tv Future of NATO at Chicago Global Affairs Council CSPAN May 29, 2019 10:43pm-11:55pm EDT
affecting the alliance and the future of democracy. they hosted four former ambassadors who served for years.16 of the past 18 this is about 1.1 hours. you, everybody, for joining us and thank you to the chicago council on global affairs. we are going to be livestreamed. for those that cannot stay off shtagsr, we have a few ha we can use. with that, i would like to welcome my panel and let's jump into it. we have right now with us close to two decades of
experience covering and handling some of the biggest issues in world affairs. i am sitting with four of the people i would reach out for insights and thoughts. can't say i got that many of them. one better to speak about the milestone of the nato alliance at 70 and the challenges we are facing. i'm going to ask each of the ambassadors to start off by talking about how nato was brought home to them by the unique issues and may be a little bit of their reflections on what nato meant to them at the time. evening, everybody. i want to thank the ambassador who is our host and who has done such a great job. it is a national and internationally known present as
of all of you and his efforts. say iing to be brief and was ambassador to nato between august 31, 2001 and march, 2005. my great fortune was our deputy -- i arrivedion not knowing as much as i wanted to know about nato. we were hit hard. everybody in this audience remembers where we were. ahead of theours withcoast, in a meeting our fellow ambassadors when the word came in. we were cut off from washington for a number of hours. as you may remember, the white house state department and defense department were evacuated.
the defense department was hit physically. significant damage. a threat of another bombing, which evacuated the building. we cannot reach anybody. we simply watched the twin towers fall on cnn like everybody else. the phone started to ring inside our mission. we are state department and defense department. we report to the president through colin powell. the phone rang. one of my first phone calls was to the canadian ambassador. you thought about invoking article five? if you haven't read the treaty today, is the key part of the contract among the allies. an attack on one of us shall be an attack on all of us. 1949 so whenn in europe was attacked, they
thought by stalin, the u.s. and canada would come across the the for the third time in 20th century. we were attacked on 9/11. the ambassador said, i think they will support you if you want military assistance. worked the phones with all the allies that day. they called home to get permission to agree to go to war with us. the next morning, september 12, we invoked article five for the first and only time in nato history. here is what it meant to me. before we went down, to make that vote, i called condoleezza rice. i said, the allies want to invoke article five. we need the president because personal authority. i said, go for it.
i said great you are giving us the authority. she said, go for us. she said, the president had a really bad day. go for it. i said, i will take that as my presidential instruction. she said, it is good to have friends in the world. memory of 9/11. our allies, canada at that time, 17 other allies stood with us. they went into afghanistan with us. us. of them are still with they suffered over 1000 combat deaths. buy an alliance like that in the world. the russians and chinese do not read they do not have a single country that will fight for them. i look at toledo as a jewel.
-- nato as a jewel. for any american to say this alliance is an important -- is not important and vital, they do not know what we know. >> i am going to jump across the line. we have talked about this before. 9/11 11 kind of encapsulated nato represented. you followed nick. yourself.enced that >> i was with nick as his deputy and then i came back. into -- until 2008. ands a congenital optimist he drove that article five home. it was my job to worry. or lesser that day optimistically. had 21 allies around the
table. some were clear they would stand with us. others didn't know what it meant. we didn't know actually who had hit us. they did not know what we would do in response. they did not know what the legal response would be. that meant their young men and women had to go who knows where? we had folks who were representatives of coalition governments. governments that required parliamentary approval. meet to doposed to the invitation on the 12th. at 12:30, we had one smallentative from one nation crying on the couch of the secretary-general of nato because he could not get his government to say yes. this is what it means to be the deputy. we had another who
had to have a parliamentary seating. the parliament did not come together. a country she knows well. they did not come together until 12:45. i remember various military commanders getting out the treaty to make sure we could do it. i do not quite remember condi saying, go for it but she did say, don't f it up if i recall. havee did say good to friends in the world. >> i remember thinking in the day after the worst day in american history since pearl harbor, if we do not get these other votes, we will not only be the victims of 9/11, we will have ruined a nato but it did not go that way. we had a happy ending. back, 2005, we had had the iraq war which had been divisive within the alliance.
france were very opposed. worried about needing protection. hard to get nato patriot batteries there to protect turkey in the event of a counterstrike. i spent those years trying to convince allies, george w. bush and his second term was more ally friendly than in the first term. trying to get them to go to afghanistan. we learned, these nato militaries at the time were very well-equipped for territorial defense and putting tanks on their border, but getting out to afghanistan and maintaining their equipment out there and actually fighting an enemy who fought in the shadows was a harder thing. we spent a lot of time retooling
allies for distance, this friend kinds of capabilities. finding niches for all of them. which i think is a better way to go, mentor allies, work with them. build capabilities they need. then simply yelling at them with a bully pulpit. sometimes that drives them in the wrong direction. makes them harder politically to join us. i remember traveling to nato with secretary clinton. va was the ambassador. we were trying to get more countries to commit more troops. him. into i said, who are you trying to get to give more troops?
he said, we don't do voltage diplomatic conversations. i remember a few i roles. being anmber it important task. to convince allies, the u.s. is going to put more skin in the game but they have to as well. >> i inherited a very healthy alliance. there was the decision which the ambassador will remember. we had a big debate. when you have some time, he can
we needed to do in terms of more troops to afghanistan. the decision was, yeah, we can probably do 40,000 more troops but the u.s. will only do 30000 and the allies will have to do 10. the white was a diplomatic secret. by the way.o 10, it wasn't just me. it was a government effort. everyone in the state department, the defense department. we got the troops to surge. we have continued this operation. the of the training of troops, afghan forces, they are non-american. that continues to be the case. that is part of what it means to be an alliance. let me talk about one particular
vignette that tells you something. we debated whether to go into libya. nato's ambassador to the united states, every country at that moment learned what we thought in brussels might not be what we thought in the capitals. about what weate were trying to do. go through the history of nato. other than to say, the president this wass. decided going to involve nato. the u.s. would take the initial lead. because arab countries are more involved. the process,of they should take the lead. they should take -- carry the bulk of the operation. we would help them get started.
the kind of forces we had. intelligence, surveillance capabilities. targeting capabilities. ourad some intelligence allies did not have. we would provide that but the allies would have to do the operation. the president said, we will lead but we will hand it off to someone. thoughtn washington about who they would hand it off to. i said,t decision came, that is interesting. who do you think is going to take the lead. the french, who really wanted to get into libya? british oron't see dutch or american writers being -- the brits, they don't have the capacity for a multinational force.
we had to sell back to washington the idea nato should take control of this operation. there is a reluctance. say,, maybe not. of theind a coalition willing. we had to educate people about the importance of nato. why it is part of the operational system. the military understood it, the diplomats a little less so. you spend your time in brussels, not only spending a lot of time talking to your colleagues.
spend a lot of time educating washington about the importance of the alliance. why friends ought to be part of what we do in a day to day basis. >> coming to the nato alliance as ambassador, having seen it from that end, you come in. that was a time dealing with ukraine. on crimea.igns while they sought nato take a turn into areas not necessarily considered part of its charter. nefending against russia aggression, it kind of seems like this is back to basics. >> i
fall 2013.d in early i thought, what a great place from which to retype. things were quiet. what could possibly go wrong? that persisted for six months. and then beginning and sort of late february, early much of 2014, we saw four months of complete crisis. the crimean seized peninsula, sovereign part of the ukraine. for the first time since world war ii. we saw just a couple months after that, he occupied two provinces by way of overt and covert provinces in ukraine. and they are still there. this got nato's attention even though ukraine is not an ally. then in june of 2014, they had a
guy by the name of al-baghdadi and declare aue caliphate. northern syria and northern iraq is northern turkey. and turkey is an nato ally. 2, three things happen in quick succession and what i took from this dense period was that nato is actually, even though it is a 70-year-old bureaucracy of at that time 27 or 28 nations, it could adapt. if you look through the rearview mirror at that period nato's taken some very substantial adaptations that really account for this inflection point in 2014. mayant to circle back if i a beg your indulgence to 9/11.
while that was a very interesting policy period, for me, the most poignant experience was after i left nato. ofeft on january, 2017, 20th january, high noon. no coincidence there. and president trump is now president and it is traditional that one of the first thoughts the new president takes after being inaugurated is nato. first of all it is a very efficient use of the president's time because he can go there and heads of state and government and he sort of goes and recommit the american firm alliance commitment, article v at nato headquarters. so, we imagined before presidential became president trump, wouldn't it be great if we commemorated in a solemn way 9/11. and what they experienced on
september 12. going to the 9/11 museum in new york and arranging on permanent loan to nato an artifact from the north tower. this is some artifacts. about as big as this stage. it is now mounted outside the new nato headquarters. a piece of twisted metal which is the point of impact in the north tower. that's now outside nato headquarters, in the main public entrance. every day when nato employs works work they walk past this memorial. and the idea was, what better way to memorialize and remind us t the potency of article v, attacks,america was our allies were there for us. we imagined that the new president would go to nato headquarters. the first meeting in the new headquarters. so, therefore this display was to be unveiled. it's called the article v
memorial, ok? we imagine that what better way for the next president when she came to brussels -- [laughter] to unveil this and remind everybody. and she wanted have. the poignant memory is that none of that happened. the memorial was there. the podium was there and the new president castigated and showed disrespect to our allies in public with the cameras rolling and never said the words article v. i say that not as applicable statement but because it reminded me, it reminded me of something that nato has taken for granted for 70 years, and that is the commitment out of the oval office, out of the white house. it was so poignant because it is such a sharp contrast. >> that brings us to a shameless plug for doug and nicks' excellent report from the center, nato at 70, an alliance
in crisis. i want to quote from the report about the challenges, it's about ten big challenges nato is fac ing. i encourage you to check out the report. represent the more severe crisis in the security environment in europe since the end of the cold war and perhaps ever. the question is whether the alliance can adapt to these changes, and retool for the decades ahead. is notalk about how this a political statement, one of the big challenges and probably the biggest challenge and what the report says the single greatest threat is the absence of strong principled american leadership for the first time in its history. it talks about the first president trump is the first president to, you know, talk about the e.u. and europe as a competitor, not a partner of the u.s. anti-nato sentiment and that the
alliance is, you know, in crisis because of this. confidence in american leadership at very low depths. and the last quote is trump may well cause even greater damage to the alliance while he remains in office. this is not a political statement. two ambassadors from various political persuasions talking about a threat to the alliance. and nick, why don't we talk, tell us a bit about how president trump's, obviously his desire to have burden sharing and collective defense spending, that is an issue many presidents have talked about. enemy, seeingo as nato as worse than china. and russia. how has that damaged the alliance, and sometimes people
say that the biggest challenge that nato has is just getting through the rest of this administration. >> thanks for allowing us to plug our harvard study. doug and i spent six months on both sides of the atlantic talking to nato leaders in north america and in europe. 60 people, we talked a member of congress. we testified before congress. a tried to approach it on nonpartisan basin. -- basis. and our tradition is nonpartisanship. we all served republicans and democrats. >> let's just reiterate that. you're looking at people who have served over a republican and democratic administration, very important to remember. >> right. study which this tries the analyze the health of nato. i want to start by saying we think nato is in great
shape. it needs reform but it is strong and is definitely part of america's future. as we looked at the problems and crises surrounding nato our first recommendation is that absence of strong presidential leadership. truman and eisenhower, jfk and bushes, bill clinton, barack obama, all of our presidents had thought this was a central institution for american security and president trump clearly does not. just a couple of examples. he has never stood up in an unequivocal way supported article v, our commitment to our allies and theirs to us. he's had several swings at the bat. most notably on the evening of helsinki's summit last july with vladimir putin he was asked by tucker carlson of fox news, a hypothetical question. mr. president if montenegrin is under attack from russia, talk
across them, do you think our sons and daughters and united states should go to war to defend montenegrin? trump said, i'm not sure they should. paraphrasing. that is not backing up article v. he's never done it. he's never taken on the issue of russian interference. russia's attack on our 2016 election on the dutch, fencrenc h and german elections. has never convened a meeting to talk about the fact that putin is using cyber warfare. notably, the single greatest existential problem is the rise of the anti-democratic populace like marine le pen in france and in the netherlands, alternative for deutsche land in germany. and president trump is not leading the charge against the anti-democratic congress as yo umight picture that ronald
reagan would've done. picture or bond, the president of hungary, and the polish government. he's has made the small d democrats, angela merkel, justin trudeau, theresa may. he has turned american policy towards nato upside down and first taking his presidential leadership. that is our first recommendation that there is a lot more in this report than just our view of donald as the weakest american president by far on the nato alliance. >> if i could just add. it is number one among ten challenges, and the reason for that is in order to give it the other night it requires u.s. presidential leadership era there is no other head of state of government among the 29 lac will take that -- that place is reserve the united states president. and it is absent. or handicapped in terms of-- the think one of
interesting things was meeting the challenges of a rising china, for instance. and on the economic front and the trade front, that is somewhere that president trump has been willing to confront china, but i mean, it does seem as if china is emerging as a threat to and a competitor certainly seeking dominance and military technology and such that is a threat to nato. >> we cite two of the ten challenges as not heare yet but imminent. we call them on the horizon, meaning they are in front of us. one is emerging technologies. we call for nato to update the way it applies commercial technologies to military purposes and in particular getting a things like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and so forth. nato's behind the game on it. and the second is the competitionwith china.
that competition from the perspective of our european allies is mostly commercial competition. china is buying up transportation infrastructure, communications infrastructure. we read about the competition for 5g and the vulnerabilities of the chinese firm huawei in the european infrastructure. thos commercial investments today, it owned by the chinese. is intended to have a political payoff down the road. we define these for commercial purposes. that is all good and well. they are in the marketplace competing. but there is an expectation of political influence that will follow this commercial influence. that's what the report calls for our nato allies to wake up and pay attention to this campaign of commercial and political investment in europe.
not because we think the chinese are about to invade europe or that nato should send ships to the south china sea. it doesn't have to go military and we think the opening salvos of commercial investment deserves nato's full attention. >> another important thing to note, it's also noted in this excellent report, is nato is struggling to confront what they call a potentially cancerous threat from within, that some of the governments in nato, poland, and turkey are starting to look a little un-democratic. and nato at its core is an alliance of democracies. nato how doesnato confront that from within, should some of these countries have conditions that they have to meet here? >> two points. just to reemphasize. this alliance of 29 soon to be
30 countries only operates in one way. it only has one operating mode. and the operating mode is that it has a single driver and the driver lives in washington. >> isn't that part of the problem? i thinkhere's where americans -- top lay devils advocate, have a point, should there be the united states kind of helping others take on responsibility? >> in order for them to take on that responsibility somebody needs to drive the truck. goodwhat we call in diplomatic parlance herding cats. and, and someone needs to herd cats. and if it is not the united states has to be someone else. we found that sometimes the he has a-general -- particular knack for diplomatic
engagement that they can do that. in essence it is the american power, for stage, and its commitment to nato that drives think. how do you want to drive? the best way to drive them is for others to do more. in there is no disagreement that sense between president trump and all of his predecessors, all of whom have asked since harry truman, since 1952, when harry truman says it is time now that the war is over , you guys start doing more for your defense. but the way you get them to do more in the defense is to be part of the solution, not to only point to them and say they are the problem. so that's one thing. this idea of american leadership is really fundamental in how do you have coalitions behave in a much more effective way. and that gets to the issue of democracy, as i think nick points out. if the united states embraces those who are questioning
democracy, then more and more country say coming in know what? maybe it is ok for me to move in that direction. it sort of starts to eats away at the structure of the institution. how do you lead in nato? you can only do it by example. that is not the european union. nobody can be thrown out of nato . the treaty does not allow for it . it is an alliance based on consensus decision-making and the only way to change consensus decision-making is for consensus to agree that you can change decision-making. to if you are trying ostracize the country, let's say for the sake of argument, tokey, you need the turks agree they should be ostracize. that's very hard. so, how do you do that? you start putting pressure on them. and somebody needs to be that effort to bring countries together. and saying, the way you are behaving, and the turks, for
example, right now with regards to buying 400 russian air defense systems, are not behaving in a way that is good for the alliance. for you can do that in two ways. you can send your vice president out and go publicly castigating them as mike pence did on the 70's anniversary of nato. can diplomatically engage either allies and put the pressure on the turks and try to have them change their mind. and that's how it works. it is sometimes hard work, it is diplomacy. it's greasing elbows. it is not always pretty but it usually is effective. the one way you can guarantee it is not effective is to grandstand from the big stage and think everything is going to change. >> we'r going to opene up to questions in one minute but if you can take a bigger picture iok at whether nato, has -- think all of the panelists would argue that it hasn't -- but
whether nato has outlived its usefulness. what does a world look like without nato? all, when you of think about the international organizations we have, whether it is the united stations, the the wto,k, the imwf, thef, they have all tried to reform. nato actually has reformed again and again and again. at the end of the cold war the first threat we had was in the balkans, the wars in bosnia and kosovo. . it was not obvious we were not defending our own neighbors, our own members. and nonetheless nato took the lead in those engagements, and it was because nato was in charge that all of the countries were able to participate. next comes afghanistan. as we talked about. a conflict 1000 miles away in the desert, not on anybody's border. who would've ever thought that when nato was founded, that it
afghanistan and in afghanistan for 16, 17 years with every single ally participating? then, when the threat comes in ukraine, all of a sudden back to basics, deploying every single ally on the eastern edge of the alliance and getting that done under doug's leadership within a month and a half. so, nato is a flexible, adaptable organization. but more importantly than that, yes, it is a military alliance, but. more important, it is a political alliance and all four of us spent every week that we were at nato in tuesday lunch with all of our nato allies. meetingday formal nato session that could go on anywhere from an hour to six hours, depending upon what we were doing. to afternoon meetings on wednesday with our partner
countries in the middle east, in africa, and asia. to thursday special session on topic a or b. was a permanent conversation between the united states and its closest, most democratic strongest allies in the world. it is a family in permanent conversation around a nonstop dinner table. change, as thees challenges and threats change, when they change, from territorial defense to terrorism, for example, we were able to have that conversation about what we could all bring to the table, what was needed, how to approach this. on the china issue that doug spoke about so eloquently, what is needed now is a transatlantic conversation abourt what appropriate investment from china looks like versus more rapacious investment or more investment that might undercut our security, our privacy, etc.
we can, because we have the standing family dinner table, which is always at the ready and these permanent representatives who know and trust each other and are trusted by their governments, work on issues like that together. it, we are don't use simple he throwing away one of the great national assets that has been built over a decade. now, a lot of us believe that our liberal, open, free prosperous way of life now faces a far more significant audiological challenge than it thann decades and perhaps the form ofseedd in autocratic government to do not like the rules of the road we set for global legal systems, for basic, fundamental post cold -- post world war ii, that you cannot bite off a piece of your
neighbor any time you feel like. trade should be free. that you should have independent judiciary's, be open to free media and have alternation of power. does not serve the governance model of vladimir putin or xi jinping. aey are now strong enough for variety of reasons and working more closely together to challenge the system and try to change the rules. that system has served us very well for a very, very long time can work withe our families and closest friends to defend and strengthen it and encouraged china and russia to take a less zero-sum, more collaborative view, or we can attack our family and provide lots of comfort and avenues for encroachment by folks who do not believe in the same things we believe in and who do not always
wish us well. >> that, we have some question is that have been submitted. we already answered several of them in the last few minutes. if you have a, you can raise your hand are also a we have some great questions here that have been submitted. nick, what role does a stable e.u. have in the future of nato, will brexit turmoil or future foreign policy impact nato's mission? >> so, think of the european union as the twin brother or twin sister of nato. we're not part of it. when the europeans were trying to recover from the devastation of the second world war, harry truman was the one who steelaged -- the coal and community and the common market, mastrich, single currency, we have always been in support of it. the e.u. is our largest trade
partner, the largest investor and europe provides the largest number of american treaty allies. we're involved -- tori was in charge of our relationship your diu are involved with europe on climate change, on regulatory issues of tech companies, the european union has really -- the critical regulator of google and amazon and others where everything under the sun that concerns the united states concerns the other democratic countries across the tnd and donald trump is first american presidenthe, sorry to keep going back to him but i must, he describes the e.u. as a foe and competitor of the united states. that is never how any american president has seen it. we have to have them fight a relationship. >> ok, we'd like you to introduce yourself, state your affiliation and a very short question. i askt eh panelist to keep the
answer sure so we can get to his many questions. this gentleman in the purple shirt. my name, can guess by i was originally born in ukraine. that in the states for 22 years now. if you can give me some patience. >> we do not have a lot of patience. we have a short question. >> that's ok. i can shorten it. so, with all of the things that russia has done, why don't we, the united states, e.u., nato, get outside of looking at isolated incidents where we can condemn russia and the government and look at them from a general perspective as an enemy of democracy? >> thank you. doug, take that one. >> first of all, there is no question they are chose. it's very clear that putin has torn of the rulebook which has governed the post-world war ii period, and he's a major
disruptive factor in europe. why don't we just go after them? there's still a significant body of common interests, even with the misbehaving russia. russia has 7000 nuclear weapons. nobody else comes close. the security of those nuclear weapons, the management of those systems as a fundamental, existential challenge to the united states. we can't do that by ourselves. dialogueo enter into a with russia with regard to nuclear security. they have a very large sunni muslim population. there were more russian citizens who migrated into northern syria and northern iraq and joint isis than any other nationality. number one nationality to join isis from outside the compound russian.ere they are making their way back
home. this is not good news. america does not get you space have days unless we collaboration with russia, we launch from russian territory. while we disagree on some very big issues, like the invasion of ukraine, and the assault as nick said on our election system. this is not hypothetical for americans. nobody should leave this room tonight doubting that russia attacked us in the election process in 2016. >> do think they would ever test article v? >> the reason they revert to interference and disinformation is because they understand article v. they steer clear. they use tools that are below the level of -- so, there is a lot to compete and confess with russia but
there are some very important things we have to talk to them about. >> ok, sir, right here. yes, you? the microphone. quick question. we're going to try to get as many questions and the remaining 10. >> thank you for your service for the country. i want to come back to the point that you made in their art undemocratic actors in nato. there is a rise of nationalism. are you concerned that if things days as they are, that we in the next central face a large war? and how would you rate the risk? nothing is guaranteed but how would you rate the risk, if things stay as they are and simply say is winter coming? >> thank you. do you want to follow up? >> so, the reason we have not had a large war in 70 years, a great power awr, is -- war is
because the greatest generation decidedght world war ii that they could actually learn from history, that when you then a war, in europe, and go home, and then put on large numbers of tariffs and stop trading with each other you are likely to create conditions that will lead to the renewal of war. is why the that chicago council on global affairs was founded in 1922, to say that probably was not the smartest decision we ever made. in 1945, we made the decision united states needed to be involved in the world. has bigig power that economic and military capabilities and believes in democracy needs to be part of that system. theiew is as long as united states is engaged in the world, creating strong security structures in europe, and asia and in other parts of the world,
as long as we believe in a system that allows for open and and trade, and we support defend democracy and freedom around the world, and we do it together with our friends and allies, which is -- as nick sa id, the one thing we have that the chinese and the russians don't have. we have allies. they have got clients. there is a huge difference between two. >> yes or no, -- >> as long as we do this -- >> does nato just wait out new u.s. leadership? >> nato won't in the long-term survival without strong american commitment as part of the alliance. and the reason we are seeing un democratic leaders being able to exert more and more influence is because there is no counter pressure, because everyone is turning inward. everybody says what happens at home is more important what happens abroad. the kind of
commonality, the cooperation that we have had for 70 years is starting to wane. >> i believe winter will come. if we do not go back to working with our liberal allies and system.to maintain the >> just very short. i want to emphasize but not over emphasize the role of american leadership. but the europeans have to step up, too. >> full agreement. >> here president trump is right to shine the light on underperforming european allies. who need to do more. they have their own political challenge, too. an essential ingredient is presidential leadership but
equally important is that we have committed european allies that pull their weight. >> one of the questions that or peopleour online, that just submitted it, is is continued nato expansion in the best interest of the aligns? -- alliance? would accepting russia as a member strengthen or diminish the alliance? ut should thereb be more of an effort and i know there has been in the past, to but try andussia, reach out and say, hey, we can do more together than apart. >> i was in a meeting with morsi else in a 1993 where he raised the prospect of russia one day being a member of nato. yelstin.
it appears you want to be a very large germany if that was possible. and we always said that the door should remain open to russia as democratic as germany but i think one of the lessons we have learned from the democratic backsliding inside the aligns, and -- alliance. and i believe we need to take that on as a nato alliance. and start to great each other, including grading united states as necessary on our democratic strengths and backsliding and start to pressure each other in that direction, because that is what differentiates us. so, if we had a different russia on a different course, we should say yes, and it should be part he russian -- that t people who are now only supporting their present at 36%, because all of these great adventures he has been on in the last decade or so havenot improve their hospitals, their
schools, their quality of life. open think we need to be to that, but i do not see a country right now on nato's periphery that is ready to meet our high standards. i worry about those inside your sliding backwards. >> i want to support her each of us has spent a lot of time with russian diplomat. felt02, after 9/11 putin an identification because he had been attacked as well by terrorists. we created a russian council. we had weekly, biweekly meeting with the russian ambassador. they had a mission inside our compound with significant number of suspicious people and that mission. we had to weed out. we gave them a chance. and toria really live this issue longer than any of us. we gave them a chance and they never showed that they were ready for nato mentorship, far from it. ally thought that the
vast majority of the issues that came to the nato table, would move to the nato russia table and would only be nuclear things that would stay with a smaller club but russia under putin was never able to see that as an opportunity. they always thought in zero-sum terms. we tried to do missile defense together and we could not get there. >> i think the door needs to be open to another russia, not this one, but another one which might meet the criteria for a closer relationship with nato. it's useful to remember that in bosnia and later in kosovo we had russian troops operating inside the u.s. chain of command. >> people are talking about taking another stab on how to currently solve the kosovo issue, too. >> we've had bright spots in the nato-relationship. this is a dark period now.
>> ok, i'm going to take a very, very, very quick lightning round. and i'm going to ask the panel is to close up with a closing thought, take whichever question in like, with this is -- mind. where do we see nato in the next 70 years. 1, 2, 3, 4. we're going to go over a few minutes more. >> could you on the panel talk about the real world effects of the hollowing out of the ambassadorial ranks around the thed, the hollowing out of state department in its current form and what real-world effects that has on the mission you're trying to put forward? >> ok, thank you. sir? >> thank you. >> wait for the microphone. you don't be on c-span. [laughter] >> ok.
ma'am. ok, give that to him, so he is ready. >> good evening. i'm seth johnson from the harvard university faculty. hank you f or your comments. in the libya case, you mentioned there was no coalition that when a been successful that was necessary for nature to take up leadership. a few years later when nato -- nato institutionally join the global coalition and so did all the nato member states but a global coalition was the preferred organization for that. why the change? >> ok, thank you. sir. >> is it possible that president trump's position on nato is a art of the deal negotiating tic, especially on issues like closing the funding gap? >> good question.
and right here, sir. >> since you asked about 70 i want to stick with what you said, without butican leadership, i heard china is extending belton road into europe. we're telling european allies don't take chinese 5g. what do we want them to do, stick with 3g, 4g? act.st did the build but we had most of our european allies do not qualify for that. anddo we change, what tools does that not require american leadership? >> that is a lot of good food for thought.
we have a few outstanding issues. want to keep it to nato, but i think we have discussed that we -- weakened u.s. leadership and that includes the hollowing out of state department and other issues of u.s. diplomatic instruments and shooting to it. how have things changed with the islamic state vis-à-vis versus libya. art of the deal. and china. nick, why don't you and with an eye towards the next 70 years. >> final statements then? i'd just say this, when we look ahead over the next couple of decades, the u.s. government, we've got to focus is counterterrorism b authoritarian china and authoritarian russia. we can contain putin in conventional terms for we have to be able to respond to his hybrid threats to weaken our
democracy and flood social media with false information. we have a strong governmental effort to do that and we do not have that right now. china is a different matter. that our democracy is work saving. our democracy is the best model for the rest of the world, not the chinese model. again, we don't have a leader saying that the way that ronald reagan would have said. >> but what about the next 70 years? >> we hopefully will. in conclusion i would just say we need to have a strong diplomatic corps. 8500 american diplomats versus 2.5 million soldiers active duty and reserve. for the first half of the trump administration we sign historic hollowing out of the state department. major combat
ambassadorships unfilled. i think that mike pompeo believes in the state department. to fillying his best those opportunities. he needs the cooperation of his own president and those parties in congress. so, i think secretary pompeo is aggressive, fresh air here. artrump somehow in a crazy of deal, trying to get more money out of the allies? we've seen four consecutive years of real growth inthe defense budgets of almost every nato ally. two under president obama calls by the putin invasion of crimea and two under president trump. done the trump has not essential job of the american president and that is to commit to article v and to show the europeans we are committed to them. so, i don't know what game he is playing but it is a game of failure. the alliance is strong, it will survive this. president, ofcan
either party, is going to be a strong supporter of nato. >> so, the art of the deal, just to expand on nick's point. obama, itent - is not is not trump. it's putin. the reason the europeans have increased defense spending for four years is because of everything that happened in the six months of early 2014. when the president of the united states castigates and shows disrespect to allied leaders in public comic back its playback into the capitals of the alliance. into the parliaments of the alliance. and it's counterproductive because they all have a political -- they have the guns and butter debate in capitals like berlin. they have to go home after getting yelled at in public, right? go home and make her case to increase defense spending. it is not easier when donald trump is yelling at you.
so, it's ashley, i believe counterproductive -- actually, but despite that the europeans have sustained four years of real growth. the net 70 years, i have optimism on two count. nato has faces certificate flexion point like this in 1989 and 1991 the end of the cold war, the breakup of the soviet union. i believe it can adapt. the second source of confidence is you, the chicago council. 75% of us, the american public, either wish to sustain the current level of commitment to nato or increase it. when you sum it up, you get something like 75%. what other issue these days has 75% of americans agreeing? second of all, the buffering role of the u.s. congress where you have strong, outspoken, bipartisan support for the all
iance. so, both of those issues i think we have done this before and really the institutions of the american government are behind us, given me confidence. >> i couldn't have answer those two better, so i won't. we talked about this permanent conversation that nato is when you have strong diplomats in every capital of the world and working regionally, that puts the united states and a permanent conversation to solve problems with countries when you have nobody there. you don't get it done and our adversaries fall into the breach as we have seen particularly with china's very active diplomacy and so many of our vulnerable partners in europe oflling prey to export corruption and other pressure tactics of russia. and others. on the isis coalition, the interesting thing about nato isnow in the last wto -- two decades, it often serves as the
core of a larger global coalition critically when isis affects countries well beyond europe. combating isis, you also want allies, you want israel and as many as the african nations with -- in that coalition. comes first and joins as an institution it often gives legitimacy and strength and organization to a larger, global effort. and military teeth. there are just so many dimensions to this institution. 5g build. this goes to the point that doug made, when you just yell and don't have a conversation about how to fix the problem whether it is defense spending or whether it is how to build a 5g network without the chinese, you're unlikely to get to a good solution. whebn you put forward great support for u.s. companies but
then you do not have ambassadors working with you as business in the field to harness it, to compete with china for these procurement bids in europe or africa or elsewhere, we are frittering away our national power. ds.need to do it with frien these are tools not being used while at the moment. >> i'm going to put you on the spot. you can also answer because you brought up the issue of ambassadors. several people were asking about kay bailey hutchison. how is she doing at nato? is she able to stand her own against what clearly is some negative feelings about how the administration is treating nato? >> at the nato summit in the we had just18, when had the example of the g7, where the president came in and refused to sign the communicate
of the seven nations, kay bailey hutchison working with colleagues in washington, took a note and said, the -- before we start our summit, allies, let's all signed joint document and get the negotiations finished. so at least we have a common body of agreement. i give her big props for that. props fore her big her strong statements about the importance of nato unity then going into the putin-trump summit in helsinki. i think she has got a certain independence and a certain political stature of her own, that she has displayed. that's a different matter than whether, when an ambassador speaks, it's great, we have all been there. it's not so great when you're president contradicts you. >> very shortly. >> we are very lucky to have her
at this time. we could do much worse than kay bailey hutchison. she has galvanized senate and house support on the hill as a former four term senator from texas in a way i don't think any of us have that congressional impact. she's been the most valuable player. >> others in the ministration, whether it was mike pompeo, mike pence, jim mattis, have spoken very force me about the importance of the alliance. >> you just experienced something that you do not get to experience very often. nato ambassadors going on and on past our time. so, let me just, i'm not going
to go through all of it. i want to make two points, but saying amen on kay bailey hutchison. the job she's not only doing just sitting there. >> nick also agrees. >> two things. george shultz called the diplomacy is like gardening. you've got to go out and take out the weeds and water the garden. and, when you do not have ambassadors and when the foreign service atrophies, the garden starts to become taken over by weed and the jungle grows. and it's a very dangerous thing. we underestimate how important it is for people to go out, not just ambassadors, the whole foreign service, the american president. the department of justice and the fbi and the dea and everybody else who is out there
as part of our presence in the world, gardening, gardening, our military, everything, as part of that presidency. and the peaceful way we are there. if you don't believe that is important start to undermine the strength of the united states. second point on the question of the isis coalition. i'm completely agreeing with toria. the isis coalition has been led by the united states. the united states can lead any coalition. if you do not have the united states, which is what the problem was or the issue was in libya, th president of the united states said we are going theand command-and-control this operation off to somebody else. there is no one out there saying, we will do it. unless nato takes over, does not get done, which by the way is also a u.s. led military coalition. the u.s. military essentials of both of those things. that's the fundamental point.
the system we have created over the last 70 years is based on american leadership. if the americans are not there, the system is going to change. i don't think it is going to change for the better. it is going to be like winter. and the chinese made rule in a way we don't like. if we do not like the alternatives, we have to support a continued american engagement in the world. >> one -- two things are clear. one is that we have discussed how nato still has an important role to play as a global alliance, military political, economic, but also, if the u.s. continues to have ambassadors like these four and like kay bailey hutchinson, i think we'll be in good shape for the foreseeable future. thank you very much to this panel for this excellent discussion. thank you to the council and thank you for joining us. and for those watching online, thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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