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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  October 25, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

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because of the more urgent and obvious need to micro prudential regulations than to have individual countries trying to get ahead of common market. ..
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i think it is important to recognize not all asset price booms are something to worry about. the one real state in the sense that we go back to the crash, it was mostly equity finance. if you think about real-estate, averaging the leverage, where you have some intermediary parts of household savings and more credit. what kind of action should be taken? sort of how to develop a good job specter is tricky the way you talk about the price to income real-estate market. when you say there's a crisis that bailed out sort of excessive credit.
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this is something that is not received very well but just a picture coming out of our colleagues -- to access a strong relationship between most u.s. states that show a large expansion of mortgage credit than those that secretly had large mortgage delinquencies, a link between housing booms and bustss in the u.s. that coincided with financial leverage. they also had the highest leverage meaning the households herbart average ratios. how to think about preventing real-estate booms, via idea that we would like to prevent those and the policy areas that we
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think about monetary policy with the u. s presentation and argued the underlying conference and government policies. fixing monetary policies to deal with an isolated boom may be too costly because there are some things that hit the entire economy rather events specific sectors. something to keep in mind before using it. and something that was emphasized especially in the latin american crisis but the best size is to think of real space. many countries including the u.s. are favorites of equity with policies in place with mortgage and the number of countries with policies in place, something to think about or how to do with these
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measures. at the same time, that was one of the drivers of the crisis because i don't think there's a link between the crisis itself and the favorable treatment of the crisis head. you have a larger things to deal with. and the micro financial tools, several tools have been used around world starting with the last dynamic on most provisions which were used effectively although the question -- select asian economies with value limits that were used to reduce the buildup of credit, typically spurred by capital growth but by and large these measures make success. often it is easy to circumvent what is driven by capital. there are questions whether this
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macro prudential policy over the long term in and of themselves deal with both booms which they are trying to do to -- this is the experience in hong kong, this is just showing the development of how prices -- the rest of the line. and continuing up words although the government tries to develop bank policy particularly logging of value ratio of limits and have to import relief in terms of the overprice. so an important opening for questions. first is very much to improve consensus of banks that are so allocated capital to collect views and they're not doing it
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again at the moment. and this has to come from improving disciplines. we have put in place an awful lot of new government guarantees to think about how to perfect a system we had before. but then we need to recognize markets do fail especially when you look at systemic risk and we are living in a world where financial institutions are global and interconnected and systemic risk will only increase in size so something wary regular -- regulator tries to regulate what the job is will be very important. credential policy is something that is important to shift attention away from microfinancial whether you need these institutions is an economic question. the question that regards in another type of related question for monetary policy at the
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outset of the bank and another set of questions. these are sort of my brutal lists on this topic. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. we do have some time for q&a with the audience. as the recognize you please state your name and affiliation and who you are directing the question that. could we have a microphone? here it is. >> warren coats from the international monetary fund. as george always taught us, capital is at the core and the center of all of this so i have capital oriented question. the u.s. paper says the central lesson is failure to recognize and allocate losses in reference
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to europe and that doesn't make some go away. the asian paper referred to the suspension of mark to market, seemingly quite contradictory. i assume this is a typically asian way of capital forbearance during a recession. my question is in point this is a a cyclical allenby issue of capital. isn't capital forbearance -- i don't mean critically undercapitalized or negative. isn't capital forbearance what capital is for? shouldn't capital have a countercyclical quality such that when we honestly mark to market the value of sovereign debt and write-down a lot of capital, that is something that
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should be done but then should we permit a period of time for banks who are honestly disclosing they used their capital away it was meant to be used to gradually rebuild it over time in the future rather than stocking credit markets by attempting to recapitalize them instantly at the bottom of a recession? that is my question. >> it is a great question. is t
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lesson. they didn't want to die. . what we need is to have a mechanism that effectively identifies those losses and increased incentives to increase capital on a timely basis when capital ratio is still high. systemic risk is the result of the erosion of capital. a cumulative loss of capital creates liquidity crises for counterparty risk because nobody has credible financial strength. the problem was identifiable. it was identified by the markets. so the point is high have some reform proposals with another member of the committee that
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focuses on ways to create mechanisms especially through properly designed capital certificates alongside equity that would try to push banks to have strong incentives to time we replace lost capital. to add to the comments we had, we need to have smart capital standards that function that way when we see the graph luc laeven had week watch it go down until the crisis happened and try to react. >> i will intervene for 60 seconds. those of you familiar with technicalities contingent capital means this. a bank issue the debt instrument that automatically converts to equity upon some identifiable event. in the paper charlie is talking about that he is doing, what they're proposing is that the triggering event be a 90 day moving average of the equity price of banks so that if the
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price goes down over a 90 day period that would trigger the conversion of the debt automatically to equity and automatically refill the capital account and having that already issued in place would be a way of handling the problem in a countercyclical fashion without having to go to the market at a critical point in time when you can't solve stuff. >> back there? >> i would like to ask charlie a follow-up question. when you are talking about augmenting capital, the assumption behind that is the model, business model for the banking industry and use that capital effectively, if on the other hand the model has been so badly broken that any capital
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that is raised is going to be destroyed in the process of what banks do, that is not going to work. so i am asking what the you thought about that and the sort of benchmark might be the maiden speech, when gene ludwig gained control of the currency he said that the banking industry has been in secular decline since the end of world war ii and then said we can't allow the natural erosion of this industry to proceed. that would set the stage for the intervention we have seen the last 30 years. >> just a quick response. getting back to the comments of asli demirguc-kunt and luc laeven.
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if you have a consequence the bank can anticipate which they will face real recognition of loss that also affects the risk-management incentives in the first place if you are worried bank management if i am understanding your comment, is not working very well and the bank is not worth recapitalizing the point is if you have a real disciplined financial system banks will be managed a lot better so we have to link the quality of the bank strategy with the consequences of bad strategies. >> the question was even more far reaching. he was asking whether the banking model is viable at all. that was the question and he is saying pouring more capital into a non viable system is a waste of money. that was the import of your question. my gut reaction to that is there are plenty of banks out there right now that are making money.
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there is money to be made taking positives in lending. it may not be at the level at which we temporarily have which is the banks are bored with money because people are afraid to put it anyplace else. that shrinkage will have to take place once confidence returns to the system. but you ask a very good system because some parts of the banking model may actually have to recede. >> i want to look at what bank profits and bank indices, average it out over the last 20 years, the growth in brink of -- profitability to gdp your growth rate of employment in the financial sector as a percentage of total gnp -- so many things you need to average out whether banking has a future or not or what type of banking aspects
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with big banks or small banks, awful lot of banks are profitable. it is a question of profitability every year as you average it out over time. asli demirguc-kunt wants to make some points. >> i find this smart capital discussion very interesting, contingent capital that makes a lot of sense given capital is a costly way of financing and given the more costly it you impose on the institutions the more investment they make and tried to circumvent these types of stains. it is a good idea but icahn help but wonder to what extent this is similar to hybrid sorts of capital people observe which at the end of the day when push came to shove did not quite absorb the loss we hope to. >> i think the key for the reason you just said and other reasons is the threshold of that
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ratio at which conversion would take place has to be pretty high. that means when you get close to failure experience you already had to convert it. we would expect in our proposal there would never be a conversion because we make conversions so diluted for the existing shareholders that you would voluntarily issue into the market to be event getting close to the traders are view is more of a thermostat sort of effect where the equity ratio would stay very high because banks have strong incentives to replace lost equity and if you ever got back a significant shock to capital long before failure which you are asking about, that would be equity. it wouldn't have this problem of absorbing the loss. it will already be equity long before.
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>> steven lee. one of the questions i have is the regulatory capital and market expectation of capital and the assessment of capital requirements for indy -- they all seem to be at odds in the crisis. daymac row crisis market's expectations of capital is higher than what the bank would provide. and in the crisis confidence, not enough capital to satisfy the market's demand. in those situations we may have regulated stepping in the bank's stock and the bank may be able to intensify the crisis but other than that it is a major crisis with market expectations seems to be generally far exceeding whenever the bank would be able to provide for
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themselves. something that is generally observed? do you think this makes sense? do you have other perspectives? >> this is sort of related to the paper that i was mentioning with my colleague, we tried instead of understand how markets perceived different concepts of capital during the crisis because we thought that would be interesting. indeed when you look at the regulatory capital that was required there was not much difference among institutions. among large institutions or small institutions that it was
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well worth it but when you look at simpler ratios that were difficult to manipulate like the leverage ratio there were significant differences leading up to the crisis and the way markets rewarded those institutions during the crisis. so i wouldn't say that anything goes because is important that for capital to distinguished -- the market did distinguish between institutions and the time of the crisis, for two reasons. one for the loss absorbent capacity and took as a signal that better capitalized institutions would have better portfolio. >> jay would like to comment. >> i think it is important to
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recognize that all very large banks have a substantial amount of taxpayer contributed capital. this grows when they get in trouble. the market capitalization includes so that when you think a firm might be resolved its market cap will get very small because it will become like fannie and freddie today. complete gambles on the government will finally do it. those stocks are selling $0.25 a share after being well into the 90s at their peak. the whole idea of the reforms being talked about especially by luc laeven is to make sure the intervention will be for things put taxpayer money behind is the point. the real issue is you don't get
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cocoa sold for free and the presumption in this analysis is that the irs will agree that interest payments on these particular instruments will be tax deductible. i can see that that would be something to lobby against very hard in the industry so as to keep these subsidies flowing. >> part of the purpose of our statement is to emphasize what is happening in europe is important to what is happening here and i am surprised to see that going back to issues that don't limit themselves to europe. i hope we are shaking things up with the european crisis affecting us. yes, sir? [inaudible] >> really the point he was
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making about observing banks with similar regulatory capital had very different equity or leverage ratios. simply implies that what was implicit is the less risky assets were actually not less risky. these relate directly to the point -- release -- was already looking at much more -- [inaudible] >> i am not affiliated.
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on the european statement there are a couple things that caught my eye and am wondering if you would like to elucidate or maybe couldn't reach a common conclusion. on the path of strategy i am wondering whether that is a repudiation of the concept of expansionary austerity. second, the sentence that says funds from such a facility, bailout facility could be made available without preconditions or only to qualify in countries that past sufficient reform seems to me to present two rather polar possibilities without any indication of whether you were able to wrestle with this and come to a preference on approaches or what you intended to communicate. >> you are quite insightful about committee operations,
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argue? on the latter won the question of whether there ought to be any preconditions or whenever, i guess in an ideal world, european central bank would make liquidity available just like the fed does but that is obviously not acceptable. it is not going to fly in europe which is why the alternative we mention the most likely outcome is you're going to have to meet some kind of condition and have reforms in order to be eligible. your first point was i have forgotten. the expansion -- are we sort of implied the first option for adjusting this competitiveness namely deflationary is not a very good outcome? the answer is yes, if that is what you read into it, i don't think that would be our first
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preference. therefore we talk about the other two options. >> just to be clear, to you see as some have argued system austerity as bringing benefits in the form of increased confidence and so on so that you don't necessarily get the deflationary effect? >> let's take comments on that. there are different views in the committee. one thing we agree on is in the short run austerity or deflationary is only going to probably aggravates unemployment and the only question is how long it will take the bounceback so there's a difference in the views on that. >> i think maybe from latin american -- an important question was raised in the
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committee which should be more precise. what i think we are seeing is that countries in southern europe, currencies are overvalued and given they do not have their own currency, high unemployment, very low growth for negative growth, deflationary adjustment, these are economists that are already floating. adding into that implosion of austerity is going to do nothing for you. there is no such thing as expansion. that is different from a case such as the u.s. where you might be in an unsustainable dynamic. in that case, it is debatable
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whether this will -- might end be in expansionary on the basis of regaining credibility in the fiscal finances, the more keynesian effect we are thinking. annette deflationary implosion, austerity going to make things worse. >> there's a question over here. the first question against the last question. let me tell you that all of the six chapter is written by the six shadow committees are going to be on the web site within two weeks. if you would like revised versions, a semi electronic book and hopefully by the beginning
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of november you will have access to all these six chapters. >> i have a kind of the gritty last question. in the spirit of the importance of incentives and questions learned the australian presentation wasn't clear to me with regard to why if australian banks were heavily lending into real-estate and australia was funding a lot -- how they avoided and why they avoided structuring some of those real-estate loans into some of the packages that created problems for the u.s. market. [talking over each other] >> i wanted to see if he would say that. ..
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>> there's always a risk that we have yet to suffer a downturn in housing process, although i must say governments and central bankers, i don't see any major concerns there. and even if there is a downturn, concern, the stress test adopted, the banks will sell to
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the. although given the stress test i've done in europe, how much confidence you've lost in that i'm not sure. >> let me thank you all for coming. let me remind you that the theme of our meetings are things are not hunky-dory. you shouldn't go home and sleep soundly. things should be bother you unless we take action. no, no. let's not pray. it's a lot. thank you for coming, and goodbye. [laughter] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> several live events to tell you about today.
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>> harvey levin, creator of the celebrity news site,, thinks it into army will combine elements of television and internet and the traditional broadcasters need to adapt. he spoke of the national press club yesterday and we will show you as much of this event as possible. before our live coverage begins at 10 a.m. eastern. >> good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. i'm mark hamrick with "the associated press." i'm the 104th president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists committed to our profession's future through our programming, events such as this while working to foster a free press around the world. for more information about the national press club we would invite you to our website,
9:34 am, and to donate to programs offered to the public through our eric friedheim national journalism library you can look at the website there. that's part of the national press club journalism institute. on behalf of our members worldwide i'd like to welcome our speaker as well as all of those of you who are attending today's event here in the ballroom. our head table includes guests of our speaker as well as working journalists who were club members. and if you hear applause in our audience, this is my reminder during this political season for each and every luncheon, we know that members of the general public are attending so it's not necessarily eminence of a lack of journalistic objectivity when you hear that applause. i would also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. our luncheons are featured in our member produced weekly podcast from the national press club available for free download on itunes. you can follow the action on twitter using the hashtag pound npc lunch. after our guest speech concludes we will have q&a as we always do and i'll ask as many questions
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as time permits. now it's time to introduce our head table. please note a journalist presence at the table does not imply or signify an endorsement of any speaker. i would ask each of you to stand up briefly as your name is announced. we will begin from your right. noel st. john is a freelance photojournalist and coordinator of our member volunteer for our photographers here at the club. thank you for all that. matt small, one of my colleagues at associated press reader, a radio producer. we know him as the beast. myron belkind is an adjunct professor at the george washington school of media public affairs and our npc treasurer. april ryan is washington bureau chief and white house correspondent with american urban radio network. andy sporkin is a vice president for communications with the association of american publishers and a guest of our speaker. nice to have you here today. skip over the podium for just a moment. melissa with news hook media.
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our speakers committee chair. this may be her last luncheon here today and we are so thankful for all the work you have done here this year. we will skip over the speaker for just a moment. alicia mundy is with "the wall street journal" and a member of the speakers committee and a co-organizer of today's event. thank you for all that. jim paratore is executive producer with and a guest of our speaker. richard simon is a reporter with the "los angeles times." rick dunham, this is a long list of titles here, a former npc president, he is a washington bureau chief with the houston chronicle and hearst and he is also the president of our national press club journalism institute of which the eric friedheim national journalism library is the crown jewel. garrett graff is a member of the club, editor of the washingtonian magazine. nice to have you here and thank you for your membership. at the end of the table, christopher chambers is professor of journalism at georgetown university, and all around good guy. good to have you here as well.
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please give them a round of applause. [applause] >> those of us were in the trade know that no good reporter and maybe even some bad ones, no good reporter likes to be scooped. we really don't like it when we are beaten by an internet site that focuses on the both at once glittery and a thriving entertainment industry. in the summer of 2009 a lot of people were beaten on the story, in fact everybody was, the story about the death of pop idol michael jackson. as we all know, the aftermath of the story continues to unfold in the california courtroom where jackson's doctor is being tried for involuntary manslaughter. tmz's was celebrity -- like so many other events in the entertainment world, have become part of our nation's culture as well as a reflection of it.
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that success of his venture is proof that americans want their lindsay lohan and j-lo pics as well. our guest figure out a better way to deliver that. was launched in 2005, and within seven months became the number one entertainment news site in the world. in 2007 "newsweek" called tmz the breakout blog. "the new york times" has called harvey the man who may represent the future of celebrity journalism. tmz claims to be the first operation to have broken such celebrity stories as mel gibson's wild anti-semitic tirade after his dui arrest, john edwards skin which, of course, have a huge repercussions throughout the whole of politics, and the details of tiger woods downfall which began with a seemingly minor auto accident on thanksgiving. tmz said the initial public account of tigers running with the neighbors tree didn't make any sense, and they were right. [laughter] by the time it was all over the golf legend was divorced from
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his wife, and for many of his sponsors, and he's no longer the world number one golfer. these kinds of events transcend celebrity gossip. they flow into business and political issues. tmz has grown from a celebrity video centric website to a live web stream program. the tv show that syndicated daily by fox broadcasting, and as of this summer the radio program on satellite radio. tmz has played, rather has broken ground in a way that news is packaged with an emphasis on speedy. last year a study by "the new york times" named tmz the 10th most popular new site, measured by google views in google blog it's. according to a website rankings, tmz ranks above tbs,, politico and npr. our guest is had a passenger in which continues to unfold and we're thankful it brought him here today. they graduate from university of
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chicago law school and was a litigator any major legal firm in l.a. but he also was a working journalist in the trenches. he spent more than a decade as an investigative reporter in los angeles, covered in high profile court cases. he received nine emmy awards for his reporting and the columnist of the "l.a. times" as a reader talk shows. egret and produced the syndicated series celebrity justice, helped bring us tv shows like the people's court and moral court. he has convicted a to talk about the tmz empire, why tmz and tmz wannabes are so successful and what it means for the future of journalism. the issues that we're going to discuss today could not be more timely. journalism enterprise of all kinder time get handle on the question, what is the right model in the digital age? and our guest speaker appears to have hit on something, to say the least. we are pleased he has accepted our invitation to speak.
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tom brokaw will be here in just a few days. please give a warm national press club welcome to mr. harvey levin. [applause] >> i bet tom brokaw's not going to talk about lindsay lohan. [laughter] so, i'm going to change up what i plan on talking to you about because something happened this morning that was pretty interesting. i spoke to students at george washington university, in media, and what i noticed was they looked depressed. they really looked depressed. and when they started speaking i realized, you know, they felt that the job market was bleak,
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their future was uncertain, they didn't really have a vision for the future. and they were scared. and it really kind of shocked me, because it sounded to me like they were learning about problems without learning about solutions. and not learning about how you can take an industry in trouble and carve out a niche that will make you successful, and make the industry more healthful. so the overlay to all this is, they told me, and you always love hearing this just before you go on, that there was a debate on whether they would invite me their, among the professors there. because they can't tmz covers celebrity journalism and it really doesn't rise to the standard of what you folks should be learning.
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and with all due respect, that does kind of relate to what i wanted to talk to you folks about. because i think that there was a big disconnect today when i had this little talk with the students, because i think that what some of the professors were missing, and i think what is so important is, that it's not the subject matter that's covered. that is really important. it's how it is covered. you know, we are a news operation that uses the same skills, the same standards that i used as a working journalist at various news operations. we are extremely aggressive, but we figured out a way of doing it where i think the operation is relevant to what's going on today. and that to me is what's important. i don't much want to talk about
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celebrity news. i want to talk about the delivery system because that's what's relevant. that's what's important. and they do think that the delivery system in media generally right now is stale, and i think that there is a good chance that a lot of people here will be put out of work if the people who run this delivery system don't change it and don't change it quickly. but i think it can be change. that's what i want to spent a little time talking about before we open up for questions. there have been radical changes in the last 30 years, really, let's talk 10, in the last 10 years, radical changes in technology, in consumer tastes. and i don't think that has been reflected in the media, period. if you look at broadcast journalism right now, there is a
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kind of standard way of presenting news which has been going on for four decades, that you have an anchor thrown to a reporter who usually repeats part of what the anchor said, who then throws to a package that has very predictably some track, some sound, some track, some sun, some track, some sound, and then the reporter comes back, says goodbye, the anchor says thank you and you move onto the next. and that's the way it's been done for four years. and it can be done better. and then the question, why hasn't it? and i think that people get so rooted in what they've done when they have some success that they think we need to hold on to the success rather than to evolve with what's going on technologically, and evolve with what's going on in terms of
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consumer tastes. i was watching, and again, i'm just going to use this as an example because my head is sometimes all over the place i like to talk about the last thing that i saw. but when i was getting ready this morning i was watching very early cnn, they had a show called cnn student news. and i look at the thought okay, they are trying to attract a younger audience. and they had a guy there who was young, and he wasn't wearing a coat. he was wearing a sweater vest, but everything else was missing. he was looking into the camera, he was reading copy, he was talking about the same stories that everybody else was talking about. in my head i don't know why this popped in, they reminded me of jonbenet ramsey, that it was like dressing up this kid to be something that the news director wants him to be when that's not
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authentically who he is. and that's not the way he should have been presented. that if you really trying to attract young people, do it in the voice of young people. do it with a different delivery. but it was exactly the same thing but the guy was wearing a sweater rather than a coat. it doesn't cut it. fact is, young people are not interested in traditional media, for the most part anymore. because it doesn't speak to them. and it's getting, the audience is getting older and older. so when young people are not coming and the old people are getting older, you know what happens in the end. i mean, it's inevitable. so when you look at what happens with the dynamics of the audience, then the question is, what are people doing to attract those young people, to regenerate interest in what's
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really important, which is the news. and when i say the news, it can be politics, it can be city government, it can be celebrity. what do you do to attract those people? and then the question is how do you reinvent yourself. and that brings me to newspapers and magazines. you know, you look at newspapers and magazines, which has had a storied run for 100 years and have served a useful function, but, you know, when newspaper started, when magazine started, there was no such thing as video and there was no such thing as a photo gallery. and technologically there are so many things that have evolved. there are so many ways people can get their news, what is the magic of holding a piece of paper up in the air when you read? i mean, what is it that drives professors and others to sing
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the praises of newspapers still, when it's not the future? and i know that sounds harsh, but that doesn't mean that newspapers have to fold. it means they have to reinvent themselves. and reinvent themselves perhaps online, but not in a way that is being done now in many cases. right now what's happening is that online, you know, a newspaper community platforms. online and on paper. they compete with each other. they are not complementary. do you break the story in the newspaper? to break the story online? there are lots of struggles going on with a newspaper organizations right now i have to do this, but at a point you have to choose your and yet -- you have to choose. there's something about this holy grail that people talk about that would just have to preserve this. why? why?
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what is it about paper? it's not even politically correct anymore. what is it about paper that makes us so rooted in the past? and what is it that forces people to shut down when you talk about how do we evolved into what's going on today? what i have noticed is that there's been a resistance to going onto the web because people say, it's just too fast, that if you go onto the web then there's not enough time and you'll be an accurate and though the air rush to publish. that's a copout. i mean, to say we're not going to evolve this way because we're afraid we're going to be an accurate is just a copout. the web doesn't force you to publish before you're ready to publish. it gives you the technology, the devices to do it when you are ready. you still set the standard. you still decide when to pull
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the trigger. it's your decision. the web is an enabler. it doesn't force you to do what you don't want to do. so again this kind of, and i always get this, that the web is bad because it's too urgent. cable news has been around 24 hours for what, three decades? it's not like 24 hours is anything new, but there are these devices now that let you re-create and let you we cast in a way that can make everybody more relevant, more timely and yet i think it is met with some resistance still. when we publish, i would say, there are stories we publish that we publish in minutes when we get them. then there are stories that take a lot longer. we published a story today, interesting story, about nbc that they're secretly trying to get the casey anthony interview. and the way they're doing is they have a producer that has
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made contact with literary agents trying to score a book deal for casey anthony, trying to get her front end money, and the representation is, if we get a book deal for casey anthony, we will get one hour primetime special on nbc. and his producer, is quietly shopping this around. well, we had this story, we got a tip on this story last tuesday and we published it this morning. and i wanted to get jose aldo record, number one, because i knew he knew about it. and within a congress that until yesterday. so it felt like it was worth the wait to make sure we got the. so that took six days get that story. and it's an important story and a good story but again, it took six days. and then again, there are things we get that we publish immediately. when michael jackson died, i
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mean, you know, we didn't publish that story until we were 100% sure. and then we waited a little longer still. so, you know, it doesn't force you to do what you don't want to do. and i think that's just a really important point. and i do want to mention one other story, the mel gibson dui story. you know, a lot of people say or what we do, this is, it's still discovering celebrities. you know, for better or for worse celebrities are important in our culture. and people are interested in them. and i do think that the kind of disdain that some people have for coming it kind of reflects a disconnect with a taste of the american public. you may not like it, that people are interested, but they are.
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and when you look at what we give people in journalism, to me, it's not the front page of "the new york times." it's more like a magazine, that people are interested in all sorts of things. i cover celebrity journalism. my favorite thing to read his books on abraham lincoln. i'm not a one dimensional guy, and i don't think many people are that one dimensional that they only like one thing. and i think there's a diet out there where people can be intensely interested in all sorts of things. and that it serves a function that people want. and that's what i care about right now. i am looking to my audience, in our business model, i look at what my audience wants. not what i want. look, i'm way older than my target demo him and it's one of the reasons i like have got to i like having an people in my audience.
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i listen to them. i can't pretend to know. it's not this kind of top down where the people at the top you cover this, you cover that. we have a very open office in the bullpen were everybody throws out ideas. and i couldn't possibly tell you about urban music. i couldn't possibly tell you about sports the way other people in my audience content office can take to recover all this. i think to open yourself up and to understand, it is so critical to staying relevant. it's as important as technology. and i think that people need to open themselves up to that more. rather than have disdain for it, there's got to be some acceptance because ultimately we are in business. we are all in business. if we don't run our business well, we don't survive well. and so i think there's got to be
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a balance, but i think there's got to, you got to pay some homage to the fact is a business. other things i want to talk about, one is we spent a lot of time working on the web, you know, and the television show. but to me this will all change within five years. and in five years this is going to be a radically different business. and i don't think the web is going to look the way it looks. i don't think television is going to look the way it looks. i think there's going to be a merger of the two. i know there's going to be a merger of the two. it will look like neither. that's where my head is right now. i mean, just as i'm saying i think the delivery system has gotten stale, generally and traditional media, i don't want to fall victim to that. and i think that, at least my effort is being spent on that blend and we're experimenting
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with something we call tmz live. and it's kind of trying to blend those two elements, but it's just another example of how everything changes, and to stay relevant, to capture an audience, keep an audience, to grow an audience that if you give some measure of success, how do i hold that success? everybody in this room has had it, then the question is what do you do with it. do you grow it or you try to maintain it? i think we're in a business, in a technological world where you can't maintain. you just cannot maintain. you grow or you die. and i think that is the reality, and i think, what i told these students was, you know, you all look so depressed. and rather than looking at this as all my god it's going to be so hard to get a job, there are a lot of people running these studios and networks and magazines and newspapers, better
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looking for the answers. they don't know, and if you have an answer, if you got the sensibility of somebody young, to attract a young audience, they will listen to you. this is an opportunity to you. this is the revolution right now. this is an opportunity to quickly make your mark. don't be depressed. think about the vision for what you want to do. don't just plug into what exists. but you've got to think about that. and i'll tell you, we've had a measure of success, but i'm always looking for those people to come and say hey, you are doing this wrong, you could be doing this better. because everyday i walk into my office, i walk in scared. and i mean that. i am scared every morning when i walk into the office. i have this feeling in my stomach, are recalling to get the right stories? are we going to produce this was not? what's happening to the business? there are a million questions. i run scared. i do.
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but i don't run scared looking at others. i run scared to myself. i don't know whether that works or other people. it actually works for me because it's genuine. and i don't think i can ever rest on what we've achieved, just in terms of audience and whatnot. because i know that if we don't keep looking ahead, that what i said at the beginning will be about us. and i don't want that to happen. so, i am more than happy to take your questions. spent thank you very much. how about a round of applause? [applause] >> thank you for the inspiring speech. i have to say personal about the young people, i couldn't agree more. i have an opportunity i wrote about this on my blog just recently here on the press club website that the young
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journalists out there, and, indeed, perhaps the ones who are not so young all have a tremendous opportunity in this transition. and it is unfortunate that some people seem to only see the negative, and your enterprise has been a beneficiary of that change. that are positive things to be of mine in this environment. let's talk a little bit about the entertainment industry, and some of the special things you do. will have sort of an -- let me ask you, in terms of the market that you're serving, and that could be defined in number of different ways, but entertainment news has been the heart of that. are we now in a culture for entertainment news is more popular than ever before? how do you assess the market for entertainment news at this point in our history, in our culture? >> i think -- >> we will leave this take national press club event from yesterday to go live now to capitol hill. this morning house foreign
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affairs committee is holding a hearing on uganda. present obama last week announced plans to send 100 u.s. military advisers to that country and several other african nations. the u.s. troops will help those countries. florida republican iliana ros-lehtinen will be the chair of the foreign affairs committee. live coverage of this hearing here on c-span2. >> the committee will come to order. that was my gavel. we improvise. but before we begin, i'd like to acknowledge the presence of ms. evelyn a poco. thank you, ellen. if you could stand a second. thank you, evelyn.
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she is a hell are a survivor who has traveled to washington -- she is a trend for survivor. we thank her for coming and for her continued efforts on behalf of of children impacted by this horrific conflict. after recognize myself and the ranking member for seven minutes each, for our opening statements, unrecognized the chair and ranking member of africa global health and human rights subcommittee for three minutes. and that you and ranking member of the terrorism nonproliferation and trade subcommittee, also for three minutes each, for the opening remarks. we will then hear from our witnesses come and without objection the witnesses prepared statements will be made a part of the record. and members may have five legislative days to insert statements for questions for the record, subject to the limitations in the rules. the chair now recognizes herself for seven minutes. the department of state has
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concluded that lord's resistant army, lra, on the terrorism exclusion list since 2001. in 2008 its leader, joseph kony, was designated as a specially designated global terrorist, s. t. g. t. et al. are a is responsible for one of the largest and most violent yet most underreported conflicts in africa in a conflict that has spread from northern uganda to south sudan, democratic republic of congo, and central african republic. and threatens costly u.s. investments in peace and stability in the region. it is a predatory guerrilla force which has perpetrated some of the most deplorable human rights atrocities known to man. the lra makes no attempt to hold territory, murders, mutilate, tortures, rapes, with impunity. they move with small groups with
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limited communication, stryker remote villages, slaughtering civilians, abducting women and children to serve as fighters, porters and sex slays. is an estimate more than 80% of the lra is comprised of abducted children. these children are forced to commit atrocities in front of their families and participate in bizarre and indoctrination rituals before being forced to fight. those who managed to escape find it difficult if not impossible to return home. but we are not here to -- today to determine whether joseph going is evil. we know he is. we're here because in may 2010 the president signed into law the lord's resistant army disarmament and knows and uganda recovery act, with the backing of thousands of committed advocates including from my own district and with over 200 cosponsors in the house and some 64 cosponsors in the senate, the act enjoyed overwhelming support
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it required the president to develop a comprehensive strategy to do with the lra and established that it shall be the policy of the united states to quote, provide political economic, military and intelligence support, for bible multilateral efforts to protect civilians, apprehend or eliminate top lra commanders and disarm and demobilize remaining lra fighters, end quote. the president's strategy was released in november 2010. it set for strategic objectives. one can increase protection of civilians, apprehension or removal of joseph kony and added senior lra commanders. three, promotion of defections from the lra, and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of remaining lra combatants. and lastly, division of humanitarian relief to affected communities. the strategy emphasized that the u.s. will quote, work with the national government and regional
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organizations, end quote to accomplish this goal, these goals. what steps to the u.s. take in the last year to achieve the objectives outlined in the strategy? that is what we will be focusing on what eyewitnesses. further i would like to ask our distinguished witnesses to summarize for the committee what progress has been achieved towards meeting the strategic objectives before the president's recent announcement that u.s. troops were being deployed to central africa. on october 14, 2011, the president transmitted a report consistent with the war powers resolution inform the congress that quote, in furtherance of the congress is stated policy, i've authorized a small number of combat equipped u.s. forces to deploy to central africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working towards the removal of joseph kony from the battlefield, end quote. he further stated quote, although the u.s. forces our combat equipped, they will only
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be providing information, advice and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage lra forces and less necessary for self-defense, end quote. as the sole house committee of jurisdiction for the lra act, and the primary committee jurisdiction over the war powers act, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that this action complies with those the letter and the spirit of the law come and for the u.s. national security interests. pertinent information related to this mission such as the anticipated cost, scope, duration of the deployment was all made from the report to congress. we need clarity on the rules of engagement, parameters and the definition of success as well as how u.s. military presence in central africa furthers u.s. national security interests, and the objectives outlined in the president's november 2010 strategy. what is the precise nature of the insistence that we do that
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for we will provide our partners, now with these partners be vetted? does the submission of the october 14 report to congress start the clock on reporting and authorization requirements consistent with the war powers resolution? and if not, why? does the administration interprets the lra act as an authorization of use of force? we intend to address these issues and more throughout the course of the hearing. thank you to assistant secretary, the assistant secretary for attending, and ambassador for making yourselves available to testify before this important issue today. we thank both of you gentlemen. and now i'm pleased to recognize my good friend, mr. berman, the ranking member for his opening remarks. >> thank you very much, madam chairman. two weeks ago the obama administration announced that it would send about 100 u.s. military advisers to central
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africa to support regional efforts to defeat the lord's resistant army, or lra. following that announcement many questions were raised about the deployment. why the lra? why now? and what specific role will our forces play on the ground? this time hearing provides an excellent opportunity to discuss those important issues. as noted in president obama's october 14 letter to the speaker, and as reflected in the title of this hearing, it is congress that played a leading role in putting the lra on our foreign policy agenda. for years, thousand senate passed resolutions drawing attention to the lra's reign of terror. and in 2010, as noted, congress passed a lord's resistant army disarmament recovery act. that bipartisan legislation
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which president obama signed into law required the administration to develop a comprehensive strategy for dismantling the lra and protecting civilians throughout the region. we've all heard about the horrors perpetrated by the lra and its deranged leader, joseph kony. mass killings, rape, mutilation of innocent civilians, children forced to kill their neighbors and family members. more than 20,000 children abducted and forced to become soldiers or sex slaves. nearly 2 million people displaced and tens of thousands murdered. while the lra may not pose a direct national security threat to the u.s. in nearly define terms, it does threaten the stability of a large swath of central africa, the size of california. this region includes south sudan, the newest nation in the world, whose independence efforts the u.s. strongly supported. uganda, one of america's
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strongest allies in the fight against al-shabaab in somalia, and al qaeda linked terrorist organization. the central african republic and, the central african republic and the democratic republic of congo, two countries that face significant challenges placing their territories and who's civilians are currently suffering the brunt of the lra's atrocities. i believe it is squarely in our national interest to build a capacity of allied forces so that they can fight bad actors on their own, and to support our allies when they need assistance, as we expect them to do for us. the u.s. and the international community have long recognized that the lra poses a serious threat to the stability of the central africa and had taken a number of steps to stop their barbaric behavior. in 2005, the international criminal court indicted joseph kony and three of his commanders
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for crimes against humanity. the u.s. plays the lra on the terrorist exclusion list, and joseph kony on the specially designated global terrorist list. from 2006-2008, uganda tried to negotiate a peace agreement with the group only to have kony walk away from the final deal. uganda, southern sudan and the democratic republic of congo then launched a joint military operation, but failed to apprehend kony or stop the lra. i'm very hopeful the administrations strategy, including the deployment of a modest number of combat equipped advisors will finally help turn the tide in the struggle against the lra. while most of the focus has been on the military dimension of the strategy, it's important to remember the civilian led programs are also an integral part of this effort. these include constant diplomatic engagement with all
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of the central african countries to maintain strong cooperation, a robust demobilization, disarmament, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration program. effective public awareness campaigns to encourage child soldiers and midranking lra members to abandon the group, and reconstruction assistance for devastated communities. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses about the goals and expectations for the military's deployment, as well as the details that these critical civilian efforts. thank you, madam chairman. >> and you, mr. berman, for your opening statement. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to mr. royce, the chairman of the subcommittee on terrorism nonproliferation entry. >> thank you, madam chair. the lra has been pillaging central africa for a generation now, and under the sadistic joseph kony, that could exist for one reason.
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to kill and capture and to resupply for the next blunder. there is no other reason for its being, for the lord's resistant army's existence. and this savagery has landed kony and his lra on u.s. terrorism list. and his targets our children. and 70,000 girls and boys have been abducted. and i must say it's good to see evelyn here and we appreciate her efforts on behalf of other abducted girls and boys, but one boy told how he is forced to kill eight other children, the victims were surrounded in a circle, children were forced to take turns bashing them with a bat in a collective kill. now, if this is not a crime against humanity, i don't know what is. and it was orchestrated by kony. and with these whores in mind, congress passed legislation to counter the lra threat.
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we pressed the administration to be bold, to develop a plan to help apprehend or remove joseph kony and his top commanders from the battlefield. a broad coalition of young activists were key to passing this legislation picks of the administration is now sending small teams, specializing in training foreign units to give information and advice. this was the reason the u.s.-africa command was created. this nation which recognizes the need for a light footprint is targeted assistance. this is far from the peacekeeping model that is proven unsuccessful and wasteful elsewhere. the u.s. has made a commitment in south sudan. the lra threatens to destabilize this new country. we provided humanitarian ruling when the lra attack enforcement is to flee their homes. we seek to eliminate the root of these problems and, frankly, the need for these commitments. the africans are not sitting on
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their hands. ugandans are fighting with al qaeda terrorists in somalia, but they would like some help eating kony. that is a fair deal. sometimes just getting rid of one person does make a big difference. history is full of captivating leaders with bad ideas who do great damage. library and charles taylor devastated neighboring sierra leone, and after his removal, the region is mainly peaceful. kony's removal will guarantee peace, but it is the one thing that makes peace possible in that region. we tried this nation wants before against kony in late 2008. let's succeed now at sidelining this terrorist. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you very much, mr. royce. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to mr. payne, the ranking member on the subcommittee. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you brunch for calling is very important hearing, and our ranking member berman.
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after years of congressional bipartisan support and resounding support from the american people, the administration has taken action to bring an end to the predatory military group known as the lord's resistant army, or the lra. over the last nearly 25 years, the lra has murdered, raped, abducted tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children. in june 2011 will, they'll already reported -- reported carried out as many as 52 attacks killing 32 civilians and abducting 39, while looting the villages. i was in uganda in the early 90s when we heard about the lord's resistant army who at that time with the support of bashir of sudan was wreaking havoc on the community. there is no doubt that without bold and sustained u.s. action, joseph kony, the brutal leader of the lra and his gang will
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increase their attack on civilian and abduction of children to be soldiers. kony has taken advantage of the growing security vacuum in the lra affected areas, and appears to be regrouping and reorganizing the lra. a large number of senior commanders recently from the central africa republic. in august i traveled with care to the eastern congo where i met with them and who were raped and sexual violence was used as a weapon of war by joseph kony. i spoke to women there who have been victimized, and some of them lost their children, ages 11 and 12, abducted from their villages. i'm looking forward to hearing from our witnesses today about the details of the deploying and the strategy that would be used. i was very pleased that my friend, senator inhofe, recently stated on the senate floor, statement that the lra must be eliminated. and he said that we are not at
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war with the lra. the troops are specifically prohibited from any kind of combat, aside from self-defense. as you know last year we passed the lra resistance disarmament in northern uganda act, and the bill directs the administration to develop a plan. president announced expressively that the troops will follow the letter of the law. i have gotten in my district alone over 13,000 people who have called or have written saying that we should do something to eliminate this scourge from the face of the earth. and i strongly support the president's action. we must eliminate this murderer, we have a right to protect. i urge our government to go after this with all our nest, with training the troops in uganda to do the job.
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with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you very much, mr. payne, for that eloquent statement. i will now yield one minute to any members who wish to make opening statements. mr. fortenberry had indicated that he would like to make an opening statement. is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam chair, for this important and timely hearing. i believe it is important for the public to note that we never take lightly the use of military force, personal around the wor world. but the u.s. forces are engaged in more than 50 countries around the world, and more than 1000 forces are providing support in more than, 20 african countries alone. many americans are rightly concerned about the magnitude of our military presence throughout the world, but i am hopeful that this limited military and technical assistance mission which has been discussed and approved on multiple occasions by the house and senate is
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critical to both our national security as well as global stability. unfortunately, i fear there is widespread misinformation about the current mission, and even a defense of the lord's resistant army. this body and good americans washington right now know that the lord's resistant army has terrorized central africa with impunity from more than 25 years. its leader, joseph kony, is a war criminal guilty of unspeakable -- >> the gentleman's time has expired thank you. mr. carnahan is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam chair and ranking member berman for holding this hearing. regarding u.s. government strategy in atrocities of the lords resistance army in central africa. with the administration's recent deployment of 100 no to advisors to the region, this hearing is especially timely and helpful. the lra, led by joseph kony, isn't terrorizing the entire
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publishing of uganda, south sudan, central african republic, the democratic republic of congo for over two decades. its tactics have included the employment of child soldiers, sexual violence, widespread killings, abductions and enslavement. the united nations estimates 385,000 people have been displaced as a result of lra brutality. last congress this body took an important step in passing that lra disarmament and northern uganda recovery act reaffirming the u.s. efforts in combating the lra. the deployment of military advisors is but one pillar of a comprehensive strategy. i look forward to an update on this broader approach including humanitarian assistance, reconciliation and reintegration of post-conflict recovery. madam chair, i yield back. >> thank you very much. very pleased to yield to my friend, ms. buerkle, the vice chair of the subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade.
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>> thank you, madam chair. in the last decade the lra has killed thousands of innocent civilians. displaced hundreds of thousands of people and most horrifically used thousands of abducted children who carry out its campaign of terror against the people of uganda and her neighbors in africa. the presence recent authorization of combat equipped u.s. forces to deploy in central africa to work with regional partners towards the removal of joseph kony is ostensibly in support of the 2010 strategic objective. i look forward to hearing the respect us from our witnesses this morning on the wisdom and on the effectiveness of the proposed action involving u.s. forces in central africa. thank you, madam chair. i yield back. >> mr. connolly from virginia is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. and thank you for our witnesses today. the lra is a destabilizing presence in africa. the decision by the president to dispatch 100 military advisers to assist in the effort, to
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address that threat is consistent it seems to me with congressional intent in the passage of previous legislation. it is important and we need to hear any testimony today, however, exactly what the rules of engagement are going to be and how the united states in a very specific and targeted way, which i certain support can be of assistance without being dragged into somebody else's fight in central africa. the president has demonstrated leadership in libya, in the fight against terrorism and i think is demonstrate leadership here in this limited strategic and targeted intervention. i yield back. >> thank you, sir. mr. manzullo, the chair of the subcommittee on asia and pacific is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam chair for calling this important hearing. the lra is without a doubt a highness and horrible group,
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brutally murdered and tortured hundreds of thousands of people in uganda, and the border pashtun border reasons. and their reign of terror -- our concern going to present a report to congress is that this nation may be an expansion just military presence in the role does not directly bolster the national security of our nation, including the announcement that this was occurring i believe came on a friday afternoon, just before members were breaking for a week to go back to artistic work. i have a lot of concerns, anxious moments about whether or not the number of troops will not grow to 200, 300 or maybe more. but despite having these concerns i'll try to reserve judgment on the deployment and till there's more information regarding the size and the scope of the operation, including an exit strategy. thank you.
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>> thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. the chair is pleased to welcome our witnesses. first i would like to welcome donald yamamoto. he is the principal deputy assistant secretary for african affairs. he previously served as the u.s. ambassador to the federal democratic republic of ethiopia from november 2006-july 2009. deputy assistant secretary of state and the fear of afghan affairs from 2003-2006, and u.s. ambassador to the republic of djibouti to 2000-2003. we thank you for being here, mr. ambassador. and then we welcome mr. alexander vershbow. he is currently the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, i s. eight. prior to his appointment he served as u.s. ambassador to the north atlantic treaty organization from 1998-2001. u.s. ambassador to the russian federation from 2001-2005, and
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u.s. ambassador to the republic of korea from 2005-2008. i would like to kindly remind our witnesses to keep your oral testimony to know more than five minutes. and without objection the witnesses written statements would be inserted into the record. we will begin with you, mr. ambassador yamamoto. >> that is a very much, madam chairwoman. ranking member berman and audit numbers of this committee thank you so much for having this hearing here today. on a very important and very difficult topic. and for the opportunity briefed the committee on the application of the ongoing u.s. strategy to help our regional partners litigate, mitigate the threats posed by the lord's resistant army. we are deeply grateful for congress is widespread bipartisan support for the lra disarmament and northern uganda recovery act that was signed last year. the legislation sent a very strong message not only to support of congress but of the american people. that will help to protect
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civilians and bring an end to the lra threat. we also want to express our deep appreciation to the hundreds of thousands of americans who have stood and mobilize and express their concerns to community under siege by the lra, and also the people who are here today and those who have the courage to stand up to the atrocities of the lra. for two decades the lra has terrorize innocent people across central africa. the lra has filled its ranks with abducting tens of thousands of children and forcing them to become child soldiers and slaves. from 2005 half an thousand six the l.a. from uganda into the more remote border regions, the democratic republic of the congo, and what is now known as republic of southern sudan. in the region the lra has conceded to commit atrocities. the united nations estimates over 385,000 people are currently displaced in this region, as result of the lra activity.
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according to the u.n., there have been over 250 attacks attributed to the lra this year alone. over a reason, over the recent years, regional militaries at work together to pursue the lra across the vast array of densely foisted and difficult jungle terrain. they have had some success in reducing the lra's numbers and keeping them from regrouping. however, as long as the lra salida, joseph kony and other top commanders remain at large, the lra will continue to pose a serious regional threat which undermines stability and development. ..
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military operations against the lra and i would defer to my colleague ambassador vershbow who can describe those details. we have conferred with all the regional leaders and they have granted their consent for the deployment of these advisors to the field.
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remember, this is a short-term deployment with specific goals and objectives. we believe the u.s. advisors can provide critical capabilities to help regional forces succeed. we will regularly review and assess whether the advisors' effort is sufficiently to enhance the regional effort to justify deployment. we will work closely with the advisors and make sure a sensitive civilian protection and regional political dynamics, the state department essence also deployed an officer to the region to help coordinate all of our efforts in the field to counter the lra and the work with these advisors. the administration is funding projects to help communities in the drc develop protection plans and join in early warning networks. this includes setting up high frequency radios and cell phone towers, the same kind of early warning and basic
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telecommunication capacity does not yet exist across the border in the area and we hope to address this. we will continue to work on the lra to disarm and leave the ranks and come home. currently there are 12,000 who have done so. over the coming months we will continue to work with the regional government to ensure that the rank-and-file fighters and those who have escaped the lra will have the necessary support to be reunited with their families and be reintegrated into normal society. again, we appreciate -- we are grateful to you and the members of both the house and the senate in encountering the lra. thank you. >> thank you very much, sir. ambassador vershbow. >> thank you, madam chairman, congressman berman and the distinguished members of the committee. i want to thank you all for inviting me to discuss our efforts to assist the central
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african's efforts in encountering the lord's resistance army. there are four pillars to the conferencive strategy to help our regional partners. the second of these are the apprehension or removal of joseph kony and other top lra commanders from the battlefield. that's the focus of dod's efforts and that will be the focus of my remarks this morning. the ugandan military in cooperation with other militaries have been pursuing the lra for several years. they reduced the lra's strength significantly. the lra moved out of northern uganda completely. now operating in small groups across the democratic republic of congo and the central african republic in south sudan. while weakened lra leader joseph kony and other top commanders are at large and they direct the leaders to commit despicable
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atrocities and with the consensus of regional governments we have deployed a small number of u.s. military personnel to the lra-affected area to advise and assist the regional forces who are pursuing the lra. the personnel deploying under this mission will travel out to field locations with the regional forces where they will work in an advisory and liaison role. these u.s. personnel which are primarily army special forces will engage in the lra counter-effort to restrainen information-sharing, operational training and overall effectiveness. while the department of defense isn't in the lead with the other pillars of the president's strategy our advisors working alongside regional forces will be sensitive to the challenges of civilian protection and they'll work to ensure that protection considerations are incorporated into operational planning by our partners.
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they'll also seek to encourage defections and to strengthen the relationships and sharing of information between regional militaries and local populations, officials and humanitarian actors. the approach we're undertaking reflects lessons learned from prior regional operations in pursuit of the lra. and its design to fill key capabilities gaps by enhancing regional forces ability to infuse intelligence with operational planning. this approach will have maximum operational impact although roughly 100 personnel will ultimately deploy to this commission, we expect that only a portion of the personnel will directly advise and assist forces in the field pursuing the lra. most of the u.s. personnel will carry out logistical and other functions to support the advisors. to be clear, u.s. forces deploying to this mission will not themselves engage lra forces but given the potential need to
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defend themselves, they will be equipped for combat. that's why consistent with the war powers resolution, the administration provided a formal report to congress on their deployment. we appreciate the strong congressional interest in and support for this effort. and we are committed to continuing to engage with the congress to keep you informed about the progress of our effort as it moves forward. i would say this is a great example of a joint initiative between the executive and legislative branches. despite the strong bipartisan support we know there are still many questions many of them were proposed by you madam chairman and you mr. berman at the outset. i would look i can to address several of these questions in the remainder of my remarks. first, regarding the purpose and timing of the deployment, we're providing advisors to the regional forces because joseph kony and the other senior leaders have proven unwilling to
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end it peacefully. as you know there was an opportunity for a negotiated peace agreement during the talks in 2006/8 but they ended when kony refused to sign. and conducted new attacks and abductions. so regional governments have had to pursue a military approach to end the lra threat. as for our regional partners, we provided significant resources to the militaries in recent years training the 391st battalion of the congo armed forces and working with the sudan's liberation army and providing equipment to the armed forces the central african republic so it can maintain its critical presence in somalia but we think despite the assistance to date, uganda and other regional military would also benefit from increased capacity
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to acquire and process actionable information on the locations of lra leaders and to convert that information quickly into operational plans. u.s. advisors deploying to the operation have the right skill sets to help address these capability shortfalls and the specific timing of the deployment was predicated in part upon the availability of the appropriate u.s. forces. >> thank you. maybe we'll get to the rest of it -- >> i have to address measuring success and what is the u.s. national interests. >> we'll ask you about that. thank you for both of you for excellent testimony. we will begin our question and answer segment now. i wanted to ask you if the president's october 14th, 2011, report to the congress transmitted consistent with the war powers resolution triggered the reporting and authorization
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requirements undersection 4 of the war powers resolution and if not, why? and secondly, what is the anticipated scope, duration and cost of this deployment and from where in the budget whether those costs be absorbed? and how does this deployment -- where would the department of defense's effort to cut 350 billion over the next 10 years in the secretary's suggestion to the house arms services committee that cuts may force dod to pull back from africa. ambassador vershbow? >> madam chairman, on the war powers issues, i think the reason why we made the notification was based on one simple fact. that the nature of the weapons that our forces are carrying for
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self-defense are considered -- make those forces considered to be equipped for combat of the phrase that is in the war powers resolution itself. even though they're not going to be engaging in combat but only carrying those weapons for self-defense, the fact they're equipped for combat triggered the requirement to file a report to congress when they are going to be entering the territory of a foreign nation. don may have more on the legal aspects of it. i'm not a lawyer but we can give you a more detailed response for the record -- >> we would appreciate it because we have some of our members and i have many questions about the legal analysis of what -- when the war powers act is triggered and what in this operation would constitute and your interpretation of it. >> okay. we will do that. >> and then on the cost, the scope, the duration and from
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where these monies will be coming? >> well, first, the clear goal for this advisory mission is to enhance the capacity of the regional forces so that they can better protect their civilians. track down joseph kony and stop the threat of the lra so we will measure the threat in a number of ways. we will be looking to see whether the regional forces are able to successful apprehend or remove top lra commanders from the battlefield. that would be a very clear-cut measure of success. whether we can encourage larger numbers of defections from the lra. whether we can see a substantial reduction in lra attacks. and whether we can see a visible measurable degree of professionalization of the forces engaged in this effort so that they have greater capacity both to protect their citizens and conduct counter-lra
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operations. but we have made very clear that this is not an open-ended commitment. as part of the decision to deploy our advisors, we have agreed that there would be a review after several months in order to assess whether our advisors are making sufficient progress for our objectives. continuing this deployment is conditional on a number of factors including a sustained commitment and sustained cooperation by the regional governments in addressing the lra threat. so it is not open-ended. we don't have a specific timeline that we've adopted. but as i said, we will be reviewing the state of affairs -- >> i don't know if that answered the question. but we'll follow up with that. this has been going on, sadly, for so many years. what assurances can you offer that we won't be in this
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entrenched and expanded protracted conflict as you point out? >> well, i think that we've already seen a lot of progress in inhibiting their group so we think we're building on a very strong foundation here. but we do -- as i said in my remarks, feel that the regional forces have been limited by their capacity to acquire and process actionable information. and so that giving them the greater skills in terms of fusing intelligence with operational plans could create a significant improvement to track the leaders and hopefully take kony and other leaders. >> thank you. i look forward from getting some written responses about the cost, the scope, the duration, where the funds are coming. and about triggering the war powers act. if you could provide that in
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writing, i'd be very grateful. >> okay. >> mr. berman is recognized. >> thank you very much, madam chairman. johnnie tuitkon regarding the briefing, there was a strategy that was prepared which specifically included references to a military objective to remove joseph kony and his top commanders from the panel of the field and u.s. assistance in achieving that. it was a public document done almost a year ago. and that doesn't even go into any classified private briefings on more specific subjects. so this has been out there for almost a year. secondly, i'd like to ask a few
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questions. first, the starkly tense relationship between uganda and the democratic republic of congo. in light of that, do you see a ugandan military as the force leading operations in drc or will we have some of our special forces working with the drc's 391st battalion that was trained by africom? >> thank you very much, representative berman. on the issue of kony militarily, i think we need to focus that the approach is a multifaceted approach. it has to be addressed in the problems with the crisis from the victims who have been -- >> i understand that. >> the other issue is, too, politically is to help the politically, militarily, economically all these countries that are the victim of kony to coordinate much better to go after kony.
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>> will our forces be working with the democratic republic of congo's 391st battalion? >> that's correct. >> yes? >> yes, that's correct. >> and in that effort -- the state department has trained the 391st, the battalion, that are right now on the border area, the issue of uganda troops in the area -- it has to be a coordination between the drc and the ugandan troops and, of course, the issue of sovereignty is to coordinate the work between those two forces and how they will corner kony's forces and how they will eliminate. i'll give you one example. when we transferred the monuk which was the drc -- a peacekeeping operation with one operation having a focus on the lra and their correlation
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between those two forces over the past decade. >> you envision that our advisors will be deployed at the brigade level? are they authorized to be deployed with ugandan forces in the field? or is this more of a headquarter deploymen deployment? >> thank you. as ambassador yamamoto says, anything will be on based on coordination and full consent of the respective governments. while they've all come out in support of this initiative, we take nothing for granted that there will be continuing consultation to ensure that any steps we take to execute will be with their consent. so it's certainly within the concept of operations that we would deploy forces forward into the drc possibly at the platoon
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level or -- and/or at the headquarters level. what will be most effective and what our partners -- >> there's no artificial constraint on where you might deploy then? >> no. but it will be full consultation. >> i understand. but they could well be deployed at the platoon level in the field? >> that's right. but still in an advisory and assistance role. >> i understand it. what will the trainers be equipped with or our military trainers and advisors? you say they're going to be combat equipped. that's what you say from the report? >> i'd have to give you a specific answer after the hearing for the record. they will be carrying small arms for their own self-protection and there may be other -- in
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communications gear, of course, but beyond that -- i would like to consult with my colleagues in the back before i give an answer. >> thank you. >> i would encourage the ambassadors to be a little more precise about the answers that -- to the questions that we're posing. but thank you for getting it for us later. mr. royce, the chairman of the subcommittee terrorism nonproliferation and trade is recognized for his questions. >> yes. the question i was going to ask has to do with the reality on the ground that the ugandans have been doing some pretty heavy lifting over in somalia. and they've been fighting and dying there. and given that effort, i've heard concerns that they might be a little distracted on the follow-through on this. and obviously, you have a
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different read. can you tell me your discussions with the ugandans ambassador and how you read their willingness on this? >> i agree with the president on separate issues but on this issue we had several discussions with the president and several others. he's fighting a multifrontal conflict not only the lra but another in somalia. it does not mean that he's lost or distracted because of these two conflicts. he's deeply focused on both areas and both fronts and on the lra and the violence that has been perpetrated against uganda, that still sits very much in the psyche in the uganda people. when you have 1.8 million who are displaced in the northern and you have 66,000 kids who are -- >> we understand that. but to the extent that we can keep him focused on this is going to be -- >> and we are. >> will be part of our task and
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the other question is about ugandans operating in congolese territory. how are we planning to address this? are you able dialog with the congolese on that issue? >> i spoke with president cabila and we will have they will coordinate these forces against the lra. >> what steps are you taking to try to improve intelligence because that's one of the big failings in the past, one of the missing pieces on the location of kony and his commanders? >> the issue is trying to get the intelligence that each of these countries have and then to fuse it together and then to analyze it and that's why the u.s. military will be very helpful in that effort. >> let me suggest, though, that that is somewhat limited, their intelligence is somewhat limited. you've got the ability to utilize leaflets, radios in order to try to get defectors.
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to the extent you can get defectors out of the lra, you're going to be -- you know, your boots on the ground are going to be able to advise and direct the congolese and ugandans. >> right. >> will u.s. personnel be deployed in that kind of an effort? i would suggest it would be wise to do so. >> u.s. forces will be able to help advise and train the indigenous forces in terms of their civil affairs and outreach to local communities encouraging as you said, congressman, that people provide tips to the forces, early warnings -- >> yeah, we need better intel than we had on 2008 on that mission. and to do that, we're going to have to -- we're going to have to sort of drive the intelligence-gathering capacity by getting defectors to come in
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and give us the information need for that mission. the army special forces teams specializing in training foreign units are going to provide advice and assistance to these units. my expectation would be that you would have some -- at the platoon level but i'd imagine the bulk of them would be back in uganda coordinating the logistics and the intelligence and the communications, would that be correct? >> yes, congressman. the bulk of the overall roughly 100 people would be in uganda but small teams would deploy forward in partnership with the local forces. to sort of help them improve their skills on the front line. >> and special operations command africa is headed by rear admiral brian rosy. he's a navy seal who previously
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commanded u.s. forces in the horn so he knows the region well. is he assigned to sort of oversee this operation? i was wondering how that would be engineered? >> i believe that is the case. it is under the overall direction, yes. >> well, i yield back, madam chairman. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> mr. payne, the ranking member from the africa global health subcommittees is recognized. >> thank you very much. as i mentioned, i was at a idp camp last month and visited with people from villages that have been disrupted by the lra and they were in goma so we see the destruction that is continuing on. i think a number of people are why are we going after the lra and why should we care about uganda? i think we all know uganda has a
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tremendous number of troops in somalia. i had a chance to go to mogadishu several years ago and saw them. as a matter of fact, i was escorted by the ugandan troops throughout mogadishu and they were doing an excellent job and i think we have a responsibility because of the fact that al-qaeda is supporting al-shabaab. it was al-qaeda that destroyed the uss cole off of yemen. and so it's all connected. we wonder well, why do we have any concern? it's very clear why we ought to be there. and the fact that kenya is now being attacked by al-qaeda by them going after somalis -- the kenyan ambassador was bombed because kenya voted with the united states all the time and was one of the strongest supporters of the u.s. democracy around the country and, therefore, they were the target where hundreds and hundreds of kenyans died and the same thing with tanzania because of our
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relationships. and i think this business is kind of intertwined and i think when countries are going out to support our causes around the world, i think that we have at least a reciprocal or having 100 u.s. troops trained folks there. i just want to ask quickly, ambassador yamamoto, what impact will the elections have in drc and will any of this disruption of the lra impact on the election there? >> the election at drc is very tight. it's not clear how the -- where the president could be re-elected or the presence of the opposition -- the issue comes in the commitment on the lra operations by the drc and uganda still remains pivotal and we discussed this closely with president kabila and president
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mosifony. >> what about al-bashir, president bashir in sudan. as you know, bashir supported the lra and its formation. that's when al-qaeda was in sudan, that bashir supported al-qaeda. and lra together. is there any -- any evidence that bashir government is supporting the lra today? >> we have not seen any intelligence or evidence about the middle of 2002 and beyond. we have been, obviously, had very close discussions with the sudanese government on this issue. but we've not seen evidence that there's support. >> what about the lra's activity in southern sudan? are they there -- that this new
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country is trying to put together its government? are the lra there in any large numbers and what have the sblm have been able to do? and will they be a part of the training? >> yeah, the lra has operated in southern sudan, of course there's 280,000 are displaced and part of them are in southern pseudoas well as the car and the drc but the forces of lra which is depleted to 200 core fights, 800 total accompany people are either in the car, drc area. >> and what about a special advisor to the great lakes region that's been suggested. they used the special envoy, is this in the making and what's
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the prospect of that? >> we've taken it under advisement, a very serious advisement based on your recommendations, congressman, and from your committee. >> and the fact that we know that there's an expanse of mobile phones and fm radio, will you be using that technology to try to get words out to ask for deflection from lra fighters? >> that's correct, sir. the usaid has provided cell towers and the use of cell phones and right now they're using uhf radios but the communities are calling in on a regular basis to say where the lra is located so better communications and better locations. >> thank you very much. >> mr. duncan of south carolina is recognized. >> thank you, madam chairman. back in the spring and march or april, the deputy national security advisor, benrhodes was
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talking about a libya involvement and he said i think we're enforcing a enforcement which has a very clear set of goals which is protecting the libyan people and averting a humanitarian crisis and setting up a no-fly zone which it involves kinetic military action particularly on the front end but, again, the nature of our commitment is that we are not getting into an open-ended war, a land invasion in libya. and according to global intelligence, since 2008, the u.s. has helped finance regional military efforts to capture lra commanders where the u.s. has spent $497 million strengthening the ugandan army. presently, the lra is estimated to have somewhere between 200 and 400 fighters which -- for a sophisticated insurgency. as we delve into this i have to ask myself and ask you guys
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today before deciding to deploy approximately 100 u.s. military personnel, did the administration receive a request from uganda, the drc, the car, the african union to provide assistance, i'll ask ambassador vershbow. >> well, this has been a continuing effort as you've just said, congressman. we've been working in partnership with the regional states and they have, i think, welcomed the assistance to date and i think they've been indicating that additional support would be needed. we looked at the experience from 2008 when we did provide advisors to uganda at the request -- >> did they specifically ask for boots on the ground, american personnel? >> they understood as we have judged that they lack this critical capability of fusing intelligence with the operational plans that have been the main handicap to finishing the job they have made progress
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in degrading the lra but they are still out there and still committing atrocities. they indicated that they would welcome this kind of hands-on training -- >> so that's what we're doing is training mainly? >> yes. >> no predator drones, no -- could you define kinetic military action? i'm struggling with that term? what does that mean? >> i understand the term kinetic to mean the use of actual -- >> so we use kinetic military access in libya which was lethal force. >> at the front end of the operation we used considerable kinetic force to take out the defenses of libya after the first two weeks of the operation then most of the kinetic activity was carried out by our partners and nato allies who conducted the lion's share of the air strikes in the civil protection mission. we did continue when necessary to support the suppression of
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enemy air defenses. and we did on occasion used armed predators for specific targets that no other ally had the capability to hit. >> and this action in uganda did we begun tangible military support from other countries such as the u.k. and france like we did in libya or are we there alone? >> there has been assistance by our partners. i will defer to my colleagues -- >> is this a nato action? >> this is a u.s. initiative action but there's been other assistance over the years. >> we had several coordinations the french, the car in uganda and we're providing the bulk of the assistance as far as the military training, et cetera, the other donor community are doing the other parts on humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation, reconciliation. >> how long do we anticipate the u.s. forces being there? do we have some sort of timetable at all? >> we don't have a specific
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timetable. we're talking, i think, months, but i wouldn't put a number on it at this point. but we will review the operation in a few months to see if it's achieving the desired effect through this enhanced change in the nature of the training that we're providing and to see whether the facts on the ground in terms of eroding the lra. >> what do you define as success? >> i think we define success first and foremost on the basis of whether kony and other commanders are actually captured. whether we see further fractureing and whether we see a tangible improvement in our partners capacities out in the field to succeed. and that includes not just the kinetic parts of it but in terms of whether they are also more capable of engaging with the local population to develop the climate in which people report on and turn in lra sympathizers.
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>> when we put americans in harm's way like this i think we need to be very clear what we do. we need to be very clear when president comes to congress with the war powers resolution and i'm out of time so i yield back, madam chair. >> thank you so much. mr. carnahan is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. and thank you to our witnesses for being here today. i want to start with really a general question about how the u.s. is working with the international and regional partners to strengthen coordination. in particular, what are the strategies and approaches both diplomatically and others that the u.s. government is utilizing to newer a more effective collaboration among key actors to counter lra efforts and let me start with ambassador yamamoto. >> not only have i been talking
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to the presidents in the areas at that level but also within their command structures, militarily as well as diplomatically to see how we can coordinate better on all our efforts, not just militarily but comprehensively against the lra. that's the first thing. the second thing we're talking to the african union, the regional groups as well as to the donor community to see how we can all bring to bear some of our own specific assets that we have. so, for instance, we'll do the military training program. u.k., france, others are doing humanitarian programs. the african union is doing a lot on coordination from the countries. >> and ambassador vershbow? >> well, i would also add that what we're doing in this specific case is a subset of the broader efforts that we're making throughout africa to
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promote professionalization of militaries to promote capacity of the african countries to solve their own problems. and part of that is to invite countries to participate in both bilateral and multinational training and exercises which will hopefully inculcate a greater pattern of cooperation among them. i think this initiative in addition to hopefully achieving the specific goal of taking joseph kony off the battlefield and it will also encourage greater military cooperation among the four key states involved. that would be a factor for longer term stability in the region so we don't to have intervene in the future. >> let me next turn to, i guess, a more particular question for these operations. is this in your opinion a unique model that is being used in central africa? or is this comparable to some
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other operations like southern philippines, chairman rohrabacher led a delegation there a fonts ago where we got to see a unique operation there where a limited number of u.s. military were advising not engaging in combat but trying to be very focused on the terrorist safe havens and terrorist training camps there? again, is this a unique model? is it drawing on some other experiences in other places that have worked and let me start with ambassador vershbow. >> uh-huh. >> congressman, this is not a unique model in the sense that training and equipping partner forces is something we've done for many years in many parts of the world. my experience -- if you look at my bio is more in europe. we had training equip programs
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to train the bosnian program after the dayton accord. we trained the georgian state with terrorists at the borders in the russian foundation. each mission is tailored to the specific circumstances and the requirements of the partner involved. but just sort of advise and assist so they can deal with the problem more effectively is a well-established model that has proven its value. >> and ambassador yamamoto? >> and i think it's in the context if you look at africa as far as a really good cooperation and coordination between the department of defense and the department of state and looking at how we can do training on a nonspecific area but also continent-wide. for instance, as you know the state department has trained about 160,000 troops for peacekeeping operations in 24 countries. we use that also with the department of defense for
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guidance and advice and coordination. in just context as well you have the state department helping to do diplomatic coordination. we're doing also assistance as far as money wise to provide logistical support and, of course, the dod is providing the actual individuals to do some training and equipping. so those are issues that were kind of a model for this area but we're also looking at other areas in parts of africa. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chair. >> miss schmitt of ohio is recognized. >> thank you very much. ambassador vershbow, i read your report and i'm a little confused on one point on page 4 you referred to this as nothing more than what we already do with the africom thing that we have in place in africa. and i've been over there and
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i've studied it and that's basically -- unless i'm wrong in educational thing that we use to help african nations develop a more professional of military. we also do some building of schools and hospitals on the ground. but that you add in your report that the reason why we had to go -- the president had to go to congress is because there might be a potential need to defend themselves, the troops that are on the ground and so, therefore, the war powers resolution was put in place. what confuses me is, is this what with do under africom or is this different because in africom there's always the danger that they might have to defend themselves where there wouldn't have to be any need to come to congress and say in the war powers act may be invoked. or are we really -- and not just anticipating but expecting some conflict to arise and so that this is a heads up. that's question number 1.
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question number 2, in your report you said that you felt we would be asking what some of the -- the purpose and the timing of the deployment and how are we going to judge success of the mission and yet i didn't hear any real clear answers as to what success is or the timing of this deployment. and my final is, i think we should -- somebody should know what the cost is per day for these troops to be on the ground. just real costs right now and anticipated costs that they have to go into conflict. so those are my three questions. >> thank you, congressman. good questions. i'm sure my statement confused you a bit. i think that when we say this is not fundamentally different from previous africom missions because the overall concept of training and advising and assisting partner forces is kind of the watch word for u.s.
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africom. we do it in other parts of the world, too, but i think we have a particular -- >> right. we created africom because we wanted a specific attention -- >> you want more attention and help develop a greater expertise. >> exactly. >> on how to deal with the region by borrowing forces from other combatant commanders. this is a little different, though, in some of the specifics in the sense that we don't always put our advisors and trainers in the field with the forces that are going to be carrying out the actual military operations. and that's what in this specific case led to the judgment by our military planners and commanders and then by the president when he approved this, that despite their mission not including any engagement in combat, they could be in a hostile environment in some circumstances and that they should be carrying the kinds of weapons needed to defend themselves. and that's what in turn
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triggered the war powers notification. but we don't anticipate that they'll get into the midst of conflict but, you know, i don't want to exclude that possibility. but they will have the capacity to defend themselves if the need should arise. in terms of defining success, i think beyond the very specific metric of capturing or killing joseph kony and other commanders, it's going to be a judgment call as to whether our partners are making substantial gains, they're making effective use of the additional training that they've learned this fusion of intelligence and operational planning that we think is the missing piece that has prevented them from going from reducing the lra to actually eliminating the threat. but we will start with the congress and inform you of our assessment of the operation as
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it unfolds because as i said, this is a unique example of executive legislative collaboration so we want to work with you all the way along. in terms of the costs, i apologize for not having the bottom line. i can actually say more about some of the state department expenses than the dod expenses. u.s. africom is drawing on existing operations in maintenance funding to support the operation. but we're still working on an overall cost assessment to give you that day by day estimate and we will provide it to the committee once that estimate has been refined. >> do you know -- i'm almost out of time. do you have any -- when we're going to get that cost? i mean, tomorrow, the next day? it should be relatively easy. >> i don't want to give you a specific commitment. we'll try to get it to you very soon. >> thank you. >> thank you, ms. schmitt. mr. connelly is recognized. >> thank you, madam chairman. i'm sure, mr. assistant secretary, you can understand the sensitivity of up here about
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the cost of military operations. the previous administration low balled the cost of iraq and afghanistan and here we are well in excess of a trillion dollars later, a significant contributor to the united states debt which so many of my colleagues expressed concern about and yet we accepted false assurances or very loose assurances about the cost of those engagements. so i think it's a reasonable question to ask what is this going to cost or what is your estimate of what it's going to cost? and to get that information, obviously, in a timely fashion. let me ask, what is the rationale for putting troops, u.s. military advisors, into uganda? what is the goal? >> well, congressman, first of all, i'll reiterate, we'll get you the cost figures as soon as we can. >> thank you. >> but this would be certainly
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much more modest in the cost of actual combat operations. as for the reasons why we're there, i think there's a continued threat to civilians and threats to the stability of region. we think that this very disagree increase in the form of our military assistance can make a difference in ending the threat of the lra. >> that's -- okay, mr. assistant secretary, so is the goal given what you just said to, in fact, escape the lra and disband it or is the goal to lessen the threat to civilian control in the region? >> we would certainly hope that this additional support will lead to the breakthrough of the capture of joseph kony and the other commanders and the literal destruction of the lra but we
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will not necessarily wait for this to happen. this is going to be a operation that runs in the months, not an open-ended operation. and we will evaluate whether the assistance has achieved its purpose in terms of raising the capacity of our partners. and we may disengage even as they continue to fight on their own. >> okay. but is the ultimate goal the deposing of mr. kony and the dismemberment of the lra? >> that is -- that is the stated goal that's one of the four parts of the strategy. >> i think that's it's very important that we have a clear mission. >> okay. >> there's also a broader objective that we're supporting and that's to support partners in africa so that they can address the threats their citizens to achieve stability and become more productive contributors to security in the region and more broadly. we've seen some of them stepping
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up as has been mentioned in somalia at great risk and loss of life. this is a problem that it's debilitating for several countries and so that we can help them finally put an end to their threat will make them better partners for them going forward. >> was there a perception in making a decision that our partners were on their own not capable of meeting that goal? >> yes, congressman. the judgment was that while they made a lot of progress, we've seen the lra's size reduced substantially. going that final distance to destruction of the lra and it could make a difference and thought it was a worthwhile investment to make. >> moving to 30,000 feet, a devil's advocate question for you as well, mr. ambassador,
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what is the strategic interest of the united states in doing this? i mean, there are lots of unpleasant people in the world. there are lots of insurgencies and terrorist movements in the world. the united states, obviously, cannot try to dethrone every one of them. what is our strategic interest here? >> so i would say we've seen in today's world that everything is increasingly connected to the extent eastern and northeastern africa is unstable, underdeveloped and ungoverned space in which these kinds of rapacious extremists and terrorists can run amuck. it ultimately can affect our interests. it creates the conditions in which other radical threats could emerge. we've seen it kind of as the worst case in somalia with both
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the breakdown governance and the rise of the al-shabaab terrorist movements and while it's not linked to the lra movement but it's the instability that disrupts our interests. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. connelly. mr. turner is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. a question for ambassador vershbow. if the stated goal is to decapitate the leadership of the lra, as i understood from your question before, we are not using aerial drones for observation. and would we be authorized to use predators to take out the leadership if they were being observe
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observed? >> congressman, at the present time, the use of drones is not envisaged in this operation. i think that the kind of intelligence that is most important to the success of this operation is the human intelligence gathered on the ground. that depends on closer ties of the military forces of the countries involved and the local population. and so our training and assistance as part of its broader objectives are helping them to acquire and make better use of that kind of ground intelligence that could make the difference. i think the questions of authorities for drone strikes against extremist forces is a more delicate matter which is not suitable in commenting on in this open session. but again the focus is on advising and assisting the
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forces on the ground so that they can use -- gather and use intelligence more effectively to do the job. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you very much, mr. turner. mr. higgins also of new york is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. the lord's resistance army emerged from northern uganda in the 1990s. since that time it has murdered, killed, mutilated tens of thousands of people. kony was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the tribunal at the hague. kony is designated as a specially designated global terrorist. some 300 fighters originated out of uganda now more prevalent in
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central africa. i mean, the united states deploys 100 military advisors who happen to be special forces. i think we ought to call this what it is. it's a kill and capture mission. i would ask you to comment on that. >> well, congressman, i think we certainly are trying to enhance the capacity of our partners to capture or kill joseph kony and other commanders. but they will be doing the actual mission on the ground. we will be advising and assisting them so that they can be more effective in doing it. so, yes, i don't disagree with you in terms of one of the end results of this, if it works, but i think it makes sense from the united states' point of view to enable partners to act when they have the capacity to do so. as we've said, they have some
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capacity and they've done a lot. and we've helped them get to this stage. but to go the final distance requires this additional support and we think it's a good investment in our long-term security and theirs. >> ambassador? >> yes, that's correct. the main objective is to support these countries to do the jobs themselves. and to build the capacity and that's what we've been trying to do for the last decade. >> yeah. i just think there's a tendency sometimes to dance around this stuff. and, obviously, john kony is a bad guy doing bad things to otherwise good people in a region that is strategically important to us. and i just think, you know, sometimes we need to call it what it is. and this clearly to me -- not unlike, you know, our involvement with military
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advisors in other regions, troubled regions, of that region of central africa, north africa and the middle east, we send advisors, obviously, very well trained, have a particular expertise at doing certain things in particular taking bad people out. and i think that, you know, this is indicative of that. it's a religious group, the lord's resistance army, presumably islamist? >> no, it's not religious. >> well, published reports indicates it is. >> it uses images or statements as an ideology to justify their terror. i know that kony has said in the early days that he was related to christ. but -- >> any relationship to al-qaeda? >> we have not -- >> any relationship to the jung juwe? >> no. >> i yield back. >> thank you. using the lord's name in vain is not a good thing.
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>> correct. >> please yield to mr. fortenberry. >> thank you, madam chair. i want to return to a question that was posed earlier. it's important in light that we need to make sure our efforts in the region are not discoordinate and they're not piecemeal. we have requested through a number of hearings the reappointment of a special envoy to the great lakes region, ambassador yamamoto, you said you would continue to take it under advisement. we've gone this direction before. can you explain if you are resistant as to why this has not happened or are there other concerns that we may not be aware of? >> we have the special envoy who did a fantastic job. i think after that the issue is to assess where do we go from here? and i think -- we heard loud and clear from the congress that a
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special envoy is needed. we're taking that -- >> how long has the position been vacant, though? >> i think -- >> it's been some time. >> over a year now, a year and a half. >> well, again given the highlightend intensity of these measures, i think this is the appropriate time to revisit this question with a certain sense of urgency. let's return as well to gain a broader understanding of who are the other international partners involved here. who specifically in military operations that we talked about other international donors who are relief work and specifically what is the ugandan army's effort going to be -- it has been in the past to specifically demobilize joseph kony and the lra? >> you're actually correct. the specific amount of assistance on military supporting the udpf in this effort has been the united
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states. i mean, $40 million of the united states in the last three years specifically aimed at providing logistical support as the lra moved from uganda into the car. the other countries are providing other types of support other than the military. >> you're talking about the affected countries not other international donors? >> no, the other international donors, that's right. as far as the other concerns are concerned, the ugandans themselves are also providing support and assistance through providing their own equipment and military action and, of course, the troops them. the c.a.r., that is a coordinated effort with the faca troops by the ugandans and the c.a.r. because ugandan troops are in the c.a.r. in a sovereign country and that's between the two presidents to work out those logistical issues. >> those two countries then in a
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coordinated effort are the primary drivers currently of the military operation; correct? .. >> the reestablishment basically to coordinate those efforts between --
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>> i think we probably ought to stop using active is because it's too confusing. >> the congolese troops and the ugandan these troops to coordinate together. >> okay but in the afternoon is involved? >> the african union is not as extensive as the wind. basically that leadership under chairman king and his group to talk to the leaders. >> i'm sorry, explained that further. >> norge to discuss with the president and the leadership of these countries on the problem and what more they need to get the job done. >> so african union effectively is not involved? >> in these discussion. >> is that a potential development? >> that's right. >> the reason for pressing the issue is clearly that the united states cannot solve all problems for all people. and you have been authorized by congress to engage in this activity. and again we are all hopeful for
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positive and quick outcome. but to continue to press the international committee for swift engagement as is appropriate as well needs to be a part of this broader comprehensive ever. thank you, madam chair. >> mr. rohrabacher is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much, madam chairman. first of all let me just note that, i don't know if i'm disappointed or what, but not even having a cost estimate for us, coming to for congress and letting us know that is a military operation. have the troops already been come have these 100 troops already been sent, or are they on the way? >> only some of the initial personnel have arrived. the full 100 have not yet deployed. >> so the mission is actually underway. so people have already been said but you don't have a cost estimate of what it would cost? even an estimate? >> i apologize, congressman.
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i'm embarrassed not to be more specific answer for you. the forces that are already there are being funded by regular operation and maintenance funds, but when we get further along there will be more costs incurred and we will definitely have an estimate to you spirit i take at the 100 troops will also bring with them their equipment? >> correct. >> i don't think it's our place to ask about specific equipment going into a combat area, but that's considerably costly as well. i noticed in your testimony it said that this lra has been reduced to approximately 200 core fighters. so, it might be significant for us to know if the costs of this nation is going to be $500 million, or whether it's going to be $100 million, or
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$20 million, in terms of the cost getting 200 fighters who are people who are criminals, can basically be called 200 organized criminals in central africa. and i take it also that if they are reduced to 200 men, and what we've got are the armies of these various countries you're talking about, we are talking about 200 men who are now fighting thousands of other armed troops. but we feel compelled to send 200 of our own troops there. i'm not sure whether or not that passionate look closely at this and i think american people will as well, of whether or not this was a right decision or not. would you say that tribal
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loyalties have anything to do with the ongoing strength of the lra? >> i will defer to my colleague who knows more about that. >> the lra was originally a northern uganda base, it right that it's kind of morphed because it has gone into, so it does have groups in southern sudan, congo and speakers do you think tribal allegiance has something to do with the survivability of this and the effectiveness of the lra? >> it's the open areas that are terribly hard to track people. that's his cover. that's how he's been able to escape for two decades without capture. >> i take it that was a guest? >> yes. >> so we are sending our troops into take on, head on this whole tribal challenge in africa. let me just note that that
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doesn't sound very good to me in terms of possible success, but there again this force may be evil enough to justify sending our troops in. let me ask you, you were involved in ethiopia. you are our ambassador to ethiopia. during that time period there was a border dispute that went up to arbitration. >> yes. >> the arbitration ended up deciding what? >> the edc made a determination on the border between -- >> and he decided basically that eritrea had the rifle position him is that correct? >> only in that area. together, they went to ethiopia. >> so, did our government at that time, while you were ambassador, recommend that ethiopia respect the arbiters,
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or did we passionate we get? >> we did. >> and when ethiopia rejected the arbitration over our advice, what did we do and what was your position -- well, what with our government's position on ethiopia, considering that we have, since the time that they decided not to settle their dispute through arbitration, but instead decided to thumb their nose at arbiters, have we provide ethiopia with weapons and training and and since then? >> we have not provided weapons. we provided training because of their forces and our for and now in rba. >> but we haven't sold any weapons or anything? >> no. >> thank you, mr. rohrabacher. thank you very much. mr. marino one of the recognize, and i think in because he will be asking questions that have been submitted to our committee's website, which
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connects our constituents more directly to our work in congress. and we're also asking the public to enter the questions when we have the honor of having secretary clinton appeared before our committee on thursday. so thank you, mr. marino, for using those questions. >> thank you, madam chair. and in addition to the questions that were submitted to the committee, i have a website for us, and i asked my constituents to send questions to me prior to hearing. so the questions i'm going to ask are going to be repetitive, but if you could answer them in a different light, please bear in mind i have no less than four and half minutes. please be succinct. and whoever feels they can answer the question to satisfy my constituents, please jump in. first question, comes from shared. who will be paying for this trip deployment and what are the anticipated costs and family troops will be involved for how
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long? >> the united states will be paying for this operation. and as i said sheepishly to congressman rohrabacher, we don't have precise costs but i can assure him that is likely to be in the tens of minutes of dollars, not hundreds or five hundreds millions of dollars but we think it's investment worth making in terms of searches advising and assisting local forces we can eliminate a very evil force from the earth. >> how will the u.s. forces in central africa help address widespread developer needs of the region? if the lra is removed without making improvements to the economical and social stability of the region, then another military force could easily replace it. >> it's not going -- the efforts of usaid, u.s. diplomatic efforts in coordination with the international donor community, international organizations and regional states to look at how we can establish, you know,
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economic develop these countries. >> okay. what are the europeans and other allies doing to help stop the lra? >> raising consciousness, supporting, assisting with rehabilitation reconciliation, rehabilitation of victims, and also supporting the government and the effort to go after the lra. >> how about anybody? >> again, our money so far for the region has been around $50 million in total for the last three years. just on the lra operations, but then overall on the lra operations, the europeans, u.n. and other organizations are also contributing. and i don't have specific amounts. >> this is from greg. is this a peacekeeping/humanitarian mission, or more of an advisory role? >> it's clearly an advisory
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mission, helping to prepare, partner forces to do the job themselves more effectively, but it certainly has a humanitarian motivation, namely, there's been long-suffering for more than two decades by the population of the hands at the lord's resistance army. >> this is from daniel. first of all, and to show that i'm trying to cover both sides of the story, thank you to the members of congress who have decided that the destruction in central africa at the hands of the lra matters and to take an important steps towards bringing peace to those affected. could you gentlemen be more specific about the ways in which the troops deployed have been trained to advise specifically in the hunt for kony as opposed to other large scale tactical planning? >> again, i think it should be understood that our forces are going there to help train and
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improve the capabilities of the local militaries who will then carry out the actual operations in the field. the key thing we're hoping to help them with is infusing the intelligence information with the operational plan so that they can more quickly respond to reports that the lra is active and engage, we hope, eliminate the remaining leadership of the lra. we are not taking on a combat role ourselves. >> most of these questions were from my constituents in pennsylvania 10, north central and northeast pennsylvania, but here's my question. do we have an exit strategy >> we do, because we said in a outset that this is not an open ended mission in terms of his goals or its duration. we certainly hope that it achieves the overarching goal which is eliminating joseph kony and the other commanders from the battlefield, but we will not
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go on indefinitely even if that maximum goal has been achieved. we will judge whether we have been effective in improving our partners capacity to do with the threats, to engage the lra, to substantially reduce the threat. and then we will pull back and we hope they will be able to continue with this training to finish the job. >> wycliffe, yes or no from both of you. are we following the money or just handing a check over? >> following. spent are we following the money or are we just handing a check over? >> we are following the money because we will be there on the ground, ensuring that what we use of taxpayers money for is achieving positive results. >> thank you, gentlemen. thank you, madam chair. >> i don't know how that could have an answer with a yes or no given the two choices, but well done. and you have very wise constituents. they asked excellent questions and i encourage all of my
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members to try to bring in our constituents to the committee process. thank you, mr. marino. thank you. i'm so glad. mr. sharma from california is recognized. >> thank you. mr. yamamoto, in this enterprise are introducing american armed forces into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated? >> i mean, the reason why they are there is, there are many for advice and support and assistance. however, if they need to defend themselves they need to be fully equipped. >> well, the u.s. marines and the london embassy would defend themselves. in vietnam we use the term training to mean american troops going out on combat missions when accompanied by indigenous forces. are they in safe areas training,
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or are they out -- training their engagement, through engaging the in the? >> congressman, some of the training will take place in safe areas of basis far removed from the area of conflict, but under the nation's approved by the president our forces will have the possibility based upon what the commanders judged to be most effective and based on what the partnership would be most effective to deploy to the field, to advise and assist at the frontline level. but we don't believe that it is highly likely that our forces will be engaged. >> will we be shooting at the enemy? >> only in self-defense. >> we would be placing ourselves within 100 yards of the any? such that self-defense would be
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necessary. >> congressman, i honestly don't know whether they would be within 100 yards or 200 or not. at this point it's hypothetical because we're just at the early stage. >> the constitution provides congress with authority to declare war and engage in war. now you're telling me that that decision will be made by lieutenant. we've seen in libya a terrible lesson brought home to the american people. if you shred the war powers provision of the constitution's, of the constitution, good things happen in the world. my fear is that you're going to be teaching the american people this lesson a second time. that is to say, i think you may very well accomplish something good in eastern africa, but when we do so in a way that constitutes a second intentional violation of the war powers act
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here and both of you have been rather vague on what our forces are going to do, except that lieutenants and captains and majors on the ground will decide what to do. are these combat officers authorized to bring their forces into hostilities, i'll ask mr. vershbow. >> i think the short answer is no, that the only condition in which they might use the weapons that their caring is if they are fired upon in an act of self-defense. i would have to defer to my legal experts -- >> that will be speeded exactly -- >> that's as good an answer as unlikely to get. let me shift over to mr. yamamoto. let's say the nation changes and thank it is necessary to
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introduce the armed forces of the united states into situations where imminent and involvement with hostilities is indicated by the circumstances. with the administration followed the war powers act? >> we are following the war powers act in this instance. >> are you acting in serendipi serendipity, acting parallel to the war powers act or are you conform to the war powers act? is that act the law of the land you are following? >> we are respecting the intent of the u.s. congress and providing that. spent are you respecting the law or the free floating intense? >> no, the law special is the law of the land and you are going to follow it, is that correct? >> yes. >> that's all i needed. i yield back. >> thank you very much, mr. sherman. >> thank you, madam chair. with your permission may i yield
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to my subcommittee chair, mr. rohrabacher? >> absolutely. >> thank you very much. let me just a for the record, even though we have questions or point of questions, that should not message and indicate whether we support or oppose this particular mission. i happen to believe that nations like this are positive and can play a positive role and a positive strategy post-cold war strategy should be helping other people fight for their freedom. the cost is really an important factor because the united states can't afford to pay the price to win everyone else's freedom in the world. the libyan operation that this administration just engaged us in perhaps is a good example of that. and if indeed the libyans now, and i would challenge the libyan authorities now to step forward
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and announce that they will repay the united states for every time that we spent in helping them win their freedom, we are in a financial crisis. they are sitting on the biggest, you know, deposits of oil and gas in the world. they should repay us. if indeed they do, then it was the right thing for us to help the people of libya overthrow their tyrant. if indeed the cost of this nation to -- mission is repay to us from those who benefit from it, then this type of mission, helping others fight against evil forces in the world is justified and speaks well of the united states of america. what doesn't speak well of us is when we become intertwined with dictatorships. and that's what i am asking, have been asking questions about ethiopia. and i would ask our former ambassador to ethiopia, was
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there an election held while you were ambassador to ethiopia to? >> i came in after the election. >> after the election. was that election that happened right before you became ambassador? did the winners of that election then take over the government, or did they arrest those who won the election? >> the parliament took the seat because we negotiate with them to do so. the issue was the city hall, they refuse. they did not take up their seats. and in the context that they were arrested and we worked with the government and the canary -- >> the answer to the question is they arrested the ones who won the election. those who lost the election stayed in power. those who won the elections ended up in jail. and during that time period, opec decided that there were several cases in ethiopia that
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had, where american citizens owned property and that the ethiopian government, now run by those who didn't win the election, but imprisoned those who did, that the ethiopian government had this property of americans and was illegally refusing to give it back to them. do you believe, and opec still has that standard, by the way. still has that finding. do you agree with that tiny? >> first, the carter center declared the election, the winners the winner. they declared that. that was their position. >> the government declared that? >> no, the carter center. we abide by what the carter center had stated that the second issue is, as far as opec, the person you are referring to, his property was confiscated
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under the -- >> i'm not talking about a person. i'm talking about the general theory that americans have property claims that have not been adjudicated by the ethiopian government and have let sit. >> we have tried to help adjudicate with the government -- >> we have, that's correct, opec -- that's what opec declared ethiopia was now no longer eligible for opec loan guarantees. they have not yet changed that policy, correct? >> because of restrictions. >> right. and restrictions were based on fact that american citizens still have property claims that were not been made. but back to ethiopia and eritrea. there was an agreement between eritrea and ethiopia to abide by an arbitration. in the end, it is my understand that the arbiters actually decided, at least for a major part of that, in eritrea's favor. yet we prevent the government of ethiopia to renege on the
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agreement to follow the arbiters come is that correct? >> no. we announced it was binding because the parties census of therefore we help both parties to adhere to the result. >> thank you very much. time has expired. i want to thank our witnesses for appearing before us. we look forward to your written answers, and remind the committee members that if you could join me to say hello to evelyn apoko. it is a true delight and an honor to have you here with us. thank you. the committee is now adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> as this hearing comes to a close, if you missed any of it you can see it on our website in its entirety.
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go to and look for the c-span video library. coming up we will go to the house armed services committee, which is holding a hearing on military retirement. servicemembers right now receive retirement benefits after 20 years of service. this thing will look at whether that should be changed into the system more like 401(k)s are used by private employers. live coverage of that hearing at 1 p.m. eastern from capitol hill here on c-span2. right now a look at the evelt igation into the solar company solyndra from this morning's "washingtonci journalj >> we are joined by congressman clay for sternto his been leading the house investigation into solyndra, the solar energy coming to receive half a billion dollars in government loans and wentff bankrupt. been leading the investigation into solyndra. your investigation has been building toward having secretary steven chu come to testify. when will that happen? guest: we are hoping it happens
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before thanksgiving. we are going to ask the legal counsel for secretary steven chu to come forward and explain why and how they supported the roughly half of $1 billion through two private hedge funds. at that point, all the tax payer money was subordinated to these two hedge funds. host: i want to get into how that subordination worked, reports have come up that the energy department has offered steven chu to testify next week, and you and several members of your committee said you wanted to come in s soon as possible, why not take them up on the offer? guest: first of all we are pleased that he wishes to testify. i know some people have less for i know some people have less for his


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