tv Hudson Institute Discussion with Former Deputy Secretary of State Antony... CSPAN July 10, 2020 7:04pm-8:03pm EDT
so while stillurse it's illegal, not federal oversigh based on discrimi the kind of stopgap voting changes. select w night atay 8:00 p.m eastern on c-span's q&a. >> up ne onto discussion foreign formerwith deputy s of state, he is currently a chief foren policy a to former vice presiden joe biden's presiden campaign. this dis hudson but the institut held by videoconference. >> hello lookhow does it for the institute dialogue foreign policy series. i am wal my mead it is pleasure today joined the chie policygn
advisor his career he is held is national security adviser to vice presiden theden during obama ad prettyation also ser senate staff director for the senate foreign relations committee from 2002 to 2008 and he played a role inmental the dipl efforts to counter and he rebounds asia tony it's good to see u thank yo for joining us today think it's going to
be an interesting conversn today, i hope we will be able to follow-up at various t. the format for these conversa ours some of regular werers know trying g detailsome thought being controve figure out what the hearing that they are people who want real informat goingout what's on in the world. there is someone who is extremel fewose advisor people w mighto form look lik tony.
and as m out ands come more peo start thinking the biden administration is not just a p may beity but a likelihood. obviousl interesting with tha policy might look like maybe the best place to start wo take a you to look at the world would've foreign policy might look like. i would thata step back goes a l it's evident were not living in a time of shifting amonglignments
nations. i took p statesay from and i to power within states. tremendo democratic geopolit change that we are all doing every day and it is as su sense general we've lo northstar. people a feelnfused they there is chaos. they don end is which up. i think consequence of that as well as a tremendous inequali in ourlem both own coun around the globe. we are basing : : :
so that is the big picture we are facing. even though that has changed, i think that is constant. let me just mention of the things and getting two more specifics. first, whether we like it or not. so there is a premium and in some ways, more automatically goes to the leadership. if we are not doing a lot of that, and being organized and in terms of the institutions to which the countries relate to one another, then we can see that someone else is doing it or probably not to the best interest in values or knowing this then you send out in a
vacuum that may be filled by this thing. so there's a premium i think on the american leadership. and second, and again no less important for an first also ways and probably new ways to cooperate among nations and among different stakeholders because simply put the big problems that we face as a country and as a planet, whether it is climate change or a pandemic. or whether it is the spread of pandemic. in stating the obvious, none of these have human lateral conditions and they can't handle them alone. there is no ball enough or thick enough . tour them off so we have to figure out ways to cooperate more effectively taking into account the fact that there now are a source of individuals empowered by technology and information that have greater authority than ever
before under the decisions of the traditional authority decision-making like the national government. or international organization. an edited out the the credibility of the institutions. and hyper partisanship. corruption, from getting our systems it makes for an incredibly challenging time. ... ... we talk about a few hot spots and get back to the overarching issue. if that works. >> think the first thing that will be on a lot of people's mind or be the u.s./china relationship. where in some ways, oddly even though the u.s. political climate has become very polarized, we have seen a
continuation of the obama administration began a rebalance towards asia, and today we hear from many democrats as well as republicans a concern about what is going on in china and the future of the relationship. so how do you see a biden administration setting itself up to deal with china? first of i think you're right. there is a growing consensus across parties that china poses a series of new challenges and the status quo is not sustainable especially when it comes to china's commercial and economic practices. the lack of reciprocity and relationships for something that can't be sustained and continues to need to be dealt with. here is the problem. again take a step back.
my concern now is that in terms of china's strategic interests and in terms of our own, china is the result of the last three and half years strong position and we are in a weaker position that is what the biden administration would have to start to rebuild from. what do i mean by that? if you think about what china would hope to achieve strategically around the world , unfortunately, in my judgment, the trump administration had helped advance their interests. weaker u.s. alliances, china sees that as a core source of strength for united states, something they don't share. unfortunately the way president trump has pursued his policies that's weekend not strengthened institutions, china's trying to assert its own leadership in international institutions at the expense of our own -- her own withdrawal from every institution you can think of
has left an opening for china to fill. >> when it comes to values, our ad vocation of standing up for own values in asia and with regards to china's actions has i think given the government a sense when cracking down in hong kong and abusing the human rights of leaders in china. and finally, our own democracy when it is weak when it looks like it's in disarray when it seems to not be delivering from people when people are questioning its legitimacy that is arguably good for china it looks less attractive than otherwise it would pretty think president trump unfortunately has led an assault on her own democracy is institution's values its people that serve to further delegitimize this not just in the eyes of americans but around the world and that
sense i'm afraid we are at a strategic disadvantage and china is that a strategic advantage at this particular moment. having said that, how would we approach things? a few things that are worth underscoring. first, it is vital because we are in a competition with china and there's nothing wrong with competition if it is fair. in fact it hopefully brings out in some ways the best. we need in the first instance to invest in our own competitiveness. that means making some very fundamental priorities when it comes in investing in american infrastructure, american education, the healthcare system, the workers and their competition. second, one of the things i think it is been a deficiency in the trump administration approach to contending with china as it's done so not with our allies and partners but without them and alienating them.
we need to rally our allies and partners instead of alienating them to deal some of the challenge that china poses. for example on trade, as you know walter, we are about 25% of the world gdp alone. where work with allies and partners depending on who would bring into the mix it is 50 or 60% that is a lot more weight and a lot harder for china to ignore. third, we need to be standing at four values and putting them back at the center of our foreign policy not walk away from them. we obviously need to be in a place to effectively deter russia if china pursues it. and finally, i think the biden administration has reestablished the strength in the relationship, then be able to engage china and work with china in areas where interest clearly overlap. whether it's climate change dealing with this dangerous
weapons were active for a position of strength. >> i hear you're saying. question the values of democracy i haven't been to asia in the past few months obviously but iceman some time there last yea year. i was hearing from a number of people in a number of countries that democracy promotion is not as popular among a lot of our potential asian allies to say it was in europe during the cold war. if we went to thailand and burma and vietnam and another other countries to work with us, and even india to a certain extent which is a democracy but a somewhat different view of what that might mean than we do. the ideological component of providing certain advantages where i could add the philippines, also complicates
the task with the alliance of building. how would you respond to that? >> a couple of things. first, this is not about some crusade. about building building a democracy. i think we have to start from at least as i would see it a basic premise. i would get to the asian peas more specifically. if joe biden is elected president is going to inherit some things. a divided country in a world increasingly in disarray. he would argue the best answer the best foundational answer is democracy. because it is, when it's functioning the foundation of our strength at home but also
abroad. but should reflect who we are. it's certainly how would seen ourselves burden until recently tell the world tends to see us. that democracy is under challenge has it is not been seen before. first we think about the strength of our democracy at home is directly tied to it ability to be perforce for progress around the world. and here again my concern is we see daily assault on democracy under this administration that is tarnished our ability to lead. as joe biden like to say we get a lot of mileage by reading by the power of example not just the example of our power. and then abroad, other democracies tend to be on
escape reservoir acting together but as you know very well, we've seen a retreat when it comes to democracy of the last decade or so. freedom house which tracks the stuff in ranks them fully half of phone backwards on their metrics. there is what people call a democratic recession. a talker see is from russia to china are trying to exploit tha that. at this very moment democracies most need leadership. and i would argue leadership from the united states playing the role it is played before as the leader of the free world. unfortunately have a president by embracing autocrats and dismissing democrats, seems to many has suited up for the other side. along with saying that if we
know our democracy, aptly realign our alliances with those around the world, that allows us to act more effectively doing with lots of challenges. i don't think it's one-size-fits-all. there are countries we need to work with clearly. including asia that may not fit the jeffersonian democracy ideal. obviously we don't either at this point. but, when you sharper democratic base, get democracies working together that creates a foundation to bring in others on different issues. when it comes to asia in particular, i think we did the rebalance under the obama biden administration. it was an effective vehicle
think for redirecting our time, our energy, and our resources to a part of the world arguably matters more than any other to our future. that entails working with countries that certainly were not fully democratic under the measures you and i would consider. we obviously need to pursue tha that. and hopefully, our model becomes once again attractive and effective at dealing with problems and helping people with their own lives, then there's incentives for countries to democratize themselves. >> let's jump from asia to the middle east. here, i would start by asking there's some discussion the middle east does not matter as much to the united states as it did when we were in importing oil that was seen as the key to everything around the world.
because the place of american and the middle east change? >> in short, yes. i do has as we are looking at things in the obama biden administration, with the rebalance of asia, that was simply a recognition of what we saw. the fact that where our interests were most acute, where the future seemed to be most emerging in terms of our interest. and over resource and other areas. that remains the case, presumably in a biden administration mood see more emphasis on our own hemisphere.
as well as sustained engagement with africa. obviously europe is a partner first resort not last resort when it comes to contending with the fed challenges we face. as a matter of time allocation of budget priorities we would be doing less not more in the middle east. a certain fundamentals that remain constant including starting with our relationship with israel of the anchor and foundation for democracy in the region. that won't change. digital security is not going away. overall in terms of time, focus, energy and resources, when you think about how we allocate them to best match our interests and suggest more asia pacific and more in our
own hemisphere and sustained engagement in europe. >> you talked about if iran were ever return the u.s. would reenter under a biden administration and then take it from there. what might that look like? >> so here again, i think we have a problem that president trump has turned into a much bigger one and potentially into a crisis. he did two things he tore up and he said it would lead to negotiating a better agreement. hey also instituted a campaign of so-called maximum pressure
that would curb iran's provocative actions in the region. in fact, at the time. far from leading to better agreement the unraveling of that as been to a place where one where i slid from our partners who negotiated the agreement unto, much more importantly, iran as restarting dangerous components of the program and putting itself in a position where it's closer to the capacity to develop the material for nuclear weapon in short order. then it was only left office. as far as i can tell, there is no strategy, no plan on the part of this administration to do anything about this. we're heading right back to where we were before the agreement which was a very terrible binary choice between taking action to stop the
program with all of the potential consequences of doing that or doing nothing and allowing iran to be in a breakout position work can develop that under very short order. in terms of the provocative actions, this strange schizophrenic seesaw back-and-forth in terms of not responding to things around for example the attack on the pipelines in saudi arabia, to then taking out qassem soleimani and no one shedding a tear. the schizophrenic back-and-forth lead freight tit for tat ramifications including missile attacks on our bases in iraq. more than a hundred americans were harmed. breast to potentially the brink of conflict. and again, we've seen iran take more provocative action in the regions not less.
the trump administration strategy has backfired in a massive way. the most fundamental challenge and problem for us in terms of our interest is dealing with iran's nuclear program that is with the jc po was about. if iran comes back and complies with its obligations, joe biden said we should to and we would. on having brought the allies back on our side now they keep asserting an equivalence between iran and the united states. pretty extraordinary asking us both to calm down. with our partners and allies back on our side with the agreement once again enforce we can use that as a platform to try to build a stronger and longer agreement. with the allies with us again, we are in a much better position shortly to confront iran's action and provocation that we don't like. right now most of our partners
are spread in their time trying to figure out how to keep the nuclear agreement live not working with us in dealing with iran's excess in the region. >> let me quickly on the israel question for death they do annexation on the west bank and the next few months, does that complicates the israel relationship with the biden administration? it certainly complicates even more than it already is the prospect of achieving a two state solution in the middle east. that outcome, in my judgment and the vice president's judgment more importantly, represents the best way and probably the only way you have a secure future for israel as a jewish and democratic state
or for palestinians. there's action by both sides. some of the vice president would oppose but ideally obviously it won't pursue it. ill find ways to rebuild the environment in which it is possible for the parties to reengage the united states. >> and i want to shift a little towards europe on the way to do that is to look at turkey for a moment which is a nato ally and a european country in some ways. it's increasing a middle eastern actor as well. where do you see the relationship going? what would the biden administration be looking for? >> at tuna very challenging place. as you said turkey is a nato
ally bites interest, it is a vitally important country and it winds up being, and one way or other and essential way critical to some issue, conflict, initiative. we obviously want to find a way to have a more productive and positive relationship with turkey. that requires the turkish government itself to want the same thing. we obviously have some real issues and differences. we also have areas that it would make good sense for us to work more effectively together. syria for example being one of them. i would hope that we can find
ways to do that. but i do not want to underestimate some of the challenges we are facing in a relationship. and that is going to require first and foremost very direct and clear talk. i will say the vice president has a long relationship they have known each other they have engaged directly on a lot of things. i think we found in working with turkey that relationship is also the most important. i suspect it's a significant engagement on the part of president biden to see if we can work through the host of things we need to work through together. >> this gets me to it a europe nato question for you look at the situation in libya now, we
can see france has lined up with the russia in the usa and some others, italy quietly supporting turkey in a way. so, in that sense here in the mediterranean area of vital interest don't have a coordinated policy in libya. we don't have anything that looks like a coordinated nato policy in libya. i just raise this as an example is of the of issues we are looking at transatlantic late now it's not just is germany paying enough money for its defense or is the united states being engaged enough in certain ways. it's kind of an emergence of
interest and a failure in many countries to align policies with these alliance structures and international structures. how does the biden administration work on that? >> the first instance showing up again and demonstrating your action support these institutions and see them as important vehicles for shared interest. we spend most of our time taking a two before to them it's not really a surprise that they don't prove to be effective vehicles for dealing with the really, really hard problems. i think revaluing these alliances starting with nato is going to be very important similar with the u. president trump is treated as an adversary when in fact it can should be a vital part of the united states it's very challenging situation like libya. that is really the first step
revitalizing the alliances reasserting that american values them and we want to be engaged in them or with them. libya is a particularly challenging one. i have to acknowledge we obviously did not succeed in the obama/biden administration getting that right. i think one of the things we had not seen as clearly as we should have arguably is what was done that could rise to his power over the years. there was in fact no bureaucracy after he was gone from the scene prayed that made it very difficult to get anything done. there's also the fact the country is divided in so many ways. there's also hard-core
nationalism that made it very, very difficult to get libyans to accept any security force that might stabilize the situation after qaddafi. or even training for their own security forces. our now course in the intervening time, we have vacuums and those were filled by bad things not good things. we have libya as a proxy contest for other powers that have listed so well. try to get starts with valuing and using the institutions that allow us to cooperate and collaborate. >> okay. just quickly went to move on to the global issues. there's russia looming over american politics. i know every american president at least since george w. bush is assured they
could figure out a way to work with putin. i would say so far we are zero/three for that. what would president biden try to do there? >> you remember back, the very first foreign policy speech of the obama/biden administration was one the vice president delivered in february 2009. that was then called the reset speech between united states and russia. we talked about resetting the relationship and at that point it reached what it seemed to be a low point and without they were areas we can more effectively work together because it was in our mutual interests. and indeed we did that when it comes to a new start, we work together even in afghanistan
at that point in time so that speech tried to create a foundation for the reset. as another part to that speech people did not pick up on as much of the time. it was the vice president said even as we set to reset relationships with russia they are not going to compromise certain core values is an influence and we will not accept them. it is not a world in which one country can tell its neighbors with whom they can associate are not associated with their policies should or should not b be. it's not a world in which one country was able to violate the sovereign orders of a none other by exerting its greater strengt strength. unfortunately the way things unfolded, we saw the second part of the speech come to life.
here again, we've had, may be the strangest and still unexplained chapter of the trump administration is president trump's administration to mr. putin and to russia. even as elements of the administration have sought to take an appropriately tough lien on russia or the things it does, president trump repeatedly undermines that effort and famously he denies russia interfered in the election will do it once again. he took the word of mr. putin over our intelligence community. steve got to start recognizing the problem and the challenge. it's funny, i was just reading a peace before we got on the videoconference, in which he
quotes from george and kenneth than odd. i just printed it because it is so remarkably compelling and remarkably of the moment. this is 70 some odd years ago. let me just read it because it is remarkably on points. russian sense of insecurities. it was archaic inform originally was peaceful agricultural people this was added fears are more confident more highly russian rulers were always fearful that
international organization where they see opportunity for expending their power or diluting the power of others. efforts would be made to disrupt national confidence that hamstring measures of national defense to increase social and industrial unrest to stimulate all forms of disunity black against white, young against old newcomers against established residence. wow. that sure sounds familiar. and so i think a recognizing that strain and russia's policy pre-dates mr. putin and presumably will follow him needs to be front and center in our thinking. again, my own take is when you are able to approach countries with whom we are in an adversary position from a position of strength that much better enables you to have
areas of cooperation if it happens to be in your self interest so for instruments up strategic limitation is something we should continue to pursue with russia. we are best off doing them only have our eyes wide open not as they've been for the last three and half years, firmly shut. >> i agree and i love the quote. i remember i wrote some years ago that i lost a lot of faith in the american intellectual class because of the end of the cold war everyone said he is such a genius. forty years ago and he finally were now they said russia is a communist we can be friends that's all going to be great. and in fact the whole point is the problem here is not there communist but there russian communist that something we have to come to grips with.
maybe the 20th century in america you wonder sometimes why you get up in the morning. >> some things are truly evergreen and this truly is one of them. i happen to see this and it jumped out. it is good stuff. i want to move to global issues. >> may be a halfway house is a think about latin america hemisphere for a moment i think the next administration whoever that is will face deep issues as are often very
divisive as well. you can look from brazil to mexico and take that group there are significant level ranging from political polarization climate to a broader social break in the breakdown of law and orders of venezuela imploding black hole. it is a mess. so how does a new administration wrap its head around this and we can't ignore it. we certainly cannot ignore it on the upside growing economies and democracies we
respect human rights that is profoundly in the interests of the united states. and in the world but as you say very well, there are huge challenges. that is the migration challenge from the northern triangle countries. obviously, the problems in those countries when it comes to crime and gang violence, drugs, lack of economic opportunity among other things are huge drivers. the idea that someone wakes up in the morning and says she wouldn't be great fun today to give up everything i know, where i live, my family, my friends, may not go some where
where may not know the language or have family or friends when that be a great thing to do people who undertake these journeys they have usually compelling drivers that push them in that direction. hypothetically. it takes extraordinary courage and energy to give up everything, put your life in jeopardy and find a better life somewhere else. we must have a stake to help people find ways to make themselves more attractive so more people don't feel compelled to make that kind of journey. >> it is interesting when joe biden was vice president we talked about not being able to get anything done in washington. he actually secured a bipartisan support for almost
$1 billion in aid for el salvador guatemala and that was concrete commitments from those countries to take on corruption, to take on violence, to take on poverty that is driving people to leave their homes. big chunks of this money so they not go into a government blackhole we started to see that decrease from el salvador, that was a smart approach. not throwing money away but tying it to concrete commitments there was an interest of both sides paid we have a plan, the vice president has a plan to build significantly in over four years with a regional strategy that would require countries
to have their own resources to undertake concrete reforms that make them more attractive places for their own people. that's a thing that is smart and effective in clearly in her interest. >> will not go into the overarching global issues. those who are over dangers of climate change and strategies for coping with it or dealing with it and it is a huge issue that leads into almost every facet of foreign policy. i would like to hear how the biting campus thinking about this. >> it is arguably the 1x essential issue we face. and it has to be. under a biden administration
it would be. it would be a number one priority. he has put out a detailed plan for what he would do in terms of the very significant and urgent investment at home to put us on track for clean energy economy with net zero economy. let's think briefly about the international peace. that is deeply important because we are 15% of global emissions. even if we do everything just right at home, that does not solve the problem if the rest of the world is 85% of global emissions. the benefits we can then leverage our economic authority to push the world to take more determined action. to the vice president thanks it's critical and sad that on day one of his administration
he would read during the past climate agreement. then, as a priority certainly in the first year of his administration convene a summit of major carbon admit errors to rally countries to raise their ambitions further and faster. we would also look to do a number of other things. to reduce admissions and shipping and aviation, pursuing stronger measures to make sure they cannot undercut the unites states economically as a meter own commitments. they would insist that china stop subsidizing coal out port and financing billion dollars of dirty fossil fuel projects
that is the kind of approach we would take. but it does start at home. we are not doing at dhec of a lot harder to convince the rest of the world to do with they need to do. >> you mentioned trade before. the administration try to strengthen the wto, go back to the ppp, where do you see that heading? >> think again, walter, would serve the couple of basic premises. we are about 5% of the world's population. we want to reach the other 95% in her ingenuity got to be able to reach them. as a basic principle trade is profoundly in the interest for
going to sustain advance or standard of living, with open markets and make sure american products, american services, american ideas can be consumed around the world. it goes back to something we talked about the very beginning. we have a choice to make great if we are not engaged in these efforts, someone else is likely to be in our place. it makes a big difference in the united states if we are helping to shape the rules the institutions that govern trade make sure they are in a race to the top not the bottom when it comes for example to protecting the rights of labor, the environment, transparency, et cetera. having said that we would do things different league going
forward. first the guiding principle through which president biden would look at a trade is what we are doing in the interest of american workers. everything we do has to be grounded in the proposition we going to fight like heck for american workers. second if you want to be effective yet how we get invested in her own competitors in the time and effort into building our educational capacity are infrastructure and of course workers themselves. just going to corporations and ways that allow them to buy back their stock, pay more dividends and increase the value of their ceos or they interested in and as we are negotiating, it is vitally
important affected by a trade agreement the table at the start not just receiving the final product at the end. so trade leaders, i'm sorry labor leaders, environmental leaders, as well as other groups that are affected other interests that are affected they need to be on some the take off not just the landing. otherwise whatever is negotiated is probably not critically sustainable. we were talking earlier about how information and technology may have veto power over decisions arrived at by national governments or institutions. there likely to use that veto power. >> you make some very good points there thinking about country like india where
probably the environmental and labor standards that we might want are some american civil groups might want in a trade agreement are going to be disturbing. where the environmental strongly green u.s. administration likely to be immediate to a long list of things it does not want to do necessarily and spontaneously leapt to want to do. particularly respect and elsewhere. and at the same time it would be china that includes very strong u.s. india links. you can't possibly give a detailed exposition of india quality but how do we think about these things together seems that they really do
matter. >> i could not agree more with the premise of your question. strengthening and deepening the relationship with india is going to be a very high priority usually important to the future of the pacific and the kind of order we all want fair, stable, and increasingly democratic. it's vital to be able to tackle these big global challenges. it's a success story according to the clinton administration the hope senator biden partnered with that administration to help get the
cooperation agreement the 123 agreement to the united states senate usually important to solidify our relationship in her own administration during the obama administration. there is concrete across a whole series there is the trade initiative is an industrial base to work together to produce important technology. we made india a major defense partnered that something we got congress to approve it is unique to india. with that did it basically insured when it comes to technology india needs to strengthen its military it's treated on par with the allies
and partners. so having said that foundation, we worked hard to persuade india it would be more prosperous and more secure if it signed onto the paris climate agreement. the challenging effort but vice president biden and they did. it was a reflection that we cannot solve common global challenges without india as part of the deal. across the board is not just to advance clean energy but to do a whole series of things. space exploration, humanitarian relief x operations. all of these things were part and parcel and they all went to strengthening it.
they'll have challenges now in real concerns for example about some of the actions the government has taken special and cracking down some of the laws on citizenship, you're always better engaging in a partner and a vitally important one even as you are working to build greater cooperation and strengthen the relationship going forward. we have seen evidence that it works. >> alright, we have covered a lot of ground. we have not covered all of the ground. maybe i can persuade you to come back sometime and take another bite at the apple. i really appreciate your sharing the time and look
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has the world's best healthcare, watch book tv on c-span2, this weekend. >> up next catherine provides a history of the female pilots who served in the u.s. army air forces during world war ii, this is a virtual event hosted by the national world war ii museum. >> my name is kaylee and i'm a historian of the national museum, today i have the pleasure of interviewing kate about her book. thank you for joining us today, thank you so much for having me. >> i'm going to give you a second, she has a great stream of photos that she will show as we discussed the book today. >> let's see if i can figure this out.