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tv   The Bottom Line 2019 Ep 5  Al Jazeera  November 21, 2019 6:32am-7:02am +03

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spoke to trump about the hold she heard it was put in place because of his concerns of a corruption in ukraine about 100 protesters are still holed up in hong kong's besieged polytechnic university police surrounding the campus of arrested more than a 1000 people since monday. international condemnation is growing of the treatment of the protestors and the u.s. house has approved a bill supporting human rights in hong kong. at least 11 people have been killed after airstrikes and missiles targeted parts of syria's rebel controlled it live province activists are blaming the syrian government and uranium relations for a missile targeted and i.d.p. camp near the turkish border. as the headlines the news continues on al-jazeera off to the bottom line station that's a watching. and
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to you. hi i'm steve clemons and i have a question is a trump administration turning the u.s. military into a protection racket let's get to the bottom line. burden sharing many american presidents have pushed this line but donald trump has added a new dimension arguing that allies of the united states have to pay more for quote protection he has been rated nato allies handed angle americal a hand-written bill for 2 trillion dollars on one occasion for money owed for germany's protection and moved on to saudi arabia and last week it was south korea's turn so what does it mean for the u.s. military forces spread all over the globe and do america's allies smell a shakedown fortunately we have 3 people in the room who have all the answers to these questions admiral william fallon who is headed who is headed both u.s. central command and pacific command and served as
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a presidential envoy to japan lacey healy chief editor of stick and host of a podcast on military affairs called things that go boom and kevin baron executive director of defense one which covers u.s. defense and national security thank you all so much for joining us admiral fallon let me start with you burden sharing is not a new thing many presidents have been talking about it and i remember president obama president clinton both president bush actually talking to our allies are numerous occasions and making the case that our allies needed to do more so what's different about this moment well steve i think go before we get into this it would be good to just keep in mind that this is a complex question and the. the arrangements that we have with different countries are almost all unique so nato the nato alliance been around since 1909 long standing tradition of security very very helpful to us in the cold war days and
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now it's a different era but there are longstanding nato agreements and arrangements that touched each of course i knew i was very helpless after $9112.00 it was article 5 in middle you know it's so good you go to other places in the world and these are different they're not the same and so the arrangement we have of korea is different than the one with nato and the arrangements in japan are different again with korea and you go around the world singapore with qatar or almost every place these are not the same deals and so to approach them as it's one thing you pay or else is not in my opinion the right way to do this and you have to keep in mind that when these agreements are negotiated and you know she did a bunch of them done a number or been a part of those negotiations they're best done in my experience offline out of the limelight because some of the issues become very sensitive and they're unique to
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the individual countries involved well let's listen to president trump for a moment as he's talked about what he's trying to do on this front we will insist on fair burden sharing with our allies i made it clear we are protecting many many wealthy wealthy wealthy countries we protect all of these wealthy countries which i'm very honored to do. but many of them are so wealthy they could easily pay the cost of this protection cabin the admiral just laid out that many of these are different that if you're like looking at korea that's a different deal than nato today where central command has a huge base and he's so if there are other some places where. burden sharing becomes protection where essentially we're loaning our our military muscle for pay running up you know running the pentagon at a profit if you will look yes if that's what you listen to the president's word
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when you ask but i don't think i go wait a minute let me as it were president words you know does it matter right as it depends on it and i look at this when you ask anyone in the military about why all of these agreements exists because the united states has an enduring interest that these things exist if you want a united states military that's able to react to a threat abroad or to act as a deterrent abroad and the united states needs partners and allies that's just basic one a one defense doctrine right so you need an agreement with you know to have basing you need an agreement to have access to ports and overflights with all these individual countries but i think we're already way down the weeds from what kind of really the bigger question here which is donald trump has brought a new way of doing business a new way of doing foreign policy and he's done it by the will of the american people or at least the electoral college and a new era and i think we're arguing a lot about the means not the ends we like you said in your opener obama and every other president and every other defense secretary and joint chiefs chairman before them all have the same message to nato please you guys should pay
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a little more use of your debts a little more and democrats like carl levin were so i hear all that i want to i want to push you just for you the lazy joining you know correct all of us on this but i want to i want to ask you if you have set up the regime that our allies that we have strategic interests in partnering with in deploying u.s. forces or that we have someone out there that says we're not going to pay because paying for u.s. military base. as installations is sometimes a controversial thing in these countries it's not easy it's not an easy deal and as the admiral said most of these are dealt with without the spotlight on them and they're done in close rooms because it is domestically controversial. but what happens if a country doesn't pay. out of the we'll find out if anyone doesn't pay you know you bet so they could try to call a bluff but look i think there's a point that there's a reason why the admiral was involved and didn't go stations like this and not the president of the united states this is not presidential business usually but donald
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trump has made it his business and at one another and another dimension of this i think is in a generational change there are populations of american voters and populations in these countries that we're dealing with that don't remember the last 50 years or don't know maybe appreciate the reason why american troops are stationed there to begin with and so the controversies in places like okinawa korea where you know local populations may have had these maybe changing over time and the more that donald trump frames this as a protection racket as as you know we're we're we're going to protect your countries and i'm honored to do it rather than it is in america's security interest that we protected these not just these countries but american interests in these countries and our economic interests and our social introduce name right i was amused at one point in our history that and that all fell in may have been involved this i'm not sure but in the early 1990 s. in the 1st gulf war the japanese did not participate then the assistant secretary of state richard solomon made a big deal that the japanese didn't participate in sort of in blood and force on
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the line so the japanese wrote a check they wrote a $13000000000.00 check you know $30000000000.00 went further than that time and we actually made a profit the united states made a profit off of that war and it was the 1st time i ever thought about running the pentagon at a profit but how does this you i mean you're a specialist you kind of talk about american military commitments today does it make sense that price. trump is putting pressure on our eyes to contribute more after all the united states is less of the size of the economy that it once was it is still maintaining a global infrastructure of security shouldn't these nations pay a lot more yeah i can't say that i agree with running the pentagon at a profit i don't think that's exactly what we want to be doing there's absolutely i agree with kevin that there is it is in the u.s. interest for us to have these bases overseas it's basic 101 we have to have allies but what trump is doing i think is actually turning this on its head and he's going
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down a road that many presidents many lawmakers have gone down before saying yes we are allies need to share more of this burden and he is he understands that this is a super political situation and he understands that people inside the u.s. are not going to be excited about closing any bases whether those are overseas or domestic he understands that some people some of our allies don't actually want our bases there and so if he turns this on its head and he says well this is a protection racket like i'll do it if you really want me to then it allows it's dangerous because it puts it puts the onus on our allies to say sure we don't want well here does exactly what present. master card to give you a different promotion but admiral fallon just to talk about which is to drag this out in the limelight it becomes controversial every realist listen to president trump talk about his latest conquest. but south korea is costing us
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$5000000000.00 a year they pay they were paying about $500000000000.00. $5000000000.00 worth of protection. and we have to do better so they've agreed to pay $500000000.00 more. over the years it'll start going up admiral fallon you know the pacific region very well the real numbers are that korea paid about $950000000.00 in change last year but what is what is the issue that we're really trying to drive at here should we be asking the koreans to amp up what they're doing at the level of $5000000000.00 a year what does that do to the integrity insolvency of that alliance so without getting into the details of the numbers what i believe we're seeing here frankly is the behavior of the president from his past life in which it's pretty well documented that his his m.o. is to go in and hit him in the in the nose with a big number or big threat or
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a big something and intimidate them and they'll back off but my experience this is not the way you do international diplomacy and particularly because it is south korea right on the on the border of north korea which is threatening the region with nuclear missiles and weapons and warheads threatening japan so the one that gets the bloody nose is our ally so korea is a very interesting situation again gets back to this point about each of these arrangements with different countries around the world and the u.s. are unique so in korea the history here goes back to going to recite since the korean war in 1950 but as a result of that war the u.n. was asked to go to the defense of korea after the armistice and it's worth noting that in korea there is no end to the korean war it has not been adjudicated as not been settled there's just an armistice that's been in effect since 1953 pretty
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interesting. so the war could start again at any time the point is now we're there and we have a very. different arrangement in korea than in other places the u.s. forces they are en route and there are not that many particularly compared to the past in the mid twenty's probably 20000 something like that of most of those are support people for the bases and the quarters but in korea the command relationship is different than in most places so you have what's known as the combined forces command in which u.s. and korean leaders are totally integrated on the staff so it's not like in most places where the u.s. will go in with a with a staff of officers maybe usually will be the commander and others will bring their staffs this is completely integrated but the bottom so they're very close together and it's really if this is going to be effective if the defense of the korean
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peninsula was necessary in the future it has to work so the idea that you go in and just bludgeon them and say we want 5 times as much money to do this wait a minute what are we doing here other koreans to spend a lot of money at their behest to move us out of young signing the major facility and into its own priest humphries that actually is to our advantage because it's a lot further back from the d.m.z. than the previous place was and in military terms outside the range of current north korean artillery significant difference so we have these facilities in korea right they're designed to be integrated with the koreans in case of an emergency and i think it's it's very important that we keep these arrangements as long as we have an interest in northeast asia which we certainly do so kevin i heard everything admiral said but again going back to the words of the president that you said we should questionably listen to on occasion. as as i had shared with you
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earlier we watched president trump at camp humphries during his 1st trip to korea it was about 3 am in washington d.c. time i remember it very well gave a speech about how. important us korea relationship was about the american presence in asia and then when he finished his speech in the teleprompter was off he said he could have built that base far cheaper than it was built for and faster and that this space was not for american security anyway it was only for koreas and so with that one line and did what i think was the purpose of the trip was to demonstrate to the koreans that america's security was also for your security and i'm interested in whether or not we should be listening to that president of the united states or should we be listening to the command structure the pentagon that has been saying and arguing. as best it can differently i think you better listen to both i you know i think absolutely you need to listen to commanders in the pentagon and around the world who give their you know advice and they're the ones on the
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front line saying this is what we believe is needed to remember to execute the policies that they're given by the president by the white house and you know sometimes you know they're lobbying in their own way for the kinds of forces and equipment and agreements that they need but you better listen to the president too because again he reflects a large percentage of the population whether you agree with it or not whether you think they understand the world or they're naive and they don't understand the world a lot of people think even in the in the russian relations circles are starting to say you know what they have a legitimate grievance there's a there's a lot of people that think yeah most countries around the world could chip in a little bit more it's what's unique is this president in his bowl in a china shop kind of way comes in and like you said bloody the nose of an ally publicly in their own country to sit just to say you know he has a little upper hand politically to make himself look tough like the deal maker that he is that's the new york you know real estate mogul language that he knows that he's bringing to something as sensitive and complex as international right but when
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you ask american people or voters in the population they're not in the weeds into all of these you know agreements like that we know all they hear is look he's fighting for us he's doing he's doing what we asked him to do i think there's a fundamental assumption. inherent in words like that and that is that these deals are one way that somehow. we are benefiting homes countries. and in fact most of these arrangements or very definitely 2 way deals in which we get something out of this as well as the other country and if you look at these all together and take the view that they're all the same it's all the us the great to us and we're here to take your things and save you that's absolutely the wrong you know if you yeah what is the unrecognized dependency of the united states has on this global infrastructure of bases that is not really being talked about much yet i mean we're certainly dependent to this point though
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about about certainly our 2 way the 2 way importance of this it's very important for the u.s. to have these bases but that also i want to point out i very much agree with that but i we can't whole say it make the whole sell assumption that all of these agreements and all of the all of these agreements and all of these bases are necessary and i think that certainly i mean you mention in her like it we have u.s. nuclear weapons stationed 100 miles from the border of syria and there are some of these arrangements that could use revisiting and you know that i think i think often the conversation is boiled down into a well the president doesn't understand how nato work c. doesn't he doesn't understand that there are not you know just giving us money to do this thing and i don't think that's necessarily true i just don't think he care let me let me bring up a tweet from congresswoman omar reads our defense budget continues to fund and list wars that damage our reputation in the world and do not make us any safer in the u.s. we need to reduce our military budget which totals more than the next 7 countries
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combined this next 7 countries combined is the part of this it interests me is that if you were basically trying to change the economics of how the united states basically makes the economic equation for defending the world and defending its interests when you begin to find a bit of an increase the price tag of the smaller countries is still apply. small deal i wonder what it may toto the level of threat that's coming from the middle east and north africa from isis and al qaeda or afghanistan from the taliban or anywhere else in asia what difference would it make of those 7 countries sort of paying more would it you know. to me that sounds like a nice optics question but it doesn't get to the heart of does america think it is it is to its interests and its enduring security to have deployed troops at these bases and have these agreements of countries go back to the top of what were the top of the price tag doesn't add up and it doesn't add up it's a minutes you know everyone would love to have some sort of you know some more equitable burden sharing in the world but you're never it's never going to happen
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because the size of the united states is just so exponentially larger and the capabilities are exponentially larger syria is the example you can pull the united states out of syria trump wanted to pull the u.s. and let the europeans handle the security there but the brits and the french and the others in there can't do the special ops missions without the americans helping enable those missions they can't do this on their own without these partnerships in the united states can't either so there's some fundamentals here does the united states wish to be gauged in the world yes or no. the president feels by interpretation of his words that we ought to be doing a lot less of that and just worry about ourselves and i would say interesting proposition but in today's world it's a non-story just doesn't work we're $200.00 connected to interdependent and the reality is. the world depends on the u.s. in our leadership and our willingness to engage if we are to withdraw from that and we have to get into a deep political question is what is your i don't think the president wants to pull
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out completely i think he i think he says it but then he doesn't ever mean it is actions don't don't don't back up his words that we've seen that we've seen through the lobby that it is yet and we have more should we need to buy a movie this is an enterprise various phrases about iraq he says and what it does reasoning here i guess i'm not sure i agree with you kevin elysee i want to you know give the floor to you for a moment to show this because i find it very exciting i agree with the admiral that i think president trump is less interested in being engaged internationally than even president obama was who believed in strategic caution in many ways donald trump is far more cautious than president obama was and i think that when you look at that tweet from illinois marwood it's basically saying is we're doing too much out there and i'm wondering if he'll handle more in president are sort of covertly on the same piece of territory that was it is an interesting suggestion but i i i really do think that you know folks like home are certainly also looking at our domestic situation our domestic political situation our spending and they're saying we need to be spending more on health care or student loans whatever it might be
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they're saying you know these things are potentially more important than all the money that we're spending that is so much more than our allies and hey could they be doing a little bit more and i do i agree with you i think that if president trump had his way he would pull back some of some of our forward deployments he would he would be would bring us home and not entirely i don't know i can't speak for president trump but i i think some of the think tanks in the groups that he's working with their perspective when would he let me ask him in the last bit of time we have asked you just just for short snapshots that if you were given the task if you were working for this president and part of your task was to recognize that we're not an inflection point and i see it as an inflection point after world war 2 we can't maintain the same level of global bases and global presence where. would you roll back where would you where would you roll back and maybe where would you raise the price if you were going to keep american presence to our allies admiral fallon.
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steve i would disagree with the with the premise that i think 1st of all we have thanks we have sorry but we have substantially reduced our overseas presence in numbers of troops forces particularly the last few years most in fact are back in the continental us the challenge for us is that we cannot respond or reach out to places that may become troublesome without access to certain places in the world it's just too difficult to hard we still measure 200000 troops abroad go in for different reasons in different places and i give you one example back to kind of where we started in northeast asia the arrangement with japan is a result of the end of world war 2 and that the basic deal was this we the u.s. will provide your security japan we don't want you to have another military because we don't want to repartition what we saw in the early 20th century therefore we
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will protect you in exchange for that we need access and so we got these bases but still these but i would i would throw one more thing into the into this mix here and this is something for the congress so that a lot of criticisms you know the president does is the right. for the majority of people who start to worry we don't have a budget we do not have a real budget in this country the congress has not passed one years what does this mean it means we're going to waste more money in defense and other things because the law says that the way through it. has to be spent is not smartly not with forethought and planning but if you criminals that don't exceed whatever was done last year so if you do something when you can do that it's absurd so called in with. your thoughts on what it would be i don't tell and say let's keep it all. to the budget point i agree it's ridiculous that we can't have a budget but we also have not just passed things in incremental same
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as last year we've significantly ran the military general battlefield in years so i mentioned u.s. nuclear weapons before i think that's why the most obvious places we've got you know nuns walking in their bases and putting stickers on on bombs. but you know some of these places we could reconsider whether or not we would even use those 60 lines everywhere would you roll back or would you charge a higher price for the pentagon's love i i i'm going to go agree with admiral fallon to disagree with the premise of your question but instead said let's go back to that a little more tweet but the 1st part of it when she mentions forever wars look you have the president is more closely aligned with a rising democratic left who believes that there are too many wars and there is too much american military power overseas and it's costing too much money and the middle which lot of people think is the sensible national security you know expert middle is getting shrunken out of the debate more and more every time president trump goes out there and makes these kind of speeches that undercuts his own policy
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about why the united states needs to have wants to have troops abroad able to defend america's security interests economic interests of the voters interest as long as the voters hear that message they don't get the policy in are not going to support ever and this is on his career forever war is korea for. question i do know let's ask the democratic candidates i'd like to hear what elizabeth warren says it's a wonderful conversation with thank you so much i'd like to thank our panel to for being with us today lisa healy chief editor of the ink stick kevin baron executive editor of defense one and admiral william fallon former commander of u.s. central command at pacific command very cool discussion thank you so much for joining us today so what's the bottom line a wise man once said nothing says i love you like you shake down the trump administration is demanding south korea pay billions more to keep u.s. troops in their country japan is next and it's all part of a plan donald trump laid out during his campaign when he promised to force america's allies to pay for american protection my guests have more confidence than
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i do that this will blow over that american security is woven in tightly to the security of our allies but to me this sounds like an american force becoming a mercenary operation alliance's al a carte you get it if you pay for it and that's the bottom line. stranded 8 long years on the su is canal. creating their own community and economy it was you know president bush used to go when you made al-jazeera world tells the tale of 14 cargo vessels accidentally caught up in the arab israeli conflict it was quite a surprise to find myself in russia in the middle of a war through the sailors whose ships survived the desert sun it's the yellow fleet on al-jazeera. ruins that speak of
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a rich history and the ones ranged from this palace more than 600 years ago this is the old town of chain on the door to the sacred value of the past and to the century of much beach ancient traditions are still being embraced here today that may change less than 2 kilometers away bulldozers are never ling the ground for a controversial new airport that's expected to shuttle millions of tourists to historic sites the airports of them being the sacred folly to share has culture and traditions for thailand but the big powers want it because it's the door to much of . the beatles kind of who is poor is divine. i would be in favor of an airport if more people come and make business with us but only if it will preserve our environment and our ruins some farmers like it look east they believe their lives may change it will bring development to our community and country. in china cancer
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drugs can be pretty beautifully expensive some desperate patients travel to india to buy cheap generic versions but what cost $1.00 a when aged follows those smuggling to survive on out 0. was there a quid pro quo as i testified previously with regard to the requested. white house call and the white house meeting the answer is yes. the u.s. ambassador to the e.u. testifies that donald trump wanted ukraine's president to investigate his political rival next change the military a normal day when today it's all over and some of the fair grounds of which there is a democracy that there's a good solid. president trump remains defiant insisting he wanted nothing from ukraine and that the inquiry should.
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follow him down in jordan this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up under siege students but university in hong kong remain holed up. in the u.s. approve a bill to support human rights that. unrest in bolivia continues to spiral and security forces try to stop ongoing protests. a significant moment in the impeachment inquiry of u.s. president donald trump came on wednesday during testimony from the ambassador to the european union gordon song and said he had no direct evidence from border security aid to be withheld from ukraine in exchange for investigations into his political rivals but he and other u.s. officials believe the 2 were connected alan fischer reports from washington d.c. . from the u.s. ambassador to the e.u. stunning testimony and said it was abundantly clear to everyone ukraine would not received.


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