tv U.S. Foreign Policy in Europe CSPAN July 2, 2018 12:49am-2:12am EDT
justice anthony kennedy's retirement brings a significant change to the supreme court. follow the story on c-span, from president trump nominating a replacement, the senate confirmation hearings, and the swearing-in. all on c-span. listen on our free c-span radio app. subcommittee hearing on u.s. foreign policy in europe as well as u.s. military interest in europe and the nato alliance. this is one hour 20 minutes. >> good morning. order.aring is called i am happy to welcome wes mitchell to discuss u.s. foreign
policy in europe. mr. secretary, i appreciate you coming and i look forward to the back-and-forth. i would ask consent in my written opening remarks, i just want to make some quick points. i'm accountant. accountant. i like data. one issue relates to our nato partners meeting their 2% commitment. what does that mean, dollar wise? we asked the state department, in 2016, the shortfall was $122 billion of defense spending. they have increased by $14.4 billion. go up another $10 billion in 2018. now shortfall is $98 billion.
toare told from 2000 19 2024, there will be a $62 billion shortfall. it kind of puts that into perspective in terms of what that actually is. ourve discussed this with allies, friends, and partners. i try to make a point that it is not just president trump. he is speaking for the american public very we expect america to be steadfast in our relationship, the least europe to do is spend the 2% and contribute their fair share. contention is of trade. we hear the massive trade deficits. $520 billion into the eu and imported $629 billion
from the eu. is $101e deficit billion. that is 19% of what we export. i understand the president is trying to reset our trading relationship, shock our european partners into really reducing tariffs. i think the best term he has introduced is reciprocal treatment. it would be great if we had total reciprocity in our trading relationship. with no trading barriers. it is a worthy goal and i hope we can achieve it as quickly as possible. mitchell, i read your speech to the heritage foundation. i do not want to still your thunder, and i thought it was pretty salient. you said coming into 2017, the
administration inherited a failed russian reset, a conflict in ukraine, a failed redline with syria, the largest migration wave in european an solvent iran agreement. some an arm's enormouss -- challenges. i do not remember a world that seems to be so destabilized. so many threats from somebody different directions. i appreciate your willingness to testify. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, ambassador, for being with us here today. as i hope you know, i tell
visitors into my office from europe regularly how lucky we are that you have chosen to take up this very difficult assignment. i want to congratulate you on some recent good news with respect to agreement with greece and macedonia, which hopefully paves the way for macedonia to join with important institutions. once again, i thank you for your service and your willingness to serve. that being said, we had a nominee to the ambassador before this committee last week. and it's fairly ridiculous that it took a year and a half to get an ambassador to brussels. but he characterized the moment that we are in today with respect to the u.s.-europe relationship as just part of the normal ups and downs in the transatlantic relationship. this simply is not true. the relationship between the united states and europe is in crisis. it has never been this bad in the post war era.
it is getting worse by the month. and if it collapses, as i would argue it is on pace to do, then the entire world order, based upon a joint u.s.-europe drive for democracy to the world collapses as well. i know this sounds hyperbolic, but i really do thinks the stakes are high. i think the state of the relationship, if it is a relationship these days, is in that bad a state. i don't have time to run through the gauntlet of abuses that the president has had. -- has heaped on europe. he has unilaterally backed out of the two most important diplomatic achievements, the paris accord and the iran nuclear agreement. he started a trade war that the chairman referenced with europe for perceiving the global economic allies to be adversaries.
he cheers the breakup of the union parading around like some sort of revolutionary hero. he traffics white nationalist propaganda through his social to opened, trying rather than heal racial and ethnic divides and he recently says russia should rejoin the g7 about what message that would send given the fact that russia's behavior has gotten worse, not better. this has all led to one of the greatest friends of the u.s.-european relationships to say is vladimir putin interfering and trying to destabilize the policies of the eu? yes. but trump at the moment is far worse. the president's hostility towards the eu is making the challenges that we face jointly all the more difficult from brexit to the rise of populism, tensions in the balkins and fighting terrorism.
the united states should be standing side by side with our allies in europe. not trying to break apart this relationship. i hope that you will continue to serve as a bullwark against the worst of these attacks from this president. but you and the other supporters of the u.s. eu alliance are losing this argument within the administration badly so far. we're very lucky to have you and many others trying to win that argument. but unfortunately, you've come out on the wrong side. and i look forward to exploring some of these topics over the course of this hearing. >> thank you, senator murphy. dr. wess mitchell is the assistant secretary of state for european and eurasian affairs. he spent 12 years building the center for european policy. he is the author of several
books on geopolitics. he received his phd in germany. so, secretary mitchell, don't be constrained by the five minutes. give us your full opening statement and we'll start with questions. >> thank you, senator johnson and senator murphy. members of the committee, i appreciate you calling today's hearing. i am very happy to have this opportunity to talk about the strategy that is guiding these administrations approach to europe and euroasia. next year will mark three decades since the fall of the berlin wall. as we celebrate the triumph of western democracy over communism, we muster matter sells this outcome was not inevitable. it was prolonged effort by the united states and our european allies. i think it's now very clear in retrospect that history did not end in 1989. today, as both these senators
have mentioned, europe is, once again, a theater of strategic competition. europe today faces pressure on multiple fronts. strategic campaigns from russia and china. record waves of migration. iranian ambitions in the mediterranean. and a crisis of confidence in european institution. our europe strategy begins by acknowledging that america and europe must take the reality of strategic competition seriously. our goal was outlined by president trump in warsaw, and that is to preserve the west. we cannot succeed in that task without europe, which together with the united states is the west and the heart of the free world. preserving the west begins with strengthening our physical defenses. the united states has demonstrated our resolve by reaffirming our commitment to nato article 5 and putting real
resources into a defensive europe. we're providing military assistance to ukraine, georgia, the baltics and other european we are providing military assistance to ukraine, the baltics, and other european countries. 2019, new funds to expand the european deterrence initiative. our allies are stepping up. urging, since january of 2017, every nato member has increased defense spending. the number of allies that will spend 2% as a whole -- it has raised defense spending by 5.1% expect allion, and we further $10 billion increase this year, the largest in a generation. generation. but material strength is only part of the equation. taking strategic competition
it requires that the united recommit tourope the cause of freedom. antiquity has been the west foremost gift to the world. russia and china both represent a coherent model, stability founded on authoritarianism and force harnessed to certain aspects of market competition and co-mingled with state-run plittization of the economy. both russia and china want to break the west. russia wants to splinter it and china wants us to plant it. one place where they are especially aggressive is in central and eastern europe. our first priority here is to check russian aggression. in recent years, a gremlin has attempted to forcefully redraw borders, intimidated and attack neighbors, launch information and cyber campaigns against the west and engaged in military buildups on the western frontiers. . . .
>> since january 2017 we brought sanctions against russian individuals and entities. in response to the attack the united kingdom we helped organize the largest expulsion of russian spies in history was that more than a hundred 50 spies back to russia. the partnership for your leading the u.s. government's effort to counter this information. we demand the russian government uphold its commitment allows citizens to exercise their freedoms without fear of retribution. the parallel, were building the means of self-defense where the frontier states most directly
threatened. we've lifted the previous restrictions and help the states improve. simultaneously, were striving to keep ukraine on the path of reform. by urging the leaders to adopted anticorruption court and to set guest tariffs for market prices. were working to strengthen economic engagements with georgia. across the eastern frontier and into the heart of the basis were working to build stronger long-term relations against the chinese inroads that we can our security and under mine the ties to our quest. were look working with allies and to combat corruption improve military readiness, diversified supplies like a southern gaffe court or in the pipeline. an increase regional coordination.
throughout the region were animated by the needs outlined in the national security strategy to compete for positive influence. nations have greater strategic influence and in the past. the memory of 1989 is fading. we must be diligent to defend western principles. we must be willing to engage diplomatically than we did in the recent past. criticism is a recipe for strange men. we must provide a viable alternative to allies and reach out constructively. europe's southern frontier, the mediterranean basin is another point of strategic focus. rallying the allies to take the southern frontier more seriously will be a focus of the upcoming nato summit. were working with allies to increase and coordinate contributions in the middle east and secure the borders, get the more deeply engaged in
counterterrorism the eastern mediterranean imposes a particular challenge. russia has increase its presence in the seeking to solidify its presence. turkey faces challenges. a steadfast challenge to defeat isis and counterbalance iran. we look forward to working with the newly elected president making clear the issues need to be resolved. our media concerns are to conserve the release of pastor andrew and other unjustly detained u.s. citizens and staff to prevent this 400 system and develop a motive for our respective forces and local partners in stabilizing northern syria preventing isis return. we encourage the president to
implement his pledge to lift turkey's ongoing state of emergency and take additional measures to ensure to look at turkey's democracy. in parallel, were constructing a long-term strategy to bolster the presence of the eastern mediterranean. were cultivating grease in the western balkans and working to systematically strengthen security. were also increasing u.s. engagement in the western balkans. through active u.s. diplomacy with the e.u. we supported the prime minister in achieving a historic breakthrough in the grease name dispute. we helped open up communication channels and are promoting reforms. and all of the areas anchoring the western alliance and stabilizing the south were committed to finding a way forward.
the past nine months i've made 29 visits to european countries and given more than 22 speeches. through the outreach i've seen what unites the west is far greater than what divides us. strong u.s. relations may not lead to immediate agreement with allies, but long-term process far outweigh the short-term benefits through the appearance of political unity. my messages the same, we must act. we cannot do for action on things that make the west weaker. a path is of strategic renovation. doing the hard work of strengthening the west now so we don't have to later on terms much more favorable. to preserve is to act. i'm committed to doing that and i'm convinced we will succeed with europe together. thank you. >> i just want to ask one question and i'll turn it over to murphy. we had an interesting
conversation and i asked previously to what extent do we know the dollar investment that china is making into all of europe in particular central europe. you gave me a figure on that and he mentioned a few times the pressure of the influence of both russia and china trying to yield within europe. we talked about hungry. can you tell us how much china is investing and how strategic their investment is and give us your thoughts and what's happening with hungry. >> the chinese investment is strategic and growing. the exact dollar amounts are hard to pin down. a good estimate is between 2005 and 2017 people's republic of china invested more than
$24.19 billion in the 16 plus one countries that form central and eastern europe. to give you a sense of perspective on this, china is the primary financer of high-speed rail rate link between budapest and belgrade valued at $3.8 billion alone. the united states and general overseas between 40 and 60 billion worldwide. if you're looking at the aid we put out a something like $1.13 billion total. including supplemental funding. the scale what the chinese are putting in is considerable. the debt diplomacy. they wait until countries can service the debt claim the infrastructure.
they're sharpening their outreach and are competing for influence. from the u.s. and western perspective, we have to acknowledge that we have lost ground in central and nation europe. eighty-nine is a distant memory for a lot of people. one of the most serious objectives we need to have is the 30th anniversary of 1989 a magnificent opportunity for the u.s. through diplomacy and aid to reengage hearts and mind in that region. endeavor that will take focus and effort and i look forward to working with this committee to increasing the western presence. >> you encourage me and i made some trips paid attention to them. if you did a great them anytime soon is another question. we also talked about hungry in poland.
both leaders have come under criticism from my standpoint you have a policy a positive engagement. can he speak to that. >> i think we have to engage. we have lost ground in part because our rivals are showing -- but in part because of unforced error in our part. i would start from zero and say to your point that we did d prioritize central europe as a strategic -- we did that for good reasons at the time from 2009 onward we had to reset. we were deemphasizing europe militarily and diplomatically. the russian and chinese were not. many countries in the region you see the russians and chinese have gained yardage. in the past when the united states has been harder on our
allies then we are in russia i think that's a mistake. in our approach going forward we try to strike a balance. we have to be clear about her principles and what we stand for. we will never stop. we have to balance that with increased diplomatic engagement. chinese and russians are in these countries at regular times. spending money on infrastructure. if we show up occasionally into nothing but criticize we can lose ground. we have to strike the balance carefully and we have to get back into the game and compete for hearts and minds. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. i think our strategy with respect to europe is a total debacle. it's not your fault. i understand you do not's share
the views of this president with the respective the the taxis launched on europe are some of the policies he's make implementing with russia. you're the only one we can ask. when we try to get clarification on what the policy is. let's start with russia. the president recently announced a new u.s. policy to bring russia back into the g-7. that would reverse the previous policy of requiring russia to implement the mintz agreement before being invited back into join the g-7. why did our policy change? >> thank you for the question. on our approach to europe it's well articulated in the speech and his starting point is to say that we are not going to strengthen the west by continuing the polite fiction of
some areas of policy that are weakening us. and preventing the united states from wanting to stay engaged long-term. so imbalances and trade, all of these have been positions we staked out forcefully because if you don't address those things in the years ahead the west will be worst off. on russia, the administration has been clear that the door to dialogue is open. we stated that it various levels. we've looked at ukraine, and improvement in the relationship can only happen when russia stops aggressive behavior. we been disappointed in the government's unwillingness to accept responsibility. with regard to upcoming developments that apartment has nothing to announce at this time.
what we been clear on is an approach to russia open to dialogue but doesn't sacrifice. >> the president expressed his desire for the g-7 to bring russia back in with no preconditions you are not in charge of u.s. foreign policy, the president is. he announced his desire is to bring russia back in without preconditions. we all watched him say that on tv. is that not the president's position? >> i think that's extrapolating. this is one of the world's largest nuclear power so we have to be open to dialogue. we have to reach out to keep channels open. this administration in the past year and a half have taken a tough stance on russia than the previous administration dead in its first six months. six years. i record on russia if you judge
by the actions a stance taken on sanctions, what were doing to buck up our allies we have a good record in the administration got draped kicking mainstream to implement the sanctions by people on the panel. so to say that their leading sanctions you're forced to put into place, i have great respect for you, i think that is stretching the bounds of how this played out. the president recently tweeted that the people are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the coalition. crime is way up in germany, up 10% since migrants were accepted. other countries are worse, be smart america.
this is exceptional that the president is opening campaigning against the leader of the most important country inside of europe tweeting that germany is turning against their leadership. we know statistics you reference are not true. crime is down 10% not up. why is the president openly trying to honor mine chancellor merkel support in germany. how does that support u.s. objectives? >> the situation with migration is when we have to take seriously. in the last few months in italy, austria, germany and france they have been clear that they want stronger borders. they want to protect the nationstate. >> this is a very personal attack on chancellor merkel.
he's saying the people are turning against chancellor merkel and using his social media voice to criticize her into cheer those that are politically opposing her. side-by-side with an ambassador to germany who is openly stated he's going to use his position to help conservatives across the continent politically. my question is not about the position on gratian. the question is, why is the president weighing in on the political circumstances? why is he using his voice to politically undermine the chancellor? you can disagree if you don't think the tweet is doing that. but it's really sounds that that he's trying to undermine the chancellor. >> i interpreted the tweet to be an expression of concern about the state of migration in the western world generally. we have been slow to wake up to this challenge. it's a divisive issue.
as i understand the president statements we have to take migration seriously. irregular migration in europe is challenging societies at all levels economically, socially and it cannot be addressed by saying the doors wide open without serious public policy discussion about how we regulate and moderate the flow of migrants. on ambassador canal, his comments were taken out of context. he has made clear he is not endorsing any candidate or political party. we have a robust dialogue on many areas. and expect that i like to continue. the ambassador has since clarified his comments noted it is not u.s. policy and he was making general observations. my focus overall is to increase engagement in all areas
possible. we have a very strong bilateral relationship with germany. many areas in counterterrorism and trade. i take the long view and they have been through a lot of storms in history. that should not lull us into complacency. we have to be proactive. the re- the relationship is more healthy than often made out. >> thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate the hearing. >> the first has to do with something that might be a u.s. priority and that is how to squeeze investment. china has invested about 23 billion and we have a process in this country, while imperfect
it allows us just screen. i was recently in europe talking about issues including information on how were coordinating to push back against russia disinformation. this issue came up. there was an interest on behalf of countries working with us to help understand how we could come up with a way to view investments for national security perspective. my first question is if you could work on that and how you feel about that. has the state department done anything to share best practices and prevent adversaries from using commercial tools to undermine national security? >> it is a timely question. when i was in the czech republic we held a meeting and this was an item of discussion. we are working closely through
our embassies. there are different ways to go about creating a national security filter. different models that can be used. the point of emphasis is to find a mechanism by which allied governments can draw the differentiation between investments that are purely commercial and those that are animated or could create a pathway of abuse to national security concerns. we are an active ongoing dialogue and in central europe particularly importance and i've been closely engaged. >> i encourage you to do that. for those listening wondering why this is a big deal, it is a backdoor to the united states. european firms be owned by a company that might have a national security interest in obtaining technology in the united states we can contract that country that's not gone
through that process. we could circumvent our process here. support and for us and our allies. i hope you will work with them on that. it's in our interest that they have a screen. with regard to u.s. russia relations. there is a point earlier that you could look at the rhetoric or the results. it is impressive in terms of what this administration can do in terms of pushing back in specific areas. sanctions were talked about congress is more forward leaning but they did send the legislation. sanctions are appropriate is not just crimea but other issues, i think that's appropriate to keep sanctions in place. with regard to providing lethal weapons to the ukrainians to
defend themselves we work with the obama administration for years and have been unsuccessful. initially in the trump administration there was some concern. my recent trip to ukraine i was able to see the results which was now the trump administration is providing ukrainians the means to help themselves. this was the most striking example of that. including anti- cyber packages to push back about what is happening on the line of contact and i was able to go over the easter. if there is a russian summit which it looks like there will be, do you expect the sanctions will become part of the conversation? what is your view on that? there has been criticism of the way the sanctions have been implemented. people would like to be tougher on russia. but you expect will happen?
>> i know there has been speculation. we are going into all aspects of the engagement with their eyes wide open. we remember the example of reset. we've had two administrations prior that started their term with the prior opening and then open their term with a regional war. it is not something we will replicate. on the issue sanctions specifically i read this carefully. they spelled out what would be needed. that's law. we will abide by the law that's been formulated. we have to say what specific actions would be needed to address concerns what's change in the overall temperature in the relationship.
on ukraine, a matter of crimea and cyber what's happening this syria it's clear clearly spelled out. will abide by the letter and spirit of the law. the broader point is important. increasing pattern of a russia that abuses openings really in an administrations term. we see that often in the u.s. collectively both parties and certainly this administration is a live to the tendency of vladimir putin to abuse one-sided openings. i remember the open letter that several eastern european friends of america road and warned us that if we open the store to one-sided engagement not only will he abuse it but we would have a war on our hands.
we step back on missile defenses, we step back on promoting democracy. and we see the consequences. we had to reset and we withdrew from europe and that's important to keep in mind because we had a solid time in the previous administration that i would characterize as the perception of engagement. in this administration we have a strong track record. we have the opposite. it's often described as disengagement but we are very engaged. look what were doing on iran. we may not agree with our allies but we are in close dialogue, were committed to finding the joint way forward and i think we will. >> my time has expired. i expected issue is president
putin asking to make decisions about ukraine without ukraine at the table. that has been the approach they have taken in the past. in your role, i expect views on this how would you advise the president on this issue on the sanctions than what's going on? >> i will not engage in hypotheticals. on ukraine, we been clear in our public messaging, what specific actions would be needed a part of the russians in order for us to live sanctions. we have shown our resolve in this matter at least by providing aid, beyond that, our overall mindset has to be that we keep the door open to constructive dialogue where there are shared areas of interest. we oh it to the american people and the international stability
to keep open to this idea. i want engage in hypotheticals. we'll see where the process leads. we have been clear about where the boundaries are. >> thank you secretary mitchell for being here today and for the good work that you are promoti promoting. in your statement you say clearly that we seek a better relationship with russia, but it can only happen when russia stops its aggressive behavior. do you think russia has stop this? >> no, man. >> this week national security advisor is heading to moscow to plan a summit with vladimir putin. in the united states president trump is talking about having what appears to be a very
positive meeting with vladimir putin. what kind of message does that centaur european allies about our willingness to be tough with vladimir putin? >> our european allies consistently say to us they want the united states to have a relationship with russia. they see the need to strike the same balance and to seek engagement where there are relationships. balancing that for values. in terms of national security advisor's outreach. i call that diplomacy. whether that leads to a better relationship or meeting is up to the russians. we have been publicly clear what the standard is for seen a change in the relationship or on ukraine. we had been crystal clear in our
messaging on the need for the russians to stop meddling in our fares. >> let me interrupt you. i would agree that we may disagree with the motives but i agree the actions have been tough on russia. overwhelmingly by a bipartisan congress and that has been important. there is a difference between what were doing and what were hearing out of the white house. based on russia. the concern i have is that talking about russia needs to stop meddling in our internal politics and our internal economy and yet, we have not heard this president even acknowledge that russia is meddling in and continues to
metal in american elections. there are concerns about what that will mean for the upcoming midterms. despite the fact the intelligence community has said that, and i think it number people within the state department have acknowledged it, the president has not acknowledged that. that is the disconnect i am concerned about. and about what message that sends to russia, and whether they will misinterpret what the intensive the united states is. >> i understand the question. i would say judge aspire action. our goal is to ensure any dialogue we have with the russians any interactions were doing so from a position of u.s. strength. we have accumulated that position of strength in the past year and half very well.
>> the proof is in the pudding. so far we have not seen actions taken to address russians meddling in the united states. i look forward to seeing what might come out of that somewhat. i want to switch to nato. as senator murphy pointed out, we have seen progress between greece and macedonia on the naming issue. what you think that means for the potential for macedonia to join nato? are you concerned about what were seen in the demonstrations were seen and whether that will deter the governments of both of those countries and their resolve in this issue? >> that's a critical issue. i would say that making progress on the name dispute has been a major point of focus for the
team. yes, i am concerned about the potential for russia meddling. we saw this with montenegro, russian representatives have been making threatening statements. there is a high potential for the russians to try to interfere. we make clear that we are watching closely. it is not in moscow's. to decide the future. were working to strengthen them. i'm in frequent contact with leaders there. more broadly on your question, the next steps are the macedonian parliament has ratified the deal, but it has to be confirmed by a public referendum. the parliament has to adopt the referendum. we didn't expect to see greece ratify this only after they made the changes.
we expect to see nato extend an invitation to north macedonia at the summit in july. were hopeful that you will open negotiations but that is uncertain right now. >> have you had a chance to talk to the e.u. about it? and have they given you indication of what they might two. >> we are in dialogue daily with the french on this matter. we are working to help understand their concerns and charts a way forward. i am optimistic we'll see that. i think everyone recognizes that what the greek and macedonia leaders have done is historic. if it is successful, it has the potential to be -- really, i would expect to see a tailwind from that and how we approach
bosnian serb ear. we are committed to using that opening not just on the main issue but to get a ripple effe effect. >> if there is a summit between vladimir putin and president trump and secretary on pale will you be advising the president that he should raise the issues of russia meddling as one of the issues for the discussions? >> the issue of russian meddling is at the forefront of all agency discussions about russia. essential reality that we are focused on. >> are you where the president has in any conversations raise those concerns? >> i am not aware and we often don't reveal the content of all private conversations. i know they have frequently publicly raise the concerns.
>> the president is frequently publicly has raised the concerns? >> the administration. >> reporter: but not the president. >> i would have to review the record. >> i would love for you to review the record and share where he is raise those concerns publicly. >> when you're talking about dialogue, it's important from a position of strength and resolve, i think your where that i was encouraged to read delegation which senator shaheen was went to join as well. unfortunately, senator shaheen was denied entry. now senator shelby will be leading a delegation next week. i signed on to that. i don't know if they will let me in. my plans are in the air. i want to go. i think it should be a goal to
improve relations with the power that has 7000 nuclear weapons that is putting pressure on the baltic states and trying to gain greater evidence. dialogue is good from a position of strength. i like to try to improve those relations from the standpoint of strength and resolve. all of us meet frequently with our european partners. i have made more trips to europe than i intended to. in 2171 of the reasons i wanted to affirm in our branch of government a strong and unanimous commitment to the strategic alliances to nato and the e.u. i am hopeful that long-term those are strong relationships. to get the same sense?
i appreciate your testimony here by ignoring problems. i want to get right in, if there's conflict involved, fine but get the problem resolved to move forward in terms of a strong relationship. is that the attitude is you're dealing with the partners they can't separate the short-term troubles versus what the long-term outlook is? >> i get the impression with members of nato and the e.u. there is a growing realization that history did not take the course that people expected it to take from the vantage point. the world is becoming more competitive geopolitically. the west faces serious challenges from china and russia and iran. the political willingness to engage those challenges has increased.
this is not the first administration to raise the matter of burden sharing. what is changing is the urgency and also a wake-up call for europeans to see things like the ukraine war on their own doorstep. 10000 casualties so far. the regular migration flows as a result of the conflict in syria. geopolitics is back. on a long-term basis if we say in a few years time we look back and say we increase burden sharing germany minutes to present commitment, that we got a fair and more reciprocal playing field and a framework in place for dealing with iran, i think that would be good. we can say on that basis the west as a whole is collectively better off.
none of these things were working on and diplomacy are things that were approaching from a narrow u.s. self-interest. in most cases there are things that we race repeatedly with european allies in the past. we want to make headway. >> we are making headway. when i first joined the committee senator murphy was the chairman at that time. we met repeatedly with european partners .. then discussions were about edward snowden, merkel cell phone and that type of thing. then charlie -- happen. i have not heard that since. it's a serious nature of the threat of terrorist past all of our societies and the need for us to maintain strong partnerships and particularly sharing the intelligence which is the first line of defense against that.
to believe our intelligence gathering and sharing and cooperation is stronger before charlie? >> our intelligence with european countries and the nato framework is exceptionally strong. >> again, that's a good positive outlook. talk about the conversation we had in our office, the different approach that russia and china use versus the u.s. when it comes to investing in foreign countries. >> i think the russians and chinese have done a better job than the west collectively integrating matters of commerce and investment into a geopolitical or strategic vision. the chinese tend to view commercial investments abroad as a matter of state. my perception is the chinese
attempted to approach these questions with a long-term filter. i think in the countries of central and eastern europe you see the results of that. quiet, skillful building up of influence relationships and investment that the chinese has undertaken. i think we have to acknowledge these are serious, well thought out and resourced efforts. we have to be candid. the goal is to undermine the western order both politically and economically. the west by comparison has tended to segment strategic issues in trade. we have also tended to see imagine institutional enlargements were straight-line trajectory that was an end of history that implied a certain
amount of -- on our part. europe is not a post geopolitical environment. were catching up quickly in understanding the need to compete. this is a serious and prolonged competition with big power arrival. counterterrorism will always be important but it will not retain the salience in u.s. foreign policy different 9/11 until a few years ago. we have to shift our mindset. that requires tough choices for our society. >> america we spend about 1% of our federal budget on foreign aid. in the past there's a few strings attached. china goes about it differently.
i heard evidence where they will build the ports but then make a loan which the country cannot pay off and then all of a sudden they own the port. is that standard operating procedure? >> i think that is an actor characterization. the chinese tend to apply less in the way of obvious near-term strings. there are strings attached countries can no longer service the debt chunks of their infrastructure are claimed. there are strings attached and there are less immediate. the chinese tend to have a more relationship -based approach many of these countries are corruptible and it is the single biggest problem even among ally states. the chinese are brazen and using those pathways of corruption. >> is a big difference in a huge advantage that half in making
those. >> to comments on this conversation. you and i have a different analysis on what happened in 2013 in ukraine. i think it's convenient to suggest that the it was a consequence of a set of american policies from 2008 - 2013. i can make a different argument that it was the success of the transatlantic relationship that brought ukraine to the point at which they were considering joining the european union that panicked russia and that they'll pay for for a long time unless trump gets his wish and there brought back into things like
the g-7. i don't think there's evidence that russia's bad behaviors getting better. i would argue is getting worse. you seem democratic backsliding that has been led by the russians. use in the united states outsource diplomacy and syria, big, major new investments in places like the balkans and levels we did not see during the obama administration. in the partnership between the russian government and the trump administration with respect to pushing trumps agenda. the shutdown was trending because of russia government propaganda who is pushing the storyline in the u.s. media. they haven't given up on their attempts to try to influence the american political dialogue. i don't think it's evidence there bad behaviors lessening. i think it's getting worse and
worse. let me turn to the iran nuclear agreement. i would love to talk to you about what our strategy is. the announcement that we were going to pull out of the agreement was not unexpected. the message has been sent that we are going to reimpose u.s. sanctions but also secondary sanctions. chance; others are attempting to try to keep the iranians to their end of the agreement. the bear my ball keeping iran's access to banking systems. my question is a bigger one. what are the plans to continue to rollout previous sanctions
such as secondary sanctions on european companies doing business with the iranians? how did the administration plan to do it they said witches, put together a series of sanctions that arse tougher than the previous. the europeans but no part of that. they want to continue the relationship with iran to get them from refrain from starting their program. we are unclear what the sanctions are. to most folks, it seems there is no hope of ever being able to put back together a set of sanctions that were stronger than the ones we had in place. >> on the first point, i agree i want to be clear in a public setting, there is one personal responsible for the ukraine
more, that is flat amir putin. it is important to acknowledge the u.s. policy has helped to create a permissive environment that indirectly aided many of putin's aggressions. the decisions we make in u.s. policy help to create a contact that arrivals can either exploit or not exploit. the reset was a part of that. we should not have a double standard. an administration can go for six years for a lopsided courtship. it is offense for this administration to talk about planning a meeting with the russians to explore if there are points. i take your overall point. vladimir putin is responsible for the ukraine war. on the issue of iran, the secretary recently outlined our
approach. i would argue it is a more comprehensive strategy. in addition to imposing financial penalties if focuses on engaging the iranian people, creating a structure for our regional allies. it is interesting, unlike art european allies are middle eastern allies were not pleased. they saw both the monetary and military terms how jcpoa created an opening for iran to be more aggressive. our focus is working with all of our allies to build a comprehensive international framework. what i have seen an hour interactions in talking about iran both pre-and post- decision, there is a fair and why consensus on analysis of the
iranian threat. our european -- wanted to deal effectively with the missiles, bringing revolutionary guard to syria. president macron had a four-point formula that are very similar to the u.s. approach. >> i understand that. you're talking about nonnuclear activity. we can continue to work with europeans on nonnuclear activity, but let's get the plainfield straight. europeans are not interested in re- imposing new nuclear sanctions on iran. they are interested in trying to hold together the set of economic benefits that will entice iran to stay in the nuclear agreement. that is europe's position.
>> i think we'll know more in coming days. there is some difference of opinion among members of the e3. we will know more about their collective perspective when we have more dialogue. but the self policing of european countries, and countries doing business in iraq, away from iran has change the equation. when european leaders look at iran and see their own businesses are voluntarily removing themselves from the equation in iraq, that creates a different playing field. >> it doesn't sound like a strategy of how you get the europeans into a different place than they are today. it's true they are trying to hold the steel together. it does not seem to be any strategy to reverse their position or any hope to rebuild
the sanctions that were tougher than the ones we had. i know you can hope for that to be true. part of the reason that most of that was they knew it would be unlikely impossibility. >> i would like to go back. as you know, recent electoral issues in bosnia have contributed to contribute sermons about stability there. i wonder if you can talk more specifically about what were doing to work with the international community to allow elections to move forward. >> i have been engaged on this issue. when i was in the balkans last week this is a point of discussion. we are working closely with the european union and other regional allies to use the small window we have to push for
electoral reform. we are working with the co-op and that will be the key to formalizing the people in a way that allows for stability and equal representation in a parallel track with nato we have supported the british approach in nato of lowering some of the conditions with regard to the defense property so we can have a clear path to discussion about nato prospects. on the balkans in general, i like to get back to the place we were when it was the main problem in the balkans. to deal with the name issue and get more attention i think the
conditions create attractive opening for the russians to metal. >> there is no doubt about that. i think the more we can do to help sav stabilize the situatio, the better. i want to turn to turkey. there are a number of issues with turkey that i know the state department is concerned about. one is their continued pursuance of the as/400 air defense system from russia. that would be in violation of past law. can you talk about what the administration is doing on that front. if turkey does except delivery of that system, when would we invoke sanctions?
>> as you know i have been engaged with the turks on this. it is a serious matter. we have been clearing communications with the turkish government acquisition of the as/400 which we would assess to have occurred when there's an old delivery of the technology. we have been clear that there will be consequences. first and foremost we will abide by section 231. we will impose sanctions. we been clear across the board and acquisition will affect the turkish military cooperation with united states. we have to put this in the context that this is a crucial ally partner. what they're doing to defeat isis is essential.
this has the potential to spike the punch. we need to say that a decision on s400 will qualitatively change the relationship in a way that's difficult to repair. >> i think that's important for turkey to hear. as your were i'm involved with senators to try and delay the delivery of f35's to turkey, primarily because of their holding without any reason, american citizens. i appreciate that at last week's ceremony with lockheed martin on celebrating the partnership that the state department did not send a representative to the ceremony.
it is part of sending a clear message to turkey about what our views are, but i know there's some confusion about whether planes have been delivered. it's my understanding dod officials have said we have begun delivery of planes. it's my understanding that's not the case. can you confirm whether any planes have been delivered to turkey? >> as you know, in this program u.s. maintains custody of aircraft until their transferred which normally occurs after a lengthy training process. that's helpful because it gives us time to continue the messaging. i think were in the training phase. we have watched developments on the hill and know what's being considered. we believe that we have existing legal authorities to allow us to withhold transfers. given that, we believe we
continue to have the time and ability to ensure turkey does not move forward before having to take a decision on f35. were being cleared are messaging that there will be consequences. beyond that, i request discussing that in a classified setting. the provisions in the appropriations bill are also on track for passage. there would be additional ability to cite the acts of congress in dealing with turkey. to the extent that we can make this information public, how many american citizens to we believe turkey may be holding in prison? >> we can confirm dozens of u.s. citizens, mostly nationals that have been detained, you are aware of some of the legal and privacy restrictions to discuss it in the setting.
there are roughly two dozen detainees, most on criminal charges. of that number, i think for have signed privacy waivers. >> can you talk about what were doing to try to address those improper detentions and who were talking to in the turkish government and the extent to which were bringing this up. >> the subject of the detained citizens it at the forefront of the agenda. it's important that this top service when we talk to turkey. turkey does have legitimate security concerns that need to be addressed. we have tried to address those including in syria. in parallel, we have tried to help the turks under city and
that if they continue to unjustly detain american citizens, it will significantly alter our relationship. we appreciate the capitol hill has provided leverage. we use that to the maximum ability and explore every inch. i'll use this setting to look at pastor andrew bunsen in particular. i've been in touch with his wife and family. we have looked at the arraignment terms that have been brought against him, there is nothing there. this is on just as we have seen. there are limits to how far we can go with any ally or country. we've examined every option and messaged it to the highest levels. most immediately, we are hoping and expecting to see president
act on the plate she made during the campaign expeditiously to lift the state of emergency. >> want to follow up with former question. i know the past we have often assumed that after elections it would be easier to deal with president -- in turkey. that is not necessarily proved to be the case. is there any reason to believe that he would be more responsi responsive? >> we have said that we respect the democratic desires of the turkish people. we were concerned about irregularities and concerned about the state of human rights after the election. our approach will be to find those areas where we can incorporate and strengthen the relationship. turkey is a strong ally a
partner. we will strike that balance. i will not try to look at a crystal ball. i think president -- knows what our expectations are about the people, the weapon systems and other relationships in the region. we will use every opening we can to message that. keeping turkey on a track toward not only the political west has to be a prime objective for u.s. strategy in the region. >> thank you. i appreciate you bringing up the subject of turkey. this treatment of the pastors outrageous. every member of congress is highly concerned about it. we appreciate your lead on it. and i appreciate your strong statement on that as well.
my final question, we have not talked about the baltic states. i've been concerned particularly after russians invasion of georgia and crimea, what could be next. our response about ukraine i hope is strong, can you give me your assessment about the dangers of russian meddling in the baltics? >> the dangers are very real. the baltics, the security as never been stronger with america. it sets the standard across the region for -- i think we have to be diligent in this area both militarily and in regard to hybrid threats. we have strong pathways of coordination with all three of these countries. >> we appreciate your service.
>> monday night, on the communicators. corey bennett and brian bender talk about their investigation about china gaining access to u.s. technology and the threat china poses to u.s. defense. >> within china, the government keeps all kinds of information on its people, personal information, financial information, potentially health care information. with closee company ties to the chinese government had access to millions of americans' health records or banking records, that , formation could be used example, for espionage purposes.
if they know who works in the state department and owes a lot of money to the banks or is deep in debt, has four kids that are about to go to college, maybe that person is a better target for an espionage operation. nationalought that security leaders or the warning that national security leaders have been putting out there is that, anytime a chinese investor with the potential link to the chinese government, as we are sourcing our technology to build robotics, artificial intelligence, space technology, things that are really powering the military, powering the government, if the chinese government has insight into what that technology is, not only could they potentially plant a it allowspionage bug, them to get the technology themselves, that could give them
a military edge, a technological edge, a financial edge in the global market. >> the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. as part of our 50 capitals tour and with the help of gci cable, the c-span best visited alaska, with anchorage the final stop on the tour. rolespan plays a prickle superb -- a critical role to provide understanding of what is going on. it provides a window into washington, d.c. this is a far distance away. >> we really believe that it is important to offer leasing store to our customers because we believe in the network's mission, to be an unfiltered and trusted media source. we probably support their effort to inform and educate the nation on policy, politics, history, and current events. >> be sure to join us july 21 -- when, when we future
we feature our visit to alaska on c-span, c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app. now, a reporters roundtable discussion on the political news of the week and the 2018 midterm elections. from "washington journal, this is about an hour. unday roundtable here in washington, andrew egger, he is a reporter for the weekly standard. thank you for being with us. guest: thank you for having me on. host: and jamie stiehm. we want to talk about the news begin week, -- we want to at the shooting in annapolis maryland and the death of your colleagues. -- friendly colleague that had a smile for everyone and wonderful insight into stories and characters. host:
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