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tv   Senator Joni Ernst Discusses Global Hot Spots  CSPAN  September 30, 2017 1:07am-2:02am EDT

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[inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] in. >> also over receive the'r power initiative for the we're pleased to have you with us today end and i know you will joy a the nimby with the enjoyment to wellcome i payless senator -- senator ernst there is no end to the list of security challenges but i want to give you some social media reminders please follow us on twitter senator ernst has to do twitter accounts. also check out the podcast the you can access through itunes.
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if you are five tweeting we can pick up your comments. if by chance a fire alarm goes off the exit is behind you end behind me depending on where it is going off they will direct you which way to go. this series with not be possible and i want to mention in the at&t thanks to their efforts to national security and international business.d like t a lot to welcome kristin seoul heim. [applause] good morning. thanks for joining us this
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morning. it has ben in honor. ed we continue to bring extraordinary women to give insights and expertise on fascinating issues and today is no exception we have senator ernst first combat veteran elected to the u.s. senate. after serving three years in the military during operation iraqi to be especially thrilled to have her today we represent more than 100 companies in the global presence in the unpredictable world we can
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attest to today. we are pleased to have senator ernst with her perspective of security challenges from north korea korea, syria and afghanistan. thanks for taking time to be here just >> briefly a want to introduce our moderator. the fortunes most powerful the - and of co-chair thank you for moderating today's event >> senator ernst thanks for being here.continue as they continue to exercise
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your daughter?. >> she is that preparatory school at the united states military academy. [applause] i am very proud of her. and she really does believe she to make a difference. >> from a town calledtown calle redcoat in iowa southwest iowa, you groupon of farmhometon income of back to your home town some dementia actually takes a flight into omaha and gas to drive an hour to get back to her town every weekend so what type of a culture clash is that? [laughter] a
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>> it is very different back home. we talked about senator ernst verses joni and that is home everybody has known me as joni going up in that community because that is where i grew up. i served as the county auditor but when i was elected to the senate then all of these people i have known for my entire life known f what do we call you now? to recall you senator? no. you called me joni. that is what you know, me ev. is a very small town'm everybody knows everybody now make up, i put on my running shorts and t-shirt and go to high vienna the shop for tertiaries. it isn't about big world
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issues but how is it going?. >> we go from of your campaign commercials you know how to castrate hogs. >> anybody from iowa? [laughter]growing >> what else did you learn?.rk >> hard work and determination recall them iowa values. my parents instilled in me that work ethic was important and i don't mind getting my hands dirty orr getting out there whether helping my dad worked in the field, whenever needed to be done this is what we were taught. you didn't crumble and it wasn't a big deal because every other kid was doing that also. we also work together as a
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family so that brought an interesting perspective they thing dusting the house is the need for them and i think i did more than that. ove there has been a culture change but the values will carry on with me and my family. >> so that is what you find these days on capitol hill but talking about the tension between women senators. talk about bad and that one special relationship. >> i do work a lot withth other women senators and found sometimes working with other women they are not selling grain in a position that they are flexible and other senators of the male variety will dig in so deep that then they are afraid to move away from that
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ansition. so to build the of bond with the women senators, and there are 21 of us, we have that flexibility to get things done. i have very strong views on certain issues but i do understand the need to move forward. if we're not moving forward w we're not moving ahead. u we need that solution it to move and the right rirection. the women senators tend to get along really well. working demos together on the republican side my neighbor from nebraska. group the same way that i did. but across the aisle one of the relationships that i really cares the most is senator joe a brand from new york.
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was the folks think you are night and day difference inli read to have very different policy ideas, probably 95 percent of the issues but with whitman if you can find that 5% you want to work on together then work on those and share that passion and. so we don't talk politics we talk about our families andth i value that. >> you of course, interact driving the convoy. tell us about that. >> there were a few but it was the beginning of the war with the early part of the iraqi freedom one.
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we were permanently stationed in kuwait. but we picked up we would go as far north as baghdad international to deliver them forward for the warriors. and we have not been in the country very long to drive supplies into iraq. our battalion could not supply as with a send they couldn't send it with us because the others were even needing it. so we have a tendon -- tennessee national guard may
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a trip so i sat down with me and thus squad leaders of but representative of different movements andrew -- drew a map that he had as if we d so perhaps we did take a wrong turn that some point to protect and the supplies. would eventually a lot of movement at that time and we are cost file to give this a
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lot of blood negative this applies north where they gos. to fund forays anything that was not secured but what we fell dodges they were not quite ready to meet all of. but there were very intense moments to blame the situation for a genuine
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ability were threatened to take action. we'll understand that going in. ome. there were two other transportation companies from iowa that were in that same area and they did not return as whole companies. >> and how many were in your company? >> 150. >> you were in charge of them all the lives of 150 soldiers? >> yeah, we came home. >> tremendous. so that on the ground experience i'm sure is, has set you well in the senate where you're on the emerging threats subcommittee, or the lead in that. so we're going to, because we have limited time, going to dive right into hot spots around the world which is what i'm sure a lot of you want to hear now. there are cards on your chairs. feel free to write out your yes. one note if i can't read it, i can't ask it. so use your penmanship. and we'll collect the cards and
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ask them because we do want to include the audience and there is so many concerns going on in the world right now, top of which is north korea. >> oh. can we talk afghanistan? >> i think we'll go from -- you've been getting briefings, were at a briefing yesterday, did you say? >> that's correct. >> so you know a lot of stuff you can't talk about, i realize that, but, let me ask you broadly, do you think that there's a, a level, we've also been hearing a lot of rhetoric on both sides as we all know. a lot of rhetoric coming from the white house. is there a point at which rhetoric hurts our cause in trying to contain that threat? >> there is rhetoric on both sides and in this case i, i don't think that is the determining factor at all.
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i think north korea has been bent on obtaining nuclear capabilities for a very long time, and i don't see that it was the president or any of his words which spurred that action. i mean that, this has been an ongoing process for them long before we had an administration change. so when the president is talking about north korea and the leader in north korea, i think that honestly, he is speaking truth to the situation. when he says, you know if north korea comes at us, we're going to go back full force, well, yeah, we're going to go back full force. there is no messing around with north korea when they have nuclear capability. so, you know, i can't speak for the president but i don't see the that his words have worsened situation at all. if anything, it has put
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north korea on alert that if they keep moving ahead with their intentions of putting a nuclear warhead on to an icbm, that if they should use that technology, then we're going to, we're going to go after them. >> take us through a scenario. is there anything short of an actual missile launch much with a nuclear device or a missile launch much that is designed to inflict destruction, is there anything short of that that would cause a military intervention from our end? >> well, that would be up to of course our military leaders and advisors to advise congress on those types of situations and to provide that guidance for the president but there are a lot of things short of nuclear. obviously if they attack any of our allies or any of the countries in that region, there will be a response. >> anything short of military, actual military action?
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>> should they not attack? >> yes. >> i don't see military intervention short of any attack nuclear or otherwise. provocation exists out there and, we will continue to patrol. we saw some of our bombers with fighter escorts that moved a little bit to the east of north korea. that hasn't been done in a very long time. you know what? international area, so, we are in our rights to fly those areas. so, i think as long as north korea continues on the path that its on you will continue to see us build in our resolve to protect our allies and protect our own homeland. we will do everything we can short of war to deter this regime. >> let's talk about sanctions. we were having a fascinating conversation before we got on stage about both the effectiveness and limitations of sanctions. >> yes. >> talk about that. >> absolutely.
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we were having a great discussion about the sanctions. we know there are u.n. sanctions out there. there are other sanctions that have been put in place by congress. other countries are engaging in sanctions. they have to be enforced in order to work and there is large black market between china and north korea. that needs to be cut off. we need to make sure that other countries are enforcing their own sanctions. otherwise, you won't see the impact that you want to see. but i was having a discussion with the south korea trade minister two days ago, and, he, he said, senator, the way americans view north korea, is not necessarily accurate. we think of north korea in the 1990s state where north koreans were maybe starving and they had a poor ag economy. he said they actually have a very robust ag economy in
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north korea where they're able to feed their people. maybe it is not an american diet like we're used to but they can feed their people and so when we apply those sanctions we need to understand that they can self-sustain for a while. so it may be a number of months before we start to see the impact of those sanctions on north korea. >> you're also making a point that, but having gotten to that level where they can actually eat, when you start taking that away, you might see popular revolt? >> when you might see a popular revolt. so the standard of living is now a little bit higher in north korea than it had been in the past, and those that experienced those decades of want and need, now that those wants and needs are met and fulfilled, they don't want to go back to that standard of living. so if, we start to see that they're not able to sustain
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their own population internally, the living standards start to drop, you may see that popular revolt, but then what happens when the people rise up against such a brutal regime? those are, you know, those are questions that are unanswered out there. >> and how have you viewed china's behavior in the last six months? has it evolved? >> it has evolved, and they have in my estimation when it comes to north korea they have been very good partners. >> in what way? describe. >> working on the sanctions, one thing that, of course we needed to do was to get the buy-in from china on sanctions. and, and china actually did move ahead with some their own thoughts on how they could curtail goods going into north korea. so they actually started moving even before maybe the u.n. gave instructions on sanctions.
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we have the greatest ambassador ever in china right now. he is former iowa governor terry branstad. >> there you go. >> governor branstad has had a very, long-term relationship with president xi. they met in the '80s in iowa and have maintained that relationship ever since then. so, they do have a good understanding of each other. president she is well-versed on the united states and, governor branstad and ambassador branstad is well-versed on china. i think having that relationship has been very helpful especially about what we see in north korea right now. so i do feel that china has been stepping up to the plate. there will come a time that china's not able to do anymore, and what happens when, you know other countries and our influence starts to wane? what do we do at that point? so, but in the meantime i think china has done quite well.
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>> how close in touch are you with the ambassador? >> not as much the last several months. he has been very engaged in several of these activities but we do know through the state department they continue to work those channels. china has greater channels and greater accessibility to folks in north korea than the united states does. >> sure. >> so they have been very, very engaged. >> speaking of channels and these reports that north korea is actually trying a second track of finding republicans who can explain what the trump administration is all about, what do you make of that? >> well, that was a great question, and a question posed by one of my colleagues on the left as well. there are two thoughts, really. you try to encourage that, and, start developing relationships, so you can exploit those relationships. or you just simply cut them off. what value would we get? we would have to go through the
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pros and cons of either just, you know, ignore it. >> right. >> or encourage it. and, use it to our advantage. >> right. >> and that is up for other departments. >> beyond military actions, there has been a lot of talk about other potential ways to to tamp down the north korea effect and that is cyberattack on the united states. you're not hopeful about that. why? >> north korea doesn't have connectivity like many other developed countries have. i was explaining to nina earlier, she probably has more connectivity at her house than. entire country of north korea. we, simply can't do a cyberattack because there is no cyber there. there is very little of that in north korea. korea is one of the most
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difficult countries to get human intelligence from because it is hardened against every other country. when i, i visited the south korea, north korea border, the demilitarized zone, just a little over a year ago, they explained to us that they have jammers all around the border of the country, so you can't get cell phone signals in. they can't get them out. it is a very, very difficult country to infiltrate. >> even for china? >> even for china. unless you're on the black market. then you know the way. >> out of all this bad news you say there is some good news in that you have great faith in the team that is briefing you. can you describe that? >> i do. we have seen so much interaction between this administration and congress as we have faced many difficult situations. whether it is afghanistan or north korea. the administration is very, very
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engaged with us in that they are at capitol hill every, several weeks. or we have even done a briefing at the white house as well. so, we stay engaged. what encourages me, when i am sitting in those all senators briefing in our scif at the capitol during the classified briefings, sitting up in front of us is chairman of the joint chief of staff, general dunford, secretary mattis, secretary tillerson, and our director of national intelligence ben coates. so we have four of the most powerful gentlemen that are working on these issues. they're just not briefing us in a silo on each of their areas. they have worked together and collaborated between the agencies. if the left hand is doing one thing, the right hand knows what that is going to do and can respond. so they are collaborating in a
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way that i, i know i've only been in the senate three years but in this first six months of this administration, i have seen more engagement and interaction than i've seen in the previous two years that i have been in the senate. so they stay engaged with us. they answer our questions directly. when we -- and it is republicans and democrats in these briefings. it is really interesting. when they're answering those questions, when they were laying out strategy for afghanistan, when they're briefing us on north korea, it is interesting to see all the heads. it doesn't matter party. we're talking about national security. all the heads in the room just nodding in agreement. but through this collaboration, we have been able to engage many other countries in this situation. and that is so important to remember, that we are not in this situation alone. it is not just the united states against north korea. >> right.
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>> we have many, many partners that are very, very supportive. none of them want to see north korea as a nuclear power. >> right. so you want to talk about afghanistan. what are the greatest challenges facing the new policy in afghanistan? >> well i think, one, that to start, you have to have people that have faith in it. and believe in it and we saw that expressed from president ghani just a few days ago after he met with the president at the united nations. >> we had his wife on stage here by the way. >> yes, wonderful. >> she was fantastic. >> yeah, lovely. so when they are meeting, and when the president is reassuring the afghan people that we will support you, we will combat terrorism in your country, president ghani is coming back and saying, you know, the difference in the administration
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is night and day. so one, we have to show them that we are willing to combat terrorism. we're taking the gloves off, and terrorists look out. we are working with the rules of engagement with our forces on the ground in afghanistan. where maybe they felt they were, you know, they had their hands tied a little bit previously. now our commanders on the ground can make determinations necessary to go after those terrorists. they don't have to wait for a call from the white house to say, it is okay to take down this cell. so we can see further progress. i can envision that moving forward. now that we do have a comprehensive strategy. the president has made it very clear that we're not in this for nation-building. we're in this to combat terrorist. >> right. >> i think that is what our focus needs to be. we will do that. there are many other countries that are engaged in nation-building, and would like
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to be part of that. our main focus should be, get rid of terrorism. that protects our self-interests. >> you have had some interesting, speaking of terrorism, some interesting views on isis. >> yes. >> you have a concern that the threat has moved. >> it has moved? >> to latin america and asia. >> latin america and southeast asia. we see isis spreading. i was infuriated when several years back president obama had described isis as a jv team. >> right. we remember that well. >> knowing that it really through the use of social media and other ways of communicating they could rapidly develop and recruit. and they have done that. because we didn't put them down in the very beginning, we din combat terrorism outright in the very beginning, we now have a well-developed organization which is not just in the
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middle east but spreading into latin america. it is spread into southeast asia. in the philippines and a lot of the planning on the september 11th attacks occurred from the philippines. we have to find a way to wrap our arms around this, not just contain. i hated the phrase, when they use the phrase, contain isis. we don't want contain isis, make no bones about it. we want to destroy isis. >> what do you see in latin america? that hasn't gotten a lot of attention. >> the commanders of southcom have been very concerned about this a while now. we found isis is utilizing drug traffickers channels. they are raising a lot of illicit dollars in that area. when general kelly was at southcom, that was a concern of his, was that they are using
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these channels to infiltrate those countries, raising money through drug trafficking, other types of bad activities, and, because it is not much talked about, they're able to do it. so, what we have to do is make sure that when our commanders are reporting those activities, that we do take them seriously. we don't want to allow isis to gain foothold in any additional countries. they have been able to establish some means of movement in latin america, and again going back to southeast asia, they continue to develop there and we continue to combat that though. that is important. to understand that where they have established a foothold, we're going after them, not just to contain them, but to destroy them. >> so another threat in the world, russia. russia's military drills have the ukraine on the edge, other neighbors on the edge. how concerned are you about
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that? >> i am concerned about that. the exercises that we saw just recently had 60 to 70,000 troops engaging between russia and belarus and, we need to be concerned about this. we can't trust putin any further than we can throw him. i stated over and over again, russia is not our friend. so, we should be concerned about that because our friends and our allies in eastern europe, they are terrified of what could happen. our friends in the ukraine, always remain concerned about what putin might do next. you know, will it go beyond crimea? will it go beyond the -- will it spread through the rest of their country? whether it is overt activities like their military exercises, or whether it is through cyber attacks, whether it is through
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assassinations that have been traced back to russia, there is a lot going on there, and it hasn't been in the spotlight because of afghanistan and north korea. >> are we doing enough? >> i wish we would do more, i'll be honest. >> such as? >> we need to provide them with lethal aid, the ukrainians, yes, the ukrainians. i have a bill that would provide lethal assistance to ukraine. i think that is very important. it is wonderful we can send radar detectors and uniforms to our friends in ukraine but they need that lethal aid. russia won't get the message unless ukrainians are sending russian troops home. >> are you getting white house support on that? >> the white house is not
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forthcoming whether they do or don't support lethal aid to ukraine. that is why we continue to push. we continue to push. i believe it is important, i expressed that to the national security vice or as well. we will continue push that message. i do hope we're responsive. >> do you think all of the issues around the mueller investigation, does that mud did waters where the united states should be seen in its relationship with putin? >> i think it muddies the water but i would just say though, with special counsel that, you know, follow, if there is a trail, follow the trail. we need to know the truth as americans. it is important to have a transparent government. >> right. >> so do, but if you don't have a trail and you're not finding anything, then at some point you need to hang it up so we can focus on priorities of our government and priorities in congress. >> but i guess i was also
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thinking about in other terms when there is investigations about, that may show some, clearly russia was meddling in our election. >> yes they were. >> the intelligence committee concluded. take it back to that and potential of campaign officials that might have been, had some link to that. does that muddy the waters? >> it muddies the waters as far as elections go. and again they need to follow whatever trails exist out there. but moving forward, president trump is the president, and the president is expected to do what is right for our nation and so, i would encourage the president to continue to push back against putin. so whatever existed prior, and i don't know what existed. again we need to figure that out. but moving forward from day one, our interests come first as the united states of america. making sure we're protecting our interests, our national security and the security of our allies.
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that is number one. if putin is doing something or wishes us ill will, we should be pushing back against that, and the president should do that. and that is why i think he should provide lethal aid to our ukrainian friends. >> compel len. question cards -- excellent. question cards are they being, no, write them down. bab is collecting them. other people are correcting them. i keep using up all of our audience's time -- do you believe it is possible for u.s. and russia to work together to balance against chinese interests in central asia? >> when it comes to russia, i think i stated i don't trust putin any further than i can throw him. yeah. but there are ways when
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sometimes adversaries become interesting allies on a very limited scope. >> right. >> and right now, we have certain interests with russia. we have certain interests with china. it, we do have to balance that. but i would be very cautious in working with russia. >> quick answer to this. what is the continuing resolution mean for defense spending in fy 2018? are you concerned where things are going? >> bottom line, we should not be doing continuing resolutions. >> okay. >> we as congress need to do exactly what we're entrusted to do, and that is set budget and pass appropriations bills. we have to get back to regular order. secretary mattis stated this time and again. general dunford has stated this. you talk to any service branch chiefs. they stated this as well. with continuing resolutions we can't do our job as the military. you can't plan long term.
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we can't sustain maintenance. we can't engage in the types of activities that we need to engage in when we are operating on a three-month continuing resolution, or six-month continuing resolution. that down work. i challenge business partners out in private industry, ask them if they operate on a three-month budget or six-month budget? they have no idea beyond that. we have got to get back to regular order. we have got to take it seriously. if for no other reason then to make sure our nation stays strong. >> ask you as we're waiting for questions on another domestic issue, news came out this week at the air force academy where there were racial slurs directed at one of the soldiers there, one airman there i should say. and the, the come mander came down incredibly eloquently and hard on the perpetrators, and anybody who was engages in that kind of behavior.
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talk about the military as being where america really is today in terms of race. >> it is. one, that should never ever be tolerated and so we're glad that the command has responded to that. i am appalled that the airman or the cadets didn't understand what they were doing or if they did, they were really wrong. i mean that should never be tolerated, but our nation's military today is truly, a great representation of all ethnicities, all religions, all backgrounds. i, even in the iowa national guard i served with so many different people from so many different backgrounds. you see it all in the military, and sometimes it is mostly the good. mostly the good. and every once in a while you will have the bad actors that need to be dealt with. i'm always encouraged when i see
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our young people that are deciding you know, this is a career that i want to engage in. i have want to do something for my country. and you know, we had a rough time in the gnat lately. -- senate lately. it is hard to get work done. we had some blows lately but i did have a service academy night back in iowa a while back and the young men and women that came out to find out about the different service academies and ask questions about it, after visiting with all of those brilliant young men and women, and why they wanted to serve their country, you know what? it puts it into perspective. you know, i might have bad days but here are the young men and women willing to step up and serve their country and maybe it a better place. and i felt so good after that, just really puts it into perspective. >> since you have to to catch a plane, we'll go through them as quickly as possible because we have a lot of them. do you think japan and south
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korea should go nuclear? that is a excellent question. >> do i think that? i would defer to my friend in south korea and japan. i would not want to see that. i certainly would hope we would provide protections necessary for japan and south korea. but there has been talk about that, and, of course we want them to do what is right for them but, we should be the ones protecting that region. we, we made that commitment. and it is important that we stand by that commitment. >> what will congress do if the president doesn't recertify the iranian nuclear deal? >> that is a good question. >> another good question. these are good questions. >> we only have a couple months to make a decision if he should not re-engage. the iranians said they will trash the package if he doesn't, sign off on it. so, congress, we didn't like the iranian nuclear deal in the first place.
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at least the majority of folks in the senate. >> right. >> so our response to that, just trying to look at makeup we have now in the senate, i think we would let it go. i think we would let the iranian nuclear agreement go. but then understanding that we need to know what are the repercussions then? how do we deal with iran should it continue to develop nuclear capabilities. >> that whole another issue. >> that is another conversation. >> that is another conversation, a troubling one. history shows nation-building in some form is key element to counterinsurgency. you were critical of nation-building in afghanistan. the administration stated we're not conducting nation-building. >> right. >> how do we reconcile the historical recognizing counterinsurgency, counterterrorism without nation building? where do we draw the line engaging and supporting the afghan government? >> i said we shouldn't been gauged in nation-building but
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people or countries in the region should have interest in afghanistan for the long run, the people in their own backyard may be willing to provide those types of supports within afghanistan. that sort past the state department conversation with other lieders in that region. so we can send our military, we can go after the terrorists but in collaboration we need to work with other countries willing to support those efforts. it is all part of the package. unfortunately the united states has put a lot of money into afghanistan trying to donation-building with very little to from it. there is a lot of corruption that in connection wilt. a lot of dollars have disappeared. we have to be responsible with our taxpayers but we can encourage other types of nation-building through other means in other country. >> pakistan, another good question. at general dunford's reconfirmation hearing he agreed
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success in afghanistan can occur if only full weight of government is put on pakistan in their support of insurgent groups. where does the u.s. government start and what leverage do you have to convince pakistan? >> we have leverage as we work with india as well, using india to leverage pakistan. pakistan provided open border for terrorists and we have to stop that the united states provided different types of military supports for pakistan in the past, different types of equipment. we don't offer that anymore. they need to understand that you need to be good partners with us combating terrorism or we will not be good parters to you enhancing your military structure. >> we danced around that for years but what are the processes that is actually going to change? >> i think it is finally coming
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to a ahead and it needs to change. those are discussions we will have as we work on comprehensive strategy for afghanistan. part of that was using other countries in the region as leverage against pakistan. so that they do started a hering to what we need them to adhere to, closing off borders, stopping the supports, for the terrorist organizations. it has to happen. tough love. >> another good topic we didn't have a chance to talk about earlier was syria. how should the u.s. be involved in the peace process in reconstruction in syria? i would add to that, you know, not, a few years back we were all saying assad was going to be out in a few months, constantly. it is clearly, i assume you don't see that happening? >> i don't see that happening. >> so, where from here and what should u.s. involvement be? >> well, u.s. involvement, we're involved in syria. we do have special operators that continue to manuever and support forces in syria.
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a regime change is not necessarily what we want to see right now necessarily. of course i would love to see assad gone but the reality is he is there and, we don't have a government to go in or a replacement for assad. so, understanding what does that political future look like for the country of syria, is an undetermined. but we do know assad. so, we will continue continue to provide special operators in that area. we have a number of marines deployed to syria as well to provide for artillery support. we continue with those operations but stablizing that government, protecting the people that exist within that country, that will be a difficult task as we move forward. >> the country that you served in, iraq, we saw the independence referendum out of kurdistan. what's the future?
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talk about the instability there. what do you see? >> it is very concerning, and the administration had encouraged the kurdistan regional government to delay their vote, and i stood by that as well. i really, really appreciate the kurdish people, and i appreciate president barzani. the peshmerga from kurdistan, they have supported our warriors so much over the past several decade. they are important to us. but, bottom line, again we need to focus on terrorism and the region is not stable right now because of terrorism. and, if we can focus on the fight against isis first, and then move forward in another direction later on, those are talks that we can have, but, we really want to see kurdistan
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working with the greater part of iraq as best they can. if we have further division within iraq right now, it could be very detrimental to our fight against isis. >> this is going to be our closing question so that you can make your plane but it's a good one to the senator from iowa. how do you discuss emerging threats with middle america? how would you communicate the importance of issues that feel thousands of miles away from the farm, factory and football fields? i would add to this, what about foreign aid? how do you talk about foreign aid and diplomacy, the cost of diplomacy? >> absolutely. >> taxpayer cost of diplomacy to iowans? >> i think iowans understand this probably, maybe even better than some of our other states. in a state of a population of 3 million, we have approximately 270,000 veterans. so, a huge concentration of
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veterans from all era. you can't throw a stone in a neighborhood without hitting a veteran. and, so we do have quite a global perspective. not only are we engaged with our sons and daugher -- daughters in the fight around the world but we're also a global state, one in five jobs in iowa is tied to trade and exports. so everyone in our communities understands this product, i'm developing this bushel of corn that i'm growing, it will go somewhere else in the world. and so they do pay attention to what is going on around the globe. and so, when i am talking about it, i get a lot of understanding understands with folks. they understand that with north korea, being so dangerous right now, they understand that my local armory, they may have to stand up and mobilize and send our young soldiers into the korean peninsula.
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they get that. because it is their neighbor, daughter, son or cousin or mom and dad. i appreciate that so much. for the most part iowans understand foreign aid is important. i know that foreign aid is important. because if we can stablize regions and use that as leverage , those countries that we are supporting, that we are generous to in whether it is through medical supplies, whether it is food stuffs, they appreciate that assistance. they're more likely to be allies and friends than enemies. so, we can leverage those tools, whether it is military, whether it is foreign aid, whatever the situation warrants but iowans get it, and i'm really proud of that and proud of the service they have dedicated to our nation and they show it in many different ways. so when i got back in my
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hometown, they have homecoming tonight, if i'm sitting in the bleachers there later this evening, they get it. they get it. >> joni, you clearly feel incredibly passionate about smart power. >> yeah. >> and not just use of force and we truly appreciate that from csis. >> thank you. >> thank you so much for being here. have a safe trip home. thank you. >> god bless, everybody. [applause] thank you. [inaudible conversat
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