervention, and here's where -- i agree with anne-marie theoretically as it were, but if in fact the solution to the refugee crisis is going to await a political solution in syria, this crisis is going to last a very long time. i see no reason to believe that a political solution in syria is remotely imminent, not
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remotely. i have no reason to believe even if the numbers supporting a more robust american policy in syria are going up that this white house is going to authorize any sort of meaningful military action that would change the battlefield dynamic sufficiently to bring everyone to a meaningful negotiation. it's a council of despair to tie it to the resolution of the syrian problem. the second thing i wanted to say to peter is, i think it's actually -- i see no reason to think that the economic situation in this country will not allow us to take in large numbers of refugees. i think that -- i think there is a lack of political courage in this country right now. so i guess i want to go back to attack my country. i think that right now the american debate about the refugees is basically a debate nativists ofobes and and no liberal bleeding heart
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good souls who will do nothing for the refugees. i think if you look at the numbers being contemplated, nobody, for example, no democrat -- never mind the white house. not in the senate, what i heard, will speak up candidly to the american people why they're panicked about security is absurd. no one is prepared to do it. shumer wanted a discussion tabled after paris. precisely because nobody wants to tell the truth. you know, and it's a problem that's very easy to discuss. for example, nobody will get up and tell the american people that between 1880 and 1924 we took in four million refugee -- immigrants from italy. among those immigrants were italy we got enrico, joe dimaggio, frank sinatra, anthony scalia and al capone.
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and al capone. and nobody in their right mind is going to sit here and say that the behalf & all the violence that it brought in the ecades followed in way deterred our four million immigrants who became the modern history of this country. but no politician on the democratic side. the republicans, we all know, how sickening they are. but on the democratic side, nobody is prepared to get up and actually tell the american people that there is no economic or political or security basis for a panic. i mean, their fears have to be understood and so on, but this requires, as you said, i think leadership. and we don't have it. kati: of the 800,000 refugees who have come -- who have been admitted since 9/11, three have been implicated in terrorist activity. only implicated. not convicted. so there's no basis. in fact, i'm just wondering why it is that our president who is not running for office, is
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unable to voice these things. and that in fact, the most effective, from a national security perspective, the most effective counternarrative to mastery mely efficient of the webb that isis is displaying -- web that isis is displaying would be to allow thousands of muslims safe passage to america. which is precisely what isis doesn't want. so gregory, why is that not happening? and do you have a way that the u.s. could partner with europe in a more effective way? because right now they are in fact a european problem because they haven't yet reached our shores. gregory: i go back to the motivation the administration has to have has to be the right ones. so if the motivation, the
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humanitarian motivation can't be enough, you have to say this is helping europe, our greatest ally. and europe, as i said, on its knees right now in terms of its ability to stay together. so if that's your political motivation, i think that's a very strong motivator for this administration. it hasn't been. i also want to just rebut since she's not here something anne-marie said. we're going down this path seeing isis, you know, as the main problem. and it's obviously a huge problem. a big one. but it's driving us into bed with russia now. and russia, i don't know, not sure it has the same interests in the middle east as we do. i'm not sure it has the same interests in syria. and yet many european countries are saying, we have to alie ourselves with russia. -- ally ourselves with russia. i don't think you'll have a solution to syria with russia playing the role it is now. it won't quell the refugee crisis and it will damage europe because russia's interest is to see europe
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weaken. kati: for the first time germany is engaged in a war against isis. what has that done to public upport for chancellor merkel -- strengthen, weaken? are the german people still solidly behind her? it was a -- i was told by president obama's chief of staff that her support was solid at 70%. now, that was a few weeks ago. is that still true? ambassador wittig: well, it's the second time that we decided to engage militarily against isil. the first time was last year when we decided it was for our standing a big leap forward to train and equip with lethal weapons the kurdish peshmerga north of iraq. it was quite a support for the iraqi in the north for the
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kurdish security forces. mandated 1,200 german soldiers to be part of that military anti-isil coalition. that was a deaf dive decision for us again. you know, germans have for istorical reasons deeply ingrained skepticism toward military solutions but it had the support of the majority. not only of parliament but of the population. now, the support of the chancellor, i think, is still strong. she has decreased in the polls somewhat, but i think she has managed to convince many citizens that her policy is the right thing to do. ut i would not exclude
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backlash, also in my country. there is a party on the right hat is rising. it's called an anti-islam immigration party. ut so far i think the mainly welcoming attitude of a large segment of the population is prevailing. and i'm -- kati: and the source of pride, i imagine. ambassador wittig: yes. sometimes people are surprised how many volunteers, thousands, almost hundreds of thousands are helping the refugees. that's a good sign. i hope it stays that way. you know, along the road further down, of course, we will have an integration issue here. and maybe we come back to what anne-marie said at the beginning. there are, of course, opportunities. if we look at it from an economic, from a social, from a
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demographic point of view, there is an opportunity in this. we are an aging society. the german business community is trying to point that out. you know, c.e.o.'s of the big german companies have offered internships and special apprenticeships for the refugees. they say we need the work force in the long run. and therefore i think we should also, while being generous with the refugees, think about our lessons learned for a long time integration. and that means bringing them into work as soon as possible. and offering them language courses. and also enlighten them about our values. those are mostly refugees and migrants from islamic countries and we may have to make sure they're part of our liberal
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values and that includes, for instance, our attitude toward the holocaust. and that should be part and parcel of their values as well. we have challenges for europe in the long term to have a euro-islam, if you will, an islam that is compatible with our european values. that's down the road. a big challenge. leon: i think it's very important that western leaders -- and not just political leaders, but intellectuals, writers and so on understand it is -- now is the time to refresh and renew and remind people of the values that you're discussing. in other words, the societies have to be prepared intellectually for the right-wing populist, fascist challenge that is already upon us. it is not going to receive. it is only going to get greater. and my real worry is that many of our values are assumed. in other words, you have a very
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vigorous intellectual energy, however course it is, but you have real intellectual ilan on the right right now. these people have spirit. and the guardians of -- and the liberals, let's call them, most generally seem a little bit exhausted and not prepared to actually go back to first principles and -- without being condescending here, educate their populations. remind their populations about the kinds of societies that they aspire to be. because finally, it's the -- if ntegration is to work and if right-wing populists or fascist parties are to be defeated, it will depend in democracies on the opinions of people in those societies and the opinions seem to be of real urgency here. kati: are thought leaders
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doing, performing that role? i don't really see that? are american intellectuals rallying a countermovement to the -- to what we're hearing? you know, never mind trump. it's 35% of the republican party support -- leon: the refugee crisis requires us to refresh ourselves morally. really to refresh ourselves morally. not just to do the lip service about our values but to actually remember what those values are, why they exist, why we support them. i mean, it's about the character of our societies. nothing less is being tested either by the refugee crisis or by the politicses on the right who are ex-- politicians on the right who recollection ploiting the refugee crisis. and unless there is some formidable answer to that exploitation at the level of political discussion and political culture, i fear it's going to be a debate between energetic populists and
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lethargic liberals. and that's not going to have a good outcome. kati: aren't populists more energetic? leon: they're not hard to refute. populism is not a highly intelligent doctrine. and it's really not that hard to deal with, but you have to bring some passion to the ideas in the debate. gregory: i want to add to this because you asked for some solutions. one of the most troubling aspects of this for me is -- in working with my colleagues who have focused on migration and refugee issues is how, even the more liberal ones, tend to be quieter and tend to speak out about the security issues or the obviously, you know, concern -- the obvious concerns that exist? those people are the ones who should be leading on the moral arguments. and that is an issue that i think should really trouble us. i think the response from government, from civil society and from the private sector should go to supporting the grassroots that have been backing the refugees.
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i mean, we hear -- in greece, in germany, in sweden, there are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people who are there supporting taking care of, housing, feeding, playing music for, teaching refugees. they need to be supported in a massive way. in a massive way. kati: how? how do you propose -- gregory: to counter the far right. kati: i don't think anybody disputes that. how do we do that? since there's an -- since there's such an absence of moral or any other leadership, who -- gregory: give money to one of the groups that was here at the beginning. walk out of this room and participate at christmas and hanukkah during the holidays and reaching out to refugees. those stories of what happens when you first get to a country are ones that get passed down through generations. we have a chance right now -- it's a very formative period, how we're going to be perceived. so act is the first answer. i also want to say the issues
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of refugees, we talk about the demographic argument and we need ref niece, that doesn't work in most places where it's 25% unemployment. it hasn't worked in good times and it certainly work now. think of refugees as a form of nation building. these are the people who will eventually go back to sear & other countries. we have to educate them and make them become believers in our values. we have to educate them and make them skilled. they will be able to go back and become the engineers and the politicians and journalists in syria. that's how you nation build. leon: many of them already do believe in our values. we are a -- gregory: absolutely. leon: aleppo was a secular city. and it's -- we're not talking about people who need to be introduced to these things for the first time. gregory: the kids who will be jeakt here can go back or they can stay here and build their lives here and send remittances back, knowledge back, great networks that will help these people thrive. educating the kids, in
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particular, the unaccompanied minors, there are tens of thousands of them in europe, will be the key to solving these problems over the long term. kati: you're kind of advocating we work around our leaders rather than through them. that basically -- gregory: absolutely. they have the keys to the kingdom here. leon: they are a little bit hopeless. i mean, in the -- in this country right now -- i mean, i speak to democratic friends and of course they're all horrified by trump. and the next thing they say, isn't it good for clinton? and i think to myself, well, yeah, it is god's great -- what's happening in the republican party is god's grace to the democratic party but it's terrible for the country and it's not enough to sit there and say, great. the democrats get the white house and the senate. so let the cancer spread. because this is not the sort of thing you can call back. it's not as simple as that. kati: yes. as you know from your own history, mr. ambassador, that one such a virus is released,
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it's very hard to put it back in the bottle. you mentioned intreeingingly the power -- the role of the inter-- intriguingly the power of the internet, particularly in jihad. why has the other side, our side, let's say, been less adapt at putting our message through the same means to the -- to the malcontents and most of them homegrown malcontents? whether in france, belgium, san bernardino. i fear where the next one, next explosion will take place but inevitably it will take place. ambassador wittig: i refer to the smartphones as part of this digital migration. not so much as a recruiting tool for isil. what i wanted to say is now,
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even in the remotest village in afghanistan, people can learn how to make their way to, let's say, to germany. we are getting a lot of afghans, by the way. a lot of iraqis. the majority is still syrians, but a lot of iraqis and afghans. so it shows you that there are people that have lost hope in their country. that their country will ever deliver the services or guarantee the peace. and those people, maybe 20 years ago wouldn't have dreamed of leaving. now have sort of an instruction how to leave their country and make it to a more prosperous part of the world. that is the digital dimension of this migration. but, of course, it also carries, you know, opportunities, the age of internet, as we all know. they might connect people in a beneficial way.
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also, you know, forge a commonality of certain values. can i come back to the solutions here? kati: yes. ambassador wittig: i think we all have -- there are clusters. we have to act on a national level. we have to do a lot of home work on the european level. but we also have to do something on the regional and international level. and that is basically focus our energy to stabilize those countries, be it iraq, be it syria, be it afghanistan, where most of the people come from. that's, of course, not, you know, done with a big bang. it's not -- there's no blueprint. there's no magic wand. that's a long or median -- medium term effort. kati: nation building -- leon: what you're talking about
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quite correctly is nation building. but nation building as a consequence of the war in iraq has been delegit matedly as a matter of american policy. nd you say it may be relegitimated and what everyone thinks about the war in iraq, it is important to understand that nation building may have to be restored as an element to the american foreign policy. kati: again, that would take an act of courage. leon: that would take a new election. at the very least, it will take another election. gregory: so one of the negative affects of europe and its inaction over the course of the first part of this crisis is it let the rest of the world off the hook. europe wasn't doing anything and the u.s. wasn't doing everything. why should anyone else do anything in support of the syrian refugees? and that was what you were hearing a lot of.
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we have to break that cycle. we have canada, which has taken 25,000 syrian refugees. canada is a small country, if you didn't hear about it. it has signaled that it's willing to take another 100,000. those numbers, we were talking about the equivalent of about two million to the united states. canada can do it. brazil has taken quite a view. the immediate goal has to be able to take the pressure off of europe. you have to take the pressure off the europe. first, as you said, by supporting turkey, lebanon and jordan. i give you one example of how misguided the european response was. if a year ago europe had given five 5 billion, 7 billion to these countries, there was no schooling and no active labor markets this year alone, europe will end up spending collectively 40 billion euros. think of that political mistake. you could have sent the money a year ago on the front line countries.
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instead, you send 40 billion alone to deal with this crisis. leon: would you add safe zones? gregory: i would. leon: i would. gregory: and think about the political damage. forget about the financial damage. the political damage that's the result of this. you can't quantify it. you have to figure out why these mistakes are being made over and over again. and one of the things that has to be resolved is a global system of responsibility sharing for refugees. there has to be more than what exists today which is basically 100,000 people. that's the capacity that we have at the international community to resettle people when we're talking about a million who reached germany. we have to build that infrastructure. we have to build other means from people getting from dangerous places to safer places. kati: we're talking about 1 million refugees. 20 million, i believe, 11 million is the figure for the region. gregory: for the region, right. half of them are from the middle east. kati: and you're saying the capacity is at 100,000. gregory: to take them from
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there safely to other countries. you don't have to take 11 million. most people who are fleeing conflicts want to stay close to home. but in order to do that they have to go to school. they have to get in the job market. they have to have water. they have to have housing. lebanon, jordan didn't have the resources for that. leon: this goes back to the question for me for preparedness. and like most of foreign policy these days, everything is crisis management everything is crisis management. our strategy has almost vanished. and so what we discover is not only were we intellectually unprepared, we're operationally unprepared. but in order to be operationally prepared, it may be that we have to have a defense budget of a certain kind it may be that we have to have share yuss assets, materiel. you have to have stuff in place in case the weather gets bad. and certainly anyone that's looked at syria in the last four years didn't have to be a rocket scientist to predict that the weather was going to get very, very bad. but we're not prepared.
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gregory: that's right. kati: so before we all think into total despair -- leon: totally appropriate. kati: ok. think totally despair. i think, peter, i should open p for some questions so -- [inaudible] >> what would the safe zones look like if safe zones were to be created? how would they work and how would they be enforced and what argument against them if there is one? leon: as far as i can tell, there are questions of taking out the -- as people like to say, certain missile defense systems. now it's much harder, but it's -- it's impossible pour me to believe, impossible for me to believe that we lack the military capabilities to create zones that would protect refugees.
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impossible. we could argue about the size of them. we could argue about the location. the turks have views about where they would want them and not want them and so on, but as a matter of principle and as a matter of feasibility, if you look at the map, we're not even talking about large swaths of territory. we're just talking about some safe places. a lot of the people who would have lived in those safe places made the trek, got on the boats and got on the boats is what they did. one of the things we needed to do was to give them reasons not to stay on the boats and even reasons to believe that the solution to their problem may even be repatriation. now, unfortunately, given the foreign policy that west adopted toward the syrian war is now inconceivable to think of repatriation as a solution to this particular crisis. but there was a time, there was a time when if you protected people and gave them a haven, that we could have found a different sort of solution.
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>> you can find the last few minutes of this syria discussion online. c-span.org. as we take you live to capitol hill. the u.s. house of representatives gaveling in. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, waington, d.c. december 15, 2015. i hereby appoi thehonorable trent kelly act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the high pressure system. the speaker pro teore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 6, 2015, the chair will now regnize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders fo morning hour debate . the chair will alternate regnitionetween the parties with each party limited to one hour and ea member otheth

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