tv NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg Remarks CSPAN April 10, 2016 3:00am-4:30am EDT
far europe has come from a painful history and centuries of bloody conflict culminating in the 20th century's two world wards before the foundation of the alliance. it is important to remember what a miracle today's alliance is. europe has never enjoyed such a long and broad measure of peace, prosperity, and democracy as it does today. it is one of history's great accomplishments, made all the more remarkable by the post world war expansion of democratic ideals and institutions. it is an accomplishment, and one well worth defending. we do not stick our heads in the sand. we know many political leaders do not view nato as central to their strategies. much of the public does question
nato's relevance in a changing world. in that context, we are fortunate to have a resourceful leader like jens stoltenberg at the head of nato. the secretary-general assumed his role faced with the daunting task of reorienting nato through a unique set of challenges. he has held leadership positions from minister of energy to minister of finance and twice served as prime minister of norway. he was instrumental in developing norway's defense policy to tackle emerging threats. he also saw the country through one of the most difficult times in its modern history, the terror attacks witnessed in the summer of 2011. rather than countering hate with anger that summer, he redoubled
efforts to strengthen democracy and humanity both at home and abroad. he is a shining example of the sort of leadership we require. before we begin, i would like to remind the audience that you can follow today's conversation on twitter at@aceventslive. after his remark, we will open a conversation with a pulitzer prize-winning journalist, karen young. before the secretary-general comes to the podium, to illustrate what sort of a leader he is, as prime minister, he spent an afternoon in oslo working incognito as a taxi driver, wearing sunglasses and a taxi drivers uniform so that he would not be so easily recognized. his exchanges were captured on a hidden camera.
he did it because he thought it was important to hear what people thought, and what better way to do that than as a taxi driver? i understand you were a far more capable prime minister then taxi driver, but for all of you leaving today, you might want to check twice who is in the front seat of your taxi. mr. secretary-general, the floor is yours. [applause]
mr. stoltenberg: thank you for that kind introduction and for reminding me of the fact that i was a taxi driver for five hours. if you watch the youtube video, you will understand that you are very right. it is obvious from that video that it is better for passenger safety in norway that i concentrate on being prime minister and not driving taxis in oslo. but it was a great experience, and i promise i will not try to drive a taxi again. i would rather be a passenger in washington that but i would never drive a taxi in washington. that would be a great danger. it's great to be here, and it's great to see so many people in the audience. i welcome all of you. i see many from the diplomatic community. i would like to thank the atlantic council for organizing and especially thanks
to fred and to diamond for making this possible a also for your leadership. the atlantic council has worked tirelessly to promote efforts with the transatlantic cooperation. in today's dangerous world, transatlantic cooperation is needed more than ever. nato embodies that corporation. -- cooperation. half of the world's gdp and half of the world's military might in a unique alliance that brings to bear the strengthen unity of north america and europe. that is what i want to discuss with you today. why it matters. how it is shaping our response to the actions of a more conservative russia, and how it must define the way we tackle challenges.
the transatlantic alliance has its roots in common culture and values. these are bonds which carried us through the cold war. today, nato continues to serve the interests of each and every member. security, prosperity, and open societies. none of these values are guaranteed by nato alone, but all would be at great risk without nato. a safer and stronger europe means a safer and stronger united states. that was the rationale behind the decision to create the alliance, and it is just as valid today. because nato is as much an
american organization as it is a european one. this was the spirit in which the alliance responded when the united states was attacked on 9/11. the only time the alliance has invoked article five of the washington treaty, which makes clear that an attack against one ally is an attack against all. that collective decision led to nato's biggest ever operation in afghanistan, where hundreds of thousands of soldiers from europe, canada, and nato countries have served alongside u.s. forces, and where many have given theilives. without nato, transatlantic cooperation would be weaker, europe and north america less
safe, and the world a more dangerous place. take russia. last year, i spoke in washington about its destabilizing behavior. its military buildup and its aggression against ukraine, and i outlined how nato is responding. we are making significant progress. nato is becoming more agile, and we are increasing our readiness.
we are reinforcing our collective defense, the largest collective defense since the end of the cold war. nato's response force is now three times bigger than it was before. we have set up a chain of new headquarters in the eastern part of the alliance, boosting our ability to plan, exercise, and reinforce if needed. the european reassurance initiative launched two years ago has been key. i met with president obama on monday and thanked him for his strong leadership and strong commitment. i welcome his plan to quadruple funding for the european reassurance initiative. this will increase our ability to strengthen the alliance. this increase of the european reassurance initiative would mean more u.s. troops and equipment on european soil, more opportunities for americans and europeans to participate in joint exercises, more positioned equipment and better infrastructure. together, this bolsters our
defense and our ability to respond with strength and speed. but transatlantic security does not rest upon american shoulders alone. europeans play a major role in policing nato's airspace. europeans are providing the majority of forces in the balkans, and for over a decade have contributed one third of the forces in afghanistan. they are also increasing defense spending after a long decline. in fact, last year, defense cuts in europe came to a halt. 16 european allies spent more on defense than the year before, and they are adding capabilities such as the latest generation fighter aircraft, helicopters, and maritime patrols. these are important first steps toward fulfilling our pledge to spend a percentage of gdp on defense and the capabilities we need. i determined that all allies make good on that pledge because the burden must rest on all of our shoulders.
ladies and gentlemen, we face a new strategic reality, and we must be prepared for the long haul. after the warsaw summit in july, we will seek to further strengthen our collective defense. we will have a multinational force in the eastern part of the alliance to make clear that an attack against one ally will be met by forces from across the alliance. we will enhance our resilience with hybrid warfare and fighter jets and make sure the nuclear component of our deterrence posture remains credible and effective. we will advance our goal of a
europe whole, free, and at peace with montenegro invited to join the alliance. we will reconfirm our long-term commitment to afghanistan, and we will take measures to respond to north africa. because homeland defense is not just about what we do at home. it is as much about what happens beyond our borders. we have a crisis of a magnitude not seen since world war ii. groups like isil taking hold of spaces and spreading violence across the region and beyond. inciting attacks on our streets from brussels to istanbul, from paris to san bernardino. these are attacks on our open societies, on the values we share, so our response must be strong, and it must be united. the international community is rising to the challenge.
i strongly welcome the efforts of the us-led local coalition to counter isil. we must be willing to project stability beyond our borders. if our neighbors are more stable, we are more secure. to be clear, protecting stability has several elements. to defeat and destroy isil, we need to use force. military action is essential if we are to deprive isil of its strongholds in syria and iraq
and stop the horrific violence it is inflicting. but projecting stability also means using armor forces to train others to fight. in the long run, it is more sustainable to enable local forces to protect their countries than it is to deploy large numbers of our own troops. that is an important lesson we have drawn from past operations. training matters. in the fight against terrorism, building local capacity is one of our best weapons, and earlier we can do it, the better. because a few months can mean the difference between a fragile state and a failed state. so, while nato has to remain an expedition alliance able to deploy forces outside our territory, nato's also become a more effective training alliance. we need to upgrade our capacity
today, i want to put forward three specific ways i believe we can do that. first, nato needs to strengthen its ability to advise and assist local forces. for that, we need to make training a core capability of the alliance. we have trained local forces across the world for more than 20 years. from sending advisory teams to deploying military and police trainers on the ground, including an dangerous environments. we know how to generate a multinational force of trainers, maximizing every contribution from allies and partners of all sizes. but today, we need a more robust approach, a responsive capability so that we can plan, him capability so that we can plan, coordinate, deploy, advise, and support training missions faster, and bring together the necessary troops for capacity building and training. as we currently are doing in afghanistan. i went to kabul, and i met with the men and women of the air force, pilots and mechanics trained by nato.
they were all very proud of what they are doing. i also met a group of remarkable young women who are working hard to become pilots in the african air force. it is that resolve that makes me optimistic about what we can achieve. until a few years ago, there's hardly any afghan air force at all. last year, the afghan air force flew 20,000 missions, providing transport, resupply, medical support, and engaging the enemy. they are part of the 350,000 strong afghan security forces will do by nato trainers over the years. and they are now responsible for the country's security. we continue to support them, but
we have ended our combat mission, and this demonstrates what we can achieve by building local capacity. we also recently launched training and capacity building initiatives in georgia, moldova, and jordan, and we will soon begin advising on counterterrorism and helping to improve the capacity of their armed forces. with libya, we have an advisory council in tripoli. this is an important step in establishing national accord and setting the conditions for furthering national support. nato also stands ready to assist
libya. they will need our help. so, this is clear. nato needs to make training a core capability for the alliance. my second proposal is that nato should step up our support for iraq. the ability of an iraqi government to restore security is critical to the stability of the whole region, and a stable iraq is key to the battle against isil. last week, nato started training iraqi officers in jordan. our program was developed in close collaboration with the counter isil coalition. we should continue these efforts and, when appropriate, expand them. i met with the prime minister and discussed the challenges his country is facing and why
training and capacity building is an essential part of the solution. we should provide that help and we can do that in many different ways. one example is dealing with improvised explosive devices. improvised explosive devices was the biggest killer of forces when they retook ramadi from isil. our current training program responds to this urgent need, and we should do more for iraq. my third proposal is that we take our cooperation with regional partners and international organizations to a new level. to protect stability in the region, we need to work with those who know the region best. a few weeks ago, the secretary-general of the gulf cooperation council came to nato headquarters.
we discussed the security challenges in the region and what more we could do together. the gulf cooperation council is enhancing its ability to conduct large-scale operations. nato is essential to maintaining a military structure. we are also exploring what more we can do in areas such as counterterrorism, energy, and maritime security, and cyber defense. my aim is to bring forward cooperation with the gcc at the warsaw summit in july. the new nato regional cooperation center in kuwait also provides us with a way to reinforce our partnerships. the center will be a focal point where nato gulf partners will work together in areas such as military to military cooperation, strategic analysis, and civil emergency planning.
the king abdullah special training operations center in jordan is certified, according to nato standards, and this is where the training of iraqi officers is now taking place. we must do more to complement bilateral efforts and to strengthen the capacity of regional organizations. because this is the best way to
leverage their expertise, their resources, and their cultural awareness in support of our training missions. and to enable our partners in the middle east and north africa to play a great role in achieving regional security. everywhere i go in the region, leaders tell me they want more cooperation with nato. we must answer their call.
ladies and gentlemen, the challenges from the middle east and north africa pose a direct threat to the transatlantic values,, to our common in our common interest. we must all work together to respond. we need to strengthen our own defenses and to make our partners stronger as well. the threat from isil and other terrorist organizations will be with us for a long time, so we must bring all tools to bear, and nato is a powerful tool in which all our nations have made great investments. for almost 70 years, nato has brought europe and north america closer together, providing security for both sides of the atlantic.
i know that i can count on continued leadership of the united states. i also know that to the mutual interests of europe and the united states are best served by a strong north atlantic alliance. because the security of europe and north america is indivisible, and it is only by standing together that we will remain safe and secure. thank you. thank you for your attention. [applause]
karen: thank you, mr. secretary general. you have given us a lot to think about. i think that nato's secretary-general's are frequent visitors to washington. i don't think i have ever seen a visit where so much attention was paid. i was told that in your conversations with congregants attendancehad better than has ever happened for a visiting nato secretary general obviously, it is an important time in the country as americans are trying to figure out who will lead them into the next part of the 21st century. your remarks on the subject of nato's future addressed key questions of relevance on why it matters, questions that have
obviously been front and center in the political debate here. i want to talk about some of the specific initiatives you outlined, but first, i would like to ask you, as a european, who spends much time around european leaders, about the debate going on here. president obama has repeatedly cited growing comes earns posed to him about some of the wackier suggestions being made by presidential candidates. secretary kerry spoke about it , that european allies and others, particularly european leaders have repeatedly expressed concerns to him. many have specifically talked about the transatlantic alliance both trade and defense, and suggestions about the value of nato.
so, i want to ask you if you have heard the same concerns, and when europeans are sitting around among yourselves when americans are not in the room and you really let your hair down, is that what you talk about? how much concern is there? mr. stoltenberg: well, i have less and less hair, so that doesn't happen. [laughter] first, i welcome that there is more attention to nato and nato related issues. that may be because of the election campaign. i will not be part of the election campaign. for decades, election campaigning was an important part of my life. it is very hard to now i am in another kind of business, which is not election campaigns, especially in the
united states. it is up to the american people to decide who will be the next president, and i will in no way be part of that discussion or that campaign, but when i can say is that when i travel to different countries in europe, i see a very strong support for transatlantic cooperation and a north atlantic alliance. we understand that in the united states there are concerns that too many europeans are investing too little in defense, and that is why we have made a decision to increase spending. that is why political leaders and allies and other countries
urge them to do something with it. to not reduce is not a big achievement, but compared to previous defense spending, it is the first step in moving toward the right direction. 2015 is the first up in the right direction after just one year. you asked whether europeans are concerned. they are concerned in that many of them understand they have to contribute more to our collective defense and that we don't have a fair burden sharing now, and that is why all 28 allies agreed to step up in the agreement we made. karen: well said. obviously, there are concerns in
this country as well as in europe about how some of the conversation has been framed about nato. but the overall question, beyond the question of burden sharing, about nato's relevance, is not a new one. sometimes, it is spoken of in monetary terms. i think you have addressed that in your remarks, but more broadly, in the years since the cold war ended, you have had a lot of foreign-policy experts from george cannon to donald rumsfeld questioning whether nato should survive, and most of those concerns were based on the end of the soviet union. you spoke of the largest reinforcement of collective defense is the end of the cold war. certainly, some of nato's eastern members argue that the
cold war never really ended. general breedlove spoke recently of a shift in nato doctrine from assurance to deterrence, which i think in some ways is arguably a return to the past. i wonder if you could talk a bit about russia and what you think the actual threat is that russia poses to the alliance right now. what are putin's goals? are his actions arguably our -- a response, as some argued years ago, to nato's expansion right to russia's borders. is there a limit to russia's desire to expand its own sphere of influence, or do you think they see it as a defensive mechanism? mr. stoltenberg: i will say some words about russia in a moment, but i will start a commenting on the introduction to the question, because there is
concern whether part of the debate in the united states provides reasons for concern in europe, that the united states is not focused on europe, that the united states is not going to continue to be part of our transatlantic alliance and so on. first of all, i would like to say that the first time i visited the united states was in 1980. i was 21 years old -- no, not 21 years old. i visited the united states with my father and he was then the defense minister. we traveled for a week around the united states. and then, the main issue was the concern that the united states was not going to support europe. that was in 1980.
we have been concerned for many years, but we are still going strong. so, we are concerned, but at the same time, we see that we have to deliver every day as a strong alliance, the strongest ever in the world. we are able to deliver deterrence, collective defense, and we are able to stand together when it is really needed. so, for instance, as i mentioned in my speech, the first and only time ever we invoked collective defense clause was after attack on the united states, and then europeans stepped up to help and support
our ally, the united states. and one third of the forces, as i said, in afghanistan, have come from canada, europe, and european nato countries, and more than 1000 european and canadian soldiers have lost their lives in afghanistan, and many more have been wounded. so, it's just a strong example of how our european allies ban together with the united states when needed. yes, i would like us to do more, but the alliance is working, the alliance is delivering, and we have initiatives around the world, and we have done it every day since 1980 when i was concerned the first time. so, i am permanently concerned but quite successful. then, about russia, we don't see any imminent threat against nato allied countries, including countries in the eastern part of the alliance.
but what we see is a more assertive russia, responsible for aggressive actions in ukraine and willing to use military force, the willingness to use capabilities to intimidate neighbors, to change borders in europe, annex crimea, destabilize ukraine, and having troops in georgia, moldova, and so on. and this is, of course, of a concern, and that is why we responded. and when i say we, i mean the united states and europe together. before, we did not have forces in the eastern part of the alliance. now we have forces there on a rotational basis, and we have substantially increased our ability to redeploy forces if needed. so, again, i am concerned, but
as long as we are able to adapt, and because we are able to adapt, we are responding to those concerns and making sure that all nato allied countries are safe because nato is there. karen: but do you have a sense of what the ultimate goal is of russia's actions? as you try to strategize to provide this deterrent capability and show of strength, what is your sense of what they are hoping to achieve? mr. stoltenberg: it is always dangerous to speculate, but what we see is that russia is trying to reestablish a sphere of influence around its borders. that is why they are behaving as they are in georgia and ukraine. and that's not acceptable because they are violating
international law, disrespecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of independent nations, countries in europe, and that's also the reason why it's important that we respond. at the same time -- and we are responding by the biggest collective defense since the end of the cold war, but at the same time, i always underlined that nato is not seeking confrontation with russia. we will avoid a new cold war. actually, we are striving for a more cooperative and constructive relationship with russia, but we believe we have to be strong, we have to be firm, we have to be predictable to establish a basis for a political engagement and dialogue with russia. i have mentioned many times
before, but my experience as a -- myian politician belief is there is no contradiction between strong defense and political dialogue. actually, as long as we are strong, we can also engage in political dialogue, and in the long run, russia has to understand that they can gain more from cooperating with us instead of confronting us. karen: you spoke about a new strategic reality that nato is facing and the primary threat to security right now seems to be violent extremism and the spread of it. you outlined what is not necessarily a new role for nato, but certainly a broader expansion of that role in making it into a core capability for nato, and that is the training a theraining and partnership, institutional aspects of it, and you set up three ways of doing that. the first one was to build
overseas capacities on the front line against violent extremism. obviously, that is what nato has been doing in afghanistan is the -- since the end of the combat mission. but i wonder if you are concerned now about what is happening in afghanistan. general nicholson there is getting his own recommendations ready for the administration about what the u.s. military presence should be after the beginning of 2017. as you know, current plans call almost cut in half, the u.s. presence. general nicholson has spoken recently about how the training program really has been set back because of the level of fighting during 2015, which is one of the worst years they have had in a long time, not only ground forces, but forces in the air. would you expect nato forces -- assuming u.s. forces remain at
their current level, would you expect nato components that are still active in afghanistan to do the same? what do you think is the likelihood that they would be, as some u.s. forces have been, dragged back into the fighting as it becomes more difficult? as the fighting season starts to ramp up again. mr. stoltenberg: the situation in afghanistan is not easy. it is quite difficult. i visited afghanistan just a couple of weeks ago. the afghan national army has good forces and soldiers.
the taliban is trying to control different parts of the country, and we have many other groups, al qaeda, different terrorist groups, isil in afghanistan. it's in no way an easy situation. having said that, i think it's import to remember that it has not been easy in afghanistan for decades. the starting point was not a peaceful, stable country. the starting point was a country which was a safe haven for international terrorists, with the taliban controlling the country. but we have achieved with a presence there for many years is we have been able to build a strong afghan army which is capable, professional, and strong enough to take responsibility for security in the whole country. that is not a small thing. so, we were able to end our combat mission because we enabled them to do the fighting.
i think we should continue to enable them, continue to support them, and therefore, i think it was the right decision of president obama to maintain force levels through 2016. at the same time, the u.s. and the president have announced they will go from 9800 to 5500 by the end of the year. what we have not yet decided in nato is what the other allies will do. that is something we will address at the summit in july. regardless of what we finally decide when it comes to the scope of the mission, we have already decided we will continue to support the country through 2017. we have not decided on force
levels or the scope of our presence. so, i am not able to answer you precisely about what our presence will be, that i can say we will continue to support them, continue to train them, and continue to fund them. you have to remember that we are supporting the afghan army and security forces in two ways. we provide training and assistance with troops, but we also fund the national army. other nato partners are also contributing. and we are concerned in europe that we are spending less than 2% of gdp on defense. in afghanistan, they spend 25% of gdp on defense, but of course, that is only possible because the main funding is
coming from the united states and european allies and partners. so, we will continue to support afghanistan. we will continue to fund them and to have a presence, because i very much believe we have to enable forces in the region to stabilize their own countries, and that is better than deploying a large number of combat troops. karen: just to continue on the theme of training as a core capability, you spoke about iraq and the expanded role nato could play there. there has been some suggestion that the coalition itself is sort of a coalition of the
willing, an ad hoc structure without any particular structure, and that perhaps this is a role that nato could play, that nato could take over some of the organizational aspects of training as well as putting the various components in place to do it, and that nato could actually serve, in the way it has in afghanistan, as kind of a secretariat of war. in some ways organizing the activities of the coalition there. could you talk more about that? mr. stoltenberg: the advantage of using nato as a tool is, for instance, building capacity, training, as we have done in afghanistan, if there was anything wrong with it in
afghanistan, it is that we did not start the training earlier. we should have started to build capacity earlier and had the afghans take responsibility for their own security earlier. but the advantage of using nato is that nato has the structures and mechanisms for generating forces. we meet several times a year to generate forces to our missions in afghanistan, africa, and other places. if we want to do training in iraq, we can do that. it is a stronger commitment when you are part of the nato alliance to provide these forces than the commitment to being part of a coalition of the willing. because a coalition of the willing has a question of why you are willing. i think also, we can provide
more support for the united states. second, we have the command structures, the different training centers. we have some in europe. we work in jordan. we will soon have a center in kuwait. we have a lot of experience in training, capacity building, everything from building institutions, defense ministries, headquarters, institution building to training soldiers in a dangerous environment. and third, we have the expertise and the experience. i mentioned improvised explosive devices. the reason why nato knows how to counter ied's because we have done that for many years in afghanistan. we can take that experience and
apply it in, for instance, iraq. but, of course, nato will only do things which our allies ask us to do, and we have to find a balance between fighting, and i fighting, and i think the coalition should continue to do that, but i think nato can do more coordinated with and complement it with what the coalition is doing when it comes to training. r many small and medium-sized countries, nato allies and partner countries, it is often extremely expensive and difficult to do training on a bilateral basis. for instance, in iraq, because when nato does the training, we have one agreement, one
infrastructure. small countries can send in some special operations forces to do some training. in norway, just to negotiate all the legal arrangements you need to deploy forces in iraq, if nato is already there, you can just deploy that framework. it is more cost effective to plug into a nato framework. so yes, i believe we can do more, but it has to be coordinated with the efforts of the coalition and it has to be complementary and done in a way which would serve the purpose of the mission.
karen: would you say that is taking over the existing bilateral training programs? the canadians, the italians, there are lots of different separate training programs that actually are doing different things with different groups of iraqis to a large extent. mr. stoltenberg: i would rather speak about scaling up what we have started to do. i would like to scale up that. training up iraqi officers. i think it is important to do this in coordination with the coalition. i think we should do that, then evaluate the experience and decide if we should do more. the scale and the scope -- i think we have to decide step-by-step and then have a pragmatic approach.
because i think that, of course, we also need the high end fighting and to continue to do airstrikes. i am not arguing that nato should take over the high end fighting. there are not so many allies doing that, the united states, u.k., france and others, but we need high-end airstrikes to help the iraqi forces liberate mosul, but when that is liberated, how do you hold it? how do you maintain the control sul?ost and then you need trained, skilled, professional, local forces, and if that is not nato forces or u.s. forces, french or german forces, it has to be local forces. maybe we should start training them now, not to wait, because
if you wait, it becomes more difficult and more expensive. that's also the case when it comes to another group of countries. iraq -- there is a war going on. jordan is a stable country, an island of stability in the sea of instability that is the middle east, but jordan is under pressure. tunisia is the same. a stable, democratic country in northern africa but they are under heavy pressure from terrorist organizations, and we should help them now. we should not wait until they are really into deep trouble and then help them. prevention is better than intervention. that's a golden rule. we should help them now, not wait until later on. capacity building is also about building capacity before a country slides into conflict or crisis, and then if the country is in crisis, we should help them build capacity to get out of that crisis. that is what we should do in
iraq. were hopefully also in libya. libya.opefully also in karen: what about syria? do you see any role for nato? mr. stoltenberg: it is a great advantage for the coalition that so many nato allies and nato partners have been able to draw -- to provide forces because nato has developed what we call interoperability, experience to work together in high-end, dangerous military operations, and we have developed that through nato exercises, standardization, and of course, operations like in afghanistan, and this experience, this interoperability develops among nato allies and partners,
is extremely useful for the coalition in syria now. then, of course, we are also responding to the conflict in syria by supporting turkey, bordering syria and iraq. we have assurance measures, and everything we do to stabilize the region is also relevant to syria. karen: i would like to open the floor to questions now. i will call on you. if you could -- are there microphones? yes. identify yourself. hopefully, ask a quick question so we can have a lot of response here. yes, sir. go ahead. >> pleasure to hear your
comments, secretary-general. i was wondering -- you talked about how nato can work closer with regional allies. to stabilize fragile states. i wondered if you see a role for nato partners -- i'm thinking of sweden and finland, for example, in particular, who have unique capabilities. is there a role for them here, and with that be a way to closely integrate them into nato and even getting them sort of -- persuade them for membership in the long term rather than having sort of the classic russia debate? would this be a way of making them more closely integrated into the nato network? mr. stoltenberg: i absolutely see a role for sweden and finland, joining our efforts to build capacity in north africa, the wider middle east region. sweden and finland are already contributing, and i welcome that
very much. that is one of the advantages of nato. we have proven our ability to mobilize partner countries. in afghanistan, sweden and finland have participated and contributed a lot, so i welcome that very much, and i would like to see more of that. again, this is important for the mission, when sweden and inland --and finland are dissipate, participate, but you also have to understand the way we are developing our ability to work together, interoperability is through big operations like afghanistan and perhaps also other places. yesterday, i visited fort bragg and met with the 82nd air force division. -- airborne division. they told me about how they have been able to develop interoperability, the ability to work together by being stationed in afghanistan and work with nato allies but also sweden and finland.
if this will have any impact on the membership debate in sweden, i don't know. but i have said before that i have lost two referendums in norway trying to convince unions to join nato. so you should not ask me for advice on how to convince the swedes to join nato. [laughter] that is on the level of taxi driving. [laughter] karen: yes, sir. >> i'm with kurdistan tv. what are russia and iran's role in syria? thank you. and your opinion of peshmurga forces. mr. stoltenberg: the peshmerga
mr. stoltenberg: the peshmerga forces play an important role, and many allied countries are providing training for peshmerga forces as part of the efforts to degrade and destroy myself -- degrade and destroy isil. that is an example of how we are building local capacity. we do that already, but what i'm arguing in favor of doing that more and in a more organized name work. -- a more organized framework and with greater impact. russia possible in syria and also -- russia's role in syria and also iran is with the regime, and they have declared that very clearly, and they had done that by deploying military forces in syria, and even though there has been some reduction in the russian presence, russia still has substantial military forces in syria -- air forces, ground forces, naval forces.
the main role of russia in syria is to support assad. karen: wow, so many of you. yes, ma'am. i told unido was a hot topic -- i told you nato was a hot topic. >> i want to ask about how do you evaluate your relation with gcc in terms of cooperation. can nato assure them stability and security in the region with respect to iran? the other question is how much can you give nato in projecting stability in the region?
mr. stoltenberg: well, as i said, i very much believe we can expand cooperation with the gulf cooperation council. this is the united arab him it -- i visited the united arab emirate a couple of weeks ago. i think by helping countries in the region to stabilize the region, we are also making the country's more secure. the whole idea is if nato task force is more stable, they are more secure and we are more secure. security is not something you get less of if you share it. you get more security if you create security together. so i strongly believe in us working together with the gcc,
and i also believe that the gcc countries can help us, working jointly, for instance, with fighting isil, with building capacity in a country like iraq. for me, we have to do many things at the same time, and we have agreed that we will start to step up and, hopefully, we will be able to make decisions related to this in warsaw. karen: yes, lady in the back in red. >> i'm from the polish embassy. i wanted to ask a quick question, first regarding political deals with russia. what obligations must be fulfilled for full resumption of nrc work?
the second question is as for the realignment of nato efforts to increase the presence on the eastern flank with the american eri initiative. and the last 1 -- is there an appetite in nato to look in the arctic? mr. stoltenberg: first, the nato-russian council -- it is important to underline the following, and that is after the illegal annexation of crimea in 2014, nato decided to suspend all practical cooperation with russia, but it decided at the same time to maintain our political dialogue with russia
or maintain channels for political communication, so the nato-russia council has never been suspended. actually, we had two meetings after the annexation of crimea. the idea that practical cooperation has been suspended, political dialogue has been in place, so the challenge has been not to have a decision to have the nato-russia council because it has been there all the time, but the challenge has been to agree on the agenda for a new meeting, and we are in the process of discussing that with the russians, and, hopefully, we will be able to agree on the agenda and to convene a meeting. let me underline that for me, dialogue is not an expression of weakness. it is an expression of strength. it is because we are strong,
because we are confident that we are not afraid of talking to the russians. even during the cold war, we talked to them. i think it is in our interests to talk to them on many different issues, especially related to military activity. i think it just underlines how important it is that we do our utmost to have military to military communications, transparency predict ability, to avoid that kind of incidents. we have to try to avoid them and make sure that they do not spiral and come out of control and create really dangerous situations. dialogue is not weakness. dialogue is strength. sorry, there was two more questions. i forgot them. we decided at our defense ministerial meeting in february 2 have -- increase our military
presence in the eastern part of the alliance. exactly the scale and scope is not yet decided. we are working on that now, but what we are aiming at is a multinational force, sending a very clear signal that an attack on one baltic country or one of those nato allied countries will trigger a response from the whole of alliance. the arctic -- it's cold there. [laughter] the other thing is that, you know, when most people say arctic, many people think of the north pole, but half of my own country is in the arctic. half of norway is in the arctic. i have seen many nice people of their and some polar bears.
the reason i'm saying this is that nato is present in the arctic. the main nato forces in the arctic is danish forces, icelandic -- not so many icelandic. and of course, we have also nato exercises. forces from many nato allied countries. nato is present in the arctic, and we have to follow the developments very closely because we have seen a russian military buildup in the arctic. at the same time, we have the arctic council where the united states is a member, canada is a member, russia, norway, many
other countries. we have also a degree of cooperation in the arctic related to search and rescue, environmental issues with russia. i think it is extremely important we continue to do that and do not increase tensions in the arctic but try to calm the tensions. karen: i'm going to ask people to limit themselves to one question. questions have been really good, but maybe we could take two or three at a time if you will limit yourself just to one. yes, sir. then i'm going to come around. >> thank you. i'm from al jazeera tv. there are so many voices saying that nato would be better off without turkey, claiming that turkey has betrayed the alliance, is collaborating with
isis, is fighting the kurds who are fighting isis, which is fighting the west. how did you comment on that? karen: let's take one more. yes, sir. go ahead. >> brookings. when general said recently he felt since -- he felt that russians were weaponize and the situation with the aim of destabilizing europe. i know nato has sent patrols into the aegean recently, but my question is why it took so long for nato to respond to such a serious security threat to the european continent when greece and turkey, both front-line states, are members of nato.
mr. stoltenberg: first of all, the problem is normally not too many questions but too long answers, but it is hard to be brief because the questions are important. first, on turkey. turkey provides military assets, but in addition, turkey provides infrastructure and other facilities for the efforts of the coalition fighting isil, so without turkey, it would have an much more difficult to, for instance, conduct many of the airstrikes and so on fighting isil. second, turkey is the nato ally
most affected by the insurgents. close to 2 million refugees. -- turkey is the nato ally most affected by the influx of refugees. close to 2 million refugees. when it comes to nato's role in addressing the refugee crisis, nato's main role has been to address the root causes, trying to help stabilize the country the way refugees are coming from. when it comes to managing or handling the refugee crisis in europe, nato is normally not the first responder because this is about, you know, border control, coast guard border control, humanitarian aid and so on to the refugees, but when we were asked, we responded, and we actually responded very quickly because germany, turkey, and greece asked nato for help, and
after 48 hour's, we were able to make the decision to provide the ships and assistance they asked for. 24 hours after we made a decision, the first nato ships were deployed into the edgy and see -- the edgy and see -- the aegean sea. this is an example of how nato can respond quickly. we have ships doing reconnaissance, surveillance, monitoring, and sharing in real time the data they are gathering with the greek coast guard, with the turkish coast guard, and with the european union border agency, and this information is
useful, four, for instance, the turkish coast guard, turning back and intercepting the smugglers and illegal networks. so i think nato plays a useful role helping the local coast guard's. nato is not in the business of turning back votes with refugees and migrants. our role is to help, assist, facilitate. after that, perhaps the most important thing nato is doing in the edgy and -- the aegean sea is create a coalition for turkey and greece, turkey not being a member of the european union, but turkey and greece both being members of nato, so nato is an ideal platform for providing the necessary cooperation. karen: there was something about russia at the beginning of the question. mr. stoltenberg: yes, sorry. what russia did, especially when they were bombing aleppo, was to increase the number of people
fleeing syria and increasing the pressure on turkey and on europe. i welcome very much that some weeks ago, the united states, russia, and other actors in the region were able to reach disagreement -- able to reach an agreement on cessation of hostilities, and even if we still have violations, hostilities have gone substantially down, and we also see that the parties have been able to meet again and start negotiations and try to negotiate a political solution to the crisis in syria. that will not be easy. it will not happen fast. there will be setbacks and disappointments, but in the long run, we need to negotiate a political solution, so i strongly support those efforts,
to make sure that the cease-fire is holding and to make sure that they continue negotiations and talks to find a political solution. karen: yes, sir, i know i cheated you before, so you go ahead. >> you mentioned russia violating international law. if you could comment perhaps on greece's violating international law after blocking message of you's nato membership. greece has a fairly new government in place. macedonia may have a new government starting in june. what role will your office plate in improving relations and finally lifting this blockage on macedonia's nato membership? karen: yes, ma'am. >> thank you.
i am a member of the syrian opposition dedication to geneva. you all -- delegation to geneva. you already spoke about russia's role, and i was waiting to hear the nato counter strategy to at least having some balance on the ground, but i want to ask you -- i will not ask you that question. my question is -- there has recently been an effort by the gcc led by saudi arabia to establish the islamic coalition against isis. if they asked, would this newly formed islam coalition against isis for a direct intervention in syria -- yes or no? thank you. mr. stoltenberg: if the question was if nato is going to conduct a direct military intervention into syria, the answer is no, but if the question is if we are going to work together with the
islamic coalition to counter isil, then the answer is yes because i welcome that islamic countries are going together to fight isil. i think it is extremely important that islamic countries are in the war front, and as, four and is, the king of jordan has underlined again and again, this is not a fight between the west and the muslim world. this is a fight against terrorists, criminals, people responsible for violent atrocities, and most of the victims are muslims, and muslims are at the front fighting isil. my main message is we should support, help, in able, train, assist. we should help them in many
different ways to win that fight, so if you ask me if we should help the muslim world, muslim forces, muslim countries to fight isil, it is a strong yes. that was the last question. the first was about the former yugoslav republic of macedonia. the reason why i say it like that is that you know and i know that the problem has been ever since the nato summit in bucharest, i was there -- that we do not have an agreement on the main mission. as long as that issue is unsolved, there is no way we can solve the question of membership. karen: i think we have time maybe for two more. all right.
then in back of you over there. >> as a country on the eastern border of nato, we are highly appreciative of your leadership in addressing the key issues of reinforcing the eastern flank. how do you see this reinforcement process from a black see perspective -- black sea perspective, a region that has multiple challenges both from the east and from the south? thank you. >> i'm with defense one. secretary carter said the u.s. was talking to nato about joining the counter i sold -- isil coalition. i wondered what that would involve beyond advising and
assisting. mr. stoltenberg: the black sea is very important. we have seen that prussia is developing what experts call -- russia is developing what experts call a2ad, and they are deploying those capabilities, for instance in crimea, and we see a pattern all the way from the baltic sea down to the black sea. of course, one of the reasons why we are increasing our presence, why we are increasing the readiness of forces and why we are also developing our capabilities is that nato has to
be able to overcome those capabilities. our maritime presence is important, and we also have a maritime component. we often speak about this brigade, but there is an air component that is part of our response to what we also see in the black sea. so, yes, we are very much aware of the challenges in the black sea, becoming more serious because of the russian annexation of crimea and the strong military buildup in crimea. nato is not formally part of the
coalition, but nato supports the coalition. first of all, all nato allies provide forces. as i said, nato supports the coalition in different ways. assurance missions in turkey, capacity building in iraq. our biggest military operation ever is relevant for the fight against terror, including against isil. and we stand ready to do more, which is key. one issue we have discussed and also during my visit this week and also with secretary carter was the possibility of nato providing our surveillance plane, and that is on the table now. it is going to be addressed in
nato. then we will be able to provide you with a more precise answer, but it is now an issue which is discussed in the alliance. karen: we promised the secretary general would get him out of here on time. i apologize to anyone we did not get to their questions. still managed to cover an enormous amount of ground. thank you so much for your candor and for the completeness of your answers. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> ladies and gentlemen, please stay in your seat as the secretary general exits the room. thank you.
scalia. during a conference at pepperdine university. vice president cheney: i was some that have especially powerful positions relative to -- the president said when you hear dick cheney's force, you hear mine. vice president cheney: think about why it works the way it did on my watch. related to the constitution. >> more of a personal dynamic? vice president cheney: my ability to work with congress. i'd been a member of the house for 10 years, part of the leadership. shortly after i was elected vice president, i was visited by the
chairman of the ways and means committee. the speaker of the house was a good friend. that helped him when he first came into congress. to me and said, look, we know you are going to be the president of the senate. we think of you as the man of the house. we want to also have an office on the house site. -- the house side. the ways and means chairman had two very nice offices, one facing the west front. you could look up the windows all the way to the lincoln memorial. office -- the other one he had was a smaller office but well off the democratic cloak room on the house floor.
that i could have either one of those offices. because of my background in the house and my relationship, i took the office of the democratic cloak room. partly because i wanted to keep an eye on my democratic colleagues. house -- i hadhe an office not only on the senate side. but also on the house side. and was able to work from that some logjamsreak on tax legislation and so forth. all based only personal relationships and my past background with the house and senate. >> former vice president dick cheney on the role of the vice
the process of choosing a running mate. today at 1:50 p.m. eastern on c-span. york universities food studies program is 20 years old. to mark the occasion, they hosted a discussion looking at food policy in america. this is just over an hour. >> does this work? good afternoon. i'm marvin taylor. to it's a pleasure for me welcome you to our next critical topics in food series panel. today's topic is food studies 20 years in. the food movement really changing food? i'm delighted you joined us. the