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tv   Senators Told Diplomacy Must Be Exhausted First Regarding North Korea  CSPAN  May 5, 2017 11:08am-1:41pm EDT

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americans negotiating with the iranians. and you got the other allies, they like this deal. now, a president trump, who by the way spent a good deal of his transition denigrating the intelligence community and the quality of the information that they get and spends time saying that the press is the enemy and that anything that he doesn't look is fake news so now how is he going to go to his allies lie and say we have intelligence that says the iranians are -- do you think they're going to believe him? that's a problem. >> the senate armed services committee hears about strategy in the asia-pacific region from defense and foreign policy analysts. they assess u.s. strategic
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relations with china, north and south korea and india and tensions in the region. good morning. the senate armed services committee meets this morning to receive testimony on u.s. policy and strategy in the asia-pacific
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region. i'm pleased to welcome our witnesses and panel. viktor cha, the chair at international study, eric freedberg, professor of politics at princeton university, kelly -- help me. magasman, and ashley tellis -- i'm having trouble with my enunciation this morning. america's interests are deep and enduring. that's why for the past 70
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years, we've worked with our allies and partners to uphold a rules based order based on principles of free markets and open seas and open skies. the rule of law and peaceful resolution of disputes. these ideas have produced unprecedented peace and prosperity in the asia pacific. but now the challenges to this rules-based order are mounting as they threaten not just the asia-pacific region but the united states as well. the most immediate challenge is the situation on the korean peninsula. kim jong un's regime has thrown its full weight behind the need for nuclear weapons and unfortunately the regime is making real progress. a north korean missile with a nuclear pay load capable of striking an american city is no longer a distant hypothetical but an imminent danger, one that poses a real and rising risk of conflict.
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for years the united states has looked to china, north korea's long-term patron and sole strategic al lie to bring the regime to the negotiate table and progress to a denuclearized peninsula. china is the only country with the influence to curb north korea's destabilizing behavior but china has repeatedly refused to exercise that influence. instead it has chogen to bully south korea. in response to the align decision to deploy the thaad missile system, china has waged economic retaliation against south korea, which has inflicted
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real damage. the twist ed reality is china has aided and abetted north korea for decades. we must not and will not bargain over our alliances with south korea nor over fundamental principles of freedom of the seas. china has acted less and less like a responsible stake holder of a rules-based order in the region and more like a bully. its rapid military modernization, provocations in the east china sea and continued
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militarization activities in the south china sea signal an increasing disturbing pattern of behavior. u.s. policy has failed to adapt to the scale and velocity of china's challenge to the rules-based order. and that failure has called into question the credibility of america's security commitments in the region. i believe there is strong merit for an asia-pacific stability initiative which is similar to the european deterrence initiative pursued over the last few years. this would enhance pacific command's credible combat power through targeted funding to realign u.s. military force posture in the region, improve praegs
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operationally important infrastructure. these are important steps taken as part of a new comprehensive strategy in the asia-pacific that incorporates all element of national power. i hope witnesses will articulate an a.p.s.i., apsi, strategy. >> thank you to all the witnesses for agreeing to testify this morning. this could not come at a more critical time as the north koreans have engaged in an aggressive schedule for tests in its nuclear and missile programs. i look forward to hearing from the witnesses on whether they believe china can and will exert sufficient pressure on north korea.
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what is the administration's mayor time strategy to deal with unlawful and excessive maritime claims. how will it counter the narrative that china is the economic partner of choice and most important how will it balance cooperation and competition with china, especially given the importance of china's cooperation and issues ranging from north korea to terrorism. thank you for holding this important hearing. i look forward to hearing the testimony of witnesses on all of these issues and more. >> we have a housekeeping i'd like to say.
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>> all right, we just lost one. so we'll wait. dr. cha, welcome. >> thank you chairman mccain and distinguished members of the committee. so there used to be a time when north korea and their actions were considered isolated acts by a lonely dictator who was harmless and just looking for some attention with really bad ha hair. i don't think people think that way anymore. between 1994 and 2008, north korea did 16 ballistic missile tests and one nuclear test. since january of 2009, they have done 71 missile tests, including four nuclear tests. the leader in north korea has made no effort to have dialogue
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with any other country in the region, not just the united states but that includes china, south korea, russia, absolutely no interest in talking. all of this translates to one of the most challenging strategic childrens for the united states and its allies and a very dark strategic cloud that is starting to dominate the skyline with regard to east asia. having said that i think there are -- there's a silver lining to every dark cloud and in this case i think there are four that could help to inform an asia-pacific security initiative as the chairman mentioned. first, the north korean threat provide opportunity for a closer coordination of policy between the next government and south korea, which will be elected may 9th and washington. new south korean government cannot afford ideological indulgences in a renewed
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engagement or surn shine policy. it would be unwise, for example, for a new south korean president on may 10th, presumably in the aftermath of more provocations and possibly a sixth nuclear test to declare he or she is reopening the industrial complex. this with only further serve to marginalize south korea's strategic position as the new government would lose step with the united states, japan and even china. the u.s. is not averse for interkorean engagement, however to be effective, it must be used strategically and coordinated with strategy. second has to do with trilateral coordination. the united states should welcome an early meeting with the u.s. president and south korea and japan, presumably before president trump's scheduled trip to the region in the fall. the goal of alliance coordination should be a collective security statement
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among the three allies, the united states, japan and korea and that an attack on one constitutes an attack against all. the third silver lining relates to china. beijing is unlikely to let off on the economic pressure on south korea over the thaad defense system for i think at least another one or two financial quarters. this will hurt south korean businesses and tourism even more but it should also spark serious strategic thinking in the united states and south korea about reducing the r.o.k.'s economic dependence on china. the two allies should think seriously about new bilateral energy partnerships that could reduce south korean energy dependence on china in the middle east. washington washington and seoul's policy offices can work
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together to map out a strategy for engaging india, as well as asian countries. the chinese have proven with their coercion over the thaad issue that south korea's future welfare cannot be left in chinese' hands. finally, the united states should encourage new government to tack a stronger stand in supporting blackgoods off the peninsula in neighboring waters. in particular as part of a new engagement strategy, the u.s. with the support, south korea could show willingness to -- this would win partners among countries and be a distinctly positive platform for the united states and its regions. >> before we go to you, we have
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a quorum. i ask the economy to consider the list of 5,550 military nominations. is there a second? all in favor say aye. the motion carries. dr. freedberg, welcome. >> senator mccain, senator reed, thank you very much. i thank you for the opportunity to press my views on this important subject. eye like to try to make three main points. first as senator mccain has indicated, i don't think the united states has a coherent, integrated national strategy for the asian-pacific region and lacks a strategy for dealing with an increasingly powerful and assertive china. what we have are the remnants of a strategy first put in place over two decades ago, some
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respirational goals and -- aspirational goals and policiep. the goal of beijing strategy has become increasingly clear, to create an order that's very different from the one we've been trying to build since the end of the cold war. and, third, just because beijing has a strategy doesn't mean it will succeed. china has many weaknesses and liabilities, we and our allies have many strengths, but i do think we've reached the point where it's essential that we reexamine our goals, review our strategies and adjust our policies accordingly. and the start of a new administration would naturally be the time to attempt such review. it simply becomes more difficult
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as time goes on. let me try to expand on each of those points. when the cold war ended, the united states set out to expand the gee grabbing scope of the western liberal economic and institutional order by integrating the pieces of the former soviet union and former soviet empire and accelerating the integration of china, a process that had begun a few years before. as regards china, the united states pursued a two-prong strategy, on one hand seeking to engage china across all domains, economic in particular but diplomatic in others and at the same time working with our allies and partners and maintain being our own forces in the region to preserve a balance of power that was favorable to our interests and the security of our allies. and the goals of that policy were to preserve stability, deter the possibility of aggression while waiting for the engagement to work its magic, the u.s. hoped to tame and
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ultimately transform china, to encourage its leaders to see its interests as lying in the preservation of that order and set in motion processes that would lead to the economic and political liberalization of that country. as in europe, so also in asia, our ultimate aim was to build a region whole and free, an open liberal region in an open liberal world. since the turn of the century, it's become increasingly apparent, that this approach hasn't worked, at least not yet. engagement has not achieved its intended results, chan is far stronger and richer but more repressive domestically than at any time since the cultural revolution, it imposes costs on other chris, including ours and its external behavior has become increasingly assertive, even aggressive most notably but not entirely in the mayor time dough
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pa main. in the meantime, balancing has become more difficult for us and for our allies because of the growth of china's nuclear capabiliti capabilities. so second, what accounts for this recent shift in chinese behavior? the short answer is beijing as increased assertiveness is driven by optimism and arrogance on the one hand and also deep insecurity. for roughly the first 15 years or so after the end of the cold war, china followed the wisdom of dung xio ping, that china should avoid confrontation, build up power and advance possibly toward eventually reestablishing a china as a position of power in the region. thanks began to change in 2008 with the onset of financial crisis and these changes have accelerated and become
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institutionalized. basically the financial crisis caused chance strategists to conclude that the united states was declining more rapidly than had been expected and that china was therefore able to ride more quickly than it had hoped. at the same time, however, the crisis also deepened the chinese leadership's underlying concerns about their prospects for sustaining economic growth and preserving social stability. so china is behaving more assertively both because its leaders want to seize the opportunities presented to them by what they see as a more favorable external situation and because they feel the need to bolster their legitimacy and to rally domestic support by courting controlled confrontations with others whom they can present as hostile, foreign forces, including japan and the united states.
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the chinese actions aren't limited to pursue being its claims and trying to extend its zone of effective control in the maritime domain. long its land frontiers, beijing has also unveiled a hugely ambitious set of infrastructure development plans, the so-called one belt-one road initiative. chinese's leaders have begun to articulate their vision for a new order, a system of infrastructure networks, regional free trade area, new rules written in beijing and mechanisms for political consultation, all with china at the center and the united states pushed to the periphery, if not out of the region altogether. in this vision u.s. alliances would either be resolved or drained of their significance, maritime democracies would be divided from one another and
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relatively weak and so if in the 20th century the united states tried to make the world safe for democracy, in the 21st china is trying to make the world safe for authoritarianism or at least trying to make asia safe for continued communist party rule of china. and they're trying to coordinate all the instruments of policy to achieve these ends. military domain, building up both conventional, modernizing their nuclear forces in order to deter possible u.s. intervention and to raise questions about the continued viability of our security guarantees and also developing other instruments, law fair, little blue men maritime militaryia island construction to advance towards their goals, create facts without provoking confrontation. economically they've been using the growing gravitational pull of their economy to draw others towards them and also they've
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become increasingly open in using economic threats and punishments to try to shape the behavior of others in the region, including u.s. allies, as dr. cha mentioned korea and also the philippines. and china has been engaging in what chinese strategists refer to as political warfare, attempts to shape the perceptions of both leaders, elites and publics by conveying the message that china's growing wealth and power present an opportunity rather than a threat to its neighbors while raising questions about the continued reliability and leadership capacity of the united states and i think it's important to note also that china is waging political warfare against us, holding out the prospect of negotiation on trade and on north korea, which i think is now going to be again part of that process, even as they work to undermine and weaken our position in the long run. so finally and very briefly how should the united states
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respond? as i stated at the outset, i think the time has come for a fundamental reexamination of our strategy towards china and toward the asia-pacific and entire euro asian-pacific policies. and weight the possible benefit costs and risks. a useful model will be the sol airium project, a review of approaches to deal with the soviet union that was undertaken in 1953 during the recall months of the ice en -- eisenhower administration. obviously congress can't do such
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an assessment itself but it might wish to consider mandating such review as it did in requiring a general statement of national security strategy in 1986 and the quadrennial defense review in 1997. i'm afraid my clock isn't work being so i'm sure that i've already gone over time. i can't claim to have conducted such an exercise myself but i'd like to close with just a few thoughts about some of the issues that it might address and perhaps some of the conclusions to which it might lean. first and most basic is what is it that we are trying to achieve, if an asia whole and free is out of reach at least for now and if a region reshaped according to beijing's vision would be threatening to our interests and to our values, as i think it would be, how should we define our strategic goals? part of the answer here i think is likely that we will need to rededicate ourselves to
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defending those parts of the asian system that remain open and liberal, including our allies, the rules to which they abide and the comments that connects them. it's sometimes said that in order to accommodate china's rising power and avoid conflict, we will need to compromise and that's certainly true but there's some issues where it will not be possible to split the difference and we need to be clear about what those are. in the economic domain if we don't want others to be drawn increasingly into a chinese co-prosperity sphere, we need to provide them with the greatest possible opportunity to remain engaged in mutually beneficial trade investment with us and with one another, whatever its economic merits, tpp had specific strategic benefits in this regard and it's not clear what, if anything, will take its place. with regard to military strategy, a great deal of energy has been devoted to figure out who to respond to these chinese
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initiatives in the so-called gray zone. as important as the problem is, it seems subordinate to the larger question of how we and our allies can counter anti-access. we're in an odd position of having raised this issue in a very visible way back in 2011, the crease of the air-sea battle office and then seeming to back away from it. while there's obviously a limit to what we can and should say in public, we are at a point where i think we need to be able to explain to our allies, our possible adversaries and ourselves how we would fight and win a war in ashia had that ever become necessary. finally, there's this del -- what's our counter to the narrative that the chinese are now pushing across much of asia,
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as we're portrayed as unable to solve domestic problems, inward turning, unreliability and potentially dangerous while china presents itself as the wave of the future, unthreatening, nonjudgmental, loaded can cash and eager to do business. in this regard it seems to me it would be a serious mistake, strategic as well as moral, to drop the subjects of human rights and universal values from our discussions with and about china. our commitment to these values and demonstrated willingness to defend them are still among our greatest assets and being seen to abrand bandon them in the face of china's growing power will emboldier beijing and discourage our allies and demoralize those people in china and around the world l word who often at great personal risk continue to advocate for freedom. thank you very much.
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>> chairman mccain, ranking member reed, other distinguished committee members, thank you for convening this important and very timely hearing today. i want to commend the committee for its steadfast bipartisan leadership on all matters of peace and security in the asia pacific. it's extremely important as well as your commitment to our men and women in uniform. let me quickly summarize anyway testimony i've submitted for the record. bottom line up front, while some may prefer to discard the rhetoric of the rebalance, we need to follow through on its strategic intent because if we don't, american primacy in the most consequential region in the world is at risk. i'll go one step further by saying mere continuity of american effort is not going to be enough to step the tide.
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we need to encourage the new administration to present an affirmative and to avoid ad hoc approaches. and this needs to start with a clear-eyed view of our interests and the necessity of preserving our position through any means necessary to advance our interests. so with that theme in mind, i'd like to highlight what i see as the top three challenges and opportunities facing the united states in the asia-pacific. of course the first most urgent challenge is north korea and its relentless pursuit of it's ballistic missile programs and nuclear program. it challenges multiple administrations, including the obama administration most recently. the bottom line here is that we we need a new play book. first, we need to increase the pressure on as a necessary predicate on any other option. china is central to that but we
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can't rely only on chinese pressure. we also need to be realistic. kim jong un is not going to unilaterally disarm because of international pressure. pressure alone is not going to solve the problem. second, military options should remain on the table but they are extremely highry being and should be a last resort. a conflict on the peninsula would be unlike anything we have seen in decade. north korea is not a syria. it's not an iraq. the consequences could be extremely high. so where does that leave us? after and only after a sustained period of significant pressure and deep coordination with our allies, we need to ready a diplomatic play. for diplomacy to succeed, however, its goal has to be achievable. so this won't be popular but denuclearization is unlikely at this point. at least in the near term and at least under this regime.
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so we need to have some realism and development -- we need a road map that will still secretary limit the threat in -- and finally, we need to turn up our defense game, as well as that we were better prepared in the event diplomacy fails and this is the most consequential challenge as others have discussed -- china. to be clear, china's stra toojic intent is to chip away at decades of american security and economic primacy in asia. some are going to get squeamish over the idea of u.s.-kpn, great power competition.
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but would be tantamount to strategic malpractice. i agree with aaron for the need for a big look at our china strategy. i do not mean to suggest we should enter a new cold war with chan nor should we cast aside our interests. we need to be clear-eyed that -- the united states needs to invest in comparative strengths and by extension our credibility. beneed to go necessary budget invesments. human capital investments, which is certainly not talked about enough and overall strategy. and we need to move to the next phase of increasing u.s. presence, posture and capabilities in the region. that next phase is going to be a lot harder. i'd like to thank you, which i
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hope the trump station will support. it will improve our ability to keep t improve our ability to keep the peace. >> we need to get ahead of it. we need to take more preventive action on terrorism in the south and southeast asia. let me tack briefly about opportunities which tend to get lost in all of the noise. first the biggest strategic opportunity is india. here the united states and india increasingly share a common strategic outlook, especially a mutual concern over chinese military modernization and adventurism. but the question here is can we reach a new level of cooperation to place limits on china
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ambition? i believe it is possible but only if the united states and india together persist in overcoming the suspicions of the past and build stronger habits of actual cooperation and this going to require the u.s. and indian systems, which are not naturally compatible, to demonstrate mutual flexibility as well as ambition. the second opportunity, which is a near term and higher reward opportunity, is southeast asia. as the chairman knows, the demand signal in southeast area for the u.s. defense is on the rise and we also need to do more on diplomatic, economic and private sector engage ment in southeast asia, whether it's vietnam, burma or sri lanka, there are countless opportunity for the united states to build stra teej uk depth in southeast asia. and i would recommend secretary
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mattis continue efforts to host the assion defense minister in the united states at the earlier opportunity. this committee's leadership on southeast asia has been essential, whether it was your engagement at the shang ra la dialogue or whether it was following through with action in the case of the southeast asian maritime security initiative, a much-needed timely men inject to fill a critical capacity gap. finally, the big one, the long term strat jish the real opportunity for the united states, to retain our primacy, the united states needs to weave together it's disparate, security and economic efforts into a broader strategy. we need to fashion a networked security architectiers with allies and partners to help all of us do more over greater distances with greater economy of efforts, we need to present a
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vision for an equivalent economic architecture that presents economic growth and opportunities for all countries, including the united states. in the absence of meaningful -- about beside these strategic implip case, the lack of a serious u.s. economic implication in asia will leave average americans at a long-term economic disadvantage. for some the challenges tonight for the united states are significant but without urgent american leadership and the requisite whole of government investment, the united states will not be able to rise to them and decades of relative peace and prosperity that has been enabled is at risk.
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>> thank you, senator mccain, good morning. thank you for inviting me to testify this morning on the the challenges facing the united states. i have submitted a longer statement. i would be grateful if that is entered into the record. in my remarks this morning, i want to highlight five themes drawn from my written statement. first, the challenges posed by north korea and china obviously remain the most dangerous problems facing the united states and the asia pacific. the challenges emanating from north korea are obviously real, dangerous and in the near term. the challenges emanating from china are long term, enduring and aimed fundamentally at decoupling the united states from its asian partners. in my remarks this morning, ewant to focus primarily on china and i want to thank my colleagues victor cha and kelly
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maxim for spending time on speaking about the issues relating to north korea. the first point i want to make in this connection is as we think about china as a strategic competitor, it is important but increasingly as a global challenger to the united states. china is already a great power in pacific asia. it is increasingly active militarily in the indian ocean. it is seeking facilities in the mediterranean and along the african coast, and within a couple of decades, the size of chinese naval cap abilities will begin to rival those of our own and it is likely that china will begin to maintain a presence, both in the atlantic and in the arctic oceans as well. we've got to think of china as a new way, not simply as an asia power but as a global power. the second point that and the
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united states should maintain its own commitment to its preeminence. the u.s. commitment to this preeminence is now uncertain in asia. the asian states are uncertain about whether washington can be counted on to balance against china's request for regional hij emmenie and whether washington can be lured away from the attractions of the condominium with china. the president, therefore, should lose the tonight offered by his appearance. to clearly aform but word alone are not enough. i think it would be very helpful for the administration to support your initiative, senator mccain, with respect to the
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asia-pacific stability initiative. in fact, urgent funding at levels that approximate those are for the european initiative. third, the resources that i believe should be should focus increasingly on restoring the effectiveness of u.s. power projection because that capability has been undermined considerably by china's recent investments. in the near term, this will require shifting additional combat power to the theater, remedying shortfalls in munitions, expanding logistics capabilities, increasing join exercises and training and improving po but the longer term are just as crucial. here i believe bipartisan support will be necessary
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various revolutionary technologies into the joint force that will emphasize stealth, long range and unmanned capabilities, as well as doubling down on our advantages in undersea warfare. fourth, building better capabilities alone will not you isifies for effective power projection. if the united states lacks the will to protect the international rej regime, that serves a strategic interest. protecting the navigation is now at serious risk because of china's activities in the south china sea. it's time for washington to push back on these efforts by undertaking regular freedom of navigation operations in much the same way as we do sensitive reconnaissance operations in the
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indo-pacific today. these operations should be regular, and should not be constrained by the promise of chinese good behavior on other issues. fifth and finally, we fifth and finally, we will not be able to tame chinese power in the indo pacific without strengthening our friends and partners, a point made quite clearly by kelly in her remarks before me. there are diverse initiatives that are required for success and i'll just flag a few. the united states should first begin to seriously think about working with its partners to replicate china's access and aerial denial capabilities. in effect, replicating many bubbles throughout the indo pacific to constrain china's freedom of maneuver. the united states cannot afford to put off the aid and enhanced training to tehran for much longer as we out to urge
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military spending and reforming concepts of military operations. as a matter of national policy, we should affirm our strong support for trilateral corporation whether or not the united states is party to these activities. as kelly emphasized, we should not give up on the nation's of southeast asia either. they're currently at the receiving end of chinese assertiveness. and therefore, an engagement plan is something we need to reinvest in because it gives us the opportunity to provide critical reassurance to the smaller southeast asian states in ways that will limit the potential for chinese intimidation. finally, we need to reinvigorate the balancing of china by doubling down on our strategic partnership with india. this is no longer simply a political necessity, it is an urgent operational necessity as
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well. as chinese military activities in the indian ocean begin to gather steam. the partnership with india becomes even more important because of the limits it can impose on china's freedom faction in the indian ocean and limiting the burdens of u.s. defense in other parts of the endo pacific. in short, managing the rise of chinese military power will be the most difficult challenge that the united states faces in the endo pacific over the longer term. managing that challenge will be demanding. but we have no choice but to be resolute in doing so. because our security, our international standing, and the well-being of our allies is at stake. thank you very much for inviting me this morning and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much. would the witnesses agree the abandonment of tpp was one of the biggest mistakes we have
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made? dr. cha? >> yes, i saw tpp as not just being a trade agreement but having brought strategic implications. it's one of the three legs in the region. it's quite unfortunate, yes. >> dr. friedberg? >> i agree. in addition to the harmful effects of not going forward with the agreement, the signal that it sent, i think, was deeply damaging. so the fact that we place such emphasis on it, tried to encourage others to do it to try to persuade their legislators to accept this agreement and then pull the rug out, it is really a perfect storm it seems to me and damaging and it's going to take a while to work our way back from that setback. >> yes, because it's having practical effects on our security.
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it's making harder for us to engage with countries about access agreements because the chinese are lining the pockets and promising lots of investments and infrastructure, et cetera. it's making our job on the defense side a lot harder. >> i agree completely with my fellow panelists. it was both unfortunate and dangerous. and i would flag three reasons for this. first, the business of asia is business. if we cannot engage in matters that are really important to the asian states enhancing their own prosperity, our ability to enhance the security will also be diminished. that's point number one. point number two, we really cannot cede to the chinese the ability to create new rules in asia. tpp offered us the opportunity to create gold standard rules and we have now divested
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ourselves of that opportunity. three, tpp, there was every promise we could add close to 1% to u.s. gdp growth through trade. even if you believe in america first, you do need to find ways of enhancing our global growth and trade offers that great opportunity. >> right now we have increasing tensions, as we all know, between us and north korea, with the most unstable ruler that they have had, and the testing of nuclear weapons, i think as dr. cha pointed out and missile capability is dramatically escalated. at the same time, we have north korean artillery in place at a degree where at least they could launch one attack that would
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strike seoul, city of 25 million people, as i recall, and, obviously, the key to some of this is china. and china taking some very small steps as far as coal is concerned, but they have never taken any real restraint -- steps to restrain north korean activity. so, it seems to me that we are in a probably one of the most challenging situations since the korean -- since the cuban missile crisis in some respects. certainly, not exact parallels, but maybe it rhymes a bit. dr. cha? >> i think that's a very accurate assessment of the
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situation. there is nothing that i see that suggests north korea is going to slow down the pace of its testing. in fact, i think it's going to increase, given the elections in south korea. and china still subsidizes even if they cut coal, they still subsidize 85% of north korea's external trade. so china is definitely part of the solution in trying to stop north korea, but it's also part of the problem, as you suggest, in that they are not willing to really put the sort of pressure that will impose economic costs on north korea for going down this path. >> china's been playing a game with us for at least 15 years on this issue. when we get especially concerned about what the north koreans are doing and we go to the chinese and ask them for their help,
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what they've done in the past is to apply limited increments of pressure. they did it in 2003 to get the north koreans to agree to sit down what became six-party talks, but at the same time almost simultaneously, as victor suggests, they are enabling the north korean regime to continue by allowing continued economic exchange across their border. the chinese have also allowed or the chinese authorities have at least looked aside as chinese-based companies have exported to north korea components that were essential to development of their ballistic missiles and probably other parts of their special weapons programs. i'm not at all optimistic that the chinese are going to play a different game with us now than they did in the past. one thing i would add, though, aside from military pressure, which for reasons that you suggest, senator mccain, i think is questionable plausibility. there are ways in which we could
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increase economic pressure on the north korean regime, particularly by imposing a further economic sanctions and especially financial sanctions. we did that in the bush administration. i think it was actually something that caused a good deal of pain. we backed away from it for various reasons. i think it was a mistake to have done that. one of the reasons in my understanding that we haven't been willing to push on this harder is that it probably would involve sanctioning entities that are based in china, and i think we've been reluctant to do that because of our concerns about upsetting the relationship with china. i think if we're going to be serious about this, we probably are going to have to go down that road. >> military option being extremely challenging. >> yes. i was in government 2003-2005. at that time my understanding was it really was not -- there was no way of dealing with the conventional counterdeterrent that the north koreans had.
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i don't have a reason to think that it's gotten better. moreover, the targets, nuclear targets, have become more numerous. north koreans are starting to develop mobile ballistic missiles. the problem of an attack in a preventive way and destroying north korean nuclear capabilities is only getting worse, i would think, and nothing has been done to deal with the conventional threat of south korea. >> ms. magsamen? >> i agree on the china front. i think there are going to be limits what they are willing to do. their biggest fear, of course, is destabilizing the peninsula. now's the time to try to make china understand that the status quo is worse for them than all other scenarios. and to do that i think we need to hold their interests at risk, and what i mean by that is what of what dr. friedberg said, which is we need to really think hard about secondary sanctions on chinese banks. i actually think we should go out and do it now.
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i don't think we should actually wait. i don't think that holding it in advance is actually going to induce chinese cooperation, so now's the time to demonstrate to china that we're serious in that regard. >> by the way, i agree with the witnesses about the importance of the u.s.-india relationship, which is something that i think has enormous potential, as well. dr. tellis? >> i concur with what is being said before on the challenges with north korea. i think china has to make a strategic decision. if the current status quo serves its interests and it seems to, because it immunizes china from the threat of chaos, it provides a buffer between a u.s. military presence and the chinese border. so if this status quo continues to advance chinese interests, there is a small likelihood they will be more helpful to us with respect to managing north korea.
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so the decision in china is whether the trump administration's -- and to that degree, i think creating this head of steam, which the administration seems to be making an effort towards, would actually be helpful, because it might motivate the chinese to cross lines they haven't before. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for your excellent testimony. just a quick point. you suggest that at the conclusion of the election that whoever emerges victorious will take a harder line on the north koreans. they want to open up the facility across the boarder. is that matched by the rhetoric. is that matched by the rhetoric? some impressions we're getting is it's a race to who is the most sensitive to the issues.
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not the most -- >> thank you for the question. i think the -- certainly the political spectrum has shifted in korea during this seven-month impeachment crisis further to left of center and the leading candidates all seem to espouse use that calls for engagement with north korea, but i think often what is said in campaigns is very different from when the individual takes office on the first day. >> you've noticed. >> i think in the case of south korea they will find that they will -- they will be in a position where their primary ally, the united states, is not of a similar mind. neither is the partner across the sea, japan, and arguably china is not in that position as well. so while i don't think engagement is necessarily
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completely wrong with north korea, but now is not the time. when i was in government, we were dealing with a progressive government in south korea. we fully respected the fact that they weren't just engaging with north korea, but there was a right time for it and a wrong time for it, not just by u.s. policy preference, but by what would be deemed effective engagement. i think the previous government understood that. the next government in south korea will, as well. >> let me ask you all a question. there's deep skepticism that the chinese will apply economic pressure of a significant degree to compel changes in behavior. a variation on that is even if they did, do you believe that the north korean regime would abandon their missile programs and nuclear programs? >> i do not believe that to be the case. i believe the north korean regime will continue to persist
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with its nuclear program because it sees that as indispensable to its survival and i do not believe china will exert the pressure required to force north korea to make those changes. >> that leaves us at what point in the future? >> we essentially have to prepare for a north korean capability that will ultimately reach the united states and if it comes to that point, we have only one of two choices. we continue to hope in the reliability of deterrence, which is dangerous because of the unpredictability of this regime, or we will be forced into military actions which will be costly and painful. >> no, i don't think kim jong-un is going to voluntarily give us up nuclear weapons, even with significant chinese pressure. i also agree that the chinese
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aren't going to go as far as we need them to go to make that strategic choice. where that leaves us is essentially what i said earlier, which is after increasing the pressure and running the china play, we do need to think carefully about whether or not we should proceed with a diplomatic effort to limit the program as best we can. i think we are going to face a stark choice at some point in the future probably in the next five years about an icbm reaching the united states. that's going to present some pretty stark choices. i think our challenge now is to find a way to avoid having to make that choice at the end. >> dr. friedberg, please? >> i don't think first that the chinese will apply all of the pressure that they could conceivably apply and in part for that reason i don't think it's likely that the north korean regime would agree to give up programs. it seems to me some years ago it might have been possible to put the leadership in a position
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where we could make them an offer they couldn't refuse where they felt their own personal survival was at stake. i think we're past that point. so i agree with both my colleagues on two points. one, the question now it seems to me is are there things we can do working with china perhaps to try to slow down the progress of the north korean program so if they don't test as often as they have tested, presumably that will make it more difficult for them to field the reliability capability testing both missiles and weapons. it's not inconceivable that the chinese might join with us in applying sufficient pressure to try to slow that down. i think that's the best we can hope for. then the question is how do we prepare to defend against this.
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in the long run, i hesitate to use this term because it's fallen into disfavor for good and bad reasons, but the ultimate solution to this problem is regime change. unless and until there's a change in the character of the north korean regime and the identity of the current leadership there's no prospect that i can see that this problem will get better. i don't think there's any active way in which we can promote that, but we ought to think about what conditions might lead eventually to that kind of change. >> i agree with my colleagues with i don't think chinese pressure will necessarily stop north korea's program, but i think what chinese pressure can do is force the north koreans back to a negotiating table. the theory of the case of that is i think in 2003 when china temporarily cut off oil, the north koreans agreed to the six-party talks and then again in 2007 when the treasury department undertook actions that led to a seizure of north korean assets at a bank in china. that clearly put a lot of pressure on the regime and they came back to implement an
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agreement. i think there's precedent there. i agree with my colleagues i'm not sure how much china is willing to put that kind of pressure on north korea, but one could argue that the situation is a little bit different now because the chinese are desperate for some sort of diplomacy to take place. they really don't understand what president trump might do and they feel they have no control over north korea. so they may be more receptive than they were in the past. >> thank you. mr. chairman? >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me -- first of all, these hearings are very significant. we get people like you and there's no more qualified panel we could have to advise us to reflect on it, but also these are public meetings. i see the other value is to uniforming the public of things we assume they know about and
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i'd like to concentrate on just the north korea because i've had this bias that's really where the serious problem is. we're talking about two things here. we're talking about their development in the technology over a period of time in developing a weapon -- a bomb, a weapon. then secondly a delivery system. just real quickly, let me go over that. in the delivery system, north korea goes all the way back to the 1970s. in the 1970s they had the scudby and everybody remembers that. they forgot that for a couple of decades. along came 1990, the first missile test fire range was 1,300 kilometers. then a few years later in 2006 the test fires long range missile that had the capability of traveling 15,000 miles. then firing the missile which
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they said was satellite launch december of 2012. north korea launches a rocket that puts the first satellite into space. we've watched their progress all the way through to 2016. north korea launches a solid fuel ballistic missile from a submarine. lastly, kim jong-un declares that north korea is in its final stage in preparations to test an intercontinental ballistic missile. going back to the bomb in 2006 we had one an explosion that was one kiloton. in 2013 a test with an atomic bomb with an estimated explosion of 6 kilotons and then the fifth and latest nuclear test registered 5.3 magnitude between
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10 and 30 kilotons which was the same as it was in hiroshima and nagasaki and ten times stronger than what north korea was able to do ten years before. so you've gone over that period of time. when we talk to the military and we will have them in on thursday, i understand. i know they'll say that the two big problems that distinguish the threat that comes from north korea from other threats is that, first of all, you're talking about a mentally deranged guy who's making the decisions. and secondly, this country has been more consistent in both developing its weapon and the delivery system. and come to the conclusion that
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as i've come to, i believe that there's an argument that could pose the greatest threat to the united states. i'd like to get a response if you would, dr. cha. first of all, are we accurate in terms of that technological development over that period of time, and does that relate to the threat? >> thank you, senator. i think what you've just described is entirely accurate in terms of a systematic plan by the north koreans over the past decades. develop the capability that seeks to threaten the u.s. homeland. i think there is no doubt about it, that that is what they are after. as i mentioned earlier, they have done 71 of these tests since 2009, which is a step increase from what we've seen in the past. they've done seven tests since the election of our current president. they have over 700 scud missiles, 200 to 300 nodong missiles.
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and the pace of their development and the history of their development shows they want to be able not just field one missile that could reach the united states, but a whole slew of them. so this is a very proximate threat. you're absolutely right, senator. >> any other comments on that? >> is it unreasonable that as a result of this we could consider north korea as the greatest threat facing the united states? dr. friedberg? >> i think it certainly -- it's most imminent. i don't know it's the greatest in terms of its magnitude in the long run, i think china presents a greater challenge, but certainly it's the most imminent. one thing to add, just to make the picture even worse, it's conceivable that the north korean leadership may believe, not only as they acquire these capabilities that they're going to be able to extort more economic goods from the world, and not only that they're going
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to be able to deter action against them, but that they might believe at some point they really had an option for a reuniting the peninsula. they might believe that japan would be deterred by the threat of attack on bases on its soil from allowing the united states to use it as their rear area to support operations on the peninsula. they might believe that the united states would be deterred from coming -- >> my time's expired. but the military also says it's the unpredictability we have there. everything else is pretty predictable. we all look back wistfully -- i do, anyways, at the cold war when things were predictable. we knew what they had, they knew what we had. it doesn't mean anything anymore. unpredictability is what the military is going to tell us thursday is the major problem they have with north korea, thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so given all of that discussion
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and given that the neighboring problem, china, continues to be very aggressive, so you're advising us as policymakers, as people who pass appropriations bills what to do. so what to do to deter north korea and further chinese aggressiveness? >> so this gets back to a point earlier, you know, we really need to double down on our regional ballistic missile defense. we could consider putting thaad in japan. i think there are additional deterrence things we could do with the japanese and koreans together whether it's
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cooperation on the air and sea. we should consider a whole range of options, including potentially strengthening our extended deterrence commitments to the koreans by potentially rotating dual capable aircraft to the peninsula. i think there are additional things we could do that would be relevant and applicable to the threat. >> you don't think that that would deter the north korean leader, do you, from continuing this development of nuclear weapons, missiles, and then marrying a nuclear weapon to a long range icbm? >> no, senator i do not. i do think it would help reassure our allies and also put us in a better position in the event diplomacy fails. >> and do any of you have any reason to think that diplomacy would succeed with this north korean leader?
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>> even if it doesn't, we cannot do anything else without exhausting the alternatives offers by diplomacy. because dealing with north korea at the end of the day will require a coalition effort. we have to satisfy the expectations of our coalition partners that we've made every effort in the interim to deal with the challenge. and so we have to think of it in terms of a multistep game. as the doctor highlighted, the immediate objective should be to get the north korean regime back to the negotiating table. the ultimate objective must be to hope that there will be evolutionary change in the regime. but between those two bookends, we have to think seriously about what is required for deterrence, what is required for defense, and what is required for denial. >> anybody else on -- >> senator, i would -- the only
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thing i would add to the list is that those sorts of posture moves and strengthening of deterrence and defense they're good for our allies. certainly they increase the cost for china, allowing the situation to continue as it is. in the end, the problem we have is that north korea feels no pain for the direction in which they're going. their people are feeling pain, but they don't care about their people. so the immediate tactical effort is to try to get the regime to feel the pain and that requires china to stop subsidizing 85% of north korea's external trade as well as some of their leadership's funding. so that's the approximate tactical goal to try to get some leverage on the issue, because right now we have none. >> describe the aftermath that
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we saw that he was readying an icbm that could reach the u.s. alaska? hawaii? and we decided to take out the assets which we knew where they were. which is more difficult because they're now movable. what would be their retaliation? >> well, we don't know for sure, but i think the assumption for several decades has been they would begin with a massive artillery barrage against seoul which is in range. the north koreans have for years
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exercised and tested a special operations forces, chemical and biological weapons. the fear would be they would unleash all of this. i don't know that they would, necessarily, because the next step would be the annihilation of the north korean regime. the fear is that's their capability and they might. just a note on that, i'm not a psychiatrist so i wouldn't want to judge the current leader's sanity or lack of sanity. it does seem to me that north korean leaders have been rational in their behavior. it sometimes appears odd and it's very threatening, but it's purposeful and it's been consistent. for that reason, it's important to remain focused on what it is that would probably deter them, which is the threat of personal annihilation. so the threat of we and our south korean allies would if we needed to and could destroy the
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regime and destroy the leadership. i think that's a message that they understand. >> just to add to the question on the aftermath, you know, we've got 28,500 u.s. troops on the peninsula, that's just the troops, that's not their families. so there's thousands, hundreds of thousands of dependents in addition to the koreans. japan is within range, so i think japan would take a hit potentially. there would be significant economic impact, frankly, to war on the peninsula which i don't think anyone is talking about. and the regional actors like the chinese, would move in. they would not sit on the sidelines and watch, you know, the united states trying to rearrange the peninsula in their favor. they would try to intervene at some point and that could also have catastrophic consequences. in terms of an aftermath of a u.s. strike, there are particularly high costs. >> if i may just add to that, obviously the most confident thing we can say is that we don't know how the regime would respond. i think it would depend of whether they saw the strike as a discreet problem, or whether
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it's the larger attempt to replace the regime itself. if it was seen as a discreet effort aimed at solving a problem, one would hope their response would be more restrained. if it's seen as an effort to replace the regime, i think all hell breaks loose. at this point, whichever the choices are, i agree the chinese cannot afford to sit on had sidelines. because it undermines its core interest of preventing the rise of chaos on their frontiers and keeping the united states and its military forces as far away as possible from their borders. those two variables change dramatically if the united states engages in military
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action in the peninsula. >> i'll just -- senator, to add to this very quickly, all i'll say is that i think it is absolutely true that the north korean dictator's number one goal is survivor. if the united states were to carry out a strike, the north koreans may feel like the only way to survive is to respond. retaliate, as my colleagues have suggested what would follow from that. the other way to think about it is that if they don't -- if they do not respond, that could also threaten their survival of the leadership and the regime. and i'm still looking for the intelligence analyst who can tell me which of these things the north korean leader will do. i haven't been able to find one yet. >> but, senator nelson described a situation in which our
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government is almost certain that a strike is imminent. and in that case, if our response was a discreet strike to prevent that, might it not be worth it? >> first i don't know the basis for the judgment. that is a danger that is imminent. but if we assume the premises of your question, it may be worth it if we could be assured two things. one that the north korean response will be limited and that the effects of our strike will be permanent. that is we will be able to cap the north korean capability at some level and not go beyond. two, that the chinese will actually intervene in ways to force the north koreans to reach some sort of a diplomatic understanding. and i'm not confident that either of those two conditions would actually obtain -- >> rather than have all of you respond to that, i'll take that answer. dr. friedberg, you say the
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united states doesn't have a coherent integrated national strategy for asia pacific. instead all we've got is the remnants of a two-decades-old strategy. and yet the defense department's 2012 strategic guidance said we will have necessity rebalanced toward the asia pacific region and the qdr two years earlier said essentially the same thing. was rebalanced asia pacific words only? >> well, with deference to my colleague who worked hard on making it happen, i don't think it was words only. but it was the ratio of words to deeds i think was not what it should have been. we talked a lot, we did some things, we didn't do nearly enough. for a variety of reasons. i think the previous administration was preoccupied
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with other problems in the middle east and with russia. and this continuing constraint, budget constraint. so i think for a variety of reasons, not enough was done. i agree the general concept, the idea we need to focus more of our resources on the asia pacific was the right one. many that the previous administration started were worthy. for various reasons, they didn't or weren't able to follow through adequately. >> let me shift back to north korea. there has been mention of regime change. i would like any of you to comment about the scenario in which that might happen. also, dr. tellis mentioned evolutionary change within the regime. and i suppose you could say
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was certainly an evolutionary change in moscow, which gave us hope for a little while. what do we know about the decision-making process within the regime in north korea? and -- and who has a great -- who has a good understanding, if not the united states, about the decision making team surrounding kim jong-un? and i'll start with you, dr. friedberg. >> i don't think our knowledge is very good. i think the assumption of most people is that the decision making is concentrated very heavily in the hand of the current leader and a small circle of people around him. as far as evolutionary versus revolutionary, in the latter part of the kim jong-il regime and the beginning of kim jong-un, there were people that hoped there might be a greater willingness to open up.
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the chinese, i think, had some hopes they might be able to persuade the north korean leadership to follow a path more similar to their own, retaining tight political control, opening up economically. i think the chinese also may have had hopes there were people around the new leader who would -- who they could influence. many of those people have been executed by kim jong-un. precisely because they feared there were chinese agents of influence. so the prospects for evolutionary change seem grim. in part of what dr. cha mentioned, people in the outside world have made that if we offered the right kinds of inducements to the regime, for example, if we offered economic inducements, the opportunity to join the world, to improve the lives of north korean citizens, we could influence their policies. problem is leadership doesn't
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care about those things and sees opening as threatening. i doesn't see much prospect for evolutionary change of this particular leader. >> any other panelists have observations about the decision making team? >> right now, it is almost wholly in the hand of this one individual. i think in the past there are others that have been around him, but they have been systemically executed. the level of purging in this system is unprecedented. not at just the highest level, the military, army chief of staff, deputy chief of staff. there has been unprecedented fluidity there. all this suggests significant churn inside the system and the leadership is facing certain challenges and he's dealing with them in one way, which is just to purge everybody. the chinese would have had the best insight into what's going on inside of north korea. i think after the leader executed his uncle, the chinese have lost all really windows
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into north korea. and i think it's a mistake. we often hear in the press how chinese are upset with the north koreans, that's why there are no high level meetings. we actually did a study on this looking at all chinese-north korean exchanges. the difference today is there are no exchanges, but it's because the north koreans don't want to talk to the chinese. they are not interested in talking to the chinese, to the united states, or anybody else. that's what's so worrying about the current situation. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you all very much for being here. you have all pointed out that china is not -- does not want to see instability on the korean peninsula. that it's not in their interests. and dr. cha, you pointed out that china's not willing to take action. i think maybe everybody's made that point. against north korea.
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do you then agree with dr. tellis that the more uncertain they are about the potential for president trump and the united states to engage in war on the peninsula, the more likely they would be to weigh-in and try to help address the north korean situation? >> yes, senator, an argument could be made in terms of what is the decade old u.s. treaties for china to do more, there may be marginally more leverage today than there has been in the past largely because the chinese feel the situation is getting out of control and they feel like they don't have any ability to manage either side, the united states or north korea. i think xi jinping wants a good relationship with the u.s.
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president. this u.s. president does seem to signal some unpredictability when if comes to north korea. we might have marginally more leverage than in the past. again, it is all tactical and it's not a strategy yet. >> and i think i would probably feel better if i felt like what we were doing right now was part of a strategy towards north korea and asia. so, in that context, what is a messup like we had with the carl vinson carrier strike group do in terms of the signals that we might be trying to send to china and to our allies and to everybody in asia about what our intentions are? >> i will say that was a pretty big screw up. i also think it really undermined our credibility among our allies. the fact that you're seeing, you know, south korean commentators and politicians commenting about
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that, how it shows the united states isn't reliable, i think it's an unfortunate incident. i don't know how it happened or occurred. would be curious to hear what admiral harris has to say about that on thursday, but it had a serious effect and it was kind of like -- in texas we have a saying all hat, no cattle, so you don't want to show up with all hat and no cattle. >> everybody i assume agrees with that? along the lines of how can we better send signals about what our intents are, what does it say to our allies and adversaries in asia that we're right now not able to get a budget agreement here domestically, that we have divisions in congress about how we're going to fund defense in the next year? i mean, what kind of messages
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does that send to those people for whom we want to project strength? dr. friedberg, i think you mentioned that as part of your -- when you were talking about what our allies are looking at in the united states versus china. >> yes. well, it certainly doesn't help. on the other hand, it's not entirely new, so people have been watching us and the unfolding of our political process for a while. i think there's an undercurrent of concern, which has been present for some time about our reliability and our staying power and our capacity to mobilize necessary resources to do the things we've been talking about doing. i do think those concerns have grown during our election because at least in terms of rhetoric, the current administration, candidate trump before he became president, raised questions about all of the essential aspects of our global posture, our alliance's
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commitment to free trade, our commitment to universal values and so on. it may be in the long run that the policies he follows won't deviate as much as the rhetoric seems to suggest, but all of that, i think, has added to the sense of anxiety about where the united states is going that many in the region feel and on the other hand there is this growing concern about china. >> well, and along the lines of escalated rhetoric, to what extent does that escalation of rhetoric against north korea then produce a response in north korea that not only heightens the situation, but provides attention that kim jong-un may be interested in having from the world? >> you know, i think there's a window. there's only so much unpredictability you can pull off, and there is some leverage that may come from appearing to do things that perhaps seemed unlikely before. that's, i think, one of the reasons why in 2003 the chinese did step in. it was right at the time of the
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run-up to the war in iraq. we were still hurting from 9/11. there was a perception that the united states might do all kinds of things to reduce the threat. and similarly now i think there's a moment of a lot of uncertainty. i suspect that's got a half-life, it's going to diminish over time and i think that's what the chinese are playing for, sort of waiting to see. i'm not sure they really believe at the end of the day for all the tough talk we're actually going to do something as risky as launch an attack on the north koreans in the near term. whether the north koreans believe that or not is another question. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i appreciate the panel's wise counsel on a lot of these very important issues. let me talk about the issue -- a number of you brought it up, but the importance of our allies in the region and globally, but particularly in this region.
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would you all agree that one of the most important strategic advantages that we have as a nation is that we're an ally-rich country and that our adversaries or potential adversaries are ally poor? would you all agree with that? >> yes, absolutely. i mean, on the strategic balance sheet of assets and liabilities, our alliances are on the asset column. >> and the countries that don't have all the allies are consistently trying to undermine our alliances, whether it's china or russia, would you agree with that? let me just ask a kind of broad-based question. a number of us try to get out to the region a lot, we go to the shankry la dialogue on a regular basis. there's always this discussion about how china has this great long-term strategic vision and they have the ability to see around the corners of history and we don't have that capability.
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their aggressive actions in the south china sea are driving countries away from them toward us, and this isn't just our traditional allies, but it's countries like vietnam, countries like india. so i think initially i certainly, i think some of our colleagues here had some concerns whether the trump administration fully understood this strategic advantage when you watch the campaign, but now that they are in office, whether it's general mattis' first trip to the region or the vice president's trip that he's finishing up here to the asia pacific, certainly seems they are focused on it, but are we doing enough? what more can we be doing to bolster this very, very important strategic advantage we have with regard to our deep network of allies, deepening it, expanding it, and making sure that the chinese don't try to fracture it. what more can we be doing?
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i'll open that up to anybody. >> i think we need to be doing at least two things to start. first, we need to publicly commit to protecting the regime that we have built in asia over the last 60 years, that this regime is not open for negotiation, that the united states will not walk away. >> so we need to put out red lines. the chinese put out red lines on taiwan, on taipei, but we don't seem to turn out our own in the region, so we're saying with regard to our alliances, we should make that a strategic red line? >> absolutely. the second thing we need to do is think about our alliances in exactly the way you describe, as assets, not liabilities, and the third thing i would emphasize is that the u.s. needs to avoid appearing wobbly. to the degree that we create uncertainties about our commitments to the region. it only opens the door for the chinese to do exactly what you
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described. >> any other thoughts on allies real quick before i turn to my next subject? >> certainly consistency is key, clarity of message from the united states is key. you know, bipartisanship on asia policy is important. >> i think wuf it for the most part. >> i think it's actually pretty good. initiatives like maritime security initiatives that this security initiated the last couple years. those kind of physical demonstrations of american commitment and interest in the region, but also really the united states needs to present an actual vision. and a strategy. and i think at the heart of that, our goal needs to be that we want to ensure that the region is able to make choices on the economic side and on the security side, independent of coercion, and that for a lot of countries in the region is the key. >> let me turn to -- speaking of -- dr. cha, i'll let you address this one first, but speaking of coercion and allies,
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the issue of china's actions in the south china sea have been a concern of many of us on this committee. you know, secretary carter put forward a good policy. we'll fly, sail, anywhere. the problem was the execution in my view is weak. it was inconsistent. it undermined credibility. this committee seemingly had to push, push, and push. they seemed embarrassed about it. secretary of defense was right here, wouldn't even admit it to the chairman, so what do we need to do with regard to fawn ops? my view they should be regular, so they are not newsworthy and done as possible with coordination with our allies and they should not be done in terms of the way the obama administration did them with regard to innocent passage. we're not asking for innocent passage. we don't recognize these built
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up land masses, so what should we be doing to make sure we don't fall in the trap? good policy, bad execution, undermine our credibility, in my view with the new administration what should we be doing on our policy? dr. cha, i'll start with you, sir. >> well, i think, senator, you provided the solution right there, which is we need to approach these things as standard, as nonpolitical, as not big statements of policy. we should just do them quietly. >> we've been doing them for 70 years, right? >> on a consistent basis, absolutely. if i could say on your other question, i think -- i just finished writing a book and they are unique, historic assets. the only thing i would add to everything my colleagues mentioned is we need to network better our alliances. these are largely bilateral hub and spokes, and we need to build the tire around that hub and spokes, whether it's in terms of
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missile defense or collective security statements, things of that nature would be great value added for our alliances. >> great. anyone else? i look forward to reading your book, by the way. >> i'll send you a copy. >> just quickly on the fawn-ops, i completely agree they need to be more regular. if we make them more regular, they become a little less peaked every time we do them, but they can't be the measure of our strategy in the south china sea. free navigation and air flight is important to preserve, but it can't be the entire strategy that we have, so we need to think about the long game. and that goes back to the maritime security capacity building initiatives we have. it also means we need a rebranded strategy on the south china sea so the tribunal ruling has effect. that is where we actually missed a huge opportunity last year, was with the ruling and not really pursuing a real diplomatic effort at the regional level. we kind of backed off from it, tried to calm the waters, which was important at the time, but
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we never really followed through with a diplomatic game. >> i think we need to do three other things. the first is we need to conduct operations at the discretion of the pay-com commander. i don't think they should be centrally controlled from washington, and that gets you to where you want, which is regular, unpublicized, so on and so forth. the second, we need to stay away from innocent passage. the moment you talk about innocent passage, you're reaffirming a traditional chinese view. >> exactly. >> which we have never accepted in which the western world in terms of freedom the seas has never accepted, so we need to stay away from that like the plague. and the third is, as part of the strategy, we need to provide tangible reassurance to our partners, which means actually building up their capacity to stand up to coercion, which might mean enhanced training, which might mean providing them with weapons required, and ultimately backing it up with a
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constant u.s. naval presence in the area. that doesn't have to be every day, but it's got to be regular enough that the regional states begin to feel comfortable that the u.s. is at least always around the corner. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> on behalf of chairman cain, senator? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to focus on our chairman's focus on this part of the world and he's proposed a budget, an appropriation amount, so this has to do with it. so $7.5 billion of new military funding for u.s. forces, and perhaps this is a question for ms. magsamen and possibly one for dr. cha. so u.s. forces and their allies
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in the asia pacific and these funds could be used to boost operational military construction and increase munitions procurement, enhance capacity building with allies and partners, and expand military exercises and other training activities to help combat the movement toward basically chinese influence throughout the asia pacific region. so, ms. magsamen, how can this fund, this money, and this initiative impact the u.s. role in the region? and how can we incorporate this initiative into a larger, more wholistic asia strang that includes maintaining regional stability and improving diplomatic ties? >> certainly, well, i'm supportive of the initiative in part because we need to stem the bleeding. we're woefully behind in terms of what we need to be doing in the pacific in terms of our presence and our capabilities, our ability to, you know, build critical munitions gaps, you
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know, prepare runways that are going to be necessary in the event of a conflict. i mean, it's stuff like that. so this initiative i actually think is hugely valuable and fills a very important budgetary gap for the pacific. so i would be supportive of it, but i think it goes back to the larger point of the united states needs to be seen strategically as investing in this part of the world. and, you know, there is signaling value beyond just the sort of regular value, the actual value of the initiative, they are signaling value to the initiative, as well, in terms of our commitment to the peace and security in the region and our willingness to make the actual investments to make that possible. i think the region would perceive it very well. i think our allies, if we were able to use that kind of funding to do more work, to network the allies and partners as victor was suggesting in this, you know, principled security network is what we called it in the obama administration, but the reality is, we need more funding. we need more presence and capability.
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>> senator -- >> dr. cha, would you like to -- and also, how important is it -- you're a korea expert, how important is it to utilize the whole of government approach to maintaining stability in the region? recognizing full well that we don't have very much information about what goes on in kim jong-un's mind and it's hard enough, it's challenging enough to -- regarding our complicated relationship with china, so in terms of stability in this part of the world, would you also support this initiative, by the way, and how we can do more with a whole of government approach? >> i mean, i think that -- i think those two questions are completely connected to each other in the sense that our effectiveness in being able to get china to do more or to signal to north korea the credibility of our deterrence or any of our policies greatly
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depends on whether the region sees us as committing to it and having staying power. as aaron mentioned in his testimony, there is a grand game taking place in taking place in asia today where the chinese are trying to erode u.s. credibility, reliability and resiliency in the region and replacing it with the fact that they are there, they are big and they have a lot of money in their pocket. >> they really do engage in a whole of government approach in this area. >> yes, yes. so there could not be a single more important signal of u.s. staying power in the region than something like apsea that is investing in the things that constitute the u.s. security presence in asia. i think that will then resound positively in terms of the credibility of our north korea policy, the credibility of what we say to china. >> would all of you agree that maybe our staying power is really continuing to show up? i think it was important for secretary mattis to visit japan and south korea as his first official secretarial duties.
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but the continual emphasis and showing-up part of the message that we have a commitment to this part of the world is an important aspect, as well as the practical parts about funding and resources, would you agree, all of you? okay. ms. magsamen, you mentioned that the "carl vinson" issue was a big screw-up. how is the united states viewed right now in this part of the world? you can respond as well as the other panelists. very briefly. >> i wouldn't say that the "vinson" issue should be determinative of how we are viewed in the region. but our credibility is our currency. and so, the minute you undertake actions that undermine credibility, that has a profound effect in the region in terms of how we are received. the "vinson" was just one
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incident. i am sure there are very good reasons for why it happened but the reality is it created a perception of lack of credibility. >> so if we have a change of, i hope you don't mind, mr. chairman, a range of -- that we're viewed credibly, one to five, with five being we're viewed credibly, where would you put the u.s., how that part of the world views us, including the philippines, south korea, japan, australia? where would we fall in terms of our credibility? one to five, five being the highest credibility. >> i think that's a question for them. >> well -- >> listen. i think the united states has been a credible power in the pacific. the question now is, can we continue to be one? >> anybody wants to weigh in very briefly. just give me a number. >> i would say we were probably below three. but then we have seen a series of trips by the administration
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when secretary mattis, tillerson the vice-president, i think have helped to send a very positive signal to the region, taking us over that threshold. >> all right. thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator cruz? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to each of the witnesses for being here. i think the importance of the asia pacific region has been well highlighted by this testimony and also by the well justified public focus on the threat of north korea. i want to start by focusing on north korea specifically and ask the panel to assess the following hypothetical, which is, if tensions were to escalate to the point of a targeted military strike against north korea's nuclear facilities, how would the witnesses assess the probabilities of four potential outcomes? one, a retaliatory strike with
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north korea with nuclear weapons. two, a retaliatory strike with north korea with conventional weapons. three, the attack precipitating a collapse of the north korean regime. and four, the attack precipitating direct chinese military intervention. i would ask it to any of the witnesses on the panel. >> i think it would depend, i guess in part, on exactly the character of the strike. we talked a little bit about that earlier, whether the regime would perceive it as something that was intended to be surgical or as the forerunner for an attempt to overthrow it. obviously the more the regime worries that the united states and south koreans are coming to get them, the more likely it is that they will let loose. >> let's assume the strike was targeted at taking out nuclear facilities. >> i don't think the prospect in the near term of collapse would be very great because there
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wouldn't have been anything directly done to weaken the regime. i would think the likelihood of conventional response would be very high. i would put the likelihood of a nuclear response somewhat lower because then all bets would then be off. as far as chinese intervention, i would think that that would be unlikely unless and until the chinese leadership believed that the regime was about to collapse and north korea was about to fragment and south korea and the united states were moving forces towards their border. i don't think they would do it unless those conditions had been met. >> senator, i used to think that the response would be conventional, that they would have 10,000 artillery pieces, that they would use those. but these days, looking at the character of north korean missile testing, my guess is that the response would actually
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be on japan, to try split the u.s.-korea alliance from the u.s.-japan alliance. the character of their testing recently has been focused on demonstrating an ability to target with ballistic missiles all u.s. bases in japan. flying missiles within 200 kilometers of the japanese shoreline. that's what i think that they would do. i'm not clear if the attack itself as you describe it would be able to eliminate all of their nuclear facilities because i don't think we know where they all are. >> i would agree with victor. i think they would definitely go after japan. i disagree a little bit with aaron on the chinese intervention point. i do think the chinese could potentially try to intervene just to preserve stability on their flank. what that looks like and how that materializes, i don't know. i don't think the chinese would sit back, even if it was a targeted strike. the thing that would change that
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might be whether or not in advance we could get the chinese to hold back. but i still have extreme doubts that they would do that. >> i suspect the likelihood of a nuclear retaliatory response is relatively low because we would still have the capacity to have escalation dominance in that scenario. i think a conventional retaliation is inevitable. it would be aimed both at south korea and japan in order to communicate the credibility of the north korean leadership and its determination to protect its survival as well as to split the alliance. the key question about china hinges on whether the chinese see the targeted attack as really being the first phase of air-ground action to follow. and if they perceive air-ground action to follow, then it's almost certain they would intervene to try and prevent this from escalating.
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>> in y'all's assessment, short of military action, how much positive impact could china have in reining in north korean hostilities and what would it take for china to exercise its influence and power? >> well, i think what we are talking about china going someplace it has never been before. unfortunately, i think the only way that's going to happen is if they think the united states is going to go some place it has never been before. i think based on my experience as a negotiator on this issue in the previous administrations, i feel the only time china ever responds is not in response to anything north korea does because they just assume it's a constant. it's the variation of u.s. behavior is what i think they take notice of. and what i think the current administration is trying to leverage right now.
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>> what u.s. behavior do you see as maximizing china's beneficial influence on north korea? >> i think the united states right now is trying to signal a combination of muscularity, unpredictability and decisiveness all at the same time, largely because they feel like the past administration was eight years of predictability and indecisiveness. that's a hard thing to manage. it is hard to manage all those things because they are conflicting signals but they seem to be trying to walk that line right now. >> if you ask what would be the sort of outer limit of what china could do assuming it was willing to do almost anything, it could bring the north korean economy to its knees. it is pretty close to that already. it could cut off the flows of funds that go across the border into china -- into north korea partly from the so-called illicit activities that the
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north koreans engage in. it could interdict components that flow into north korea through china that support the special weapons programs. it could do a lot. now the question is, what might induce them to do that? it seems there are a number of possibilities. one is the prospect that the united states was, as victor suggests, going to do something really drastic that could have catastrophic consequences, they would have to believe that. i don't think at this point they do. another possibility would be somehow to persuade them that the entire relationship with the united states was on the line, including in particular the economic relationship. we were willing to do things that imposed costs and pain on china that would be so great that it would be a danger to the chinese regime and, therefore, they might do something to press -- something we would want them to do to pressure north korea. i don't think we are willing to do that. it is theoretically possible. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you to our panelists for a very interesting discussion. i want to pick up on the comment about the economic relations between these two countries because it seems to me, between us and china, this is a new paradigm when it comes to international relations in that we're dealing with a country that we actually have very close economic relations with, and it's not a situation where you can impose sanctions on china and not have some of that blow back on the united states. we're not talking about unequal partners here in the equation. when you think about the conflict with the soviet union, we had a closed economy, not really tied to the u.s. it was a completely different dynamic. some of the thinking, i heard about a change in strategy from each of the panelists, we thought about engaging in trade and engagement, that would liberalize the chinese culture or the society. that has not been the case. that theory didn't really play
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out. the theory is if you are more engaged in trade and more engaged in engagement you are less likely to have an armed conflict. is that theory not going to play out in china, as well? so maybe if the panelists could talk a little bit about how we have this mutual dependence between china and the united states and how that limits some of the tools that we have in order to engage with the chinese with some of these behaviors that are becoming quiet troublesome to our national security. >> i think you are right it is a new paradigm but it is not unique historically. in fact, what's unusual was the situation that prevailed during the cold war where we engaged in strategic competition with the soviet union but traded very little with them. historically, it is more typical for countries to have both economic relations and strategic interactions, and it hasn't always prevented war. before the first world war, britain and germany were close to leading trading and
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investment partners, but in the end, geopolitics overwhelmed economics. the other thing i would say, the economic relationship between the united states and china is not entirely equal. in certain respects, it appears china has been getting the better side of that deal. the chinese have also been exploiting the relationship to promote not only the growth of their economy but the development of their military capabilities. the last thing i would say is that in the long-run, the chinese hope to diminish their dependence on economic interaction with the united states so as to increase their strategic independence. they can't entirely eliminate it. but i think they believe they passed through a period when, in fact, they were so dependent on american capital and american markets that they were constrained strategically. they would like to move away from that in the long run. >> i'd just add a couple points. i think would be a mistake to
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set the bilateral relationship with china above our interests. we cannot make the preservation of that relationship our objective. so that's the first point, which i think, you know, it has created complications for american policy on china for quite some time now. the second thing i would say is that we should avoid issue linkage in the relationship. i think that is very dangerous. for example, getting the chinese to put pressure on north korea. therefore, we back off on, say, the south china sea, or pick another issue set, like taiwan. that would be a tremendous mistake because the region is watching that and looking for signs the americans are going to sacrifice their interests. so in the context of the broader relationship, i think your point is right. it's a big relationship that has a lot of elements of competition and cooperation. we have to be clear-eyed of what our actual interests are in the
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context of that. >> let me just add one other point to that. security competition is complicated in the context of economic interdependence. there's no getting away from that. but the fact is the balance of risks that north korea poses to the united states and china are different. the risks to the united states as the result of north korean behavior are far greater. the balance of interest are concerned, they're parallel. china has an interest in avoiding an explosion on the peninsula. the united states has a comparable interest. because the balance much risks are greater for us, it really behooves china to do whatever they can, to push the north koreans, at least in the near term, to the negotiating table and then give diplomacy a chance to figure out what can be put in place to at least buy some time until we can get our hands around more permanent sorts of solutions. >> you know, senator, the only thing i would add to these very good comments is you mention said in your question the role that potentially greater
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economic interdependence could have in mollifying state's policies in the region, and i think while many of us teach those theories in the classroom, what's been very clear in asia is that china's growing economic interaction in the region has not had a mollifying impact, but it's actually made them leverage economic tools to their benefit in very draconian ways, whether it is economic sanctions against south korea over thaad, or tropical fruits from the philippines, or rare earth minerals to japan. there's a very clear pattern of how china uses economic leverage uses economic interdependence in ways that one would not consider very productive for overall peace and security in the region. >> thank you very much. >> dr. cha, is that right? dr. cha, if nothing changes, is it just a matter of time until north korea has an icbm that can
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hit america with a nuclear weapon on top? >> yes, sir, i think that's true. it is just a matter of time if nothing changes. >> why do they want to achieve that goal? >> i think there are a couple of reasons. one is a desire for their own domestic narrative. this current leader has none of the mythology of his father or grandfather. so he needs some big thing that he can point to because he doesn't have the economy or anything else to point to. the other is that it's part of a military strategy to be able to deter the united states from flowing forces and aiding our allies in the region. >> do all of you agree with that assessment? let the record reflect a positive response. so in many ways, the korean war is not over for north korea in their own minds, is that fair to say? >> i think that's right, sir. >> they literally believe we are going to come in on any given day and take their country away from them. is that fair to say? >> i certainly think that's the
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justification to their own audience of what they are pursuing, yes. >> how would you say the regime treats its own people on a scale of one to ten, ten being very bad? >> 100. >> okay. >> i think it's about the worst human rights violator in the world today. >> here is the dilemma for the united states. we have the worst human rights violator in the world about to acquire a missile to hit the american homeland. do you trust north korea not to use it one day? >> i think there is always hope that deterrence works, as it had worked during the cold war, but that assumes rationality on the part of all actors, and we can't assume that in north korea's case. >> in terms of threats to the united states coming from asia, what would be greater than north korea with a missile and a nuclear weapon that could hit the homeland? >> i can't think of a more proximate threat to our security at this point.
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>> do you believe that if the north koreans believe that military force is not an option to stop their missile program, they will most certainly move forward? >> i will be happy to give my colleagues a chance to answer. but i think that -- >> dr. tellis, is that true? >> i believe that's true, sir. >> everybody believe that? i believe that's true, too, because if i were them, why would you? if you get there, you would have an insurance policy for regime survivability. all of you agree china has the most leverage of anybody in the world regarding north korea? is that a fair statement? is it fair to say they have not fully utilized that leverage up to this point? do you believe that if china believed we would use military force to stop their missile program from maturing, they may use more leverage? affirmative answer. what do you believe that north
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korea's view and china's view of the trump administration is regarding the use of force? is it too early to tell? what's your initial impressions? >> i think it is too early to tell, from the point of view of china, this is part of a larger set of questions that they pose for themselves about which direction the new administration is going to go. and they have two views of it. one, it's a reckless administration that's bound to get into conflict and even conflict with themselves. on the other hand, there are those and i think this is now a prevalent view, who believe that the president of the united states is a deal maker, he's interested in business and it's possible to get along with him, but they have to get there. and they are concerned and uncertain. >> i would also add that i think, i hope that the chinese also understand that the structure of this situation is very different now. north korea, as you said, senator, is now approaching a capability that compels the
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united states to make choices it has never had to make before. whether it is president trump or if anybody else who is president, they would all be forced into a situation today when they are making choices they never had to make before because there's a homeland security threat. my hope is that the chinese understand that the structure of the situation is very different regardless of who is president. >> do you believe that north korea's missile technology, if not changed, will mature by the time of 2020? they will have a missile if nothing changes? affirmative response. all right. so we're all going to the white house tomorrow night to be briefed. no good choices when it comes to north korea. do you all agree with that? would you agree that if there was a war between north korea and the united states, we would win? do you think north korea understands that? >> we would win ultimately but it would be extremely costly in
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the near term. >> more costly to them than us? >> not where regime survival is concerned, obviously. more costly to them where regime survival is concerned. >> i'll end with this thought. no good choices left. but if there's a war today, it's over there. in the future if there's a war and they get a missile, it comes here. thank you for your time. >> may i add one other thought, senator? >> absolutely. >> we ought not to forget the prospects of further north korean outward proliferation beyond just -- >> i didn't get there because that bothers me as much as the missile. they could give it to somebody to use it in a different way. on that cheery note, we will end. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank all of you
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for being here today and for your very helpful an informative testimony. right now, we have nuclear submarines in south korea. dr. freidberg, how persuasive to the north koreans are that kind of gesture or show of force, for lack much a better term, along with the "carl vinson" being in the area? do they matter? are they simply more provocative because it provides a larger platform and more visible show on their part? >> i think the north koreans have shown a great deal of sensitivity to our military activity in conjunction with the south koreans around the peninsula. they get very upset with military exercises and so on. they are paying close attention and they notice what we do. the question is, how do they interpret that and does it cause them to change their behavior. i think in the short-term, probably these gestures have
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caused them to pull back a little bit. maybe they would have gone ahead with the test a week ago if not for all the talk of u.s. force flowing into the region. in the long-run, i'm not so sure they actually believe we are going to use those capabilities. >> i think they do have an effect on the north koreans certainly. this morning, you saw that they had a big artillery exercise, live artillery exercise. they are reactive to some of what we do. i do think, though, that the accumulation of it over time can have kind of a numbing effect on the dynamics. so they do react. it does get their attention. but they have also gotten a little bit used to some of these moves. >> dr. freedland, you made the point that the chinese have played us, i think, to paraphrase what you said for -- to quote you at least the last 15 years. is there any prospect of these military exercises changing china's view?
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>> i think if the chinese became persuaded, convinced that we actually were on the verge of initiating military action against north korea, then they might behave differently. they might apply greater economic pressure, for example, to north korea. but i don't think they are convinced of that. they're uncertain. >> i also think that if it is perceived that we are making a big bluff, that has really serious credibility impacts for our strategy. >> sending our fleet to exercises with australia rather than to the area where we said they were going to do might undermine our credibility, correct? >> it was not a shining moment, senator. >> could i say there's another aspect to this? dr. cha would be an expert on this. but that is how our actions are
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perceived in south korea, and the extent to this people there become fearful that, in fact, we might do things that would cause a war that would induce or produce great suffering in south korea. we have to be very careful that we're communicating our intentions and people in south korea, the leadership, but also the public perceive that accurately, otherwise we're going to do damage to one of our long-term relationships with one of our most important allies. >> dr. cha? >> yes. i mean, i agree with that. for many, it is sort of a dual-edged sword. on the one hand, they would like to see a stronger u.s. posture with regard to the north korean threat, but then they don't want too strong a posture because then it looks like you're preparing for something else and not just deterrence. i would agree with what kelly said, as well. i think whether it's the submarine or the "vinson" strike group, these things, either as part of, or related to the two sets of exercises, the major exercises the united states does
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with the rock in the region are good. they show muscularity. but they do sort of have a numbing effect and then you are compelled to think of other things that would negate that or create more of a sense that there is more than just posturing here. one of the things that i have heard talked about is flowing more forces to the peninsula. as i said, that could be a dual-edge sword. it could be seen as strengthening deterrence or seen as preparing for something else. so there are a lot of very difficult angles to the problem that i think the current administration must deal with. >> behind all of it, there is the danger of miscalculation, which is perhaps most frightening, because it means that any kind of military conflict would not be on the terms that we want it, not consistent with the plan that we may prepare. it is precipitous and unexpected and, therefore, even more
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dangerous than military conflict would be otherwise? >> i entirely agree with that. >> thank you. >> on behalf of chairman mccain, senator warren, please. >> thank you and thank you all for being here and for this detailed and very helpful hearing. i just want to probe a couple of other points in a little more detail if i can. dr. tellis, the u.s./india relationship has evolved from one of distance to a close strategic partnership. and in just the past few years alone, the department of defense has named india a major defense partner and established the defense technology trade initiative. but india famously values its non-alignment in foreign policy, and it has a long standing relationship with russia. even today russia is india's primary arms supplier. and whereas the united states
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emphasizes restrictions on the use of force, russian arms come with very few strings attached. so, dr. tellis, some have recently suggested that india is playing the united states and russia against each other for its own benefit. do you think that is true? do you believe that this is something the united states should be concerned about? >> i think india will always have a relationship with russia independent of the united states. for a very simple reason. that the russians have been far more willing to provide india with strategic capabilities and strategic technologies of the kind that we would not, either for reasons of policy or law. but our objective with india has been more subtle than i think has been expressed often in the public commentary. the u.s. has approached india with a view to building its own
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capabilities, rather than seeking to forge an alliance. the reason we have done that is because we believe a strong india aids in the preservation of a balance of power in asia that serves our interest. so our calculation has been that if india can stand on its own feet and help balance china independently, then that's a good thing for us irrespective of what they do with us bilaterally. i think that policy is a sensible one, and we ought to pursue it. let me say one other thing about russia. the indians have come around to the recognition that russia today no longer has the kind of cutting-edge capabilities that it did during the days of the soviet union. and two, that the russians are not particularly reliable with respect to providing advanced conventional technologies of the kind that the u.s. has. while they want to keep the relationship with russia in good repair because they have a substantial human military
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capital stock from russia, they want to diversify and the united states is number one on the diversification plan. >> that is very helpful. i very much appreciate your perspective on this. india is the largest democracy in the world and an important partner for us in the region. i think it is incredibly important to continue to grow the relationship in the years to come. thank you. i have one other question if i can. that is, ms. magsamen, earlier, you mentioned the missile defense when we were talking about korea. and thaad is clearly a critical part of our layered missile defenses. but what are the additional military measures, specifically, that we should be taking with our allies in south korea and japan in order to deal with the
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north korean threat? >> actually, i think the most important thing we can do is encourage trilateral cooperation, especially in the maritime space and the regional missile defense space. we have been doing some of that over the last year. we have made a lot of progress. south korea and japan still have historical concerns with each other that have inhibited a lot of progress. i think that's changing. the think the more the united states can get south korea and japan operating together, getting our systems talking to each other, it is only going to improve our ability to defend ourselves. i think that's the most important thing we can be doing right now. you saw the "carl vinson" is doing exercises with the japanese. they're getting ready to hand off to the koreans today. there is sequencing there that is important. but we need to move past a sequenced set of cooperation. we need to be doing more together on the water, in particular. >> that's very helpful. i have a few seconds left. would anybody like to read to that, dr. friedberg, dr. cha? >> the only thing i would add, we need another thaad battery on
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the peninsula. just by the way north korea can angle their missiles in a certain way. they can avoid one battery. i think we need more than one. >> i see lots of nodding heads. i take it that's a consensus position. that's very helpful. i think we need to signal to our allies that our commitment is firm, that it is unshakeable and that we are going to pursue appropriate ways to demonstrate that. thank you. >> senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up on senator warren's question about the u.s./india relationship. two of you mentioned in your opening testimony the importance of the relationship. senator mccain echoed that. one of you only talked about the endo pacific, not the asia pacific. dr. tellis, i thought that was interesting. the title of the hearing is about the asia pacific, but you used the phrase indopacific. about two years ago, virtually all of our dod witnesses switched over to using indopacific largely in their testimony. the indian military does more joint exercises with the united states than they do with any other nation.
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that's an important trend. that's a recent trend. i view probably prime minister modi being a bjp, the congress party has had that traditional non-alliance. this is a little bit of an evolution for them. talk about what we should be doing to deepen that relationship, not only militarily. but it seems that a similarity between china and russia is, they both would like the u.s. less involved in the region, and they both seem to have an interest in undermining the sort of the brand of democracies generally and suggesting that authoritarian nations are just as good. we're the oldest and largest democracy in the world. india's the largest democracy in the world. both of our nations have some motive to demonstrate the strength of democracies. there doesn't seem to be an institution in the world now that's effectively promoting the strength of the democratic model. i'm curious to have you talk about what the u.s. and india might do together either security issues in the region or more generally to promote the
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democratic model against this assault from authoritarian nations to suggest it is losing its vigor? thanks. >> i would say practically speaking with the indians, we could be doing a lot more in southeast asia together and south asia. in particular, the building capacity of our partners. the indians have taken a recent interest in getting more engaged in the asia pacific, part of modi's act east. but i actually think there's more we can do at the strategic level to find ways to build capacity with the southeast partners and south asia in terms of building a way to check chinese ambitions a little bit. also, more cooperation in the indian ocean region for sure. of course, historically, that's been india's space. but i think there and more the united states and india could do together in that area, as well. we have a very successful exercise called malabar that we do with india that we invite the japanese to.
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i think going back to the point i made earlier about networking our security relationships, we should really try to press the indians to also include allies like australia into that exercise. the more that we can -- we and india can work together to expand this hub and spoke approach to the region, i think, the better. in terms of your question on democracy, the united states and india share a strategic view on the importance of a rules-based order. it is what drives our cooperation at the strategic level. and i think the more that the united states and india are seen partnering together in initiatives in the region, the more it kind of has a bank shot on the democratic aspects. there is more ways that we can speak together with a common voice about the importance of the rules-based order together. >> senator, let me start by giving you a sense of what i think the fears and the uncertainties in delhi are right now.
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they are concerned that the u.s. will not make the investments required to protect its preeminence in asia. if that concern grows roots then their willingness to bet on the u.s. relationship diminishes. they are also concerned that the u.s. for tactical reasons might reach a condominium with the chinese, and if that happens, then india will find itself in a sense, losing out. so the immediate challenge that we have with india is to reassure it that the u.s. remain the guarantor of the space writ large, and by that i include the indian oceans and asia pacific. the second point that i would make is they see the strategic challenges arising from china, so whatever we can do to help them cope with those emerging strategic challenges are those the things that advance our common interest.
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and i endorse everything kelly said in this regard. so the indian ocean area becomes an immediate point of focus. southeast asia becomes an immediate point of focus, and i would also say central asia and the persian gulf because india has interests in afghanistan and in particular and interests in the gulf. there are millions of indians who work in the gulf. it's an important source of foreign exchange and so on and so forth. so those are areas we can continue to do work in terms of broader defense cooperation. senator warren already alluded to the defense technology and initiative that was started by secretary carter. i think we ought to pursue that because it really meets an important need and i hope the new administration doubles down on support. the final point i would make with respect to democracy promotion, the indians are actually very eager to work with the united states in democracy promotion but not at the high end. at the low end. they're more interested in working with us in building institutions as opposed to changing regimes. they know they can't affect our
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choices with respect to how we deal with regimes but getting the mechanics of democracy right so helping countries conduct elections, having training programs, helping them put together the institutional capacity to demand democracy. they have been quite willing to help with us and in the bush administration. they worked with us in the global administration of democracy. it would be really unfortunate if we lost our appetite for democracy promotion at this point when you have a prime minister who is quite eager to work with us on democracy promotion collaborateively around the world. >> on behalf of the chairman, senator king, please. >> thank you very much. there are eight other countries in the world other than north korea that have nuclear weapons and many of them have had them for many years. they've never been used principally because of the principle of deterrence. so the question, based upon your testimony today, which is that a
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continued pursuit of nuclear weapons by north korea is virtually inevitable, it will be very difficult to derail with anything short of devastating military confrontation which we can discuss in a moment. will deterrence work with north korea just as it has with the rest of the world to keep us away from nuclear confrontation? dr. cha? >> i think the hopeful answer is that it will. north korea has been deterred from invading the korean peninsula again with armored divisions. so the u.s. are okay alliance in terms of conventional deterrence has worked. so one hopes to assign some rationality to north korea calculations because of that outcome. when it comes to the -- well, but two things that are different. one is we're talking about nuclear weapons now and two we're talking about a different
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leader. even if we assume that deterrence holds, nuclear deterrence holds, we still have two other problems. one is as senator graham and ashley mentioned is outward proliferation. north korea is a serial proliferator. every weapon system they have ever developed they've sold. >> and the real nightmare is nonstate actors obtaining nuclear weapons for whom deterrence would not work. >> that's absolutely right. that's absolutely correct. and the second concern is because if deterrence holds at the nuclear rung of the ladder, there's also the possibility that north korea will feel the united states is deterred, therefore it can actually coerce more at the conventional level, something that's known as the stability/instability paradox. and so i think there's a lot of concern that north korea even if it's deterred will actually feel like it has more reasons to take actions. coerce others. >> you all have testified about the consequences of some kind of preemptive strike in terms of --
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and i think it's important to realize that seoul is about as far from the dmz as we are from baltimore. we're not talking about nuclear strike. we're talking about artillery. but let me ask the question another way and perhaps this is best addressed to the intelligence community but you may have views. could we take out their nuclear capacity with a preemptive strike? or would there be enough left you can't bomb knowledge, there be enough left to the reconstitute it and they would be even more determined at that point? ms. magsamen? >> i mean, the short answer is i don't know. but i do think that the question of permanence is important and what the objective of the strike would be. if it it was to take out program, there is, as you mentioned, the knowledge issue. >> during our debate on the jcpoa, the intelligence community informed us that
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an all-out strike on the nuclear capacity of iran would delay their program for two years. that was a very important part of the debate because that really makes that alternative less appealing, particularly when you layer on the response and the danger of confrontation with china. any of the others have views on the feasibility of how far a military strike could do in terms of eliminating the capacity? dr. tellis, do you? >> i don't believe we have the capacity to eliminate the program in its entirety, which essentially means that there will be both residual assets and the capacity for reconstitution. >> and certainly the will, based upon having been struck. >> correct. >> to change the subject slightly, one of the things that really concerns me about the situation that we're in now which is one of the most dangerous i can remember in my adult life is accidental escalation, misperception.
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we move the carrier group. we believe that's a message. they believe it's preparation for an invasion. and you get a response. is that -- you're all nodding. the record won't show nods. dr. friedberg, your thoughts? >> i think that's an additional danger even if you assume a certain level of rationality on the part of the north korean leadership, insane, there's a real problem of misconception and miscalculation. the view that as nearly as we can tell the north korean leadership has of the rest of the world, of the united states, is extremely distorted. i think they do believe that we're out to get them and there are possibilities for interaction between things that we do and things that they do that could have unintended consequences. >> do we have any direct communication with north korea? >> the channel that the u.s. government usually uses is through the permanent mission
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from the u.n. to new york, but it's largely a messaging channel. >> it strikes me that would be an important issue when you're in a situation where you don't want misunderstandings. that's when wars start. is misunderstanding, misperception of each side's moves. >> i agree, and i think to add to what aaron said, it could be also miscalculation that comes from some place completely different. in other words, we have data that north korea likes to target both u.s. and south korea elections with provocations and we have an election in south korea may 9th. so it's entirely plausible the north koreans could carry out something that's non ballistic missile, non nuclear directed at south korea that could also spin out of control. so miscalculation could come from a variety of different places. >> well, i appreciate your testimony, and needless to say we focussed a great deal on north korea. we didn't really talk as much about china. graham alison has a new book "destined for war" that i think
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we all need to study with regard to china. we could have an entire hearing on that. thank you very much for your testimony. >> thank you. let me thank the panel for very compelling testimony. thank you very, very much and on behalf of chairman mccain declare that the hearing is adjourned. thank you.
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tonight at 8:00 on c-span, supporters and critics of president donald trump on foreign policy during the first 100 days. here's former u.s. ambassador to germany john emerson on the president's credibility with foreign ledders. >> so let's say, we're probably going to talk more about this with the iran nuclear deal. let's say that iran does more than what it typically does. what it typically does, just so you know, is they always walk right up to the edge of violating that thing and then we have to pull them back and this, by the way, happens on a weekly basis. it is a lot of work to kind of keep that deal moving, moving
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forward. as it has been. which is good. but let's say they violate it. now that was a six-country deal. right? you had the chinese, russians, germans, french, the brits and the americans negotiating with iranians. and you got the other allies, they like this deal. now, a president trump who, by the way, spent a good deal of his transition denigrating the intelligence community, and the quality of the information that they get, and spends times saying that the press is the enemy, and that anything that he doesn't like is fake news, so now how's he going to go to his allies saying we have intelligence that show the iranians are violating the agreement and we need to walk it back and reimpose sanctions. do you think they're going to believe him? that's a problem. >> breitbart senior policy analyst from the reagan administration also review the efforts. live at 8:00 on c-span.
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a conference now on economic policy with a discussion about the u.s. economic outlook and opportunities for growth. and former bush administration national economic council director lawrence lindsey. >> let me also share my welcome and thanks to all of our member firms here today. as i say, every time i'm on stage i work for you. we are here to serve you an your needs. if you need anything while i'm here let me know and i also want to welcome the board members and give thanks and welcome to ey, chairman and ceo. mark and i were colleagues together at the u.s. treasury department, worked together for a number of years and it is always an honor and a pleasure to be on the same stage,


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