tv Reagan National Defense Forum - Global Conflicts Alliances CSPAN December 22, 2018 3:45am-4:33am EST
armed services committee. he says president trump should end his american first policy and build military alliances similar to president bush senior and junior. he spoke at the annual reagan national defense for in see me valley, california. simi valley, california. >> welcome, everybody. thanks for showing up. it's mid afternoon time when some people start to get distracted. so it's great to see everybody here. i'm going to read a couple of things here because i will mess it up otherwise and we'll get right to it. i want to let everybody know that this is a live audience and the audience may submit questions via rndf app and it's www.rndf 2018.org. and people viewing across the country can submit questions via twitter hashtag #rndf. we'll get to some of those questions toward the end.
but anyway, thanks to everybody for being here. you know, we're here to talk about allies, particularly in the context for the u.s. and it's allies. in the context of this great power competition that we have. with china and russia. other times in history, there was maybe singular focuses of problem sets. but in this case currently, you can name, name the issues that the u.s. certainly confronts. and all the usual suspects. all those different issues, north korea, iran, china, russia, syria, afghanistan. everything are all different the way i was thinking about it, though, is that they have one common theme which is a reliance on a network of allies. so what i wanted to
do was to kind of skip down the path here and ask our panelists to kind of answer a quick question. but first to my right, this is congressman adam smith who is soon to be the chairman of the house armed services committee. and then to his right , john rudd, from the pentagon. he is the undersecretary for policy there. and then we have our token ally, that's right. aughty.'s not a -- n >> defense minister from the uk, gavin williamson. so can i just ask each of you to starting with you, congressman, briefly, because we do have a tight thing here. to just kind of tell us how you
see, how you're seeing the world now in view of the need for allies. as the u.s. is up against this great power great. >> i will try to hit three quick things. it's complicated so i hope to not go on for too long. we have the national security picture that we face. it's incredibly complex, russia, china, north korea, iran and transterrorists. -- transnational terrorists. that's what we dealing with to -- we are trying to control to make the world more peaceful and prosperous. understanding the threat environment is number one. number two is understanding that the world has changed a lot. in the u.s. dominance of it isn't what it used to be. and i know a lot of people lament that and talk about how it's this complete collapse and it's not that, it's simply a recognition of how history has evolved. and i use the statistic that seems like a non sequitur. but in 1948
the united states of american was responsible for 90% of global manufacturing which is a staggering statistic and put us in a powerful position. basically that was an historical accident. the entire industrialized world save us had been blown off the face of the map. we had no competition. that wasn't going to last. so that type of dominance, hoping we'll get back to the point where we can dominate the world sufficiently where they have to bend to our will or not do anything that we would rather they didn't do, not going to happen. which is why the alliances are so absolutely critical in terms of how we meet those challenges that we just described. we cannot do it on our own we don't have the resources of the size and capacity. we need to build as much friends as we can and reduce the number of enemies, i will say a positive thing about donald trump to start. i like that he's talking to kim jong un. it's far, far better than running the risk of a war so we
have to deal with that then the third thing is to build those alliances, we have to have a coherent message. why should these countries be with us? with us on what? what is it that we're trying to accomplish? why do we want these countries to work with us? i think the coherent message has got to build around the notion that freedom is better than autocracy. the other thing that all of those countries have in common is they're all autocratic, they don't have much political or economic freedom. we offer greater freedom. i think we have to develop that message and say we'll give you that freedom and protect you from autocrat who is don't want to give thaw freedom. we've got -- that freedom. we've got to have a message, we've got to have allies and a -- we have got to understand we can't do it on our own. >> perfectly brief, thank you very much.
mr. rudd. >> thank you, gordon. it's terrific to be here at the reagan library to have a discussion about the role of alliances and the importance of building new partnerships. because you know, we're very familiar with the president reagan's dictum of peace through strength. he did that in a way that utilized the power of the western alliance. and he really gave great prominence to that yesterday we saw regrettably we lost president reagan's vice president, a president who later became president, george h.w. bush, the 41st president of the united states. one of the things he was known for of course was this amazing coalition put together during the gulf war. to win that conflict. but i think ironically, lesser focused on these days is the role that he played when the soviet union was ending and the wall was coming down in berlin. this amazing management that he and margaret thatcher and the other allies did to prevent many of the horribles that we expected to happen at that period of time. now, i am in the course have always looked at george h.w. bush as somebody who i looked up to when i was starting government service 30 years ago
at c.i.a. as an intern. i remember waiting for a couple of hours to watch and visit the -- watched him visit the c.i.a. headquarters and to see this person that i had followed through years of government service. for us of course today in the administration we are very focused on the role that allies play in meeting the great challenges that we see articulated in the national defense strategy. the national defense strategy sets clear priorities in saying the greatest long-term threat to the united states and our allies is china. but in many ways russia is a more lethal near-term threat. this return of great power competition, not transnational terrorism is the greatest threat to the peace and prosperity of the american people and that very firmly noted there in a prioritization given. north korea and iran, certainly other major challenges. as we go forward to do that, one of the things that i see from my seat in the
pentagon is that there is a real focus on practical, tangible improvements with friends and allies, things that we are doing. you know, for instance, we have the defense secretary of the uk here, and at the last nato summit, some very improvements with friends and noteworthy agreements there for real capabilities for the alliance, for example, agreeing on a readiness initiative called the four 30s. that is to say, 30s air squadrons, 30 naval combatants and 30 mechanized infantry need to be ready in 30 days. real capabilities agreed to by real allies and another measure of merit in the way the alliance is stepping up together for this term, in 2014, the allies had only three of us that met 2% of our gdp devoted to defense spending and at the wales summit, an agreement by the alliance for all allies to get to 2% of gdp by 2024. now, as we sit here today, eight countries have now made it to
that level of 2%, and 19 have come up to the level that by 2024, they will be spending 2% on gdp. all allies last year agreed to spend more, 5.2% total increase across the alliance, since president trump took office, $41 billion of additional spending committed to by the allies. and so in terms of real commitments for real capabilities, we see that the uk leading the way, even with the brexit decision, a firm commitment to stay at 2% or more of gdp. and then in other ways, when we talk about the commitment of the alliance to go commit to more forces for places like afghanistan, to the training mission in iraq, real changes in the command and control structure of the alliance, i'm very pleased to see that, and what's the kinds of tangible steps that we've got to see taken to deal with these threats. i'll just mention briefly, in asia, another area of focus for us to develop new partnerships
and expand those alliance relationships, for example, indonesia is a very high priority for secretary mattis and us at the defense department. why, as secretary mattis is fond of calling it, it is the maritime fulcrum of the pacific, $5 trillion in trade flow through annually, indonesia's waters, in and around that country. that's about half the world's global trade. a strong push to increase relationships with countries like vietnam. and then to reinforce relationships and renew them with long standing allies like japan, the rok, and australia and to continue the work that successive successive administrations have put under way with india to create a new relationship with that country and some noteworthy achievements there. so i'll just close by saying i could go around the world, the middle east or certainly in this hemisphere, and speak of other examples, but again, from my perspective, a focus, particularly under secretary mattis' leadership, on tangible, specific things that are going to burnish those
relationships, lead to the growth of them, and allow us to meet shared challenges together. >> thanks. sir. a can i just say what privilege it is to be here as the token ally. >> i prefer to call you an army it is nice to be allowed in. and from a uk perspective, obviously, pass on our condolences about the sad passing of president bush. and he was a man who very much epitomized someone who believed in the strength of alliances and what they actually could bring, not just to the world but actually importantly and was able to articulate what they could also bring to the united states. he was often referred to as the only texan in the royal court at buckingham palace, so it's obviously very sad to see
him go. but alliances have been vital for the united states over numerous decades, and when you've seen the united states step away from the world stage, when you've seen the united states be isolationist in its approach, it's been able to sustain that for a short period of time, but invariably, what it's had to do is to deal with realities of what is happening around the world. and we've seen over the last 20, 25 years, a truly extraordinary set of events which has meant that the united states has been the sole superpower on the world stage, but that period and that chapter has come and is rapidly coming to a close. so, how does the united states amplify and magnify itself strength, and it has to be through those alliances. you would probably say that's not surprising coming from a uk
defense secretary, but actually, it puts a responsibility on allies themselves because actually, the point about other nations paying their way, contributing, actually accepting -- is stepping up to the mark in terms of what it spends on defense is absolutely right. it shouldn't just be the united states, britain, and a few other countries that are spending a minimum of 2%, and we should see 2% as a minimum. it's a floor and it's most certainly not a ceiling. but actually, it's not just about what you spend. i think we've got to the actually have a complete change in attitude and approach, because in the last 20 years, you've been seeing united states taking a lead in so many different parts around the world, whether that is in afghanistan, whether that's in iraq, whether it's increasingly in the asia pacific region as well. but actually, for alliances to really work, we've
got to be looking at how other nations, whether that be the united kingdom, whether that be germany, whether that be france or italy or australia, actually taking a lead in different parts of the globe. the united states cannot lead in every part, on every continent, in every conflict zone. and actually, really prove the worth of alliances, other nations have to be the ones that say, we will lead. and over the last 20 years, you've seen the uk and other nations who have contributed to the missions that the united states have led. what we need to do is to switch that round, because what united -- what unites us is those common values of democracy, justice, freedom, and actually, what we've got to be doing is thinking where in the world can britain lead and maybe the united states come in behind
us and support what we're doing and helping us deliver on our values and our shared and common aims in these countries. and when we start seeing that more and more, which i'm sure we are are going to do over the coming decades, because of the threats, as was discussed over lunch, the threats aren't getting less. but you cannot expect the united states to deal with every single one of those threats. and when we start doing that more and more, i think it sends a very powerful message, not just to the people of the united states, but also to the people in great britain and right across europe, right across the western world. it's these alliances that bring benefit to all.
gordon: thank you so much. thank you. i wanted to jump in on china first. and in preparing for this panel, i was speaking with a friend who reminded me of a foreign affairs article written by two former obama administration officials, who wrote that washington now faces its "most dynamic and formidable competitor in modern history in china. meeting this challenge, however, and meeting it properly must mean doing away with the hopeful thinking that has characterized u.s. policy towards china thus far." i'm wondering, from each of you, if you could share with us if you share that view and , and particularly for the congressman, is there a bipartisan approach to countering china, and how do you see each of that happening, and how do you bring allies along with it? rep. smith: well, that statement can mean a lot of different things. i did read the article, and i get what their point is, and i think secretary mattis actually did the best in terms of focusing this as he said, what is it -- yes, we're going to compete with china. that's, you know, that's going
happen. they're an economic power. and in one way or another, we're going to compete with them. but what are the red lines? what is it that we want to try to prevent china from doing? what are the truly bad things? because i honestly believe that there is plenty of room in this world for a rising china and a continuingly powerful united states. how do we do that? and i think there's several steps that we can look at. the biggest thing that we obviously want china to not do is to not become a hegemon in asia, is to not start land grabs, as they are trying in the south china sea, to try not in impose themselves on the sovereignty of nations around a them, and i think that gives us a natural outreach point to work with other countries, because they don't want that, either. so, we want to prevent that, and then the second is what they're doing in terms of stealing intellectual property. and i do think, you know, putting tariffs on steel and that sort of stuff sort of misses the point. the biggest problem with china is the way they are stealing intellectual property, stealing technologies, and not competing in a fair way.
so, we have to figure out, what are we trying to stop china from doing? people freak out because china's, you know, providing foreign aid in africa, and they do it in a way that isn't necessarily outstanding, but that doesn't concern me as much. i mean, look, if we get other great economic powers, they're going to start to try to build economic power in parts of the world that have been struggling. that's not a bad thing, so i think we got to be focused on what it is -- what do we want to stop china from doing, and then we have to look for places to partner with them. and i think secretary mattis has done a terrific job of this. he's done great outreach. but, you know, the environment. china, for all of their progress, for the 600 million or 700 million people they've taken in out of poverty, they're going to get to the point where they have trouble breathing, and that's a problem. global warming, the use of reliance on fossil fuels, we can work together on that. they face threats from violent extremist terrorist groups as well. so we need to look for places to
work together and this is where, just to make things a little bit more interesting, you know, i think there's room for criticism of the way the trump administration has approached this. i think d.o.d.'s doing it. i don't know how many ambassadors -- they don't pay any attention to the state department. i mean, lord knows what rex tillerson was doing there, but it didn't work out too well. has it gotten better? i don't know. but i know there are a ton of ambassadorships that are unfilled. there seems to be a disdain for diplomacy outside of everywhere but the pentagon, ok? and i really do praise you folks over there. you are trying to build partnerships with india, but meanwhile, the state department seems to be sort of thumbing its nose at everybody, and i'm a great admirer of george h.w. bush as well. but both he and his son had a way of building coalitions that were a little bit different. when iraq was invaded, and i don't know if this is true or not, but i read it in a book, george h.w. bush's first phone call was to the secretary general of the u.n. to say, hey, we got a problem.
how do we work together to solve this? right? an inclusive approach. and we all know that our current president has a slightly different tactic in terms of how he talks to people, and i got to believe that that's a problem. that people, as a general rule, do not like to start off conversations by being insulted. and where does that lead us? and i'll give you just the one example. america first? we should flatout stop saying that. because if you're trying to build these alliances that are so crucial to everything that we're doing, now, you are a very patient gentleman, and i'm sure you get along quite well with us , and you can take the occasional barb and see the broader interests and work with us, but as a general rule, what's the cliche? you catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. and what america says to the rest of the world is, "screw you! we're in it for us."
and you know, if you got something that's going to help us, we'll do it. if you don't, get away. so, i think diplomacy needs to be significantly improved, whether we're dealing with china or any place else, if we're not going to undermine the very things that all three of us just talked about, and we do have better models. like i said, you know, the coalitions that you described, that george h.w. bush was able to butt together, by respecting other people, by respecting their interests, and working with them in a way that isn't insulting, i think does matter. gordon: i'd come back to you on something, but let me just go to john next. go ahead. mr. rood: sure. with respect to china, i think that as i mentioned, that is the greatest long-term challenge we face, and it's the greatest long-term challenge, both because of the magnitude of that challenge and the potential to affect our way of life, but also it's a very complex challenge, and it does not resemble exactly
or neatly those that we faced before, even during the cold war. and what you see china doing is not only propagating a larger influence in its region, but also trying to expand that influence globally, and really competing for influence across the globe. the chinese leadership, led by president for life now, president xi, is a very ambitious group of people and a very self-confident one, and i think president xi aspires to be, perhaps, not only the most influential chinese leader in modern history but perhaps in china's long history. and i think the perspective of the chinese leadership is that while they -- we would disagree with this characterization in the united states, while they've gone through a bad century, that china will be back to take its rightful place, and there's a sense of grievance at times through what we would regard as an inaccurate reading of history about what occurred in that period of time. now, for us in the united states, we are recognizing that we are in a global competition with china, but we don't fear the competition, as congressman smith said. it's really about, is it a fair competition, is it a competition that seeks, unfortunately, what
we see china doing is trying to overturn the global order put in place in the post world war ii period to allow for free movement of people, free movement of ideas, openness of expression, promotion of democracy, respect for individual human rights, individual rights in terms of their relationship with their state. respect for the sovereignty of other states and not seeking to overturn those disputes simply through use of force, respect for intellectual property, trade, patent rights, et cetera, and so there are many reasons why we have concern now. the approach that we've taken in the defense sphere is first to try to baseline ourselves and , and secretary mattis, of course, has led the way on this to explain our strategic intentions to china, and to begin with a discussion around the lines -- along the lines that we're the two nations on earth with the greatest
potential for good, or, if we have conflict, for ill. and to change the global landscape. it has been a long time since we have had a global conflict between the great powers, and we want to avoid that, and we want to avoid being another chapter in the many pages in history with emerging powers choosing to militarily confront the established powers. and so, beginning with an explanation of what our strategic intentions are, explaining that competition in our lexicon does not mean -- we are not destined to be foes, we are not destined to a future of conflict. that future is for us to write. but there are certain things that we think that global system has actually aided in china's rise, that the demise of things like the ability for free movement of people and ideas and goods is not in their interest, but at the same time, we can't do that, and we certainly don't wish to do that by ourselves. that's where the role of friends and allies is so critical, and we've had -- and we continue to have a special relationship with her majesty's government.
you've got to start with those things at your core, but in addition to that, as i mentioned, the growth of these alliance relationships are very important. you know, for example, i mentioned indonesia. we have done $1.8 billion in foreign military sales with indonesia. we're trying to cultivate a different relationship with vietnam after the vietnam war. this last year, we had, for the first time since that conflict, the visit of an aircraft carrier to vietnam. the secretary of defense has met with his counterpart there four times. we have begun transferring and having a defense trade relationship with indonesia. first, through an excess coast guard cutter but also through ,greement on things like uav's trainer aircraft. now, these aren't easy relationships, and we have to deal with the legacy of conflict, for example, one of our projects at d.o.d. is the
clean-up of agent orange or dioxin in vietnam, so you've got to deal with the legacies of con politics, you've got to be clear-eyed about a complex relationship, but the hard work of not only maintaining our core relationships and building them and keeping them vibrant, but building these new relationships has got to be a part, taken hand in hand with while we reach out to the chinese and try to manage that relationship and their rise in a way that we are cooperative with them, but also being vigilant and knowing we've got to have not only defense capabilities, but we have to have friends and allies for this to work well. gordon: if i could just jump in, i think a lot of folks want to see, and this gets into a different conversation about the national defense strategy and the assets, but people want to see where the u.s. is going to challenge china, militarily or otherwise, and i'm getting into a conflict or a war, but they're looking to, you know, i think a lot of the rhetoric has been, let's work with china in a lot of ways, when i think there's --
mr. rood: well, we're -- gordon: is a signal for -- mr. rood: rep. smith: we're challenging -- we're challenging china in the south china sea right now. you know, we are sending our aircraft carrier battle groups through waters that they say we shouldn't be able to send through. so we're kind of doing what you're -- i don't think there's a lot of call, like you said, for us to lob a missile at them. gordon: no, of course not. rep. smith: but we are, and the same with russia, we are challenging them. we are deterring them in a variety of different ways. and many of the ones that you just outlined are crucial, by making more friends in the region.
go ahead. min. williamson: i think the real strength is not necessarily -- and always acting alone. so when we saw the attack on ourselves in salisbury with the use of chemical weapons on the streets, if i had said to you a year ago that we would see the use of the novichok virus in a sleepy english cathedral city nestled in the countryside, you would have probably thought it was crazy. but the strength of a response is actually about nations coming together and speaking with one voice. when you look at china, without a shadow of a doubt, china presents the globe with so many great opportunities, but also, it does present it with challenges, and actually, the way that you will best be able to influence behavior is not expecting the u.s. to do all the running, or to be doing all the running on its own. but actually, for other nations to be actually saying a common thing, so whether it's the south china sea, it's good that the u.s. does rites of passage ops, but other nations have to be doing the same, and that's why you've been seeing british vessels actually transiting through the south china sea for the first time in a number of years. but we also have to be willing to call out poor behavior, not constantly turning the other cheek, and actually, where there is something that, frankly, from our point of view, as western
nations with those shared values, actually, if china is doing something wrong or russia is doing swrgomething wrong, the strength is speaking with that one voice and saying why it's wrong and what the consequences could potentially be to that. gordon: earlier this week, french president macron said that president trump's recent decisions have been done to the detriment of his allies. the elephant in the room, to me, and i think some of you have alluded to it earlier, is the mixed signals that come from the u.s. government to allies. and i just wanted to ask y'all to kind of expand on that a little bit. how does -- how do you bring folks along when you do have, in many ways, mixed signals.
mr. trump's kind of transactional approach to allies can make it very difficult. you know, looking at you at some point to speak to, as an ally, what that feels like and what it means. but you know, also, with mr. trump's own popularity in europe so low, how do you bring -- or how does your government bring your people? along? min. williamson: well, it's talking about the value of alliances and actually the common values that you have between nations, and actually, it's very easy to focus on divisions. it's very easy to focus on different -- a different style or different approach. but what is important, actually, to see the common value that all nations have, and i'm not sure if many of you have ever been to the imperial war rooms in london where you saw -- where winston churchill executed the second world war, and the most powerful image that you see there is you look at the map of a globe,
where are the greatest number of pinpricks? it's not in france or italy or north africa or the far east. it is in the north atlantic. that vital bridge that united two continents, two sets of, you know, europeans and americans in a fight against something that we all knew was evil and would destroy our sets of values and everything that we stood for. and actually, we need to talk positively about alliances and what they bring to both our nations, and actually, if you look at what the united states is doing in terms of in nato, you are seeing a increase in terms of investment, an increase in terms of a commitment to what nato does. so i say, judge a nation by its actions. that's the most important thing to do. but again, it comes back to my earlier point. it's about all allies pulling their weight.
you cannot outsource european defense and security to the united states. it's simply not right, and it's not a sustainable argument that the american people will buy. but what we to need to be doing is showing an activism and an interest and a willingness to be involved across all european nations, and i think britain can play an important leadership role in that. it has always been a useful bridge between the united states and the rest of europe. but actually, it's not just about europe. it's right across the globe, because sometimes nations such as britain and france were able to reach into parts of the world that actually -- which actually, frankly, the u.s. sometimes would struggle into toingdoing so, so we've got to show that leadership. but again, let us focus on the values that are common between our nations. let us focus on all the good things. let us not sort of constantly bicker over some of the smaller
or more minor things that occasionally divide. rep. smith: and if i may, i think there are plenty of places now where other nations are leading the example that leaps to my mind is west africa, where we have a lawless region in there with all kinds of international criminals, terrorists, and elsewhere, and it's really france that has, because the history there, that has taken the lead and trying to confront and shore up, you know, mali and niger and deal with the problems that have come out of libya, so there's been that leadership that has started. and i think the other thing is -- i'm trying to figure out how to say this in a not terribly -- america is about more than just president trump. thank god. sorry. just had to. it's late in the afternoon. and so i think while the rest of the world may not think president trump -- may not find him popular for some things he's
said and done, i think when you look at great britain and when you look at europe, they can have problems with our president and still say, america is still america. it's still that vital leader in the world, that vital partner on a whole series of levels, so just because the president tweets something unbelievably offensive about one of our allies, i think hopefully what happens is those countries recognize that larger relationship, and it's about more than that. and then also, within the trump administration, there are a lot of people that are doing just the opposite. now, this is the mixed signal problem that you say. i don't think there's ever been an administration that has had this bad a schizophrenia from one tweet one day to someone saying, no, actually, no, we didn't really mean that to the next. but at least there is that other. ok? at least there is the department of defense and others out there trying to mend those fences and trying to show a different face. i don't know, maybe it's some sort of mad scientist strategy here that trump scares them and everybody else comes in and tries to make them feel better. i don't think that's the case. and i do think we would be better off if our president
occasionally struck a more conciliatory tone towards both our allies and our potential allies, for that matter. so it is a problem. but again, i'll just say, america is about more than who happens to be president at the moment. there is a problem, but i've talked for too long. there is one other issue that's worth getting into, but i'll save that for later. gordon: i have been on numerous trips with defense secretary mattis, where you stop in country x, y, or z and the headline is, you know, he sought to reassure allies, blah, blah, blah. how, from where you sit in the
pentagon, do you manage these mixed signals? mr. rood: the best signal we can send, and secretary mattis is fond of saying, our role is to get it done, and so look at some of the actions that we take, and i think that that is the best way to explain and to deal with sending the right kind of message. so for example, in europe, one of the things that we've tried to send with the european deterrence initiative as part of nato is a substantial increase in commitment, whether that's during the trump administration, $3.1 billion of additional spending for that purpose, the commitment of advanced capabilities to that activity, but it's got to be, as secretary williamson was saying, we hope that this is a shared commitment. i mean, that's the kinds of things that are going to make an alliance more vibrant. and so while we saw the adaptations to the nato command structure, as i said, to make it fit for our times, able and willing to confront the kinds of threats that we face, there were adjustments and some of that was a willingness from us in the united states also to bear a load in that regard. and so, a lot of what i focus on and my colleagues focus on is that getting these practical, real things done based on the
not -- that are sort of have a façade of capability, but real capabilities for things like the nato alliance. that is the best way that we can keep the relationships vibrant. that's the best way, over time. we all live in democracies, whether it's france or germany or the u.k., this alliance of democracies occasionally has co that emergesounds from it. and it is not just there. if i look elsewhere, i spend a lot of my day on things like the defeat isis campaign. we've got 75 nations engaged in that. 79 if you include the organizations also part of that activity. but they're not coming just with words. there is real money. there are real capabilities. and in other areas, you know, we've had a very good relationship, as congressman
smith started to say, with our french colleagues in africa. , in the sahil. -- the sahel. and we are playing a supporting role there. this is a french-led, a european-led activity, but it's one that we support because we see not only an affinity in the alliance, but we also see some shared aims there. and we're going to have to keep that vibrant also, by renewing our focus on as much as there are occasionally difference amongst our states, we have core values that are similar about democracy, about promotion of freedom, about individual liberties, and as secretary mattis said today, we don't buy our friends here in the united states. we earn them. we earn them through working together on these kinds of activities. and for me and my team, that's what we try to do every day in the pentagon. we need to earn these relationships. we need to earn that capability and that trust and go out and work on those things together. gordon: got it.
thank you, john. let's segue quickly, because we have very few minutes left to do the russian portion, but do it through the lens of nato, and as you may have heard earlier in the conversation earlier today, there was a survey that they did here. a majority of americans are favorable towards nato. this is a 59% favorable towards nato, with a 24% unfavorable, and more interesting to me, even a majority of those with a favorable view of nato think that our allies should do more. and it goes down, i think -- yeah. thank you. i didn't even ask for the slides, and they're there, so the audience can see them. but what's your kind of gut reaction to the survey that suggests that members still need to do more at nato?
mr. rood: i agree with the survey. no, i think -- rep. smith: let me just say, by the way, that's always the case. you would always like your partners to do more. i don't think that's ever going to change and you are doing more. min. williamson: and in fairness, you see the u.k., we're upping the spending on defense above inflation every single year. we're sort of increasing the proportion of gdp that we've been spending on defense. and as was touched upon by john earlier, you know, every nation in nato is increasing the amount. now, as to whether it's at the pace that people want to see, some people will argue that it isn't a speedy, but the direction of travel, the trend is heading in the right way. but it isn't just about spending
, and it's not just about pounds, shillings, and pence. it's all how you use and how you develop those capabilities and how you come together to use those capabilities to deal with the common threats. and yes, 2% is a very, very important, powerful political tool. but it's not actually just about percentages. it's actually what you're spending that money on and how you use those capabilities going forward, and i think people are expecting us to do more, and i think we will have to do more , because the threats are increasing. gordon: john, real quick, if you could come up congressman, just respond to that real quick, and then i have a brexit question. well, i think -- i'm not surprised by the survey results, as was discussed, and certainly i'm in the category also that i favor nato, and also think our allies should do more, but i think to secretary williamson's point, how you do
more, the alliance has talked for some time about framework nation approaches to certain areas of capability, and we've seen some of the member states really lead in those areas. i mean, her majesty's government leads in so many areas. we've got to be more serious of purpose in that regard. and it's not just the level of spending, it's not just that these are usable capabilities, but it's the degree that the sum of the parts is greater than the individual elements and some discipline amongst our allies, and that's where, you know, as an example, we're favorable in general towards the idea that some european union states or the european union as a whole would increase its capabilities. but done in a way that is complementary, that adds to the capabilities of nato, because after all, as the nato secretary general is fond of pointing out, while there are more european union member states that are also members of nato, today, 82%, if you include the u.k., is none-eu members, 82% of the spending resides outside of the european union in nato, so we've -- this differentiation of capabilities, this willingness to recommit to a capability approach where, if you will, different allies are having different capabilities that they bring, so that the sum is greater than the parts. that's the kind of approach we've got to take. rep. smith: and the only thing i would add is it's not -- i know this is a defense forum, but the partnership is not just about nato. when we say we want our allies to do more, and you say, well, how much are you putting into nato and that's the be all and end all of it, there are a lot of other ways that we partner.
i do a lot of work on global health and the department for international development, and great britain is a major leader on confronting global health challenges. you know, george w. bush helped put together the alliance on combatting hiv in africa, but that was an alliance that was global. so, when we, as americans, like, what are our partners doing to help us, i don't think we should narrow it simply up and down to what are they spending on defense. there are a ton more issues out there that are important internationally. gordon: agreeing with your ally there. fair point. quick brexit question, because we haven't talked about it. min. williamson: i traveled all the way to the united states to avoid a brexit question. [laughter] gordon: i think that's a fair request. i think the question, though -- here's the question i'm going to add to it. how has brexit affected european security policy without the voice of one of our more reliable allies at the table in brussels, will eu member states be less likely to take decisive action to counter russia or terrorism? hi min. williamson: i would certainly hope not. and there is a common misunderstanding with brexit. people look at britain exiting the european union, they think
that britain is wanting to step away from the world, and i would say it's quite the reverse. britain wants to and will play a much more significant part on the world stage, and actually, exiting the european union gives us that opportunity to be both more decisive and more clear about our intent and standing up for our values, not just talking about our values, but very much defending them. and let's not forget that actually britain has been involved in european security, not just since the creation of the european union, but i think it's fair to say we've been interfering on european security for a fair few centuries before that. [laughter] min. williamson: and we're going to have no less an interest in terms of making sure our interests, our values, and our friends are properly defended, whether we're out of european union or not.
but i do think that -- i think that for us, for britain, actually the importance of nato grows even more than it was beforehand. actually, as a forum, to reach out and to talk, and there is a challenge, that there may be influences within the european union, should we say, gallic influences, that will have a different vision of the european union without britain there. but this is why it's so important to make it clear as to what nato delivers, not just europe, not just the united states and canada right across the north atlantic, but actually what nato can do in terms of a platform, of a platform of nations that actually care passionately about the values that we all subscribe to and how we use that more and more around the globe, and we see that in afghanistan today in terms of resolute support. afghanistan was never thought as a country that nato would operate in when it was created over 69 years ago.
but actually nato delivers a value to so many parts of the world, and that's how we need to expand it more into the future. gordon: in deference to our allies, we'll let the ally have the last word. i would ask everybody to join me in thanking our panel today. which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ >> c-span's "washington live every day with news and policy issues that impact you are coming up this morning, we wall discuss the yahoo!'s scottth gamm. >> government funding rate out
at midnight as we enter date wanted a government shutdown. continue on a bill that will pass both chambers of congress and get the approval of the president. watch live coverage of the house and the senate on c-span2. and the house and senate are both scheduled to come in saturday to work on a government funding bill. senate leadership announced that they would not take a vote until there was an agreement between them, the president, and house of representatives. watch the house live on c-span and the senate on c-span2. next, a discussion about freedom of speech with a former president of the aclu, nadine strossen, and attorney's sharing their views on hate speech, controversial college campus speakers, at access to the white house.