tv U.S. Senate CSPAN April 19, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
companies have risk assessment regimes that do not have gaps in critical areas, and thinking failure to adhere to one own risk assessment procedures some sort of regulatory violation. >> thank you very much. what we start with questions. i'll turn it over to tom. >> would take about 15 minutes of questions. with necklace or scheduler taking a lunch break. >> a couple of quick ones. thank you very much for that presentation. don, someone made the comments about the failure. are you far enough along that you think you have the most likely flow path into the central casing, and can you benefit >> how likely it is that you'll
get to the central flow path for the hydrocarbons. >> i don't want to suggest we have a definitive answer right now or we'll have one. our cochair is to identify both potential failure mechanisms and paths, try to separate out, if you will, what we know, what we don't know, what we think, and we will provide that data. in particular in addition to that being our process, i will note that we find many aspects of the cementing to be wanting if you will, and we would prefer not to make a determination until we know exactly what happened unless we truly know that that is what happened and that none of the other factors contributed to this failure. so that's kind of where we are right now, and we will hold to our standards. >> i noticed -- thank you, don.
i noticed in the assessment it was focused on the logic of decisions and the order of decisions made. sean, you mentioned more formality in decisions made or perhaps the injection of third parties or other ideas into those decisions. did your study look add the general nature of the environment, the timeframe for decisions and conclude whether those injections could be done effectively or did you give thought to that? >> we did, and it will depend entirely on what the particular decision was. for instance, the design of the temporary abandonment procedures that changed dramatically over the last week before the blowout, they did not need to wait that long before they came up with that design, and if they had, there was certainly still time to engage in a formal risk assessment process. the negative pressure test is obviously different because it occurs in realtime. what's interesting here is this negative pressure test took
three hours. the well was shut in. these guys noticed that there was something odd going on, and they took the time to try to figure it out and get it right, and i think a simple call back to shore in that situation to engage engineers familiar with negative pressure tests probably would have averted the entire catastrophe. there was a situation in which you did have time. things were not happening in realtime that were creating immediate risk. there's finally the failure to detect the influx once they were in displacement, and that really was more realtime, and it's hard to know what resources you could bring to bear on that, but, again, when they -- the rig crew -- began to notice anomalies there could have been we're going to shut it in, figure it out, rather than leave the well and displacement going while we diagnose the problem. >> okay. good. questions from the committee?
richard? >> thank you both for these great presentations and putting a lot of information about your work before this committee to give it real contextment i think it's great. don, i had a question, and it's not asking for the answer, but do you anticipate, you said in your presentation, you commented on the failures or limitations of the dop to stem the flow. do you expect that you'll be able to look at the failures of the bop respect to its design and specifications as well as what actually happenedded on the day? >> that's one of the areas we're looking into. we note that bo prk's are -- pop's are specified and designed to status conditions. we also note that they are used often under dynamic conditions,
and as it was attempted in this particular case, and i think that we will be noting some of those issues and making suggestions, recommendations, if you will, relative to what may be appropriate in the future to provide a more robust capability. i also would like to note that it was a bit of a surprise to us, the extent to which some of the limitations or shall we say uncertainties associated with bop's seem not to be well understood within at least the senior management levels of companies involved, and the question of whether or not the history, if you will, has reflected on the data base among
other sources of information relative to failures of bops, well understood, communicated, and in fact, part of the training and education of key decision makers in these processes. not clear, and so we'll be addressing those aspects i believe in our final report. >> thank you. >> i have a clarification question for don on your accumulative multiple decisions ect., there was a bullet point not incorporating the float should the bottom of the casing. as far as i know there were float vol ofs there not just set properly. >> a number of issues associated with the design of that and whether or not the design would have permitted a complete cement bond log to being one. note that cement bond log could have determined the type of
cement in this particular situation, but would not have been able to fully explore and that has to do with the way in which it was designed. >> all right. the cement bond log would also buy 12 hours of time to set the cement. >> yes. >> tom, i got -- >> yeah, steve. >> this is a question for you, don, but it's about the very high pressure used to convert the float valves, and it was clearly very complicated procedure, did not proceed as planned, and there was a comment in the report that someone on the rig thought that maybe the casing had been damaged by the high pressures that were reached in attempt to convert the float so that it could proceed with the procedures, but there was no
elaboration if there's component in the casing string that could have ruptured at those pressures, or was that just a realtime conjecture? >> from what we can tell, it was realtime conjecture. i don't think he had a specific notion as to what might have ruptured, but we can't point to the difficulty converting the flow valves as any sort of causal connection, but what it did do is shine a spotlight again on poor decision making and poor management of situations as they come up on the rig. they had difficulty converts the floats, and individual thought perhaps something blew out up above. they ran tests, couldn't decide what was going on, and decided to put off until later that concern because they knew they
would perform a positive pressure test, and they would indicate if there was a problem with casing integrity. once they had gotten past the float conversion to where they thought they needed to be, there was no memory of there having been a problem with float conversion. when you got down to doing the negative pressure test, kick detix after the test, people didn't have in their minds, well, there was weird stuff with the cement job, we have to be particularly careful about what we're seeing in the data in the pressure readings, and anything out of the ordinary should be treated as there's a problem with the cement job. >> i have one additional question just as a brief follow-up on that. it wasn't clear that the auto fill tune was replaced that could have allowed back up into the casing. do you know that did not happen? >> we cannot rule that out. >> okay. >> i think i have a simple question, probably a complicated
answer. much debated discussion during this, but how do you define redundancy in this case? you have a recommendation about two active barriers, and how do you look at other industries and how they define redundancy? there's debate if we have a backup in the same system log, that is not redundancy. you need a separate system to achieve redun dan say. there's a recommendation of redundancy given the safety, management to address the high safety risk that both of you identified. >> we certainly did not look at whether it made since to have redun adapt management. in fact, i think one the problems we identified was there were too many cooks in the kitchen, and decisions were made by one entity and another didn't know what was really going on. i'd be careful to further decentralize that process. as far as looking at other
industries and how they define redundancy, we did not do that. this is really a simple point that we're trying to make that these barriers do sometimes fail, and that people sometimes don't identify that failure, and so at least having one more active barrier in place that doesn't depend upon human judgment pressing a button on the rig would be i think an easy recommendation. >> let me just one other thought -- one of the issues that we identify in our interim report that i expect will be further amplifying on in our final report has to do with the concept of independent technical authorities, and i'll just say that the approach that i am used to, at least as employed by the navy, is on critical aspects to separate out operational control and technical authority so that
the individuals making the determination on the adequacy of the technical decision making are not the same individuals that are responsible for cost schedule and operations, and that is, if you will, a check and balance, whether you want to call that a redundant management system or not, i will note it's a system that has been used in a number of other areas that i'm familiar with, and does still permit, you know, clear cut management authority. >> this question's for don. certainly, as terrible as this incident was, it certainly could have been worse had there been an underground blowout. there was indication of lost returns early in the drilling process which indicated they perhaps fractured the formation leading to the decisions that went on not only when drilling
the well, but also in the attempt to stop the flow, and the national academy and the nrc study, are you expecting to reach any insights on those types of risks and perhaps another case that we might need to be concerned about as we look at regulations going forward? >> well, one of the areas we're looking at very specifically has to do with the unique aspects of this particular reservoir structure, the five different zones, the various pore pressures, the prakture grade yepts, and the challenges if you will dealing with attempting to cement and close out all five zones with the one single application. we're going to be looking at that in particular as a specific issue here and hopefully we can generalize that to try to provide a better perspective on how one may want to manage such risks in the future.
>> as we close, just one comment, and i'll turn it back over to michael. these are terrific insights into something which occurred. this committee, of course, will be a forward-looking committee trying to gain information from what has happened here and put that into some framework to make recommendations on what alternatives we have for the future. it is very important that we gain enough insight to do that, but it is -- in my judgment, it's not important to get all the details of all the deepwater horizon experience behind us, but spend time this afternoon moving further into lessons learned. the two of you set us up nicely for that. mike call? >> yeah, thanks, tom. i want to thank you for your presentations. tom read my mind because this lays down a strong foundation of looking backwards and now pivot and look at the lessons learned which in turn inform the
deliberations that are critical and central to the work of this committee. thank you, don, and thank you, sean for the powerful presentation. >> at this point, we'll break for lunch. we'll start promptly at 1. we are on break now until 1 p.m., starting promptly. members of the committee, in your pacts there's lists of local restaurants. the rest for the folks who joined us, # if you didn't get one on the way in, they are available at the sign in tables as well. thank you very much. we'll see you all back here at one o'clock. >> let's actually get in place by one which means assembled five to ten minutes before. [inaudible conversations] >> more now from the ocean energy safety advisory committee meeting with remarks from
michael bromwich, the director of the bureau of ocean energy management and was joined by interior secretary ken salazar. this is 15 minutes. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> it's a great pleasure to have the secretary with us this afternoon and in order to do a proper introduction, i'll turn this over a michael. >> i know the secretary doesn't like introductions, i will just say it's my pleasure to welcome him to join us at the inaugural meeting of the ocean energy safety advisory committee, and to tell him that we're delighted to have his support and his presence here today, and with that, i'll turn it over to secretary salazar.
>> thank you very much, director bromwich, and thank you for the committee and looking forward to the results of this effort. let me just make several points. the first is last night i read each and every one of your bios and resumés, and i have to say that it is one of the most outstanding group of scientists and experts that have ever been assembled in the united states to deal with the issues of oil and gas drilling, and so for every one of you, i know what your responsibilities are within your companies, the ngo's, communities, and government, so i just say thank you very much for being a part of this effort. to dr. tom hunter, he and i and some of you in this room lived
through the deepwater horizon national crisis for our country, and through all of that, he reminded us the other day at the international containment forum for 140 days, we were on the phone almost every single day. it started, i remember on a plane trip when i was flying down to houston in the early days of the deepwater horizon explosion, and he was drawing diagrams for me on the plane and how he thought we could bring the maconod well under control at the time and in the ensuing days and weeks we went to that national crisis, he was the president's right hand man, and my right hand man as we guided the nation through the crisis working with james dupris and other people involved with us, and so thank you, tom, for agreeing to be the chairman of this organization.
a quick word about michael. we recruited him from a very safe and peaceful place in the private sector to come and help us reform how we do oil and gas drilling with the department of interior, and he's had a very busy last year, and we have a lot more work to do. you know, he and i often talk and have meetings where we recognize that many of our reform efforts have been very good over the last year and i'm very proud of the efforts we have underway, but we also know that this is a dynamic situation, and we will continue to learn, and we'll continue to implement the kinds of reforms that are necessary, and that's where your collective expertise and guidance is so important. last week when we brought together the 12 countries from the world including places like india and brazil and mexico and canada to talk about the future of ocean drilling to do it in a
way that is safe for workers and safe for the environment, it reminded me once again about how global this industry is. it's not just what we do in the united states side or the gulf of mexico, but it obviously very much involves what is the future of the gulf of mexico on the mexican side of the border, and so we have been working very hard on that effort to try to make sure that we move forward with mexico to develop a treaty in the gulf of mexico and develop a common set of protocols in how we develop oil and gas drilling in mexico, but beyond that as i was in brazil in the last several weeks, i was very impressed by what the brazillian government has done with respect to its energy portfolio and recognized in terms of their presalt finds in the deep water, they are the number one deep water producer number one now in the word, and how we move forward not only with brazil, but with angola and
other countries around the world i think gives us an opportunity because of the fact that we went through the national crisis of the deepwater horizon and the macondo well to develop the gold standards of the world as we move forward with oil and gas production in the earth's ocean. if this president, for president obama, and me as his secretary of interior, our policy has been clear. we believe that oil and gas is part of our energy portfolio for the united states. it's important for our economic security. it's important for our national security, and so we will continue to have a policy that says we embrace oil and gas drilling in the oceans of america including in the deep water, and when we say in the deep water, we say, yes, even though we went through the deepwater horizon and the macondo well, we believe the lessons we learned and continue to learn will allow us to move
forward in a way that allows us to develop that resource in a safe way, so you have a major assignment as a committee to help our nation and really to help our world in terms of how we safely develop oil and gas in our nation. you know, the three points that have been laid out to all of you in terms of the possibility of creating subgroups really captures the theme we have been working on hard but recognizes there's additional work to do. drilling and workplace safety, when you look back at all the different investigations and assessments that have been done about what happened on the deepwater horizon and the macondo well, well, you know, drilling and workplace safety is a key point to focus on because if we never have another deepwater horizon, that would be great, and so the prevention side of what we do in this committee is important around workplace safety, but then the
second area is, you know, what happens if you do have the very low probability event that you have another blowout like macondo. well, if that were to occur again, we want to make sure we're prepared to go in with the con tapement programs that -- containment programs that won't allow the spill to continue for the 87 days we had the active spill here and beyond that as we continue to monitor the situation, so what are the best containment strategy, and then finally, dealing with oil spill response in making sure that we have the most effective oil spill response in the event that we have to respond to an oil spill and certainly having the united states coast guard and members of the committee here with us today, dealing with that particular issue is going to be an important one. i just really wanted to say
thank you, and to say that in reading your resumés, once again, this is the second time i read them, last night, i was very, very impressed by the expertise you all bring to this effort. with that, i'll turn it over to michael bromwich. >> thank you very much, secretary salazar, and thank you for joining us. it's great to be here at the inaugural meeting of this committee, and i want to join the secretary in again thanking you for serving on this committee and look forward to the terrific work i'm sure you're going to be doing in the future with us. with the anniversary of the deepwater horizon blowout just two days away, we're reminded how critically important it is for us to bring together the broad experience and the best minds to help us examine some of the problems that secretary salazar just mentioned, and to make progress on issues of drilling in workplace safety on containment and on spill response. as he suggested, we're in a much
different and much better place than we were a year ago, but we want to be in an even better place still as we push forward three months in the future, six months in the future, a year in the future. i think in the aftermath of deepwater horizon, people have begun to realize the importance of bringing together a group such as this so we can get the best out of people who are experienced in the industry, who have looked at these issues from an academic perspective and from various other perspectives as well, so we, i know the secretary and i and others, feel very good not only about the concept of this committee, but about the composition of this committee. secretary mentioned that he had reviewed the resumés last night. he didn't see the incredibly distinguished applicants or membership on this committee. one of the toughest things i've done since i've been on this job
is sifting through incredible number of qualified people to distill it down to the group that we have today. it's a tribute to the number of people interested in serving, it's a tribute to the number of issues, and certainly a tribute to you that you were the selections that the group of us made. i think the presentations that we heard this morning have already highlighted a number of areas that are in need of further research and consideration, and i must say i was gratified by the number and incisiveness of the questions that you asked of the presenters this morning. it shows that you're up on the issues, you care about the issues, and we're interested in pushing us forward as we move forward. three activities are of particular interest to the secretary and to me and to the entire department as we move forward, and i just like to lay those out very briefly.
first, i think what we need is a thorough assessment of the existing procedures and technologies for drilling in workplace safety, source con tapement, and spill cleanup as well as recommendations for additional research in those fields. second, and this is obviously related, we need a comprehensive survey of existing and planned government and industry research and development in drilling and workplace safety containment and spill response to identify gaps in the current knowledge base, and then last, but not least, we're very interested in hearing now and in the future the committee's recommendations for the best mechanism or mechanisms for long term cooperation among government industry and academia. i think that's what's been missing in the past. i think this committee can help begin to fill that gap, but i think as the secretary
suggested, this is a continuous and dynamic process so we will want to figure out what the appropriate institutions are to make sure this kind of collaboration continues. let me again just say thank you for your service to your country, and i look very much forward to working through, dr. hunter, with you, and i look forward to your recommendations to ensure that offshore drilling can be conducted in a safer and more environmentally responsible way than ever before. thanks very much. >> i'd like to make a comment about relevance of this committee and the leadership of the agency. i am -- many times you serve on the committees, and you wonder if, in fact, the leadership of the country is interested in what you have to say. many times you wonder if that leadership also cares bout the details in the scope of what you're doing. i can tell you from my
experience with secretary sal czar and michael, they are deeply embedded in this as a topic, they spent a lot of time in understanding the different ramifications of what might come out of this committee, but also they work hard. i can only attest to the 140 days, and the beginning of every day with telephone calls with the secretary and many conversation about all the details of what was happening with the macondo well to point out this is engaged leadership that cares deeply about what we have to do and listens earnestly and because of that, the country will be better off. thank you to you both. >> thank you, tom. >> if i could reflect on tom's point. i remember the 140 days very well. they will always be blazing in my mind, but a lot of things that happened including the fact that i ended up having to have a root canal and i don't know i
had a number of problems with the dentist, and so -- in fact, i probably sat for 35 hours in the dentist chair during that time frame, but i remember being in the dentist chair talking with tom hunter on the question relative to the risks we were assessing in terms of the placing of the ceiling cap and whether or not the ceiling cap would remain in place and what some of the factors were that we were weighing to well integrity, and so in a very interesting way looking back at the difficulty and the pain of the whole 140 days that we went through, in my great hope is that the legacy of it is a good legacy and that it is the legacy will be that we were able to do something good for our world and for america's energy security because we were able to move forward with a much
safer oil and gas production in our oceans, so thank you, tom, and thank you to all of you. >> and on the whole, you'd rather have the root canal? [laughter] >> absolutely. >> [laughter] >> thank you. >> we'll start with the second panel's presentations in two minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> tonight on c-span, former defense secretary donald rumsfeld on his new book detailing the role of the ford and bush administrations. you'll hear about his decision making during 9/11 and his strategies on the wars in iraq and afghanistan. >> we talked about what are all the things that can go bad? one was we may not find weapons of mass destruction. i mean it was right there
written, sent to the nfc members and president. we thought about those things. i was on a program with o'ryely and he said why didn't you tell us the things that might go wrong. oh, wonderful idea, but let's tell the enemy every conceivable thing we think we might have a problem with so they can get about doing it. no, we didn't -- that's not the kind of thing you tell the press or talk about publicly, but there's a list of, oh, i don't know, page after page that thing that doug and other people in the government talked about, thought about and that was circulated and people were worried about. >> watch this discussion from the hudson institute tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. tonight on c-span2, a discussion on race in america. you'll hear from hip hop on demand chairman and ceo will griffin and spike lee as they join a panel of journalists.
>> are you saying you can't go to ten tea parties stops and make the case this is not a racist organization. do you think there's a time they say we don't care if it's true or not? you don't think you can capture that on tape? they don't care whether or not it's true. i think the news media on the birth issue should say that's a dead issue. anyone who brings it up is ridiculous. if you get a phone call and they say, hey, do you support donald trump, your answer should be no, he's an idiot. he's trying to hustle me out of my boat with a dead issue. no, i don't support him. >> watch this discussion from the aspen institute tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2.
>> we continue now with remarks from real estate developer and potential republican presidential candidate, donald trump. he spoke last weekend at a tax day rally organized by the south florida tea party. he says he'll decide by june whether or not he'll seek the republican nomination. from boca a raton, this is 30 minutes. >> i want to quickly say there's a cheeky fellow coming up after me to speak to you, but i have to tell you something, this is about one thing. it's not about individuals. this is about the american people, and it's about earning your trust in confidence. it's about getting back to having servant leaders in this country, and as each and every one who steps up to this podium to speak, judge them to be a true servant leader. after me comes a fellow with a
[cheers and applause] ♪ [cheers and applause] ♪ [cheers and applause] >> wow -- [cheers and applause] this is really amazing. [cheers and applause] i want to thank especially congressman allen west. he's an amazing guy. [cheers and applause] i've been a supporter of him all this time. he's smart, intelligent, and a real patriot. thank you. also, rick scott. i was there at the beginning for rick. he's doing a good job. it's not easy, and he's doing a hell of a job. you know, my second home is right down the road in your little competitive community
called palm beach. you know that; right? i love florida. i love it. i'd like to thank, first of all, the south florida tax day tea party, the opportunity to address this group of really hard working incredible people is my great honor, believe me. [cheers and applause] you know, over the last period of probably six months since i started thinking about this, i've been asked so much about the tea party by reporters, by people, by a lot of different folks, and i've come up with a very truthful, but very standard answer, they're great. they're great because they made washington start thinking, both democrat and republican, that they made washington start thinking, so i just want to thank you all, and it's fantastic. i also know that when i was asked to do this speech today
for a friend of mine, he said it was going to be in a little auditorium with 250 people. what happened? [laughter] [cheers and applause] what happened? [cheers and applause] with all this wind, now at least you know it's my real hair; right? [laughter] [cheers and applause] the united states has become the laughing stock in a whipping cup race for the rest of the world whether we like it or not, and we don't like it. the world is laughing at us. they are laughing at our leaders. they are taking advantage of us, and it's a disgrace. [cheers and applause] i said on numerous occasions that countries like china, india, south korea, mexico, the opec nations and many others
view our leaders as weak and ineffective, and we have repeatedly, unfortunatelily, been taken advantage of to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. we have to take our country back. [cheers and applause] i know a lot of people in other countries. i know the tough people. i know the wealth people. they deal with me on a constant basis. they tell me, not so much lately, by the way, that before this whole thing started, they would sit with me at dinners and say, donald, we can't believe what we are getting away with. i can't believe it. these are guys talking to me, i'm talking to them, i can't
believe what we're getting away with, and one called up and said now i can't believe you are running for maybe president. what are you doing after what i said? please, you're doing great. your negotiators are fantastic. [laughter] they meant that, they meant that, and say say, who are these leaders? where do they come from? over the years i participated with people like this in many battles and have come out almost always as the victor, and i have to say that because, you know, i don't want to be bragging, but you need that kind of a person whether it's me or somebody else. [cheers and applause] you know, when i read that line to my wife this morning, she said, donald, it's too conceded. [laughter] but we need people that win. we don't need people that lose all the time; right? [cheers and applause] so i took a little bit of a
chance because i can't know when i said that what i didn't know is maybe who it will be, but that's what we need. i've beaten many people and companies, and i've won many wars. i fairly and intelligently earned many, many billions of dollars, and if i run, you'll see that because i really look forward to disclosing my financials. i built a great, great company. [cheers and applause] the reason i like that is it's both a score card and an acknowledgement of certain abilities, and this is what we need. during my lifetime, i've always been told, and this is very sad, that a person of great accomplishment and achievement can want become a poll -- cannot become a politician or run for political office because
there's so many enemies smart and not so smart strewn all along the highway of success. i heard that for years. people who have been in wars, even the most successful of them, leave themselves open to great criticism from the many that they have beaten and those that have watched these battles. the fact is this theory of a very successful person running for office is rarely tested because most very successful people, the kind of people that we need leading our country, don't want to be scrutinized and abused, and that's what happens. unfortunately, however, this is the kind of person that this country must have right now, right now. [cheers and applause] our current president --
[audience boos] they -- they all want me to say you're fired. [cheers and applause] we got a long way to go before i start using that. it's too early, and to be honest, it's too trivial, but i have it in the back of my mind. [laughter] [cheers and applause] our current president came out of nowhere with no track record so there was absolutely nothing to criticize. he didn't do anything, so i can't look at his 75 deals and say, oh, gee, look, his secretary didn't dot the "i's" and therefore his lawyer made a mistake. he didn't do anything. i never lived my life with a view toward running for office,
so when bad things are said about me, and i'm sure they will be said, you have to remember i'm a successful businessman and not a politician. thank goodness. [cheers and applause] "business week" magazine which is now bloomberg magazine, and in fact, i'll be careful to say this, but where's the reporter from "business week?" where are you? stand up. oh, where? that's not it. that's actually a beautiful woman. [laughter] any way, they have a reporter here, but the magazine said in a vote of its readers that donald trump was the world's most competitive business person. [cheers and applause] with bill gates being number two and warren buffet being number three. steve forbes stated that i was
one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the history of free trade. [cheers and applause] something which this country is not doing very well in, folks, i have to tell you. considering the shape the united states is in now, we need a competitive and highly exe tent person to -- competent person to dee with what is going on. [cheers and applause] and by the way, instead of china making $300 billion projection this year, let's call that profit, instead of all of these other companies and countries just absolutely draining, draining our money, you wouldn't be having the kind of fight that we're having in washington right now between the democrats and the republicans. we'd be having a much more thriving country. we'd be doing great, but you can't have china taking our jobs, taking our money, making
our products -- it's amazing, and then they do all of this, and they loan us money, and we pay them interest. what do they do? that manipulate our currency. i know how to stop it. you have heard me on television. i know how to stop it. they have a problem. oh, they loan us money. great, i've known banks all my life, i'm doing very well. [laughter] we have all the cards. if we ever did anything, look, they are manipulating their currency. it's almost impossible for our companies to compete. we have all the cards because if we ever did anything to stop that tremendous inflow of cash, you know, they are rebuilding their cities, airports, building bridges, when was the last time in this country that you saw a big bridge getting built? like what? 50 years ago? when was the last time you saw
an airport being built? we fix them up. we don't even fix them up. i land at la guardia. it was like i leave china or i leave qatar or i leave saudi arabia, and it's like coming into a third world country when i land at la la la guardia. it's old, dirty, it's falling apart. it's discussing. the sign saying welcome to new york is on painted two by fours and they are rotted. you go to qatar and it's unbelievable. i go to the airport, the manager is a great guy. hey, look i i don't blame the countries if they outsmart us. i blame our country. if they can outsmart us, i'm not angry at china, but our leaders for letting it happen. [cheers and applause]
i'm in qatar, the most beautiful airport. the manager is taking me around, you can get a massage before you go on your flight. la gar ya, i can tell you the massages they give you. [laughter] you can get anything. i say to the man, this is the most ac bar. this is the most beautiful airport i've seen. no, no, no, donald, this is just temporary. this is the airport we're building right now. i say, you have to be kidding. we are living like in a third world country, and it's all being done because of our leadership is so bad. okay. [cheers and applause] i said on numerous occasions that we should watch china, we should watch opec, and what they are doing. we have, and this is something i
just bring up that we have, and this is so sad. it could be taken care of. give me a few ships and generals. we have somalia pie rots taking over these largest anchors in the world, and now we have germany who wants to buy the new york stock exchange. think of that. you know what? i'm all for free enterprise, but i don't want germany owning the new york stock exchange. [cheers and applause] as a businessman, i've seen what china and opec have been doing while politicians, and that's all pooing -- politics have cast a blind eye and have state dinners in their honor. what about the chinese president coming over and we give him a state dinner, and we rips us off. me, i would have send him to
mcdonalds. [laughter] our country will be respected again if i run and win, and china, oh peck, and -- opec, and all of the many nations that are ripping off this great country of ours will be dealt with very, very differently, and i'll tell you what -- [inaudible] [cheers and applause] you know, obama used to go change. where has that change been? he used to go change, and now he's embarrassed by the word. i want to cover a few topics very quickly so you know when i stand on different issues. i am pro-life. [cheers and applause] i'm against gun control. [cheers and applause] you know what's interesting? gun control because the bad guys are going to have the guns. people that are good, people that are really wonderful, they
will get licensed and hear they didn't make enough income or something. the bad guys are going to walk into your house with a gun, and you'll say i wish i had a gun. you know, if the bad guys get rid of the guns, but that won't happen. never has, and it never will. [cheers and applause] i am against gun control. [cheers and applause] i will fight and get rid of obamacare which is a total disaster. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] by the way, just a quick little sideline, i went to the warton school of finance. i always say i was really smart. know why? because if you believe that obama should be giving his birth certificate, the press goes crazy. they make you like you have an iq of 13. i say, you know, i have high
aptitude, great student, went to the best school. again, it's not a brag, but it's like i'm trying to defend myself because the level of animosity even within our own party, i heard karl rogue today on television. it was horrible. no, no, what he said was amazing. he was so against me because i am questioning. all i want to do is see the guy's birth certificate. [cheers and applause] look, you know the republicans have to be very careful of that because obviously he didn't do very well the last couple of years in the bush administration because, hey, whether you like him or not, george bush gave us obama, and i'm not happy about it. i'm not happy about it. we have a disaster on our hands. we have a man right now that almost certainly will go down as the worst president in the
history of the united states. [cheers and applause] the other thing is that i will create jobs, i'll bring jobs back home. when you call up for your credit card, you want to find out, hey, someone charged to use my credit card, i'm off by $2.50. who answers the question most likely? someone from a foreign country, usually india. what's that all about? then there's incentives for doing business, outsourcing they call it, overseas. what about us? you know, i was watching the other day ben beer notwithstanding -- benanke that was job growth was slow. how can it be when kids go to college here and want to move to china because that's the only
place they can get a job. pretty sad. pretty sad. [applause] okay. a couple of words on foreign policy because i'm watching things going on. we can't afford education. we can't afford to build the road, and yet we're in iraq, afghanistan, now libya. how about libya? isn't that a beauty? listen to this. we don't want to change the regime. we want nothing to do with the regime, but we want them out. oh? now people are saying i can just imagine the soldiers and pilots saying what do you mean? he said he's not involved in the regime change, and then in another speech he says we want them out. what does that mean? in the meantime, it's a total disaster because nobody knows what the hell they are doing, and gadhafi is winning riding through the streets waving at all his people. it's amazing. in the old day, and really
listen to this because this is the thing i don't understand. in the old days -- well, i would say bring them home. i would say that, and that's cool, but just listen for a second. this is somebody that has common sense and business sense and, okay, ready? in the old days when we won a war, we won a war. we won a war. not only us, but everybody throughout history for thousands of years. you win, you win, you keep the nation, you keep the land, you keep the oil. you keep it. [cheers and applause] in the old age when we won a war, we won a war. to the victor belonged the spoils. now, we go in, fight wars, hand over the keys after we're finished years and years, trillions of dollars, hand over the keys to people that we do not know, do not trust, and who in most cases do not like us. we're spending many billions of
dollars a week in iraq, afghanistan, and libya, and nobody even knows what our end game is. i want this money to be spent rebuilding the united states. [cheers and applause] by the way, with that being said, i am of any candidate and potential candidate the strongest person on military spending and military strength. [cheers and applause] what we're doing over that is ridiculous though. you know, i gave an example in afghanistan. we build the roads, we build the school, they blow up the roads, they blow up the school. we then go back, we rebuild the road. we rebuild the school. in the meantime in alabama and florida and new york where they are fighting for school money and everywhere else, we can't get any money. okay? it's crazy. all right.
so globalization so far, and that's really because of leadership. i don't care -- i'm okay with globalization, but not with countries that are making so much money they destroy us. we will change that. you know, in new york, i know all of the great business people, and they are vicious, ruthless, horrible human beings in many cases. [laughter] i want them negotiating for me. i don't want a diplomat. that's a person who studies hard. you know what they learn? how to be nice people. i don't want nice people. china -- [cheers and applause] china, what china does, and they have a system that's a little different, it's tougher. what china does is from the time they are born, they send over their toughest, meanest, smartest people. they don't laugh. they don't cry. they are tough, and they are nasty, but we have people that are just as tough, even smarter,
and i know them. why aren't we using them to negotiate? you know, when japan, which i like very much, i got a little heat for this, but i'll say it again and get more with this press here, but in japan is in trouble. i was called by a news outlet. they said, well, what do you think? isn't this sad? i said, here's the story. 30 years they rip us off, take advantage of us, but i think we should help. see, isn't that great? [cheers and applause] 0 years, let's face did with the -- 30 years, let's face it with the cars and this and that, that's okay, we should still help them. ready? when we first entered iraq, and this is the point that i think is very important, many people said, that is the smart people, that we were going in because of
oil, remember? we're going into iraq, oh, of course, iraq has the second largest oil wells in the world after saudi arabia. i don't know if you know that. iraq, great book. i like that guy. [laughter] the second largest oil wells in the world, in the world, so they say, we're going in. now, what turned out sadly is that wasn't the case. we now spent after many years like 10, 11, or 1, nobody knows the year, but $1.5 trillion -- think about this. if you want to have a million dollars for governor scott to rebuild a school, you can't get it. we spent $1.5 trillion, i never heard the word trillion until two years ago. they don't talk billion now, but trillion. i used to have to think what trillion means. i'm a smart guy.
we don't hear billions anymore. if you need a million dollars to fix a school in boco or any place, you can't get it, so we spent $1.5 trillion and more importantly lost thousands of brave soldiers and military personnel, not to mention because i do a lot of work with them, the soldiers that are all over with one arm, no legs, and problems, okay? problems, and they are not even treated well with everything that they did, oh, that sounds scarry. i'm not surprised. that was obama. [laughter] [cheers and applause] so we spent all these moneys lives, all of these wounded because of the fact that we decapitated the military power of iraq. ..
>> you get a little victory. then they sit back and enjoy it. we will tell each other and another 20 years. we decapitated the army in iraq. and iraq within as short. of time after relief, iran will take over. i have been told by a very smart people that are very much into it that they're already in the process of doing it. the probably won't even have to fire a shot because the so-called leaders of the rocco cannot stand pest and frankly we can't stand them, they are closer to the leaders of iraq and we are. so as soon as we leave -- at the
10-12 years. so i'm saying very simply, as sure as you are sitting there, iraq within minutes after we leave will be taken over by iran. and if that happens all of those brave soldiers and military personnel that have died for our country will have died in vain. not to mention the vast amounts of money that has been wasted and could have been used to rebuild the ad states. so, ready? supposedly controversial. sometimes i say, why is it controversial? why? so if iran is going to take over the oil which we all know it is going to. do you agree with me that iran will take it over? does everyone agree? [cheers and applause] so, if iran is going to take over the oil we take the oil.
[applause] by the way, it's estimated that they have $15 trillion worth of oil in iran. people don't realize that. they don't realize how rich they are in terms of the oil fields. we did -- we gave some to iraq. we pay back ourselves plus, plus, plus, of course. and also we payback great britain and the other nations that help desk. they should be paid back, too, pause, pause, pause. in addition to paying ourselves back i want to pay back the families of the soldiers who died. [applause] [cheers and applause] and you know what, if you give them a couple of million dollars apiece, and i tell you what, it is peanuts. it is nothing. nothing can ever replace the sons and daughters, but at least this can help of an bit.
you are talking about literally peanuts. okay. in other words, we don't fight a war, hand over the keys to people that hate us and "leave. we go to afghanistan, the kid gets blown out in the machines. then we leave. we went, but we don't win. we are not soldiers anymore. we are policeman. they are all saying very strongly, very, very strongly. >> put the government and iraq. >> there is no public government. there is no public government. it was supposed to be our government, but it is not working out. it is not working out. and that is the problem that we have in this country. people like this, that is the problem that we have in this country, a big problem. [cheers and applause]
as far as libya is concerned we don't have any policy in libya. we don't know what we're doing in libya. we have no idea. we have no idea who the rebels are. it sounds great. i hear that the rebels bar from iran. i hear they are out qaeda. i here there are lots of problems with the rebels. i am only interested in libya if, again, we get the oil. if we aren't going to get the oil, no interest, no interest whatsoever. [applause] [cheers and applause] now, very interesting, the arab league, this is one of the great moments in the history of the united states from an embarrassed the standpoint. first of all, france led the charge. you believe this? first time ever. they wanted to be first. obama could not even get with that approach. the arab league composed of saudi arabia and the richest nations in the world asked us to
go in and read them of quadhafi who they don't like. why are they not paying us for this? why didn't we ask them for payment? they would have paid whenever we wanted. if i would have said, listen, we want $5 billion. you know what that is, nothing for these people. the airport story, that is nothing for these people. they should pay us. we are already into libya for hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars like we are in there for so much. hundreds and hundreds of million dollars. unbelievable. we will be breaking the sacred barrier very san in terms of cost. what are we doing it for? why are we doing it? with all the problems we have here, why are we doing it? if we do it, we want the oil. okay. it was recently reported that china's economy proved at a far higher rate, guys said kamal,
no, they are doing so well. 98% in the fourth quarter. but we like that for one quarter? we are like nothing. >> 1.4. >> ninety-eight. wind what were we? one. four. and the fact is this happens again because of all of the business they are getting from the world, but mostly from the united states because of manipulation. now, we are fast becoming a country of broken dreams sadly. i'm hearing it all the time. it really is of very serious matter. i am very strong on concise orders. we either have a country or we don't. [applause] [cheers and applause] the one thing i have never, ever heard is people of achievement.
i know many incredible people from south america, europe, asia. they can't get into the country. they went to the best colleges, our colleges. they want to be here, work, create jobs. we don't let them in. and yet, and yet -- and i've added some many times, i've had so many people begging me. they think i know all the answers. i want to say, you come from europe, latin america, different places, a graduate with master's degrees, put people to work. you can't come into this country. but then if you are a criminal, a sex offender, a rapist, murder, quite frankly somebody who has the and you are able to cross the border, stay in our country in some cases with benefits and never leave. what is going on?
now, despite what you hear from washington, and this is going to be the big problem because they have weakened the dollar. despite what you here in washington, inflation is rampant, rampant. true prices had the biggest increase since 1974. 1974. that will be nothing compared to what is going to happen to you at the gasoline pump. gasoline prices have gone up 67% since obama took office two years ago and rising gas prices will absolutely kill any movement. that is the blood of the economy. and by the way, the 67%, that was four weeks ago. since then you know what happened. it's much higher. between power pathetically weak dollar and our presidents and ability to rein in the opec nations, fuel prices will be hitting levels never even dreamt of before.
it looks, folks. take a nice ride. closing and all other goods, you will be buying likewise are and we will be going through the roof. cotton is probably the worst thing that has happened anywhere. just unbelievable, what has happened to cotton prices. and yet you speak to president obama and still tell you that inflation is under control. where is he living? the truth is he lives in the the world of the make believe in my opinion. even the fact that he became president is the world of the make believe. [cheers and applause] obama is unwilling or unable to show his birth certificate. he had mousey marks in school and got into harvard. explain that one. by the way, i have friends that have kids that have always with
the highest aptitude test and can't get into harvard. they can't get. they can't get into harvard. he get in. [inaudible] >> israel. she sang, but israel. how about israel. i have so many jewish friends that are supporting obama. are you crazy? there has never been anybody worse for israel that obama. [cheers and applause] i mean, thank you. stand up. take about. [cheers and applause] there has never been any president worse for israel. before a listing about doing this, you have to come to a fund-raiser at mccourt avenue apartment. for having a fund raiser. for who? obama. no thanks. it's hard to believe.
anyway. one meal. he did one deal in his life. that was a real-estate deal for the purchase and expansion of his house at the below fair market value from a monster and campaign contributor and one of his best friends who ended up going to jail. obama was hardly even looked at. his name, if anybody in the audience did what he did you would not be here today. you would be someplace else. how he got away with that one, how he is getting away with this whole birth certificates and, this whole thing is incredible. all right. a couple of little things. [inaudible] there. you people are worse than i am. okay. should i? yes. fine.
you don't want to leave? you're having -- your my people. unlucky. she's just shutting out. well, he was a bad guy. a real terrorist. he was obama's best friend. obama dropped all of his best friends. hardly know him. before i get to bill, i have to finish this. think of this. he buys a house. right alongside there is another housing site. we all know about houses. okay. he buys fresco. buys the house, just a lot. obama wants to make a larger room in this house. he sells them at below market value of little chunk of the back of the lot debate what does that do? that ruins the lot for ever. nobody is going to buy -- how come the back of the lot is on? oh, the center is on it. so he buys this junk.
so now if you think about it not only was it under market, but he rendered the rest of the piece of land useless. now, when i heard that i said, that is the end of his campaign. that is the end of him. i just heard it. i said, that is the end of his campaign. nothing. president of the united states. can you believe this? of right. i love the bill air sting. i did not want to get worried. but, but, bill is a bad guy. terrorist, lots of bad thoughts. he is a genius. he is a genius. there has been a long controversy about his first book. who wrote it? well, he came out recently and actually said, he no longer likes obama because he has not treated him well. he dropped him. like he did the legendary rev.
right. you know, we're talking about him. so what happened, what happened is in my opinion, i wrote one of the biggest selling business books. they said the biggest. eleven are 12 books. virtually all of them were best sellers. some were number one, and no a lot about books. the man that wrote the second book, he made a big mistake when he wrote the second book. he did it for a couple of dollars. the man that wrote the second book did not write the first book. ernest hemingway. the second book was written by a high school graduate. the difference was like to consult and chickenshit. [cheers and applause] and yet, and yet if you think about it without that first book which he did not right.
there is no way, because i read both books. there is no way that he wrote that first book. there is no way. we know he wrote the second. he wrote the second. there is no way the man that wrote the second book wrote the first book. here is the story. here is the story. he doesn't write the first book. the first book isn't brilliant, if it isn't brilliant he's not president. his whole war it was caused by the genius of the first book which was written by bill. terrible. so it is very, very sad. [inaudible] forget george. leave him alone. he's got enough problems. what about charles. let's talk about somebody else. okay. ready? [inaudible] okay. okay. i want to finish by stating the
following, it is hard to believe what happened. it's hard to believe that obama became the president of the united states, not because of race, not because of color, not because of anything, but because of all of the things that we all know about it. why do you spend millions of dollars trying to get out of the birth certificate issued? why is it your grandmother says you're born in kenya and 50 seconds later with of the handlers and the room it is like, oh, -- how did this all happened. so, i ask another question. the nobel peace prize. [cheers and applause] the nobel peace prize. i mean, just think about it. >> al gore. >> al gore was a big step above. our country has so many bad issues. three wars, an economy that is
absolutely terrible, rabid inflation that our leaders refuse to a knowledge, and infrastructure that is crumbling, and many, many more problems. in places like china, india, saudi arabia, and many others they are building, as i said, airports, bridges. it is the most unbelievable sight. there is a crane on every corner. now, we are the saudi arabia of natural gas. we don't use it. we are a country that actually, despite what everyone thinks, we have a lot of oil and we don't let people drill. we have coal. we have oil. we have lots of different things. we don't let our people use it. now, it all has to do with what is going on. it all has to do with your leaders. it all has to do with the person
on top. a little story. the waltman ice skating rink in central park is a good example of what can be done in the free market. the city of new york spent eight years and $21 million. you probably all remember it before you left your because taxes are too high. the weather is not as nice. $21 million, and we are unable to get the rink open. it was a political nightmare and a great embarrassment to the city. i asked to take over the project before a vodka and my kids get too old. i want them to go ice skating. i could not taken. asked to take over the project. after four months and almost $2 million, and a portion of that was in de mosk -- demolishing the incompetent work, it opened. today it is a case study in many of the great businesses. i did it in four months. it took in eight years. i did it for under 2 million.
now, just a little. you know this. fairly recently right down the road in palm beach i bought a house in bakers to court for $41 million. only palm beach has houses for 41 million. i bought a house in bankruptcy court. i was willing to go a lot higher. for $41 million. it sold it for almost $100 billion. now, isn't that the kind of thinking that this country needs? baking good deals. making good deals is how a country thrives. that is why you see all these countries. they are thriving. they have so much money. they can build airports in schools and hospitals and other things that we need. you need that kind of thinking. by the way, whether it is me or
somebody else you must have that kind of thinking. it is imperative. we cannot continue to go on like this. [inaudible] >> if i decide to run and if i went -- [cheers and applause] thank you. i will not be raising taxes. i will be taking in billions of dollars from other countries and will be creating vast numbers of productive jobs, productive. [cheers and applause] and we will rebuild our country. the united states will be great again. thank you all very much. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause]
♪ ♪ ♪ >> tonight on c-span former defense secretary donald rumsfeld detailing his role in the ford and george w. bush administrations. you will hear about his decision making and his strategy on the war's end. ♪ and afghanistan. >> we talked about all the things that can go bad. one of them was we may not find weapons of mass destruction. i mean, it was right there written consent around to the nsc members, the president. we thought about those things. i was on a program with o'reilly not too long ago. he kept saying, what did you tell us?
well, wonderful idea. but still the enemy every conceivable thing we think we might have a problem with so that they can get about doing it. no. that is not the kind of thing that you tell the press or talk about publicly, but there is a list of, i don't know, page after page of things that doug and other people and the government thought about and talked about. keep pace. it was circulated, and people were worried. >> watch this discussion from the hudson is to -- hudson institute tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. tonight on c-span2, a discussion on race in america. you will hear from hip-hop, and demand chairman will griffin and film director spike lee as they join a panel of journalists to talk about media coverage of minorities. >> you telling me you can't go to tend tea party expressed stops and get enough footage to make the case that this is a racist
organization? you think there is in the town that they say i don't care whether the birth the thing is tour not. you don't think you can capture that on tape? they don't care whether it's true, and i don't think the news media should say that is a dead issue. anyone who brings it up is ridiculous. if you get a phone call and they say, hey, do you support donald trump your answer should be, no, he's an idiot. he's trying to sell me something. he's trying to hustle the out of my boat. no. i don't support him. >> once this discussion from the aspen institute tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. and here is more of our prime time schedule here on c-span2. sexting tonight at 930, michael abramowitz, the director of the bureau of ocean energy management outlines his agency goal for offshore drilling and safety regulations. then deputy treasury secretary neil war it talks about efforts
to implement the financial regulations law. then the president talks a -- holds a town hall meeting about the u.s. deficit and test produ. and the president obama holds two more town hall meetings up on the u.s. debt this week. tomorrow he will be in palo alto, california, for a facebook town hall meeting before heading to reno, nevada. you can see both of those events here on the c-span network as well as online at c-span.org. >> i think we are all ready for it democrats and republicans to get the country on the right track. >> the debate ahead of us is about more than spending levels. it is about the role of government itself. >> the current year's spending resolved. lawmakers now turn their attention to the 2012 budget. once the debate from capitol hill, the white house, and around washington, online anytime with the c-span video
library. search, watch, click, and share. what you want when you want. >> let's meet one of our top winners in this year's student can competition. this year's been asked students to produce a video about an issue or topic that helped them understand the federal government. today we get to not know, tennessee, to talk to our second prize winner, and it grader. hi. >> hi. >> why did you choose to focus your documentary on the oak ridge national laboratory. >> well, first of all, it's in my backyard. second of all, all of our group members were really interested in energy. there is a lot of research to get more efficient energy. thirdly, because we really felt that it fits the theme well. whenever it started back in world war two it was completely sanctioned by the federal government, and is still has close ties today. >> and so what is it best known for?
>> well, oak ridge is known as the secret city. it was started back in world war ii as part of the manhattan project to make uranium for the bomb. it is known for that. today it is known for continuing that research innovation along with its close ties to the federal government. >> what impact does the lab have and your community? >> the biggest thing it does is supplies us with jobs, and not just research jobs, but support jobs and community jobs. an entire city grew out of these labs and out of that crew thousands of thousands of jobs itself it has thousands of jobs. one of our interviewees actually worked with the state, and they funneled people in to make supplies. so that in itself gave about
1,000 jobs, i think. >> and what role does the federal government play with the lab? >> well, the biggest thing that it does is it fun as the national lab. it does this through programs of the department of energy. >> and so you interviewed michelle buchanan, the director of the physical science at the lab. what did you learn from her? >> one of the biggest things that we learned is how it works financially. we learned that they basically apply for grants for each individual project, and that is how they get the money for all of the variety of things that they do. we also learn about different projects that they do, added depth to the video. how those projects affect our daily lives. >> what type of projects are being conducted? >> well, there are a huge range of projects from computer technology, biotechnology. this gigantic adam collider
which is just smashing atoms together and learning how they work. you also have hydrogen cars which will reduce carbon emissions. then you also have just this ongoing cleanup of -- just too many to name. >> what is the message that you would like to share with people through your documentary? >> the biggest thing i would like to share is that i would like people to appreciate all that oak ridge has done back in world war two. what it's doing now and what i hope it doesn't the future. >> here is a portion of ian's documentary, the lab that made the city. >> a lot of different projects that all deal with energy technology. so we go from a fundamental to applied. we like to get in to invest -- advanced nuclear concept. more electricity, but there, all
sorts of nanotechnology. >> so many. computing is huge. they have a great computing center out there. as i mentioned before, the neutron source which is just a great use a facility to look at materials and learn some of the most fundamental things about the things that we use every day and how we can improve the. just too many to even talk about. >> as stated, zero are in el contains a neutron source, one of the finest atom smashers and the world. >> entirely worth it. the kind of research is really one of the kind. nobody else has that capability. >> you can see this entire video and all but documentary's at student can got org. continue the conversation at our facebook and twitter pages. >> cnn founder ted turner and energy on to power -- cnn -- cnn
-- >> the president of the center for a new american securities said earlier today that progress has been made in afghanistan. it's going to be of long-term effort for a number of years ahead. this is hosted by the center for american progress. it is an hour-and-a-half. >> welcome, everyone. our program. im rudy deleon, senior vicecentr president here at the center fop american progress. this is the first of two panels that we are going to be doing or afghanistan today. a it is part of the series. it is april 2011.ten- we are coming up on the 10-year mark this ball in afghanistan.
and so i think at the time of ai the focus on current activities in the theater and also ask terf questions in terms of the lessons learned. the 10-year milestone of combatn activities is a bit unique inhem terms of the armed forces of th. united states in terms of timeh and length. and so we have our program herel today, part one. we will look at some of counterinsurgency and some of thelessons learned on security side.and th and then panel number two, which will be chaired and moderated b a colleague at the center, dr. neri court and jeff warrantj of the century foundation, they will be talking on their recent study that included tom pickering and other senior wa diplomats which larry was one of the members of the panel. they will be looking at thehe prospects for dialogue andf you
negotiation. so if you will, talking,where i fighting, or somewhere in between seems to be the two that w segments that we are going to be discussingdi today. this panel now, in terms of this panel we v have got two very distinguishedo participants. we are going tort get them goino i don't think i will have to bem auc referee to much of the time, but i think that there are clear opinions in strong arguments onh both sides. i think our focus today is notpt necessarily to relive the past, but instead to understand the lessons for the future. so first, our guest, dr. john nagl, the president of thehe center for a new american security. he is also a member of the sve, defense policy board where we both serve.l commissi to also served on the congressional commission to look at the we quadrennial defense review. we both worked together.
a graduate of west point. been o he has written books. he has been on a lot of very impressive academic groups in his career, a teacher also. and he has been an adviser to some of our current military lea leadersde in the field. so welcome to the center for american progress.of cou and, of course, my other colleague at the center, brian k katulis, our senior fellow with, the focus really on u.s. national security in the middle east and south asia. con brian has served as a consultant to numerous u.s. government agencies, private entities,nongr non-governmental organizations, projects in more than two dozens egyptries including iraq, pakistan, afghanistan, yemen, egypt, and columbia. 1998, h from 1995-1998 he lived and ando
worked in the west bank and on , the gaza strip, egypt for the national democratic institute ii for internationaltu affairs. his master's degree is from publicon. inodrow wilson school of public and international affairs. a b.a. in history and arabviano. studies from villanova. so, thank you, for being engaged here. capable two very capable man. two regional experts, and sojust what i'm going to do is just toh start this program by asking each of them to offer a generals assessment on the status ofafgh. current activities in >>hanks, afghanistan. wod, i >> great to be here. i would take minor exception to one thing that you said. i would not kill myself as a regional expert, but a longtimef student of counterinsurgency with an interest in afghanistane
i make no claims to be an experd on that country. i have been watching and working on afghanistan for a number of years now, but not a regional expert. that said, the principles ofin counterinsurgency are being thin applied in afghanistan, i thinke to a pretty high degree. my general assessment of the situation is that we are seeing for agile, but reversible gains. i think clear gains.wh what i would like to do, if i is r down can, is run down the counter insurgency campaign and make a quick assessment against each o those.of th these came originally from aosnm article written by then major general peter reilly who wasete commanding the first calvary division in baghdad. he used his analysis. writin i stole shamelessly. he came up with six logicalgenel lines of operation in thees of counterinsurgency campaign. l
operations and civil security operations, buildingor, host nation security forces,o providing essential services to the population, giving them good governance, promoting economicah development, all of that wrappea up in a comprehensive information operation campaign. those are the six lines that a f counterinsurgency four tries to. it follow. making a quick assessment against each of those, combat cl operations and civil security o operations were showing a fairle remarkable progress. i would say the classic clear counterinsurgency strategy is working well.s we have sufficient forces on the ground. ov the broad overview of my argument is that we did not really start a counterinsurgency af campaign ingh afghanistan until it 2009.n i was very e much.all real really as early as late 2002 ans did o not refocus on afghanistau and give it thent resources it needed until 2009. of
the campaign in a lot of ways that point,ed at and we have -- where we are abln to put forces on the ground, we are able to conduct effective civil security operations. similarly host nation security forces, the dramatic. release since the tenant generan bill caldwell took charge of that effort ind we've se october-november 2009. we have seen a dramatic increasa in the quantity and also forces, ngly in the capability of afghan security forces, and that is incredibly important.to ultimately we are goingha to han off responsibility to an afghang government. and so we have to have somethin to hand off. i think we have made real lin progress. are m as of the only two lilines that are military lines. not the other four are not primary military responsibilities, ands frankly they have not been as p successful. we are still providing fairly limited essential services.
security being the most essential. necessiti of but access to the necessities ov life is still very much a problem for the afghans. their government is improving very slowly from of very, verys low base.a go news economic development is actually a good news story. for the double-digit growth rate in afghanistan, relief for the pasn ten years. from, again, a very, very low base but fairly remarkable achievements there. cell phone penetration in afghanistan has gone from zero to well over 50% in the last ten years. and that is an important part of how information is transmit inside that country. this, i think, probably the area we're least effective both on the ground in afghanistan and here in the united states in the terms of communicating what it is we're trying to accomplish and demonstrating progress toward those goals. so that's my general assessment of the counterinsurgency campaign.
gradual progress more marked on the military side and with real problems in governance. i'll be interested to see what brian thinks. >> great. thanks, rudy. and before i start i would be remiss not to mention our colleagues carolyn and katherine who have worked in partnership with larry, and we've got a great team and a great series here, and we're glad that you're all here, and we're honored to have john here to take part in this discussion. i agree with much of what just john said and what i'll offer are complimentary observations about what's going on and then raise some broader points about the sustainability. of the strategy which, i think, is really important. i think it's pretty clear and we all read the same newspapers that there are improvements in the security situation in certain parts of afghanistan. in the southern part of the country, and it's no surprise to me, we have the finest fighting force the world has ever known.
you put them in a place, it will have an impact. and i think we've seen that in multiple occasions around the world. that said, we do have a deteriorating security situation in other parking lots of the country, and if you -- parts of the country, and if you judge this based on the core metric of counterinsurgency and, john, you wrote an article with nate thicke at the start of the obama administration which highlighted and reminded folks what counterinsurgency was. and it placed a premium on protecting the population and the civilians over killing the enemy. now, if you judge just based on that metric and look at 2010, 2010 was a very bad year for protecting the civilians of afghanistan, was the worst year, i think, since we've been in the country. and i think 2011 will be a moment of truth. that said, and i think it's important to highlight that the 2700 or so afghan civilians who were kill inside violence in
afghanistan in 2010, the vast majority of them were killed by the insurgents which, i think, will lead us into a deeper discussion about how you implement counterinsurgency, whether we have the capacity to do that and are we about to turn the corner as many people had argued, say, in the middle part of 2007 in iraq. but i would say that there are two main impediments that i think have been identified all along in the obama administration from all of this assessments from bruce riedel to the commander's assessment, general mcchrystal and others. two major impediments; pakistan and weak governance and corruption in afghanistan. here we are today two years later, and i would argue that we're not much further along in that. and we have serious questions about the sustainability of the effort in afghanistan if we were to even leave or start to leave in 2011 with the goal of handing over security by 2014 which is the current plan whether things
that we're helping to create will exist, and i know we'll get into this. there's also a broader question of the sustainability of a counterinsurgency effort which, as you know, began in earnest in 2009, but we'd been on the ground since 2001, 2002. and i think we'll get into this, i think, deeper in the discussion, but i think a lot of people are asking the question from a strategic level whether the costs actually are worth the benefits that it provides to u.s. national security interests. and i think that's sort of the deeper discussion. i know we'll talk about the tactics and the operations and different pieces. so, in essence, i think that we are still not out of the woods yet. i know we all look forward and commanders and people at the white house look for some sort of catch phrase. i think we're not certain in terms of where we are. there's an improved security situation in a certain part of the country, but the real question i'd like to focus on is the sustainability of this.
are we doing things that will actually last in the long run, and then secondly, will those things accrue to the benefit of u.s. national security interests. and i think those two questions are still very much open questions. >> thanks, brian and john, for getting us going. you know, let me put one question out there that i think you'll both agree on, and that brings us to the current budget deliberations that are going on on the hill. i think one of the things that we've learned that is a crucial component that complements our armed forces when they deploy are the career civilians that are at the state department and the u.s. agency for international development. they play a critical role, and i note their budget -- secretary gates has talked to john nagl and myself about this. you know, the role of the diplomatic side and the career civilians on the agency for
international development turn out to be key partners in this. it's been an initiative that both secretary clinton and secretary gates have spoken to, but i'd ask just before we really get in to strategies and lessons learned the criticality and what these budget cuts may mean to the long-term effort. >> this is, rudy's absolutely right, this is something we absolutely have not gotten right as a nation. counterinsurgency is not primarily military, as even general chiarelli's article pointed out that we drew from when we wrote the manual. unfortunately, only the military has the resources to operate in these conflict zones, and we have not properly resourced the civilian agencies who have greater background knowledge, greater and different skill sets in some of these areas. and so we're left with military forces doing this all too often. we had, i think, a remarkable opportunity with the quadrennial
diplomacy and development review launched by secretary clinton very early in her leadership of the state department. the qddr, i think, makes a pretty compelling argument for more resources, not fewer, for the state department and for usaid. unfortunately, in the current budget climate it looks as if it's dead on arrival, and that is an enormous risk to the progress, the fragile reversible gains we have made thus far in afghanistan. the budget numbers i just saw this morning, took a look at morning for the proposed cuts to the state department and to usaid put at risk all of the gains that general petraeus and his team, mcchrystal, mckiernan before them, have worked so hard to lock down for so many years. is and so i couldn't be more -- and so i couldn't be more emphatic in agreeing with secretary gates and secretary clinton that this kind of war
fight, a state department foreign service officer, a development specialist from usaid may be even more important than a soldier with boots on the ground. and we've got to get this right as a nation. we have not done that yet. >> i agree with that. we've been talking about that, though, for about five or six years now. and if we warrant going to assemble -- weren't going to assemble the political will and the courage to actually make those investments when we had a raging civil war in iraq, and if we're not going to make those investments while we've got 100,000 troops on the ground in afghanistan, i remain skeptical that we're going to get action out of congress. i agree with you, it should happen. but this is a function, i think, of having extended conflicts that go on for years at a time while at a time we've got economic troubles here at home. i really don't end i have some of our former -- envy some of our former colleagues and others in government who are trying to implement the civilian surge which i think is really an important part of what we were trying to get right in
afghanistan. at the start of the obama administration, we had about 300 personnel, civilian personnel who were working for the state department and usaid. and what they, in essence, have done is more than tripled the presence on the ground to about 91100 -- 1100 at this point. i went out in the fall of 2009 to camp attar bury with jack lew, the deputy secretary of state. and this is a camp where we were finally training people who were going out to serve on prts and other things, and i think it was an admirable effort. i think it was very important. but one thing that struck me was perhaps this was a little too late and a little too late. we talk so much about having civilian agency personnel who should b be deployable, but the simple pact of the -- fact of the matter is the way these agencies are structured, they don't have the time to prepare for deployment in the way that military personnel do. i have friends who work in these agencies who are pulled away to offer training for some of these individuals, and the training
program is often quite short compared to one we send our military personnel out there. you look at the budget systems and how things were handled. state department has 31/61 system for hiring short-term, temporary hires or usaid foreign service limited. these sorts of things, i think, these details are important because not getting that straight or forcing our civilian agencies to rely on temporary measures makes it very difficult to create a strategy that is sustainable in and of itself. and i know we're going to get to the problems on the ground in afghanistan and with our afghan partners, but it's not just about resourcing. at its core it is resourcing, but even if the money were available, there needs to be a systemic rethink in the civilian agencies at this point that haven't had to deal with how do you rotate individuals in the large numbers just getting to that 1100 in terms of personnel. it took a lot of beg, borrowing
and stealing. and there's tremendous talent and energy. they know the country, a lot of these people. but there are operational details how how can they get out and how well is strategy on civilian coordinated. and it should give us pause that more than five or six years into this push for smart power -- and it's been that, you know, this wasn't a creation of the obama administration, essentially when secretary gates came into office there was a much more stronger emphasis on this -- yet we haven't done it yet. and given where we are right now in a very uncertain period in afghanistan and given where we are in an uncertain moment politically here at home, i think it's fair to raise these skepticisms that our members of the congress and senate will actually come back with even stronger support than they've not offered to this point. >> i think that's a fair comment, brian. i note that if we were talking with critical decision makers, in this case army captains or majors, or we went over and polled a class at the national
defense university of u.s. service members who have served in the theater, at the top of their list of critical requirements would be more, more of the diplomatic and the usaid personnel. i think each marine that i've talked to has got a story. and so it is one of those disconnects. and, actually, it precedes secretary gates in this tour. we could go back to the late '80s and even to the '90s in particular and find at the time the civilians and their component was called operations other than war. and it was a particular dod acronym. but one of the things in the post-combat stage that is so critical is the development not just simply of security institutions, and we'll talk about that because we should be training a police force and a military force right now, but it's creating administrative
authorities that can apply justice and have remedies and that create long-term structures that have sort of make the gains that our military personnel are accomplishing now to make those gains irreversible later on. let me, then, ask john looking back on the approximately 16 months since the president's second troop surge in afghanistan and focusing particularly on security and the military component, what changes have we seen that are positive, what are negative? what parts of the surge have worked and what parts haven't? >> and i've already mentioned a little bit our ability to conduct wide-area security, to control increasingly with the surge troops in the south in
helmand we've created bubbles of security that we are now spreading out. and it's really classic counterinsurgency. we clear the taliban out of an area, it's a very tough fight, and then are able slowly to expand the classic oil spot of security with batallion commanders breaking their units down into very small teams, 12-marine teams spread across a much broader area and then integrating them with afghan security forces. so the process is working. we're seeing some good examples of it on the ground. rajiv had a front page piece in the post on sunday that talked to to some of the successes that he's seeing on the ground. so clear/hold/build works when we resource it properly. enormously resource-intensive and the most important resource, of course, we're spending in afghanistan, the lives of our young men and women. we're at about 1500 u.s. kill
inside action, more than 10,000 hurt over the past ten years of fighting there. and our allies have taken about another thousand killed. the brits most, the single largest foreign component of those losses. so this is slow, hard, grinding war. and it's always been that way, and it always will be that way. that is, that is no surprise. the, one of the interesting things that's happened that we're seeing in afghanistan that we started to see in the later years in iraq is that our focused counterterrorism operations against, initially against high-value targets and then as we've brought more resources over to afghanistan particularly from iraq but also some we're continuing to build our capabilities here in the united states, we're getting more unmanned orbits up, we're getting better at colating
different sources of human intelligence, electronic intelligence. we're increasingly able to target individuals very precisely, build cases against them before we have them in custody and then visit them with a much higher degree of precision than has ever been the case before. and this is an innovation that i think general mcchrystal, stan mcchrystal is owed an awful lot of credit for, and that's changing the dynamics inside the insurgency on the ground. and i think as we -- anytime you're evaluating a combat situation, you have much greater visibility of the costs for your side than you do have visibility into what's happening on the other side. and we're starting to get a better picture of what's happening inside various taliban cells. news reports have indicated that the taliban is now having a hard time replacing it mid-level leaders. people are being offered promotions and not accepting them because the life span of their predecessors as free acts
on the -- free agents on the battlefield is so short. so we're getting very good at disassembling terror networks from outside. there are costs as well as benefits of that. a lot of those mid-level leaders are people we'd actually like to talk with as we work on reconciliation and reintegration. we'll talk more about that later, i think. but this is, i think, a real innovation in the counterinsurgency campaign of being able to identify, track, target, locate and remove from the battlefield individuals with a pretty high degree of precision, and we're so much better at it that it's almost a difference, a qualitative difference in the fight on the ground. of. ..
much larger number of afghan soldiers on the ground for a million dollars invested than we do an american. every american soldier on the ground costs about a million dollars a year. that $10 million we're spending on afghan security forces this year is only 10% of the total we're investing in afghanistan. i would argue it is actually the most important in terms of enabling and allowing an exit strategy. we're making progress on professionalizing these forces. over the last year we built service schools. we're teaching them how to fire artillery. training and educating helicopter pilots.
we are making fairly, real progress and it is going to be a very long-term effort but i think american advisors required for a number of years. i want to just point to one of the real factors of difficulty. the literacy rates in afghanistan are simply deplorable and what we found is that to train people to be soldiers we have to teach them how to read and write and literally first grade level, third grade level, are the we're trying to achieve. first grade for soldiers. third grade for noncommissioned officers. it is impossible to have a modern army even an army that fight as counterinsurgency campaign in afghanistan if they can't read and write and can't take notes. if they can't read the serial number on their rifle. interestingly we're getting better teaching them how to read and write. we find it is an extraordinary retention advantage. they desperately want to
know how to read and write. the ability to do so and promise of additional school something one of the factors that led to increased retention recently. i will say two more things and then yield. we are increasingly starting to build a program called afghan local police. local village militia forces. this is traditional effort in counterinsurgency campaigns. there is always a danger the militia will have loyalties other than to the afghan government. we played this game before and we're getting better at this process. this pilot is showing real progress in increasing number of boots on the ground. finally we're seeing great results from partnering with afghan units once they're formed. we're partnering american, nato, other allied units with them and conducting joint operations at a much higher rate than we used to, all in an effort to increase the afghans learning curve in order to make it a realistic possibility we'll be able to hand over security responsibility to
them in the lead for most, if not all of their country by the end of 2014. >> okay. we're going to go, i'm going to ask brian a question. we're going one more round of long answers and tighten it up a little and go back and forth. i feel like i'm back where i was when i was a young staffer at the armed services committee and cap weinberger was taking whole time for giving the answer. we're going to give brian one long answer here and we're going to start to see the differences. >> okay. >> you know, pakistan and then the governance in afghanistan clearly, as hard as our military men and women are working, pakistan and the governance questions in afghanistan remain. brian, you've been an election observer in pakistan but particularly most recently in the 2009 presidential elections in afghanistan.
and so, give us your assessment on how afghanistan's political and governance challenges sort of intersect with our own security objectives in the theater. >> well, it's clear. this is the weakest part of the strategy and we agree with this. everything that john just articulated with the investment. and quite massive invests for a country the size of afghanistan to invest, 10 billion in the security forces. when the government itself, the afghan government has a budget of 3 to 4 billion each year. serious sustainability questions of investing that amount of money, upwards of $100 billion the u.s. effort will be this year. and whether this money is actually having the impact. i think it's fair to raise the question, is more better in a place like afghanistan on both the security and then also on the governance and economic development front?
i want to highlight the second piece of this i came back from afghanistan in 2009, really struck with one central question. do we have a partner in the afghan government at multiple levels? we observed that election, stayed engaged on i think the extensive efforts to try to build governance and democracy in these electoral systems and the institutions. this often sound soft but very much the thing we were talking about earlier. it is the fabric to which these security organizations, the police and army, need to connect to at some point for it to sustain itself going back to that question of sustainability. and i think even more than two years into this there are serious questions about not only the capacity because there's challenges of capacity but also the willingness and the political intention of some of our partners in the afghan government. look at the kabul bank fiasco, the country's largest bank i think was just taken over by the
central bank. nearly a billion dollars in assets, money was use in there, to buy property in dubai by some people who were part of the leadership in afghanistan. money was sent in these campaigns including the campaign that we witnessed in 2009, to develop patronage networks in there. dexter fikkins of "the new york times" has done great reporting on the ground. he said no longer enough to say the corruption permeates the afghan state. corruption by and large is the afghan state. if we have hundreds of millions of dollars in the keybanc which u.s. taxpayer money has gone through to help pay for afghan civil servants salaries and to pay for some of the afghan national security forces, if we can't account for that money and this doesn't even talk about sort of all of the other flows that are going out there through usaid, through commander
emergency response funds. i have yet to see a comprehensive assessment i think of the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction offered sort of tactical assessments but i haven't seen an overall assessment of the resources that have been committed over the last two years and measuring the effects of those resources particularly on the governance structures. there is a very strong argument to be made that the strategy which is now centered on a counterinsurgency strategy, we're using our resources and our power as a weapon against us inadvertently. we're not obviously trying to do that. we're trying to identify gaps and whols in the strategy. we have a senior commander working on anti-corruption initiatives but there's a serious question i think that is out there, do we have a seriousness of purpose from our afghan partners that i know most of, all of our troops, most of our troops share out there. people are serving in the u.s. government. i think this is why we go back to that question why can't we get political
support on capitol hill? there's this question of the viability of all of this. that if the two big gaping holes that have been repeatedly identified, the rural pakistan and afghan governance and their political institutions those two big gaping holes, if those two aren't fundamentally addressed doesn't make sense to continue on the current path and current strategy. it doesn't line up with the president's stated objectives, disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda in both afghanistan and pakistan. i know we need a separate panel, i know this is my long answer here but i think pakistan is the biggest complication. my only observation there is that i fear that our strategic focus has been flipped in the wrong direction. i know we're in afghanistan because we've been there and we need to get right. but when i go to pakistan and i see what is happening in pakistan nearly every single day, the news this morning they test ad surface-to-surface missile that is capable of carrying
a nuclear weapon. their nuclear arsenal is growing. the cooperation, there has been a real serious attempt by the obama administration to enhance that cooperation is breaking down with the pakistani government. i fear we're out of balance. i said this several times. i fear we're focused on hamlets and villages in southern afghanistan when the real threat potentially to u.s. national security interests is across the border. that we've got an imbalance of resources in both terms of money and senior leadership attention. >> okay. so that sort of frames it. because on one hand you've got discussion of a strategy that if you resource the security side and you have enough troops in country they're capable of having a significant impact. on the other you've got, let's just right now for this round focus on the vulnerability with pakistan, sort of being both a sanctuary and a safe haven.
i talked to some of our military folks and they distinguish a sanctuary where actually your adversary can go hide and be protected versus a safe haven where the adversary can go across the border and because nobody's there, they're essentially using the international boundary to, you know, to get away from the u.s. forces. but, with pakistan being a place of sanctuary and safe haven, can the clear, hold, build ever work, no matter how well it's resourced in afghanistan? john? >> this is now short answer to that? >> short answer. >> short answer, save the hard question for the short answer. pakistan is in my eyes the most dangerous place in the world for the united states. it has, faces an extraordinary combination of a number of internal insurgencies. it is the home base for al qaeda central. weak democracy. large number and growing number of nuclear weapons as
brian mentioned. it has over time, i think, come to recognize and it, speaking of pakistan as one entity is ludicrous simplification. there are fractals and wheels within wheels inside pakistan but increasingly i think members of the pakistani military, the pakistani intelligence service, the governing elite in the country are coming to recognize that the insurgent forces which they created which they have supported in many ways as an insurance policy against, against an afghanistan that is ruled by india, is closely in india's orbit, that insurance policy they have created and funded is increasingly turning against them. and we literally, daily see evidence of attacks on pakistani civilians, on pakistani government targets, conducted by the some of
these pakistani militant groups. so we've seen slow, halting, very, two steps forward, one step back progress, i believe by the pakistani government in terms of clearing and holding the swat river valley. south waziristan. promises and clear and hold north waziristan were upset by the flooding and interestingly, just over the weekend, very high level delegation of pakistanis to kabul to talk with president can karzai about reconciliation and reintegration about the possibility of bringing the war to some sort of negotiated settlement that at the very highest levels. so general kiani, the head of the pakistani military. the pakistan is a classic friend and enemy. it is, its actions will
ultimately, are ultimately likely to be prove decisive inside afghanistan and there are glimmers of hope there i think and i'm going to be interested to see if brian thinks those glimmers are too hopeful? >> i'm very pessimistic these days about pakistan. i was more bullish i would say a year or so ago. i think the breakdown that we're seeing between the u.s. and pakistan on security coordination is very real and i think it is multifaceted. and i think there's nothing we can do but continue to work that issue. we will never have boots on the ground or substantial boots on the ground in pakistan. we need to work those relationships as best we can and understand that the fissures are very real within the pakistani government. we know the civilian and security divide but there are serious divisions within the security agency too. understanding who is doing what and understanding that game i think is more essential than most of what we're doing in afghanistan at this point. i know you might disagree
with that but from the perspective the u.s. national security interests, when you look at groups like the remnants of al qaeda, a range of groups that have free reign in pakistan. the simple fact of the matter it is not only how they assess their own security situation, it is also who they see as potential force multipliers and how they see the threats around them. and i've been in the isi headquarters, in islamabad a number of times including, in 2009 and it's clear we're not on the same page. and it's not easy i think for people at the most senior levels of the u.s. government to understand what the pakistani security establishment inches tension is even at this phase. i don't know. i know, i understand your analysis of how this visit this weekend may be an opening but i'm not so certainty stage because we've had previous openings and previous exchanges at this point and one of the fundamentals is, you know, the security situation
itself in pakistan has deteriorated. there is this lack of coordination i talked about where we have talked to senior pakistani security officials who say look, in addition to the drone strikes which for the most part privately they will say they're in favor of, they're dealing with a serious threat, we don't have serious coordination on the eastern side of afghanistan border. there is concern that part of the strategy implemented by mcchrystal, people often talked about sort of our surge being a hammer-and-anvil with our forces being the hammer pushing them against some sort of anvil in pakistan. they have the same sort of perception that if they were to strike in certain places and there were a number of operations on the western border of pakistan, mostly, you know, surprised to hear that the pakistani air force actually conducts more bombings themselves on their population and their threat than we do drone strikes. there have been significant costs. but there is this perception
that, okay, well, if we're hitting the threat in pakistan inside our borders why have you withdrawn some of your troops from the eastern part of afghanistan? i don't know who is correct but there is clearly as we were implementing the surge in afghanistan a lack of coordination and a lack of common understanding of the threat perceptions. to answer your question, this is very long, no, i don't think we'll actually see stability in afghanistan without getting on the same page with pakistan. we may be heading there at some point but the recent metrics i see are pointing in the wrong directions for u.s. pakistan cooperation. >> one more word about that i want to give a shoutout to admiral mullen who worked this enormously hard. pretty much every month he is there or kayani is here. he put enorm murs personal resources in this stressing importance he plays on it. his departure from joint chiefs of staff later this year which will be a number of transitions that will
dramatically affect the conduct of our operations in afghanistan and pakistan. you know we lost ambassador holbrooke. replaced with general grossman. general petraeus likely to leave later this year. rumors he will be replaced by lt. general allen of the marines. interesting choice. he played a very large role developing reintegration options in iraq. general rodriguez, general petraeus's deputy will be replaced this year. rumors general eikenberry may also be rotating out. huge changes in both the leadership and political and military level over a fairly short period of time and those personal relationships that those officers foreign service officers, military officers, developed in afghanistan and pakistan are some of the most important assets we have in this fight and so that period of transition over the course of this year is i something to watch very carefully. >> so, okay. at least you're
talking back and forth to each other now. so we're not -- so when i started i said here we are. it's april 2011. now tora bora where we had the safe havens and sanctuaries of pakistan, are an issue in 2001, 2002. so we've known about this problem on the pakistani side now, it will be a decade, decade very soon. so we've got this conflict. you know it is almost straight out of the hollywood movie where the bad guys is right across the boundary and our respect of international law, you know, we don't follow into those safe havens and sanctuaris. so on one hand we've got our troops struggling, working very hard, making an enormous sacrifice and on the other we continue to have this back door that's a
problem. here we come up now to two dates, july 2011, and then 2014 as the nato-announced end of sort of the military phase in afghanistan. so, you know, how do these two dates come to play you know, still given these uncertainties? and this is no great illumination. this is woodward's book. this is, you know, these are the earlier studies. these are "the new york times" reporting on tora bora and the cornering of osama bin laden only then to be waved off by the tribal leaders saying we've got it from here. i think john's right. i think admiral mullen has been hugely significant on
his senior military to military relationships not only in pakistan but in egypt. but we're thinner at the, sort of the field grade officer which are so critical on the decision-making. so let's take this tension point between, sort of the clear, hold, build on the security side, the sanctuaries and safe havens on the other and then the approaching july 2011 and 2014 decisions. how do you start to reconcile and balance your opportunity cost versus the blood and treasure that is being expended every day? >> i don't think that the july 2011 date means much more these days, except for the beginning of a transition. i think, it is my view we need to be serious about this transition phase and defining what transition actually means. we had a panel here about a month or so ago, caroline was on and your colleague
david, here we are, starting a transition but nobody fully defined metrics for what that transition means clearly from a security and importantly from a governance standpoint. and i'm a timeline guy. i have said and i know people dispute that i think it is an honest debate to be had. i honestly think many people in this administration believe you need time lines to focus not only the minds of leaders like karzai, but also to focus the agendas and strategies of large bureaucracies that won't move. so a lot of the problems that i think we talked about, with the governance and corruption and other things i think, if used properly, and you have to be careful about how you balance all of this, you don't, certainly want to leave the methods that you're just going to abandon carelessly everything we invested for a period of time. but i think the most dangerous thing for to us do at this point is to continually go back and ask
for more time because why? it actually fosters this dangerous and i think dysfunctional culture of dependency that feeds and fuels the problems that we have on the ground right now. and that i do think, i know we're not talking about the past but in iraq there was a confluence of forces that helped contribute to greater stability and then also iraqi ownership and leadership of that and managing it and having all of these pieces and attributing sort of security success and still do this date, quite limited political success, to not only our own resources but how we use those resources to motivate leaders to take charge like we saw with maliki. i think a real key component in this period of 2011, if this is start of transition to 2014 how do you shape calculus like a man like karzai and foester leadership. how do you foster new leadership that come after him? i know people are talking
about this in various working groups and thinking about it. it is a very hard thing to do especially as i said, expending a lot of resources that can not be absorbed like a small and poor country like afghanistan. how do you focus the minds of these leaders? i think this period should be used as a period i think to help build the security forces. do what we can to build, help build governance because, at the core, i think one question is political legitimacy in these societies and how a leader becomes legitimate. but i think there's, a key dynamic here to use this moment to focus the minds of the leadership in afghanistan, the leadership in pakistan to send a signal that we are serious about drawing down our resource support and that means greater responsibility on your part and facilitating that through diplomacy. to send a signal to our bureaucracies that we are serious about moving forward with this transition. and then importantly i think the cost is a huge issue because, as we talked about many times before, we won't
be aable to continue to spend the levels we've been spending in wars like afghanistan. >> this is probably the clearest point of distinction between brian and myself, so far at least, stand by, there may be more but i would argue that president karzai's mind is pretty sharp and pretty focused already. the concern i have is that he has been playing general kayani has been playing for the day after the americans leave. i think that was a misinterpretation in the region of the july 11 date which i do think is going to be the beginning of a transition but was viewed by many people in theater in the region as a complete pullout sort of date. i think that lisbon resolved a lot of those fears but i do think that the reality of lisbon is just now being digested. one of the most important things, perhaps the most important thing that is going to happen in afghanistan this year i
expect a strategic partnership declaration between the united states and afghanistan leading to a long-term security relationship between the two countries. and once that is signed and the region digests a long-term security relationship between the u.s. and afghanistan, that i think is going to change further change the calculus of the players in the region. and i see a very long tail to our involvement in afghanistan. i see advisory and assistance presence long past 2014. and i think that the american people will support that as long as american casualties are low and they can see the progress is being made and i agree that the july of this year date is the start of a drawdown. i think we could have a lot of debate over what the slope of that is going to be. i think that putting a strategic framework declaration is starting to think now about what after that, that slope levels off
at the end of 2014, what that force is going to look like of some 10,000, 15,000, largely advisors, intelligence assets, air force assets. i think that will go a long way toward helping everybody make their long-term calculations for what the state of play is going to be. >> chair's prerogative. help me. is the, lisbon, you're right, less emphasis on july 2011 but definite emphasis to 2014 is the end of the nato combat operation. are you saying that 014 2014 is a firm date or maybe just another date that's thrown out there? >> the lisbon declaration said that by the end of 2014 afghan security forces would be in the lead throughout the country. and that date actually came from president karzai. that's his goal and his objective and i think in
some breaks coming our way, i think that is likely but the end of combat operations as we've seen in iraq which happened in august of last year does not mean that withdrawal of all american troops. in fact we've had 50,000 troops in iraq conducting advise and assist missions. there is some possibility they will be asked by the iraqi government to stay longer in iraq and secretary gates indicated he would be likely to view that favorably. i think in the same way we're going to see a long-term advise and assist presence in afghanistan with, again in s had. alah a small number of u.s. casualties but continuing to develop the afghan ability to govern themselves and secure themselves. >> okay. so one of the things that has been unique about the status of force agreement in iraq is that for the, which was concluded in december 2008, is that it's almost been a formula type exit and
it has been very smooth and the transfer of authorities, very, very clear-cut. would it be your view that this security arrangement between the united states and afghanistan would be similar and would spell out the transition from nato to afghanistan forces, or would there be more ambiguity? >> i don't think this strategic partnership declaration will have that. i think those will be separate documents which will be negotiated differently. this is purely a u.s.-afghanistan relationship document. the nato handover i think is going to be conducted in a different forum but i do think the reason they handover has been so smooth is that the political situation on the ground changed fairly dramatically by the end of 2008 in iraq and allowed for the smooth transition and drawdown we've seen since then. it is going to be important
that not just that the capabilities of the afghan governance and security forces improve between now and 2014 but also that the taliban becomes less capable over that same time period. we're doing some pretty good work in making that happen. >> if i would add, it is not just the security agreement but in iraq also there was a separate strategic framework agreement which sent the signal of enduring support and cooperation on a range of issues including police and security work and the state department and also economic development in a range of things. the state department, now the ball is starting to be in their court especially if this transition is executed. i'm not so certain iraqis may ask us to stay around for number of political reasons related to their own environment. . .
as unmotivated and coopted parts of the insurgency into the political process in iraq in 2005 we had no participation by most groups in their elections. by 2008, 2,009 and a separatend set iof elections the incentive structures are different and issues most people understand there's a range of issues and was about ai the introduction of additional u.s. forces there is a number oa factors that at this day in11 i april 2011 in afghanistan pushing the reconciliation or reintegration at two different levels, pushing people into a political process. nor do i expect that it would when you rook at electoral processes like we've just seen in 2009 and 2010 or when you look at the rampant corruption among afghan officials and just the waste of resources. so that's a substantially
different, i think, dynamic which relates to both countries' different histories and sort of their experiences with governance which, i think, presents a strategic challenge for even moving forward with long-term security agreements if we don't know who our partner's going to be, you know, in the long run after 2012, 2014. >> so i would now like to open up the program to questions from the audience. we've got half an hour the go. to go. and so we'll start with this gentleman against the glass wall in the corner. >> thank you, gentlemen. my name is john. i want to ask, if you wouldn't mind if i not state my agency because i'm expressing personal perspectives here, but i did spend four years in afghanistan, just got back again several weeks ago. brian, my mindset is pretty much along the lines what you're talking about. and, john, i agree with a lot of what you said, but i want to
challenge you just on a couple of key points, and that's i don't believe we are really doing a coined strategy there. and this might be something in your studies and with the officials that you talk to to explore that a bit. certainly, at the strategic level mcchrystal, petraeus, a lot of the usg officials, all our strategic documents do say that, but at the tactical/operational level it's really a stability fight because we're just never going to resource the coin fight. and i think it came out in this discussion that, certainly, the support we would need from the hill on this is not going to increase. so we can certainly clear and hold any place we want in the south and the east, but the problem is having an honest broker in the afghan government as partners which, i think, you both mentioned. and that's just not there. the ill literacy deals not only with the soldiers, but with the afghan officials. and because of what's going on
in the security or environment, you know, if it calls for 60 positions in, for example, a delivery program, the most they'll get is ten people, maybe three competent. so we can't get to the hold and build piece. so i'm arguing we're going to be managing the problem from here, and that might be just something to bring out in your discussions in if relation to pakistan -- in relation to pakistan. the only thing i'd say on the transition piece, i think you're both right on this. i think the afghans have a year and into 2012, that. i think a strategic agreement would help, but i think what we haven't done so far is the messaging. my discussion with the afghans they really do believe that we're not going to be there long term. you talk to the usg officials, they'll say, no, we're going to be there until 2024, '25 with the longer-term stuff that we have to do which is a longer discussion in the transition, but certainly the afghans fear that, and i'll just leave it at
that. it's less of a question than just more some of the context i'm getting from the field because we're not getting to the impacts that we want in the counterinsurgency strategy. >> brief comments? >> just quickly. john, thanks for your service and the time you've put on the ground there. this is the, to me, one of the huge tragedies of afghanistan. that we've been there so long, and that we neglected and all but ignored the raising of afghan security forces from the very weak human capital that was there after 30 years of war. so we're able to clear and hold, but we have to hold with u.s. troops, nato troops because we don't have an afghan partner to hand off to, and i would argue we're five years behind on raising afghan security forces from where we ought to be. and when, so that when the political leadership in iraq decided that it was going to play, the iraqi security forces were actually, had a pretty high
degree of capability given the threat they faced. and in afghanistan we're working from just ground level to try to build that capability, and it's one of the reasons why i think we're going to have such a long tail of advise and assist as we continue to build these afghan forces to hold off to -- hand off to. >> i mean, those are great points. again, thank you for your service there. the question i'd raise again, and i started at the outset, is that all of the moving pieces and the investments, and i don't think we've covered this in our discussion yet, how much does it matter for u.s. national security interests at this point? i, in essence, agree with john's assessment about pakistan being a very dangerous country. it changes the dynamics, i think, in the middle east, and yemen in some ways may present a more imminent threat if you're looking at it from the perspective of u.s. homeland security. and i might then ad lib ya, too, in the complicated dynamics we have to see there. but if you look at it from that
perspective which i think was the perspective many people had heading in there in afghanistan in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks, i think we're a far ways from what it is we're trying to get done, and there's this disconnect that i've noticed in many think tank reports, but also in the president's speeches and in strategy documents that are produced by the various agencies. it identifies a clear goal of dismantle and defeat al-qaeda in the these two countries. and then it also says we're not doing nation building, and they take great pains. president obama stressed this again in his speech of november 2010, but then most of what we're doing in the documents and a lot of what we're doing, in essence, you can fairly call if we're not doing it ourselves, we're trying to get others to do nation building, but we're bearing a heavy burden, both our development professionals and especially our military to try to help the afghans help themselves. and we've lost sight of the connection between those two things.
i know people make those arguments, but i think there's a reason why we don't debate afghanistan as vociferously as we did iraq. but part of it is just a general confusion among american publics, not only the public messaging problem in afghanistan, but in the u.s. people understanding that which, you know, the commanders and others are saying. and there's a seeming disconnect of why is it we're trying to grow literacy in a place like afghanistan, and how does that relate to keeping us safe from another attack? and i just think it's a very hard sell in this current political environment here at home. >> right here. >> rachel martin with npr. i wanted to ask about u.s. efforts in if bringing about peace talks and a negotiated settlement that everyone agrees has to happen in order to bring conclusion to the war in afghanistan. can you talk a little bit about what you know of u.s. efforts to ignite these talks, and more specifically what pakistan's
role should be in these talks should pakistan get a seat at that table, or are they potentially a destabilizing influence on those talks? >> well, i don't think we want to preempt the second panel, but i'll say a few things, and maybe john can add to it. this has been identified, this piece of reconciliation and reintegration as a key part of the strategy, and in the conversations we've had with friends who are working on this issue, they've been studying the issue, they're looking at the issue. they've been looking at reports like the one that will be discussed at this point. there have been efforts, as we know, that have been well reported where somebody who claimed to be a taliban leader got into kabul and had discussions with people when it turned out he didn't have that credibility that he claimed to have. so i think it's very complicated. and the one question i would raise and to bring the discussion back to john is the question of, yes, we are hitting the insurgency very hard, but there's a rell question of does that actually -- real question of does that actually deter the
possibility, if you're cutting off the command and control, do you make it much more difficult and impossible to create a political settlement that is viable in the long run? i think there's a general perception, and people have talked about the military hitting the insurgency very hard. this would increase the calculus to enter into a political process, but we've not seen that yet in a clear way. again, i think the second panel will discuss that, but why is that? and is it because there's a fracturing that's going on as a con scwebs of -- consequence of, i think, probably well thought out and well-intentioned military cam pays. but it may take us further from our goal. the reintegration efforts, i don't think it's met yet the expectations or hopes that people had, say, when initial investments were made in early part of last year at the london conference. so all of those pieces, i think, are very ill-formed, and the last thing i would say is that in some way it needs to connect back to this issue of governance
and the political system and structure in afghanistan. people often, i think, put it in some sort of isolated bubble like a peace process that we could set up, say like the dayton accords, or we look for models and things like this. the one thing that really needs to be, i think, discussed -- and the next panel will talk about this -- is that this is about power sharing. and this is trying to get groups that are reconcilable and can move beyond those three nos which used to be at the front end of discussions and talks and now, as secretary clinton talked about, are now on the back end. reject al-qaeda. if that's the case, then what is on the table in terms of the discussions in reconciliation at high level? >> uh-huh. and brian just pointed to the difference between reconciliation, reintegration. reconciliation, high-level political decisions, reintegration is low-level fighters. we've seen some pretty good progress on reintegration,
starting to see small groups of taliban, as many as 50 at a time, deciding it isn't fun anymore and deciding to join the afghan government and afghan security forces. i think as with everything in afghanistan the government has, has not been as responsive or as proactive in terms of providing those offramps for the taliban, and i'm hopeful we're going to see more progress there. i do think that the reconciliation process is going to be more difficult in afghanistan than it was in iraq. in iraq saddam actually encouraged the tribal nature society, reinforced it, used it to his own purposes. in afghanistan the tribes have been shattered by the many years of conflict there. and so i don't think we're going to see a large flip, a single large flip as we did in iraq over the course of 2007, 2008. i think we're going to see a number of small flips. and so it's going to be harder, it's going to be more, it's going to put more demands on low-level, largely soldiers.
we go back to the problem of not having sufficient civilian resource to do this who, presumably, are better schooled in it. and it is interesting at least that lieutenant general john allen who played a huge role in the awakening in the iraq is now being considered to replace general petraeus. not a lot of afghanistan time on the ground, but an understanding of how these processes work and a real personal willingness to talk with people who have been our enemies and try to get them to come onboard and come out of the cold. and can that, i think -- and that, i think, that reconciliation/reintegration process over the next year is going to be the key story. >> um, the lady back against the wall. >> thank you. kimberly doze your from the associated press. one quick comment before i throw some gas on the fire with some questions. just got back from from pakistan
and sat down with the 13th corps commander and a couple of the folks that work for him, and they talked about having close cooperation with general campbell nrc east on the border situation. they said it's gotten a lot better than six months ago. so that might be something too, you know? i'm an american reporter, maybe they were telling me what i want to hear, but i hadn't heard of any incidents on the border, so maybe one positive sign. on the positive signs in security, what happens if this summer the white house decides to go down 25% in forces by the end of the year? is there a chance of upsetting the progress by taking too many people out too fast? and another question, you all keep -- i keep hearing about the civilian surge, but the latest reports i'd heard in kabul were that something like two-thirds of the embassy employees who
were supposed to work outside the embassy couldn't leave the embassy because of security concerns. while i was there almost nobody could leave isaf headquarters either. is it time to recognize that the folks you'd like to give this job to simply can't get to it, and it does have to remain the province of the military? and then third question, you've talked about the need to get rid of corruption in the afghan government, but what tools are available to the u.s. military or the ambassador when this is a democratically-elected government doing what it wants to do, and it seems like every time we investigate and uncoffer something they upend the investigation? that's it. >> so, kimberly, it's always great to see you. and seeing you reminds us about our troops and particularly those on the medical side. it's a pleasure to have you here. well, look, i think, first, on your second question i'd respond to, i think if you look at the
dod directive that was put out in 2008 on a regular warfare, it already made that decision in terms of the military personnel will take the lead. if civilian agencies aren't capable. and that's what happened in iraq, as you know. i wrote about this in a book i wrote in 2008 in the first chapter where a guy who was trained to drive tanks had to end up doing the job of what the prt was supposed to do. and part of it is related to those issues i was talking about. it's not simply about funding. yes, that's a core issue. but even if state department and usaid got a lot more money and a plus-up in their budget, there's absorptive capacity challenge they have themselves and then i think essentially since 1998, since the bombings of the embassies in africa, they have adopted a force posture that is even more risk averse. so that's a huge challenge that has not been reconciled. the downside to going where i
think your question implies we should go is the continued militarization of development assistance which creates a lot of dysfunctions on the ground in afghanistan and iraq and a number of places. we know not what we do, and we often spend a lot of money and bolster certain local forces without having enough intelligence. i think we've gotten smarter to a certain extent, but that when you, you know, a big challenge, i think, on the civilian side of trying to scale this up. we've not yet addressed that. if we go down that path of the military should just do this, then you continue to have problems which, i think, are fundamental and core to the problems of counterinsurgency generally. one being that the foreign troop presence in many places is just simply not welcomes, that in some cases causes more security challenges than they actually seek to address. it's very costly in the long run because we invest a lot more in these forces. and great point on pakistan.
i'm glad to hear that news. the question i have is even if you have a quiet period of six months of cooperation, do we see -- the point i'm making is do we see the strategic threats, and are we on the same page? i think there's a lot of work to be done, clearly. you know, the public statements, i think, and the dust-ups belie a cooperation that continues and endures because there are some common interests there. but also those public statements that are made by both pakistan and u.s. officials point to some serious problems that have not yet been fundamentally addressed which go back to not just tactical cooperation on important issues like border patrol, but strategic cooperation and making sure that we're on the same page. i hope that we'll actually do this, and i should be quiet. [laughter] >> no. kimberly, i want to draw you on your first point, actually, i was very surprised because you seemed to me to indicate that american reporters want to hear good news which i had never
understood to be the case. i am, also, hearing some indications that border -- on both sides of the border that we're getting closer and better, so i'm pleased to hear that you were told and given some indications of the same thing. general petraeus is, of course, staying in afghanistan through this fighting season. he's going to make a recommendation to the president on what the pace and scale, slope of the withdrawal will look like. because of the discussion i had with john, the limited capability of afghan security forces to hand over to the forces that we've cleared and are now holding, i predict that petraeus and the commanders on the ground will try to hold on to as many u.s. troops, nato troops for as long as they can as they simultaneously work to build afghan security forces. they can feel confident handing control of clear territories off to and as they also continue to put pressure on the taliban.
so i think we're going to see a very interesting civil-military tug-of-war, and i think the decision will, ultimately, be one that recognizes the continuing strain on the force, the continued dollar costs that brian has talked about but, also, the extraordinary cost of giving back some of the gains that we purchased at such a high price. um, putting tank drivers in command of prts actually isn't that bad contrary to popular rumors about tank drivers. [laughter] when we were putting nuclear submariners in charge of provincial reconstruction teams, that's wrong on every level. the money we've invested in those specialized skill sets, it's hard to imagine somebody less, less predisposed to understanding how to operate in that environment, and they're very, very bright people, but we do have -- i want to say one word in the defense of
civilians. we do have people who have worked government support teams in garmsir, he's going to come back just before his first child is born. we've got some high quality people in there out in the field taking the risks. not as many as we need, and i think as a nation we need to have a discussion about whether this capability which we keep discovering we need more of where we're going to actually make the investment as a nation in it, i think the return on investment is enormously high. and just underlining the importance of that, of those decisions we have got brigadier general h. republican mcmaster, another tank driver, working the anticorruption issues with the afghan government. enormously bright, talented bulldog of a man but probably not the right skill set. somebody we'd probably rather have a civilian expert working that, the corruption problem for us. so we're seeing pretty heroic efforts by the folks we do have on the ground. we haven't yet built all of the
capabilities we need to back here to deploy forward to increase our chances for success. >> just one thing on security gains. i think it's really important for people who are making the decisions here to keep focused on the threat to the united states, and if we start talking about and making arguments related to some costs and whether or not we need to stay there because we're there, that's a very dangerous thing because it takes us further away from the reason why we're there. and i really think that, you know, there's a dangerous dynamic to talk about security gains after a year that was the deadliest year for afghan civilians, 2010, since we've been there. so, yes, as i said in the intro, localized security gains, a security situation that remains uncertain and actually has gotten worse in other parts of the country, and then the reason i think it's important to go back to our focused goal on the terrorist threat is because if we don't do that, we'll continue
to be in this circular argument of how do we actually administer resources at a time when it's just not going to be politically viable later this decade to continue to do that. >> we'll go to this gentleman in the front row. if you just wait for the microphone so that the audience watching can -- >> hi, i'm doug. i'd like to ask the two political questions. i'll state 'em explicitly but then commentate them both a little bit. first, do we need an explicit statement or restatement of american policy from this president? john alluded to the fact that both our friends and enemies in the region seem to have misread what the president has said. i don't think very many parallels between iraq and afghanistan are helpful, but if you compare it with president bush's january 2007 speech, you may have liked it, you may have disliked it, but you didn't walk away wondering what he had said. we do seem to have some confusion about what july 2011 means. both of you seem to try to walk the president back off of that,
but he has declined to do so, most mote my repeating that in the state of the union speech. that's the only afghanistan statement i remember hearing in january. so does the president need to make an explicit statement of u.s. policy so that we can get cooperation from our partners in the region and, for that matter, state our long-term commitments that our enemies might relook their commitments and strategy? is and, second, just taking a quick look at the afghan constitution we've made it clear as you said, brian, that, you know, we're still making that some type of precondition, acceptance of the afghan constitution, but at the same time that's clearly a document that is, couldn't have been designed better to maximize corruption despite our and the international community largely imposing that on them. as i tell people your audience may not understand the afghan constitution. picture america in which the president can appoint all 50 state governors and every county commissioner in the america, and, you know, while that might be popular here given the current president, that wouldn't
play well in idaho, georgia, nor does it play well in their afghan analogs. what steps can and should we take to do a relook at the afghan constitution? >> i'll let john take the political question because he's the politician. [laughter] on all of this. but, first, it's not a precondition anymore except in the constitution. i think you said precondition and that, i think, is the importance of hillary clinton, secretary clinton's speech earlier this year which made it a little bit more open. and i don't think we fully and adequately answered rachel's question, but i think the next panel will o do that in terms of what's going on. but i think that was an important shift and change. and the only point i would make is that this is hard to do. i raised this in my analysis on iraq quite a lot, and i actually thought at one point mistakenly that constitutional reform was essential, and this was part of sort of the key benchmarks and other things. i still think it's essential for the long-term sustainability, viability and power sharing in a
place like iraq, and i do think it's also the case in afghanistan. my own point was how do you actually connect the internal political processes and also multiple processes, some of which are driven by our own security establishment and the different committees that are developed at local levels and other things? nobody has drawn all these pieces together and then connected to the constitution which is quite flawed and then do it in a way that allows the afghans to drive this process. and that's, i think, a deeper, longer discussion than simply how do we actually get to a security agreement for the longer term. all of these things need to be threaded well together. my answer to your question is we don't know sort of that pathway until we engage with the afghan leadership and the full range of it. and what they would like to do. becausewe're seen driving that process, the we being the u.s. or international community, then there's this problem of legitimacy. if we let them sort of lead, and
i saw this in iraq and other places. in a political development, this is a big challenge. i saw this in egypt when we were trying to help promote democracy 15, 20 years ago. there's this sort of if you do too much yourself as outsiders, then you taint the process. if you don't do enough to push -- so there requires a deftness and coordination of diplomacy that i've not seen yet coming from the united nations, the u.s. diplomats spanning across a number of different, different administrations. so perhaps less is more. >> first, doug, thanks for your service. doug just spent the last year working at rc east with general caldwell advising him as part of our counterinsurgency advise and assist teams, something i think has accelerated the learning properties in the department of -- process in the department of defense. i'll talk to your question about political will and political understanding here, if i can. i thought that the president was very clear at lisbon. the nato secretary general, nick
rasmussen, who's been fantastic in building nato support, admiral staph' it is a, the nato commander, also very good. and we saw a fairly remarkable event, i thought, at lisbon in december in which the understood american departure date shifted about three years to the right with astonishingly not a ripple in the american body politic. and that, i find, astounding. i don't think it resounded as deeply in theater. i think that they are still thinking 2011, and i don't think anything the president says or does between now and july will change that. i think when they still see lots and lots of american boots on the ground in the fall of this year and into 2012, that that will be what really changes the calculus of the people on the ground. although as i said, i think the political leaps in the both pakistan and afghanistan and the region are starting to
understand that america is committed for the long haul. i think that the fact that the american people although public opinion polls suggest diminution of american support right around the 50% level, the depth of that feeling is not very strong. it was not an issue in the midterms, and what we're seeing is, i think, an american faith in general petraeus personally and in the american troops on the ground to make this thing come out to some reasonable degree of satisfaction. >> well, i want to thank both of you for participating in this discussion. um, one of the reasons that we're doing this series is to continue a policy debate. i can't think of a time in the washington where there have been as many hot button issues all on the agenda at the same time. from the budget to the debt
extension to taxes to medicare and the other entitlements, and yet we have 130,000 troops that are in afghanistan, we have core policy issues there, and i think we deserved them a continuation of the debate that we focus on these issues and we really, also, try to inform ourselves this terms of lessons that we should be learning for the future. i know in my tenure at the pentagon the notion of a ten-year war which is likely to be 12 or 13 in afghanistan with a huge disruption in the middle that will be debated by historians for a generation in terms of the swing to iraq and to the neglect of afghanistan in 2004. but that with our troops in the field we're going to continue this series. i want to thank brian katulis
for his contribution, and i want to thank our guest and visitor, dr. john nagl, lieutenant colonel nagl, for his comments as well. you know, i think the deepness of the discussion back and forth shows that these are two guys that are very committed to our country's security, to our robust standing in the world, but that also that taking the can country to war is the most consequential decision that a command in chief and his congress need to make. and so we thank both of them for their contribution. now, i'd ask the audience to just sort of stay in place because what i'm going to do is to yield -- >> lock the doors. [laughter] >> -- our senior fellow, dr. larry korp, who is going to take us in a different direction. and that is to the century
foundation's report and looking at the prospects for negotiation and reconciliation. there's a very divisioned group here that's about to step in, so, dr. korb, if you'll take the podium, and we'll step off. we're actually going to be like a relay team and hand our mics off to the next group. thank you, audience, you've been very good, and we appr ..
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