tv Newsmakers CSPAN June 26, 2011 10:00am-10:30am EDT
because you are slicing that by even more directionally. host: what is the role of the department of justice and all this? -- in all this? guest: in the kennedy administration was before the modern era of redistricting. this is one of the new frontiers of 2012. not only is there a democratic appointed justice in place but the majority of the legislature and the self in states that are covered by the voting rights act, section 5, or controlled by republicans. you have this role reversal from the way it has been in touch past decade. in many of these legislatures, maps are being drawn to keep the number of african majority seats at 1 per state from alabama and mississippi.
there probably be four african- american states. the justice department, the question were asking was were the happy with keeping just one average american jury district would they put stacks so far, when they have signed off on new maps, we have not seen them draw a firm line on the way the boundaries are drawn. that have been flexible in their approach so far. this may not be a really contentious fight between state legislators and the justice department but people expect that. host: we will conclude with that. thank you for your time. "newsmakers" coming up next and
we will continue the conversation tomorrow morning. we will talk with the by policy partisan center -- a bipartisan policy center. we'll talk about the impact on the u.s. economy. a familiar face to the fox news audience is the author of "the next wave." she will be joining us tomorrow and retired brigadier-general david reist will talk about the next step in afghanistan and how you withdraw u.s. troops in the country and the impact of the military and the country. that is tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. picà for joining us on this sunday. i hope you enjoy the rest of your week and have a great week ahead. ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> this morning on c-span, several programs on the president's plan to withdraw troops from afghanistan, starting with "newsmakers." we will hear from representative adam smith. after that, a chance to see the president's address on troop withdrawals. then secretary of state clinton was the testimony of capital hill and later, a hearing with joint chiefs chairman mike moylan. >> and our guest on "newsmakers" this week is congressman adam
smith. the congressman represents the fourth lowest air force base -- fort lewis airforce base. thank you for being here. a writer for congressional quarterly is with us as well. >> there with not seem to be a lot that ended up being resolved on the libya conflict today. do you think this is the end of the issue for a while, or will it continue? >> i think congress should authorize the action that is happening in libya. we had two versions of it and it was passed in the house. the first was not limited enough and the second was too limited. i think what we are doing in libya is very important and i
think it is important that congress have their voice be heard on the issue. i will try to introduce a new resolution authorizing it. it is based off of the mccain won in the senate -- off of the mccain one in the senate. we need to make sure that no ground troops are used. whether republicans in the house are interested in doing that, i do not know for sure. >> to you think that if he had asked for authorization in libya in march, with they have agreed with it then? >> it is hard to say. the republicans are very focused on one thing now. it happened fairly fast. i think the president and his team were reluctant to get involved in libya. you had the arab league, you had
the u.n.. they were very quickly launching this operation and they needed our help. nato expressed its support. from that point of view, they have done a good job explaining it. republicans and house can say, we understand and we feel our voice should be heard, like authorize. just offering criticism. we've -- we support, but we do not like the present process. process.esident's no. are you surprised that gaddafi has held on -- >> are you surprised that gaddafi has allowed as long as he has? how long you think he can hold out? and do you think nato can hold out as long as it takes to get him out of power?
as of now, they have said operations through its of timber, but it is anybody's guess beyond that -- through september, but it is anybody's guess beyond that. >> the pressure is building and a number of its top folks in his government have been fleeing. with moreno future i gaddafi. he is a pariah. he has no support. half of his country is already under control of the rebel force. i do not think he can hold out very long. whether or not nato can hold out longer have to make sure that happens is a tougher question. i think, yes, 90 days is the vision and ultimately the commission will hold together.
>> are you concerned the nato will be a -- is not capable to carry out this mission? >> no, i think is capable, but they need support. we provide the jamming equipment and some other things to get it done. it is a very limited mission that we are talking about here. gaddafi does not have a very strong military. he did not want them to be strong enough to topple him. >> when congress comes back from recess they will be taking of the defense spending bill on the floor. i understand there are members that would still be pushing to cut off support entirely for
libya. what do you think will happen on the floor debate in the defense spending bill? what mr. kucinich made it clear today he will offer -- >> mr. kucinich made it clear to you offer an amendment that would prohibit funding for anything in libya. many of the republicans opposed the authorizing bill that was modeled again by senator mccain they said, we should not abandon our allies and the support of the work we are doing in libya, but they did not like the way the president was doing it. we have yet to see if they will cut off support for spending. i also think there'll be some language on afghanistan and a variety of other issues in terms of the overall level of spending. >> i wanted to ask you about the
war powers act. there are some who say it is time to revisit the way the war powers act is structured. some have said that our definitions of war are obsolete and that leaders around the world are not doing that anymore. >> the way the constitution was set up in the first place was almost purposely ambiguous. if congress has the right to declare war. if war is -- war is nowhere defined in the constitution. the president is the commander in chief in conducting military ever -- operations. which is it? no one has had a clear consensus on how you create a balance. >> there was a lot of talk about afghanistan this week with
the president's speech and general patraeus and admiral mullen. and i know in their testimony yesterday, both of theirs men -- those men said the president's drawdown is more aggressive. did that raise any alarm bells for you? brezno, fdot for a couple of reasons. -- >> know, for a couple of reasons. anytime you go to the military, there are two things they are 26 -- more troops, more time. and i understand that. -- that they are going to say, more troops, more time. and i understand that. what the president recognizes there is a balance. it is not just a simply -- simply a matter of the more troops, the less risk. there will always be a risk in afghanistan as to whether or not this government is going to be able to stand under -- to stand
where we begin to draw down. that would be true 10 years from but the opposite is if they become too dependent on us and it looks too much like an occupation, then that locks us into a permanent dependency role. the president is trying to balance a difficult situation, but i think he is doing it reasonably well. it is perfectly in keeping with the plan the plant -- the president laid out in 2009. he is right on pace with 40's that he is going to do for two years. -- with the pace that he said he was going to do for two years. >> the generals are always saying they want more troops, but at the same time, the u.s. commanders have said that they hoped that the surgeon forces could have remained through the ,nd of the fighting suspecseason
through the end of 2012. to what degree are presidential politics affecting our strategy in afghanistan? >> presidential politics, if they were affecting our strategy in afghanistan, the president would have said we are pulling out as soon as we can. there is enormous pressure. we have been in two wars for a long time and people are getting tired of it. the president is committing -- committed to making sure that the taliban does not just come back into afghanistan and al qaeda does not just marched in behind him. the president was criticized that he was leaving to when the troops in for too long. -- to many troops in for too long. courts was the harm in keeping them there for a few -- >> what is the harm in keeping them there for a few more months if -- a few more months?
>> i do not know that there is any harm. but it continues the notion of not dence and the afghan snos taking care of themselves. we have made substantial ground against the taliban their and their ability to wage war. then we need to draw down, as is our responsibility. >> what is our goal there at this point? is it to defeat the insurgency? is it to weaken them to bring them to the negotiating table? >> powerball has been clear from day one, we want -- our goal has been clear from day one.
if we want a government there that can -- we want a government that can stand and fight the taliban on its own. >> the taliban has been fighting this for 10 years there. there is not much sign that -- >> actually, they have only been fighting as 46 and seven years. there were a couple of years that things were -- fighting a loss for six or seven years. there were a couple of years that things were pretty quiet there. >> what else do we have that the taliban will decide to negotiate suddenly? with a couple of things. first, we have been negotiating with various elements of the taliban for a long time. people think of the taliban, too often, as one entity. people come and go in afghanistan in terms of who they support. there is a group of taliban who
believe in religious ideology. there are a lot of folks that signed up with them for convenience, they looked like the strongest group to be with, money involved. we have for years been trying to find taliban that were willing to negotiate and willing to talk. i would disagree with the way of looking at it that says, this is suddenly knew. suddenly, we are trying to negotiate. >> if we have made substantial gains in the past 18 months and there has been effort to bring the taliban to this reconciliation program, but the numbers are very small. >> the numbers have grown significantly in the last two years. the number of people leaving the taliban and coming got into the fold is actually pretty
significant. -- and coming back into the fold is actually pretty significant. >> talking about the taliban inevitably leads to pakistan. >> as well it should. >> it was the subject of conversation in the senate foreign relations committee when hillary clinton testified on thursday. i wonder what your thinking is about pakistan's cooperation on counter-terrorism and if there is a road map for success if they continue of the same level of cooperation, which is not entire corporation, but some cooperation. >> it is a difficult situation in afghanistan and pakistan. if i have said more than once that i wish we did not have security interests in this part of the world. it is a difficult part of the
world and not well government. unfortunately, it is the epicenter of al qaeda and it threatens us. stability there matters to our national security. then you have to set a very low bar for success. success in that region is the ability to contain this thread. i would love to be able to lay a plan out for getting rid of this violent extremism and the taliban and all the different iterations in different parts of the world. it is not going to happen. we have to contain a. step no. 1 to doing that is a stable government in afghanistan and in pakistan. as bad as things are in afghanistan, if pakistan were to fall off or to descend into chaos and be taken over, that would be even worse. we have to try to make this relationship work. it is not going well. pakistan is not anywhere near as cooperative as they should be. we have to try to maintain that relationship.
it is going to be tough, but our goal is to add these have a government in pakistan that can withstand. >> do you support the idea that a lot of members are talking about that would support benchmarks for other aid? is there a way that we can be pushing and pulling this money a little bit more? >> we already are setting benchmarks. we do not just send them all of this money and said they are doing fine. we will continue to have to work with them to place greater limits on the money. i am sure that conversation will happen. at the same time, getting their cooperation is significantly inhibited by the fact that the pakistani population does not like us and they are at the moment a democratically elected government.
anything we can do by way of engagement, by way of improving the relationship to make the pakistani people feel more positive about it, it makes it easier for them to support us in our efforts. i will point out that when secretary clinton was there a couple of years back, she spent a substantial amount of time about the importance of the relationship. there was a significant uptick in pakistani support for this nation. >> pakistan has said for years that osama bin laden was not in their country, and of course, it turned out he was and not just in a cave, but not too far from the capital. did you have any confidence that the pakistan is would track him -- will track down house on or
hearing? -- ayman al-zawahiri? >> not very much. there were some operator -- some leaders that were captured early on and it has been a long dry spell since then. we have been working with some and they do provide us with information. it is not as much as we would like. what's not to throw too many fs" at you, if the united states did try to go in and take out heiman al-zawahiri, do you think that pakistan would be
offended by that? >> we need to do what we need to do. we need to work also in a way that relations are not disrupted. president obama in a speech said if we have intelligence that is actionable and they do not know, we're going in. -- and they do not help, we are going in. we would prefer to do it with the cooperation of the local government, but if they have proven, as pakistan has, that corporation is not forthcoming, we really have no choice. >> i have there been any efforts to cut off funding -- have there been any efforts to cut off funding to support pakistan recently? and did you support any of that
effort? >> i am sure there will be amendments that will try to restrict funding, or even eliminate funding to pakistan. i would be reluctant to support anything that would out right ban it or even significantly reduce it. but if we place the proper strings on it to make sure it is focused, we can do that. i wish it was not in our best interests of the walk away from pakistan. our national security interests there are at stake. we cannot afford it al qaeda or its allies to gain greater ground in pakistan or afghanistan. to do that, we have to maintain a relationship with pakistan. right now, that will involve some financial support. >> a few days ago, president hamid karzai gave a very strong
anti western, anti-american speech. he characterized nato as not in his country's interests, that we were there to of -- occupied afghanistan and we have different interests than the afghan people. how difficult is that making things for the u.s. and nato in terms of trying to produce a favorable outcome in afghanistan? and you spoke of our interest in maintaining stable government there. you think that karzai cannot stand on his own 2 feet? >> it is not just a matter of having to stay and fight because the greater the numbers, the greater the likelihood of success. the greater the number, the greater the likelihood that leaders like hamid karzai will come under pressure. that is part of why that drawdown is necessary. as far as whether or not our government -- the government
there could stand if we left right now, probably not. that is why we have to do it over a time line. i think the president was very specific. when we get involved in libya, everyone wants an exit strategy. i appreciate that, but we do not always know what is going to happen. at the same time, the president laid out in pretty coherent exit strategy in afghanistan and he is doing a pretty good job following it. the reason karzai is saying what he is saying is because of pressure from his constituents. we all have constituents. he has his, and they are concerned about the fact that they have 150,000 troops from the norah on their country. we need -- tromping all around their country. we need to drawdown in a responsible way. >> how confident are you that
they can take security manages -- matters into their own hands? that is the crux of the problem there. >> and how will we pay for that in the coming years? the force -- >> the force is a lot better than they used to be. we have trained about 120,000 afghan army and afghan national police since 2009. their training is better, they are more equipped, more capable. it is not a guarantee by any stretch. we are paying for it now, but not forever. we will fall we have to maintain some level of support in terms of the amount of equipment. you know, for quite some time. and we have to remember why. i certainly understand why people are frustrated at what is
going on in afghanistan, but once in awhile i like to say, what are we doing there? al qaeda is gone. yes, they're right across the border. and if the taliban came back, they would be on the other side of the border with safe haven. this is where we were attacked from. this is where they plotted and planned 9/11 and a host of other attacks. we have to make sure that the taliban and al qaeda are not able to come back to power. it is in our national interest, even if it is very costly and difficult >> i think the cost of the training of troops supports a larger question about sustainability in that there are a lot of development programs across afghanistan with farming and infrastructure.
you think that those investments are worth while? >> the better way to frame that is, do i think the efforts will bear fruit? will it have legs after we leave? i think that it will, but how strong is a tougher question we are -- a tougher question. we are treating them as opposed to coming in and doing it for them. i spent some time with a district governor there and they were getting all of the basic necessities of civil society. they were working. i think we have made progress. is it enough progress to stand a difficult part of the world against the taliban? there are no guarantees. but i think what we'll have done gives as a much higher likelihood of success.
>> are you optimistic, or less things now asut, say opposed to, say, 80 months ago? >> much more optimistic. -- 18 months ago. what's much more optimistic. will it be sustainable? tavis a tough question to answer -- that is a tough question to answer. >> i will close with a question with the breakdown of the vice- president biden's talks on the budget. what is your opinion of the process? >> i am still confident that we will come up with something. but if you look at the process, if we are gointo