tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN February 18, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EST
ogers: ill just to keep the government weeks perhapsrg. to give the house and senatem more time, just a little more time to sort of reach anar agreement because it's not a lot ttime left about the current par spending wall expires if they can't reach the agreement by then then the government wouldge shut down some people will think really still expect some sort o a short-term compromise just so hey can have more time to reach the agreement on the longer-ter. bill. >> sam of congressional quarterly, appreciate your time. >> thank you. ..
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. good afternoon. as we gather here this afternoon, we are in the fifth week of the new republican majority and we have yet to see a congressional republican address the press, the country's number one priority. they have not put forth one jobs bill to create one job. democrats of the american people
have been competing in simple refrain. show us the job. now the gop is not just ignoring jobs, they are cutting them. today we continue to debate the republican spending bill that cuts jobs, weakens the middle class and does not reduce the deficit. the bill will destroy 800,000 american jobs according to the economic policy institute. it will increase class sizes and take teachers out of the classroom. can you imagine what this means to people across the country? in the class-size in your school -- the number may be increased. my own granddaughter told me that was not a good idea, 11 years old. now she is 12 and she still doesn't think it's a good idea. would jeopardize homeless veterans, threaten america's innovation and not the republicans can say about this is loss of jobs, large
class-size, problems for america's unrest, so be it. from the beginning, democrats have said will measure every proposal by three tenths as it creates jobs, reduce the deficit and strengthen the middle class, discontinuing resolution now that mel preschoolers. in the long pass the time, we must work together to create american jobs -- job creation and american growth must be our top priority. instead in recent days, we've heard talk of a government shut down. let's remove all doubt. we all have a responsibility to make sure that there is no government shut down. the last thing the american people need is for congressional republicans or democrats to draw a line in the sand that hinders keeping the government though. closing our government would mean our men and women in uniform would receive paychecks
and veterans with those critical benefit. seniors would receive social security checks and essential functions from suit safety inspections to airport security could come to a halt. when president bush was in office and i was speaker, we met with then minority leader boehner and representative to the administration to solve critical issues facing our nation, negotiated a stimulus package that triggers the financial package to save the economy and on the brink of a financial disaster, work with the administration and mr. boehner to halt that steep institution or financial country and were about to take. or democrats didn't create the problem. it was of course a solution. we cooperated with president
lech. so the idea of cooperation of bipartisan ways to get the right thing for our country is one that we have to keep uppermost in our mind. as we see the amendments of every idea anybody could ever think of, it's interesting. but it is not what is happening. the government is to choose we must establish priority. it's not everything you can think of. it is what my stash those things that must be done for the american people and the top priorities we must pass a continuing resolution that does just that. make it a priority for deficit reduction and middle cards. and now i'm pleased to yield to the distinguished democratic whip, mr. royer >> thank you, not a leader.
we have come as a speaker indicated, been here for two months. we've been here for two months and not taken a single action to create jobs in america. in fact, return to major things that will undermine him in my view, jobs in america. first of all, we adopted a rules package. what did that was package provides for? an additional $500 billion in deficits. the rules package provides for the cutting of revenues by $5 trillion without any weight to pay for it. therefore, even if the republicans accomplished what they say they want to accomplish from a $100 billion cut in spending enemies to be a cut in spending. not only that, the president of the united states has a budget with cuts $3 million of the next 10 years in spending. the fact is that the republicans have now offered a continuing
resolution, which puts us in old. we said we want to out educate, out innovate in how to invest and build our competitors in the global marketplace. in terms about education and republicans have a pretty substantial cut in education. they've made it tougher for young people to go to college, for families to be able to afford for their kids to go to college. for 200,000 teachers to be kept on, teaching our children in america. they have cut 20,000 researchers from the national science foundation, undermined our ability to innovate and compete in the global marketplace. and as tom donohue, the president of the united states chamber of commerce has endured, they have cut investment in infrastructure, which would've created tens of thousands of
jobs so that unlike the democrats who came into office to stabilize and to build and to create jobs, the republicans who went to the same election we did and heard america's cry for job and growth in the economy, their response has been simply political. we should not be surprised. i want all of you to ask yourselves what was the long-term impact of the contract with america? i think you'd be hard-pressed to say that the bills we are focused on in 1995 made it different than america. and very frankly in the first two months, i think you'd be hard-pressed to say that we've made a a difference for america. that's unfortunate. we want to work with our republican colleagues.
and i mean that sincerely. i've had the opportunity during these first two months to sit down for significant periods of time with mr. kantor, the majority leader, with mr. mccarthy, the republican whip, with mr. camp, chairman of the ways and means committee. and i've had an opportunity to appropriate discussion with mr. hemphill in, the chairman of their conference. and i've told all of them, we want to work together, we want to reach across to create common cause for solutions to america's challenge. i'm hopeful we can do that. one way that america told us very loudly in 1995 is not the way to do it is to shut down government. and i'm going to work very hard at the leaders said with all of my democratic colleagues and hopefully my republican colleagues to make sure that we do not shut down our government. we don't want to do that.
we hope our republican colleagues don't want to do that. it is the posture they take is no way our way or no way, then it is possible that will happen. but it will not happen if we were together, which is what we like to do. we saw the negative consequences of that in 1995. our republican colleagues that it would be political and hopefully they do not repeat that mistake again. and now i yield to the assistant leader, mr. jim clyburn of south carolina. >> thank you, mr. witt, not a leader. i think all of us remember during our lame-duck session last -- three months ago, we heard some chanting from the other side, where are the jobs?
for six weeks it's been anything but jobs. rolling back women's rights, repealing consumer protection, making it harder for unions to go to school. talent in the budget on the backs of working families pensions and young people. and now, they are putting social security payments and services ever is. the social security administration is responsible for processing benefit applications, issuing checks for recipients in sending new social security cards to children. a warning to its employees on thursday that it had to furlough workers if the proposed cuts to
this budget are enacted into law. in the gop's soviet pending deal, republicans are proposing social security administrative funding by more than 9% from 11.8 billion in 2010 to 10.7 billion this year. in addition, the republican proposal provides for $1.7 billion last social security needs to keep pace with inflation in advising workloads. these are the wrong priorities. democrats have said, we will measure every effort by whether it creates jobs, sentence, the middle class and reduces the death fit.
democrats agree that president obama but we must out innovate, out educate and help build the rest of the world. we believe we can live within our means and create jobs, invest in our future, starting with an aggressive uptight on waste, fraud and abuse. i hope that when we get this back from this break that we can work together on behalf of the american people to move our country forward. >> thank you very much, mr. leader. this is the first time i've heard him make remarks about in america. that is indeed what we must do. we met eight so american people
make in america. and this week is the two-year anniversary of mr. clyburn is speaking and talking about republicans and their lack of jobs initiatives that one week in one day after the president's inaugural address, house of representatives passed a recovery package, which creators say 3.5 million jobs in congressional democrats. it's not a mouse. more needs to be done. that's why we want to see some initiatives on the part of our republican friends. i do want to just mention before going to questions and answers that again as we gather here in wisconsin right now, we are watching an extraordinary show of democracy in action. wisconsin's teachers and public servants must have a seat at the table, despite the good wages in the state were lace. i stand in solidarity of fighting for the right, especially if her of the students and young people,
leading the charge again for families an opportunity in their community. with that, we'd be pleased to take any questions. >> in 1995, with a large freshman republican class came into office. 11 months later the government shut down the multiple occasions during 1996. here we have a large conservative freshman republican class. do you get the sense that this class, they don't understand what happened in 1995 using parallels here because they are so skilled in their positions when it comes to cutting back the budgets? >> we were all here at that time, so i'm sure the law has something to say about that. i want to characterize what they're understanding is that the issue. i just think it's important for all of us to recognize that we cannot allow the government to shut down. again, it's important for everyone to say what they would like to see happen, but they must establish priorities as we
go forward and none of us -- the country cannot afford the luxury of a political standoff. it is something that you can't say obeah when it comes to the well-being of the american people. so talking about what happened in the past may be a nice academic exercise. the fact is we have a whole different set of challenges for the american people right now and whatever lesson however urgent needs of the american people where 16 years ago, it's all intensified now. so again, the republican platform soviet cannot be how we proceed. let's see how we can make it happen for the american people and it's up to the leadership of their party to bring them together around a set of priorities to take the
negotiating table and to make sure the government does not shut down. i'm going to yield. >> i just want to add. i agree with the leader in looking back is not particularly useful unless you're learning from the past. from what we learn from the past is the american people want an efficient cost effective government, but they understand government is necessary. they don't want to see a shutdown. the less violent in 1995 is when that occurred they didn't like it. and they won't like it this time either, which is why i hope my republican colleagues, new or those who have been here come together with their colleagues in the house and with our colleagues in the united state senate to reach agreement on moving forward. i think that's the key. and i hope that they will do that and we'll see whether that's the case or not.
the implications, however, has been recently that there are some who believe that their pledge is not subject to change. that pledge of course was made unilaterally. in december, we would not have been able to keep middle-class tax is at the present level and not raise them unless we had reached agreement. i think we have to all take a lesson from that, that the legislative process is a process of coming together and reaching common ground. we need to do that. >> i believe the is judged to be on a wood buys this years ago that we failed to learn the lessons of our past, were bound to repeat them. i was told that our colleagues on the other side were at least not well read.
>> i wanted to ask you about two of the folks we saw on the planned parenthood strictly from the cr and also wanted to ask you about a series of funding the health care that we've seen, you know, the house, help here and now moved to fund it. the >> well, and both of the cases, let's talk with the second part of your question first, the health care -- the repeal of health care and is holding funds for the implication of the health care legislation. of course what that does is increase the death rate. the repeal -- the health care deals with our present the savings of $1.3 trillion to our budget and the repeal of it is projected year is about a quarter of a trillion dollars in cost to the taxpayer. so it doesn't create jobs. it increases the deficit. it does not strengthen the
middle class. but we saw those numbers too out there today they say we are repealing the end of the administration on preexisting condition. over 129 million people over the age of 65 have a preexisting medical condition. almost every family in america how someone with a preexisting medical condition. but today, republicans in the congress said we want to be discriminated against if you have that. for children who are under 26 years old and policy until their 20s next, republicans out there said my kids can take care of themselves. well good for them and good for you. these kids want to take care of themselves, too. they need to have access to quality health care so that they can take the jobs they want. that's a job that matches their talent and aspiration, not just
the job tonight of health care. the list goes on, whether it is closing the doughnut hole, ending discrimination were being a woman is no longer preexisting medical condition attacks on the benefit, lifetime for annual benefit. they have put the insurance companies -- they have voted to put the insurance companies back in charge. i don't think this will happen. but to increase the depth said in the middle-class and did not strengthen -- it did not create jobs. not create jobs and increase the depth at. in terms of planned parenthood, it was very interesting to listen to the debate as i spent many years of mr. holier and mr. clyburn on the appropriations committee. an hhs and i was also in for an answer we the domestic and therefore not family-planning initiative. over and over and over again
republican colleagues on that committee would not give us a vote because they said we do not support family planning domestically or internationally. we do not support family planning domestically and internationally. it was stunning to me because i'm a mother of five. today brought my fifth child home early, my oldest child was turning six, so i feel i have some credentials in this arena whether perhaps some of the people whose teeth about it on the floor of the house. and so they didn't support family planning. and what they did last night was use of planned parenthood at the whipping boys to disguise their opposition. the american people knew the and every time with terri to tell them they said it can't be true that they oppose family-planning, but hamlet should determine the size and the timing of their family. well, they don't.
zero it's terrible to behold but i was the events do not come right out and say i'm not for family-planning, but to say i'm not for planned parenthood, as to hide what they really are in this issue. we've taken to him in previous congresses. we have seen this. so again, this is a very dangerous situation for the house -- health of women across the country. women of the country must pay attention to this issue. it's degrading to women. it's disrespectful. it doesn't make any sense. if you want to reduce the number of abortions in our country, you must commit to supporting contraception and family planning. they've never understood that. and perhaps we have to have a lesson that the birds and the bees around here for them to understand now. because listening to the debate on the floor was so surreal.
what are they talking about? was standing to have on this issue? how can they characterize that when what we know is they do not support family planning. america's people should know that. the women of america should know that. and i think that says something. they should make it a big priority for them. instead of job creation, they repeal health care. and then they came out with h.r. three, that conglomeration of disrespect for american women. and now they express it again in this continuing resolution. it really is cause for great concern. and i'm very proud of our members who sounded the alarm in the very few republicans who voted against that. many of our pro-life members spoke out against that resolution. >> we talked -- the previous
decades of experience on the appropriations committee. and you witness the power of the president determining ultimate outcomes on appropriations. today we received those on how care, planned parenthood, global warming. he probably wanted mexico city. that both president bush and clinton had been driving outcomes in knocking all the stuff off. >> you phrase the question because president ultimately have the power to really fashion in direct spending and policy. in may 2 through on 10 so through their veto. the tactic of a presidency did that, president clinton and president bush. that's why nintendo's president clinton and the surplus.
he did not allow the reduction of revenues and spending that have brought unfortunately president bush did allow that so that we return the $5.6 trillion deficit into a substantial -- surplus into a very substantial deficit. now, your question goes to the fact, ken president obama to the same? absolutely. i think he will do the same. i think he is committed, focused and determined to accomplish the objectives that he set forth for the american people in 2008. he hasn't done anything he didn't tell the american people is going to do or thought needed to be done to enhance quality of life in our country to expand our economy, to make accessible health care for people and to make our nation safer here and around the world.
but i don't doubt that the united states senate is going to present either the house or ultimately the president with a bill that would comply with that alternative. i think the united states senate is not going to pass this bill. i don't think frankly any house republicans blames the united states to pass this bill. and there have been no effort in my view to try to come to common ground on these issues within our own house or between the senate and the house. i am hopeful -- i am hopeful that in the days ahead that mr. boehner and republican caucus in ourselves will come together with the united states senate to reach agreement on how to move forward. i am hopeful that on the budget we will do the same and i am hopeful that we will pursue what all of us know to be the central
concern of our people and that's jobs. so the answer to your question as i have little doubt that president obama will not only have the ability to, but what actually causes us to go forward as he promised the american people he would. >> with that, i am convinced that the president is watching this today on the sea are very closely and i'm convinced that he is treating all of these votes and the results of these votes with the same kind of incisive that he did in putting this budget together. now, if you put this budget proposal, there's pain there for everybody. but i've gone through it. there's a tremendous balance and not that he is performed.
if you look at some of the cuts, the services can use self-service, pressed up by a couple big ones. in order to provide assistance that might be needed because of cuts that took place in other places in the budget, particularly education. when people got a chance to look at what he did with the programs, that kind of incisive.being put into it, i can convinced he will be watching this entire process on the cr with the same kind of insightfulness. and i think he'll use his
pentagon office access to the balance. >> mr. hoyer talked about the president's ability to do this and is focused on this. mr. clyburn talked about revisions that the president has. but would also like to say that the president has respect for the ideas of others. and he knows that if were going to come together on this, we have to all come together on it. and that's why i think it would be important for the republicans to get serious about what they're priorities are, not to bring 500 amendments to the table, but to say what really helps reduce the deficit to create jobs in the middle-class. various criteria that is most important. but without any question, the president knows the seriousness of the situation and how we get to jump in. but i remind you again, i did not like the president pushed
wanted to do on the stimulus package and in the winter of 2007 -- 2007. i didn't like the proposal at all. i want to invest in infrastructure, science technology and the rest if the president wanted tax cut. and if that's what you want come on we come together to help the people we are here to help. we worked together to say they will be responsible so that everybody has some benefit on how we go forward. it wasn't our preference. it wasn't even a question of being in the same category, but it was about the same goals and was to stimulate the economy. nobody wanted a vote for t.a.r.p. and most of the republicans did not. but we didn't leave president bush hanging high and dry just because we didn't like the problem he created and the solution he offered. we knew something had to happen.
and that's why we have a difference between us but i see at the moment, which i hope will change. one is so be it. and the other from our side is that they something happened in president obama is about making something happen. >> attacked by your experience working with mr. boehner president bush. and speaker boehner has said he won't bring the cr to the floor at the current levels, could house democrats work with him to adapt one that has somewhat lower levels so you could work out an ultimate deal on the spending package? >> i really don't know what mr. boehner and the speaker said he wasn't going to bring it to current levels. there isn't really a great deal of time. the senate cannot for days when we get back to do their bills, reconcile these two bills. there may be more time that is needed and we may have to have a continuation of the current cr.
that's what i said earlier, we don't need any democrat -- republicans or democrats drawing lines in the hands about what will happen if oracle is to make something happen in the closing down of government. the mac could and should reach out and agree to something on a somewhat lower level? >> we have. the president's budget is a good marker for where that is. we're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars cut. we are talking about saving, whether it's $1.1 trillion over 10 years. i think the fact that these two things are coming forth in the same week shows a sharp contrast. but the strong commitment for making cut, reducing the deficit and on our site for creating jobs to exchange in the middle-class. and we would hope to see something like that. but again, when we were in the room, it was the minority leader in the ministration and i was in
common in touch with the rest of our leadership on where our caucus was willing to go and we were willing to cooperate. but it has to be something that does not undermine the strength of our middle-class for reducing the deficit. >> let me make two points. the speaker doesn't say this very often, but i don't know if i've ever heard her say, but i'm going to say it now. when we reporting atop together with president bush, but i remember the night. clearly when those two people said, we put a two thirds. [inaudible] >> i mean, we agreed to go to thirds of the way. if you remember, they said they would. and at first they didn't.
and remember that we can, speaker pelosi and leader hoyer said this must be done even if we have to go more than the two thirds and we did it. i think that indicates a kind of cooperation that we are willing to give on behalf of the american people. finally, the speaker mentioned wisconsin. i want to mention wisconsin and ohio and what we see taking place on the floor here in this congress. there's a certain philosophy and movement being played out all across the country. i hope the american people are watching this debate here, are watching these two governors in wisconsin and ohio and see which
part of work in our keeping this country afloat and i might add the ones who are keeping this country safe and secure. just to me i hope the american people are watching very closely >> president obama discuss the economy and jobs during a visit to the intel and oregon today. before the visit of president named intel paul o. delaney to the white house on jobs and competitiveness. the white house that more members of the council will be named in the coming weeks. at this event, the president was introduced by the intel ceo. this is half an hour. [applause]
>> good morning. what a great day. i wanted to add my welcome and particularly welcome governor kitzhaber over there and thank you for being here. [applause] and excited to be here today to celebrate american innovation and american manufacturing. our country and this company have been built on innovation in manufacturing has been at the heart of america's economy for over a century. technology in the semiconductor industry have been driving growth for the last 50 years. in fact, when averaged over the last five years, the semiconductor industry is the nation's number one exporter. today we celebrate the construction of intel's new semiconductor manufacturing plant called d. wimax. for the past 10 years i've been
discussing the need to reignite innovation in the u.s. as a means of creating jobs and wealth in our society. i believe the world of technology and the vibrant manufacturing base lies at the heart of creating this feature. this is one of the reasons for continued investment in oregon and our commitment to build d1x. this new factory will play a central role in extending intel's unquestioned leadership in semiconductor manufacturing. the transistors and chips it will produce will be the most minute form for innovation that our company has ever created. together they will enable more capable computers, the most advanced consumer electronics and mobile devices. the brains inside the next generation of robotics and thousands of other applications that have yet to be invented. i'd like to pause for a moment to give you a glimpse of will be involved in creating such a tech
[laughter] seriously, d1x will be one of the most conducted a research sites in the world. there will good across my 3000 construction jobs over two years. the structure will require 19 tons of steel, 40 miles of pipe, 13,000 truckloads of cement. when finished, d1x will have a clean room as big as for football field. it is scheduled to start up in 2013 and it will be the first 14-nanometer factory in the world. [applause] intel is a global company today and proudly so. ever think of ourselves as an american enterprise. intel generates three fourths of its revenues overseas coming yet maintains reports that
manufacturing here in the united states. [applause] the company sets the bar for world-class manufacturing around the world. we believe in this country's power to create a future where america maintains its unparalleled global leadership in our jobs in the 21st century industries are created and flourish. i am pleased that the president and his administration have taken a number of steps to an arrest in innovation and education so that we are building the skills needed to achieve access in the 21st entry as we grow the economy. at intel, we believe we will help create the future. it is such a future requires more than just investments and to elegy in manufacturing. we also need to invest in educating and training the workers that will invent and manage the industries of the future.
at intel, for example, over half of her 82,000 person workforce have technical degrees and nearly a thousand people hold a masters degree or phd. looking forward, we are can turn that there may be a shortfall of qualified experts in science and math in this country to meet the needs of our industry. there are two fundamental solutions to this problem. first, revitalizing not science education will generate qualified, interested and motivated students and drive increased enrollment and agreed graduate schools. then, governments and businesses need to make sure that all of these graduates are given the opportunity to work in this great country. i want to commend the president for his leadership and focus on improving our science, technology, engineering and math education. he has taken actions including key steps like making them a priority and is $4 billion raised at the top competition
and is educate them in the campaign. i'm proud to tell you over the last decade, intel has invested nearly $1 billion in education around the world, especially math and science education. our intel peace program has 30 trains more than 9 million teachers worldwide with nearly half a million right here in the u.s. to integrate technology into the learning process. the result is improved critical thinking and problem solving skills. review these efforts and other education initiatives as vital investment into the next innovators, thinkers, scientists and entrepreneurs. this investment comes full circle when we can then hire the people we are investing in. i am proud to announce at this year intel will hire 4000 new permanent, highly skilled people and the u.s., above and beyond factory jobs that previously mentioned. these new employees will focus on areas that expand the
exploration of new materials to create even slower transistors to products we believe will transform the way the health care and education are delivered to future technologies that involve augmented reality and computers that can read minds or at least anticipate your needs. the investments have discussed today are long-term investments in the things that make innovation possible. they also send a clear message that the united state will remain the location for intel's most advanced technology development and manufacturing. and i saved the best news for last. i am happy to announce another new multibillion dollars investment in america. intel will soon begin construction in arizona under greater than $5 billion manufacturing facility that we will call 542. this will focus on 14-nanometer silicon process technology and beyond.
when completed, 542 will be the most advanced high-volume semiconductor fact area in the world. this activity will create thousands of construction and permanent manufacturing jobs in this country above and beyond what i described earlier. my closing message is that the best way forward to us is to unleash the unmanaged energy of the people of this country to transform our manufacturing base for the 21st century. intel is proud to do its part in creating this promising future. with that, ladies and gentlemen, i am pleased to introduce the president of the united states. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. thank you, so much.
thank you, everybody. everybody, please have a seat. thank you so much. i am thrilled to be here. i want to, first of all, thank paul for that introduction and i want to thank paul for agreeing to be part of our administrations new counsel and jobs and competitiveness. i look forward to our continuing conversations when we meet next week. i also want to acknowledge a wonderful governor, governor kitzhaber who is here. thank you so much for all the work you are doing. [applause] in the mayor of hillsboro, jerry willey. thank you for the great work that you do. [applause] and i want to thank everybody here at intel for hosting us here today. we just had an amazing tour. one of my staff, he said, it's like magic.
[laughter] that's what he said. that's what he said. i had a chance to see everything from an electron microscope to the inside of your microprocessor facility, the clean room. and i have to say, for all the gadgets you got here, what actually impressed me most were the students in the science projects that i just had a chance to see. they give them a chance to talk about infinite quantum turnberry algorithms -- [laughter] and it gave me a chance to nod my head and pretend that i understood what they were talking about. [laughter] [applause] so that was the high school guys. [laughter] seriously. then, we went over to me some seventh graders -- six girls.
and it was wonderful -- all girls, who had started the science project after school and involved legos. so i'm thinking, now this is more my speed. [laughter] alright, i used to build some pretty mean lego towers when i was a kid. i thought i could purchase to pay. only the students used their models to build robot that were programmable to model brains that could repair broken bones. so i guess that's different than towers. [laughter] it's not as good. [laughter] the towers. [laughter] so i couldn't be prouder of these two. and all the work that they've
done. and in my state of the union address, i said that it's not just the winner of the super bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but also the winner of science. and since the packers beat my bears, i'm reserving all of my celebration for the winners of the science fairs. [cheers and applause] they deserve the applause. [applause] the deserve our applause and praise and they make me optimistic about the future, just as this facility makes me optimistic about the future. i am so proud of everybody here at intel, not only because of what you do for the student for this committee are because of what you do for the country. you know, a few weeks ago i went to the chamber of commerce and i talked about the response ability that american businesses have to create jobs and invest in this country.
and there are few major companies that take this responsibility seriously as intel. in 1968, intel started as one of silicon valley's first startups. and that you grew in leaps and bounds in the 80s and 90s have you experienced the competitive pressures of globalization. changes in technology that may be cheaper for companies to manufacture overseas. and yet i am large, intel has placed it best on americans. as paul just mentioned floors right here in the united states. this year another 4 billion workers will create good construction jobs, upgrading facilities, building new plants in arizona and right here in oregon. in this kind of commitment has
always been part of intel's philosophy. the founder of this country, the legendary andy grove associates always felt to applications. one obligation is to your shareholders. but the other obligation is to america. because a lot of what intel's achievements have been possible are made possible by a climate of democracy, economic climate and investment climate provided by her domicile in the united states. intel is possible because of the incredible capacity of america to reinvent itself and allow people to live out their dreams. and so the question we have to ask ourselves now is how do we maintain this climate that andy grove was talking about? had we make sure that morecambe mazelike intel invest here.
in a world that is more competitive than ever before, it's our job to make sure america is the best place on the to do business. part of that requires knocking down barriers that stand in the way of the company's growth, which is why a proposed lowering the corporate tax rate in eliminating unnecessary regulations. it also requires getting the fiscal house in order, which is why i proposed a five-year spending freeze that will reduce the deficit by $400 billion. the frisson of premier annual domestic spending to its lowest share of the economy since eisenhower was president. not to relegate our deficit under control, we're going to have to do more. and i want to work with both parties to find additional savings and get rid of excessive spending wherever it exists, defense and income health care
spending, spending in the tax code in the form of loopholes. but even as we have to live within our means, we can't sacrifice investment in our future. if we want the next technological breakthrough that leads to the intel to happen here in the united states, not in china, and i'm in germany, but here in the united states, then we have to invest in america's research and technology in the work of our scientists and engineers. if we want companies like yours to be a will to move goods and information quickly and cheaply, we've got to invest in communication and transportation networks, like new roads and bridges, high-speed rail, high-speed internet. if we want to make sure intel doesn't have to look overseas for a skilled trade workers come and then we've got to invest in our people and our schools, in our colleges and our children. basically if we want to in the
future, america has to out build and out innovate and outhustled the rest of the world. [applause] that's what we've got to do. [laughter] [applause] so today want to focus on one component and that is education. those that want to talk about today. over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. times have changed. used to be if you're willing to work hard you could go to a factory. you may feel it a good job in the last 20 years. provide benefits, decent salary. these days, those jobs are far and few between. many of the jobs that are going to exist in the future that exist now, like the ones here at intel, require proficiency in math and science. and yet today, as many of the
quarter are students aren't even finishing high school. the quality of our map and science education life behind many other nations. as we just heard paul say, companies like intel struggled to hire american workers who have the skills that their needs. so we can't win the future if we lose the race to educate our children, can't do it. in today's economy, the quality of the nation's education is one of the biggest errors of the nation's success. it is what will determine whether the american dream survives. and so is the responsibility of all of us to get this right. parents, teachers, students, workers, business and government we're all going to have to focus on this like a laser. over the past years, my administration guiding
philosophy has been when it comes to reforming our schools, washington shouldn't try to dig it out the answers. what we should be doing is sorting and replicating the success of schools that have figured out a way to raise standards and improve student performance. and so here's what we did. instead of pouring federal money into a system that was over and, we launched the competition. we call the race to the top. all 50 states be said, if you show us the reforms that will lead to real result, will show you the money. race to the top has turned out to be the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. for less than 1% of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 state, 40 to raise their standards for teaching and for learning. and the standards were developed in washington.
they were developed by republican and democratic governors throughout the country. because we know that other than parent, perhaps the biggest impact on child success comes from the man or woman who was hitting -- or standing in front of the classroom. we've also focused a lot on teachers. we want to make teaching another profession in our society. we want to reward good teachers. we want to stop making excuses for bad teachers. over the next 10 years, with so many baby boomers retiring from classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, to elegy, engineering and math, field that would give the students the skills they need for jobs or places like intel. to ensure that higher education is within the reach of every american, we've extended -- we put an end to unwarranted
taxpayer subsidies that used to go to banks. but the statements towards making college more affordable for millions of students. and this year we want to make permanent our tuition tax credit, which is worth tempos sputters for four years of college. finally, to make sure anyone gets trained and prepared for whatever career they pursue, we want to revitalize america's community college. not everybody needs to go to a four-year college. so we've launched a nationwide initiative to graduate than a good job with businesses that need their skills. and we've drawn lessons from intelligent. readers, intel is recognize the value of these partnerships between both businesses. this company understands your success depends on a pipeline of skilled workers who are ready to build high-tech jobs good over the last decade you've invested $50 million to support education in the state of oregon. you started the programs.
that's worth applause. [applause] you started programs that get kids interested in engineering and technology as early as elementary school. he sponsored engineering competitions for poor and underserved high school students. your employees volunteer. you probably here have volunteered as tutors at nearby schools and universe these. you've helped train 7000 oregon teachers over the last 10 years. your science fairs, top searches are some of the largest and most tedious in the world, producing multiple nobel prize winners and i expect some of the students i met will qualify for some of them. [applause]
and we were so grateful that intel was one of the four companies that initially joined our administration nationwide campaign to boost math and science education here in america as part of a new organization called change the equation. so you guys have been pretty busy here at intel. you've given countless student kochanski perceived and for that you should be very proud. ..
if you can spark a student's interest in math or science who would have otherwise drop out, you might not just changing a child's life you may nurture the challenge that discovers the breakthrough that changes this industry for ever. in fact before i came here, i read a story about a young university of oregon graduate, his name is one nabil and he joined intel as an engineer in 1993. after working with so many other employees who had degrees he decided to go back to school and get his phd in chemistry at portland state university. thanks to intel he was able to pay for his degree and keep his full-time job. during that time, intel was
trying to buy a faster more efficient way to process microchips' but nobody could figure it out and asked at least eight other companies and research labs for help. some say it couldn't be done and others worked on a three-year leave the vehicle nearly a year with no success. so they asked him if he wanted to give it a shot. within three days, three days, he came up with a solution that is now saving this company millions of dollars a year, and i will not embarrass myself by trying to explain what his answer was. [laughter] and most of you probably know what works in the week. [laughter] the point is an investment in education paid off in a big way for nabil, for intel, for the millions of workers and consumers who benefited from that discovery. so for all the daunting statistics about our educational failings as a nation and the naysayers predicting america's decline, we've been hearing them
lately, stories like this gives me hope. stories like this give me confidence that america will win the future. we know what works. we know how to succeed, how to do big things. all across this nation, in places just like this one, we have students and teachers, local leaders and company is working together to make it happen. when it comes to competing with other nations for the jobs and industries of the future we are all on the same team. the american team. if we start throwing in the same direction, i promise you there is nothing we cannot achieve. that's what you're proving here at intel and in the schools. [applause] that is what america will for months and years ahead. thank you. god bless you. [applause] ♪
secretary of state hillary clinton today discussed u.s. efforts to get the taliban in afghanistan to sever ties with al qaeda. she describes the three part strategy aimed at bringing about political reconciliation in afghanistan. speaking at the asia society in new york secretary clinton also announced the appointment of retired ambassador mark rose and the special representative for afghanistan and pakistan. he replaces ambassador richard holbrooke who died last december. this is just under an hour. [applause] >> thank you. well, it is wonderful to be back
here at the asia society, and i thank vishakha for that introduction, and for her strong leadership. also to thank jack wadsworth and all the board members and supporters who are here doing what life is very important work, continuing to build ties between people across regions and continents and looking for opportunities to find those points of common concern and common cause. it is always a pleasure to be back here. i tell vishakha that it's mostly because of the gift shop. [laughter] i'm always coming back. i gave my first major speech as she said as secretary of state, and i am so pleased to be back here today to celebrate a new and old and you do to strengthen relationships and understandings and i also want to say a special word of greeting and
acknowledgment to the wonderful partner in life of richard holbrooke and your friend and colleague to so many of us here. if there were ever any fear that i might somehow forget about the asian society, that could not happen with richard holbrooke being sure to remind me at every single term. he never stopped serving as the champion and a promoter for this organization that he loved so much. in it in the days after we lost pritchard, i heard so many stories, many of which made me smile and memory of similar experiences that awfully and others had with richard along the way. one story in particular about the glove marked that he left on this organization involves his time as the chairman of the
society and he was trying to recruit held there in the audience to run the new very exciting china center. orville had a really nice life in northern california. [laughter] he was reluctant. now, if any of you have ever tried holding on richard, you know what a losing a proposition that turns out to be. and richard would have none of his reservations. and in the midst of one intense recruiting session, richard picked up the phone and ordered a private helicopter to whisk himself and orville off to east hampton for an impromptu meeting with a key donor. now, orval, you have to admit, you were really impressed and ended up taking the job and we were all the better for it. but that was just richard being richard. he had a flair for the dramatic to be sure.
but it was far more than theatrics. he understood in every cell of his body that bold action against big ideas can and will change history. after all, he did it for himself, again and again. and that was how richard approached his final mission in afghanistan and pakistan. he called it his toughest assignment. and certainly, the challenges were almost beyond description. and richard was always the first to enumerate them. but he understood the importance of this mission to our national security and to the future of such a critical region of the world. we've made progress, but the tribal areas along the border between afghanistan and pakistan remain the epicenter of the violent extremism that threatens americans' and peace-loving people everywhere.
here in new york, richard's home town, we need no reminder of the stakes. nearly ten years ago al qaeda launched a terrorist attack, planned and prepared in the safe havens of the taliban controlled afghanistan. and it took, tragically, the lives of thousands not only of our fellow citizens, but individuals from across the world. since then, al qaeda and its followers have killed innocent people and encouraged the killing, whether it was in afghanistan and pakistan, madrid, london, bali, or a istanbul. these attacks have served only to steal our results. as president obama said at west point, we did not ask for this fight, but we will surely finish. since that terrible day in 2001,
two successive administrations from different points on the political spectrum have made an enormous commitment of american lives and treasure to pursue the terrorists who attacked us and those who harbor them. and after all that, many americans understandably want to know how we plan to achieve the goals we have set forth. for their part, people in the region -- not just in kabul or is islamabad, but in beijing and moscow, delhi and tehran wonder about america's longer-term intentions and objectives. they want to know if we will walk away again, as we did in 1989 after the soviets withdrew from afghanistan. today i want to answer some of those questions and talk in more detail about a new phase of our diplomatic efforts in
afghanistan. i will be clear right at the start about a few key elements: our adversary, our goal and our strategy. first, our adversary. despite heavy losses, the al qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 retain dangerous capabilities. they continue to plot large scale catastrophic international attacks and to support and inspire regional affiliate's. the united states and our allies remain their principal target. before 2001, al qaeda was protected in taliban kunkel afghanistan. al qaeda and taliban, along with the various associated groups, still maintain an alliance, based largely in the border region between afghanistan and
pakistan. and the taliban continue to wage a brutal insurgency against the government in kabul and an effort to regain control of the country. the taliban and al qaeda are distinct groups with distinctive names, but they are both our adversaries and part of a syndicate of terror that must be broken. after he took office, president obama launched a thorough review of our policy and set out a clear goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda and prevent it from threatening amana and our allies in the future. al qaeda cannot be allowed to maintain its safe haven, protected by the taliban, and to continue plotting attacks while destabilizing nations that have known far too much war. from the tigris to the indus,
the region will never live up to it's full potential until it is free of al qaeda and its creed of violence and hatred. that is an aspiration that should unite every nation. in the pursuit of this goal, we are following a strategy with three mutually reinforcing tracks -- three searches, if you will: a military offensive against al qaeda terrorist stand taliban insurgents, a civilian campaign to bolster the government's and economies and civil societies of afghanistan and pakistan to undercut the poll of the insurgency; and the intensified diplomatic push to bring the afghan conflict to an end and chart a new and more secure future for the region. the first to surges set the table for the success of the feared, which aims to support an afghan led the political process to split the weekend tel dan off
from al qaeda and reconcile those who will renounce violence and accept the afghan constitution with an increasingly still left in government. that would leave al qaeda alone and on the run. since the coup in 2001, after 9/11, i would remind us all, the taliban chose to defy the international community and protect al qaeda. the was the wrong choice, and they have paid a heavy price. today, the escalating pressure of our military campaign is sharpening a similar decision for the taliban: break ties with al qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by the afghan constitution , and you can regional and afghan society; refuse and you will continue to face the consequences of being tied to al qaeda as an enemy of the international community.
they cannot wait us out. they cannot defeat us. and they cannot be escape this choice. all three searches are part of the vision for transition in afghanistan that president obama reaffirmed in his december policy brief you and that nato endorsed in lisbon that the most recent summit. ultimately, afghans must take responsibility for their own future -- for providing security, for strengthening governance, and for reaching a political solution to the conflict. that transition will be formally launched next month, with troop reduction starting in july, and continuing based on conditions on the ground.
it will be completed by the end of 2014. as the transition's proceeds and afghan leadership strengthened across the country, a process of political reconciliation will become increasingly viable. in turn, successful reconciliation will reduce the threat to the afghan government, making the transition more sustainable. crucially, the enduring commitment of the united states, our allies, and our partners will continue to support the stability of the afghan government and the durability of a reasonable political settlement. that is the vision of the transition -- one that is shared by the afghan government -- that we are pursuing. so we have a big challenge with many moving parts. but me go through each serge --
military, civilian, and diplomatic -- and explain how they fit together to advance our larger goals. first the military surge, which sent thousands of additional american and allied troops to the afghanistan to be my safe haven for al qaeda and to break the taliban's momentum. more and better trained afghan security forces are also in the field working side by side with our troops. and we honor the service and sacrifice of all the women and men, from every nation, as well as their civilian colleagues who have put their lives at risk and, all too tragically, for too many, paid with those lives. they are engaged in a very tough fight. but we are in it together. thanks to their efforts, the rapidly deteriorating security
situation and the obama administration inherited in january 2000 mine has begun to stabilize. expanded local security measures at the village level have helped protect vulnerable populations. security has improved in kabul and in key provinces like tallman and kandahar. the momentum of the taliban insurgents has been blunted, and in some places even reversed. now, from the beginning, we have recognized the fundamental connection between our war effort in afghanistan and the extremists safe havens and enablers and pakistan. it is no secret that we have not always seen eye to eye with pakistan on how to deal with these threats or on the future of afghanistan. but as a result of growing cooperation between our governments, not to raise, and law enforcement agencies, and determined action by the pakistani army, we have been able to dramatically expand our counterterrorism and
intelligence efforts. pressure is increasing, on both sides of the border. as a result, the terrorists who attacked us on the 9/11 are under threat like never before. al qaeda's leadership this weekend, it's safe havens in the border regions are smaller and less secure, and its ability to prepare and conduct terrorist operations has been significantly degraded. but make no mistake, al qaeda remains a serious threat, it is finding it tougher to raise money, train recruits and plan attacks outside the region. just as importantly, we have given its taliban allies and sympathizers reason to question the wisdom of their loyalty.
now let me turn to the second track. i know there are some on capitol hill and elsewhere who question whether we need anything more than guns, bombs, and troops to achieve our goals in afghanistan. as our commanders on the ground would be the first to say, however, that is a short-sighted and ultimately self-defeating view. we will never kill enough insurgents to end this war outright. the military campaign must proceed hand-in-hand with a robust civilian effort that helps the afghan government build credibility with its own people come offer alternatives to the insurgency and provide incentives for all afghans to renounce violence and work together towards a better future. that is how insurgencies' end.
and that is why we have matched our military surge with a civilian surged tripled the number of diplomats, and development experts and other specialists on the ground. these efforts are mutually reinforcing and both support the transition process. we now have more than 100,100 civilian experts from nine federal agencies working in afghanistan on everything from an improving agriculture to expanding infrastructure to stemming the drug trade and training afghan civil servants. we also expanded our civilian efforts in pakistan including the through the terri hail lugar berman assistance program, which is funding projects to address pakistan's urgent energy and economic needs. after the devastating floods, we
stepped up with aid and relief, and our strategic dialogue is building habits of cooperation between our governments at every level. now, of course, there are still significant challenges to overcome in our relationship. this trust leaders on both sides and we need to work together carefully to prevent misunderstandings and disagreements from derailing the progress we've made in the past two years. so in both nations, the decision to deploy additional civilian resources is paying dividends, even as we remain determined to work smarter and better at how we deploy these resources. the budget that president obama announced on monday provides the resources our diplomats and development experts need to be effective partners to the military to get the job done.
retreating from the civilian side of the mission -- has some funding proposals currently before congress would do -- would be a grave mistake. now i certainly appreciate the tight budget environment that we find ourselves in. but the fact is that these civilians operations are crucial to our national security. consider the long-term price we have paid as a result of disengaging from afghanistan after 1989. as secretary of defense bob gates told the senate armed services committee just yesterday, we cannot afford to make that mistake again. ..
>> there is no denying the challenges our civilian efforts face in afghanistan. corruption remaining a major problem. fighting fraud and waste is one of our highest priorities. a major focus of the civilian serge is expanding our presence in the field, getting more experts out to provide leadership of our development
projects. we partnered with the military to put in place stronger controls on contractors, and we are working with afghan institutions that we fund directly to help them improve add iting and accountability. as the military surge weakens the insur gents and pressures them to consider alternatives to armed resistance, the civilian surge creates economic and social incentives for participating in a peaceful society. together, the two efforts prepare the ground for a political process which history and experience tell us is the most effective way to end an insurgency, and that brings us to the third track. president obama's policy review emphasized, and i quote, "that our civilian and mir tear efforts -- military efforts must support a
durable and favorable political resolution of the conflict." in 2011, we will intensify our regional diplomacy to enable a political process to promote peace in afghanistan. we are launching a diplomatic serge to move this conflict towards an outcome that shatters the alliance between taliban and al-qaeda, ends the insurgency and produces a more stable afghanistan and a more stable region. now, of course, we had always envisioned richard holbrooke leading this effort. he was an architect of the integrated military, civilian, diplomatic strategy, and we feel his loss so keenly, but richard left us a solid foundation. over the past two years, he
built an exceptional team and a strong working relationship with our allies and regional partners. today i'm pleased to announce the president and i called back to service ambassador mark grossman, a veteran diplomat, and one of richard's most esteemed colleagues as our new special representative for afghanistan and pakistan. his first tour in the foreign service was in pakistan. he knows our allies and understands how to mobilize common action to meet shared challenges. he played a crucial role in the dayton talks, and richard described him in a book that richard wrote as one of the most outstanding career diplomats. ambassador grossman has followed in richard's shoes before when he was secretary of state of european affairs in the 1990s.
i'm confident in his ability to hit the ground running. now, ambassador grossman and his team will martial the full range of resources to support responsible afghan led reconciliation bringing the congress flick to a peaceful conclusion a into actively engage in states in the region and international community to advance that process. as i said, important ground work has already been laid by richard and his team and by the afghans themselves. many low level fighters enter the insurgency not because of ideological commitment, but because they were following the promise of a paycheck. in london last year, the international community pledged financial support for the afghan's government comprehensive program to draw them off the battlefield and back into society.
as military pressure escalates, more insurgents will look for alternatives to violence and not just low level fighters. both we and the afghans believe the security and government gains produced by the military serges from created an opportunity to get serious about a responsible reconconciliation process led by afghans and supported by intense regional diplomacy and strong u.s. backing. such a process would have to be accepted by all of afghanistan's major ethnic and political blocks. for this to work, everyone has to feel they have a stake in the outcome and a responsibility for achieving it. president karzai made a good start by convening a broad-based peace solution that set out a framework for reconciliation. he then formed a high peace
counsel that includes representatives from across afghanistan. counsel leaders are holding meetings in key provinces throughout the country with tribal leaders, civil society, witch, and villagers to hear their hopes and concerns for a reconciliation process. they are working to form local counsels to begin engaging the insurgents and the broader community. united states supports this afghan effort. over the past two years, we have laid out our unambiguous rowed lines for reconciliation with the insurgents. they must renounce violence. they must abandon their alliance with al-qaeda, and they must abide by the constitution of afghanistan. those are necessary outcomes of any negotiation. this is the price for reaching a political resolution and bringing an end to the military actions that are targeting their
leadership and decimating their ranks. if former militants are willing to meet these red lines, they would then be able to participate in the political life of the country under their constitution. now, i know that reconciling with an adversary can be as brutal as the taliban sounds distasteful or unimaginable. diplomacy would be a lot easier if we only had to talk to our friends, but that is not how one makes peace. president reagan understood that sitting down with the soviets, and richard holbrooke made this his life's work. he negotiated face to face and ended a war. it won't be easy. old adversaries need to see their own self-interest lies in setting aside their grievances. taliban militants have to decide
they are better off working within the afghan political system rather than fighting a losing struggle alongside al-qaeda in bombed out caves. the afghan government must be prepared to be more inclusive and more accountable. all parties will have to commit to a pluralistic system that respects the human rights of every afghan. the united states is committed to helping after gain defend those rights. we will not abandon our values or support a political process that undoes the social progress the social progress made in the past decade. the afghan government needs to safeguard the rights of all afghans especially women and minorities. i know firsthand from what happened in the northern ireland and other places recovering from
conflict that the participation of women and civil society groups will be social to building a just and lasting peace. the united states supports the participation of women at all levels of the reconciliation process because we believe the potential for sustainable peace will be subverted if women are silenced or marginalized. afghan women made significant contributions to the peace. they must continue to be a part of the high peace counsel, and they have an important role to play if genuine reconciliation will take root. recon silluation, achieving it and maintaining it fends on the participation and support of afghan's neighbors including and most importantly pakistan. let me be blunt. we all need to be on the same
page for this to work whether we live in trouble or washington -- kabul or washington, we need to share a common vision for the future, a vision of a stable, independent afghanistan rid of insurgency and conflicts fought by neighboring state, a vision of a region free from al-qaeda. as we have underscored from the beginning, pakistan plays a pivotal role. it is a nuclear armed nation of nearly 170 million people with deep ties and strong interests in afghanistan. it was with pakistan that the united states and other countries supported the afghan people in their fight against the soviet occupation in the 1980s, and pakistan continues to host thousands of refugees from the current conflict.
unfortunately, the historic distrust between pakistan and afghanistan remains a major cause of regional instability and does not serve the long term interest of the people of either country. pakistan has legitimate concerns that should be understood and addressed by the afghan government under any reconciliation process with steps that provide transparency and reassurance, but pakistan also has responsibilities of its own including taking decisive steps to ensure that the afghan taliban cannot continue to conduct the insurgency from pakistani territory. pressure from the pakistani side will help push the taliban towards the negotiating table and away from al-qaeda. for reconciliation to succeed, pakistan will have to be part of
the process. it will have to respect afghan's sovereignty and work with afghanistan to improve regional stability. we know cooperation is possible. just last month, afghanistan and pakistan took a huge step forward with formal radification of a long awaited transit trade agreement which will boost economic opportunity on both sides of the border by opening new markets and trade routes for afghan and pakistani goods. this was one of richard's proudest accomplishments because it had been in negotiation since the early 1960s. expanding this cooperation to security issues including reconciliation is in the interest of both nations and will be a focus of the diplomatic efforts going forward. beyond pakistan, all of afghanistan's neighbors and near neighbors, india, iran, russia,
china, the central-asian states, stand to benefit from a responsible political settlement in afghanistan, and also an end to al-qaeda's safe hains in the border areas and the exporting of extremism into their countries. that would reduce the terrorist and narcotics threat to their own citizens, create new opportunities for commerce, and ease the free flow of energy and resources throughout the region. it could also help move other regional conflicts towards peaceful resolution. indeed, we are encouraged by news that india and pakistan are relaunching a dialogue aimed at building trust, and we encourage them to work in that same spirit to support a political process in afghanistan. we look to them and all of afghanistan's neighbors to respect afghanistan's sovereignty which means agreeing
not to play out rivalries within its borders and to support reconciliation efforts to ensure that al-qaeda and the syndicate of terrorism is denied safe haven everywhere. afghanistan, in turn, must not allow its territory to be used against others. the united states will intensify our efforts to build broad international support for afghan reconciliation. in early march, we will meet in saudi arabia with our partners in the international contact group hosted by the organization of the islamic conference. the contact group which richard worked hard to build brings together more than 40 countries and international organizations including a growing number of muslim majority nations. the afghan leaders of the high peace counsel will join us and review efforts towards reconciliation.
nato ministers will convene in paris a few days later to review transition planning. we are also preparing for a conference in germany later this year for the 10th anniversary of the bond conference which we hope will be an important milestone in the political process. as this work proceeds, united states will relentlessly pursue al-qaeda and those taliban who refuse to denounce violence while working to maintain security and government on the ground. again, the afghan taliban have a clear choice. be part of afghanistan's future or face up relenting assault. for reconciliation to take hold, for it to be irreversible, afghanistan's government will need to provide security to all its people. for the united states and our allies, we will continue training, advising, and
assisting afghan forces. we are working with president karzai to implement a responsible transition to afghan leadership that will begin in the coming weeks. in july, we will begin to reduce the number of troops based on conditions on the ground. transition to afghan leadership will be complete by the end of the 2014. we think this provides the afghan government the time and space is needs to build up security forces, ministries, and institutions to make peace durable and sustainable. just as importantly, a political process that takes insur gents off the battlefield, makes it easier for our troops to hand over for afghans to proceed. we have been clear this transition does not mark the end of our commitment to the people of the region.
nato has pledged an enduring military and financial commitment to afghanistan that will extend beyond the completion of transition in 2014. at the request of the afghan government, united states will launch negotiations on a new strategic partnership declare ration. it will provide a long term framework for our bilateral cooperation in the areas of security, economic, and social development and institution building. this new partnership will complement our ongoing strategic dialogue with pakistan. the development of these relationships along with our deepening with key neighbors are crucial to providing stability and confidence in the region. the united states will always maintain the capability to protect our people and our interest, but in no way should
our enduring commitment be miss understood as they desire by america or our allies to occupy afghanistan against the will of its people. we respect afghan's proud history to resistance of foreign occupation, and we do not seek any permanent american military bases in their country or a presence that would be a threat to any of afghanistan's neighbors. the united states is not walking away from the region. we will not repeat the mistakes of the past. our commitment is real, and it is enduring. for all that america is ready to do and for all the work of the international community, the people and leaders of the region are ultimately responsible for their own futures. pakistanis are tired of terror and turmoil.
afghans have suffered through three decades of war. the leaders of both nations in and out of government have not done enough to chart a different course. despite steps by the government over the past two years, pakistan's public finances remain in disarray. energy shortages are hampering economic growth and causing political and social instability. routine suicide bombings including last week's tragic murders of 31 innocents by a so-called schoolboy suicide bomber underscore the continued threats of violent extremism, and shocking, unjustified, anti-americanism will not resolve these problems. america stands ready to assist pakistan's leaders in addressing these challenges.
they have already enacted some reforms aimed at stabilizing the economy. the test will be in how they are implemented, supported, and expanded. pakistan's leaders still have a lot to do to reduce corruption, rebuild from last summer's floods, and to keep making progress in eliminating extremists and their sanctuaries. the afghan people also expect their government to present a positive vision for the future. president karzai's stated commitment to enhance transparency and prove basic services and reduce corruption is a start, but his people will look for deeds to match the words. they will look for strong and independent democratic institutions like the courts and lock tore rail -- electoral bodies to ensure rights, and they will look for
results that make a difference in their lives. leaders in both nations will have to decide what kind of future they want for their children and grandchildren to inherit. what that future will look like depends on the success of the political and diplomatic process i have described today. so long as leaders and kabul and islambad eye each other with distrust, so long the taliban has safe havens from which to wage war, so long al-qaeda operates anywhere in the region, the prospects for progress are slim. last month in -- well, two months ago in december, before the protests began in tiew knee sha and egypt, i warned the foundations were sinking into the sand. in afghanistan and pakistan, conflict is blasting the
foundations apart, brick by brick. reconciliation and reform offer another way. south asia is home to nearly 1.5 billion people. they are talented, hard working, rich in culture, and blessed with entrepreneurial spirit. if they can move beyond their conflicts and cooperate to seize the opportunities of the 21st century, there are no limits as to what they can achieve. our friend, richard holbrooke, leaved a better friewch is possible for afghanistan, pakistan, and the wider region. he once observed, "in every war of this sort, there's always a window for people who want to come in from the cold if they are willing to accept the red lines and come in. there has to be a place for
them." those were his words, and that is the policy of the united states. it may not produce peace tomorrow or the next day, but it does offer our best chance. it offers especially the best chance for the people of afghanistan and pakistan who so richly deserve a different future. the united states will be there as a partner to help them achieve that if that is the path they choose. thank you, all, very much. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause]
[applause] >> i don't have to say anything. the truth of the matter is what a comprehensive, clear-eyed amazing speech that's going to be quoted all over the world, so please on behalf of the family, thank you. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> today the u.s. institute of peace released a report on ending the war in afghanistan. it was written by a former u.n. official who is now an independent analyst working in afghanistan. we'll hear from the author and former afghan interior officer on the report's finding at this two hour event in washington.
>> i think we should get going. for the topic on hand in making peace in afghanistan, i think it's a sufficiently important one that we need as much time as possible to be talking on the substance of those issues, but thank you all very much for coming, and thanks to our panelists for coming. i personally see this issue of the political strategy in afghanistan as one of the most critical issues facing certainly the u.s., but also afghanistan and critical issue to which i think we have a lot of -- which is gaining recognition of the importance, but i think we are still lacking a lot of answers and clarity about how to go forward. i was last in afghanistan in november, and every time a go, i come back even more confused about the situation and in particular, confused about what is our overarching clinical strategy in afghanistan? that we are sending roughly $100
billion a year today, present in afghanistan on the military and development in particular, but still a lot of questions about to what end in terms of our political objectives, so i'm hoping in today's discussion we can touch on those issues. i think this is a particularly important issue especially now as we're heading into this transition period of transitioning over to afghan security lead by the end of 2014. i think that really -- i think it highlights the needs for political process i think because if we currently are with 140,000 international troops in afghanistan are really struggling in terms of defeating the taliban, that insurgency, it's hard to see how they're going to be defeated militarily as we start transitioning the troop levelings out. the urgent need to focus on
that. we are seeing attention on this in afghanistan. i think the president karzai of the high peace counsel last year of a gesture on the issue, however, there's a lot of questionings about the substance of the high peace counsel which hopefully we can touch on today. there's lots of rumors and discussions of contacts last fall with taliban and fake taliban and talks about talks do not make strategy. i hope those come out in today's discussion. given the importance of this topic is really my honor to introduce the pammists today to bring a lot of expertise on the issues. each panelist has 15 minutes to speak, and we'll start with the author of the excellent new report that usip put out which i hope you get a chance to read, making peace in afghanistan, the missing political strategy, the
topic of today's conversation. she was the head of the formal analysis and planning at the united nations assistance mission in afghanistan, but is currently working out of oxford for the european peace initiative on interventions and state building. prior to working there, she had extensive experience with peacemaking and served as the senior adviser and former finnish president and supporting work in northern ireland. she worked within the bull cans and holds a degree from the london school of economics and harvard university. the second speaker a minister ali. weaver privileged to have him, the dwibbed preference at the southeast asia center at the national defense university and formally served as the interior
minister in afghanistan from 2002 until 2005. prior to that, he has lots of experience in counter up surgeon sighs as he was quite active as military planner in the afghan resistance and prior to that, served as a colonel in the afghan army. he graduated from high command and staffed colleges in afghanistan, the united kingdom, and the u.s., and is author of a number of books on the situation in afghanistan. our third panelist is dr. nixon who is currently conducting a study of at the university doing research on the whole issue of how do we have issues around the durable peace in afghanistan and particularly mapping out the particular afghan parties.
he will speak briefly about the findings from his research. he spent five years in kabul, worked for the world bank, and prior to that, the honor of being a colleague of him when he was leading some of the subnational government work when i was director of the afghanistan research and evaluation unit in afghanistan. he has extensive experience in conflict government and transition elections and peacemaking and holds a ph.d. in peace processes and post conflict political development from oxford. last but not least, honored to welcome dr. christian byrd, peace institute research and includes the dynamics of civil war, my grigs of civil communities and difficult context. he has experience working in
afghanistan and it the author of the social network's immigration in wartime afghanistan and has a ph.d. in sociology. this is an excellent group of panelists, and looking forward to what you have to say on this very important topic. over to you. >> thanks for coming today. as a president preface, i started in afghanistan in 2005 for the first time and felt there was a lot of hope, there were a lot of things that seemed could go right, and i was working down in helmand at the time, and since then i've had to revise all of my views on what we, the international community, can do in afghanistan. i'd just like to start by saying
i find it hadder and harder to see oh the current strategy could be made to work. we've got a military surge, but the insurgency has been spreading from the south and east to provinces which used not to be the ground for insurgency. those continue in pakistan of the there's a ten-fold increase of taliban fighters since 2005. what i first estimated when i was out there was about 2,000-3,000 fightser. we're up to 35,000, and some analysts suggest a much higher number of than 35,000. there was also vast amount of money that had been spent, and the pressure to spend that money quickly has resulted in a war in a economy that in itself, i think, is fueling some of the rivalries and some of the
conflicts from the ground, so the massive conflict is becoming much more messy. it's about government and localized conflicts that are unclear in the bigger picture. there's a whole industry that has grown up around our foreign aide. there's extortion. there is corruption that plagues the construction and the logistics and private security contracts, and there's many reports written about these things. there's networks of powerful local, strong men, like ahmad karzai who are dominating this new world economy. this massive spending comes at the same time transparency international named afghanistan the most corrupt country in the world after somalia, so what
we're seeing at the most visible level is the merging of politics in the economy in things like the kabul bank scandal, the most visible symbol of this kind of corruption. out of the mismanagement, out of the unguaranteed loans given to politically connected individuals, there's a risk that 579 million, at least, are in jeopardy. the entire financial sector including now the withdrawal, potential withdrawal of the imf deals. politically, we're humbled by presidents who seem increasingly legitimate about the population. just referring to the 2009, 2010 elections, the cycle of elections for this last parliamentary election is not yet over. he's also prone to lashing out at the international community for what we're trying to do, and
those fundamental disagreements hurt the strategy, and the lack of trust goes both ways. there's a transition time set in lisbon and that's a time for 2014 which is obviously by any standard to short of time for a modern democratic state to emerge, and even if it was a lightened leadership, it would not be possible in that timeline to create a strong central state that provides security and justice for all the people. so, what's the answer? i would say in 2005, i would have argued it's strategic patience. we just have to stay longer, stay the course, and think about decades long commitment in afghanistan which may still be correct, but i think the question now is to do what? certainly, i wouldn't advocate doing the same as what we're
doing now for the next 30-40 years. if we're doing the wrong thing, then we just are heading in that same wrong direction for a very long time. what i argue is what is missing is a political strategy, and this suggestion that there need to be talks to end this war has started to become more respectable in recent months. there are press reports for preliminary talks in afghanistan, the high peace counsel appointed by karzai. these are not political strategies. i emphasize. they do show that the debate may be shifting though. last year when i was around washington this time of year pushing the peace process, most people seemed very skeptical. there was feeling that there was a winning strategy that obama had launched. there were lots of smart people
working on it, substantial resources, finally, the military had the troops it needed, and one so-called expert who was advising and creating and crafting this latest effort told me that after the change, everything would be different of the there's a sense that a military victory was still possible, and, yeah k i think the tone has fundamentally shifted since then. there's a recognition that some process is needed although policy has yet to catch up, and i think that's, that's clear in a number of key areas, and iefd like to touch a little bit on the current military strategy. now, a key is pointing to success and a number of mid level commanders who have been killed. there's articles coming out about the night raids that
special forces operations, and they've clearly intensified since general petraeus took over the command in the summer. in the first half of 2010, there were 130 important figures captured or killed. in the second half of the year, there were three times that many, so targeting those mid-level commanders is certainly fragmenting the insurgency, but i just put a question mark on what else it might be doing. i think there's some evidence that it's also generating a new generation of commanders who are younger, more radicalized, and so they are no longer responsive to the traditional authorities in their areas, and one example is the haqani network and the
son is much less respectful of local and tribal authorities. this may make it harder for the taliban leadership to actually enforce a peace deal. now, i can't go into a lot of the data for that, but there's a book coming up my felix coon in april or may. they are two analysts tracking this issue of how is the insurgency developing, and they have a lot of data supporting the conclusions that there is quite a dangerous new local atonmy developing. now, general petraeus disagrees with this view of the military campaign i presented, and he speaks of impressive progress. he also highlights cases where taliban fighters come over to
the government's side as part of the reintegration program. there's said to be 900 excome baptings involved in the program, and a vast majority of them come from president karzai vineses in the central and northern parts of afghanistanings away from the heavy -- afghanistan, i away from the heavy fighting. it's hard to say where it's going, but i say the hard core taliban is not tantalized by this offer. it may not be a productive debate to engage in. the military have asserted that negotiations should be only conducted from a position of strength, and if they now claim to be making impressive progress, i think we should be asking the question of them, does that not mean that it's time to start negotiating? the realities, of course, that the fighting and the talking will go on for a long time in parallel, and i think everyone
knows northern ireland in making this case, and we're the first channels established in peace were in 1972 for peace talks. careful, low level unofficial channels, and the good fighter agreement was signed 5 years later in 1997. that would be my first proposition that talks need to start now and preparations for talkings needs to start sooner. there are generals, but there what i can see, they don't yet amount from talks. what should a political surgeon sigh look like? i think we should be also careful about talking about solutions. i'm not sure there are solutions as such we'll get to, but talks in themselves have value in building the trust, building the confidence, creating stability. i think there's several layers
on which those talks need to happen and several different groups, circles of people who need to be involved in them to create that poarnl stabilizing effect. a peace agreement that results in a state that afghans are willing to live in and neighbors will endorse is ultimately where we need to be heading. the agenda needs to be somehow tailored to that, to understanding the grievances of afghans, to try to understand what the taliban wish list might be, and then, of course, understanding the core principles that can't be negotiated away, things like what makes an afghan state comfortable to neighbors? sovereignty, it lives up to the international obligations, but won't allow a third power to use it as a base to attack its neighbors. now, so far there's been very
limit of the -- if we talk about the different circles, the consultations of the afghans themselves, of the broader population. afghans are nervous about talks, and rightly so. they kept in the family. they are involved in various initiatives. there's the high peace counsel which is many think, and the taliban thinks it's a fake process designed to keep the northern alliance war lords on board. the taliban have renounced this high peace counsel in the leadership and talk about the peace of the reintegration processes as another way for the government to cash in on the foreigners. there's oppositions in various ways from the northerners, women rights groups, human rights activists, and factionalism in the army which we need to be careful of in this context.
there's generals who could probably, if there's a deal that is creating factionist would walk away with their troops. it's crucial to open up the political space, to build consultations, and there should be debate within the afghan society about what kind of positions are acceptable. now, some of the popular grievances are there. there's some indications of what the the taliban think although we don't really know. there's various people who have written about it. he's not a member -- he doesn't
represent the taliban, he's a former taliban ambassador to pakistan, but maybe some of these things would give indication. i want to run through some of the taliban's wish list. now, the taliban would fully want to be recognized as a political movement. secondly, there's an interest in the release of prisoners from guantanamo and other prisoners. thirdly, they are looking for a cease fire by all sides, the withdrawal of foreign troops, and an interest in more islamic state. on the other hand, what we could imagine asking them would be being more explicit about renouncing al-qaeda which they do privately disassociate themselves from the jihad
agenda. also a comiment about sovereignty of afghanistan rather than some kind of merger with pakistan. a commitment to different ethnic groups in participating power. these are some of the things that the taliban are about which is not totally clear. i could imagine a formula for the way ahead, and so one of the sort of end states that i could imagine would be the withdrawal of all foreign forces. that means al-qaeda, any forces operating on afghan soil, and getting there would be through some kind of series of confidence-building measures. time allotted cease fires, localized cease fires, changes in the rule of engagements agreed to by the warring parties, and that requires an office for the taliban somewhere so they can be party too talking
about what the next stages are. there would be no preconditions for talking. so far we talked about red lines. red lines are not helpful if we're talking about talks. the red lines are probably things that in the end become the outcomes of the conversation, so al-qaeda out is not a precondition for taliban. it should be a precondition of a final peace agreement, and similarly, the constitutional issues that might be there and may not be something we want to insist on that there needs to be an agreed constitution at the end of the process. just to come to my final points about who should be at the table, i think we need to make sure that everyone currently engaged at the conflict is at the table. they can't negotiate without the
united states. there are issues that they simply can't represent in relation to the taliban or anyone else. there needs to be a preparation of the various parties. there's no internal clarity i can see yet in the u.s. although there's conversations happening. the afghan government, there's too many interests in the conflict, and there needs to be a preparation on their side on what is it they are negotiating. the afghan civil society needs to be a real representation in the process rather than a token appreciation. there's a taliban, and it's unclear how much discussion there is. is there a shore off position forming or just a few different voices coming out. pakistan which is -- well, internal destablization continues, economic crisis, how much real effort is going into defining a platform is unclear,
and then who mediates? i think there's a confusion ongoing where we talk about the afghannization of the talks process. it's a party for the conflict, and i've never seen a conflict when the successful negotiated resolution where one of the parties of the conflicts is the one who sets up the peace process, so i do think there's a third party mediation process, and here is where the international community ought to take a stronger and clearer role. it could be the u.n.. it probably could not be on the ground which there's a mandate to support the government, but the u.n. might be the right body. there might be some other body, someone from the islamic world could be preferable, and so starting to set up the process is crucial, and also understanding a peaceful
settlement is not so much working through the technicalities, but creating a narrative that allows all the different parties, the u.s., taliban, and others to save face and to come out of this with no one deceited and no one winning, but with something that's lasting and durable for peace in afghanistan. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, and good morning. taking this to change to thank the usip on organizing this discussion on a very important
issue. i agree with meena that the situation in afghanistan looks confusing. next, this last year i made seven visits to afghanistan, and ever time i came back with a different picture of the country because things are changing. on the one hand, you see improvements, progress. on the other hand, the situation is deteriorating, so the balance sheet is very complex. now, this next year is the key to the future of afghanistan whether the progress and achievements will create the negative impact of setbacks or setbacks will actually produce the impact of whatever progress
you see today in afghanistan. as i was reading the report on making peace in afghanistan, i was struck by the emphasis of the author on the need for political strategy that goes beyond talking to taliban, but must define the state that afghans are willing to live in and neighbors can endorse it. i feel i fully agree with that and have written and spoken in support of this idea over the last year. in fact, i agree with most of the arguments presented in the study in its recommendations, however, i have some reservations about how to proceed towards creating a social, political, and security environment that is conducive to success of the political strategy that she's supporting. we should also recognize that
the regional actors could be solutions and obstacles to the problems. i'll structure my brief under three main issues. the role of military strategy in shaping that kind of environment, the second, comprehensive political statute, and finally, the role of regional actors. although there's no military solution to the conflict, one can lose literally. a political strategy of negotiation is not an alternative approach, but a complementing effort. there is an ongoing debate whether negotiating of the taliban should be adopted as a political strategy around which military studies define as preferred by some european
countries or the military effort should be the strategy of choice to produce gains on the battlefield and force the taliban to the negotiating table. in the first case, the pace of troop withdrawal would be determined by the progress in talks by the taliban. in the latter case, the pace of progress in talks would be determined by the progress on the battlefield. these two strategies are not mutually exclusive. there's a close link between them as long as they are drawn as the centerpiece of strategic approach. the taliban and their supporters are not going to have any incentive to negotiate if they see that they can gain more by continuing the fighting.
meanwhile, without taking advantage of military gains to win conditions for talks, the peace will continue to be illusive. historically, negotiated ends of insurgencies have all taken an extended amount of time, and as meena referred to it, in conductive parallel with combat. so either strategy talks and fighting are likely to go on simultaneously for some time until an environment conducive of such settlement is created. next month, the march the 1st, want to begin taking over security responsibility for important population centers. most likely, it will start in the northeast.
the final visions that afghanistan national security forces will aseem full responsibility for security across the country by 2014. now, there are three major questions. first, what are the chances of success? this is the 10th year of u.s.-led military involved in afghanistan and the security situation has continued to deteriorate. second, what is the basis of expectation that the country will stabilize by 2014 to the point that will allow a responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from the country? third, what is the vision and what are the ways and means to achieve this? what we have to be clear first is it's a ten year war in afghanistan. we started war and continues for 10 years.
for the past more than 9 years, resource and coordinated state building and stablization effort failed to chip the growing insecurity environments that peaked this year at the highest level since the removal of taliban in power since 2001. actually's taliban's work defeated from power and left in tact, so when we call a victory in 2001, was it a victory? the every-increasing complexity of the operation environment is perplexed. african government is with the government of any unified vision where the nation and its people. all parties have approachedded the e menching issues in coordinated ways with operation on every front being fragmented reactions to events rather than strategic undertaking to support
long term goals. an american warrior of the vietnam war, john paul rand. we didn't fight the war for 1 years, but one year plus times. the same can be said in afghanistan today where they have fought a nine, one year war, and if you milt ply that by the actors in afghanistan, it's over 20 wars in the past nine years, uncoordinated. now, 2009, look, now is the first time in the postal ban period that sufficient resources are available and that there is a sound strategy by nato forces to reverse the moe money temperature, but also to build capacity in afghanistan to take
ownership and leadership of the building in the stablization operations. .. operations. counterinsurgency. what i think there ought to be, that strategy started to employment. there were calls for a change of strategy. the surge that took place, 35 or more troops, actually, they were deployed only at the end of summer of last year. it has not been even a year since the strategy actually started implementation perrysburg changing the strategy into something else. if you look at the transition adopted by london and continued through the process it is based
on two major things. on the one hand try something to reduce the level of threat and on the one hand do something to create the capacity to respond. that should be done at the same time. so building capacity, a conservation but the effort of insurgents, at the same time trying to get support of the regional actors. these data parameters of a military strategy. it is it time to think about a different strategy? well, maybe. but at the same time the actions of comprehensive political strategy golan with this military strategy. there are, however, confusions inside afghanistan and the region about the parameters of
political strategy. the scope of political strategy by an overemphasis on talking to the insurgents as the key to peace. negotiation with the insurgents. the end is a peace settlement that is supported by all parties. a settlement which is sustainable and does not so the seeds of conflict. it should address grievances that fuel corruption, and justice, political exclusion. such a settlement is not just about a deal with taliban or even the supporters within pakistan. the settlement should clearly define and in date. the afghans are willing to
support and the original actors and others who are involved too comfortable with. behind there is a potential with the country's leaders and could be very divisive. during the past years there were talks going on that only a few people knew about. we are talking about the debates. okay. the karzai government and his family was reaching out to some taliban people. your talks at different levels in afghanistan are going on for the past nine years at different levels. local levels for different purposes. afghan talk with each other. so therefore it is not talked with individuals or local issues. talks for the in the state is
not happening in afghanistan, not at the afghan level, not with the political parties, not with even the international community, the reports about un officials talking with taliban or you in officials and other countries. these are not talks. i think if you are looking for talks that will end and peaceful the solution i will come back. the public trust with the kabul government is deepening suspicions among the afghan forces and require a multilevel negotiation be part of any strategy. there are many people that the karzai government is not looking at. what does legitimacy in afghanistan? it does not come from the ballot
box. the election. legitimacy is derived. if the karzai government becomes effective nobody will talk. otherwise an environment like afghanistan, you cannot hold elections. at think in 2003 to people were against elections in 2004. elections, first to have to build the institutions, the rule of law. election because the playground. the affair. we are talking about the corruption. without the rule of law the free-market economy becomes a playground for mafia. so when i was covering central asia in the 1990's and 2000's
after the breakup of the soviet union, when we talk about corruption we have to realize that most of this corruption was caused by the way the international community deals with afghanistan. so in 1980's when seven factions are fighting the soviet occupation and it was supported by countries with no accountability at all, the same way. in 2001 but by the most corrupt people who were the reason that the taliban came and listed as partners. so if you have to change that environment. corruption after lotus risk activity in a high-risk environment. you need to reverse it.
so this is how you have to create that environment. in afghanistan it will eventually be conflict resolution process. the diverse or diffuse fighting for different reasons. i share the concern of some colleagues. okay. the taliban commanders is : to create a new generation. afghanistan society, the old generation and the young generation. it is all mixed. they fight for different reasons. the taliban commanders, they will come. maybe they are more radical are not. it was to atomized to
disintegrate. it was ethically to intertwined to compartmentalize. so it does not have the kind of potential to disintegrate. now, let me talk briefly since i am running out of time about the rule of regional actors. the regional powers can be both obstacle and solution to the country's problem. progress requires stability in afghanistan as an extension of other nations. what are the main things that can be the policies of neighbors. there are two things. the so-called legitimate security concerns, opportunistic
and the strategy. the two other things, the opportunistic and hedging strategies can be addressed if you achieve a certain level of stability unless there is a certain level of stability in afghanistan neighboring countries will continue to try to influence the situation in afghanistan. the strategies will be the strategy of choice. and then security concerns. these are things that should be. what is the lowest common
denominator? we have discussed it. talks within afghanistan and pakistan on a bilateral basis. there are several meetings about this. one is the university. that is a kind of the consolation, reintegration and construction. this brings together the strategic studies centers of afghanistan, pakistan, iran, china, russia, central asian countries, turkey, the u.s., and others. there have been several meetings in the past one year. then there is the meeting about
the process within afghanistan, but all these discussions cannot achieve the in better understanding. it was also complemented by two other things, bilateral and official diplomacy. at the same time a kind of a change of perception that afghanistan eventually will be able to stabilize itself. i will stop here and i will be happy to take questions. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> good morning. thank you for coming, and i want to thank minna järvanpaä for her
hard work and writing the paper, but also recognize all the work that went behind the paper to advance the concept that a discussion with a wide range of stakeholders of many different options is needed to move as and afghanistan toward a peaceful and durable political settlement. thank you, professor at ali jalali, for your insights both written and spoken over the years that have motivated me and to usip for holding this event. the way the three partners i am working with on this project are trying to take forward this agenda about a political process has focused on a limited area which is the drivers of conflict within afghanistan understanding better the interests involved with in the country and exploring the parameters of potential durable solutions to those issues. it is always important to stress
that there are a host of international, regional, and transborder issues that are very important, in some ways may be determinant. but the internal elements increase the vulnerability of afghan state and society to these factors. these need to be addressed if any settlement is calling to be durable and therefore provide a longer-term solution for the national security interest of the united states, other involved countries, and one that does not simply the ground for future crises. in order to learn a bit more about these issues we have been carrying out interviews with a wide range of afghan stakeholders. one of the things we have learned is it is not necessarily the most forceful approach to divide afghanistans actors into predetermined interest groups. the influence of the old wood had been leaders is waning and changing to new figures, new economic actors that are
emerging and combining with the political elite, tribal leaders are becoming security actors. civil society and women's rights activists can also be combined with ethnic politics and patronage as well. there are broad contours to the discussion about the possibilities of a negotiated peace within afghanistan that i want to describe in a very preliminary way. just to give you a sense, we have been working with a pool of 110 interviews which conclude around 35 or 40 mps who are incoming or outgoing, sometimes we don't know which. the ten members of the executive, mostly ministers, but also other officials involved in the national-security apparatus and government of afghanistan, ten members of the high peace council, half a dozen or so former or current governors of provinces in afghanistan, several, about sex, former taliban leaders.
another five or six former commanders. a small number of current taliban commanders including active commanders in the insurgency. representatives of civil society and human rights organizations. these categories, as i say, overlap. at least 15 afghan academics, policy analysts and media figures, and also business figures. there are a few areas where we need to go further and get further representation of melody institutions. so that is a sense of what we are doing. we have been doing that a lot ourselves with a group of very capable yang analysts. one is here today, and he may be able to shed light on some of that as well. of want to just touch on five things that come from this discussion as well as the of the conclusions from the frequent research trips i have been
making to afghanistan. the first is that the drivers of the conflict are widely perceived to be changing and becoming more and more centered on domestic issues. again, this is not to say that people don't speak about pakistan. they speak a great deal about pakistan, but also increasingly about iran. this has elements of current events that are driving the discourse. many afghan leaders are increasingly asking why we are so vulnerable to these factors. there are really to drivers of the conflict domestically within afghanistan. both of these have very localized manifestations. again, one is the presence and the behavior of foreign forces and the role of the u.s. within that. the other is the weakness and abuse or corruption of the government and various forms.
i will build on that point by expanding on what we are hearing about both of those. first, and terms of the military effort and the u.s. role and the presence of foreign forces it is pretty much unanimous. out of 65 interviews that i have looked at, only one suggests that the u.s. should not be directly involved in the negotiated solution to the conflict. one out of 65. it is a very, very broad theme that as a man player to this conflict, one which is paying the huge costs and of blood and treasure of supporting the afghan government and fighting the war the u.s. obviously has interests that want to preserve or pursue in afghanistan. there is also a recognition among a lot of afghan leaders and stakeholders that those interests are not necessarily centered on bringing peace to afghanistan or upholding the rights of afghans or bringing democracy to afghanistan but a
centered on other issues. those goals and what they really are remain very opaque to almost everyone at all levels of afghan society that we and spoken to. this feeds the well-known speculations and conspiracies that all of us to work on afghanistan are aware of. these create realities on the ground, not just rumors, but the fabric of politics. there is a huge communication gap regardless of what the strategy is. many speak of the need for the u.s. to communicate more directly to the people of afghanistan themselves as well as potentially to the taliban. beyond polls there is the actions. the actions of the u.s. and the strategy which has been discussed by both speakers and creating a gap between the reality on the ground and the rhetoric of the government about
its pursuit of peace through reconciliation and the use of the high peace council or whatever other aspects they're trying to put in place. there are a range of views, predictably, about that. there are many who support the escalation of the military strategy right along the spectrum to those who call for an immediate the escalation and with the -- withdrawal. the point here is the ambiguity over both the long term strategic partnership between the u.s. and afghanistan and the terms of the shorter-term drawdown is creating a situation where not knowing the framework the u.s. applies to this conflict these people very uncertain as to the likely course of events. this is feeding a range of conflict reducing behavior's deepening the political discourse, more looting forms of corruption, reliance on local
defense imperatives and all kinds of other actions that the parties domestically are taking to the conflict. so that is on the foreign forces u.s. side. in terms of government weakness there are a huge range of issues that come up here. there is an interesting focus that for me was quite different from the way i had thought about corruption and government weakness previously. there is a general sense that the concentration of power in the afghan system currently is related to the problem of nepotism and unfair appointments. people focus on that much more than necessarily the theft of money for different kinds of problems in getting predictable institutions and speak a lot about the representation of various groups in state structure. this is not a new issue, but i think it is deepening and linking up with a more emphasized interpretation of the
conflict by a lot of groups. obviously that is of deep concern and potentially is an issue where some expressed concern that the taliban come to be seen as representing passed in interests which would be a dangerous turn. there is an interesting side note here and which many people also talk about the deepening underrepresentation, and people talk about this from all sides. i can tell you, it is not that one group feels this all leaders in all groups who use an ethnic discourse talk about this problem. they talk about it also in terms of their current leaders not been able to represent those interests. they talk about it with this concern i just mentioned of not making the taliban the representatives. so it is more about the groups and about the rights of those groups being preserved than it
is about returning to the old leaders who claim to represent the scripts but, in fact, have much reduced legitimacy among them, it would seem. there is also a kind of interesting range of how people talk about whether the problem is the institutions of the state or the individuals. this is interesting because it relates to the issue of the constitution as a sensitive issue that has to be negotiated. .. how the constitution would define that are, and the people who do talk about preserving the constitution are clearly using it as a language or s.a. said the fire for the protection and the guarantee of certain rights
and protections and the constitution is the only flaw mckiernan t of that right now, and it may be that it's less about the shape, the final shaph of the constitution than it isfs about making sure a mechanismtin can be found to preserve the core issues within the constitution that the different groups are concerned about coming and that goes beyond the t's civil society human rights groups i would add very quickly. as an example the phrase thatas frequently comes up among a wid range of stakeholders is the constitution is not tough koran and issues about the nature of the institutions of the state are already aligned debate within the particle system in afghanistan a month political opposition groups and the government. finally, on the government's peace plans, the high peace council and its role, there is a
pretty white perception that this high peace council will have a lot of trouble playing a constructive role. the members of the high peace council themselves most frequently viewed themselves as playing a role of mediators and somehow bridging the gap between the insurgent opposition and the government. nobody was not on the high peace council really shares the view that they can effectively play that role. at the same time, a wide range of stakeholders don't really see that they can viably play the role of a negotiator on behalf of the government, an agent of the government, because of the perception that the real discussion about the terms and guarantees peace process would have to bring forward isn't really house in the high peace council. what the council and maybe interaction with it might do would be to do more to promote a conversation between the various interest groups that are currently within the political system in afghanistan, and it seems they are not doing that
very much yet but this is a potential avenue or role that they could play. probably alongside other actors. so what does this maybe point to in terms of the shape of a political process? building on those better than already made, the first from our point of view of the research that comes to very clear is the u.s. has to get seriously stuck into this, come to the forefront, and to be very clear about its positions and goals. as a participant in the conflict as well as a concerned party or supporter. and that instead of pursuing perhaps an independent or d-link policy of fighting and then transitioning and withdrawing from we perhaps need to seek a framework with a drawdown of foreign troops can be interlinked with the steps both by the taliban to the escalating
violence, to remove the influence of foreign enforcers on the insurgent side as has been going to come and to facilitate taliban legitimate representation within the system. but a key issue here seems to be the definition of future security arrangements. the current policy i think in professor jalali's framework i would argue is led by part of the strategy or in primacy, is that any peace negotiation will likely involve a discussion about how the national security forces are structured. and one early point of evidence for that is that those eight or 900 activity around reintegration at the moment, one of the key concerns of all of the commanders are stepping forward, even in the limited areas where they are is very much to retain their arms and
retain security responsibilities in their areas. so there seems to be a tendency were a framework for securing, for security of all of the parties has to be part of a peace agreement here and next week on friday, there is an interesting group your usip with the ministers of interior and defense of afghanistan will both participate and i'm sure talk about aspects of transition. this framework about withdrawal and de-escalation also needs to be linked to a reform agenda. of the institutions of state and of the individuals of state, and this linkage may be needs to be motivated by emphasis also on defining the terms of that longer-term strategic partnership between the international community, the u.s. and afghanistan. i think we learned that preempting spoilers will require knowing more about the economics of the actors in the conflict
which are causing changes in interest to emerge. so i would just conclude by saying that maybe in addition to minna's arguments about the need to open a process and with the shape that might look like, the u.s. is involved in has to be underpinned by a clear and strong commitment to that process. to my mind this means we need to articulate within unisys a couple of things. one is a durable political summit among active actors within afghanistan is possible. and secondly that such an uncommon is essential to sustain the meeting the president's core aim to pr
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