tv William Mary - Global Challenges to Democracy CSPAN August 13, 2019 5:51am-6:59am EDT
correspondent injury a mitchell, talkournalist robin wright about global challenges to democracy. this one hour and 10 minute even'twas part of a college of william and mary forum on the future of representative democracy. college of william and mary. globalization and populist movements rated these and other new developments are affecting america's democracy and any others. democracy itself faces new forms of attack through the manipulation of social media. while collaboration among free nations is more important than ever, with it also seems more difficult than ever. what does this all mean for the future of the democratic experiment? america 400ere in years ago.
around thees it mean world? to help us examine these thorny issues, please welcome the moderator for this panel, chief foreign affairs correspondent for nbc news andrea mitchell. [applause] ms. mitchell: thank also much. it is wonderful to be back in williamsburg. a dozen years at the colonial williamsburg foundation as a trustee. let me tell you how proud and happy i am to be here today. commemorating this important anniversary. panelists.th these i want you to welcome place former united states secretary defense in both the bush and obama administration's, the chancellor of william and mary, robert gates. bob gates.
[applause] and also distinguished journalist, my colleague, my , robin wright.or [applause] ♪ all, i want to say how pleased i am to be here today with both of you. and how important this is, this conversation to be part of the challenges tothe democracy globally. i do have my iphone with me. it is turned off. the last time i went on stage at a foreign policy panel without my phone, it was a year ago at
the national secured conference. my producermy phone had to crawl underneath and crawl up on stage and had me a note to let me know that the white house had invited vladimir putin to the white house. i was interviewing the head of national intelligence-the director of national intelligence. dan coats. thethis note just said white house has just invited persian. this was three days after the helsinki summit. so i asked the question. i think he said, isn't that special. i'm talking about the former cia director and twice defense secretary a national security official. we are here at a fascinated and troubling time around the world for global democracy.
all, with the rise of populism we have seen around the world, poco crafters -- pressures from refugee migration . and the glowing effects -- the globe growing effects of climate change and globalization. populations feeling alienated from the international elites. from multinational organizations . not only since the economic/globally in 2008. but what is now being felt in the u.k. with brexit. and as you heard today, in eastern europe as well, in hungary. and the political disruptors, hungary, poland, pakistan, spain, venezuela, brazil. to say nothing of what we are expanding here in the united states. resulthis the inevitable of the post world war institutions being challenged?
the end of the post-world war ii order? are the multilateral institutions created in the late 1940's and 1950's at bretton woods, with united nations, nato , the other economic and military alliances that followed world war ii, are they now outdated? are they in fact can tribbett into the sense of ammunition -- alienation we are seeing and pop license around the world? against the ruling order? tooounger populations, young to remember the cataclysmic events of the first half of the 20th century. -- are they in fact contributing to the sense of alienation we are seeing in populations around the world? i can think of no to better people to join me then robert gates and robin wright.
robin wright, one of the great foreign policy journalists of her generation. welcome both. mr. secretary, if i may 1 two you, let's talk about your thoughts on democracy. what is leading to the challenges? we had a remarkable surge of democratization after the collapse of the soviet union . there, for a. of time, you had almost 300 million people who had lived in , under europe dictatorships, under communist dictatorships, all of a sudden experiencing the fresh air of freedom and democracy.
extent, thattain has been sustained and most of eastern europe. it clearly has not been sustained in russia. we can talk about that. but i would say that there is extendsnomenon that of theu mentioned all different countries where we are seeing this-pakistan to eastern france.o italy to obviously to britain. and even here in the united states. is i think one common thread of - dis on the part gust on the part of a lot of people on the part of the play, establish and, people who have been in power for decades. to an elite that is failed
take their interests into account. that has failed to, in the wake of new technologies and in the new of all these different problems in terms of globalization and so on, has been -- has not responded in terms of how you take care of the ordinary citizen under the circumstances. my favorite example, actually, and the first example of this was in his fellow -- was venezuela. corrupt40 years of political leadership across the legal spectrum led to such inussed - disgust venezuela that they elected hugo chavez. and we all know what has happened since then. i think one element of this is disgust with the local
establishment to not being responsive -- for knotting responsive with average citizens. -- not being responsive. and feeling on the part of a lot of citizens the feeling that politicians were taking care of themselves and their friends and not wearing about the average joe or jane. the second was the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. the elites not only cannot make things happen politically. they really screwed up the global economy. and they really screwed up the american economy. come the recovery, the elites did just fine. but a lot of people who were hurt by the worst economic crisis since the depression, either took a long time to recover, or have never recovered at all. circumstances,se the disparity between what they are earning and what they see
the elitist turning today is so again,hat they believe that the so-called elites are taking care of themselves and not paying much attention to anyone else. i think a third that factor in a lot of these countries is that whole immigration and refugee crisis. europe felt it in dramatic ways as a result of the civil war in successes ine isis iraq. and in syria. a million immigrants allowed into germany. and people seeing a threat to their culture and way of life. by these immigration flows that seemed uncontrollable, and where are all these people going to go, and how will they affect the life of my village of a and my town, and so on. and the fourth factor i would mention, and these are not
exclusive, but i think they get most of it, a fourth factor quite frankly, is the effort on the part of russia to the greatest extent, and to a lesser extent china and probably others, to actually exacerbate all of these problems. and it is happening on two levels. the first is to actually have an impact on elections. -- hacking into databases through hacking into databases, affecting the outcome of elections through the technology of the voting process. true voting rolls and so on. putting up false ads. -- through voting rolls and so on. putting up false ads and trolling candidates. the second one is exacerbating our social divisions. ethnic andto turn social conflicts and racial conflicts and every one of these
countries, to make those worse. and to divide us. and furthermore, at least as far as me nato members are concerned, trying to turn nato members against each others'and we the alliance. the alliance. this is a pervasive problem. it is affecting us on several levels. it is not just the technical, how do we mess around with the election. it is, how do we make life hard for these countries. so i think, for me, this populist movement if you will, is deeply rooted in a resentment of above all, political but also economic elites, that a lot of people believe have forgotten the interests of average people. i will give you one civil example. when french president emmanuel
macon the price of diesel fuel in france, all of these yellow vests turned out in demonstrations in paris. if you lived in paris or a big city, it was not that big a deal. because you access metro and so on. but if you live in a rural area of france or if you are a farmer in france, that increase in the price of diesel may make the difference between whether you can survive or not. and it is as though that elitists in paris completely forgot about the potential problems this one move would make. in the interests, by the way, of a cleaner climate. but the effect it would have in a rural area. ms. mitchell: an exacerbated legal conflicts have been exaggerated even further through social media robin, when you and
i were first covering foreign conflicts and mystic politics, we do not have the instantaneous ability of the russian trawls and bots of the internet in st. petersburg and other actors as well, to try to influence elections, whether is brexit or and the french election. trying again we are told authoritatively from our intelligence community, to influence the 2018 midterms. this is an ongoing thing. absolutely. the access to technology and literacy that comes with that in parts of the world and you see for the first time the majority of all literate can't medicate. they may not have high school degrees but have access to technology and they have a broader perception of the world. you see that both for good and something that threatens.
broadly in ak more minute. but i will give you one very telling example. the way in theed arab spring in 2011, it was ignited by social media. rapper, who young put out a song on his facebook at a time went when he percent of tunisians were on facebook. tunisiansalked about living off garbage. andgoing through school never learning to read or write. and it resonated. they got more galvanized. thenng fruit vendor pressed for a bribe by a police inspector just trying to sell fruit on the streets in a remote saidian city, stood up and i won't pay it. and the police inspector took the fruit vendors produce and he
went to protest because he supported his mother, his five siblings and his uncle. he went from government office to government office to demand his produce back so he can support his family. when he could not, he had no recourse, turned back and every post, he went to the governor's his body and lit himself on fire. at that moment, the song from the un-young rapper and literally the spark by this young food vendor came together and mobilized tunisians. this was in 2011. it ousted the man who had been in power for a quarter-century. it is important to understand. i went back to the remote town where this happened, when your later. ,nd i asked, how are you doing on the same street corner where he sold his fruit.
they said we have far more freedoms and far fewer jobs. there was an international -- i wast tunisia as an international monitor at tunisia's first democratic election. the turnout in the first election ever held in that area the world, 22 countries, the level of turnout was among the .oung two years later in 2016 as isis is appealing to people around the world, tunisia survived the single largest number of fighters. tunisia is one of the smallest countries in the arab world. smaller than florida. isis.000 joined another 9000 tried to leave the country and were turned back by secure divorces. isis having reached out on social media. so you can see where this
extraordinarily wave of democracy that we celebrate at the moment, and how it can be minute belated so quickly in the one country where we saw such hope. and to be turned into such people. now if i can for a moment look at the broader trend and add to one thing bob said, we are all contemporaries. to i feel very fortunate call both of them friends. for the first half of our lives. the majority of fellow mocker fellow as a result of -- democracies arose as a result of insurgencies. later, 54% of democracies failed because of insurgencies. like a light switch, you turn them on and off. when they turned off a democracy after eight two, the light state offer decades.
the lightoup, stayed off for decades. democracies fail because we elect autocrats. stunning, between 2000 and 2010, 40% of democracies faced threats from populism. and i have seen the transition plan out in my life. in the philippines i was reporter on john's plane. in 1981 he told ferdinand marcos the dictator, the gig is up. and he supported people powder -- people power that brought in a democratically elected government. but in 2016, they elected dutere. he was one of the biggest thugs on the global stage today. challenging all of the basic tenets of democracy. , i enteredi covered
the soviet union in 1991. i was banned from russia in the run-up to the election last year, electing let a mayor pugh 10. he has now and empower as promisor president for 20 years. -- as prime minister or president for 20 minister trust 20 years. the last example is south africa. in 1976 whento schoolchildren led the first uprising to protest the government decision to change the government language of education from african lang which is to afrikaans the lang which of dust -- dutch settlers. that gave birth to the mass 15 years later that led to met nelson mandela's freedom. i went back to watch him walk to freedom. today, the average battle -- average black in south africa is far worse off than under apartheid. celebrate the great verse and
the latest wave of mock democratization. but there are no notes ordinary number of threats. -- an extraordinary number of threats. one of them is the manipulation by social media and how states use social media to subvert other countries. then coming together with the threat of populism. in some ways what we see evolving also a single party governance, something that lenin first created in 1917. bob gates, and government you saw these trends. we see, frankly right now in america, and administration and bracing some of these totalitarian leaders, whether at her gone, cushion, dutere - erdogan, putin, dutere.
to what extent did the american bulls of james -- american principles of jamestown and williamsburg and our founders, have to drive or show as an , a broad interest in human rights and in press freedoms? there is andthink really since 1945, only one clear strong voice in democracy and for liberty. and that has been the united states. you cannot impose democracy on another country.
but i will never forget talking to people like vaclav hobble in tech is voc yeah - vaclav havel in chuckles voc yeah and let colace in poland - abnnd lech .alesa in poland and how important it was to them , not turbine intervene because we never did. but to know that we were out there and we cared and we were a voice for the principle of democracy and liberty. we helped them a lot clandestinely. the poles had the advantage, they had three different streams of covert assistance. one from cia, one from the afl-cio, and by far the most important, from the catholic church. and pope john paul ii.
but hearing our voice, knowing we were there, we were a beacon for them. something they could look too. if we lose that feeling on the part of the rest of the world that despite all of our flaws. and believe me the rest of the world knows our flaws, we are not exact, keeping them a secret. but if the rest of the world knows that we still-has always known that at least what we stand for and what we aspire to .e that voice is really important. it is important to, for the turks to hear, who are voting it itouble against erdogan. is important for the opposition in venezuela to know.
as important for the people and a lot of these countries we are talking about. so i think we have to be very hardheaded. as much of a realist as anybody. the reality is, the united states has done business with some of histories greatest monsters. roosevelt never pretended to be in love with joseph stalin. in the real world, we have to deal with these people. but we do not have to embrace them. leaders oftreat the authoritarian states, we can do business with them, but we do not need to embrace them in the same way that we embrace the leaders of democratically elected governments. yourthink, andrea, to
lose, i think that if we our willingness to be that city on the hill. to be that beacon. i think we lose a lot of what makes us unique in the world. and i think we lose a piece of our national salt. - i think we lose a iece of our national soul. think we can drive hard bargains with a lot of people, including the chinese. i do not think we ever forget who we are. what the roots are in places like jamestown. ms. mitchell: and the obvious question with kim jong-un, and some of the obvious questions. [applause] and what if we gotten for it, there were mitchell strikes just yesterday -- missile strikes just yesterday.
being a political and military ally, but there is jamarcus koji. jamalthere is khaskogi. i'm ever traveling with ronald reagan to moscow. he went to the investors residence and gave a speech to the russian people. the soviet than people. and ronald reagan did not mince his words. and that did not prevent him remarks on control -- arms control and nuclear reduction treaties with gorbachev. there is a balancing act and values have to in some fundamental way be sent to roll to who we are as a country.
pragmatic, perhaps not as pragmatic as some people in government have to be. but i recognize this fact. is that a fair analogy? absolutely. i have done this most of professional life. sitting across the table in moscow from the head of the kgb, i would say that he and i probably did not share very many values. particularly if we were having our dinner in a safe house that berea, been owned by a head of stalin's secret service. that was a little airy. - eerie. think you can blend sustaining your beliefs and
values and promoting those values with a very hardheaded pragmatic view of how to deal with the world. , i mean, fromat my personal experience, the president xi have worked for, i presidents that i have worked for, i think most of the presidents did that. certainly ronald reagan. both bushes. jimmy carter did it. the interesting thing in the say thats, i would jimmy carter pulled it too far the other direction, and was not tough-minded or hardheaded enough. democracy andg human rights. the problem with his policy toward human rights was that we took a very tough line on it, but the only people we could punish were our friends. sanctions ormpose
other actions against south , where weothers cannot do anything with respect to iran or the soviet union or china. in terms of far greater and far worse abuses. it is a balancing act. an mitchell: robin, you're expert on iran, among other things. how do you balance our expectations for iran to prevent some of the more egregious timeiors, and at the same not excessively punish civil populations and hope for response from them a better directions at some point? ms. wright: a great problem is that even as we deal with the tough guys and try to negotiate arms deals with them, in the
past there has been more consistency and less deviations. a sense america always does certain things. the problem now is we are seeing such fluctuations. we went from one policy designed to recognize, to sanction iranians for their bad behavior, to sanction the revolution regards for the middle east, there will missile test but we're still trying to to deal with the most consistent danger which was iran's new clear program or the potential for a clear program. and now we have kind of reversed course. walked away from one of the most important arms deals, whether you like it or not, it was the most get arms deal, major arms deal and a quarter-century. deal in arms quarter-century. it stopped in its tracks what could've been not only iranian nuclear weapons, but also the proliferation of new clear
weapons in the wider middle east. becomes, iran as a model, there's a moment where any country that has to deal with united states, is the next president if he does not agree with all the terms, going to walk away from it? what is america stand for and what are the parameters of engagement with it. that is where our credit ability comes into question. as i said, it does not matter whether you like a deal or not, it is the principal of, can you do as ragan did? can you talk to dissidents and give a lecture, whether it is at the berlin wall or on muska television, the same time you're talking to the leader of a therful commonest estate -- most powerful communist state at the time. i think we face that issue when it comes to saudi arabia. something that i feel very deeply about. knew jamalrea
khashoggi as well. this is a man who was a friend of mine for 30 years. this is a man who was dismembered. the anniversary in october and we still do not know where his body is. and yet saudi arabia was the first country that trump went to, and made the foundation of a broader policy in the middle east. this sends mixed signals. condemn nothat we very vociferously and continued to sell arms. the president veto a deal with togressional pressure not arm the saudi's because of its war in yemen. democracy to be sustained has to represent certain values at a certain kind of consistency. -- a certain common consistency. one of the problems, one of the many reasons for the rise of
populism is, what is it that is going to give us stability, give consistency, give us a sense of prosperity and efficiency and productivity. creating-getting us through this awkward transition that the whole world is going to run globalization. that is where i think we haven't party, otherer than washington, and for me a pox on all their houses. [laughter] and for me i think this is where we have not seen the leadership emerge that defines the post-cold war values and gives us that sense of leadership how we're are going to get there. we by default go to whether it is a, the kind of identities that put us in competition among ourselves, and with others around the world. i would go back to
something i said about the consequences -- the consequences of a wave of elections that returned one party to another after another to office and to power feeling empowered to pursue their own agenda and with a certain self-righteousness that they have got it all figured out. part of the reason for this are these wave elections. to take theproblem, iran agreement as example, if you're not willing to work with the other side of the aisle, and get an agreement like that ratified by the senate, then the -just as you executed the agreement with a signature, the next president can unexecuted
with a signature. because it is just an executive agreement. that is much more difficult to do if you go through the process of submitting an agreement for ratification. then you actually have to reach out to the other party, .s you are negotiating i remember when president reg and was negotiating the inf had a -- we actually consult and a group with centeredness from both parties. consulting with us as we did it. was it was actually fairly easily ratified. so you have agreements with brian from both parties, it provides a stability -- when you have agreements where you have buy-in from both parties, it
provides us to a stability and predictability, not only for us but for other countries in the world, that we do not have when these are done by wanting a party. it is the same thing when a piece of legislation is passed with the support of only one party. the next time the other guys are in powder, they're going to get rid of it. -- in power, they're going to get rid of it. this has increases instability and frankly, could draw the fed back. this paralysis in washington feeds this populism that our government does not work because the politicians who are running it have no interest in making it work. they just want to keep themselves in power. in fact,- ms. mitchell: in fact that is true of domestic issues as well, issues that are decided on sing apart he bows. in washington now that's on single party votes.
in washington now reflects what is happening in the country and the feedback to it. how important is a free press to the survival of democracy? secretary gates? mr. gates: i personally think it is critical. that given ae said choice, in essence given a choice between a free press, hee and a free would take a free press any day. as a better guarantee of liberty. my own experience in government, and i have been through a lot of crises in government. i joined cia in the middle of the vietnam war. administration lied consistently to the american people about what was going on. and it was the press that basically revealed the reality.
when i was secretary of defense, it was the press that alerted me to the mistreatment of outpatient wounded warriors at walter reed hospitals "washington post. it turned out the story was absolute right. i did up firing the hospital commander. surgeon general of the army, and the sec. the army. and we got it fixed. it was the press that alerted me to the moraines using a handful of armored vehicles in embarq province in iraq that had v-shaped holes that were dispersing the blast from iud's. - ied's. we looked into it, and ultimately we bought 27,000 of those vehicles for $40 billion. and they saved a lot of lives. but i would not have known about
it if it had not been for the depressed. and i tell ceos the same thing i told the generals. when you read a story in the press, do not automatically curl up in a fetal defensive position. you may have just been told about a problem in your organization you did not know you had. and so go find out the truth. go find out the facts. and if you find out the story is correct, then fix it. and acknowledge that you found out about it through the press, and that is how you learned how to fix it. and if it is not true, then you have the facts to push back and say the story is not true. i went out to the press and did a weekly press briefing every single week i was in washington as secretary of defense over four and a half years parade what in front of the cameras. -- went in front of the cameras. have the time i did not have
anything to say. but i wanted to be able to take questions in my head, that is the way a secretary of defense in the middle of two wars, that is the wac communicated with the american people about what we are trying to do. and it was the way i communicated with 2 million young men and women in uniform. set i first got the job, i i would like to set up an in mill account like i had at texas ,&m, where -- and email account like at texas a&m, where students can email me directly and i could deal with their problems. i wanted to do the same in the military. my chief of staff said that there are 2 million of them. i said ok, that was a really bad idea. [laughter] i feel very strongly about this. in fact one of my biggest worries for this country manytically is that so -- inpers and media medium and small towns are
closing. well who is going to keep an eye on the mayor? or the town council? or the people doing the contracting? who is going to keep an eye on them. clearly hit a hot button for me. ,n my experience in government let's just say i have not led to of the most press friendly organizations in the world, the central intelligence agency and the defense department. strongly thaty more than anything else, other than perhaps an independent judiciary, free press is critical to preserving our freedom. [applause]
guest: and there have been -- ms. mitchell: there have been restrictions in the past two years that have been pretty dramatic. in the white house and the hill secretaries of state omega point, democrats and republicans , secretary of state always made a point when they went to a totalitarian government if their host country did not have a press briefing on their visit with the foreign minister, they would have when unilaterally, whether as moscow or beijing, wherever they went, and kara. .he second -- ankara the secretaries would do that to show that when the america decile in america when the press is traveling with the secretary of state, we have access. i remember one moment in khartoum at a photo opportunity with condoleezza rice and the dictator there and asked him about terrorism and then got
manhandled by his security people and dragged out. secretary rice would not leave sudan without getting a formal apology. to her, because it happened in front of her. and to her traveling press corps, who she said were part of her delegation. similar, not as dramatic, but similar statements were made. it was noteworthy that stephanie grisham, the new white house press secretary on her first trip on the job to the dmz to herself in front of the security people from north korea. i cannot stress how difficult that must have been. and showed her stuff to get the press card in. -- press corps in. i spent in cairo when this wonderful advanced person for vice president pence whom i was traveling for the middle east, absolute he faced down a 6'5" tallshe is about this
-bodyguard demanding that they vice president press pool get in for a photo opportunity with the egyptian leader who was no friend of the press. this is an american tradition that is not always followed. but i think bob gates certainly best,ied the best of the in terms of cabinet leadership in that regard. robin, we have seen the importance also of the decade -- over the decades. in ancient times when i was a young reporter, that information is such a potent form of democratic empowerment. he referred to the afl-cio in poland. i think it was my late friend in leader, asstrong well as you point out whatever democratic institutions were doing. nobody knows this more profoundly than madeleine albright, given her history and chuckles back yet.
and her parents -- in czechoslovakia. and her parents history. the problem we face now is with these russian trolled and others, with china and around. russia most notably. how do we get facts to people? one of the problems in america's that everybody is in their tribal nations heard nobody is entitled to their own facts. >> the problem has become one that we in america do not share the same facts. and certainly people around the world are getting misinformation. ms. wright: let me do from some thing bob said. me the waying to that 12 years ago or 25 years ago, cnn really defined in a national news. they were the one that set the
priorities and that people around the world watched. today you have already which is russia today. you have the chinese cctv which are prevalent on cable networks around the world and have studios in washington. and are probably available on local cable networks. aen it comes to having megaphone to broadcast your when followers, converts, whatever, other natures -- other nations have learned from our example. and they are feeling this void whether it is a local newspaper, particularly as people increasingly get their news from visual media rather than the pratt media -- print media. and in social media, they are not even labeled as russian television. absolutely. an alternative world of data that reinforces each other.
whether it is on twitter or on television, and we find this is permeated all of society. in a way that cnn once did with the rest of the world. it has maybe flip-flopped. about as much the economic component of it. , liberalg time democracies, western democracies, kind of created the model for the rest of the world, what people aspired to, in terms of getting prosperity, efficiency, productivity, stability, and so forth. today what is really striking is the idea of authoritarian capitalism which is providing those goals. productivity and asperity and stability, that increasingly are seen as an alternative to liberal democracy. more stable environments. you look at the turmoil we are seeing in the west, in western societies.
and it comes together in a way turning maybe at a point. the 18th century gave us the birth of democracy. the 19th century gave us the muting of democracy. the 20th century gave us the global embrace of democracy. the 21st century is giving us the challenge to democracy. the study at harvard done recently suggested that western democracy may no longer be able to regain the position they once had as the model. and that is something we take for granted. all this may be a moment that we are struggling or we are seeing , democraciesments challenged in importing countries like turkey, which has been a freefall -- in freefall since 2014, and the second largest intruder to nato. poland, the second country to challenge soviet domination in
eastern europe. any look around the world and in every continent except australia and antarctica has these challenges. remember the famous book, the end of history, assuming that democracy was a wave of the future. it may be that democracy is really only the interlude, and that it needs more work done to sustain the system. coming up with a sense of common good. and human goodwill. oft we jeopardize the future what has been the most dynamic, hopeful political system in the world. in the world history. i think we can actually do a lot more to defend ourselves. i think we have allowed ourselves to be pushed around too much. to thefinally waking up
disadvantages we have been operating with, in terms of our economic relationship with china. and are now pushing back on some fundamentals. not just the trade balance, which frankie i think is a secondary importance. -- which frankly i think is of secondary importance. but of reciprocity and intellect so property protections. when it comes to joint ventures. investment and so on. -- intellectual property protections. it should be simple. we will even total reciprocity. what are companies can do in china, year companies can do in the u.s.. what we cannot do, your companies cannot do. and of sentence. when it comes to some of these television networks, it is pretty one-sided trade rt what they refer to, russia today, is operating freely in the united
states. has studios in the united states. the chinese networks have studios in the united states. how many studios do you think american networks have in china? zip. so, here are the rules. do in the allowed to united states, the united states is allowed to do in russia. and vice versa. same thing with china. there is no reason to allow these countries to basically run roughshod over us using our own freedoms. is that an impingement on our first amendment? maybe. but i think allowing some other country to broadcast propaganda into your country when you cannot broadcast it into theirs , his simple diplomacy. -- it is simple diplomacy. i think we can be much tougher and using our own methodologies
to send some messages back to their countries about what is going on inside their countries. at about the corruption. and about environmental issues. at about a host of other things. they try to like -- they like to try to divide us. two can play that game. cia guy kind of the old coming out. my attitude is. maybe we ought to start playing hardball with some of these guys. and away we have not been doing in a while. -- in a way we have not been doing in a while. and show that democracy, by god, will defend itself. ,nd there is a price to be paid for trying to interfere with us. , at a minimum, we ought to make them identify themselves. the chinese are buying up all kinds of communications capabilities in this country,
and a lot in africa and asia and elsewhere. to the point where they will dominate the mass media and a lot of these countries. and we are not doing anything. are somek that there counteroffensive things we can .ndertake antitype back to her be started, it all debt -- and to tie it back into where we started, it also shows we can get some things done, we will defend ourselves, we will defend our ants to tuitions, we do believe in our institutions, we do believe in freedom, we also believe in reciprocity and a fair playing field. and we are strong enough and tough enough to make sure that happens. [applause] ms. mitchell: how important is it for american leaders to have good relationships with our allies in nato, and in other defense accords? mr. gates: well, it is
important. but the truth is those relationships have varied with every president. know, i will tell you the hardest thing i ever had to do with successive american presidents, was to get them to meet with the president of the e.u.. they just hated it. who is the e.u.? and why do i have to meet with them. why do i have to waste my time with these guys? and let's just say the relationship between president bush 43 and jacque chirac and gerhard schroder was not exact a warm and fuzzy. truth is they cannot stand each other. -- could not stand each other. i think the leaders themselves sometimes placed too much importance on these personal relationships. leaders do what they do because it is in the interest of their government, other country, or
their own political interests, love these they american president. love the american president. the more american presidents came to grips with that reality, the less time they would waste them using some of these guys who are not worth schmoozing. ms. mitchell: we certainly see that result now and the u.k.. do you have any projections as to what break that will mean. iny face a no jailbreak set october. that's a no deal brexit in october. mr. gates: i would say one word, disaster. this goes probably to the dinner panel. i think it will have some in terms of our relationship with britain and britain's role in the world. ms. mitchell: and putting on your own house again, how does any of this -- your own hat again, how does this affect relationships with our key intelligence partners? and do they get nervous when say --eone who is, a partisans
when partisans become in charge of all our intelligence agencies, which is maybe not that case, and maybe everyone changes when they begin to take a job. do they begin to hold back? does it make us less safe? mr. gates: i do not really think so. they deal with us because it is in their interest and because we have a lot to offer. the truth is, a lot of intelligence services, including five eyes the arrangement, or held by flick lapointe he's -- held by political appointees. by people who are cabinet members or political officials and not intelligence professionals. distinct minority of heads of u.s. intelligence have been intelligence professionals. some good, some not so good. actually will not make that much of a difference. i've ever the big argument when
we made the switch in the mid-1970's to really serious oversight of cia and the other intelligence agencies, everybody was saying no one will ever talk to us again, don't will share their sources or anything else and it all ended up being buncombe. nothing changed at all. robin, we talk about the media and the pressure .n us now from our sources and officials who are skeptical of what we are doing here and abroad, how challenging is it in that their social media, to fact check, to make sure that we do not get swept away by false rumors. how different is the climate right now. as i hear for my colleagues covering the white house, it is very very hard, given a president on twitter and other
>> you don't have the secretary doing daily briefings. now it is like a game. how much is held back. i have heard from a number of theyean countries that have withheld intelligence because they were afraid it got ,o certain places in government whether it is the russians, they did not want that information shared. there is some reticence and about how respectful the
it is always true that the majority of government doesn't want to do the majority of things. announcing what their budget priorities are. there is a sense now that everything is so partisan. there was a poll done recently. two issues, russia and climate change, are totally polarized. 65% of democrats believe russia is a threat and only 35% of republicans.
the fact that issues like that have become polarized show how hard it is for us to come up with a common policy. with that kind of polarization on issues that used betweenmmon thread politicians of different tribes, how do we get past this? my own solution would be more fact-based education, reporting, involvement by young people, college students. about ourng more history and our foreign policy. i see we are out of
time so i will be very brief. in some ways it goes back in this country to the previous panel. with theagree more issues relating to the teaching of american history, particularly in high school and the teaching of civics. about how government actually works. i think returning to that agenda that david rubenstein and others were talking about is critically important. reasons why the organizations like boy scouts and girl scouts are so important. they teach this stuff.
in terms of here at home, the teachingthing is people to think for themselves. i remember a dinner i had 25 years ago. it really gets to the heart of what you are talking about. with 450 ofinner the smartest high school students in the country. and i was there as the head of the cia. the head of the fbi was there. a lot of very successful business people. i was seated between bill gates and barry diller. before me speakers was oliver stone. this was the same year that the movie jfk came out basically
accusing the cia of assassinating jfk. , i stood up my turn and i told these high school seniors, you are too old and too smart to be spoonfed american history by anybody. whether it is the government or oliver stone. ,f you care about these issues this was 25 years ago, go to the library. research it. figure it out for yourself. one way to get at this whole fake news and all of the rest of it issue is multiple sources of information. college,igh school and teaching critical thinking. that if theyle care about something, to go find out the facts for themselves. to getre they can go
reliable sources of information. universities and schools can teach how to differentiate sources. they have been doing it forever. they did it when i was a student. there are some sources that are good. there are some that are terrible. here's a utility difference. that is a long-term solution to the problem. part of it would be helped if the media could do a better job of disguising some of its biases. and people had more confidence that critical sources of information, of what is going on in the country and the world, were more reliable in terms of being evenhanded. [applause] ms. mitchell: thank you. for your all of you
commitment to these issues. [applause] ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its >> yours look at our live tuesday coverage. on c-span, a press conference with house democrats to take gun legislation already passed by the house. and 2:30, pete buttigieg speaks at the iowa state fair. , we will hear from the defense undersecretary on research and engineering on what the pentagon is doing in areas of 5g, missile-defense, and other technologies. at 12:30, the senate holds another pro forma session. 2:00, officials from microsoft and facebook