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tv   U.S. Policy in Afghanistan  CSPAN  July 6, 2018 1:08pm-2:47pm EDT

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what does this say about us as a culture and is this-- is there any precursor of what we might see down the road? when you let the genie out of the body of-- bottle of mixing guns and religion in almost any society it's been almost problematic. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span q&a. >> the senate returns from its july 4 recess monday at 3:00 p.m. eastern and will resume debate on a circuit court nomination with a vote to limit the debate at 5:30 p.m. eastern. senators could begin work on a couple of executive nominations next week. followed the senate live on c-span2 when members gavel back in. also monday, president trump announces his choice for the vacant seat on the supreme court pick late last month just as if they kennedy told president he would retire from the high court after serving 30 years.
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you can see president trump's announcement live monday at 9:00 p.m. eastern over on c-span and after it's over we will take phone calls and comments. now look at the future of us policy in afghanistan. alice wells who serve as an assistant secretary of state for south and central asian affairs testifies on the potential for peace between afghan forces and the taliban and how us resources are currently spent. this for an affairs knee hearing is there in half. >> this hearing on us policy for afghanistan will come to order. afghanistan has been at war since 1979. the human suffering has been horrendous.
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real threats to us national security have followed. as a result, the us has had no choice, but to engage in afghanistan. first, we help counter the brutal soviet invasion and then we helped dislodge the telegram in combat al qaeda after the september 11, attacks. afghanistan has been called america's longest war. thousands of americans have lost their lives. we have spent hundreds of billions. this investment aims to achieve a stable afghanistan that is not harbor international terrorist. should the afghan government fail, the vacuum surely would be filled. isis and the ayatollah would be among those who would benefit. so, today we will ask where should we go here.
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we currently have 14000 us troops in afghanistan. this is dramatically down from a high of 100,000 in 2011. their current focus is training afghan security focus it-- forces in counterterrorism and there has been some success. fortunately, many allies are still with us, but afghans need the ability and the will to fight for their own country. last week, there was a brief cease-fire and renewed afghan government outreach to the taliban which the administration endorsed. yet, the taliban and continues the fight and has rejected all offers to enter into negotiations with internationally recognized and backed afghan government. this conflict does not need a sustainable political resolution of some sort.
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that will fall apart. what it needs is a well thought through sustainable situation that will hold for the people of afghanistan and that leads to a credible, competent afghan government. in the administration move these things in the right direction by scrapping restrictive rules of engagement that had hamstrung us forces. it dropped a politically driven timeline for engagement,-- by te previous administration. it's putting more pressure on pakistan, which aids and abets the taliban and other jihadist groups and tell them finances are being targeted. these are good steps, but it's unclear if they will change the fundamentals that has frustrated unacceptable resolution for so long. after all these years, what do we really know about the
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caliban? how fragmented is a? can it ever be brought into a durable political settlement? with pakistan or russia and iran both increasingly engage with the caliban sabotage any settlement racks we should be proud of our many contributions to develop afghanistan including dramatically expanding education in the call of women despite rampant corruption. i have met with some of these women, the girls can now go to school. that was prohibited, of course, under the caliban. i talk to teachers who had the souls of their feet lashed when they were caught teaching girls. the stories of these girls are incredibly inspiring pick the stories of women who are now part of the government in afghanistan are inspiring, but
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frankly in other ways we have been treading water. while leaving today would do more harm than good our military commitment to afghanistan cannot be open-ended. we need to see more progress. with that, if we have a ranking member is not with us yet. he will make his statement, ambassador wells, after your opening statement, so this morning i'm pleased to welcome alice wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for south and central asian affairs. ambassador wells has been serving as the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for south and central asian affairs since june, 2017. she is a career foreign service officer and she has previously served as the usa master to the kingdom of jordan. she has held numerous positions
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within the department of state and has extensive experience in south and central asia. we very much appreciate her being with us today. without objection, the witness paul prepared statement will be made part of the record. members will have five calendar days to submit any statements or questions or extraneous material for the record. and i will ask ambassador wells if she would summarize her remarks and afterwards we will go to questions. thank you. >> chairman, thank you for inviting me to appear today to discuss the administration's strategy in afghanistan. this is a timely hearing. just last week a cease-fire, the first in 17 years brought peace to afghanistan during the period and like many americans i was struck by the images of afghan shoulders and caliban's reindeer side-by-side with afghan troops and taliban foot shoulders back and pray together than that
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afghan people have every reasons to believe there can come together and negotiated end to the war to jumpstart afghan peace prize-- process is among secretary pompeo's highest priorities. the president south asia strategy announced last august is making a difference. its conditions -based approach has signaled to the caliban that they cannot win on the battlefield and has provided president with renewed confidence to pursue a negotiated political settlement. 's february, 2018, invitation to the caliban to intrude to a peace process without preconditions was unprecedented. equally on president was present god's announcement of the temporary cease fire for the weeks surrounding the holiday. the national outpouring of relief and joy last weekend was unlike anything afghanistan has seen. taliban fighters wander through
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the streets of the city and took selby's with afghan soldiers and they worshiped alongside those they had been exchanging fire worth a few days earlier here for many afghans taliban and pro-government alight it was an exhilarating first taste of what peace might look like. the united states has made clear that we are prepared to support, facilitate and participate in negotiations between the afghan government and that taliban. we will support all afghan sake-- stakeholders as they work to reach a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and ensures afghanistan is never again used as a safe haven for terrorist groups. our desired outcome through any peace process is clear and has not changed. the taliban must renounce violence, break ties with al qaeda and accept afghan constitution including protection for women in my own. although they are enemies the south is a strategy is having an
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impact on the battlefield with tactical levels from us military advisers the afghan security forces have slowed the taliban momentum, improved air support, a generational shift in leadership and a doubling of the size of special sources preconditions for a political process to achieve a lasting peace. alongside our military campaign we work with partners especially in the gulf to strangle the taliban illicit revenue from foreign sources. we are supporting the afghan government outreach to the muslim community to delegitimize the religious underpinning of the pilot campaign and we are also calling on afghanistan neighbors especially pakistan to take additional steps in support of peace despite positive indicators we have not yet seen pakistan take the disdain or decisive steps we believe it should pursue including arresting or expelling caliban
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elements-- elements that will not come to the negotiating table and we encourage the afghan government. upcoming afghan elections for parliament in october and for present in early 2019 must be timely, transparent and credible while providing targeted assistance to elect oral institutions to assist voter registration and reduce elect oral fraud. more than 6 million afghans have registered to vote in more than 5000 candidates will stand for public office. president ghani is an economic reformer, but afghanistan still ranks to the bottom of transparency. there has been institutional progress including establishment of an anticorruption justice center, but progress has been slow. there have been bright spots as well. over the last year the afghan government has improved its fiscal performance in finding a
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greater share of its budget. the us share a pledged donor support has dropped from about 50% in 2012, to 25% today. the afghan people who faced the deadly poll of this every day understand the need for peace and so also did that thousands of us personnel working to implement the administration's strategy. as i noted earlier the crete-- key question remains whether caliban-- taliban join the peace process necessary to end the war we are prepared to test this proposition. mr. chairman, mr. ranking member, thank you for the opportunity to appear before your committee. congress support is crucial to progress and i look forward to addressing your questions. >> thank you, ambassador wells. we now go to mr. elliott ingle of new york, ranking member of the committee. >> thank you for calling this hearing and ambassador, thank you for your time into service. our policy obviously towards afghanistan is critical.
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15000 american troops on the ground there fighting america's longest war and we provide billions in assistance every year. in the 17 years since americans first deployed to afghanistan after september 11, we have performed heroically with significant progress on the counterterrorism front against al qaeda was estimated as many as 5000. afghanistan is now thought to be in the low hundreds. those games against al qaeda are not comparable to the fight against the taliban which experts consider a stalemate. the trump administration announces the approach to deal with the stalemate. it's meant to be a so-called condition -based approach to emphasize fighting to win and downplays nationbuilding, includes stronger aligning with pakistan and larger role for india, eliminates timetables and eliminates target authority and
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commits to sending additional troops. in sum, the administration seems to be planning to escalate the war to break the stalemate causing the taliban to negotiate , but what happens if the stalemate is not broken? april, 2018, report the inspector general brett dennis dan reconstruction what we call -- [inaudible] sound the share of the district in afghanistan is city 6%. unfortunately, that's the lowest level ever recorded. we need to be honest even with the best military in the world and if-- it's impossible to kill every member of the taliban took the administration acknowledge the war of afghanistan will not be won on the battlefield. i think all of the countries which have submitted troops to the fight in afghanistan for so many years, but i worry with the
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attacks on nato and our allies coming from the president we undermine the alliance which binds the coalition fighting for the future of afghanistan and our security. rather than putting more americans in harms way the administration should focus resources on achieving resolution to the conflict. it's a tough pill to swallow. many great americans have perished at the hands of taliban fighters or could the taliban continues to exist and that they packed we need to deal with an old adage remains true you don't make peace with your friends. taliban refuses to talk to the afghan government and view it as illegitimate. the taliban has maintained an interest in talking with the us even after the president told the un secretary-- un security council this past january that the us was not prepared to talk right now. that's a mistake. american interest is best served by negotiated with the taliban
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and we should stop kicking the can down the road. the taliban claims they were separate-- they will separate themselves from international terrorism, respect the rights of women and minorities and it's time to see if they are serious. developments may give us an opening. the taliban reciprocal cease-fire with convergence of interest with the growing threat of isis and afghanistan. so far we squander the opportunity and heard nothing about how we plan the cease-fire and thus no real surprise because as i have been fighting for many months now the administration doesn't prioritize to policy. state department offers the inspector general and the bureau of south and central asian affairs quote lost both staff and expertise" as a result of the reckless of the state
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department. among the cuts were the experts on peace talks with the taliban and reconciliation. investor wells, we are interested to hear is how the administration plans to reconstitute this expertise. we cannot miss the next opportunity because we don't have diplomats at the job. diplomacy will be at the center of solving this challenge. after many years of war it's clear there's no military solution against the fighting in afghanistan, but that is not a path to peace. [inaudible] now is the time to make peace and security are number one goal and implement strategy in afghanistan. we-- the many women who serve our country in uniform to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. i look forward to your testimony and i know you have started and we are happy to have you here. i thank you again, mr. chairman,
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and i yield back. >> ambassador wells, i think the key question here in terms of the willingness of factions in the taliban or the overall organization to reach some kind of settlement goes to their intentions and there have been cease-fires, but yesterday there was 30 afghans killed by taliban soldiers on the taliban side. they lifted the cease-fire. but me ask you in your judgment, is that taliban at the end of the day interested in a political settlement? what circumstances tell you and what-- how would we get there cracks we saw president ghani offer a series of moves with prisoner releases, medical aid for wounded soldiers. this latest cease-fire and fraternization that presumably
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might bring down tensions and yet here was the attack yesterday. give me your view on this. >> the caliban has long said they do support political or negotiations, but only with the us, not with the sovereign government of afghanistan and i think what we learn from this was just how much the foot soldiers and commanders inside of afghanistan requires peace and the celebration was spontaneous and it was countrywide and so i think where we are right now is the caliban-- taliban leadership many of whom enjoy sanctuary outside the country and don't feel the pressures of day to day war have not been convinced to come to the negotiating table despite what's been forward leaning opera piece put forward by president ghani in february. at peace officer, which was
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unconditional without any preconditions attached and included the offer of considering constitutional amendment to ensure that the taliban views were better reflected in the institution's infrastructure of the government of afghanistan. that doctor has been endorsed by the international community and so our strategy right now has to be focused on increasing the pressure that the taliban feels to take up that offer of negotiation. >> one of the difficulties in all this and getting an organization of terrorist organization might add to the table is the financing for that organization that makes cash ready at hand every time they are moving narcotics. i guess one of the great frustrations for the last 15 years is the us government has spent $8 billion focused on trying to shut down that and today it is still the biggest
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cash crops in afghanistan. what in theory could be done to try to diminish that narcotics trade in all the legality that it drives as well as the support for the taliban from a financial standpoint? >> i agree the narcotics accounts for about 60% of the taliban budget, but more than that they fuel a criminal network and eat away at the institutions of the state with the corruption that they also cause. what we have done-- it's a problem of security, 85% of opium is grown in areas controlled or contested by the taliban and so a key element in combating the taliban finances is continuing to improve on the battlefield, which we are starting to see decline in the taliban momentum as a result of the south asia strategy in the new authorities in new approach
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that's been adopted underneath that strategy. we are also building the institutional capacity of the afghan government to go after norco criminals and that's been through working with administrative narcotics, billy-- building special units and national investigation units , working with president ghani in support of a national drug action plan and there have been some successes. rather than going after individual farmers are focused on drug labs and last year we had 84 joint raids. we predicted about $360 million worth of drugs. there's a counter narcotics justice center which is prosecuting these narcotic cases with a 99% conviction record, security-- a security is a key part. as is the fact that over the last 16 years we have build up a cadre of afghans so the responsibility for undertaking
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these actions reside in these afghan institutions. >> one of the other things that has to be a prerequisite here is within the government of afghanistan that governments has to credibly combat corruption and that has been a long-standing problem. we have our special investigative general for afghanistan reconstruction where we spend 55 million per year just to make sure our funds aren't missed used and my time has expired and i will go to mr. ingle, but i would suggest that tripling down in terms of the pressure we apply on the government there to have transparency and to end those practices is the only sure way to rally confidence on the part of the afghan population and international community. we go to mr. ingle. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, ambassador.
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let me say this, i'm glad you supports negotiations with the taliban, but as far as i'm concerned your support only adds to the mix signals we hear from the administration, so when un secretary pompeo and general miller say we should negotiate him not sure if you are speaking for yourselves or the administration because the white house has not been so clear. the way i see it is if we can talk to ken jonathan certainly we can talk to the caliban-- taliban. we know that taliban is interested in talks with us, so i won't administration accept the offer if only as a bridge to broader talks that would eventually include the afghan government? >> thank you, sir. the saturdays a strategy is premised on achieving a pathway to a dignified political settlement. that his victory under the south asia strategy and we have worked to diplomatically and support of the military campaign to build
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an international consensus behind a peace proposal has been put forward by president ghani and have undertaken lines of effort with pressure on the taliban to bring them to the table took the taliban had a de facto office for many years and there's been no lack of talking. other countries talking of the taliban hearing from the international community and from the afghan government. the sincere desire to begin a negotiated political process and so the offer is on the table. i think we have been very clear about how we see ourselves playing a role in the negotiation, both as participants and supporting the process. we are a party to this conflict, but the taliban leadership has to understand that the very nature of a peace settlement when you talk about forms of governance, rights of individuals under the
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constitution, prisoner releases, these are sovereign issues took these are issues that have to be negotiated with afghan and not over the heads of afghans, so we will play our role but the taliban if you recognize them as part of a legitimate political product-- barbara called afghanistan they have to recognize that the afghan government in many communities of afghanistan are also part of that legitimate political fabric of afghanistan cnet let me ask you this question. in your testimony you say we have a conditions based strategy in south asia, but those conditions have never been spelled out, so what conditions are you referring to specifically if you could list them? >> the conditions we seek to achieve in afghanistan are that they should have violence and rejection of terrorism and respect the constitution. this is all under the umbrella
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of not allowing afghanistan to ever begin become a safe haven for terrorists planning to attack the united states or its allies. i think what's significant in those conditions is that they are not preconditions. we have not imposed any obstacles to the beginning of a negotiation, political negotiation between the taliban and afghan government. what we went to see is what comes out of that process. >> thank you. lets me ask you this. we have 40 countries contributing troops to nato support mission in afghanistan and the operation remains one of the most enduring examples of how we can work with our allies, germany is the second-largest contributor after the united states. the presidents seems to indicate that he doesn't agree with or understand the values of alliances and multilateral partnerships such as how the nato mission in afghanistan continues to serve the interest of the united states, so i'm concerned about the repeated
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remarks by the president to integrate the nato alliance, so i went to ask us a question. do you agree that the us is best served by continuing to work with allies and partners around the world? obviously the answer would be yes and i would like to hear that. if the present continues to attack the country's fighting with us in afghanistan on our side, how much cooperation with our allies may make it harder to implement our south asia strategy? >> having a united international force and diplomatic effort is essential to the campaign to stabilize afghanistan and we are grateful for the support of our nato allies and our partners in the resolute support mission. i think you see it in what we've been able to do is to thread the burden which is a key goal of the administration in order to ensure that we are all playing a part in a fair part in
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contributions to afghanistan stability. i think it's a telling statistic that since 2012, our contribution to civilian has gone from 50% to make 25% and i think we went to continuing neck-- direction to make sure we had our partners are all pulling in the same direction with the same intensity. >> my time is that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> we go to florida. >> thank you so much mr. chairman. thank you, ranking member and it's a pleasure to see you again, ambassador wells. when the president first announced our new strategy in afghanistan last year the administration told congress it would seek a coordinated effort to get the taliban to the table as we had been discussing using layers of diplomatic efforts and this we were told that open the possibility of including russia and iran trick if you could
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elaborate on what extent you think russia and iran support the taliban and if they are how does that impact our layered diplomatic approach and i also wanted to follow up on pakistan. i know the administration suspended military aid to pakistan as part of our strategy to get pakistan to change how it does business when it comes to the taliban and providing a safe harbor your queue testified that pakistan is on notice we expect unequivocal cooperation ending sanctuaries, but also we haven't really seen pakistan do the sustained or decisive step that we would have expected when the seas strategy was announced a pair do you have any evidence that pakistan has taken any steps to cut off the flow of arms, fighters or support for the taliban and have we in the us allowed for any waivers or made any exceptions to military assistance to pakistan since the
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secession of the aid was announced. thank you, ambassador. >> thank you. we are concerned when we see reports of countries that are seeking to hedge their bets in afghanistan by viewing the taliban as a legitimate force and fighting isis. our strong view is that the only way to defeat terrorism and bring peace to afghanistan is to strengthen afghan government and strengthen the government's ability to fight terrorists. that said, both countries like russia and iran do have an important role to play in the future of stabilization of afghanistan. afghanistan's neighbors will have to support any peace process that emerges between afghan taliban and that's why we have worked hard in a variety of diplomatic formats to ensure that the region is part of this process, informed by the process and informed by the principles
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of peace that have been put forward by president ghani. next week i will be going to do international meeting of over 30 countries that will be gathering including russia and iran to reinforce our support for the efforts of president ghani and our support for peace in the region and we will continue those diplomatic efforts pakistan has a particularly crucial role to play. as the general testified, without pakistan's active support it will be more challenging to achieve our objective under the south asia strategy. we would like to see pakistan excel or bring to the negotiating table taliban leadership antedates while we have seen some positive steps our assessment has been that we have not seen the sustained and decisive actions that are really required to ensure that the taliban takes this peace process seriously. >> one little nugget to leave you with.
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the, compact and president ghani said they were going to take steps to reform announcing a hundred initiatives and i hope in the question and answer you can give us an update-- i have not heard much about the reforms we have a minute, maybe you could tell us the benchmarks the president has and how do we tend to use those as commitments for preconditions etc.? >> the afghan government on its own volition establish the afghanistan compact with over 200 metrics to measure a performance, reform anticorruption in the areas of security, governance, economic performance and reconciliation efforts. we meet quarterly with president ghani to review progress with those efforts. this is an afghan government initiative and not something we
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put forward as part of our eight conditionality. >> do you think they are making progress? >> we do and we see areas where progress is faster and areas where there's less progress we have been able to have the kind of top-level political conversations to beat-- keep the momentum behind reform. >> we go now to mr. brad sherman of california. >> good to see you, acting assistant secretary and ambassador. raises the question, when is that administration going to appoint a permanent assistant secretary for south and central asia as the administration indicated that? >> secretary pompeo and he testified indicated that he would be moving soon to make appointments including for that-- >> did he criticize or apologize for the fact that throughout the
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tenure of his predecessor no one had been nominated to a position as important as the one you are acting in? >> i'm grateful both under secretary tiller's and then secretary pompeo i've been given full-- >> but still the word acting in front of your title undercuts what you do, the uncertainty of whether you will keep doing it if the administration doesn't have the wisdom to simply give you the position. i would be asking this question. as i understand some 30 personnel positions were cut between the south central asia office and the special representative for afghanistan and pakistan. is there any question those cuts will be restored? >> is there-- >> and are they needed. >> some of the cuts were the result of two bureaus being merged and when you overlap to bureaus some of the
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administrative staff, front office staff so we took advantage of efficiencies from integration of the two bureaus so weak sighted-- decided to spend our staff who are focused on reconciliation and that team is being billed up here and in the state department as well as our embassy in kabul, but i was also note we benefit from what is a whole of government approach with experts we have weather in dod or intelligence community, all are part of this one team as we look for ways to move the peace process forward. >> does the united states and does india and is pakistan recognize the border between afghanistan and pakistan? >> afghanistan-- >> i know afghanistan hasn't, but what about pakistan and the united states? >> the durand line serves as the international boundary and recognizes six it-- sensitivities because you did with it. >> does the us recognize it is
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the boundary? >> that is how we approach the line, yes. >> is there a quick vacation there? >> yes. >> is just as much as an international border. >> weekly border management will be best done when the countries work together. >> what about india? does india recognize that as international border? >> i actually don't know india's position. >> i hope you responded that because india provides foreign aid. bears-- to a limited degree. they have needs in its own that are even closer india than afghanistan, burma, sri lanka, but india is instead providing substantial aid and has substantial involvement in afghanistan. is there any-- what degree of harm does not cause by making the pakistanis nervous and
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causing them to support the wrong elements in afghanistan or at least not to help us go out during the wrong elements. to what it said is india's to people of afghanistan causing a problem with pakistan? >> first we see india support to afghanistan very important. they are responsible aid providers pledging $3 million in assistance through 2020. the afghan government welcomes that assistance and the afghan government will come and seeks the partnership with india. when it comes to pakistan's tensions and concerns over encirclement-- >> let me interrupt you. afghanistan was a strategic partnership with india? >> s. >> afghanistan claims a huge chunk of pakistani territory and we are surprised although you wanted minute and they won't admit it is working against our interests for a strong united
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afghanistan which longs to be an effective strategic part of india. >> we welcome the recent afghan pakistan discussions to deal with these issues that you raised including management of the border and there's been an agreement recently to establish liaison officers and be able to collaborate more effectively on the border. >> i'm sure there's collaboration. there's also substantial support for spec is-- pakistan-- bad elements in packs-- pakistan. you have a tough job. the only tougher job would be to come to our districts and explain why we have not destroyed the poppy fields because afghanistan is a battlefield, but so are the towns and cities of the country, many of our neighborhoods. i yield back. >> we go to mr. chris smith of new jersey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. investor wells, thank you for your leadership and for your sober but cautiously austin--
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optimistic take on the prospect of peace. the way forward is through obstacles and you know it better than anyone. thank you for giving us that insight. exhilarating first taste of what peace might look like. that he can offers more encouragement that this can happen. i would like to ask you, if i could, concerning the intent of the taliban leadership, taliban as we all know within the last few hours attacked a base, a afghan base and killed 30 afghan soldiers according to reuters. perhaps, eight or more were wounded and there's always a concern that a hostile power will use the prospects of peace or the cover of peace as cover to accelerate their violence and
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i wonder how that has factored into the thinking, yours as well as the administration. second, eight conditionality which you mentioned a moment ago and the government of afghanistan, particularly the afghan local police and national police which are on the front lines of combating the taliban are known to have recruited children to serve as combatants including sex slaves. a 10-year old boy was assassinated in february, 2016 by the taliban after he had been publicly honored by the afghan police forces for his assistance in combat operations against the taliban. as you know the child prevention act of 2008, require subject to national interest waiver the us sees military aid where the military allows children to be trafficked in its forces as child soldiers and i wonder if you could convey to us how seriously we are raising that issue with the afghan government and what steps if any did the government of afghanistan taken
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2017 and into 2018th to cease using child soldiers in its forces? >> thank you. i think when it comes to the taliban resuming violence after the cease-fire, this would be a critical time, i think, to_-- underscores the view over the reason why they're fighting this war. we have seen some very important developments. pakistan issued over a thousand members of their religious establishment condemning suicide bombing, condemning some of the tactics of the taliban. the indonesians gathered afghan and pakistani and reiterated the condemnation and called for peace and reconciliation. the afghan, over 27 gathered and signed in favor of peace against suicide bombing and in favor of peace associations.
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the letter oic gathered in the next two weeks to have a conversation, i mean, this is i think a real moment of changing of opinion in the islamic world about what is going on in afghanistan and taking greater ownership in trying to frame that this is the time to negotiate for the taliban with an islamic government of afghanistan and so we will continue to encourage these developments and put as much pressure as we can on the taliban thrill of the the various lines and efforts and now is the moment to seize the opportunity. at the same time you are so correct that the reforms the government take is critical, so when it comes to for instance children sex slaves, we have worked with the afghan government over many years that practice is now criminalized in the penal code and other regulatory measures. we do extensive vetting for all of our military assistance at who we work with in afghanistan to ensure we are not supporting
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afghan officers who are engaging in that behavior with extensive human rights training we provide and through us uid we have done rehabilitation of 6000 of these victims of this sex slaves practice. on child soldiers the same commitment by the afghan government has been criminalized or could there are active measures to ensure that children are not recruited including 22 centers around the country that interdict when they see efforts for children to be inducted into the service and so this is very much on our agenda, sir. >> ambassador wells, thank you very much. >> new jersey? >> ambassador wealth, thank you for coming. appreciate having you here today. ambassador wells, have an observation in alaska question. i'm hopeful we do have a prospect for peace in afghanistan, but i look at the
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columbia peace pack and i see what it done to the drug growth in the country and i just want to make sure that when we talk about peace, we do take into consideration that this is a very lucrative business in afghanistan and i don't know if we want to continue basically saying it's okay for them to keep growing in the opm growth, so we see the growth that has been columbia and i hope we do have a piece in afghanistan that we focus on that because i would hate to have such a growth in the opium drug growing. my question is-- we have a growing concern that afghan politics and society is becoming increasingly fragmented
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alongside ethnic and ideological lines. what impact do you think that's going to have for political stability in the country cracks >> on the issue of narcotics i agree. again, this is not just an issue that involves the taliban. it's an issue that is a perversion throughout afghan society with the criminal networks and their ability to corrupt the institutions of the state and society and it's something we take very seriously. we are limited right now because of the security situation where the opm is grown, but to go back to point raised earlier, rather than undertake eradication which is not supported by the afghan government, the effort is to go to step up and through the drug lab targeting of the drug network to get to that level of individuals who are benefiting
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more and are greater part of the drug trade, so efforts continue. institutional development of the afghan government to respond to the narcotics threat in the criminal networks behind the. it's very much an investment that we have made and we will continue to make. .. >> the combatants and government supporters gather together tens of thousands of people praying together in places where if the heartland of the taliban in the conflict. the hope is that the basics and
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use of the afghan nation that are there but yes, we've seen greater ethnic polarization over the last couple of years with the government of national unity they've had to deal with issues of inclusivity trying to ensure that all facets of afghan society are representative government and i think there will be a great deal of important attached to the credibility and the conduct of the elections that are coming up and elections have always been a sensitive event in afghanistan and it is one that we are supporting very carefully and supporting the independent election commission to ensure that is much can be done to reduce the chances for industrial scale corruption and increase the chances the voters across afghanistan and voters across both female and male will be able to participate. >> are they being obstructionist? i read an article whether
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funneling funds -- >> the russians have been unknowable in accusing or falsely accusing the united states and undertaking propaganda campaigns to suggest that somehow we have introduced isis into afghanistan and seek to artificially keep the terraced battles going and so we believe that russia has an important role to play in being a supporter of peace in afghanistan and they certainly benefit from stable afghan -- >> delay funnel arms? >> russia denies that but certainly we see russia adopting posture that the taliban are a legitimate bulwark against isis and we do not buy that as a justification of engagement with the taliban. >> thank you very much, ambassador. >> thank you very much. i am sorry that i don't join in your optimism in watching people
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play together. the next thing we know is to say the next up would be to say sitting around a campfire singing by off as if that has anything to do with creating peace in this war-torn country. afghanistan is a society that is based on tribalism and ethnicity and our greatest and what has been reconfirmed today is that we continue down the road trying to remake afghanistan into a democratic system. that is why we are failing and that is why it will not succeed because it is inconsistent with their national character. we did this from the very beginning over my objection many times trying to create or re-created the most centralized constitution of almost any country in the world in over of
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people who are the most decentralized people in the world and then we are surprised when it doesn't work and people are upset. let me ask you, are the [inaudible] still the major element if not the dominant element of the taliban? >> yes. >> okay. so, now we have the people understand that half of them are in afghanistan and half of them are in pakistan and let me just say that we have to understand that and deal with that or we never would have peace. we made a mistake in the beginning trying to re-create the central government in kabul and then we permitted criminals
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and clerks to take over the government and luke the country of billions of dollars and we expect them to say that we will now have a democratic process -- let me note also that the major opium production areas, poppies, in that country is in the [inaudible] areas, is it not? >> it is dominated in that area. >> right, and we have done nothing and let me note that when i say we've gone through a lot of pr types of things that make you look like were doing something who wanted to eliminate the profit afghanistan in a week we can do it but we have technologically capabilities that we not done that and thus we have committed the and eight, the taliban , too
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have a major source of billions of dollars of input which permits them to have the bullets and the guns that are necessary to have the terrorist organization and the radical islamic type of regime they're trying to build. do you know what the status toward those who are watching and reading this and we realize that what really worked in afghanistan or what really worked after 911 was when we allied ourselves with the anti- taliban forces that were also basically made up of respects and [inaudible]? the leader of the group was -- if you seen the movie 12 strong he organized the effort to drive the taliban out of power in the first place. where is he today? >> turkey. >> he is in turkey because there was there have been major assassination attempt against
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them or the assassination attempt against the general motivated by tele- man or by people in the afghan government that we are supporting? >> my understanding is that general is in turkey for health reasons but that when he does return to afghanistan there are legal processes that have been brought against him and security officials for the sodomy of political figure had been in the custody of the general. >> you can bet that the people hate us and hate the man who helped us drive the taliban out and they're willing to say anything about him. yes, it sounds like he's outside of afghanistan for health reasons and they try to murder him and 50 of his bodyguards were killed but while he and ten others escaped from what was not a tele- ban ambush but we are in a murky situation here. the pakistanis who we have been treated with kid gloves are a
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clearly terrorist element and a pro- taliban and element in the sulfite and until we start realizing this all these things about praying together or reforms were talking about in the democratic centralized process in afghanistan will be nothing and more americans will die. we better get real or will lose for good. thank you very much. >> tom, of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here today, ambassador. i have to admit i'm faster with this process of trying to discover with the civilian strategy of united states of america in afghanistan is. i've only been here a short time but had the opportunity to ask secretary tillerson about this and i spoken to you over the telephone and secretary mattis and usaid as well as our civilian strategy? we hear the whole of government approach but i can't get the
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details of what it is we're actually doing. you referenced earlier about the 25% contribution toward the spleen efforts have been made by the united states government and i wanted to determine first are you referring to the $3.7 billion a year that was agreed to at the brussels conference which america is putting up a billion dollars a year for that money? >> yes. >> so that was done in 2016 under the previous and ministration so that commitment still stands for the brussels conference in october 2016? >> are aid levels are lower than that $1 billion a year but in general that is guiding the approach to buy us and the international community. >> that is the number of people $7 million spent by the international community are lower? >> i would have to get a breakdown of what it actually has come through in terms of -- >> that is what i've been trying to get the long time.
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i like the breakdown for the international commitment of civilian effort is specifically with the numbers is but had to get this from outside the us government to determine the number was. i'd also like to no, and i'll send you a follow-up letter, but i like to know what we are spending our money on and what is the international community spending his money on. it's the $.7 million a year but what are the specific programs is being spent on we heard about medication and a bunch of things but i know like to know specifically how much is being spent on each of the efforts by the department of state, by usaid and by the doj and the dea and specifically and i've been asking for this for some time so that is why i am frustrated.
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i want to know what we are spending our money on into what effort because i don't feel like we have a conference of strategy and have to agree have a list of a lot of the work being done but a lot of people that are working very hard but i don't see it has been a strategy and that is a big contribution. the military study is clear we are clearing and holding property but our efforts to transition to redevelop the areas i don't know what that effort is. i'm very frustrated because of assets question many times and like to get specifics about how much money we're spending and what programs we're spending the money on. could you, off the top of your head today, give a rough idea of what the billion dollars approximately or if it is a different number what percentages are being and how much is being spent on infrastructure as a percentage or the poppy eradication or schools or stores or teaching prosecutors to be prosecutors? can you give us a rough indication of how the money is being spent? >> i'm happy to provide in touch might usaid colleagues and provide a more detailed letter
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with the breakdown of assistance. i'm sure you have heard from usaid that the overall principle the drive the new development strategy trying to improve the government responsiveness to citizens to increase the private-sector lead and export led growth and to consolidate the social gains in the health education and women's apartment. we have the peer of counterterrorism providing specific programs including to enhance the security of kabul and other urban areas and it is, get a topic and the numbers are confusing we can provide a detailed letter for you with the breakdown. >> okay. that would be very helpful. even the things you just told me know out of the billion dollars how much is being spent on poppy eradication customer.
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>> first off, i need to clarify that it is not a billion dollars. we talk about afghanistan for the 2017 and the numbers that i have that are actual be money was about $160 million. >> if it is not a billion dollars could you give me a rough idea of what the number is overall? >> between 19 request is we have $632 million. >> how about the actual set -- >> i'm sorry, the afghanistan them is our $632.8 million request for 2019. >> how about 2018? >> 42018 it was 782.8 million.
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>> we made a billion-dollar commitment at the brussels conference in 2016 and we went down and you would not happen at the 2070 number? >> 847.6. >> we are spending $45 million a year on military aid which is not not asking you about that but we produced our commitment from $1 billion a year an hour at 632 million a year on civilian eight. >> yes. >> we go to mr. tadpole of texas. >> thank you. the biggest problem in afghanistan other sanctuaries in pakistan that shelter terrorists. would you agree with that assessment? >> i agree with the assessment that without pakistan support we cannot -- it will be challenging to achieve our goals in afghanistan and that pakistan continues in centuries continue to exist in pakistan for their leaders. >> over the years we've had a trips down in pakistan i've been down there at the border and
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they are doing the best job they can but during the day the taliban come across the border and commit mischief and run back into pakistan and hide. pakistan government has hidden terrorist leaders in the past and their sanctuary for terrorists leaders and somehow we still give pakistan money with the promise that they will do better. they sweettalk us and say give us more american aid we will go after the terrorists. we do that heavier continue to it done it for i don't know how many years -- 17 and yet, nothing changes. they harbor terrorists and they pay for terrorists to go across the border into afghanistan that killed americans and our allies in afghan. i think it is nonsense that we continue to send money to pakistan with the promise that
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we will do better. i need -- how much money we spent taxpayer money over the last seven years in afghanistan? >> on the survey inside if we spent possibly 29 million. >> military side? >> i don't have the figures. >> any estimate? >> i don't. >> so who knows how much on the military side. secretary mattis stated, i think in october of last year, that the united states that the plan will stay if necessary in afghanistan indefinitely. to me that is problematic and no end in sight and we've been there 17 years and no end in
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sight. history says the war of the roses lasted 32 years with basically no resolution and the hundred year war lasted 116 years between france and england. indefinitely, i find that very alarming that there is no end in sight for that were prepared to stay there for as long as possible and the situation hasn't changed and it's continuing with the united states to send money to afghanistan. someone has said that afghanistan is where empires go to die and i'm not sure if that is true or not but on everyone and afghanistan. so, are we, the united states, and the nationbuilding business of afghanistan. rebuilding afghanistan into a new nation in our image with a
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democracy? are we in the nation building business with the 29 billion that we spent? >> president trump has been clear that we are not in the nation building business and rather than terming the war and in definite more than what the administration has thought to counter was the idea of having a truth surge in announcing the departure at the same time allowing the taliban to wait us out. we are no longer given the taliban and the luxury of knowing when the nitrates plans to leave and said the united states believe when we are assured that they will not become a safe haven for terrorists plotting against us. >> that may be indefinite. we do not know what that is happen. has a situation change in the last 17 years and army in the same place that we were 17 years ago and we have pakistan still supporting terrorists and they are terrorists in the government is shaky in afghanistan and army
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the same situation but yet we say, and i'm not arguing with the president's policy, but we will say that will be there indefinitely if need be to maintain victory. >> the situation has changed because afghan national security forces are on lead and we are not. the situation has changed because it put pressure on afghanistan including the 1.6 billion in military assistance and the coalition of support funds and serbian ministration strategy is being much more active in trying to put pressure on those countries and actors that we think can make -- >> i was out of time but i think we should cut off all aid to pakistan until they come to prove that they are not harboring terrorists in their own country and sending them across the border. thank you, mr. chairman. it has been.
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>> it has been more than one decade and a half since we entered afghanistan and a military solution has become more and more unlikely. we have not heard enough about the administration's long-term plan outside of the addition of more troops and many have pushed for dialogue and negotiation but tell a man they killed 30 afghan soldiers today and with them renouncing violence is an appealing image but dialogue with them is also in credibly dangerous endeavor, i think. after 17 years of a military combating the dell been facing casualties and instruction the delavan continue to engage in terror tactics turning civilians, the afghan government and us forces and the introduction of isis align groups for the company and the field. i support integrating moderates
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who aren't committed to the delavan's radical and evil ideology and observing them in responsible and safeway is an important step. the recent trips had to promise but the taliban has resume attacks and further ethnic tribal religious groups who are targets of the delavan cruelty and brutality of vested themselves and cobbled government and the promise of a better future in the afghan government has not been hard into a point where its institutions and its reach and i think it is clear that it's stability from enough to support negotiations. the main question i have is given for example the delavan's efforts in their decades past when they went house to house to identify and kill as there are thousands of them being killed reaction and will reaction to expect from religious ethnic or tribal groups in the afghan government has severed so mightily at the hands of the delavan if negotiations with the
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delavan art [inaudible]? >> again, we're letting the afghan government take the lead in setting forward a peace proposal which is been by everyone's account both missionary and forward leaning and so president has judged that the afghan people continue to sing piece supported by all the polling data that we see which regardless of the incredible violence and you only mentioned one horrible chapter of violence in afghanistan but regardless of the verbal violence that afghans have seen they remain committed to peace and the celebrations that took place are a manifestation of what is a broad nationwide desire for peace. the hairpiece counsel in afghanistan is a multiethnic body and peace cannot be made between turn eight but it has to include all the ethnic and social groups of afghanistan and i would argue that has to
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include women of afghanistan so any peace process is going to have to be broad-based. >> i appreciate that and i understand the way -- i understand the what we've seen but are you confident is our government confident that the government in afghanistan is strong enough to be able to do this and strong enough to be able to specifically with respect to the delavan to include them in negotiations? >> again, because were not trying to put up hurdles to peace negotiations where the net states interests lie is and what comes out of the negotiation process. we can live with negotiations that produce the end to violence in the cessation of ties to terrorist and respect the constitution, a constitution that can be amended but rather than prejudge what can happen or
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not we are ready to support the process and facilitated and we want there to be a negotiated and unified political solution and the delavan arm prepared and unwilling to make peace we have made it very clear that we will deny them a military victory. >> as it relates to providing that what diplomatic or what diplomatic tools that we have to support the process and are we utilizing all of them? >> yes, i think we are utilizing many of them to support efforts to create the poetic process or negotiated political process. chris, the military pressure is one portion of it and the pressure we bringing to bear against taliban financing and what we're seeing the government of afghanistan do to mobilize religious messaging against the very justifications for the taliban actions and the
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international consensus we have built dramatically and that involves bilateral engagement and multilateral engagements and of course, willing to see other groups within afghanistan are prepared to create separate peace and so all of these are designed to raise the stakes for the taliban to create incentives for them to take up what we think is both a fair offer and an offer they can produce the taliban the plays a part in the political life and is an important part. >> ambassador, i'm grateful for your commitment that you make to this input work. thank you. >> and wagner of missouri. >> thank you, mr. chairman grade thank you for your service. i appreciate the opportunity to evaluate the new direction this administration has taken in resolving america's longest wars.
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pakistan has a clear interest in preventing the cessation of hostilities in afghanistan but has made itself central to american operations and in the past pakistan has wagered correctly that the united states would rather accept pakistan and complete support then lose it entirely and ambassador walls, i believe the president was correct to demand full cooperation from pakistan last officeaugust. how well are they communicating its resolve to pakistan accountable for support of terrorism? >> i think there have been not only direct talks with the senior leadership of pakistan but action under the trump administration. we have taken the unprecedented
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step of suspending military assistance and coalition support funds by a result of our assessment that pakistan had not been undertaking the decisive and sustained the steps that are necessary. i think we agree the pakistan has a lot to gain by piece and afghanistan the challenge is how do you secure pakistan support for negotiated political process rather than its tolerance of proxies. we have heard very positive statements, for instance, the chief of army staff of pakistan who said that there can be no room for nonstate actors and that pakistan can be a normal state as long as there are extremist groups but we need to see actions that are taken to ensure that is the case. we do not deny that pakistan has bought its own heroic battles against terrorism and defeated the pakistani taliban and is
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just now reintegrated the tribal areas and to the governing system of pakistan but we treat all terrorist enemies of pakistan as our terrorist enemies and we expect that pakistan should do the same. >> i hope we continue to hold that funding until we see measurable actions. however the and ministration building relationships with central asia companies to produce our dependence on pakistan? >> we had excellent relations with the central asian countries and a long-standing effort to create the northern distributive network that help to support our military efforts in afghanistan with had to visit [inaudible] and is pakistan's president is month and both leaders are important in not only providing
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the kind of support for the northern district network but in stitching afghanistan back into the region and when the president went to ms. pakistan for the first time it was in december and he said it's a central asian nation and to our engagement we engage in a c-5 format and we are much support of other efforts to collectively increase trade with afghanistan and to increase exchanges and give afghanistan options as a buildout its economy and the. [crowd boos] relations. >> -russia us relations affect the ability of northern supply lines to central asia and the caucasus? >> the dissertation has operated successfully and continues to operate successfully. i would argue that there are interest and concerns in afghanistan and there's an important role to stabilize afghanistan and would like to
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see russia do more to provide assistance to the government of afghanistan so that it can defeat or bring the taliban to the negotiating table. >> although india declined put boots on the ground in afghanistan it has shown a keen interest in strengthening the afghan capacity and how is the administration encouraging deeper indian involvement briefly? >> joint training programs with usaid and they are connected and we have a bilateral indian officials and afghan officials to coordinate our efforts to make sure that we are last up in the development approach and prophetic approach and india has played in about role in hosting this conferences so that private-sector companies interested in investing in if understand can use india as a launching pad. >> thank you.
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my time has expired. are you back. >> is to remind members we expect both momentarily so they don't need to use all the time and we go to robin kelly of illinois. >> thank you. how will be october elections influenced possible peace talks in elections do not take place with the us position that the taliban should negotiate directly with afghan government and not likely with the us change? >> we think is important that the elections take place in a timely incredible way and it sends a strong signal about the inclusivity and the strengthening of democratic institutions in afghanistan so our efforts to date are very much focused on helping to empower the independent election commission and make sure they are reading the capacity to undertake what is a critical reform in the electoral system by having voting be based on polling centers so that you stop
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the industrial level stuffing ballot boxes. i think the afghan people as was seen both the numbers were registered in the numbers of candidates will come forward are vested in the democratic proce process. >> i will stop my colleague can get his questioning. >> ted of florida. >> thank you. ambassador wells, thank you for being here. this is one of those things that everyone wants to come to an end but yet i do not seek a strategy of how we would do that. answering ted poe's question that the cost of us military and since 2001 with spent $750 billion as the number i have the well over a trillion dollars trying to bring peace to afghanistan and as dana brought up it's a very tribal and separated culture and the 20 are
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half of pakistan and half in afghanistan and the major opium areas and if i understand my notes quickly from our opium being grown in afghanistan today and there was before we started our war on drugs as is more cocaine in columbia after we started the war on drugs and of course, now mexico has only 200. it seems like we're going backwards with the amount of money and the time and the resources and the tragic loss of life about our side and afghan we need a new game plan to do this. my question to you is any peace process you are talking about in afghanistan must include the pashtun and the women and things like that and i agree that those will be good but there is a system in afghanistan and doesn't allow for that with the amount of the corruption in the government and what is your
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thoughts? >> i think the government has been organizing itself in preparation for the possibility of peace negotiations and you have the establishment and the energization of a higher piece counsel that has its multiethnic and has women on it and it's been engaging and potential levels that are brought together religious leaders and a national conversation about what peace may look like. using gathering of legislators -- >> i saw that and i think it's a great thing and let me ask you this. to the people and the people in afghanistan today believe in a government the democratic process or are they so ingrained into a type of government that can even see the possibility where we talking generations to change that situation? >> afghanistan had success of elections and i'm not trying to deny the nature of society due to the importance of tribal structures in others but afghans
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have demonstrated by registering to vote and bicep and forward as candidates that they have embraced the democratic experience -- >> to understand, bleed and support the constitution in their country and for instance the philosopher when he came through when he came through in north america in 1800s and they were astounded by the level of understanding people have of our constitution and that has led to her we are at because it's bottom-up and do they have that same comprehension? >> probably not capable of answering the question but i would say within the afghan constitution is the ability to change it and to invoke a constitutional gathering and i think afghan constitution does not deny afghanistan's
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traditional -- >> it doesn't deny it but i will cut it off here because we're out of time and i love to talk to you more. >> two wasn't a softer line of. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service and it's personal to me that significant. >> the success of what you're trying to do is important and i'm grateful for my national guard unit led by bob livingston served a year and [inaudible]
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>> it's important and it does relate to the global war on terrorist and the focus of counter ices campaign has been on syria and iraq but isis has against afghan and coalition forces and to what extent is the islamic state on progress a threat to stability and security of afghanistan. >> maybe the broad but 2000 isis fighters are primarily drawn from other affected members of other terrorist groups whether the taliban or ttp but we have to look at resilience and take it seriously and retargeted heavily and as well as the north
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for there's been an outpost and it's a reminder to us that there's something worse than an insurgency and it is a threat we take extremely seriously and have devoted significant assets to eradicate. >> indeed a safe haven for isis and islamic terrorist there and has direct consequence here and have the changes in isis relationships with other groups in the area or activity in internal cohesion operational abilities to what extent is the group a target of us operations or strategic planning. >> i think isis is a reminder of why we are still in afghanistan
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and need to have this commitment afghanistan because the chaos and the insecurity that the taliban insurgency has created has allowed the speed tradition for other terrorist groups to take advantage and we are in afghanistan because afghanistan poses a threat to our homeland and poses a threat to our allies. we take it very seriously and i refer to my colleagues about my counterterrorism operations underway but we've intensified the operations and taken out the leader of isis pay and we continue to conduct over 1400 operations over the course of the last year directed against isis. >> your comments are refreshing and the ultimate result protecting american families. last august in ministration announced the new sub is a strategy which focuses on condition space rather than time-based objectives. whatever commission -based objectives are usin utilizing to
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measure success? >> that will be the sensation of ties to terrorism and the cessation of violence and support for the constitutions that can be achieved from a negotiated political sediment. >> finally, it's a critical point in democracy a democratic institutions have the most reliable and effective at promoting education rights that the afghan people and are they capable of possessing credible elections this fall. >> the independent election commission has been that this is the first afghan led and conducted election and this is not an election that is when plan by the international community or the un and so that is a reflection of the increased capacity and the parties also have an important role to play in educating and encouraging afghans to vote and understand the system. this is very much a work in progress and very few countries that are younger than modern afghan and so we have to expect that improvements will occur over time. >> thank you very much and they keep your leadership.
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>> mr. tom of virginia. >> i heard something that i thought was distinct and insightful and paraphrasing -- we recognize that while the taliban is bad that isis which has a global orientation is probably worse which doesn't eradicate our response believed to address the taliban particularly as it relates to if you break it you buy it in the circumstances on ground but i think we fail we overlap in american paradigm and americans presume that when we deal with other nations there is a strong preeminent federal government and try as he might there is not
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that and they aspire to have strong imminent but the fact he can't die from the air filled to the compound without an had security measures would indicate that impact the control of centralized government afghanistan is not what they like for it to be and we need to understand the reality on the ground to whatever country we deal with does not mirror that which we become familiar with your at home. number two we talk about the taliban and i would posit cure and comment on the moment that there is no tele- band but there is tell a man. there is no unified central control of television as a was under omar but instead disparate warlords with some overlap as relates to their interests who act in many instances autonomously that's creating an even harder circumstance for folks like yourself and any nato forces and the federal government of afghanistan because things like atrocities committed against civilian contractors driving supplies et cetera that are committed on the internet which obviously the
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useful and to those of the many fault that is to intimidate the federal government and to intimate the coalition et cetera perpetrated by subgroups of the taliban but not endorsed by other groups. [inaudible] there are taliban elements that argue with different degrees of willingness to sit down and talk and there are those who would probably be, for lack of a better marketing term, dead anders. with that as a asus the money for the narcotics industry does not flow, i would ask, directly to the government, is that correct? >> i'm sorry the money from where? >> the necrotic industry does not flow to the government but the aid that is administered to the government from the united states and its allies in the coalition the slope of the government, correct mark. >> for to a portion of a trust fund that is demonstrated by the world bank and the remaining
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money with just a very little bit of the was administrated separately on off budget programs by usaid and others. >> when i'm driving at is perhaps have you considered a paradigm wherein we try aid and development and to eradication efforts -- in other words, the government benefits and hopefully strengthens itself as relates to creating stable, sustainable, afghanistan where there's a broad spectrum of hope moving forward as possible more directly from revenues from the national committee and from the narcotics development community, correct? ... >> that it would increase the
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appeal, perhaps, of insurgent organizations. >> right. and so it's something to talk about. i'm not dictating this is what i think the policy should be, but if you look at what the actual functioning government derives benefit from, i would submit if they were given an either/or, they'd probably fall on the side we wanted them on. going really quickly, there is a man cap tax on contractors in afghanistan that we've become aware of that stems from the karzai regime which is arbitrary and probably not consistent with existing agreements. has anything been done to address that that? what it does, ultimately, is taxes the american citizens as we pay for contractor missions to develop infrastructure, security, etc., by virtue of generating extra cost. are you familiar with that? >> >> i'm not, but we can follow up. >> i'm out of time. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. garrett, thank you very much.
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and i thank you also, ambassador wells. as we've heard, creating the circumstances for a peaceful and stable afghanistan is a very complex but very critical mission. the administration has taken several good steps towards that end, but we need to see more progress. and at this point we've got one minute left to a vote on the floor, so this hearing is adjourned. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> here's a look at our prime time schedule on the c-span networks. starting at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span, attorney general jeff sessions and actor kirk cameron at this year's western conservative summit. on c-span2, it's booktv with our "after words" series. we begin with former national intelligence director james clapper on his book "facts and fears." and on c-span3, it's the american history tv with programs on the life and legacy of robert f. kennedy.
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>> sunday at 4 p.m. eastern on "real america," the president, 1968, a film detailing the tumultuous month of june 1968 through the camera lens of the white house naval photographic unit covering the activities of president lyndon b. johnson. >> at 3:30 a.m., the president was awakened with the news that senator robert kennedy, in the midst of victory in the california presidential primary, had been shot and critically wounded by an assassin. the day of the senator's death, president johnson sent letters to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house which urgently implored congress to enact a meaningful and effective gun control law. in june much of the president's attention was centered on the paris peace talks. early in the month u.s. negotiator cyrus vance returned to washington to report on an apparent impasse at those meetings. from vietnam, however, the reports were far from optimistic.
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instead of a slowdown in the hostilities as a result of the peace be negotiations, the communists had launched a massive new wave of assaults throughout the south to erode resolve on the home front and grasp heightened leverage in the diplomatic struggle. at a news conference on june 26th, the president announced that supreme court chief justice earl warren was retiring. in making his third and fourth appointments to the high court, the president knew that his choices would affect the destiny of the nation long after he himself had left office. >> watch "real america" this weekend on american history tv on c-span3. >> president donald trump will announce his nominee for the supreme court, filling the vacancy left by retiring justice anthony kennedy. watch the announcement live monday night at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span and or listen on the free c-span radio
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app. >> next, the house budget committee meets to consider legislation for the 2019 federal budget. republican leadership said the resolution would balance the budget in nine years through cuts and freezes to spending programs and projected economic growth. this is three hours. [inaudible conversations] >> the committee will -- the committee will now come to order. today we will begin consideration of the fiscal 2019 concurrent resolution on the budget recognizing that there is not a quorum present at the present time, i'm going


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