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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 13, 2014 7:00pm-9:01pm EST

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types. starting on the for right, there are three marine extradition terry forces inside of the marine corps. they have one in open hour, one in california is the bulk of ths that come out of these forces. this type of force is really used for major combat operations. it is a corps sized force like what you saw made the march to baghdad in 2003. next to that, you have the brigade commanded by a one-star. it says up to 15,000. this can range from a joint task force headquarters up to aggregating multiple forces in support of major combat operations. then you have the two on the left, which we would consider our forward deployed forces that we would project forward and anticipate would be operating in theater all the time, not just when there is a crisis. the one we have traditionally deployed is the marine expeditionary unit.
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it is about 2500 marines. it is associated with amphibious shipping. that is what you mostly see on the news, marines operating off of the ships. we have two of those on the water at all times. one in the pacific and one generally in the european, african, and central command regions. very capable force. runs the gamut from working security cooperation issues up to having the capability of executing forcible entry or having a play inside a major theater operation. the last one on the left is the special purpose. they do not have a size. they do not have a number associated with them. they can be created in order to meet whatever the mission requirement is. in this particular case, our
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crisis response was established with about 550 marines. it was based around an infantry company sized force. the command element was taken largely from the 24th. designed for specific evolutions or missions, hours being crisis response. i will get into the details on that in a moment. next slide. this was our mission. we were a forward applied crisis response as mentioned. it was established starting last year around the april timeframe. just one of many options the marine corps has, along with the augmentation of security forces, fleet antiterrorism security teams, and special purpose magtf africa that does cooperation on
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the continent. it is different. it is not the same. it does not have the same capabilities. certainly not the combat power it brings to the fight. the box on the right is alluding to what we see as the continuum of crisis response. i know it is hard to see a lot of the words. as you start moving up the slope towards the bang, a lot of things happen, particularly when you're talking about support to embassies and government facilities overseas. a lot of indications and warnings. the crisis starts to bubble up. we would like to get a force like spmagtf-cr in early to deal
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with the situation early and diffuse it right its presence or action that might be taken such as reinforcing. we are one of the red boxes on the bottom, or one of the many options. there are four deployed. but not the only option available. key missions we train to - expeditionary enforcement, site security, tactical recovery of aircraft or personnel, as well as noncombatant evacuation operations. we are capable of being a lead for a follow-on force on the way that we could scale up. we were unique in the theater based on our ability to self command and control, deployment,
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and the mobility we brought as part of the task force. that came from the combinations as well as the task organized ground element could that allowed us to project this force a long way. even though we were based in spain for the majority of the time we were deployed, we were able to rapidly project the force. when we got where we were going, we brought everything necessary to operate. we believe that is the ground of the marine air ground task force. it comes as one consolidated package that is scalable to be able to break pieces apart if necessary and also be able to quickly be organized in order to accomplish the mission without a lot of external support. i have already mentioned it does
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not replace it. there were questions about whether we were there in lieu of. we do not think so. because of the lack of mu presence in the mediterranean and african region, spmagtf-cr filled that gap. we felt it was complementary. this is a little bit about the operating area and time and space for the problem framing. we self deploy this force from camp lejeune to spain. that distance on the red arrows is about the same as it is down to the gulf of guinea. pretty significant.
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that is to scale. a map of the united states. it is about 3.7 times the united states that can fit inside the continent of africa. when they built maps, it always looks like the united states is a good size. rush is a good-size compared to africa, but africa is huge. you start running into significant problems or issues operating there. we also moved the force from spain to djibouti and then further on. the distance from moron, spain, to djibouti is about 34 nautical miles, about the distance from alaska to florida. we repeatedly moved from moron, spain, to support operations in the african region.
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that is the distance from new york to new orleans. even routine movement which we did several times from moron, spain, is not routine based on this distance. the combination enabled that to happen. for the last six and a half months, i will start on the left-hand side of the screen. we did a lot of theater security cooperation and partnering with our host nation spain as well as the government of france and the french foreign legion units in the southern part of france. that is how we train in order to team up with a partner nation. in this case, the spanish army and spanish marines and the
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french foreign legion which allowed access for us into areas for us to operate and execute full mission profiles where we are able to put the force together and tie together our ground combat element and insert them into a range and long enough distance away that he was able for us to replicate to scale what it would be like to project a force into some of the areas we were responsible for. we also took the v-22's in support of those doing support operations for africa. when they were training in senegal, we supported them with equipment approximately 1600 nautical miles from moron to senegal.
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pretty significant movement. it was the first time v-22's were introduced in the western part of africa. we were able to do key leader engagements throughout the western and northern africa. on the left of the slide, you see support operations for africa in may, september, and october. we were also able to take marines in theater, the black sea rotational force, special purpose magtf africa, although their missions are not merely crisis response, all marines have the capability to do crisis response. we brought those two forces together along with hours, aggregated them in the european theater, as well as operating with the anti terrorism support
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team. we brought those forces together and did a mock embassy reinforcement followed by a reinforcement with the spmagtf-cr on tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel and also ran mock evacuation exercises, so we were able to rehearse with all the marine forces in theater the type of mission sets we thought we might have to employ. a pretty important point just to say the way we are organized as marines allows us to be very flexible and scalable. bringing these different forces together along with other joint forces is very easy based on the way we organize and command and control the force. this was a good opportunity. the first time this had been done in the european and african theater. on the bottom right is the movement we made down to
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djibouti to support operations in south sudan, which ultimately led to support and evacuation of american citizens from the embassy. i hope everyone has at least heard a little bit about the new normal with a new normal environment moving out into the future. if you have not heard about it, a couple of quick points on it. the new normal is the way to describe macro-stability, not being in major wars. at the same time, a lot of potential crises, rapidly moving crises that can occur for all kinds of different reasons, whether they be religion, politics, social issues, demographics, things like the arab spring that started in one place and rapidly moved to another.
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as part of that, the state department and department of defense working through this problem set. as i showed you earlier on the continuing slide, the state department has made a pledge to look early to see where we could get dod support if necessary to provide security early in the process rather than later. dod agreed it would pay more attention earlier and plan for support of u.s. government the cities and personnel overseas prior to crisis. what we saw with the lessons learned in south sudan what we believe is the first execution of one of these new normal type missions where we used a new normal force, spmagtf-cr,
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deployed in support of a u.s. embassy. the army as well projected a new normal response force into the embassy. you have both the marines and army come together under this construct underneath a joint commander and executed this mission. i have put up a couple of different thoughts on things we might need to think about as we move forward executing these types of missions. the types of resources we should put against them, how long we would leave those resources in place, who would make those decisions inside of our government when we do those types of operations. pretty difficult problem set, particularly when you look at the size of the forces we have available in dod and the size and scope of africa and the time, space, and force issues
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associated with projecting force across the continent to the many high risk type embassies or facilities that may be at risk. that is just one theater we operated in. you could expand that through the globe in a number of places we would consider hotspots. with that, i would turn it over. >> i will step up here and we will start a conversation with ourselves and the audience. thanks very much. i thought that was great. [applause] i am going to exercise my privilege as moderator to get a small handful of questions in myself before turning the attention over to questions from the audience.
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one of them i dare say is prompted by the last slide. that list of questions. as a commander of the special purpose magtf and now the mu, i assume those are not rhetorical questions. are there answers to those questions? is that work to be done? >> i think that work needs to be done every time we execute these types of missions. it is work that is being done as well. the point of me putting those up there, when i get a mission for a force like this, i do not have a question about what the mission is and i did not have a question about the mission in south sudan. as i look across the scope of potential areas that are having problems, i think we need to be asking those types of questions each time we employ a force like this. when we employ a force like this
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in one place, we are not providing coverage in a lot of others. >> i wanted to be the guy who helps put context to a lot of what you said for perhaps a less than fully expert audience, which i doubt is in the room, but maybe watching elsewhere. for example, tell us about the v-22. 3/4 of the room knows about it. it sounds like the way it was configured and the mission assigned might not be possible without that system. go right to the root. what is it? >> the mv-22 takes the qualities of a helicopter which can land vertically and combines them with a transport aircraft and puts the two things together, so
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you get quite a bit of range and speed of a turboprop aircraft but when it gets to where it needs to set down directly, it can set down like a helicopter. what you have done in a place like africa is you have greatly expanded the area and envelope you can operate in. i would agree when we are a land-based force like spmagtf-cr is, having the capability of the v-22 combined with the kc130-j refueling aircraft, that gives you the reach that would get you into the continent. amphibious shipping off of the coast provides a more direct path to that. without that being shore based in the southern european region, an aircraft like the v-22 gives us that capability. >> when you fly from miami to
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anchorage, that is three or four refuelings for an mv-22? >> it is more than that. it is about three to get from moron to ciganella, which was the first piece of the leg, new york to new orleans. i was talking earlier today about this. the number of refuelings, it does not have to be done by the same aircraft leading it forward. another aircraft can meet it at a point, you can plug-in, and keep going. it is limited by the amount of gas that can be provided. at some point, you start running into the number of hours the pilots are flying. that range capability is greatly extended with the v-22.
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>> to the end of getting the rudiments on the table, i want to ask if you could talk more -- set some expectations. i think it would be correct to say the impetus for the formation of this force was the attack on benghazi. i wonder if you could talk about setting expectations on the actual capabilities of 500 dismounted marines around a huge area of operation, in terms of lead time and other things that you would need to have an effect on the ground. >> i think this force was formed in response to situations in the new normal. i would suggest benghazi was one of those types of actions. a company of infantry marines is pretty capable.
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>> i did not mean to suggest otherwise. i am sorry. >> we like to say we are responsible for limited crisis response. clearly, if you had a situation where you had to force your way into an environment or secure a large area, you would need a larger force. but tailored primarily for the missions i flashed on the screen, which would be embassy reinforcement, site recovery, this is a very capable force to accomplish those types of missions. >> not designed for forcible entry, for example. finally, and then i will turn to those of you in the audience, i want to draw on your more than 20-year career in the marine corps and in other assignments and ask if you could put into context the new normal relative
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to other deployments in the past that you have been involved in, bosnia, haiti, others of these new normal deployments you have been involved with for more than 15 years. are we getting better at this? are we still learning the new normal after 15 years? what is your sense of it after having been firsthand involved? >> for me, it is a little bit of back to the future. this is what marines have always done. this is the type of thing i did at the beginning of my career. you mentioned haiti. we got an airplane within 72 hours and flew down and stood up a special purpose magtf for haiti. 1993-1994. i think this is what we do. the marine corps, we have a long
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history of these types of operations. we have a generation or two of marines coming in in iraq and afghanistan. i think this is more a turn back to the way marines have traditionally operated. this is not an area i feel uncomfortable in. many of the places we have operated, countries, partners we have operated with, i spent the first part of the year banging around on a ship in the mediterranean, working. >> so the new normal is not all that new to you? >> i think that is one way to characterize it without getting into the social aspect of media and all those things that we
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have talked about a lots. for example, the air of spring. -- the arab spring. i think the new normal tries to characterize the speed at which at which these crisis will be wrapped. the speed with which they can transfer interrupted violently. i think that might be a little bit of a change. i think for marines to be deployed, to be ready, to be in position, i don't think that is new. >> ok. thank you for indulging my questions. i will say that our conversation is entirely on the record. we do have microphones. if i call on you, introduce yourself in a clear voice before you ask your question. i will start with this gentleman right here and then i will go to the gentleman in the last row. >> thanks very much.
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i served in many of the embassies you mentioned. the ones you have not had to evacuate yet and probably will. francisco. cook.ncis i'm a little worried about your briefing. you don't fly with a lot of protection. is that the army attitude? i'm a little unclear on any protections you had going in? >> yes, there were a couple things going on in south sudan. just to be clear -- >> let me interrupt you and ask you again -- for people who have no idea what you're talking about -- what that mission was, when it happened, etc.. so everyone knows what we are talking about and when.
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>> in the middle of september at violence began kicking up between two tribes in south sudan, one that was loyal to be vice president and one that was loyal to the president. there was disagreement between those two gentlemen as to whether a coup had been attempted or not been attempted and fighting broke out. which put, there were several folks at risk throughout the country. there were a lot of ngo's operating throughout the country. the diplomatic corps fell in south sudan. the eastern response force was brought into the embassy to assist with the security, and the embassy had also ordered evacuations. they had already drawn down a
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large portion of their embassy. 22's were used to evacuate personnel from further north in one of the camp's, and they were shot up. we ended up coming in after that. we were focused in north africa and west africa. we were directed with about 12 hours' notice to make that flight to djibouti to evacuate the rest of the embassy. as i mentioned, we did assist with the continued withdrawal of personnel out of the embassy. as far as the conditions we executed, we felt that the security was adequate for us to do that. i'm not sure if that answers your question. >> i will take the question right next to the camera there please.
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then i am going to come to the questions on the second row. >> this is joe talbot. sir, i would like to ask you about the legal framework of your missions. do you usually need to clear the mission with your local authorities? if yes, do you coordinate with the local authorities in securing an embassy? >> absolutely. the ambassador does that coordination within the country that we would be operating in, and we would only do that under her or his request. so, that coordination would be done. as far as the countries we operate from, we have agreements in place or missions that we are responsible for and we are not doing any operations that are not, that do not have visibility or approvals of those countries we operate from.
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>> let me take a question from this gentleman right here with the glasses. ok, we will start there and go to the gentleman to the right. please. >> i wonder about the relationship of the marines to our special forces, navy seals, delta rangers, army force. to take a current example, there is a report we have special forces in southern libya right now where forces loyal to the former regime took over a military base. how would you decide who reacts to that? is it clearly defined whose operation is which? would it be a joint operation or what? >> to respond -- well, we are a conventional force. we are not a special operations force, a special purpose task force.
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that just defines us as not a standing magtf. i am going to get any orders from the combatant commander who i am responsible to. in this case, it would be general rodriguez. he will make the determination for what is the best force for what the requirements are. >> does the scope of the crisis response force per se change over time? you are going to do something over a discrete period of time, or not necessarily? >> not necessarily. however, that is how we envision the force, that we would be tasked with a mission that would come up. we would execute that mission, be prepared to operate over a wide area, because it's just not enough units like this to
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operate in multiple different places at one time. we do have the capability to have forces join ours and roll up underneath it. we do have the scale to do that. we would have the tape abilities that would help augment another force. we could certainly do that as well. >> a question for the gentleman right there. >> thank you. i want to ask about the applicability of the structure, particularly this task force. to mass atrocity response operations. is this something you have had an opportunity to reflect on at all? secondly, i want to talk about the quality and character of the relationship with the french and spanish allies. is that something we could
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expect to see in action in a cooperative fashion any time soon? >> thank you. regarding the mass atrocity, we have capabilities that would enable us to support humanitarian support or disaster relief, just basic -- capabilities, how the aircraft could move things, move people, move supplies, those types of things. this organization did not have specific training or, you know, unique tape abilities that would -- unique capabilities that would allow us to respond to a mass atrocity. as far as our relationship with the spanish and the french the , relationship that we have with them now is primarily a training relationship, partnering to do training.
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not an operational relationship. >> i would understand that president obama and president hollande have released a communication today at least intimating there would be some more regular cooperation between the two. would you like to comment in that regard? >> i just heard about the op-ed as well. we have the capability to work with partnering nations. we have the capability to work with the department of defense. either one of those is something we would be capable of executing. >> if i could take that a little farther, your unit did a training exercise or otherwise would legionnaires. could you put that in perspective? how long, where? >> there is a perpetual relationship between the french
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foreign legion brigade and the marines second division. these second marine division is out of camp lejeune, north carolina. we are able to if a site that relationship with the french. that is of great advantage to us to work with the legionnaires who are very comparable to marine infantry in skills and attitude and the way that they employ their force. also what it did was it took us just far enough that it really got us to stretch our legs, to do aerial refuel, go to an uncertain area, operate in an uncertain environment, training environment we had not seen before. to tie all those things together and execute a full mission row file, it ended up working out very well for us. what it also did, we've done a lot of work with the spanish as well.
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with the spanish and the french. having that force in that part of the mediterranean does hearken back to what we discussed earlier. in the 1990's and the 1980's, we did a lot of training with the french, italians, spanish, our partners in the southern mediterranean. we have not been able to her the the last several years due to commitments in iraq and afghanistan. >> in the pentagon and around washington, we often hear the term "deployed presence." particularly in discussions about budgets and how to trade off allocations of budgets. i think it is an aspect -- correct me if i'm wrong -- of what our military is doing every day. i doubt most americans have much appreciation for.
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if you are out on a six or a month deployment or so, how much engagement is there not only with allied forces, but partner forces. does that change? is that more, the same, less? did the wars interrupt that? where are we in our presence posture, if you will? >> certainly in the mediterranean bases, some of that has been interrupted. from the marine corps stance, it has been interrupted by a lack of training in the mediterranean, conducting those exercises. i think it is the tremendous value. a tremendous value to us and i imagine it is probably in the interest of all partners to work with us. i will say as well, the experience that provides our young marines when they get the opportunity to go into an arduous training exercise, training regimen and come out the other side and do social
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activities and a change of ideas, camaraderie with our partners, it's really an event they are going to remember for the rest of their careers. it's not something that marines who have joined since 2001 have had much opportunity to do if they have not been part of a marine expeditionary unit that has been deployed. >> i would guess from what you said as much as anything is working with those partners is one of the features of the new normal? >> i'm not sure that we ever stepped away from our partners. we have been working with them in a different environment. is probably a return back to those engagements we had habitually done in the 1990's. all for deployed forces, the opportunity to train with partner nations in their country.
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>> i'm just trying to keep my perspective at the level of normal americans. they do not appreciate how much interaction, co-mingling, inner capability there really is when our forces get out in the world. both to train and to do missions. there is a question from a woman in the dark blouse on the second row please. >> i wonder if you could comment on partnerships with the department of state. and also usaid. >> what we have done with this force, i have not done anything with usaid, specifically. the partnerships with the state department have been great from my perspective. i mentioned on the slide -- we call it to leader engagement. i probably should've done a better job explaining that.
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i was fortunate enough with members of my staff to visit quite a few of the embassies that were within my area of responsibility and work with the country teams there. as well as the countries we operate in spain france, italy, , we spent a fair amount of time engaging with the state department, engaging with those country teams in order to make sure, as the other gentleman asked me, that we have a common understanding of these forces, its defensive nature, and how we would operate if in fact we were called to operate and execute from that country. i think that -- my slide about lessons learned is in no way a slight one way or another.
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it is just that sometimes this kind of a hard problem. in order to be out and operate in some dangerous places. one of the things of force like this does is it enables our diplomats to be able to operate, and i would not say take risk, but however what it ought to do is make them feel a little more comfortable with the many risks they do take in the course of their duties, knowing they have a force like this standing by that will make its best effort to support them as needed. >> thank you. there is a question right here on the second row, please. then i will come here. >> i have a question. colonel, two things -- general paxson, the assistant commandant, said a couple weeks ago that your staff would have
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benefited if you had gators, amphibious shipping to work from. you mentioned the lack of one in the area. could you talk about that, and how a couple of things you did might've been better if you had at least part of one? and you talked about your command elements. how about the rest of the ground and air combat? where did they come from? how much training time did you guys have to prepare for that mission before you went into theater? >> ok, great questions. as far as the amphibious shipping and the impact, it again gets back a little bit to the question of operating in somebody else's country come up or even having to fly over somebody else's country. we are very keen to that,
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obviously. i think sometimes when the operate in the united states we forget that we have a lot of the latitude to operate inside our training areas and do the type of mission support and training we need to. then we go to another country and the expectation is that we should do the similar or the same things and the reality is we are operating in somebody else's country. we need to be respectful of their procedures and policies and rules that govern the operations there. so, absolutely we are a maritime force. we maintain the capability to operate off ships. we maintain that currency as well. the capability that a u.s. naval vessel brings to a force like this is incredible. just having that u.s. sovereign territory that can move around and not worry about diplomatic
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clearances and issues associated with overflight or operations is a huge force multiplier. give me an opportunity to be on a ship versus operating often, marines will take being on a ship any day, a u.s. navy ship. i hope that answers the first part of the question. as far as our organization, all the elements and the spores were -- of this force were drawn from the operat a at camp lejeune, the second expeditionary force. these were forces that were trained and ready. in some cases they had other missions that were assigned and off ramp. then they trained for this mission. we did have the opportunity to ring the force together and train. it was not a comprehensive aining force program. the same that we do for some of our standing magtf.
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we did train and we were certified from a next or an organization, our special operations group, if you are familiar with that, and the one that supported the training in our theater. it is a certified force. >> there are two questions over here. i would like to take them in turn starting with the gentleman on my far right. if there are other questions, please signal to me as we draw down to the bottom of the hour. >> i have three questions. the first one is, when you are deployed for a longer, a long presence in a country like afghanistan or iraq, do your members get any sort of cultural training to avoid cultural misunderstandings with members of those societies? >> let's take those one at a time. go ahead.
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>> yes, we certainly do. iraq and afghanistan, both of those have cultural training that was part of those workups. i will say from my experience taking my squadron over to iraq . training that we put together prior to the point for this mission, we also brought in a gentleman who spent about 20 years as a french marine embedded inside of a lot of the military organizations in west africa. we did cultural training as well. >> one more question about that -- >> thank you. >> members of local communities were recruited specifically by your team or another part of the u.s. military. i want to say, how does that work? do you usually work with the locals in terms of fighting the
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enemy, whether it is al qaeda or any other? >> this force is not specifically organized that way and of course would not established -- was not established then. we were just established in 2013. >> let me take the question right next year. thank you. >> thank you. john roden, cna. i wonder if you could talk about the logistics combat aspect, how long you could sustain yourself, those types of things. i also wanted to talk about the training aspect a little, and ask if there is anything particularly notable, special, pacific about the pre-deployment training or whether it looks like these smaller missions ? >> thanks. as far as the logistics combat element we brought with this force, it is tailored for the size of the force.
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we like to talk about our standing marine expeditionary units. 15 days, 30 days, 45 days of sustainment. we felt five days was the right number for this force. i that level of sustainment allows you to employ the force and not immediately have a problem on your hands as far as keeping the force moving. we have tremendous capability inside the combat element. most of it was through this type capability in order to operate the hub which is our main base in moron. what that enabled us to do was essentially bring a equipment through that area and get it out wherever the force might be at the time.
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very good capability insight, but tailored, certainly not as robust as the standing light magtf that we have. as far as the training or anything notable, i think that it was a scaled-down version. this is a standup organization. did not exist last year in april. that is about the time we started training to head over to spain. i think probably the most notable thing we did, when we did training, we did training to make sure that command and control could cross all the mission sets. we had a reserved organization at the time which actually belongs to my marine expeditionary unit. we were able to command and control their organization while they went through their certification. we were going through hours and we essentially did it in parallel.
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>> thank you. two more questions. i'm going to squeeze one in. then we will plan to wrap up in another few minutes. the next question i had over here. yes? >> eric schmidt with "the new york times." colonel, thanks for doing this. you talked about your experience in north and west africa. obviously a large portion of territory. we have at least two large al qaeda linked organizations there, as well as smaller organizations in libya. how do you, as you prepare your mission, how do you assess the threat on the ground? given how crises shift very quickly, what have you had to do as you think of the threat on the ground in this new normal environment? >> thanks. as far as the responsibilities, the personal responsibilities we had related to the u.s.
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government facilities, missions, as well as personnel, we tended to focus our efforts towards those. some of the areas that you talk about, the threats that operate down there, our force as the capability its own self protection capability when it is deployed. and if we are employed into some of those regions, we bring our own organic self-defense capability in order to accomplish those missions. most notably in some of those large wide-open areas, things like the recovery of aircraft for personnel. we have certainly worked through that process, what that situation would look like on the ground and how to make sure in
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notexecution we were putting them at greater risk. >> along those lines, does this company sized element get a daily threat briefings so you're beginning to vector on different problem's 24 hours at a time? >> yes, that is part of what we call battle rhythm. we will be looking at the problem sets every day across the areas we are responsible for. it's a pretty difficult problem. you have this huge area the size of the united states and a lot of really bad people running around. and some of these places are clearly operating, but there are places where there is not a lot of u.s. government interest either. i'm not sure we spent a ton of time focusing on areas i was not directly responsible for on a daily basis. >> ok, a question right here i believe.
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>> a quick question, where was your command element in the pre-deployment cycle and then, going on deployment for the amount of time you were gone, did it have an impact on readiness? let's say, the recon for the next mission set? probably just as as much the impact it would have on the ace as well. >> we have rotated the squads. the squadrons have been originally out in support, so they have been home for quite a bit longer than we have. regarding the command element, it is a bit of a double edged sword. on the one hand, we were away. things we might have needed to take care of and then came momentum, sustained the lead up to the next deployment we were
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, not able to do that, but by the same token, the majority of the staff served along with me and some of my key advisers and executive officers, sergeant major, so some of the things like getting to know a commander in a deployed environment and the things that are important to me and not important and how i take information, all of those things we may not have learned until we were in the crucible of the workup, we were able to accomplish that while deployed. it is a bit of a double edged sword, we are certainly not behind. again, the theme of "back to the future," similar to where they would do two tours in a three-year window, it is like this two-year period. >> ok, i am actually going to take this question on the aisle and then move to wrap up.
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>> thank you very much, colonel. "u.s. news and world report." could you sort of run us through about what from that incident your unit has taken as it prepares to respond? and, perhaps, if something like that happened today, what part your unit would play? >> even like benghazi are the events as part of the new normal. the unit was set up in order to respond as part of the new normal, not specifically tied to benghazi, but as we talked about on the slide, we can also respond, so we do have some of those same type of capabilities that you might imagine could be utilized in a crisis like that.
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>> my capstone question goes to -- i guess i am tempted to say the reception. if that is, perhaps, the right word. the reception of the forces in africa. i'm going to ask you to take a step off and look at some questions circulating around the u.s. africa command and general reorientation of u.s. forces and national security policy towards areas of the world like africa, which we have not been focused on. what sort of reception have your means thatny other you have determined it, had in and around africa where you have had that exposure? , one of thehat
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things we do with africa, we talk about it like it is a country and it is a 59 countries. i do not remember the exact number now, so each one of those is different. >> sure. >> a place like south sudan is about the size of texas. they are big places, and they have regions inside of them, so they are very different. the areas we operated in, which, i mentioned senegal is one. africa operates in several countries. i think the response to marines operating in those countries is excellent. certainly, there is willing partners. there is great capabilities inside those nations that they have already, and the opportunity to work with them, i think, is -- i am very optimistic about it. our model, this crisis response
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model, is not -- we have no intention to base this force in africa, which, i believe, when up, that seemed to be the sort of hot issue. that is not our intention. it is an expeditionary force. we see that the way that we would operate would be to come in, conduct training, and then leave, and not leave a footprint, and if we were to leave a footprint, a footprint in sand and not a foot rent in cement. is our concept in africa, there is some great opportunity, and i do not see any reason, based on the experience we have, why that would not be in effect to avoid to operate. -- and effective way to operate.
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>> i will give you the opportunity of a second to last word, and then i will put a wrap on it. did you want to say anything else? >> we appreciate the opportunity to come out and answer these questions. a couple i did not get to what you are trying to get, so if you want to grab me afterwards, i can try to satisfy your questions. >> i very much appreciate you coming and especially so because your remarks and your discussion here in q&a highlights several things that are core to atlantic council, not the least of which is partnerships and the new normal national security environment of the united states and the u.s. military forces having partnerships that it can leverage and contribute to around this really fast-paced world of security threats and opportunities. the other reason, and maybe more especially something i am more
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enthused about, when i have you or your ilk come through the atlantic council, it makes more palpable, forgive my reuse of that word, what u.s. forces are actually doing in the world when they are not in afghanistan or iraq, which got lots of attention and popular interest, obviously, and then also is a bit of an antidote, from my point of view, to the reflex that i think is prevalent around the country now that we can just come home. we can just bring our forces home, settle down, and the world will go about its business. when colonel benedict comes, or, again, his predecessors and successors, i am reminded how completely important the day-to-day cultivation of our capabilities and our activities out in the world, around the
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world, in places, again, i don't think americans worry too much about american interest in, to what our military posture is all about. so i thank you very much, and i thank all of you for coming. supreme court justice elena at the annual ruth bader ginsburg lecture. a discussion on health care from the heritage foundation's conservative policy summit. tom friedman talks about national security and freedom of the press. a conversation on protecting the u.s. electrical grid. that is from washington journal. journal,xt washington privacy laws and the future of employee retirement benefits.
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and then security issues and american access to food. your phone calls, facebook comments, and tweets. >> one of the things that we worry about cyber attacks, physical dangers, it and what i always think is what keeps me up at night when i think about what can happen next. i wonder what your greatest fear is asked to a physical attack here in our country. general? side, i think an attack against our critical infrastructure that would have potential damaging effects in our transportation, financial is an area we have to take -- pay close attention, energy sector.
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there is a range of things that keep me up at night. when you see these mumbai style attacks, what happened in the the bostonrobi, marathon, those are the kinds of things we have to continue to work together in the intelligence community to make sure we are working as seamlessly as possible to share everything we have, not only with the defense side and the national side, but also on the federal, state, local, and tribal level. that is an important aspect of what we are trying to do in the intelligence community. >> this weekend, the senate armed services committee looks at worldwide cyber threats, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction. on book tv, watch coverage of the savanna book festival. that starts saturday morning at
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9:00 on c-span 2. on american history tv, the american president and the national portrait gallery monday night at 8:00. >> supreme court justice elena ruth praised her colleague bader ginsburg at an event hosted by the new york city bar association. she highlighted three cases justice ginsburg took gone early in his/her career -- early in her career as an attorney. we will also hear briefly from justice ginsburg. >> could we get started, everyone? i am sorry to interrupt, but i think i am predicting that what you are being interrupted for will be worth being interrupted about. thank you for coming out tonight in what seems to be our weekly snowstorm of the season.
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i am the president of the new york city bar association. this is a terrific night for all of us as we have the honor to be in the presence of two supreme court justices. that may be a record here in this room. both of whom braved the snow and the train tonight to be here. we especially are honored that they made that sacrifice to come. as you can imagine from looking around, the response to our invitation about this event was immediate and overwhelming. within minutes, it was sold out and tickets being sold on stubhub and other places. i apologize the seating is tight, but it is usually the case given the honor read -- on honoree.
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we are happy that there are reportedly over 100 law students -- law students in the crowd. the city bar established this lecture in justice ginsburg's name a number -- a number of years ago. her achievements as a law year, law professor, and judge. this is our 12 ginsburg lecture and justice ginsburg has been involved in every one of them since the inception of the series. we are happy for her continued presence. [applause] she has been a voice for justice and gender equity and civil rights for many years. in terms of her own background, not to spoil the agenda, but she will be introducing the other
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justice who we are honored to have beer here tonight, justice elena kagan. to be here tonight, justice elena kagan. [applause] ofill not steal the thunder justice ginsburg by talking about justice kagan. justice ginsburg was top among the women in her class at cornell university before attending harvard law school, where she was only one of nine 1959 in the class of before she transferred in graduated from columbia law school. upon graduation, she clerked for the southern district of new york. she became the second woman to join the faculty at rutgers university school of law. jeter at columbia, she became the first tenured woman on the faculty. she founded the women's rights project and is director of the
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project, she argued many court cases, including many before the u.s. supreme court, which challenged sexual stereotypes and pave the way for better opportunities for women. during her time at columbia, she served on our city bar executive from 1974-1978. prior to her -- to the supreme on the u.s.erved court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit. it is my privilege to invite justice ginsburg to the podium to introduce our distinguished speaker justice kagan. after that, i will come back up the cuts we will have a q&a following justice kagan's remarks. people in the audience will be allowed to ask questions of either justice. thank you, justice ginsburg. [applause]
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[applause] >> thank you. i am glad to see the snow did not discourage the members of this intrepid audience. it is my great joy to introduce to you this evening's lecturer, my dear colleague, the most honorable elena kagan. justice kagan has worked in the law in just about every
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capacity. she has served all three branches of our government, , anded private practice devoted many years to legal education. a professor at the university of chicago and then as a harvard law school she became harvard untiln 2003 and served 2009, the year president obama appointed her solicitor general of the united states. kagan'sstice appointment in 2010, what a wise and witty participant she is in oral arguments. ,er opinions display the best
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she never seeks to carry the day and her style is engaging. clarity, fluency, and giddy humor, that she was an assigned an altogether easy case , but i know the hours and hours one must spend to make it sound that way. endeavors, she has been a star performer, first woman to become dean of the harvard law school, first woman to be confirmed as solicitor general, and in 1973, first woman to inaugurate a ceremony at manhattan's lincoln square synagogue.
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you likely do not know she was commandeered by the first branch for a special assignment in the summer of 1993. commissionedbiden elena to prepare him for my confirmation hearings. she may have read some of my , articles i wrote in my law teaching days. asked, but i hope it did not include reading this during book i co-authored in the early 1960's, civil procedure in sweden. [laughter] more in the did you know
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term whenin the 1987 she served for justice thurgood marshall, she was a regular reliable guard in pickup basketball games played on the of ourr -- top floor marble palace, the highest court in the land. she showed how sharp -- how far she would go to foster collegiality. under the tutelage is of justice scalia, she became a fearless hunter. the personal trainer with whom she boxes has been my physical 1999ss already and since -- fitness guardian since 1999. folk cross best job combination on the federal bench.
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elena accomplished in a made -- an amazing feat at harvard law school. didn't -- students once discontent began to like the place. how did she manage the transformation? not so much by fundraising and constructing new buildings, although she was champion at both. in her own words, i looked around for little things i could do, things that don't cost much money, don't take too much time that you don't have to have a faculty meeting to do. among things that fit that bill, she discovered you can buy more students happiness per dollar by giving people free coffee than anything else.
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justice, she heads the cafeteria committee, a truly disheartening assignment. not much one can do to make it better, but she found something she could fix even on a slim budget. a frozen yogurt machine dispenses sustenance all can enjoy. i leave off with a characteristic example of her quick wit. at the hearing on her confirmation, senator lindsey graham asked whether she thought miranda warnings should be given to terrorists. the infamous christmas day underwear bomber, for example. her, where asked were you on christmas day?
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it would be inappropriate to a dress an open question that might one day come before the board. the senator persisted. i just asked where you were on christmas. response, senator, like all jews, i was probably in a chinese restaurant. [laughter] [applause] with enormous pleasure, i invite you to join me in welcoming justice elena kagan to the podium. [applause] >> thank you, thank you. sit down.
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ginsburg deserves a standing o, i have not been anything yet. you, justice ginsburg for that wonderful introduction. i think christmas day story is going to follow me every place i go. there is nothing i will never write for the u.s. supreme court that is going to be so much quoted as that line. i'm still going to try. you so much to the new york state bar association for having me. it is an honor to be here to talk with all of you. especially because you have given me this wonderful opportunity to talk about one of the living giants of american law, ruth bader ginsburg. i am very grateful for that. the court,years on serving with justice ginsburg, i have come to admire her more and
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more each day. as a judge, a colleague, and a friend. they say life on the court can be a little cloistered and i did not realize until recently that , -- twos on the outside folks on the outside, justice ginsburg is more than that. too many of them, she is a hip-hop icon. notorious rbg. [applause] they sell these truly. she is the subject of an opera, a comic book, a tumblr, and the blog. -blog. the ruth bader gins
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i'm going to disappear for my second prop. she is a bobblehead. bobblehead because the head bobbles. here she is, i know you won't be able to see this. she is standing on the ground of arginia military institute, coed.e she made this is a safe. what she is doing is she is pulling from the safe the $.13 less per dollar that lilly ledbetter was paid relative to her lowest paid male colleague. that is justice ginsburg the bobblehead. there is also some reference to copyright law in here, but i will spare you that. did you know that buzz feed has
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19 reasons ruth bader ginsburg is your favorite supreme court justice? [laughter] funny,y were all pretty but 19 was a little bit much. i thought i would give you a sample. here are two of them. first -- [laughter] [applause] [inaudible] [applause]
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there are 17 more reasons why justice ginsburg is your favorite justice. you can make them up. after this is over, go talk with your friends and come up with your favorites. senselly makes absolute that justice ginsburg has become an idol for younger generations and especially for younger women , of whom i am just delighted to see many here. her impact on america and american law has been extraordinary. one way to see that impact clearly is by looking at the women who have served on the court. about 25 years separate the first two, sandra day o'connor and justice ginsburg from the next two, me and justice sotomayor or. in those 25 years, the world changed for women.
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's in justice sotomayor post law school past were easier . when justice ginsburg started out at harvard law school in 1956, she was part of only the seventh class to admit women and not 500 person class had eight people. did you say nine? i do not know. one of us is right. [laughter] >> could we settle on a .5? alle on-campus dorms were four men -- the on-campus dorms were all ferment and half of the classroom buildings, so were the restrooms. you had to make a mad dash across campus when the need struck.
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the dean that the time had a tradition formous the few women students who were there. every year, he would invite all of the women in the first-year class for a lovely dinner at his house. , of all sit at one table course. when dinner finished, the dean would assure everyone into the living room, where you would ask them one by one to explain what they were doing at the law school occupying a seat that could've been held by a man. predecessor,o my who has gotten a lot of grief for this practice, i recently heard justice ginsburg give the story a charitable interpretation. apparently, years later, the dean told her he did not -- he had not meant the question to be skeptical or on time -- or unkind.
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stories too have tell the doubting thomas is on the faculty. i do not know. [applause] [laughter] as a former dean myself, i admired the man's capacity to spin, but i am not sure i believe it. justice ginsburg was already a rock star. she shot to the top of her class . she was selected as an editor of the harvard law review. even being the notorious rbg was not quite good enough. the start of for 30 year, she made a request -- a for third year, she made a request of the dean. her husband had just graduated from law school and started a job in new york when he was diagnosed with a serious illness. she asked the dean if she could complete her last year of law school at columbia while still
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receiving a harvard degree. he refused saying if she was going to spend her final year at columbia, all she could get was a columbia degree, not one from harvard. somehow she survived that deprivation. [laughter] ,he graduated from columbia getting the highest possible honors from that school as well. i am just going to digress a bit. harvard lawsequent school deans, including me, hisred to right wrong and to give justice ginsburg the harvard degree that she should have gotten earlier. she always refused. i heard her say a couple of years ago that her husband told her she should hold out for the real prize, an honorary degree from harvard university.
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he was a very smart man and justice ginsburg received that honorary degree a couple of years ago. back to my real story, although justice ginsburg excelled at two great law schools, she had a tough time finding a job. law firms refuse to hire her. one told her they already had a token woman. when she applied for clerkship, the great judges of the error declined even to consider her. he did not want any women in his chambers because he would be inhibited in their presence. he would not break the supreme court tradition of hiring only mail clerks. -- male clerks. she did get a hardship on the southern district of new york
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because the great professor threatened a judge and made him hire her. after that, she was hired by rutgers law school and became one of the first female law professors in the country. even that came with a string attached. rutgers told her she was going to be paid less than her male colleagues because your husband has a very good job. against the striking background of gender bias, justice ginsburg succeeded marvelously. she eventually became the first woman tenured professor at columbia law school. she founded the aclu women's rights project. she was appointed by president carter to the d.c. court of appeals. i president clinton to the supreme court. she did all of this by -- while raising two children. the first was born just before
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she started law school. jane followed her parents into the lobby coming to columbia law professor and one of the copyrightforemost scholars. the second shared his mother's love for opera and is now the founder and president of the grammy award-winning record label for classical music. i know justice ginsburg would attribute her ability to have it all to her husband. as everyone who knew him could tell you, he was a brilliant man, hilarious and witty. a world-class tax lawyer and chef and an all-around mensch. when i was dean at harvard, at a panel i was moderating once on worklife balance, a professor, one of my colleagues was asked by a student, how she'd had managed to combine such a great career with such a great family life. she gave a four word answer.
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mary the right guy. i think justice ginsburg would agree and she certainly found the perfect partner. wouldt think even marty make the path easy for justice ginsburg in the legal world of the 1950's and 1960's. every step of her way was marked it, andeverance, gre downright courage. 20 five years later, my experience was very different. when i graduated from law school in 1986, almost 40% of my classmates were women. female law firm partners and professors were not exactly the norm, but their numbers were growing and they weren't thought of as tokens or curiosities. almost all federal judges and justices were more than happy to hire the brightest women as their clerks.
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although i won't say i never felt any bias, it was pretty easy for me to take the path of my choosing. a couple of times, i happen to be the first woman as dean of harvard and solicitor general. they were meaningful and important. hadit was a fluke that they not happened already. the dominoes were more than ready to fall. betweenlains this golf justice ginsburg experience and mine? in large part, the answer is simply justice ginsburg. as a litigator and as a judge, she change the face of american antidiscrimination law. more than any other person, she can take credit for making the law of this country work for women. in doing so, she made possible my own career and later on the careers of many of today's
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devotees of the notorious rgb. i want to explore her contribution by looking at six of her greatest hits. three of the cases she litigated as a private attorney and three antidiscrimination opinions she has written as a justice. i think they show the remarkable progress the country and the law have made thanks to justice in sprigs efforts, it -- justice ginsburg's efforts. i demonstrate another thing i want to talk about, which is her excellence as both a law hereunder judge. lawyer and they judge. as a law professor, she was a path marking scholar of civil procedure and one of the first compared to this --
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comparativists. path marking, have you ever heard that word before? it appears in over 30 of her opinions. it also appears not to have existed. oh well. among her less well-known she wrote the definitive american volume on civil procedure in sweden. when the supreme court base is a tricky question of swedish civil procedure, we always go straight to justice ginsburg. [laughter] as a judge, she has authored onstanding opinions federalism, statutory interpretation, separation of powers, and civil procedure. for the students in this room,
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if any of you want a refresher course on personal jurisdiction, i recommend you read justice ginsburg trio of opinions. today i want to focus on her contribution to women's rights because however important personal jurisdiction is, that is the work that has most change the world. senseimportant to have a of what the constitutional law of gender equality was like before justice ginsburg founded the aclu women's rights project. that is easy enough. it did not exist. as justice ginsburg has put it, the constitution was an empty .upboard the one exception was the 19th amendment, which had given women
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the right to vote in 1920. the law was still riddled with gender distinctions, open discrimination. the supreme court had yet to declare a single one of those laws of violation of the equal protection clause. everyone is familiar with the when litigating race discrimination claims in the 1940's and 1950's. there were difficulties they faced absolutely unique to that effort. even those lawyers could point to a handful of legal precedent paying lip service to racial equality. for the nascent women rights movement, it was all but nothing. ont justice ginsburg drew was the rapid change that was occurring in social attitudes about women and their role in american life.
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mind,t ongoing change in she approached the cause of women's equality with a remarkably strategic mind. justice ginsburg's first brief before the supreme court was in 1971. she has said this case was .erfect and the law, perfect her client was sally reed who lived in idaho with her son separately from the sun's father. her son committed suicide and she filed to come -- petition to administer his estate, which consisted of just a few items of personal property. the father filed a competing petition to administer the estate. -- and i'mded quoting -- males must be preferred to females. that was that. the father's petition was granted over the mothers.
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just as ginsburg saw the cases potential. the idaho law was a relic dating back to the days when women's -- women could not hold property. the discrimination was unmistakable. the the case made it to supreme court, justice ginsburg took on the brief. wrote- the brief she strikes the reader as stunningly ambitious. it made the case for subjecting all classifications based on sex to the highest level of judicial review. at a time when not a single such classification had been invalidated by the supreme court. the brief aims to be more than a legal document. it tries to educate the court about social changes regarding the treatment and status of women. educate andwas to to spark judges and lawmakers
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understanding that their own daughters and granddaughters could be disadvantaged by the way things were. in line with that goal, the brief began with a simple proposition. in very recent years, a new appreciation of women's lace has been generated in the united states. it marshaled on array of social science research to show that women were just as qualified as men to administer estates. some of the evidence justice ginsburg that before the court had to do with women's aptitude for managing homes, sly attempts to appeal to the more conservative members of the court. the brief was littered with citations to literature, history, biography, and more, all tending to show the appalling treatment of women over the years and the intrinsic
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injustice of sex-based discrimination. the brief cited favorable decisions of the west german federal constitution reports, not sweden. decisions before it became verboten to consider such things. if our supreme court noticed what the west german constitutional court was doing, the justices might ponder how far behind can we be? the court ruled unanimously in sally reed's favor. it itshort paragraphs, struck down the law as an irrational gender-based. argued ginsburg's brief the court held the idaho law was the very kind of arbitrator of .egislative choice
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however much ideal -- idaho choicean easy way, the may not lawfully be mandated solely on the basis of sex. the court did not go so far as to subject gender classifications to heightened scrutiny. but the broad language planted the seeds. water is a long way away. i feel like you have to do a marco rubio. [laughter] ginsburg's first world -- oral argument came a year later. case was ain that lieutenant in the air force. her husband was a full-time student at a small college in alabama. under federal law, a married
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male servicemember always qualified for a housing allowance, but a female do servicemember only qualified only if she covered three fourths of the income. the theory appeared to be that most women in the military were supported by their husbands and not the other way around. the women did not usually needed government subsidy. she fell just shy and she did not get a housing alliance -- allowance. justice ginsburg moved the ball forward. this was not a challenge to an antiquated outlier statute, but to a federal law in everyday use. it was also a case that cut to the heart of stereotypes. the facts involved and inversion of traditional gender roles.
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the court was forced to decide whether a law that relied on increasingly out dated notions about gender could be defended on that basis. was compelling. she identified mistakes in stark terms. this was a law that helps keep a woman in her place, a place inferior to those occupied by men in our society. she made a forceful push for subjecting interbase classifications. she skewered arguments that women did not need protection because of their numerical superiority. racee would suggest that is not a suspect criterion in the district of columbia because the black population here outnumbers the white. those of us who occasionally have to lean in to hear justice
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ginsburg's questions from the bench, this oral argument is a reminder that she has forcefulness to spare and she wants it. the argument went well enough, but afterwards, the former dean, who was then solicitor general, came over to congratulate her. say, you are ok. [laughter] now i am claiming you. 8-1.ourt ruled justice ginsburg one most of her cases. the lead opinion of four justices reads like a ginsburg brief. it bemoaned the paternalistic attitude that it once been firmly rooted in our national consciousness through citations to literature, history, and sociologist. they recounted the mistreatment of women.
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it showed how misguided any defense of this discriminatory law was. justices --- four justice ginsburg finally achieved something close to that result three years later. the law was a historical artifact of curiosity. oklahoma defined the age of majority for certain alcohol purchases of 21 for men and 18 for women. he was a man under 21 and he wanted beer and he sued to get it. [laughter] ginsburg filed a brief
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on craig's behalf. it has long been remarked that part of the genius of ginsburg as litigator was her careful client selection. greg was one of several men she represented. genderlped show that lines were harmful, not just to women, but also to men and children. this tactic occasionally picked up an extra vote from an otherwise hesitant judge and it also served a deeper function, laws that afforded women special treatment were also -- were often seen as favors to them. justice stewart once remarked that he thought it might be better for women if the equal rights amendment were never ratified. that way women's rights groups would be free to challenge only those laws that gave them worse treatment while keeping the ones that in a fitted them -- benefited them.
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ginsburg confronted this notion head-on and demolished it. on the surface, the law may appear to afford young women a liberty withheld from young man. , thedeeper inspection gender line drawn by oklahoma is revealed as a manifestation of traditional attitudes about the expected behavior of males and females, part of the myriad signals and messages that really underscore the notion of man as societies active members and of women as men's quiescent companions. she punctuated this with the citation. how many of the justices do you think had read that? [laughter] brief is also notable for a more subtle legal reason. although justice ginsburg's
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previous breeds that are good. badly for treating gender like -- recognizing the court had been willing to meet her halfway and justice ginsburg argued for a moderately heightened scrutiny, writing they should be invalidated if they were based on overbroad generalizations. that argument did the trick. the majority struck down the law , adopting a standard for gender-based classifications known as intermediate scrutiny. justifying such laws on the basis of archaic and overbroad generalizations or traditional notions of women's roles would no longer be possible. after her triumph in those cases, justice ginsburg was appointed to the d c circuit by president carter. i carry a minor grudge about
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justice ginsburg tenure there. when i was a law student, i had the good fortune to be offered a clerkship by several of justice ginsburg's colleagues. harry edwards. the only one of president carter's nominee to the d c circuit who thought me not quite ginsburg.h was judge frank, if she did not even interview me. t loss,e overcame that, too. she was nominated to the supreme court by president clinton and confirmed by the senate 96-3. the kind of vote these days you
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would assume is a misprint. [laughter] in her years on the court, she has issued countless great opinions, but i want to focus on ,hree, two of them dissents that are brought into sharper focus her contributions to women's equality. justice ginsburg wrote the in 1996. the case arose out of an effort to admit women to the virginia military institute, a military college. for over 150 years, the school had been restrict the two-man. men.stricted to virginia agree to open a satellite school for women. this institute for leadership was nothing like the real deal. it employed less qualified
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faculty, offered fewer degrees, and did not give students in the opportunity to participate in a military training program that made via my great. -- vmi great. in 1950, the university of texas law school argued that it could exclude african-americans from its flagship campus and place them in a non-accredited law school just for blacks. the court deemed that arrangement a violation of equal protection understanding the new school had none of those incapable ofch are objective measurement, but which make for greatness in a law school. in 1996, virgin you was arguing it could do the same -- virginia was arguing it to do the same thing to women. theice ginsburg wrote opinion deeming this arrangement unconstitutional. -- opinion professed
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classifications based on sex could be upheld only if they had a persuasive justification. justified byctions broad generalizations about efforts tobenign help women could not stand. applying these principles, she rejected virginia's rationalizations that its system of single-sex schools was intended to provide a diversity of educational opportunities or to maintain the rigorous physical regiment. a wealth of the store: sociological knowledge, she compared those explanations associationsat bar once gave to exclude women from the practice of law or policeman bashed or police departments
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once offered to exclude women from their ranks. she refused to accept any explanation based on what women would prefer. most men would also prefer not to be subjected to the physical rigors of vmi. a point on which even our dissenting colleagues might agree. the opinion is an exemplary piece of judicial craft. with her characteristic attention to detail, she explored the many facets of vmi and the sister school in order to illustrate the profound differences between them. she synthesized a generation's worth of precedent and in a matter of a great common-law judge, recast all of those prior cases into the role that there
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must be a persuasive justification for any gender-based distinctions. justice ginsburg faced a vigorous dissent by justice scalia. an experience that can be like facing down the locomotive. justice ginsburg says the dissent written in justice scalia's powerful style ruined her weekend. [laughter] but she also said it made your opinion better. one is struck by how elegantly and effectively she response to the many objections justice scalia raises, maintaining the flow and structure of her opinion without ever getting bogged down in squabbling. it has been 18 years since the vmi case and some kinds of
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victories are harder to come by. the law of gender equality has not changed much in the interim. they are still the constitutional touchdowns. title vii of the civil rights act still bars employers from discriminating on the basis of gender. the court has somehow found reason to cut back on certain antidiscrimination protections. with two ofnclude her dissents. they show how she has remained steady right on the law and reality of gender discrimination even when the courts turned in the opposite direction. it illustrates her ability to speak to people beyond the court in order to rectify the errors. her dissent has become iconic.
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the facts of that case are well known even to nonlawyers. she sued. andjury found in her favor a judge ordered goodyear to make up the difference in wages. the court of appeals throughout the judgment of the supreme court affirmed. the legal issue may seem dry at first glance. title vii allows individuals to sue for axa discrimination only when they are less than six months old. in the view of five justices, she was complaining about acts of discrimination that will -- that were many years old.
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true, the court admitted her paycheck was lower than those of her male colleagues. the court ruled that those skimpy paychecks were effects of past discrimination and she could not use them to satisfy the statute of limitations. her dissent is remarkable for many things. first and foremost, it it is literally correct. paid discrimination occurs repeatedly over time. the court long ago held that they can challenge a pattern of discrimination each time a new act occurs. she was in her rights to challenge good year. justice ginsburg had often found herself in a position of arguing that judges should change the law to protect women from unequal treatment.
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in this case, she did not need to urge that kind of change. the supreme court had already created a world of legal rules much like the ones justice ginsburg had originally envisioned. she was acting for faithful application. it was the majority that was changing the rules by retreating from the decisions the court and congress already made. majoritiesng the errors, her dissent cuts through the clutter. diction, every page result in understanding of realities in gender discrimination in the workplace. occurs in small
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increments. small initial discrepancies, she stated, may not be seen as meat for a federal case, when the employee trying to succeed in a nontraditional environment is averse to making waves. , and employeesed initial readiness to give her employers the benefit of the doubt should not preclude her from later challenging the continuing payment of a wage depressed on account of her sex. i suspect when justice ginsburg wrote those words, she remembered her own discrimination and her own experience of pay discrimination as a young professor at rutgers and her battle on behalf of of plaintiffs. endsce ginsburg's dissent with a clarion call for legislative action.
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she told me several years ago at harvard law school that this dissent was directed squarely at congress. it was saying, you could not have meant what this court said you meant so fix it. that is what congress did. justice ginsburg opinion was possibly the most effective dissent of this generation. it instantly turned her into a national figure and thrust equal pay into the forefront of public debate. less than two years later, congress enacted and president obama signed the lilly ledbetter fair pay act. that law adopted the theory put forward in justice ginsburg's dissent. the statute of limitations for challenging pay discrimination restarts with each new discriminatory paycheck, as it always should have. i want to conclude with another
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dissent. it is more recent met from only last term. it is a dissent i joined. the issue is not terribly hard to grasp. under antidiscrimination law, an employer is responsible for workplace harassment perpetrated by a supervisor. it was not completely settled who qualified as a supervisor. it could be anyone who exercised substantial control over employees. the other option was it was only someone who could formally fire, demote, or transfer an employee. the plaintiff was an african-american woman who worked as a catering assistant and alleged a catering specialist who oversaw her work, but did not have formal power to fire her, had harassed her on
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the basis of her race. the court dismissed the suit. it was possible the person who was harassing her was not her supervisor under any definition. the real problem was the court's reasoning. the majority said only with similar power could qualify as supervisors. it is thought that was the simplest role and so, the best one. justice ginsburg filed a dissent , joined by three other justices. in my humble opinion, it it had the majority dead to rights. supervisors who can threaten employees with inferior work assignments are for elite -- are fully capable of harassing and abusing them as supervisors with formal power to demote or transfer. this conclusion followed readily from our prior cases.
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-- knowledge of the realities of workplace discrimination showed how blinkered the contrary rule was. i thought how professors can harass their secretaries, even though they have no formal power to fire them. justice ginsburg illustrated through a series of cases just how often that kind of harassment can occur. and so how much workplace discrimination the majorities rule would allow. but in this decent too what is perhaps most notable is its closing. as in ledbetters justice ginsburg called on congress to intervene to correct the wayward interpretation of title