tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 4, 2016 7:00pm-12:01am EDT
of you for working on this issue. senator durbin and i have been long involved in this issue, and also senator franken and i represent a state that has a lot of refugees and are a big part of the fabric of life in our state, leading businesses, teaching our students, on our police forces. so i think i would start with this issue with you, director rodriguez, on the security check. as you state in your testimony, refugees are subject to the highest level of security check of any category of traveler to the u.s. i believe we need to uphold these stringent security standards which require extensive biographic and biometric checks, information vetting. do you agree with me that refugees are the most carefully vetted of all travelers, and what has uscis done to ensure that the high security requirements for refugees are not compromised as we look at some increase in the number of refugees?
>> yes, i agree that they are the most highly vetted travelers to the u.s. my particular sample population is the rest of immigrants to the u.s. who also, incidentally, are subject to extensive background checks. refugees definitely get more, as to asylees. we are in a constant process of adding tools as those tools become available. and so a lot of times, for example, when we're talking about incidents for people who arrived even eight or nine years ago and let alone 20 years ago, the process that they would have undergone then is nowhere near the process that we have now. >> right. and for the syrian refugees, there's an even -- an extra layer, is that right? >> there are a couple of extra layers. one a select portion of the cases when they have particular characteristics are prereviewed
by our fraud detection and national security direct rat even before an interview was conducted by our officers in order to identify a line of question, areas of concern for officers to pursue. if there are concerns after the interview, those cases are held for further review by the same team. >> we have a lot of refugees from other populations, other countries, not as many from syria, and i met one of the 24 of them two weeks ago. we only have 24 in our state. and she came actually -- was armenian so she was at the armenian independence day celebration from aleppo and i talked to her about the process that she had to go through. i was going to ask you about the special immigrant visas for iraqi and afghan translators. senator sessions raised the issue of some of these refugees, and i personally have met one guy that is friends of the
general that's in charge of our minnesota national guard. he's teaching at a military college now in the u.s. he's helped protect our military abroad, including senator graham, and as a result he and his family were forced to flee their homes because they received death threats from al qaeda. he was granted a visa but he's been waiting for more than two years to receive asylum in the u.s. i think you know that this program of bringing in the people that helped us are supported by generals mcchrystal and campbell. both acknowledge how crucial this is. can you tell us more about why this is taking so long for somebody that has helped our country in this way? >> sure. our current -- this really speaks to various challenges that we're dealing with in our asylum process. it's no secret that our asylum process is backlogged. the fact is that we essentially run it on a first come, first served basis, and so we do
address the oldest cases regardless factors of nationality or anything else. that is the approach that we've taken. we are, have been for some time, in the process of adding, training, deploying, making sure that they have experience additional asylum officers in order that we reach the levels needed to adequately address that caseload. >> okay. the last question i had, i have a question that is pretty important that i will put on the record on torture victims relief. republican representative chris smith and i have been working on this, and senator durbin and franken are co-sponsors to this bill. i will put that on the record. my question actually, last one, is about refugee resettlement. it's my understanding, and you note in your testimony, that this is actually to mr. carey, that the voluntary agency matching grant program reported economic self-sufficiency rates
of about 82% for refugees at 180 days. that doesn't surprise me. my state, the unemployment rate is down to 3.6%. the refugees are legal. they're not illegal. because they're legal, they can work, lawfully work, and it's a big help for us in areas of our state where we simply need more workers, and i could give you numerous examples of managers of plants that tell me they were going to shut down if they hadn't gone through the refugee program to bring in people, whether they were from burma, whether they were hmong, and it's made a huge difference in our state and our state has one of the lowest unemployment rates, one of the most successful metropolitan rates, not to mention rural areas, in the country and a lot of this has to do is we have legal workers that can work at our 17 fortune 500 companies or other places. how has this program been effective? what can we do to make it more effective? >> thank you, senator. it's one of our signature programs. >> is the microphone on? >> yes. a little distant.
sorry. the matching grant program is one of the signature programs. we're proud of it. the 82% outcome is an important indicator. we have expanded it by 5,000 slots in the last year recognizing that it's extraordinarily effective. i think it's also emblematic of the public/private partnership that fuels the program. many thousands of volunteers from church and community-based organizations participate in the ongoing orientation and job search effort with refugees. we find that the employers -- we work with them on an ongoing basis during the initial placement period and it's extraordinarily successful, and we expect to continue it and hope to increase it should resources become available. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> all right. senator vitter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. rodriguez, fordham law school's center on national security has released a report on isis prosecutions in the
united states, and they looked at all isis prosecutions in the united states and determined that of those involved in that, 18% were refugees or asylees. shouldn't that be of enormous concern to all of us? >> without a doubt, yes. >> isn't that a very big percentage? no, not a big percentage? >> no, no, no. i didn't get to say what i was about to say -- >> well, my question is isn't that a very big percentage, 18%? >> 1% would be a big percentage. this is an area of significant concern. >> yes. now, a few minutes ago you touted and made a big deal in your testimony -- or perhaps in response to a question that since 9/11 there has been no person who came in as an adult
in the refugee program who was convicted of a violent terrorist offense. now, that's great, but that was very careful -- a very carefully crafted statement. there are many people who came in as adults in the refugee program who have been convicted of terrorist offenses, correct? >> that is correct. >> now, we're all happy that those plots were disrupted, but in terms of security threats possibly posed by the refugee program, those cases are darn relevant, aren't they? just as relevant as a successful violent attack. >> sure they are and they inform a number of the improvements we've made toefr years. many of those cases involve admissions that took place a while ago. even in the last four to five years, there have been significant chapgs in the way we vet refugees that make as difference. >> just to clarify your earlier statement, again, you touted
nobody came in through the refugee program as an adult who committed a violent act, but there sure were those who came in who were convicted of terrorist offenses. >> i was transparent about that. that's correct. >> well, you were only transparent about it once -- >> no, no, i said it -- no, i said it in my opening remarks. i said it in my opening remarks. >> have you personally reviewed all of those cases, because again, as the chair said, we've asked for the total number, and your department and other agencies have been unable to give us a number. >> i have reviewed -- >> have you personally reviewed that universe of cases both with regard to the total number and the specific circumstances, perhaps common threads, of those cases? >> i can't tell you that i have. i can tell you two things. one, i have reviewed a lot of cases, and certainly as new cases have arisen in recent years, i become immediately familiar with the facts of those cases, and one of the things that we do collectively in our
agency is look at improvements that may be indicated by the circumstances in those cases. >> shouldn't you know the total number of that universe? >> perhaps we know it as an agency. i have some rough sense of the number. i don't specifically know the number. >> we've asked that question for months. we've not gotten a straight response. why is that? >> i honestly don't know. i'm prepared to work with you to make sure you get the answers you're looking for. >> okay. you're in charge of the program. it seems to me you should darn well know what the number is and it seems to me you should review those cases, all of those cases, to look for common threads. now, as has been mentioned earlier, fbi director comey has testified that the federal government does not have the ability to conduct thorough background checks on all of the
syrian refugees being let in. do any of the witnesses here disagree with that? >> i believe that that statement has been vastly overread. i'd like to read another statement by director comey made before the house committee on homeland security back in the summer, and i think -- and this was referring to both his testimony and also testimony by the director of national intelligence and the head of the nctc. i think what all three of us said when we last talked about this together is we were comparing our ability to vet iraqi refugees as opposed to syrian refugees. we've made great progress, and we've made even more progress at getting better at knowing what we know about anybody who is looking to come to the united states. so that is the full scope of what -- >> i believe director comey's point is -- was, was that in the vast number of these cases of syrian refugees, there is no
information in our database, if you will, from independent sources. isn't that correct? isn't it true that in the great majority of cases, the test is basically the interview with them, checking that against what you know of the area where they have testified they were, not any third-party sources? >> in other words, that's true. we don't have access -- for somebody who has not, for whatever reason, appeared in our intelligence databases, i think that's a fair statement. >> so that was clearly the point of director comey's testimony when he said we don't have the ability to conduct thorough background checks. we can only -- quote, we can only query against that which we have collected, close quote. in the vast majority of syrian cases, that's nothing, correct? >> well, in part because we would hope that a lot of those folks are not coming up on intelligence databases at all.
in other words -- in fact, this has been my observation meeting them, they are law-abiding, working people trying to come here and find a better life. that's why they would not appear in those kinds of databases. >> but you do admit there are terrorists who are not on those databases. >> i don't know. i don't know. i can't guarantee that every single terrorist are in those databases. what i can tell you is that we have identified -- >> let's back up. we can all agree, isn't it clear, that every single terrorist is not on those databases? isn't that a virtual certainty? >> i think that's true regardless of what country they're coming from. >> correct. >> and how they're coming here, and in fact, whether they're born in the united states to begin with. the point that i am making -- first of all, i would not dismiss the interview process so quickly and easily. these are highly trained officers, intensely briefed on country conditions, but the track record also speaks for itself. significant numbers of people
have been denied because of what is in those databases and is, in fact, a high priority of government to develop as much and as robust information as we can about these organizations. >> or the track record, terrorist prosecutions of folks that came in through the refugee program? >> certainly, without a doubt, that's something that has occurred, yes. >> thank you. >> well, we haven't had terrorist attacks from people who came from cuba or philippines or mexico or south africa or ethiopia, but there are areas around the world where we have had a persistent number of that, and we expect that this congress has a duty to make sure that we're careful about those admissions and be in touch with reality when we do vetting. that's what the issue is about, and we'll all have disagreements about it. senator franken. >> thank you, thank you.
on the vetting process, so how long is it for someone coming from syria, and i guess we've admitted only 12,000 refugees at a displaced population of 5 million people, considering the humanitarian crisis there, which i think is the worst since world war ii, and the chairman -- today's chairman talked about the light of liberty, and i believe on that -- on the statue of liberty there is a poem by emma lazarus that says, "bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." 12,000 syrian refugees out of a displaced population of almost 5 million. we have seen these heartbreaking pictures of children who are being killed, and think about --
i guess we're talking about over 400,000 syrians killed in this. so think about what our job is as human beings and what our obligation is to other human beings. these are people that are fleeing isis. these are people who are fleeing an assad regime that uses poison gas against civilians. the vetting process is the u.n. first, refugee center first vets people and hands them to us. then we take over an average a
year and a half before we -- as we vet them before they come over. is that correct? >> yes, that's correct, senator. >> okay. and have we had any adults that came over from syria engage in some terrorist plot of some sort? >> no, senator. >> not to my knowledge either. >> okay. so these are people who come here, you know, my grandfather came from russia. he arrived and saw that on the statue of liberty. he was one of those huddled masses yearning to breathing free. you know, one awful thing
happening is one too many, but we've had 400,000 people killed. let's weigh those things, and let's talk about what kind of country we are. are we a country that's just terrified? are we political leaders, are we officeholders whose job it is to give in to terrorists and tell them that we're not going to live up to our values that are there on the statue of liberty? or are we going to be a bigger people? i think it's great that we have given more financial aid in the syrian crisis than any other country, but the number of people that we have brought in is, i think, a disgrace. 25 to minnesota. 25 people. i just -- i just think that this
is really a matter of sort of values here. i think when you come right down to it, and i think our country is enriched by refugees like my grandfather. i don't think we should have a test that you should ask someone from syria whether they're muslim or not. i have a feeling that isis terrorists might lie. they're very tricky, you know. they might say they're christian. but we have a member of this committee who suggested that that be -- i think we have to do a gut check here and see who we are as a people. we benefit from our immigrants. we benefit from our refugees, and we don't benefit as a
country when little children are drowning and families go through these hardships and see their families die. thank you. >> thank you, senator franken. an eloquent statement, and we should all consider what you tell us. senator tillis. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. rodriguez, i'm going to ask you, if you will, just to give you a moment to do it, go back to your opening comments and the comment that you referred to -- that you referred to as being transparent on the prosecutions. i want to come back and have you read that in a minute, but i want -- this committee, i'm relatively new here. i've been here less than two years and i'm already tired of people talking past each other in this committee. here is one of the problems we have, and i want to thank people who have come to this nation as refugees and served our nation.
you go to arlington national cemetery, you see a lot of muslims who have died in the service of this nation. this is not what this issue should be about. this issue should be about the integrity of the process, right? it should be about recognizing and not finessing the fact that some one-fifth of the prosecutions related to, i think, alleged facilitators were through the refugee or asylee program. why is that important? because it does a disservice to the refugees, the legitimate refugees who came here who had no intention of harm thg country and, in fact, many of them willing to serve it. when we start finessing it and not look at the problems with the current system, we do the refugees and the asylees a disservice. we as committee members should stop talking about a republican position or a democratic position and come up with a responsible, compassionate position. we should also come up with a
responsible policy so they're not forced to make the heartbreaking decision to leave their nations. i don't think a lot of people were born and all of a sudden say i want to come to the united states. they leave their nations because they're threatened with their lives. they're threatened with their family's lives. it's a profound decision. it's one i hope i would never have to make in the united states. i don't believe people are born and all of a sudden want to come to the united states. most of them want to live in their nation of birth where their families exist, where their cultures are. our dialogue needs to keep that in mind. however, there are failures in this system and there are people talking past each other. politicians and bureaucrats who are parties to this problem, and we need to start addressing them. now, i want to start, mr. rodriguez, by you reading that passage, please, in your opening statements. >> that was an extemporaneous -- if we have the transcript, that was extemporaneous. i can tell what you i meant to say.
>> my request to you would be to actually if you were aware of the fordham report, then you should have said that, in your words in response to senator vitter, 1% is too many, then clearly 18% is 18 times too many. what can we do within your agency and other agencies to make sure that we're sharing that information, where we're integrating and providing more information on patterns of life so we can find people who are abusing our goodwill and potentially trying to do harm to this nation? because if one succeeds, then it harms our ability to go help the refugees that we should find a safe place somewhere on this planet, in this country, or somewhere else. what are you all doing, and just very quickly. i only have 1:45. what precisely have you done to try -- you know the dialogue, the public dialogue out there. what precisely have you done, instead of saying it's a homeland security issue, what
precise, constructive, proactive actions have your agencies taken to make sure that most of this happens where we don't pass the baton, we don't share information? what precisely can you point to in your tenure that you have done to try to eliminate those gaps and that create the lapses and the problems with -- >> i'm going to tell you about two concrete things that have occurred during the time i've been there. there are things my predecessors have done as well which shows the evolution. two concrete things. first, during my time as director, we took the interagency check which is the multiagency check of intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies. it is now a recurrent check, which means that from the time it is first initiated prior to interview and for 2 1/2 years thereafter, if new information goes into that database, we and other relevant agencies are notified -- >> because i want to keep honest
on time -- >> can i tell you one more? >> if you can respond back in a written form, i'd like that, and i'd like it from each of the agencies. i guess my final question is maybe nor you mr. rodriguez, this fordham law school report. had you heard about it before senator vitter brought it up? >> i'm eager to read it. >> i'd like to get a response back from your agency on what, if anything, may have -- we may have been able to do in the process to have identified this threat or the patterns of life that occurred afterwards that ultimately identified the threat. are there things we can learn from this? it would seem to me if this report is legitimate and it appears to be, that you can learn from this and you should look at this as an opportunity to improve the integrity of the system so that we don't have to continue to have this circular discussion about refugees or not. this is not what this discussion is about. we're a nation founded on immigration. we're in a time now where people can be radicalized through
twitter. so we have to be absolutely certain that those who are coming here want to honor our nation for honor them as people who are legitimately at risk. we want to save them. we want to help them, but we expect them to come to this country and participate fully in society and your agencies can do us a service by eliminating the gaps and the lapses in the system that give credibility to some of the arguments that have been expressed today. thank you. >> thanks, mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses for being here today. a number of the comments made this morning on this panel reflect the fact that all of us have an immigrant story or most of us do that is very near to us both in time and personal
meaning, and i'm proud to say that my dad came to this country in 1935. he was 17 years old. he spoke virtually no english, had not much more than the shirt on his back, and knew essentially no one, and this great country gave him a chance to succeed. arguably he was a refugee, and certainly his parents and immediate family were refugees when he enabled them to come here by borrowing money that he could scarcely pay back on the eve of the holocaust, and i am proud of my state of connecticut which has welcomed refugees into their hearts and homes over many years, most recently refugees from around the globe seeking to escape similar kinds of persecution and violence there. our churches and synagogues,
nonprofits across the state have volunteered to help resettle those refugees. the integrated refugee and immigrant services in connecticut, just as one example, one of our state's largest refugee resettlement agencies, has doubled the number of families it has resettled this year during an outpouring of refugees and a similar outpouring of community support. i visited a refugee camp in jordan during one of my trips there with colleagues, some of whom are on this committee, i believe. one of the refugees successfully resettled in our state was here today. i'm not sure that he still is. his name is ismael despot. he lives in connecticut. he fled religious persecution in
iran and was resettled in connecticut with his wife and three young children in 2000. his history is a very inspiring one. when the iranian revolution began, the university he was attending at that time was shut down, and the leaders of his place of worship, st. paul episcopal church in tehran, were arrested. with no one to lead his church, he stepped in and fulfilled that role for almost a decade. he was prevented from becoming a priest because of the religious persecution in his country. other church leaders were murdered. he was eventually targeted. he escaped to this country, and he now works as a hospice chaplain and episcopal priest
thanks to the opportunity provided by american refugee programs. he is serving the people of connecticut, not just benefiting from the greatness of this country, but contributing to it and giving back. there is a fear today. it's understandable, that our nation is at risk. we are at war with extremist violence. that violence presents dangers to our country, and the apprehensions created by that ongoing war that we must fight against violent extremism should not be permitted to overcome our basic ideals, but we do need to be careful and thoughtful about the way we do our refugee programs. the question that i am asked and i want to ask you is how do we
improve the vetting and screening that's ongoing now? how do we strengthen it? because we must if there are weaknesses in it. i noted in your testimony that you talked about pilot programs under way that will strengthen and increase its efficacy. the increased reliance on potential biometrics is another opportunity that i think should be explored, and the intensity of our efforts to get better information from countries that are ravaged by war and strife presents challenges, but they too have to be explored. so my question to you is what efforts are ongoing and what can be done to improve those vetting and screening programs? >> i would point to two
significant groups of effort. first of all, we are for the information against which we vet dependent on law enforcement and intelligence agencies. there is an ongoing process among those agencies and with their international partners to seek new sources of information to fortify information sharing. that's something that progressed dramatically post-september 11th and continues to improve. that's something they can speak to, but we benefit tremendously from the wealth of information created by the work that those agencies do. secondly, we have been in the process focusing now specifically on syrian and more recently iraqi populations, in looking at social media utilized by those applicants in certain defined universes of cases, again, as possible places where
we may find derogatory or concerning information about those individuals which would then inform our vetting decision. >> and that's the pilot program you referred to -- >> it's beyond the pilot now. there is, in fact, active work going on for defined categories of people in that area right now. >> what can be done to improve the availability of biometric information so that checks against data can be more effectively done? >> i think that's something that director comey spoke to yesterday in his hearing. again, those are efforts that are being led by the law enforcement and intelligence agencies. that has been identified as a critical area of further development in the work that we do, and, again, we benefit in the work that we do as those improvements are made by those agencies. >> you would agree that those improvements and efforts are absolutely necessary.
you refer to them as critical, but they are also urgent. >> i agree, sir. >> i have additional questions i'd like to submit for the record to get written answers with the chairman's permission. my time has expired. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. america has long shown an incredible generosity of spirit welcoming refugees and offering them safe haven. indeed, i am the son of a refugee who fled prison and torture in cuba and came to america seeking freedom. but our immigration laws are not a suicide pact. the refugee program should not become a vehicle for terrorists to come murder innocent americans. i and i think a great many americans are deeply concerned by the willful blindness of this administration to the threat of radical islamic terrorism. that was characterized powerfully just a few minutes
ago when our democratic colleague, senator al franken, said we should not even ask refugees if they are muslims. if one is trying to prevent radical islamic terrorists from coming in, the suggestion from my democratic colleague that we shouldn't even ask to me is nuts. as we look at this -- what is happening in syria and what's happening in the middle east, isis is evil. they are waging a war of genocide against christians. they are murdering jews. they are murdering fellow muslims. and yet the refugee program, as administered by this
administration, seems to have an enormous preference for syrian muslim refugees and seems to actively keep out syrian christian refugees. in 2014 the obama administration admitted 249 refugees from syria. 224 of those, 89.9%, were muslim. only 13 were christian, 5.2%. in 2015 the obama administration admitted 2,192 refugees from syria. 2,149 were muslim. that's 98%. and only 29, 1.3%, were christian. in 2016 to date, the obama
administration has admitted 11,717 refugees from syria. of those, 11,624 were muslim. that's 99.2%. and 49 were christian. that's 4.1%. all told since 2011, 14,267 syrian refugees have been admitted to the united states and more than 14,000 of them were muslim. fewer than 100 were christian. now, those numbers are not even close to the proportional population in syria. syria, the prewar population, 10% of the population of syria was christian. and yet 0.68% of the refugees being admitted by the administration are christian. mr. henshaw, why is the administration admitting such a disproportionately low number of christian refugees?
>> our admittance of refugees is based on vulnerabilities of which religious persecution is one of them. syrian refugees, although christians were 10% of the prewar syrian population, they're only about 1% of the number of refugees that have fled. we believe there are a number of reasons for this. one of them is that many of the christians still reside in syria in government-controlled areas. they were located in there before hand. we have -- our program, however, is ready to take any christian who comes into the system. one of the other difficulties we face is that some of the christians who have fled, have fled to lebanon and our program is relatively small there, but we're trying to build it up -- >> do you agree that isis is persecuting christians and endeavoring -- and would like to endeavor to wage genocide against them? >> yes.
and muslims and jews and any other person that disagrees with them, absolutely. so we've started a program to include in our refugee program syrians who are waiting for immigrant visas based on relatives in the united states. there are a number of syrians that have pending immigrant visas -- >> let me shift to another question -- >> could i just add -- >> my time is expiring and i want to ask another question of your colleague. mr. rodriguez, the house of representatives recently obtained a leaked internal dhs document, a memorandum, that basically admits that refugee fraud is, quote, easy to commit yet not easy to investigate. are you familiar with that memorandum? >> i think i know the memorandum. if you have it, would you be willing to share it with me because i want to make sure we're talking about the same document. may i see it? >> i have it right here.
>> yeah, it is the document that i thought it was. this is a draft document. it is my understanding it was never issued. we believe it was prepared in 2012. whoever wrote this didn't know what they were talking about. for this simple reason, they assumed that we were not collecting fingerprints, that we were not taking photographs, and that we were not conducting interviews of refugees. in fact, even back then and well before that all three of those activities were occurring for every single refugee over the age of 14 years old and every single -- >> so you don't know who prepared this document? >> i don't know who prepared this document. >> well, i would appreciate your answering to the committee in writing after this hearing. you ought to be able to find out who prepared this document. >> oh, i would like to know because whoever it was was deeply misinformed.
>> i would note it's got the dhs letterhead at the top and the memorandum says, and i'm quoting from it, isis refugee program is particularly vulnerable to fraud due to loose evidentiary requirements where at times the testimony of an applicant alone is sufficient for approval. as a result, a range of bad actors who use manufactured histories, biographies and other false statements as well as produce and submit facetious supporting documentation have exploited this program, and the memo goes on to note that in the many instances the applicant for a benefit, including both asylum and refugee status, receives a government-issued document that contains the biographic information that the applicant supplied. this document can then be used for many things such as obtaining a driver's license. now, this strikes me as a recipe for fraud, that if we are
allowing refugees to come in without supporting information, tell us who they claim to be, and we're letting them in despite the fact that the director of the fbi has told us they cannot vet these refugees to make sure they're not terrorists, how can we possibly be confident that the refugees coming in are not, in fact, terrorists seeking to murder innocent americans. >> what i am telling you is i would not give that document a whole lot of credit because whoever that person was did not do the homework to learn about our process. we can talk about real gaps, i mean, real issues, real areas of risk. that document was written by somebody who did not take the time to familiarize themselves -- >> do you disagree with the passage i read though? >> i disagree. >> so is it true or false that the testimony of the applicant alone can be sufficient for approval? >> it is considered. it depends on the case.
usually we do have extensive documentations. syrians in particular present with extensive documentation. passports, military records. so there is documentation we review. if you come to one of our refugee resettlement center -- >> it's a very simple question. my time has expired but i would like to get an answer to this question. is it true or false that the testimony of the applicant alone can be sufficient for approval? >> there are cases where the testimony is not necessarily corroborated by documents, but it is always tested against country conditions and other information. that's why it doesn't lend itself in the way that you're asking the question, senator. >> are you saying it's true or you're saying it's false? i'm just trying to understand -- >> no, i am acknowledging that, yes, testimony can be the basis for the grant of a refugee, but it needs to be tested against other information that we know about the country conditions at a minimum.
>> thank you, sir. >> well, mr. rodriguez, all of you work for the people of the united states. this is a congress of the united states. we have a right to ask questions. we expect unbiased, objective answers, and he took too long to get you to acknowledge that answer, and i don't appreciate it, and i'll just tell you others doubt the validity of this program and how effective it is. yesterday director comey of the fbi before the house under oath testified that challenge will be -- talking about the hopeful defeat of isil, at least taking away their territory, he said, the challenge will be through the fingers of that crush of isis are going to come hundreds of very, very dangerous people. they will not all die on the battlefield in syria and iraq.
there will be terrorists for some time in the next two to five years like we've never seen before. he added, quote, we must prepare ourselves and our allies, especially in western europe, to confront that threat because when isil is reduced to an insurgency and those killers throw out, they will try to come to western europe and here to kill innocent people, close quote. and what he's saying is we don't have a system that can stop that from happening, and it can happen in a lot of different ways, and i'm uneasy that you're reluctant to acknowledge the dangers that we have. you're in charge of it. he's in charge of security too, and he admits there are dangers, and i'm just not happy about it. i just want you to know. and i believe senator cruz is correct to say there's a willful blindness here. just a refusal to acknowledge plain reality, and we're not going to be intimidated from it.
i'm not going to be intimidated and others aren't from discussing the danger by somebody saying you don't believe in refugees, that you oppose cuban refugees. i'm not opposed to cuba refugees or from other places of the world. our concern is that we be sure we're careful about it, and the people in charge of it need to be well engaged and concerned about the danger we face. so we had a discussion about honor killings. so i now have a news report in november of last year estimated 27 victims of honor killings each year in america, in america. not in syria. this is what the article -- this is a fox news article quoting from the report. it's estimated that 23 to 27
honor killings per year in the united states. 91% of the victims in north america are murdered for being, quote, too westernized. it doesn't sound like an assimilation goal of the refugees to me. or immigrants. and in incidents involving daughters 18 years or younger a father is almost always involved. and for every honor killing, there are many more instances of physical and emotional abuse all in the name of fundamentalist islam say the experts. so i'd say that's something we need to know about. and i mentioned the female genital mutilation. this is the fbi report i'm reading from. and it was may of this year. first line, more than 500,000
women and girls across the country, most of them living in metropolitan areas, are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation, a procedure practiced in many middle eastern and african countries. it goes on to say in major cities like new york, minneapolis, los angeles, and washington where a large diaspora of immigrant communities have coalesced is where this is occurring. it's a real problem. it's not a made up problem. we have to confront this. so let me say i believe that the situation in syria is a catastrophe. it's a humanitarian catastrophe. there is no easy solution to it. we've got 4 million people. nobody proposes that we're going to fix this problem by bringing in 12,000 people from syria. it can't possibly fix the
problem. the problem was statesmen somewhere miscalculated about what should happen in syria and we participated in the furthering of a civil war that's created a catastrophe and our best solution, in my opinion, is to help the 12-1 cost factor by helping people in the region stay close to their home and let's get a cease-fire working and see if we can get people back home. the world is not going to be able to take all of those people. what if another major country in the middle east collapses? is it our duty to take everyone from that country that would qualify as being in danger? it's not possible. we need to get focused reality here. we need to do the right thing for our country. there are limited to what we can do but we are the most generous
nation. we are funding refugee camps and doing all we can. i would like to see the military and the state department work together to try to identify ways to get more more people at home create more safe areas within syria. i think that's doable. we're just not get anything support from the administration to accomplish that. all we hear is, we've got to set an example and get more people to leave their country and come to the united states. as one expert who cares about this institute of peace told me it's not a good policy to see how many people you can take from countries. if the united states wants to help the world, the overall goal should be to help those countries be successful and not just take away people from the country. i would just say to you, the american people are uneasy about this. we're not happy. and we're not getting very good responses from our government
officials in charge of these programs. senator cruz, i believe you have another question you'd like to ask? and i would be pleased to recognize you at this time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. rodriguez, i'm sure you're familiar with director comey's testimony where last year he told the house the federal government could not guarantee the refugee applicants from syria were not terrorists and indeed he said if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in syria that would get their identity or interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home but there will be nothing to show up because we have no record on them. do you agree with the head of the fbi that we cannot vet these refugees to make sure they're not terrorists? >> i agree with the quote. i don't agree that extends to, quote, we cannot vet the refugees. i think there is extensive evidence we can vet the refugees. >> and how successful do you
think that vetting has been? >> again, i point to the fact that 7% of all syrian applicants -- we're just taking that particularly concerning group as the example -- have been denied either because they -- information about them has arisen in various law enforcement or intelligence databases or because during the course of interview we have determined them to not be credible. roughly double that number, perhaps a little bit less, placed on hold. no action taken on their -- >> but mr. rodriguez, with all respect, that's an odd measure to say the vetting is successful because we've turned some people down. >> we've turned a lot of people down. >> well, let's ask, if vetting is successful, it is preventing terrorists from coming to america. so let me ask it a different way. in the eight years of the obama administration, how many refugees admitted to this country have been implicated in
terrorism? >> there -- we've talked about this during the hearing. there have been a number of cases, most of them -- >> how many? >> i can't tell you the exact number. i know the number is, to your point, significant. >> why can't you tell me the exact number? if you are concerned about if the vetting is working, i would think the department of homeland security would have every incentive to know every single instance. >> i think what really matters in the discussion about these cases is looking at those cases and determining if there are things we should have done differently. that's one of the reasons that the interagency checks were implemented. lessons that were learned because of admissions that occurred awhile ago. resulted in changes. so we -- every time a new case arises, our intelligence partners about what could we do differently in order for there to be an improvement in the way we do things. >> i agree that learning from
the mistakes of the past is important. and so i'm going to ask you, will you provide this committee in writing with an answer to my question specifically the number of how many refugees admitted in the last eight years have been implicated in terrorism. >> as best we can, we will respond to your questions. >> i can tell you from the public domain, we're aware of at least 20 individuals but there may be far more because these are public domain and you have records we don't have access to. >> they've identified about 40 cases so we can go through those. >> there are instances, you know, two in my home state of texas just recently in january of 2016, omar farage saeed al harda was found to make false statements and attempting to procure citizenship unlawfully. he was a palestinian born in
iraq. admitted to the united states as a refugee in 2009 and he obtained a green card in 2011. and, according to media accounts, he told his wife, i will go to syria. i want to blow myself up. i am against america. in your view, did the vetting process work well admitting al harden as a refugee? >> i wouldn't speak to a specific case. obviously if there was derogatory information we missed, that is an area of concern about that specific case. i won't speak about that one. i will say that we review every new case and ask ourselves, is there something we should have done differently? >> another instance in texas, february 5th, 2015, abdar nasser ibrahim for providing material support to al shabab, a
designated terrorist network and for making false statements in immigration network. ibrahim is a native of somalia. came as a refugee in 2002 and was subsequently given a green card. we keep seeing instances over and over again of refugees coming to america with an intention to engage in terrorism. and isis has made clear that they intend to exploit our refugee program. to send terrorists to america to commit murder, to murder innocent americans. how can you assure the american people that we are not right now admitting more terrorists who would wage jihad against our nation? >> because we conduct the
process in a manner that is designed to do everything within our power to screen out individuals who mean us harm, begin with the screening criteria that are given to unhcr. the fact that people are interviewed multiple times before even one of my officers sees them. >> but the interviews aren't catching these individuals. we're letting them in. >> for as -- there are those cases. there are also a number of cases where we've stopped people from traveling to the united states. and what i'm telling you is, as time has gone on, the process has become better and better. there are things we're doing today that we weren't doing two years ago. even some things we weren't doing a year ago. and so we're continuing to strengthen the process further and further so that we can, in fact, have the highest possible -- it's not going to eliminate all risk, but we are doing it so we can have the highest level of confidence we can that we are not admitting threats to the united states.
>> thank you. >> thank you, senator cruz. the fact is, it's pretty -- anybody understands the challenge they face doing this vetting. you cannot vet people from syria because there's no way, and we have no plans to send people into syria to verify anything that they say. that's the problem fundamentally. so i'll ask you, are you not aware that i had written four letters to the department asking for information on how many refugees have been convicted of criminal and terrorist activities? >> i confess, chairman, i was not. i will be sure to follow up. >> this is absolutely breathtaking. it's a total disrespect to this body who is in charge of giving you money to run your business and we're going to -- we should quit giving you money if you don't respond and you don't know basic things. let me just tell you, august
12th i sent a letter to that effect. december 15th. january 11, 2016 and in june of this year, so frustrated was i that i wrote directly to the president to ask why can't we get this information. so you think we're entitled to know this? >> of course you're entitled to answers to your questions. i will follow up, sir. >> to me, it indicates a determination to promote an agenda without listening to the american people, without listening to their elected representatives, and to downplay and misrepresent, really, the danger that this program presents. and we're not having terrorists from a lot of areas, but some areas, we are having terrorists that threaten this country. >> were those addressed directly to my agency? >> they were directed to secretary johnson. >> thank you. i will follow up. >> if someone wasn't sending it to you or someone to get an
answer from it, i take that as absolute refusal to respond to a legitimate request to congress. >> our operations are fee funded, not tax funded. >> you aren't funded by the taxpayers? so you don't have any responsibility to -- >> no, we have a responsibility to the american people to do our job the right way. that's not the point i was making. >> you don't get any fees congress hasn't authorized. isn't that true? >> that's certainly true. >> we'll leave the record open for questions. i thank you for our participation. we are adjourned. tonight on c-span3, the history of nuclear arms negotiations between the united states and the soviet union. from the cato institute, a
discussion about the universal basic income as a way to eliminate poverty. and a debate about epa power plant regulations at the bipartisan policy center. 30 years ooh president ronald reagan and soviet premier mikhail gorbachev met in reykjavik, iceland to negotiate a nuclear arms treaty. a discussion was held to see how it was worked out between the two cold war leaders and how it affected u.s. relations with the soviet union. ken adelman is on the panel and former cbs and nbc foreign correspondent marvin cal. >> there you go. it's working now. i'd like to welcome you all to brookings. i just would like to let everybody in the audience know
that you're on live tv. we have colleagues from c-span2 over here. so please be on your best behavior. we'll certainly try to appear on the podium as well. we also have some colleagues from iceland tv as well at the back of the room. very pleased to have here because this is, obviously, a very special event to mark the 30th anniversary of the reykjavik summit in iceland. i'm fiona hill, the director of the center on the united states and europe. it's my great pleasure to be here today and to have the opportunity to moderate a panel of three extremely distinguished people who all have their own connection to this summit 30 years ago. 30 years ago, i was just starting off in university watching all of these gentlemen on television and wondering how this is all going to turn out. it's quite, for the younger people in the audience, think
where you might be in 30 years time. you never know. we are using this occasion to get ahead of another big anniversary coming up at the end of this year. the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the soviet union. lots of events related to this and the independence of all the former republics of the soviet union, including the russian federation after the end of this year. we thought reykjavik was an extremely important anniversary. we'd like to welcome here the ambassador of iceland. very pleased you could be with us in the front of the audience. reykjavik was one of the key events that led to the end of the cold war. one of the key meetings between the united states and soviet union and the whole succession of events that proceeded to follow the berlin wall. so we're going to do a two-panel event today. this first panel will focus onn.
and the u.s. and soviet effort to walk back from the brink of nuclear confrontation. the second panel moderated by angela stint is going to hone in on the general issue of arms control after reykjavik and assess the merits. the basis for a new relationship between the united states and russia over the last three decades. obviously developments over the last few days have put that back on the agenda again with russia pulling out of the plutonium disposition act. we did not know this was going to happen, although sometimes my colleague is a little prescient on these. he insisted on us holding this event october 4th and i wonder if he knew something else was going to happen on october 3rd. suddenly it puts it back at the top of the agenda in the news again. so i want to begin the panel with a little scene setting.
not everybody in the audience will remember these days as well as our panelists of the 1980s. some people in the audience probably not born then. but it's worth reminding us the 1980s were years of heightened cold war confrontation and a real risk of nuclear war. i want to go through a few quick points and then turn over to our panelists for a discussion of this. we had a classic detente between the united states and soviet union and europe and soviet union in the 1960s and 1970s. but by the 1980s, the soviet union was actually convinced the united states would become a clear and present danger. they were spending all their time poring over u.s. defense budgets, global u.s. military exercises, american and nato air probes, sensitive orders. similar to some of the problems we're seeing today. statements pie top white house and pentagon officials and increased operations by the cia in afghanistan and elsewhere. by 1981, the kremlin leadership
was thoroughly convinced the united states was a nuclear threat. march 1983 was a full-scale -- this was just after ronald reagan has announced the development of the strategic defense initiative or star wars. the land-based anti-ballistic missile defense system that was to shield the united states from a soviet nuclear strike. andropov who just moved from leading the kgb, to head of the soviet state. in 1982, he accused ronald reagan of plotting a nuclear holocaust. tension was palpable throughout europe, as well as in the united states. and during a british war game to test nato's preparations for soviet nuclear strike as we now know, thanks to the declassification of british archives, queen elizabeth ii actually drafted a world war iii speech. she had an address that was filed away in the archives and
only revealed a few years ago, urging britons to remain united and resolute against the madness of nuclear war. and this was drafted almost the same time as president reagan made his very famous evil empire speech on march 8th, 1983, about the dangers posed to the united states in the way of life in the soviet union. so things were bad in 1983. got worse at the end of that year. soviet war planes intercepted a south korean airlines plane, kl 007 believing it was a u.s. spy plane as it was flying from alaska to seoul. and the whole idea of impending world war ii was reverberating around pretty much every world capital. 1984, august 1984, just as we run up to more of these events, ronald reagan frightened everybody with one of the most infamous hot mike incidents when he joked on public radio just before a live broadcast in
california, my fellow americans, i'm pleased to tell you that i've signed legislation that will outlaw russia forever. we begin bombing in five minutes. as we now know from declassified soviet archives, nobody got the joke there and complete panic set in in moscow. there's only one of these gentlemen came along after march 1985 when mikhail gorbachev came in that things started to calm down. november 1985 in geneva, mikhail gorbachev and ronald reagan held their first meeting between a soviet and american leader. the first meeting in seven years. they began the whole process leading up to reykjavik that was to put to rest these tensions. so the reykjavik summit 30 years ago was a key part of that process and would ultimately lead to the signing of the 1987 intermediate range nuclear forces treating which is under something of a cloud also at the moment and lay the ground for the 1991 first s.t.a.r.t.
treaty. initially, as we'll hear from our panelists, the summit seemed to be a bit of a failure. and its immediate aftermath was, again, another of those cold war familiar scenarios of tit-for-tat spy expulsions from the u.s. embassy in moscow and the russian embassy here. the next panel was in the u.s. embassy in moscow then and spent most of his time having to fill in for vital personnel staff who had been expelled and driving a truck instead of doing his analysis on russian political and military affairs. of course, u.s. journali isist dunalof was actually arrested and imprisoned in a soviet jail. that was all that was going on. behind the scenes of reykjavik, things were quite different as we'll hear from our panel. first of all, we have to kick us off, brookings president,
strob talbot who was covering reykjavik as washington bureau chief for "time" magazine. we also have our good colleague and friend marvin kalb. i believe you were the anchor for "meet the press." and we have distinguished american diplomat ken adelman who just published a new book, "reagan at reykjavik." and it's on sale outside the auditorium. already fans have come running up with books to be signed. and ken was there with president reagan behind the scenes with mikhail gorbachev. and after we heard some of the atmospherics and observations from them, he'll tell us what's really gone on behind closed doors. it's very exciting to have such a great panel and talk to people who were present at the events. we're very much looking forward to what you have to say.
strob, over to you. >> thanks, fiona. that's a terrific set-up for a really quite important story. and i think those of us who were there, including, of course, marvin and ken, knew that there were some possibilities. but i don't think any of us had even an ink ling of how far these two leaders, gorbachev and reagan, would actually go ken is the only person, probably in the room but certainly on the podium who was behind the closed doors. marvin and i were trying to listen through keyholes, if we could find any. just to fill in a little what fiona just said, this was still fairly early in the blossoming of the personal relationship
between the president of the united states and then what was the general secretary of the communist party of the soviet union. there were signs that things might warm up. the geneva meeting that happened the year before was -- the atmospherics were pretty good. and they certainly were better than the relationship or the nonrelationship between president reagan and andropov. but we had no idea as we got on to the press plane and headed to reykjavik, of all places, if i can say that, mr. ambassador. and, by the way, the site was actual l actually picked because it was more or less halfway between
moscow and washington. so neither leader had to go too far in the direction of the other was sort of the idea. and the -- it was october, obviously. it was blustery. the little house, i guess can we see that and they can't? >> yeah. >> i checked this with the ambassador before who confirmed that it was reputed to be haunted. and that's where everything went on. as the weekend developed, we began to get briefings from -- ken, i can't remember if you did any of them yourself. pardon? >> larry speaks. >> i think actually secretary schultz came out at one occasion while things were looking pretty good. and it sounded as though it was
going to be not just a placeholder for a more substantive summit later in the year but big things were going on in the house. and we at "time" magazine usually closed our weekly magazine on friday night so that it could come out on monday morning. and all of the signals were positive. so we had a number of photographs of reagan and gorbachev smiling and looking triumphant, one of which was, i think, david kennerly took it, was all ready to go. i had written the cover story. my editor, somebody you may have heard of, i walter isaac sson, back in new york, was helping
put the finishing touches on it about 4:00 in the afternoon that sunday. 4:00 in the afternoon on sunday, when the magazine was supposed to hit the streets the next morning. george schultz came out into the press room and you could tell from his face, you could tell from the tears that were in his eyes that the whole thing had collapsed. this led to one of the more exciting moments in my journalistic career. i have to get on the telephone. immediately called walter back in new york and said the equivalent of, baby, get me rewrite. and i started dictating what we were hearing from schultz and others who told us why the talks had collapsed. the word laboratory kept coming up. and i think i'll save that for
you, ken. and so we managed to flip a happy story into an unhappy story. we found an unhappy picture of the two leaders, and we got your "time" magazine into your hands about 7:00 the next morning. but that's not really anything more than background and color. what i think is really important about what we're going to be talking about in the next little while is that while it was a busted summit, it showed the degree to which these two men get, by the way, a lot of pushback from their military and their political advisers. these two men were determined
to, rather than having the united states and the soviet union constantly looking over the brink that would take us into global thermonuclear war, they were serious about not just arms control but massive, massive reductions of the arsenals of the two countries. and even though the reykjavik summit didn't achieve for reasons having primarily to do with sdi, it did create a kind of -- if i can put it this way -- a launching pad for the arms control agreements that were reaped during not just the years but the decades that followed, which will bring us to a melancholy present where so much of that progress, unfortunately, has either been stalled or -- and is going to be very, very hard to pick up on.
so with that, i will turn it to my travel companion back in those days who always was wearing a red tie, by the way. >> same red tie. >> i just put on a tie for all of you. but -- and certainly didn't have a tie on when i was rewriting the story over the telephone with walter. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, strobe. it's a pleasure to be with you guys on this panel. i have covered many soviet american summits. it was my great pleasure to do so. there were great stories and for someone who had spent much of his life either in russia or studying russia, i was fascinated by what was going on. and most especially with the vote of gorbachev on the scene. and reykjavik for me was an
enormous disappointment. i think it was a summit you could almost say that shouldn't have happened. and i appreciate what strobe was saying, that it did set certain things up, but two men were that close to something that was truly historic and could not pull it off. and when you looked at secretary schultz's face when he walked out, it seemed as if he had just been informed that his wife and children had died in an automobile accident. he looked awful. and as a reporter, you looked at that and you knew if you had done any advance work at all, you realize that gorbachev was trying to reach out to the west. he was aware that three of his leaders had died within the previous four years. he was a young man, and he thought he could do something different with russia.
so very quickly, he initiated a program that's called -- the idea of reforming russia. his vision was you can hold on to communism if you can somehow reform a system that was broken. the truth of the matter is, it was so broken that you could not continue and reform wouldn't work. but he didn't know that then. and he started in january of that year floating the idea of eliminating all nuclear weapons by the year 2000. the number of people in this city, or a number -- i will not mention names, but a lot of people sensed propaganda. that might have been the truth, but that's what he said, and he put that out there. n th and then the following month out of the soviet foreign office came word that the linkage that had been a soviet requirement and all of the agreements you had have to have all or nothing.
they pulled back from that. they were saying, maybe you could get one. and then behind it all was the awareness that afghanistan was a monstrous headache and defeat. how does a soviet leader acknowledge that to his people. 13,000 soldiers had been killed. how do you acknowledge that to the mothers and fathers? it was a tough thing. and he began to pull out. when he first came in, he said this is a bleeding wound. and we've got to end it. so he was aware he was under incredible pressure. he was trying to do something different. and the stage was reykjavik. and for a reporter there, you realize this was a big deal, although we were being told by our briefers, not ken, others, that this was just a setup for what would be a gorbachev visit
to the united states followed the following year by a reagan visit to moscow. and yet, behind the scenes, as we will hear, they were discussing things that were unbelievably important to the world and to the two countries. gorbachev was there with that idea in the final analysis of eliminating nuclear weapons, all nuclear weapons by the year 2000. the president was fascinated by the idea. reagan, despite the image of being the conservative, wouldn't get along with russia, reagan wanted to get along with russia. he wanted to get along with everyone. but more or less on his terms. and reagan had a romantic attachment to sdi, to what we in the press called start wars. and that romantic attachment was
complete. it was total. and if you had a choice at a certain point in that negotiation of saying, maybe we could both agree on eliminating all nuclear weapons by the year 2000. but gorbachev wanted first the elimination of the idea of sdi. that didn't work. and then there was the possibility of a compromise. reagan wanted the ability to test not only in the laboratory but also in the skies. and gorbachev was prepared, so i was told by russians whom i trusted at the time. gorbachev was prepared to accept the idea of testing in the laboratory but not in the skies. but the president would not accept that. and so at the understand of the day, what was explained to us by secretary schultz and by others later was that, yes, this was
possible, but the president would not yield on sdi and, therefore, nothing was possible. and that, to me, is -- as someone who has given up journalism long ooh i just think back upon it now, absorbed with writing about the history of russia and the soviet union and about ourselves and our dealings with russia. you think back to that time, my god, we've had nothing quite like it since or before. and how fantastic it would have been if one or the other had been available to make that final break with advisers who kept saying no. easy does it, boy. don't go too fast. don't go too far. and a president who really wanted to do it. everything in hollywood in him moved him to make a big sensational statement. but he was in love with sti and,
therefore, couldn't pull it off. and that sounds to me like just a sad story and i'm sad to have to report it. >> tears in your eyes as well. i suppose another of the issues we should have mentioned that the -- of course chernobyl and gorbachev had just come out of having to deal with the secretary general early ones n his term this devastating accident in a civilian nuclear complex which had very large effects. and iceland like many of the countries in northern europe had been under the plume of radioactive material that emanated from chernobyl. so that would also seem for gorbachev of thinking about this in a different way. so, ken, marvin has portrayed some of the motivations and ideas of reagan. what was it like behind the scenes? >> marvin was saying it was a very sad event.
i'm going to tell you why it was a happy event. and strobe told us why it was an amazing event. the most amazing is to see on monday when we got back, there was "time" magazine with david kennerly's picture on the cover and thinking, my god, this is a print, distribution and editorial triumph of the first order that it was kind of flown out there. >> there were some grammatical errors in this one. >> i thought there were errors in you, rather than the grammatical i overlooked. as marvin said, gorbachev on the scene was an amazing change. starting in '83, there was brezhnev's death and he was replaced by andropov and 14 months later because of a bad kidney, andropov died and then cherenyenko was there and helped with two armpits into every
room. and then he died. carol and i were very good friends then of the italian ambassador. he was telling us he was going to cherenyenko's funeral. i said, why are you doing that? he said i bought tickets to the entire series. he was used to going back and forth. so i thought to give a happy story and to cheer you up, which has always been one of my objectives in life. >> you have been another failure. [ laughter ] >> all right. i just wanted to cheer you up for a few minutes. i want to do three things. and fiona, you were great to give us the background of that. three things i want to do is, number one, in a jiffy way tell you what actually happened at reykjavik. number two, telling you the significance of what happened at reykjavik, and number three, telling you how my views differ with the views we heard in some
respects from the other three, the moderator and the two participants. amazingly isolated, as the ambassador knows. thought to be haunted. it even now is called the haunted house on that. and a very small and beautiful, beautiful house right on the outskirts of reykjavik. it's very exciting because carol and i are going there on friday for iceland is doing a big event for the 30th anniversary. so it will be terrific to go back and see it. i know that my wife doesn't like me to say this, but it was the greatest weekend of my life, and it was with the ups and downs and ins and outs and the thrill and misery, even before i saw marvin up there. but it was wonderful. okay. real quick. this is the "time" magazine that strobe wrote about in 1983. and in aspen, we have a
collection of all the "time" magazine men of the year. we have this on the wall. you'll be happy to know with reagan's signature. it's andropov and reagan looking like they are in a duel. >> you didn't get andropov's signature. >> no, i didn't get it. he died too quickly. it's like they're in a duel. instead of shoofting each other with pistols, they are going to go after each other with thermonuclear events. and it was a very scary time as fiona pointed out and as strobe wrote out in this cover story, "men of the year." and they are looking very somber on that. this is the house. you see the size of it from right there. i'll give you a quick tour. the upper left chamber is -- was the american chamber where we were waiting with the president. the upper right bedroom was
soviet parlor. and that part in between was the dmz. the demilitarized zone between the two. the window on the left on the main floor is where the two met. they met for 10 1/2 hours. one weekend in 10 1/2 hours. this is virtually without notes, without memos. without talking points. this is the most genuine either man was in office. in office when you're -- i don't know. when you're president of the united states, but i assume when you're general secretary of the soviet union you have all these scripted meetings you go through and everything with talking points, memos and do this, don't do that, watch this and that. this is a come as you are summit. a free-floating kind of thing, the likes of which will never be repeated. we got into the bubble there. and it was the smallest bubble
ever made which is the room within a room for secret talks. and there were eight of us in the bubble jammed in, shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee and the gigantic doors open and so now the president of the united states is there. we all stand up, belly to belly right there. i thought if i am going to stay in this bubble, and i am going to stay in the bubble, i better give the president my chair. so i said sit here. for the next 50 minutes, 40 minutes, i was leaning against the presidential knees as we had the first look at what gorbachev wanted to do. it was a very exciting time. this is -- this is miss world, not miss universe. she was not the miss world in the world, but i thought that she had been from iceland and just crowned the month before. i thought this would make a great cover for my book to help sales but somehow the publisher
thought it was a little off the subject. "fifty shades of -- or something. for search engines i wanted it. this is the prime minister in his bathsing suit talking to a young tom brokaw. they wanted to do interviews and iceland was ill equipped to handle the world's attention. they thought there were going to be very few press there. on the opening of the summit, there were 3,167 members like marvin accredited to the press. the prime minister, i don't know why his press guy didn't give him a towel but he's doing an sprue. here's the room. it's a very small room. you have schrebnaze starting to sit down. came to a book party and spock
for 45 minutes about reykjavik. it was just wonderful. the president and gorbachev and then you see the two translators. so simultaneous. it was not sequential. and a note-taker. the note-takers are important because george washington university, and thank you for that, has put the notes online. these are the american notes and the soviet notes from the summit. that's something we didn't know. i didn't know at the time. we heard him give a recap of what happened for an hour and a half. until you see these notes, you don't see the back and forth and they are very, very interesting on that 10 1/2 hours of those notes. this is the haufte house where we met saturday night.
i was looking forward to a concert down the street. richard perle back there in the audience was part of our group and an important part of it. we met at 8:00 at night and took a break at 4:15. we adjourned at 6:20 in the morning. i don't know about you, richard, or others but i'd never done an all-nighter, even in college. i missed that ritual. and we had, by your estimation, accomplished more on the strategic realm in that one night than we had in 7 1/2 years of negotiations with the soviets in geneva. more in one night than in 7 1/2 years. we didn't do much on inf. we did not do much on sdi because the two presidents not only liked to talk about sdi. they loved to talk about sdi.
and that was one of the remarkable parts of that 10 1/2 hou hours. the more one jacked up the other on the sdi threat from gorbachev, the more each other believed it. and it was just flights of fantasy on both sides but they did us well. this is akrimayov who later committed suicide actually when the soviet union fell. i kept up with him over the years and it was quite a shock when that happened. this is sunday afternoon. this is i think, the only -- strobe, correct me if i'm wrong. the only summit, certainly u.s./soviet, u.s./russia that has gone into sudden death overtime. supposed to end at noon on sunday. they decided because they were back and forth that they would go into overtime. president comes up about 3:00, 3:30 in the afternoon on sunday.
sits in the corner and says i'll go down one more time, but that's about it. i promised nancy i'd be home for dinner tonight. we explained that nancy is going to know where you are. it's not as if you stopped in the bar on the way home. there's 3,127 journalists there. there's one story in the world, as marvin will tell us, and he says, i know, but i told her i'd be home for dinner. so we're going over that. and you see paul nitza on the left who did the all-nighter. don regan, the president, george schultz, poindexter, myself and here is a circle that good looking guy who is really showing his best side right there between me and schultz is richard perl. and let me just say, you've never looked better, richard, on that. that was before i dyed my hair, to tell you the truth, white, so i look distinguished now.
it was trying to come up with words that would bridge the gap. and the gap was a fundamental one. it was that gorbachev wanted to confine sdi to the laboratory and reagan did not want to confine it. we were agreed to keep within the abm treaty and confine the sd ni that way for ten more years but not in the laboratory on that. the myth came up that as marvin mentioned that, you know, the advisers were all over the place. that's not exactly what happened because ronald reagan knew what he wanted. he did not want to give up sdi. so i don't think there was one time over the weekend where he asked any of us what we thought. he knew what he thought and that was good enough for him. it didn't work. they went back and forth. it's wonderful to read the notes of the transcripts. they weren't transcripts of
notes of the american and soviet note-taker because what's wonderful is -- and it's really a case study in leadership. the last half hour, they were both trying to bridge this gap. they knew how important it all was. and they started talking about seeing the situation in each other's shoes. so reagan was talking about the problems that gorbachev might have at the kremlin and how to solve them. gorbachev started talking about the problems reagan had. it was just a beautiful, beautiful kind of thing. and they were kind of pleading with each other. come on. can't you do this? can't you do this? ronald reagan was the maddest we've ever seen. we went back to the ambassador's house where he was staying, minus the ambassador who had been kicked out for the weekend. and he was just walking back and forth and back and forth and absolutely furious about what might have been. his handler, the fellow who was with him, jim -- i forgot his last name -- for eight years in
the white house to handle where he goes and stuff like that, gave -- at the miller center at the university of virginia said basically he's never seen the president so agitated as as this time except when nancy was going into surgery. and he was agitated. strobe, there is the picture you chose. and the no deal star wars sinks, the summit. i didn't think that was fair. i thought gorbachev's tying of star wars to the end of the summit that was not done until sunday morning really sank it. strobe, you are right that star wars was at the center of the controversy for that. and it was all a failure. it was one big failure. and so that's basically what happened. a lot of details can be filled in. but you can buy many, many copies of the book, and give them out for halloween is coming up. it's a great halloween present.
thanksgiving. whole family would be happy -- no, anyway, you can see that. now second part, what came out of it. three things came out of reykjavik. number one was the arms control track. this is the inf agreement, intermediate nuclear force in the white house in december 1987. the summit right there. what it did was basically the zero option that had been reagan's opening bid for the negotiations back in '82. and it eliminated this class of weapon system from both the soviet side and the american side. it was a great deal because by then, the soviets had 5,500 -- 5,500 warheads facing at all the capitals of europe. it was the number one issue of nato when reagan came into office, and that was eliminated.
the number one issue of reagan. and that was signed in the east room of the white house right there. number two, that's on the inf level. on the strategic level, it started a -- on the basis of just exactly what strobe said, on the basis of what we agreed on that all night, negotiations was down to equal levels. real reductions for nuclear -- strategic nuclear weapons. okay? and this was important because every other previous arms control, the s.a.l.t. one and s.a.l.t. two had limited the growth of nuclear weapons. no one until reagan had really started to have a decline in nuclear weapons. that's why we changed s.t.a.r.t. -- he changed it, i didn't. changed s.t.a.r.t., strategic arms limitation talks, to
s.a.l.t. from s.a.l.t. to s.t.a.r.t. strategic reductions talks. and it was very big move. right now, the russians have about one-fourth that they had in terms of nuclear stockpiles at the time of reykjavik. so that's the second on the strategic realm. didn't come during reagan's time. came during george herbert walker bush's time and continued for george w. the clinton years, bush years, bush two and then obama's latest one. and we'll more about that on the second panel. third thing is the most controversial. and that is did reykjavik really contribute to the end of the cold war? there's a lot of argument about this. and the simple answer is, you can't say. causation in history in social science in any case is always a mystery.
you can tell about causation. i, personally, believe that reykjavik did several things. number one, it legitimized the no-nuclear clause in a very big way. it is remarkable to think that before reykjavik, the idea of abolishing the bomb, the abolition was, you know, something that had folk singers sing about and naive people, you know, write about in nobel lauriate in physics talk about and things like that. it wasn't mainstream. it's amazing that after reykjavik, with ronald reagan as the poster boy, the number of key participants at reykjavik who bought on to the no-nuclear -- the abolition, ban the bomb movement. that includes ronald reagan, george schultz that's made it the centerpiece of his life in government, paul nitza, max
campbe campbellman, includes bill crow, chairman of the joint chiefs at the time, jack matlock who is an american ambassador to russia, and then just a lot more. sam nunn, henry kissinger, bill perry. it became a respectable movement after reykjavik and because of reykjavik. now the main argument i would make is the end of the soviet union. how did that happen? in my mind, reykjavik contributed because gorbachev saw that there was no way reagan was going to give up sdi. the only thing he could do to get sdi, which he thought was absolutely the most threatening weapons system to him and to the world after learning about it, he grew it way out of proportion. he gave the first address that
any foreign, then a soviet leader gave after a foreign meeting. the soviet people on the night he got back from reykjavik said explicitly, sdi is a threat to the very existence of our country. it's a threat to mankind everywhere in all time. this is a little research program in the pentagon that may some day show some promise but it's a little pimple on the pentagon budget, less than that. half a pimple on the pentagon budget and he's blowing it up as the threat of all-time. he could get reagan to give up sdi if he made the offer on the reductions of nuclear weapons good enough. he tried that at reykjavik. it totally failed, and then the only alternative open to him was to reform the soviet union so it could compete technologically. and once he started the reforms, which started before reykjavik but were vastly accelerated
after reykjavik with the central committee meeting first, then with the party congress and then the next year, the party conference. the first since stalin that implemented these reforms so sweeping and the reforms smashed the soviet union. that's my thesis. and i know that strobe and probably marvin will disagree with it, but we can talk about that later. two or three little points i would make on the opening remarks of others. fiona, you gave a great background. one of the things i've learned in debates is never pick a fight with the moderator. pick a fight with everybody else. fiona, one thing i would disagree with when you say it's absolutely that the soviet union feared an american nuclear attack during those years and because of the statement by reagan and actions to deal with
every year because i shared a birthday with robert mcnamara and he'd invite me to breakfast and have the same argument every year until i gave up the breakfast. i made the same point every year which shows you how effective i was on the point. i said i understood. he had always come back from moscow just for this. and -- not for this, our breakfast, but he had been going back and forth there. and he said basically the soviet union was -- american nuclear attack. i said last time i checked, all their bombers are lined up on the airfield right there. all their submarines, over 90% of their submarines are in port at any one time. we never have 50% of our bombers on any airfield at any time. 50% had to be in the air. the submarine port was, i don't know the numbers, but way over half had to be at sea at any one
time. if he was scared to death, why didn't he do something about it? why didn't they do anything about it? they were there talking about getting attacked by nuclear weapons but they had no easy actions that we could have done on that. on the point you made, marvin, about gorbachev wanting to abolish nuclear weapons and some people in the hard line administration saying it's all propaganda, i was one of those people. the fact is that khrushchev had said it all during the '50s. it had been said by all the dead soviet leaders before that. it was pretty standard fare. i didn't believe it for a minute. i didn't believe it until reykjavik, to tell you the truth. and i believe he was really sincere after reykjavik. really, looking back now, i was wrong in thinking it was just propaganda at the time because gorbachev was the first soviet leader to kind of believe that. but the fact is, at reykjavik, it wasn't the no nuclear. it didn't come from gorbachev.
it came from ronald reagan. transcript is quite clear on that. the notes are quite clear that reagan comes up with the idea. and gorbachev says, i guess i can buy onto that. but it's -- reagan is the pusher. i don't know about richard, but i never suspected reagan was so anti-nuclear and it turns out he really, really was. the last point i would make is on why reykjavik was a failure, despite what came from it from arms control, from the no-nuclear movement and thirdly from the breakup of the soviet union. it was a failure because on sunday morning, unlike saturday night when we had all these reductions on strategic arms, sunday morning, gorbachev surprisedis with two things. nothing expected. sunday morning he announced that, yes, they could go to zero on inf systems in europe which all of us had hoped would come up. this had never come up before
without counting british and french. and all the strategic gains we had made all night were tied to agreeing to sdi in the laboratory. that was never discussed at >> this was his idea of trying to get that done. it was good news on the inet front and disastrous on the strategic front unless you went along with confining it to the laboratory and that's what sent sunday into a total tail spin. >> thank you. we might have actually run the risk of going too far in all of your vivid descriptions because you're leaving not too much for the book. hopefully there's more in there. i felt like i was in a blow by blow of the whole summit there. i'm sure you have comments on this. one quick thing, we do know the soviet union was freaked out by all of this because there's an
awful lot of material now being released and a lot of it is an open source on websites from the cia and the institute of intelligence studies and some of those include the archives of the east german spy master marcus wolf that reports on how his kgb and soviet counter parts were constantly hounding him looking for any kind of signs that the west might be preparing for a nuclear war so although as you said they still had all of the planes and ships out there in plain sight they were scouring for any evidence that the united states might be preparing for a nuclear war and we can see all of that material out there. might not have seemed so at the time. >> that's not a question of if the material existed. questioning if it was sincere. >> a lot of people do believe it was sincere. >> why don't they take some action to show this can happen.
if everybody was saying in my neighborhood, you know, there's a lot of robbers around here. you have to be careful. you have to be careful because the robbers are up around here, do you know what i'd do? lock my door. >> the soef wret union did do something like that. they launched their own in the files. i don't want to turn this into a back and forth on this particular issue because i do think that it's real swren eun fears of a nuclear war. and it was just as well in the soviet union. this makes such an important summit. you know, the questions about where it lead very important and i know you have something on this as well. >> i think within five minutes or so we're going to turn to the future and i don't want to rekindle the argument about the past but i do want to put as it were on the table for this gattis cousin a very important
piece and background that goes back even before your preference. that is one of the reasons for the soviet union about a robust antiballistic missile system was that we, the united states and the person of lyndon johnson had to beat him over the head on why the seemingly perverse principle that defense is bad and defense is destabilizing is a critical way of or is critical to the u.s. position for a long time that we had to limit our antiballistic missile systems.
and the soviets bought that. and i think, while president reagan sincerely believed that was either out of date or just plain wrong, many of his advisors including some who were there with him just didn't believe a that sdi would be stabilizing and b that it would wo work. >> my sense is the russians were concerned in that they tried to head off the southern appearance of an sdi system. their concern was what was really in the mind of the
americans at this point. it's interesting. i mentioned before afghanistan, taking place at roughly the same time. russia was at that point losing the war that was obvious to the russians and the rest of the world and what if the u.s. do at that point? make it easy for the russians to lose? or make it more difficult? the latter, an investment in $10 billion to build up who today as you all know are among our best friends in afghanistan. a point also about the sdi, where is the sdi today? anybody keep track of sdis? huge important issue, right.
and the elimination and the year 2000. at the end of the day because of testing and has meant nothing, nothing forever in the u.s. soviet relationship. in terms of arming the world for a armagedon and reagan used that term in 1983 and it was sort of in his mind and i, in fact, asked him about that and he sort of backed off and made the point again and again, a nuclear war cannot be won and ought not to be fought. he was very much opposed to it but he couldn't quite bring himself at the end of the day to
take that extra step on sdi and historically and forgive me for going back to my disappointment, that to me, stands out as a huge moment when we could have gone one way but ended up going another. >> thanks. when the next panel will be taking this discussion some what further because of course there's the issue of missile defense that's come up during two other administrations of bush and obama that is also colored in many respects. the relationship. i'd like to bring in the audience for a couple of questions which we'll pick them up in more detail. over here i'll take two or three and come back for more comments so if you could justify
yourself. >> the economist ran a cover with peace signs, love beads, the whole thing and underneath it was titled a spectre is haunting europe and the theme of the story was abollishinging strategic nuclear weapons would make it higher risk that there would be a war in europe either conventional or limbed nuclear war that would be confined to the battlefield and about a year later they published a report on discriminant deturnts that gave concrete expressions to the fears. what i'd like to ask is what role did the summit play on raising these concerns about the credibility and heightening this sort of debate over both imf and short range nuclear weapons in europe during the remainder of the 1980s.
>> great question. thank you very much. richard would like to have a question or a comment, thank you. >> one quick point because it bears on the question of how we should now regard what happens. at the very last session, the session that ended without agreement there was a proposal on the table and it had been put in writing and in these matters proposals in writing have to be given precedence over the chatter that surrounds it. that proposal which he couldn't accept it was an american proposal, that proposal called for eliminating all offensive ballistic missiles, over a decade and at the end of the decade with all ballistic missiles eliminated both sides would have the right to deploy the defense if they have a defense capable of deploying the
reason this is so important is that if you want to claim that sdi sank the summit you have to explain what the objection to sdi would have been after the missiles that it was uniquely tailored to shoot down had been eliminated and it was this flaw in the soef wret argument and i had this discussion a dozen times. they cannot -- the soviet side could never give an adequate explanation for why it was relevant in the absence of offensive nuclear weapons. >> university of washington. marvin you talked about the importance of two men coming to change the nature of the confrontation really but how
there was a push back from their respected militaries and political advisors and this is important to highlight civil military in both countries and if you can reflect a little bit more the three of you on how much there is a print for individual precedence in the united states on national security and foreign policies versus an institution that probably comes from the military having their own views of what is important and what is not important and if you can tell us more about the military having the small research program, you said, what they saw in that or the political advisor as well. >> let me take a few more comments because we only have 15
minutes. >> thanks very much. i want to say first of all this discussion is to me an important remi reminder this is not something that i would say anybody in this auditorium is going to forget so i really can't thank you enough for that. >> stop right there. >> okay. >> and this is one of the things that -- this is probably a rhetorical question but it's so powerful to me about this and it's a very small -- manage the
and ballistic missiles they saw american technology in general and military technology in particular as a black magic that we had and they didn't. they felt inferior in their technology to thwart sdi. they never thought they'd get an sdi anywhere near as capable as the american sdi and with regard to the prospect of eliminating ballistic missiles that would still leave the united states with nonballistic delivery systems such as cruise missiles with stelth. and for years afterward i heard
that with russians and i wouldn't be surprised if you did as well. >> the role in the military i can't but remember president eisenhower leaving office and making a very specific point about the power of the military industrial complex. and here it comes for a man that was a general that fought in a war. so he was not -- he didn't catch a cold when they dealt with military people and in terms of the relationship of the military as a power in the united states. measured up against the diplomacy and the congress and even the president. there is an he enormous strength there and there is a kind of -- not fear but awesome respect and
if a guy in a uniform walks in and he has a lot of medals around him. so if two men had an opportunity to -- as saying before they're sitting if two men had an opportunity to do any number of things with arms control but one of them was, the possibility of both of them addressing that single issue, then you get to a point where sdi becomes terribly important. it isn't today but it was at that moment. and you say to yourself what is the russian position on this? they were ready to buy and we wanted both. think about it in terms of proportionality. think about logic and the power of history and the lessons of history. i still go back to that moment and i know that ken will be unhappy with me by saying this
but he had very little to do with the end of the soviet union. the end of the soviet union was created by the system itself. it was dreadful. it deserved to die and it had very little to do but if diplomats feel good and wow we held off a fantastic rush wran adventure they might have done all sorts of things and they are falling apart. we should have recognized it at that time but their intelligence was woefully inadequate on the collapse of the soviet union. >> i was going to actually also ask you because steve asked this question about the credibility of deturrents. what's your sense of the idea that people later that there have been this move to get rid of nuclear weapons.
>> ken mentioned all the people that believe that getting rid of the nuclear weapons is a fantastic aim and we all ought to do that and they've now pledged to do it. what is it that is so important about that extra moment of sdi that you couldn't make that extra. so i still don't understand it. i know, i'm sorry. >> do you understand better now at 30 years old? >> i to. let me just start with a last point. i think it's the most important to tell you the truth. let me get back to sdi and the talk of no nukes. the relationship between the end of the cold war. the end of the cove yet union. and i think it's conventional wisdom right now that the soviet union collapsed of its own
weight. they were very poor why did it have to collapse? we had poor countries for a long time. they don't collapse. we lived in africa for 2.5 years. go around from country to country. north korea is now in it's 85th year. people are eating grass and bark. there's none there unfortunately. it's not collapsed. cuba has been under castro since 1959. and it was a wonderful line and it's only 300 years. it was intolerable. it was bankrupt and it lasted 300 years. when you look at the data too
that what was going on in the soviet union then? now this, i'm going to open up a whole can of worms of controversy here but the cia estimates in 1986 was that the soviet economy was growing. at 2.5%. okay? you can say marvin i know what you're going to say -- >> well, that's my point. >> okay. >> we're in left field. >> they could have been wrong. they could have been right. it wasn't a desperately wrongestment. people weren't making fun of it at the time. but it was thought to be respectable that they were growing. you can talk about the ruble dollar convention and conversion all you want and that's a very hard thing knowing how much it would have cost them to build a military and there's a whole wilderness of data on that but i think the cia was better doing relative prosperity relative decline of the soviet union
during those years than it was u.s. soviet comparison and they were reporting a growth between 2.5 and then jumped to 4% and then kale down to 2 and 1% growth. but this was not one third reduction. so and at least in terms of the cia estimate per capita wealth in the soviet union so it's citizens at that time it was higher than where americans go to vacation every year. it was higher than israel and higher than italy and higher than ireland. it had a per capita income of $8,000 or something like that. so this idea that the soviet union was so poor and so out of it and getting poorer all the time and empires that are real,
real poor have to have a revolution and have to have a total disillusion i don't buy it and i don't think that you can see any evidence in history. the empire lasted years and decades in decline. people decline. >> so why did it break up? >> it broke up because he wanted to compete with the united states in terms of technology and just what you said, there was no way the it could be matched by anything in the soviet system and therefore he had to change the incentive and he had to change the way the whole system operated he was a mess because he couldn't imagine how you reform and i don't blame him to tell you the truth. at that time we had about 30 countries that had gone from
commu communism to capitalism. there was an old road map or something like that. he wanted communism with a human face. he had no clear idea. a raging success and it was because they opened up the closed pages of our past and when you open up the closed pages of soviet past you have two big headlights in your face and one is called linen and one is called stallen and neither is very pretty at all. >> i hate to intervene but i feel have to. intervention is one of the reasons the soviet union collapsed. you have on your last picture here that isn't on the board but
is on the slide a reference to boris and he was a man that has written a number of books and articles on him and several people sitting here in the audience were shaking their heads as you began to speak because one of the precipitating events, there's always a precipitating event that brings something down was really a decision first of all by a group to launch a coup. not because of anything he did but because he was trying to have a new union treaty which would have decentralized it and a number of other republican leaders within the soviet union but mostly to actually get rid of the soviet union behind the scenes. now they made those decisions for all kinds of different reasons.
i try to get back and it played something of a role because many people in the military and elsewhere weren't very happy about him negotiating with the united states in such an open front way as well as many other things that he was doing and yet he re-signed. he signed himself as it says on yours into history but others also signed him into history behind the scenes. >> thank you for mentioning the coup attempt. >> i'd like to do very quickly because there's a couple of other people in the audience including bob that's been very much steeped and i want to bring the last couple of peel, gentleman here and one here that i'd like to bring back and get into the next one. >> could you tell us a bit about the reaction of president reagan's principle advisors to what was on the table? i think richard pearl illuded,
in his come meanments suggested the dell kags tried to come up with variance that some of the strategically minded advisors thought it would be less destabilizing and more advantageous to the united states than simply giving up all nuclear weapons. >> thanks, bob. we'll get the microphone back to you. two microphones. >> i was a young italian moscow correspondent. and your very interesting discussion you didn't mention margaret thatcher, all the western europeans there were very sere warehouse enemies if they were any kind and maybe they were much more conservative
and any change of the system in europe had that damage. and we do have two germanys rather than one. so could you put on the frame work obviously that you wanted to keep it nuclear? thank you. >> that's a very good point and the gentleman right behind you and we'll come back to the last question. thank you. >> thank you so much for very stimulating discussion. american foreign policy council. one of the things that kind of came to mind with the discussion is how much people got it wrong throughout and at the time i was at the u.s. information agency and the job we had was to explain to foreign publics who
reagan was and what he was trying to do and what he was all about. and it also has -- its trying to connect the dots to this year where it seems every intelligent and foreign person has been wrong about most everything regarding -- and it shouldn't be surprising that most everybody including reagan's closest aids and his worst enemies and the press and elsewhere got things pretty much wrong both about what reagan wanted to do and what was going to be the result. i just ask for some reflections on how the informed audiences should try to screen out the quick impressions of people who are very close to what's going
on and highly intelligent and informed as they tried to inform the rest of us in a way where it existed was supposed to do and how should we try to screen out what is going to be terribly wrong such as how long the soviet union is going to exist. i happen to have a very thick volume of testimony in early 1989 before congress of almost all of this russian experts. almost nobody saw a glimmer of this demise. >> thank you. that's a very important question and was very upset in december of 1991 when my newly minted degree disappeared on me.
a colleague that was also there from italy noted there was quite a different view on the part of the europeans. and would not have been as happy about the saturday morning or sunday morning proposals on europe. >> just a sadness. you're absolutely right. we all remember who were there and traveling in europe at the time had the deal gone through and the nuclear deturnt posed by the united states collapse. that was that simple. and as for your speculative question i occasionally particularly in preparation for this conversation have gone back and seen how close it actually did come on several occasions
including i can imagine this soviets actually picking up and the last or maybe the second to last american proposal that might have, if the president had allowed it, if reagan had allowed it to keep the abm treaty say in place for another ten years while they were developed. imagine what the world would be like now if that had gone through. by the way, there would have been a great deal on part of our allies. and the two presidents have the ability to sign a treaty like that and it would have been a fact but with a whole other set of anxieties and controversies different from the ones that we're dealing with here. >> it's a fascinating question
if they had signed it and the french and the british established that they wanted their independent nuclear force so what will we have done would have been very difficult to persuade them but that idea that the two big boys sign it and the rest of the world adjusts to that signature and would they have objected and done all kinds of horrific thing sfs maybe. the likelihood is they would have come on board eventually. these things happen in stages and the gentleman raises the question about how you get this information out. and keep reading history because you're not going to get it up front very often. you get headlines and that's what we journalists do. we write headlines and we do it day by day and after awhile actually we do describe what has happened. but it's with perspective that
you can pick up things and biography. what do these two men really think? the story is still one having read his book and books about him i still have a feeling there's a great book there to be done. >> and by the way, if he had accepted reagan's proposal he would have gotten on a separate plane and flown back to moscow and you would have had the palace coup then. >> maybe. >> we're going to talk about i think also third nuclear powers in the next panel. our colleague has written an article about it and it's still out there making as an issue and of course we have now the north korea dimension that was not on the agenda. i'd like to thank our panelists very much for their time. ken in particular for giving us really just the most spirited
and vivid recollection of the period. again your book is outside. i hope you have left plenty of the stories for us to read in the book. and good luck with your trip. i'm sure the ambassador and his colleagues will be putting on a good reception for you there and are you going to get a chance to stay another night in the hotel? come back and let us know who it's haunted by. that would be interesting to find out that dimension and thank you very much obviously for giving us their view on recollections and i hope people will get coffee and come back for the next session which is going to take the story onwards right up to the present day. >> i think the house is going to be haunted. >> thank you very much. thank you.
>> the second panel ladies and gentlemen, we had a very interesting and enlightening first panel. i'm the director of the center for eurasian russian and eastern studies and i have to say that i'm very tempted before we get into the question about what happened since the collapse of the soviet union, to make two brief remarks about 1986.
one of them is or maybe looking forward, the question of why the soviet union collapsed. when he came to the united states in the early 1990s after the soviet collapse he gave a talk at the library of congress and the librarian of congress said i underestimated the problem. the cause was the inability to workout an agreement and the different repub hicks of the soviet union and that is related to them but that was the thing in the end that brought the soviet union down and the other brief reminiscence about 1986 to show how gorbachev had been through a major trabs formation before he met president reagan was i arrived in the soviet union in moscow three days before the accident.
i had the world economy and international relations and i had with me a one-year-old son and that's relationship toif what i was going to say. have been there two days and listening to the radio and i realize some catastrophe has happened many terms of a nuclear accident. the next week a few days later i gave a talk at the institute and i was trying to be forward leaning and talking about the importance of improving u.s. soviet rehagss and the press that hosted me the chair of my panel then started attacking me for the lies the united states was telling. there had been no accident. no one had been killed. so that was one version of it and by the way, after my talk i had people privately come up to me and say what's really going on. the three subsequent weeks and had a quick turn around and
admitted that something happened unfortunately and by then it was too late and playing soccer in may 1st and radio active dust places and just before i on my last day the man that attacked me when i gave my talk came up to me and said thank you very much for being here and terrible tragedies happen and we have to work together and cooperate the united states and soviet union to make sure that this doesn't happen again but this was really a transformative moment and unfortunately when you hear some of the things today about who is responsible from what in the world and the downing of the malaysian airline and everything else that's happening it sounds a little reminiscent of what it was hike in 1986 before gorbachev admitted what had happened. so i think the first point i
wanted to make having listened to this fascinating panel was even though we know that it didn't succeed completely it was the beginning of a very important process and something like that, it's hard to imagine something like that could happen today. it's based on the personal relationship between these two leaders that at the spite all of their differences got on rather well and we're at a point today where u. s. russian relations are worse than they have been since any time since before he came to power. and obviously the personal relations between the two presidents are poisonous and there's very negative relations. we know that yesterday and fiona hill mentioned this briefly in her introduction, the kremlin announced that russia was with drawing from this agreement that it had with the united states on the disposal of weapons grade
plutonium and the united states was of course blamed for that and putin when he announced this that the reason russia is doing this and i'm quoting now the emergence of a threat to strategic stability and as a result of unfriendly actions by the united states of america against the russian federation and he tied russia rejoining this union to three conditions. one of them is that nato can with draw and sources in russia's neighborhood. and obviously because of what's happened with crew crane. and in the region and then thirdly and has to ago are regate the act and continue lack of understanding about separation of powers in the united states and how that
system works. those are three conditions that mean that they won't be met obviously so that rush wra will now have withdrawn from this agreement. so the purpose of our panel today is to ask why has it been so challenging since the soviet collapse to reach and then maintain and increase arms control agreements between the united states and russia. you would have thought with the collapse of communism and the end of the soviet union it would have been easier to reach such agreements and as has been pointed out in every presidency since the collapse of the soef wret union they have started out rather hopeful about arms control agreements and in the second terms if we're not talking about george h.w. bush administration and in the second terms of clinton george w. bush and obama. these arms controlled agreements have been stagnated and they haven't been able to proceed.
and this is tied to a broader theme which is that in the past 25 years each american president has come into office or george h.w. bush's case he was already in office seeking to improve relations with russia and four different resets and trying to have a more productive relationship. all of these have ended in disappointment and have a disappointment on what a productive relationship with russia has looked like. >> what has worked has been issues where russia feels we're treating it as an equal where it feels that it's interests are respected and our interests and those of russia narrowly coincide it. one of those has been what happened in the fall of 2001 and the first phase of the war of afghanistan and the russians were very helpful and really
cooperated with the u.s. and we have a common goal. there's more examples. u.s. russian cooperation in disarming syria of its chemical weapons in 2013. the discussions we have to the agreement on iran and the arms control agreements. and it's where the u.s. and russia deal with each other as equals. we are the two super powers and russia usually feels it's being respected as a world player because we come to the table as equals so all more reason to question why it's been so difficult to complete and to sustain these arms control agreements. now we have two because we couldn't have any better speakers to discuss that with us today. i'll be turning first to steve. that's a principal and former assistant secretary of state dealing with arms control issues in the george w. push
administration and he has also in capitol hill and former ambassador to ukraine. having dealt at various levels in the state department and the national security council with arms control issues. he is of course a senior fellow and he's the director of the arms control and nonproliferation initiative and has written widely on all of these issues and i'll sure that he'll have a great deal to say about all of this. so i'll going to say a few words about the background to when george w. bush came into the white house about what had happened during the clinton administration in terms of arms control agreements and then we can move on to see what happened since then. and so when president pill clinton took office in january of 1993, he inherited two nuclear arms control agreements from the george had felt wflt
bush administration. start one and start two. and we heard a little bit about the background of them in the previous panel. start one reduced each side to no more than 6,000 strategic war heads on 1600 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles and start two which had been completed before the first president bush left office went further and reduced each side to no more than 3,000 to 3500 strategic war heads and also from the u.s. perspective very importantly it was supposed to ban all heavy icbms and all icbms with multiple war heads. now start one's entry into force was held up by an issue that we're reminded of very much today again and that was the wegs of ukraine and it's readiness to give off it's own nuclear weapons so of course when the soviet union collapsed ukraine was the third largest nuclear country in the world and the clinton administration and
before the george h.w. bush administration worked very hard on trying to ensure that russia would become the only nuclear successful state on the post soviet space and that involved ukraine. and maybe ukraine being willing to transfer their nuclear weapons to russia. but that was tied to the memorandum that if it relinquished it's weapons it's territory and integrity would be guaranteed and had security insurances which of course included the russian federation. in 1996 the senate finally ratified the start two agreement but then there were problems with moscow so this is now a tale in the 1990s of the
difficulties of implementing these agreements because of the deteriorating political relationship and particularly they weren't happy about giving up on the icbms and then the disagreements with russia about nato enlargement in the latter part of the 1990s and then 1999 with the nato actions against serbia over cosovo with the bombing et cetera and then delayed ratification of the agreement. it timed it. this is where we come back to star wars and we'll hear more about the son of star wars or sdi missile defense. and where it then tied it to saying that the senate had to ratify the 1997 agreement on the
abm systems. the antiballistic missile systems. and start two which had been ratified which have been signed into law by president george h wflt bush was then pulled back by vladimir putin when the united states announced that it was uniliterally with drawing from the abm treaty at the beginning of 2002. so by then you have all of these missile defense issues which are now intruding on the arms control agenda. so with that brief background i'm going to turn to you and we will look forward to your discussion of arms control in the george w. bush administration and whether you have views about why discussions on arms control did or didn't impact on the ability of the united states to cooperate with
russia and other issues too. >> thank you for inviting me. i guess i want throw an idea on the table before i actually get into my discussion with the bush administration. in 2009 i wrote an op ed. they gave it the title why democrats failed at arms control. that was their title. not mine. but the issue that i hooked at was this pair dock. by reputation republicans are are deeply skept car length of arms control and democrats are deeply enthusiastic. and if you look at the history of bilateral strategic arms control the scorecard is astonishing. republican presidents have a lot of accomplishments they can point to and when i read that article in 2009 it was the case
that no democratic president had negotiated it and strategic arms control agreement with the soviet rewrun i don't know and russia. why is hah? how can it be that the guys that are skept car length have to have a lot more success than the guys that are enthusiastic. and democrats had bad luck and maybe with jimmy carter it's not his fault hah the soviets invaded afghanistan so if you can enthuse his inability to bring about the ratification of start two but in my article i put forward a different theory which was that it's common sense among people, among all of us in a negotiation and we negotiate and personalize all the time. excessive enthusiasm and is not conducive to getting the result
that you want in the negotiation and you're buying a car. and even if you find a car that you really juan, i should say especially if you want, the last thing you want to do is convey to the seller that you made up your mind it's that car and no other. if you convey that if the seller becomes aware that your demand has become really -- what happens, the price goes up. the negotiation is prolonged because the seller thinks i'm not going to leave number on the table. and i'm going to get as much out of this transaction as i can and that's common sense. and our personal business transactions. for some reason not just democrats but george h.w. bush for example was a little into enthusiastic and ended up getting a bad deal too but for
some reason, many of our presidents failed to translate what is common sense in any sort of business transaction we might negotiate at a personal level. they don't understand that the same applies between nations and in negotiating with the russians conveying excessive enthusiasm could backfire and that was this piece that i wrote and that was in 2009. and president obama did succeed and this arms control treaty from russia. i would argue that negotiation became prolonged again because of excessive enthusiasm. but with that background i want to turn to the bush administration which has been accused of many things. but have never been accused of excessive enthusiasm for arms control. what was the record of the bush administration.
and more than less committed to abollishing the treaty. and also given the security environment that existed at this point committed to reductions in nuclear force levels but not at all committed to the idea that this needed to be negotiated and agreed between the united states and russia so first thing the administration did was in december of 2001 it aggregated or provided notice of a aggregation for the preceding decade every single issue of the magazine arms control today had run an editorial about how the treaty was the cornerstone of strategic stability that without the abm treaty the entire architecture of arms control as we know it would collapse but
the inevitable result would be a new arms race between the united states and russia so in december 2001 this theory was put to a test. bush provided notice of termination and five months later he signed an arms control treaty with moscow providing for reductions, i think the force level under the nuclear force level under the existing tree was 6,000 warheads per side. it was reduced to no more than 2200 under the moscow treaty. so first of all, this theory that without the abm treaty you couldn't have arms control was disproven within five months because actually arms control had it's first -- was the first successful strategic arms control negotiation between the united states and russia in more than ten years hah took place in the wake of aggregation of the abm treaty. but also i think the background to the moscow treaty was
interesting because the bush administration did a review and determined a level it thought was appropriate in the security environment and announced that the united states was going to reduce it's nuclear forces to this new level and the russians came knocking on the door and we're very happy that you're reducing your nuclear forces and we really need a treat because it's very important to make them neutral.
here is what it's going to have to say. we're not interested in years of negotiation and this is a take it or leave it. we'll sign this and they actually printed it on the front and the back of an index card to show how bare bones it wassed. and this was a treaty you can print on an index card but it did require those sides more than 2200 deployed nuclear weapons. so it was interesting that it was basically indifferent to whether we got an arms control agreement or not and suddenly the russians were not the obstacle.
they were insisting on agreement and the u. s. was in the position of saying well, okay. got to be on these terms and in the end the russians said yes to those terms. it was the first success in arms control for more than ten years and maybe even the q and a when we talk about why the clinton administration wasn't and it had some problems getting an agreement with russia on what it wanted to do. it got itself completely wrapped about the axel and the russians took advantage of that during the clinton administration. it was such that a bilateral arms control agreement was possible. now, you know, that's how we started the bush administration.
things kind of went downhill especially toward the second term and i think there were a whole lot that work there and paul saunders over at national interest did where did things go wrong? i was astonished he interviews lots of russians that near the top of the list of russian complaints about the bush administration was the memorandum. i could ask for a show of hands of how many people know what it is. but it was an effort about armed forces and the russians were bitter by the way the bush administration handled that. and the decision to deploy missile defenses in poland and
supporting the georgian government and it's actually much more complex than that and an important part of the puzzle is the memorandum believe it or not. and i think it became difficult to maintain that momentum and it had a lot to do with president putin and his effort to return russia to something like the role played in the past. maybe i'll stop there. >> thank you. do you want to take up the story? >> sure. we'll save the memorandum for the q and a. if you look at how arms control has played in the obama administration and it's relationship with russia over the last 8 years i guess i'd say there were three phases and the first phase was the reset from 2009 to 2011 and it was pretty clear that when barrack obama became president, he actually wanted to do something big on nuclear weapons and we saw that
in a speech in prague in april of 2009 where he embraced the goal of a world without nuclear weapons and also being realistic and said look this may not happen in my lifetime as long as there's nuclear weapons my life. as long as we have nuclear weapons we have to have a deterrent that's safe and reliable. going back to the first panel, obama and reagan are the ones who had a passionate belief about doing something specific about getting rid of nuclear weapons. you had in those -- in those first months, and marsha is here who helped negotiate the s.t.a.r.t. treaty so when the president went to meet with then-president menveda, they had a s.t.a.r.t. treaty. russians were more comfortable with it. the complaints i heard, yes, we understand the american desire to limit warheads only, but you limit deployed warheads, you
don't limit reserve warhead us and don't limit missiles and bombers and how does that not create a huge breakout potential? and so i think the russians were more comfortable in the obama administration indicated early on there was approach to eliminate both warheads and strategic vehicles, missiles and bombers. the new s.t.a.r.t. gave a boost. make just a comment on recent -- i'm in the group that thinks reset was a success. i say it was success in terms of what i understood its original purpose was, which is not to get the u.s./russia relationship to nirvana but to get out of a hole we had with russians in 2008 and get the russians what obama defined as u.s. interest. it was a strategic u.s. nuclear
arms agreement, more help on indian iranian nuclear program and helping afghanistan, logistics in getting supplies and forces to afghanistan. in those first couple years the obama administration would look back and say it achieved huge, important things. by may or june of 2011 it was clear the reset had run its course and they should have declared reset was a success and come up with a new term. looking after the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty it was clear and the president made this public, he wanted to go beyond new s.t.a.r.t. and not only negotiate further cuts in strategic but bring in nonnuclear weapons. you might have a u.s./russian negotiation looking at everything. and then russia held back. to figure out why is an interesting question. we can speculate. it's clear the russians were content with new s.t.a.r.t. and
were not looking to go beyond it. the russians look at nuclear weapons as political tools above and beyond their strategic value and it gets into moscow's self-perception of a super power. the only way though can claim themselves as nuclear super power is have lots of nuclear weapons. in 2010 the russians still saw themselves with significant gaps, vis-a-vis, nato and other conventional military forces and they saw nuclear weapons as part of that gap. which was nature toe's policy during much of the cold war. a part was also missile defense. conversation came up in the first panel about how much russians feared sdi. i was posted at embassy from 1986 to 1988. when you would talk to soviets about sdi, there was this palpable fear in ten years the americans are going to put us out of the ballistic missile
business. it's really interesting how much faith the soviets and russians have in american technology. i think in '87 people like sardaov, close adviser to gor bechef started saying, look, boss, this is rocket science. it's hard to do. as the leadership in moscow, that i think made possible the deal linking was prepared to go into the inf treaty and do the s.t.a.r.t.i treaty. -- we know there's going to be a phase four, five, six and seven. there's this fear in moscow that somehow the americans will be clever enough to come up with something on the missile defense side that really will change the equation. on missile defense, one of the
interesting things was it started out as fairly positive between russia and moscow. in 20099 obama administration announced reconfiguration of missile defense plans for europe, replaced the bush plan with the european phase adaptive approach and originally that seemed to be -- win approval in moscow. it seemed in 2009 missile defense had been diffused as a u.s./russian issue. at the end of 2010 you even had a nato/russian summit. m in early 2011 what i heard from both american and russian participants was there was a lot of convergence in thinking. there can't be a single system because nato doesn't want to work for nato. but you have two systems that would interact through jointly manned centers. one would be a data fusion center where you take early warning data from nato sensors and russian sensors, bring it together, combine it and send
the enhanced project back to both sides. planning operation center, what's the threat to europe and how do you deal with it? the russians also began talking about they wanted legal guarantee, a treaty american missile defenses would not be oriented against russian strategic forces. and they said it has to have objective criteria. we want limits on numbers, velocities, locations. it really was a resurrection of the abm treaty. and the obama administration didn't even pursue that, recognizing there was no chance that kind of treaty would have a consent to rad fiction on the hill. and so in 2000 in the second period where arms control drifts a bit, the russian position on missile defense begins to harden and the russians begin to bring other questions. we can talk about nuclear reductions but there has to be a solution on missile defense.
we have to deal with advanced conventional strike weapons, conventional arms in europe. third country nuclear forces and they begin to make all these linkages that make it hard to unravel all this on nuclear reductions. then two things happen. both in russia and united states you have presidential elections. arms control kind of goes on hold during that period from late 2000 to 2012. the result of that is instead of obama and medvedev, there was something in the chemistry, you have obama and putin after the election. the chemistry is there but it's not good chemistry. there was on the part of the obama administration in early 2013, can we reinvigorate arms control. they put forward a new idea on missile transparency but it got no traction from russians. the context had changed. vladimir putin when he came back, when he announced he was
going to run, i think in september of 2011, that really was he was going to run but be the president. the election was nearly a formality. mr. putin began to talk about things like russian nationalism. russia being a great power, on the world stage. a significant bit of anti-americanism mixed in with that. looks like that is a big part of how russia looks at itself with regime legitimacy. you have domestic politics driving a more adversarial stance towards the west and arms control doesn't fit in well with that. the third phase comes after 2014, follows illegal seizure of crimea, arms separatism, and you have u.s./russia relations crash to the lowest point since the end of the cold war. the administration moved to isolate russia politically,
moved europe to imply sanctions, and generally ratcheted down normal diplomatic business but it did hold out, exempted was arms control. but there was no movement, no engagement on that. also in december 2014 you had questions arise on the intermediate range nuclear forces when the u.s. government concluded or made put its conclusion that russia tested a ground-launch missile in violation of the inf treaty. russians responded with charges of american violations so here arms control is becoming a problem on the agenda and you hear more and more russian complaints about missile defense. so arms control, which at the beginning of the administration was a positive and contributed to better relationship by the last couple of years has become a negative. i think in some ways, just to close up, it seems to be that this is something like both the clinton and bush administration's experience. is that at the beginning arms
control, even though steve, as you say, arms control wasn't on the top of the george w. bush list of things to do, it did do some things in a way that were positive early on in terms of the u.s./russian relationship. in the second term in the clinton administration, bush administration and in the obama administration, arms control issues questions like missile defense had become problem that contributed to a more difficult relationship. >> thank you both very much. before i go to questions, i wonder if -- if both of you would like to say more about what happens if we've now decided the russians have violated the inf treaty and it's dead. what are the implications of that? >> well, we have pointed a finger at the russians. we determined russia's testing missiles that are in excess of
inf range and they're illegal. i'm not sure they're deploying those missiles, although one would suspect if they're testing, they're certainly holding out that option of deploying them. you know, going back to my time in the bush administration, you know, it's -- i had conversations with russians where they -- it was very clear. they are unhappy with this treaty. and in fairness to russians, they have some legitimate complaints. you know, this is a treaty that forbids missiles of a certain range, but the only countries that are subject to this prohibition are the united states, russia and several of the other successor states to the soviet union. you know, iran is not subject to it, north korea is not subject to it, china is not subject to it, india, pakistan not subject. so if you're russia and you're on your periphery are all these country that are free to deploy these missiles and some are
deploying, you start to wonder, why is -- how are we xoefd to respond? we're forbidden by this treaty from a different time with a party that's pretty far away from us. you know, is this really durable over the long term? and, you know, i guess relations are getting better with cuba. but if cuba are deploying inf-range missiles, you know, how much patience would the united states have with the idea we can't reciprocate because we have this treaty with russia from 1988. so it's brn my sense for a long time that at some point the russians are going to pull out because they're going to say it's an inaccurism and we see them taking steps to do that. i guess my advice would be, let's not do the russians a favor of terminating the treaty ourselves if we can avoid it. let's -- you know, they just
terminated the plutonium disposition agreement, was it yesterday or -- this week. so, you know, they took the hit on that. let them bear the onus on that decision. likewise on inf, should they continue to deploy inf-range missiles in violation of the treat y i would hope they would terminate the treaty in accordance -- in respect of that decision. if they don't, i guess maybe our hand is forced. i don't think we should make it easier for russians to deploy inf-range missiles. in the meantime i'm all in favor of talking to them to step back off the ledge. i think so as long as the rest of the world is free to deploy these kinds of missiles, and lots of countries are moving in that direction, it's probably not realistic to expect the russians to live you should the inf treaty over the long term. >> i agree with a lot of what steve says. i understand the russian position where you look at the
countries developing intermediate range missiles, they're closer to russian than the united states. having said that, the point i made to the russians is when you look at the panaplea of other forces, it's not like they need an enter media missile to match what the chinese have or indians have. that's the first point. second point, if the russians think they have a problem, it's not to cheat on the treaty, to exercise the position built into the treaty, to withdraw from it. i think the russians don't want do-to-do that because they don't want to bear the political responsibility of killing inf. on obama administration's response, so far the charges that russia has tested but not yet deployed. i think as long as they haven't deployed, a cautious response makes sense. if they begin to deploy these missiles it is going to change the game. one of the reendz why i believe the obama add mrlgs has been relatively cautious, at least on the american side, there's not a
specific military requirement at this point in time for building an american intermediate range missile. if you want to build it in response to the russian violation, you would have to put it someplace other than the united states, having gone through the dual track decision in the 1980s. it was a pretty painful process. we ended up doing it and deploying those missiles in europe was one of the key reasons why we got the inf treaty, but i don't know anybody on the other side of the atlantic that would want to go through that experience again. and so, you know, the question is if we wanted to build an intermediate range missile, where would we put it? we couldn't put it anyplace that could reach russia. our options are limited in terms of response. >> there's also missile defense response. >> yeah. >> deploy systems that would shoot down -- >> exactly. before we go to questions i'm going to exercise my chairman's
right, i will call on you, professor william hill, expert on the kozak memorandum, since you've written a book about this. i think a lot of this is the red herring. i would like to hear your comments about, was this a major issue that -- >> are you going to make me regret mentioning -- >> and could you give professor hill. i have students from my russian foreign policy class i would normally be teaching. i want them to listen to this, too. >> there may be a quiz. >> thanks. or maybe i don't know congratulations or commiserate. the argument in the book is that the russians took the -- what they took is disrespect and really embarrassing their president. >> cue maybe just explain to people what happened with the kozak memorandum briefly.
>> a memorandum negotiated by putin's deputy chief of staff, dmitry kozak at the time sent down to parallel the osce negotiations for transsettlement, negotiations that i was -- that i was heading. and i talked with kozak and couldn't get him to join the efforts and he claimed the monthly dough vans wanted to do it separately. the moldovians said the russians wanted to do it separately. the key was the russians probably desired to keep a pretty meaningless toop presence as a political hook, on moldova as a whole and ukraine, that being southwest of ukraine. but they rushed through the memorandum just ahead of the osce presenting an agreed
memorandum to the two sides. and the one that they showed to me to get western approval did not have three key articles in it, which had to do with a long-term russian troop presence in the country. when the version with the troop presence was leaked to me, i sent it back to a couple of places and the u.s. -- the time zone meant the u.s. ambassador had to go in and make the dechlt marsh. solona was able to call himself real-time. his words were you can kiss moldova's good-bye. he signed the memorandum and called him about 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. the press -- russian press was already on the plane. putin was preparing to fly down.
this happened two days of chef red was carried out of the georgian parliament on live tv and there were moldovan citizens protesting with nooses outside of the president's building. in any case, the russians it very seriously. the point of the book is the russians take the near abroad much more seriously than we do. missiles in cuba or russians in cuba. you remember the cuban brig dade in '78-'797 when that broke. anyway, they -- the fallout, it really -- it was about that time and whether it was georgia, whether it was moldova, whether it was all of them together, it was a clear turning point in what had been, in my perception, on the ground out there for my own fox hole of a russia that we were able to cooperate with on
some -- at some point, or on some things. and russia that was more suspicious and less willing to let westerners of various sorts in. the attitude, whether this is accurate or not, but certainly a week later ivanov screamed at the table across table saying when you intervened in the balkans, we didn't like it but we didn't stop it. we then get an agreement in a settlement in our area and you wreck it. and it -- things went downhill from that time. as you point out, they go up and go down again. they go up again, they go down again. they remember it far more than we do because it is really in their backyard. the position of kazakh at the time was equivalent to steve hadley. you can imagine what had
happened had there been an appropriate mirror image. in any case, it's part of an area that's sensitive to them, remains sensitive, as you and others have noted. and one we sometimes don't appreciate the importance that they attach to these countries and we saw that again in ukraine in 2013-2014. >> thank you very much. >> a footnote? >> yes. >> i was actually deputy secretary who signed the instruction to the american ambassador in moldova responding to the kozak memorandum. the way the president vernon came to us, he told our ambassador, i had this memorandum, the kozak memorandum. i proposed to sign it. i would like an american endorsement. he was asking the europeans to do the same thing. we took a look at the memorandum and our conclusion is, it's unworkable because it basically gave translisria the breakaway
of moldova the ability to -- moldova said we want to draw closer to european. we ent back and said it's not our place not to sign this, you know, you can sign this, but we're not going to endorse it. and the sense of the embassy was, veronian wanted to go to his population because he thought there would be domestic pushback and say the americans and europeans are making me do this. >> the first version is the one you looked at, the osc did the same thing, told him we couldn't support it but we felt it he was going to sign it we couldn't steer him off because you had not yet seen the portion or the articles where the troop presence. it was a two-part thing. he definitely wanted western -- both u.s., osce and eu approval of doing it. he had told the russians this.
it's clouded in stories of each participant who claims they did it one way or the other. the point is at the end of the day, with putin sitting in moscow, kozak at the airport really angry and veronan wondering what he had done, you had resentments on all sides of something that had been that close to settling one of the things and failed spectacularly. sort of like other things that are talking about -- >> believe me. >> here we have the dueling narratives problem vividly explained. we do have time for questions. on arms control o other aspects of u.s./russian relations. we'll start off with you.
you identify yourself. >> my name is jeff han, master student at american university. i wanted to -- and the last panel they discussed the reykjavik summit in great detail, which was fascinating. i was wondering about the legacy of gorbachev and his relations with united states and what impact that has on putin and any future russian leader because gorbachev is so widely demisal in russia today, and i believe any future russian leader would fear looking weak, especially on the subject of arms control. do you feel that this negatively impacts future negotiations? >> that's a good question. who would like to take that up? >> well, i mean, i don't have any great insights into the russian psyche on that issue, but i do think we need to understand. russia is going to do -- russia is going to do what's in its
national interest. you know, conventional wisdom, countries that feel weak in unconventional terms, conventional forces, often fall back to nuclear weapons as the safeguard for their security. that's what we did during the cold war when we felt we were inferior to europe. today clearly the roles are reversed. the russians think they're -- they lost most of their allies. they feel week relative to nato. and so, you know, i hope this doesn't come as a shock to anybody, but like obama's agenda of we're going to abolish nuclear weapons from the face of the earth, that's a nice aspi aspiration, but i think you'll find zero support in high levels of the russian government for moving in that direction. and if that's our objective, i
don't think we'll find takers in russia. is that because of gorbachev? no, i think it's the hard-headed calculation of the russian leadership and where their national interest lies in the global security environment. maybe i'll just, you know, go further. i think obama -- it would be part of obama's problem in negotiating with russia is he has set this grandiose objective and it's his objective. it's not -- putin hasn't embraced this as his objective. but obama's success is sort of being measured with reference to how much success he achieves and realizing this objective. to make progress, he needs to sign agreements with russia. so, you know, if you're the russians, that's a source of leverage, right? obama wants something. you're not really enthusiastic. sort of the flipside of what we faced during the bush
administration. they were enthusiastic for the agreements, we weren't, so we got to impose our terms. today what obama faces is he's the one who has this political need to sign new arms control agreements with russia and the russians don't really have that need. i think they're basically satisfied with the current arms control regime. i mean, you know, new s.t.a.r.t. will expire and we can deal with that later. i don't think russians want a nuclear arms race, but they don't need nuclear reductions. you know, to make obama happy, they probably should be prepared to agree to some for a price. it would be a price we would pay, not they would pay. the russians are trying to make him pay a price. i think he would have had more success if he hadn't had this grandiose objective and hitched his horse in trying to achieve it. >> i think the reykjavik legacy
was more in the short term. despite the initial sense that the summit had failed within, what, just a little bit over a year, you had the inf treaty for the first time banning an entire class of nuclear weapons. then you have the s.t.a.r.t. i treaty. as ken adelman said, it made it -- i personally support the idea of a world without nuclear weapons. it makes sense as a u.s. policy goal. i don't know how we can get there. that's based on two reasons. i worry nuclear deter yens, while succeeded in the cold war, came close to breaking down. the result of a breakdown would have been 400 million dead. the question is, do you want to live with that risk? given if you could have a verifiable nonnuclear world, for the united states given geography, given alliance structures, given american
conventional power, the reykjaviks are less than a nuclear world. mr. putin doesn't buy into that. he says, wait, i'm the leader of a declining power with a stagnant economy. i have 1.5 billion chinese next door. nuclear weapons are about the only way i secure my security. and that's going to be, i think, why getting to -- even moving in that direction will be difficult. russian perspective is very different from the way we would look at it. >>. >> hi, i'm kate, a masters student at georgetown university in dr. stent's class. i got the impression from your particular comments about the inf treaty ask the possibility that russia may in one way or
another find itself outside of that treaty or not necessarily back out because of the political consequences but break it. and i was -- it seems to me like then it does have -- russia does have an interest in maybe an update of the treaty as opposed to back out of it. an update to include the circumstances of today's world. and the presence of nuclear weapons and other actors that are not included in the treaty. it seems like on this particular issue they may have more interest than some of the other areas. i was wondering if there was any possibility that that could come about. >> in terms of modifying the inf treaty, the one idea you'll often here suggested is instead of get willing rid of the inf
treaty, why don't we globalize it. address russia's concern by expanding it, the group of countries subject to its restrictions. in principle that sounds like a great idea. but i think you need to talk to the chinese, the indians, the north koreans, how many of them are actually interested in doing that. i think opponents of that idea argue that proposals to globalize -- proposals to globalize the inf treaty will lead to the abolition of the treaty because it will be mounted, it will fail and then those who tried to globalize it will have a good excuse for why they decided -- since the rest of the world is -- has expressed no interest in this treaty, why should we keep it? that would be a conclusion one could draw in efforts to globalize the inf treaty collapsed. short of gloenlizing it, you
know, i'm not sure how you adjust it to -- maybe you can try to come up with geography. certain areas russia could have inf-range missiles but not in the european theater. that idea, i'm sure, was discussed at the time the treaty was originally negotiated. missiles of that size are mobile. if russia has them in one theater, they can move them to another in a crisis. it would be -- i'm not sure that would be a modification we would be comfortable with. >> i think in the second bush term, i think in 2007 or 2008, the russians made a proposal the u.n., which the u.s. government supported to globalize the inf treaty. there were no takers. it hasn't been pushed since then. >> yes, over there. lady in red. >> christina mcalister, i've supported u.s. nonproliferation programs for about ten years.
i was curious with elections coming up here and recent dem elections in russia, what nonproliferation arms control goals would you recommend for the next administration? >> good question. i zoo i guess you've had enough panels about the iran nuclear program, i won't take you there. >> you request take us anywhere you want. >> with russia, i'm not optimistic that great progress is in prospect. in fact, i honestly think the united states looks ridiculous coming in asking for deeper reductions in nuclear weapons when russia is on the march in places like ukraine. russia must look at it like we're from another planet and we don't quite get what's going on.
but set aside russia for the most part, the big problems on the horizon are in north korea and iran. especially if it's a hillary clinton administration, i think consideration may be given to some new diplomatic issue to try to replicate the perceived success. on the korean peninsula i'm skeptical about -- any negotiation with north korea involves bribes we give them to stop doing bad things. i think the history of the last 25 years demonstrates the north koreans are very happy to accept bribes. they're not actually happy to deliver on their part of the bargain. i don't know why a different outcome daisht clinton administration tried it. the bush administration tried it. to its credit, the obama administration hasn't tried it. i think they recognize -- fool
me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on me. that's where we are if we start bribing the north koreans to give up their nuclear weapons program. iran, you know, lots of people celebrating how we solve that problem. i personally think we put it on hold for ten years and it will be back in much more virulent form with us having signed off on a much morrow bust nuclear weapons infrastructure f that's what they want to do. and basically no ability to restrain them should they wish to break out in 10 or 15 years. >> and i think the next administration in terms of arms control and nonproliferation, the urgent issue is going to be north carolina. russia is kind of a big player in that. it's not that they have huge influence with the north koreans so i'm not sure that figures in a big way on the u.s./russian agenda. if you got back to some kind of
a dialogue between the united states and russia on arms control, if you wanted to move forward, you'd have to reconcile what are two very different approaches on what has been in the last eight years an american desire move to further reductions and also bring in nonstrategic nuclear weapons. there may be ways to bridge those differences. it will take quite a bit of work. >> university of washington. i was fascinating by the way you talked about how negotiation and enthusiasm and that element affect negotiations. i would like you to reflect a little more on the moment of unilateralism at this period of time. and unilaterally the united states decides one thing and the way you narrate it is the
russians come and put it in a treaty, please, treat us as equal almost. and somehow there is a change in the context in moscow. the national context in moscow. there is more aggression moving forward. if you can piece these two episodes together, do you see that's more a reflection or response to more strengths on united states part, affording unilateralism and now this is the time to pay the price you were talking about, but kind of justified or rational price. >> do you want to start? >> yeah. i think if you look at how putin looked at the united states, there's pieces -- part of what is driving him is domestic politics. it goes back to 2000 -- 2008, putin was good on economics because the price of oil went
up. the economy grew and living standards rose. that was sort of -- this is what regime legitimacy is about. when he came back to the u.s. in 2012 it was more complex. that's been a big part of it. another part goes back to both the bush administration and clinton administration, is putin has this huge chip on his shoulder, this sense of grievan grievance. that the united states, the west, mistreated russia. he cites nato enlargement. his version of nato enlargement was it was organized by the united states, britain and germany to contain russia to bring military force up to russia's borders. i think it was very different. it was designed to respond to appeals by european countries who basically said, we want to be full members of europe. likewise, if you look at the way
he talks about arms revolution in ukraine, the m oechlt ldon revolution, these aren't manifestations of populations that say, wait, our election was stolen or we're unhappy with bad governance. putin describes this as western plots, american plots, designed to effect regime change. he talks about it so much that sometimes i think he actually believes it. i think the reality is very different. but from his perspective he has a sense of grievance. he has this sense he's defending against an encroaching west and that may explain things why he's less interested in arms control. why he worries more about missile defense. he has this perception that i think is wrong. perception can be a reality. >> you use the term unilateralism, since you served on the bush administration, when that term is thrown out in connection with the bush administration, it's usually a
criticism. but the unilateralism that's criticized was not the decision to unilaterally reduce nuclear weapons. other unilateral decisions that were criticized. it was a unilateral -- i mean, it was not a negotiated nuclear reduction. we decided to make and, you know, we -- there was precedent for that. george h.w. bush for the nonstrategic nuclear weapons announced unilateral u.s. reductions that were reciprocated by president yeltzin. george w.h. bush hoped announcing nuclear ruction on our side the russians would match them unilaterally, as had happened with the nonstrategic nuclear weapons. but in the end, the russians wanted a treaty and i don't -- i think -- in fact, i'm sure they
were frustrated because they like using the treaty negotiating process to try and leverage the u.s. on other issues like missile defense and conventional strategic weapons and -- they have a whole list of things they want to try to slowly advance their interests by taking arms control negotiations hostage. that was the history of the new s.t.a.r.t. negotiation took much longer than it should have because russians were trying to link it to other issues to see whether obama's enthusiasm to make this treaty, he would be prepared to make concessions on things u.s. hadn't been willing to talk about. >> wanted to give him the microphone over there. it's coming this way. >> can i enquournlg tcourage th come in on the proposition that the intellectual of the nuclear
arms war as we knew it in the cold war is, in fact, an inrack rattism today. it's not very important, not very relevant, and no matter whether we attempt agreements or choose not to attempt agreements, it isn't going to make much difference? >> steve pifer first. >> you gave me the supporting argument. we were in a nuclear arms race. that was kennedy, johnson, nixon administration. and the first goal of arms control is to stop the arms race. under reagan it moved to trying to roll back weapons levels. you know, i think the -- we do face a different security
environment today. there's no nuclear arms race that's -- no country is going to spend billions of dollars, more than billions of dollars to try to gain nuclear advantage in the current environment. and i think in a lot of ways the arms control can be an obstacle to improved relations because you set up these processes and -- i mean, especially the way -- i have some sympathy for the russians. that's what we're facing. they are playing a weak hand. what do you do when you have a weak hand you? better play it pretty well because you don't have much margin for error. they use these processes to create advantages, to achieve concessions in other unrelated areas.
i think sometimes we're much better off during the bush administration saying we're indifferent to this negotiations, arm control agreements. we'll do one with you if it makes you feel better, but we're not going to spend six years in geneva hammering one out and have these other things on the agenda. take it or leave it. here's what we're prepared to agree to. i think obama's problem is he's got this agaenda of abolishing nuclear weapons so he needs agreements to make progress towards his objective. like i said earlier, that invites the russians to make him pay a price for doing it. that's what they need to play a weak hand they're forced to play. >> i think there still is value in using arms control as a tool to reduce the number of nuclear
weapons that could strike the united states. have you to be smart about how you do the negotiations. i think bringing the numbers down does make sense. arms control agreements produce a lot of transparencies. i think the joint chiefs, their support for new s.t.a.r.t. was based on the idea you get notifications, you get inspections, you get data changes so you know a lot more about russian nuclear forces than you would know just using your own unilateral means. i think there's a place for it. on the unilateral side, steve, and i -- the bush administration did make that, yes, we're going down to 2200 nuclear weapons. we're fine. you do what you want. it would be interesting if russian said we'll stay at 6,000 weapons. i think there's a continued place for arms control in terms of competition that i think is potentially -- the risk is small in a breakdown. but if you do have a breakdown
in nuclear deterrence, the results are catastrophic. i agree with obama administration's conclusion that to the extent we can reduce the role of nuclear weapons in u.s. policy and shift it more to conventional weapons, there are significant u.s. advantages, that's in our interest. >> yes. give him that microphone over there. >> i'm an undergraduate student at georgetown in dr. stent's class the fact russia perceives threats from its nuclear neighbors it not a reality the u.s. has. so, obviously, you want to avoid making concessions from the u.s. perspective. so, how would one approach future negotiations to ease russia into the idea that making and reducing these arms numbers is important but from their perspective this they don't want to do this?
>> russia is a great power with lots of intelligent people in leadership position. they are -- nothing makes the russians angrier than to be lectured by an american about what's in their interest. they really get mad when they're lectured by americans about what's in their interest. the fact we'll educate them and have a better deal with the chinese nuclear threat that they perceive or how to deal with iran, we need to be careful and we need to be realistic about what can be achieved. progress will be possible on arms control when russia concludes it's in russia's interest to do an arms control agreement. i think rite now, they're basically happy. steve was talking about the transparency, verification of arms control. i do think that's important to the u.s.
it's also important -- frankly, it's more important to the russians because we have much more better surveillance -- we have a much clearer idea what's going on on the ground in russia than the united states. so the transparency under these arms control agreements is it's important to both sides but i would argue more important to russia than the united states. that's why it's astonishing when we look back at the negotiation of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, what russians were trying to do was pare back because it was a way of sticking it to the obama administration and they were trying to take away things that they thought were more useful to the u.s. than them. i think it's a tribute to the way the u.s. sort of backed into that negotiation. president obama needed that deal more than they did. so, they were able to try and bring in all these other issues and also pare back the verification. at the end of the day it's in
their interest to have verification. i think if we approach negotiations with them, less enthusiastic, less breathless manner, we'll actually get a better result. >> i guess i'd go back. under the new s. tmplgts a.r.t. treat y russia will have 1500 deployed nuclear warheads and the federation of american scientists estimate that russia has a total arsenal of 4,000 and 5,000 total nuclear weapons. i think that number allows them to feel pretty comfortable against north korea or india or pakistan or saudi arabia or iran, countries with enter media range missiles. they don't need to interest there be some involvement by these other countries. russia has now said there has to be some kind of a multilateral aspect for the next negotiation. what they vaebt said is how they envision that going in. when you try to think it
through, it's very difficult to come up with negotiation that doesn't either ask they come down to britain, france or china. maybe you could get -- maybe you could ask britain, france and china to make a unilateral commitment that they won't increase as long as the united states and russia are coming down. you're not going to get much in terms of third countries when there's this huge gap with the united states and russia, each maybe 4500 nuclear weapons and nobody else above 300 zoo next question. >> jill dougherty, i'm with the -- fellow with the woodrow wilson center and also a former student of angela stent. i just had a question. not necessarily on arms control but on the modernization of
nuclear weapons. behave president obama who talks about reducing the numbers and yet we're looking at this proposed $1 trillion, i believe, that could be spent over a number of years on modernizing the united states nuclear weapons, potential for income armed cruise missile, et cetera. i know they've been doing modernization of their own, but what is their $1 trillion plan? are they going to match this? what's their view? >> the russians announced -- i believe it was a $700 billion plan to modernize all their military forces. what they talked about specifically on the strategic size is over a ten-year period we're now about halfway through it. i think it was building 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles. if you look at the force that it looks like russia wants to have
within the limits of the new s.t.a.r.t. treat y that looks like the new number. part of what the russians are doing, what we'll be doing in 2020, they're building new missiles to replace old stuff. there's a lot of missiles in the russian inventory now that had they had the money back in the 1990s or early 2000s, they would replace ten years ago. a lot is replacing old stuff. it looks like they're sizing the force within the level of the new s.t.a.r.t. agreement. similar process on the u.s. side. modernization is always hard to talk about sometimes because we're never in sync. the russians are doing a lot now. building new submarines, new submarine ballistic missiles. ten years from now they'll be dolg, we'll be building enter couldn't negligence ballistic missiles and a new bomber. a lot is replacing the old stuff and is necessary. when i look at the u.s. strategic modernization, i would question certain aspects of it.
what does worry me when you have the pentagon saying, here's our plan. by the way, nobody in the pentagon has any idea how we're going to afford to build this. we're leaving a time bomb for whoever has to manage that problem ten years down the road. maybe we need to think more in a long-term sense of are there ways to design a modernization program. i think we should continue to maintain a triad. i would adjust some numbers. a new long-range cruise missile when you'll spend $80 billion to build a new bomb. but we're going to have to come to grips with this. i think the next administration has to deal with those questions otherwise it's going to find itself in a position around 2025 where it's talking about, do we build new intercontinental ballistic missiles, new aircraft or friggats. the next ten years we have to do that.
>> if you're with president obama and you think we're on the cusp haof the abolition of nuclr weapons, the yard stick he put out, then these investments make no sense. why spend all this money to produce weapons that will then dissnajts but if you don't actually think that that goal is likely to be realized, that's sort of the category i'm in, then, of course, you have to spend the money because we're going to be in this business for a long time to come. and weapons systems, b-52s built in the 1950s, they're not going to last forever. and they need to be replaced and replacement is going to cost money and i do get exasperated at this trillion dollar figure. that's the 30-year cost estimate. i don't know what the 30-year cost estimate was for obama care. we never heard it during the debate, at least from proponents of obamacare because it would
have been such an enormous number, it would have scared people off. when you start quoting 30-year numbers it's with the intention of scaring people off. the right number to look at is the annual cost. you don't look at how much you're going to pay over the lifetime of the mortgage. if you do that, you would never sign a mortgage. what is the annual cost of making these investments and how does that compare to the sums we've spent in the past on the nuclear enterprise. the reality is, it's a lot less money than we spent during the cold war on nuclear weapons. we managed to fund national definition throughout the cold war. so, the numbers are not quite as daunting as critics believe. >> we've been agreeing so let me push back. >> let's end on this -- >> i disagree. i think president obama in prague put out this notion of
nuclear weapons but i don't think it's been operationalized. if you look at the strategic modernization program that the obama administration approved, they're talking about 12 ballistic missile submarines, 640 ent 640 intercontinental -- he's going along with everything the pentagon would have wanted. i don't think i see in that program, i don't think i see that he's wildly pushing toward that vision. again, i said, i agree with the vision. they're playing pushback on the cost question. once you talk about 30 high year numbers, that's difficult. but if you look at the current budget environment, and if you look at projections for the growth in social security, medicare, interest rates, i
really think it would be unwise for thing pentagon to make an assumption that ten years from now, a pot of money that's going to appear that's going to allow them to avoid hard choice between building intercontinental ballistic missiles and f-35s and things like that. if we think like that, my guess is we'll start spending a lot of money on programs and then curtail those programs after we've done the development, after we bought the first 20 units at this cost but before we get down to where the costs become cheaper and we'll end up with, i think, a less effective defense establishment overall. >> we'll have to reconvene in a few years and see if that's true. please join me and thank our panel for a very informative panel. thank you.
7:00 a.m. on wednesday morning. join the discussion. c-span, created by america's cable television companies and brought to you as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. andy stern and libertarian author charles murray are both advocates of the universal basic income, a proposal to give every american a fixed amount of money each year as an anti-poverty program. at the cato institute they discuss their support for the idea and where their plans differ. this is an hour.
i want to take an opportunity to welcome you all to cato institute my name is michael tanner. i'm a senior fellow at cato. i usually deal with poverty, inequality and economic policy. today we've got a rare occurrence here at cato, i double book form, if you will. we do a lot of book forms here, but rarely do we have two such distinguished authors dealing with books released on the same topic at roughly the same time. it's sort of sarin dipty we get you here today. we're talking about universal income. the idea is rather than the current multiplicity of social welfare programs that we currently have, that that somehow be supplemented or replaced with cash transfers.
that not tied to specific requirements that are simply people get a check from the government rather than the traditional set of, we have health care benefits and housing benefits, and food benefits, and that's of that nature. this is a growing topic of conversation on both the left and right and among libertarians as well. and the question is what innovative solutions can be found to deal with these issues. today we are very lucky to have two distinguished authors. first up is charles murray, who
almost certainly needs no introduction, although he's the w.h. brady scholar at american enterprise institute. he is the author of so many hugely influential books. in fact f you're looking to sort of libertarianism and public policy, it's hard to find anybody who's had as much influence over the last 40 or 50 years chan charlthan charles. he's the author of "losing ground" which provided the intellectual for welfare reform. he's the author of many other books including "what it means to be a libertarian," "real education,"" coming apart, another" book on poverty and civil society. his most recent -- reissue of "in our hands: a plan to replace the welfare state" in which he
lays out his hands. he will then be followed by andy stern, who is the former head of the 2.2 million member service union. he's now at columbia university. he's a frequent author, a frequent lecturer. he is the author of "raising the floor: how universal basic income can rebuild the american dream." this might be called the strange bedfellows' book forum. at any rate, we'll hear from both of them. then we'll have a little quvrgs and try to include you in that conversation as wel 11p>> thanks, mike. it was a wonderful introduction, 40 or 50 years i've been influential? i'm not that hold.
sxaend i come at this from somewhat different perspectives. i should take a minute to sketch out the specifics of the system i provide pose in the book. essentially it says that we replace the entire welfare state with universal income and that's one thing andy and i will be going back and forth on, i imagine. that's how we fund it, too. i'm not just talking about welfare. i'm talking about all transfer payments. that includes social security, also includes medicaid, medicare, agriculture subsidies and all the rest. a transfer payment in which some americans have money taken from them by the government and given to other individuals or groups. all of that goes.
it's a monthly check deposited electronically to a known bank account. this in my plan to $10,000 of disposable income. also $3,000 a year used for medical care. we can get into that, but i think i'm going to put that aside in my opening remarks because let's just talk about the disposable income and assume medical care has been taken care of one way or another. i would put this part of the case as saying, look there is no way an advanced democracy of the west is going to get rid of massive amounts of transfer payments. it's just not going to happen. a libertarian dream of dismantling the welfare state is not in the cards.
let's start a grand bargain with the left. the grand bargain is we'll let you spend an awful lot of money on transfer payments to help the disadvantaged and your part is that you give up the role of the state in trying to stage manage people's lives. that's why the book is called "in our hands." there's a couple other things that are really paramount in this plan. as i was saying to andy before we came up here, there's not a snowball's plan in hell it's going to get enacted the way i want it to get enacted. why am i describing it? because there's a couple things it accomplishes that i think are hugely important. one has to do with what i'm increasingly convinced is the reality that faces us within a matter of decades, maybe only 10
or 15 years, in which the numbers of jobs that disappear is so great that we have to start thinking in terms of an economy in which people can live satisfying lives with a combination of paid work but not necessarily 40 hours a week in the old fashioned sense of that word. every time you've been wrong, more jobs have been created and argue this time it's different is a fool's game this time is different. and i think that andy and i agree on this. it's not just that we'll have driverless cars, probably in about ten years. it's not that just this all in itself is 10 million jobs, a huge number of jobs, that disappear. good paying jobs that disappear.
we are going to be carving out millions of white collar jobs because artificial intelligence, after years of being overhyped, has finally come of age. it is able to do all sorts of things usually done by people with college educations, smart people that had to make decisions that a computer couldn't make and now the computer can do that. we can talk about those more specifically but i think unless we look ahead to that, we are going to be going down the wrong road. jobs programs, retraining, all of these things that are provided by the typical solutions to our workforce problem just aren't going to work for reasons that are historically unprecedented. the second thing and probably the main reason that i think enacting this would be not just
necessary because of a variety of contingencies forcing themselves upon us, but a good thing in terms of the way the country functions is i think it has a chance of revitalize iing american civil society. so, you have somebody who is on the basic universal income and gets his check every month, but he drinks it up. so, it's ten days to go to the end of the month. if he's out of money, well, he can't go to the government for help. he has to go to his girlfriend, his parents, his children, his neighbors, the salvation army. he has to go somewhere and ask for help. there is, however, a major difference in the way that person can interact with the people he can help. is he no longer a helpless victim who can't do anything.
and that's what he's going to be told. we're not going to let you starve in the streets but it's time on to get your act together because we know you have a check coming in in just ten days. let's start to take steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. imagine a country in which millions of such interactions are taking place constantly. that's one aspect. let me just say, dealing with human needs is really tough. whether we're trying to do it through social service agencies now or whether we were trying to do it philanthropically now, it's very tough. my proposition is the only consistently effective way, and even then it's tough, is by people who are very close to the person in need. right now we have shifted these responsibilities downtown in
ways which undercut one of the great strengths of america's traditional civil society. the other thing that will happen, however n revitalizing america's traditional society is historically, as observers from toekville on down have said over and over, america has been extraordinary in the degree to which it responds to problems by creating associations through private nongovernmental means. when the government got deeply involved in social welfare, the association has continued, philanthropy continued but it was diverted to other kinds of areasons that in which the government was not so active. the best thing we can do is get that kind of energy back into civil society traditionally defined. and i think it is also a way -- you know, people talk about infrastructure and why aren't we
building more infrastructure when obviously libertarians and liberals alike can agree, you do need bridges that don't fall down. well, there's a parallel in civil society. that is, there are all sorts of needs that need to be tended to that don't necessarily qualify for paid work. the murray family is a classic example of that. my wife who -- she's a yale ph.d.. she could get a job if she wanted to. she is really busy and she doesn't get paid a cent for anything she does but her day is busy all day long with half a dozen useful organizations in which she's contributing her time and also her quite considerable talent. well, multiply that by some millions of people who maybe now are in unpaid jobs but they're not going to be sitting around the house watching video games -- watching tv and playing video games in the presence of
universal basic incomes. they'll be busy just as they are now, but we're making it a lot easier for them to make that choice because of the universal basic income that is, in effect, subsidizing that work. i promised andy i would try to stay within ten minutes because we have lots of back and forth we're going to do. i will leave it there and we'll pick up the loose ends of which there are many layers. >> for folks following us live dream or on c-span, if you want to get involved in this conversation, can you go to twitter and the hashtag i is #catoubi. andy? >> you may be wondering how did the former president of america's largest union, who helped elect barack obama and helped successfully organize to get obamacare end up in the adder to yum with a wi-fi
password of give me liberty. that's the subject with probably the world's first scholar on it in recent history, charles murray, who is now by fellow ledi about a subject i knew nothing about three years ago. if you asked me what universal basic income was, so let me explain how i got here. i'm a one job in a lifetime person, just like my father and my grandfather. my employer managed my career, my health care, my job, my pension. in 2010 probably at the point -- many people would say i'm at the most successful period in my life, i quit. i retired. because despite all the work hi done for the union and all the wonderful things i had done with janitors and child care, home care, nursing homework rz i was privileged to work with and all the good things that happened at sciu, the fact was inequality
was higher than any time in history, good jobs were disappearing. the future seemed to be very murky in terms of what it looked like for the american dream. and i really had no answers. steering seems like what you're supposed to do when you leave an organization. i didn't know what direction to go. so i spent a number of years. i want to thank michael tanner specifically. at a meeting i spent here at cato because i interviewed lots of people, part of my book, he explained libertarian in general and there wasn't much about work, welfare and universal income. i began this journey. i want to give you my three conclusions for years of listening to people. one is if you wanted to rename this country appropriately
economically, it would be the nation of anxiety. 20% of the people, despite statistics, think the economy is very good. 40% of all people don't have $400 in case of an emergency. 58% say their kids will not do better than they did. the american dream is no longer alive. statistically, they're absolutely correct. that's not the america i love. it's not the america i think any of us want. it made me think about, therefore, what to do and what was happening. when you said economic growth, it was shorthand for four different things curing at the same time. gdp grew, productivity grew, wages grew and jobs grew. we now know in the end of the 20th century, wages fell off that train. you can have productivity growth, job growth but for 20
years american workers' wages really didn't rise. now we don't want to recognize is you can have economic growth and productivity growth. not only without wage growth, without job growth. we've had not one new net traditional full-time job since 2005. all the growth in the economy has been in contingent, part-time, other forms of work arrangements. we have the largest number of children living in their homes, which has turned the american dream for parents into the american nightmare. we thought you had gotten away from them. we have the lowest labor participation in history. we now have not employer-managed work lives where one job in a lifetime economy, but kids like my son are expected to have 9 to 12 jobs by the time they're 35. jobs are very complicated in terms of the gig economy and how to get the basic benefits like social security or disability
insurance. my son's economy is not the gm autoworker, steel economy of my generation. really it's facebook, who's the largest media content provider in the world and it has no writers. it's airbnb, it owns no hotel rooms. you have uber, largest transportation company in the world, it has no cars. and you have alibaba and amazon, the largest retailers in the world but they have no inventory. that is the 21st century economy. these are the icons of today's economy. my first thing is, it this is not your father's or grandfather's or 21st century economy. the second thing i understand is now there is so much repuible research. oction foertd university, 47% of all jobs. deloitte, 25% of all jobs.
a study from pew, experts predicted not only will automation be taking away jobs, but it has the potential of creating a new amount of social unrest all over our country. all of a sudden, everywhere you look, larry summers says a quarter of american men will not be employed at any particular time in the next generation. we see driverless cars, but think about driverless trucks. largest job in it 29 states, second or third largest job in 15 more is driving a truck. auto, which is now owned by uber. convoy, started by jeff bezozs.
once you're a union leader you supposedly represent every union in every union. don't you understand why they're fighting about their pension in five years, i won't have a person in the truck. 5.5 million people support trucks, auto parts. that's a decade away at most before that's possible. d.o.t. has just introduced the legislation. now we have all this reputible research. as a country we have two choices. we can say one of those guys know. it's never happened before. that's true. or you can say, maybe this time is different or maybe it isn't different, we should remember the transition from the agricultural to industrial economy was brutal. charles dickens, it was terrible time for a lot of people until we got to the other side. first of all, we have a
transition problem that has huge potential of hurting lots of our kids and grandkids in this country and secondly we understand that business and the military, in the face of reputible research, creates the narrative. why do very with-v to have this inte lecture argument about are there or aren't there going to be more jobs in the future, why can't we just make a plan in case there's not. we don't need to use the plan. just like we prayed the military doesn't have to use a plan about chemical warfare or anything else that, god forbid, would happen in our country. but they are prepared. when all this reputable research would tell us here, that there was a storm coming to washington, d.c. and it was going to flood the entire city, i don't think any of us would come down to cato and have a debate, we get the hell out of town or we would make plans to get through it.
i think that's what the country needs to do. my plan is very simple. charles, not funded the same way, but it's a universal basic income. to do two things, one, end poverty. poverty line in the united states is 11,994 for an individual. charles says, give people $10,000 plus $3,000 in health care. i say give everybody $1,000 a month, $12,000 a year. at least statistically we will end poverty for the first time in the united states. that's good. two, you know, we will prepare ourselves for technological change. we will probably fuel entrepreneur activities. we will help women taking care of children, we will help prisoners leaving incarceration get their feet started. we will solve potentially a lot
of different problems by a simple policy. i will end by saying winston churchill, universal income, it's a terrible policy when you really think about it. like democracy, until you try everything else. because when you try to figure out what could you do in the united states to end poverty to prepare yourself for a technological revolution, it's not a blue collar revolution, it's not like the iraq war when sons and daughters of poor people, it's more like the vietnam war when everyone got drafted. no one is going to avoid this technological revolution. the highest jobs expected to be ended are accountants, insurance agents because it's all math and math is now the subject of watson and algorithms everywhere you go. there's a big potential of change coming. there's a series of problems that we can solve by a simple
policy. it's a policy with different issues and lots of different ways to fund. but if that's universal basic income is not your best idea, then i just want to know what it is because our kids deserve something better than just hoping that this time isn't different. >> thank you very much. let's continue the conversation a little bit. for folks following along on the live stream or on c-span, they can get involved in this by using twitter and #cbi. let's see if i can throw a few rocks at this. >> this meeting of left and right is papering over some of the serious differences that exist in the two groups out there. on the right and among libertarians you hear what charles talks about, the idea of
replacing social welfare system with this new approach. we're certainly from an economic standpoint makes sense, the current system has a host of problems. it doesn't end poverty, it's opaque. it's inefficient and imcompassionate to all the people who have to jump through the hoops. on the other side i hear this as an add-on. let's keep the existent social welfare programs, increase tax on the rich, maybe we can only afford to give $2,000, $3,000, but we'll give people more money than they have today. is that a bridgeable set of differences? >> my first reaction is that would i rather have andy's plan than no plan at all?
and i guess i have to think about that because, look, at the very center of what i want to do is restore moral agency that now has been deeply undercut. let's think in terms of the stereotypical example, of course, is a kid in the inner city who's never held a job, doesn't have a father in the house, and he's not impeable by any ordinary standards. in the youngster in that situation in his late teens sees himself as a pawn or his only route to dignity as gaming system or going into the underground economy or whatsoever, this is something that, to me, my plan really does something for because his future is in his hands. he is given options he doesn't have before. and he is also in a next us
where if he doesn't take advantage of those options that he is told about that in no uncertain terms by the people around him. and what scares me about an add-on plan is that all of the bad things we have now about kind of removing moral agency remain in place. here's where i am true to my libertarian beliefs. i think government is deeply indicated in destroying a sense of personal responsibility. i will just say, if we ever get to the floor of senate debating competing plans, i will be testifying before house committee saying, don't do what andy says, replace everything. as far as saying, is it better than nothing? it's sort of like choosing between trump and clinton. i mean, you know -- >> without introduction.
>> i just want to take away my extremist view and be a little more nuanced here than i think people might think. one is i was a welfare worker. that's how i started my career working for the state of pennsylvania. white suburban person telling women of color about regulations and rules and morality was ridiculous. it was demeaning to them and silly for me, right? i believe what martin luther king said in his last book "from chaos to community," we didn't ask for housing vouchers and food stamps. we asked the civil rights movement to end poverty. if you want to end poverty, give people money. i don't believe in keeping all this categorical welfare system. i don't agree also with getting rid of everything so we can talk about where i draw lines. but i do believe, you know, that
it is better off to give people choice. i guess i'm here to give people personal responsibility and accept they will do what they want to. that's what life is somewhat about. not suburban welfare kids enforcing regulation that some congress passed in washington, d.c. 30 years ago about what your life was going to be like and how it was going to be controlled by an outside entity. first of all, i don't believe in changing social security for the people that have put money into it. i see it much more. the point is, workers have been paying into social security for their lifetime and they should get money out of it. if you want to make a transition some time in the future for people who have never paid in, we can start that conversation, but i'm not into taking away what people have counted on their whole life with substituting a complete new system. i think health care is a whole different situation. we could fund all of this if we could get our health care spending down anywhere near to what other countries around the
world, whether you like canada's or switzerland's, someone a private and one is more public, we pay way too much for health care. that's a different discussion. i don't think people can manage it particularly well. i don't like the health care system we have. after that i think almost everything is up for grabs. i don't see why you need unemployment or food stamps or housing vouchers if the amount of universal basic income is sufficient, i think, you know, you can't have both at the same time. this might not get me in good stead with my progressive friends who are wondering what i'm doing here in the first place, but i don't believe there's enough money taxing the rich. that's not where the money is going to come from. you want to attack assets, now we're talking something different. you want to attack income. we've been through that. we can make some improvements if that's what people want to do and there are things we should do. that's not going to work in this particular situation. i have a funding plan.
we can talk about it later. it doesn't presume we're doing it on top. there was a full smorgasbord where limiting what are the fixed price meals like social security and medicare that stay on the table and everything else is kind of -- we can rearrange the menu. >> i have bad news for you because now i prefer andy's plan to the current system. i absolutely agree about the medical care. i have a way of dealing with it in my plan. the main thing i say in the book is if we only had a sensible regulatory system, health care costs should have been going down, the same way with costs with so many other services should have gone down. routine health care that we spend 90% of our costs on. it's not for artificial reasons. there's got to be a better way
so i will go with better way. in terms of transition, absolutely right. the way i think of it is, when you enact it, you say to someone, you have a choice. you can stay in the current system or go to the new system. your choice. and it's very interesting to do a calculation. at what age -- let's say 45 after you've been contributing to social security for a long time but you have the choice between getting the 10k and disposable income or staying on social security without getting that, when does it become a better bet for you to switch out of the current system even though you paid into the current one in transition needs to be taken care of. i agree with the medical -- the options available for medicare. you got to come up with another subject. >> that's it. let me raise another contentious issue and that is the question of work. i think in general we prefer
people to work rather than not work for a variety of reasons. one is the dignity and work itself. the second is to contribute to economic growth overall. the third is if we are redistributing, which means taking money from someone involuntarily and giving it to someone else, we want them to contribute to their own well-being as part of that bargain. what little evidence there has been, and very few studies on this, but what little evidence you get from the man power project and others, suggests if you do some sort of -- the alternatives become to have such a broad phaseout is becomes very expensive because you're giving it to people well in the middle class or make it inexpensive and have a high cliff in which people -- on traditional welfare programs you drop off the wedge a high tax rate. do either of you in your plans wrestle with that problem and how do you get people to continue to work?
>> the way i do it is start at a high point until you pay back the grant. until you get $30,000 in personal income -- my cell phone isn't turned off. until you make $30,000 in disposable personal income, you keep the entire 10k. once you get beyond, that you start to play a claw back modestly. the point is, once you get to $30,000, that plus the $10,000 gives you income of $40,000. the number of people who say i'm going to drop out at that point is very small. i would argue the costs are manageable and i go through the numbers in that book. that's the way i deal with it. >> andy? >> i think there's a lot of different moral philosophy and other questions attached to all of this. the one job we could use more of in america is philosophers. we talked about mazlo's need
hierarchy and now we have the potential to get closer to that. because of all the things getting keeper and cheaper and yet i don't think work was at the top of mazlo's hierarchy. economic work. i think other kinds of values come in, but i think it's a discussion about how much choice do libertarians want to give people about what you make them or don't make them do. if someone wants to live, what i'm saying is on a very miniscule amount of money, $12,000 a year, and they play video games, these are everyone's worst fears, or they do drugs as opposed to they take care of a child, take care of their mother, sell things on etsy. lots of things people can do when not working full time. i tend to think of this as more of a supplement to work, not a substitute for work. i think there will be work a lot less hours potentially. a lot more things we might define differently.
two is i happen to have gotten bit by the bug but believe in the end we give people the money and we let them make choices in what they do in their life. why do we get to make work a value that we place on everyone as a responsibility. >> one of the interesting issues in this, andy, if you try to look ahead to, this here's my own guess. with women there will be very little problem. with guys there may be. which is to say that there are lots of women out there who have gone into the labor force some enthusiastically and they wanted to, which is great. lots of women would rather be doing full-time work at home, taking care of kids, and also be engaged in the community. and they can't afford to do it. this will make it possible for them to do things that women historically have done extremely effectively. and i think it's more males than
females who have been socialized into thinking the dignity of a job, and there is dignity associated with a job, is defined in going to work for 40 hours a week. >> i would only just say, i think that's a generation -- i mean, donald trump would agree with you on that about women, but i would say work has become very different -- i have sisters in their 30s and 40s. they grew up to expecting to work. have families, work at the same time. i don't know how that's all going to work. i do think people will make different choices and to take advantage of being in libertarian hall, hall mark place, choices seems to be what people say. you can't say we want to give people choices and tell them they have to work. >> let me pick up on that for
the last question here before we go to the audience. and the area we kind of agree on to some degree on this, which is this personal autonomy idea. the current welfare system seems to be very paternalistic. it has all sorts of regulations. if you want this, have you to do that. we see this push in terms of the left and right on this where you get more benefits if you -- if your kid goes to school or we'll pay you more for this. i've seen it on the left talking about, well, people just can't handle things and therefore we need to see how much is paid for housing and versus how much is spent on education and so on. this would move in a very different direction but do you see pushback from both sides on this with the idea there are basically people who can't or shouldn't run their own lives and, therefore, it's the government's job to run it for them? >> yeah, i think -- i've already heard that kind of argument made by people on both sides of the
fence. one response to that is, we are not talking about a future world that is worse than this one right this minute. we have the numbers on young male out of the labor force all together are really scaring and increases in them are really scary. women's labor force participation has also been falling. we have -- we have a variety of people who are living lives right now of the kinds that people on both sides would say, look, these people are throwing away their lives. my own view, turn it over to andy for his, is pretty much what he just said. people make choices and the downsides of trying to stage manage those choices have been made clear by a lot of policies over the last 30, 40 years. >> when there are people who don't do well managing their own
affairs, people have dementia, mental health issues, drug problems, and i assume we'll always have agencies and communities and churches and families who will try to intervene in those situations. we should make sure we have resources available because when you have a mental health problem just having money is not going to solve your problems and prescriptions and other kinds of counseling are necessary. there are going to be people who make bad decisions. after we take care of the people who have physical, emotional or other needs that need to be met uniquely, we just have to accept that's what happens in the world, that's the best we can and that's what your community, friends, family try to do, and tell you to stop drinking, tell you to stop fooling around or whatever else you're doing with money and gambling and whatever and you just have to let it about. >> that's great. i do think -- i think ultimately you can expect people to be moral agents if you don't give
them any responsibility. they become puppets and that's not what people are all about. i'm going to move to the audience now and see if you folks have any questions. wow. i would wait for you to get to the microphone and any organization you represent and please ask questions. ly cut you off if you start to give a speech. once again for folks following along, the hashtag on twitter is #catoubi. let's go to the audience, first off. i'll start in the middle and move left and right. gentleman in the blue shirt and then you're next. >>? january we'll have a new president, also a new congress. what do you think the chances are of getting some kind of
basic income legislation introduced? >> i think the chance of getting something introduced is probably ceasecy. the chance of it being a serious discussion right now are pretty complicated. i happen to believe the most intru shall person on the united states president, if it's hillary clinton, will be justin trudeau. and i think justin trudeau in canada is seen as a new thinker about new problems. he's done a children's basic income. he's talking about doing experiments in ontario and quebec on basic income. i think what we need is experimentation. i don't think anybody knows the consequences or the unintended consequences. we did five in the united states when milton friedman was around. we never did the analysis of impactly what happened. so, i think we're seeing a lot of activity up in canada. i think that will have a lot of influence on the american policy
makers. and i think we may not see a bill, but i think we'll see a discussion begin about could we do some experiments. >> i think it would be premature for legislation at this point. i think a lot of research remains to be done before we decide whether or not this is a good idea. this is still basic ideas being discussed. and the details would really matter. as you see, there's already some disagreements. i think it's a long way from legislation. we've seen too often the consequence of legislation that it was rushed through and designed to give 51 votes in the senate and for them to be workable. >> this is going to be a big deal if it's done right. and if whoa just try to do it piecemeal, it will be a mess. >> microphone for someone?
>> i didn't go to gradual school myself. i've been thinking about this whole question of dignity and work and supporting one's self. my question is, if you give people money, do you give them a sense of responsibility to community at the same time? and i bring this up because an egyptian friend of mine who works on terrorism said you just don't understand about terrorism. if you have young men that have no prospects and someone gives them $20,000 a month, a truck and a gun and a purpose in life, of course they're going to be terrorists. my question is, how do you give -- while you do this, how do you give them a sense of they're important, they're respected, they're making a contribution, not just giving them money? then i have a lot of other things i would like to ask. >> we'll give you a chance to ask those privately later on.
that's a good question first my hypothetical is not a terrorist at all [ inaudible ] >> i will not go through my spiel again. i think people around him will be giving him cues about what is and is not the thing that constitutes appropriate behavior. think about it this way. in 1960 if you were a guy of working age who was not completely disabled and you weren't even look for work, you were considered a bum. that's the word that was used and used by everybody around you. and labor force participation in 1960 was clear up close to among -- among working age
males. i think with a universal basic income it's my argument. i can't prove it. i think you reintroduce the freedom of people to make those moral comparisons again so it's been out of fashion to call guys out of the labor force bums in many, many circles in this country. when you have a universal basic income, all of a sudden i think it becomes easier to say, you know what, you really ought to be taking care of your children, if you have sired children. you really ought to be taking care of other people close to you and these are moral signals that flourish again, which i'm in favor of. >> up in the back, dark blue shirt. >> good afternoon, gentlemen. i would like, if you could, spend a little time talking about how you would finance this program given three things.
if you get rid of medicare, presumably you get rid of the payroll tax. that's not coming in as revenue you have to make up. andy, if you add on, both are underfunded, how do you make that up? for both of you, if you're right, we see a big decline in jobs, that means less rove new coming in from payroll tax and income tax. how do we make that up and still afford universal income. >> real quickly, my plan assumes the tax code -- it's revenue neutral and i don't know what happens to the pay troll tax but i'm assuming revenue from the payroll tax continues. it's revenue -- i'm assuming the revenue that we have now and we have crossed over the line. we did about 2010, 2009.
we crossed the line between the cost of the president system and the cost of the system as i worked it out. right now we are several hundred billion dollars less expensive than the current system. by the early 2000s we're over $1 trillion less expensive. i grant you the problems that you mentioned in the question, you know, if jobs are disappearing, what does that -- what are the implications for revenue? i guess the short answer is, replacing the current system is a lot more economically realistic in terms of costs projected into the future than the current entitlement situation where we're looking at horrific rising deficits into the indefinite future. >> in my book i spent a lot of time trying to answer this question. i want to say for the record, it needs more research, not on how to pay for, it but how much it
actually costs. there are so many factors about what it does. dynamic scoring, is it -- you know, what -- so, i estimate the cost of $1.75 trillion. i do 18 too 64. i don't do kids or people on social security unless they make less than $1,000 a month. i top off their social security. i don't do undocumented workers, only citizens. that's how i get to my cost. i'd say there's $500 to $600 billion out of the current welfare system we should allocate. i say $500 to $600 out of the $1 trillion tax expenditures which are tax breaks, you know, paid for instead of taking taxes we're paying people back. i think there's another $500 or $of 00 billion. this is my way of doing it because i'm not a revenue neutral person. there's probably $20 0 billion
there. i'm ready to do a v.a.t. tax. we're the only industrial country without a v.a.t. tax, carbon tax, plenty of other ones to do it. i'm not an income tax person. >> we'll get you next, sir. >> i'm phil harvey, co-author of "the human cost of welfare," delighted to be here. we have a population now that charles has described very, very well in coming apart that seems to me much like the population of disaffected males that could very well expand under a ubi. i would like both of you to comment on that. we have about 7 million prime working age males. i certainly agree with charles. this is more a male problem than
female problem, who are not seeking work, who are not disabled, who are not engaged in educational pursuits, are not in jail and they are not all poor. a great many of them are living in households that reflect economic conditions of the fourth rather than the fifth economic quinn tiles. they are not contributing, as you yourself have described, to community improvement, to community engagement. i'm wondering how, given those same people and others like them, $10,000 a year is going to get them to stop watching television and go to church, because it seems to me it's highly unlikely? >> well, here i am in the position of giving scenarios. i'll give you a couple scenarios.
one is that these guys that you described, that i described, are also fathering a whole lot of children that they aren't caring for. and under the ubi, guess what, all the woman has to do is to establish paternity, which is very, very simple in today -- given today's technology, and you don't have anyplace to hide if you're a male because the judge simply grants child support and that money is taken out of that deposit before you ever get your hands on it. do you think it just might have affect on other young males when they see the fact their older brothers who have sired children are having to pay for them? i think it will have a big effect. let me give you another example. right now you have all sorts of cohabitation going on, a lot of times living off the income stream the woman has and the guys are playing video games and doing all the things we're talking about.
right now the woman really can't do much to get the guy to support. she can't make him get a job. now he has a deposit every month. the pressure's on him to start ponying up or get out, and that can have positive effects on expectations. i'm just going to repeat myself. and i don't want -- i'm not presenting this as evidence. i have grappled with this problem, what do you do with this population in my own mind. i'm saying what i want to do is put that young man back in a position where things are expected of him and where he has to acknowledge that things can be expected of him. in my view, this is a lot better than the current system. >> before i pass this onto you, i just want -- maybe you can follow up on this as well. there does seem a blame the poor
attitude here. certainly there's a lot of social pathologies among the poor but we also have to take into account the fact you have a school system that doesn't educate, a difficulty in creating jobs in certain areas, a criminal justice system that leaves people virtually unhirable because current records, gend-based discrimination, so on, all of which has to be included in that model as well. you have to deal with the social pathologies that are out there. but i think it's also -- we have to be careful in terms of assigning blames. >> i'm assigning no blame to anybody in what i'm thinking about. i'm assigning this problem. there is not enough work for people who want to work to make enough money to live the kind of life that my father, my grandfather, the autoworkers and everybody live. and it is going to get worse. whatever the situation is now, it is going to get worse.
now, the answer to all of this, obviously s to make people work. i keep saying if the libertarians want to have a forced work national humphrey hawkins program, bring it on, baby, because that's the other answer to the work situation. if there are not enough jobs the private market is creating, the public market if we want to believe in work has to create it. i'm not trying to deal with moral issues. labor force participation is down not, i think, because people are sitting home playing video games, although there are certainly people who are, it's because there are less decent jobs available. people are living at home more, even in middle class families because there's not decent jobs available. the last thing i'll say to any of you who is like me, middle class, i wonder how many of you are doing basic parental income? how many of you are taking them on vacation, helping them with a bill, helping them stabilize their life, create a floor for them? lots of my friends are doing
something to help their kids get by who are working, doing the best they can and not making enough to live the life their parents did and that's what we do because we have the ability to do it. could we create a floor for everybody, besideses the fact we probably do increase entrepreneurship and everything. i'm not trying to make moral judgment but there is an economic question and a values question. and we don't have the answer to the values question of what are poom going to do when there's far less labor needed to introduce the goods to meet the basic needs mazlo talked about 37 we should think about that because money is one thing, work is another. someone got the third, fourth and fifth, i'm all for it because, you know, it is -- it is a complicated question. the last thing i want to say is it's a question for people under 30 to answer because people who grew up and love their work, love their job, want to work 90 hours no matter what they paid,
cannot really make judgments for people who haven't had the same kind of opportunity because those jobs ampbt there. all you had to do when i grew up, get a june job, you were fine in america. that is not true. neither one is true right now. >> one last question and then we're out of time. by the way, if anyone hasn't read phil's book "the human cost of welfare," it's a terrific book. while i'm pushing books, i'll throw that. -n. i don't mean to imply phil was blaming the poor. this is a general kind of thought process out there on this. last one. >> i'm from great falls, virginia, a cato benefactor. my main question and the concern is, what are the unintended consequences? normally when cato does one of these you have someone taking an option position saying, here's what's wrong with these proposals. in order to make them work, have you to do something else. but since we don't have that and you're the moderator, mike, i would like for each of you to
anticipate what some of the unintended consequences are of the other's plan. i can see a whole lot of them but i'm not here -- i'm not on the stage to talk about them. please tease those things out because i'm sure there will be a whole new raft of problems that will come along. not just the obvious ones. >> my role of skeptic. let me throw out the skepticism is the political economy or moral hazard here of once we sort of established the idea that people have a right to basic income, guaranteed right, the competition begins for i'm more compassionate. and you want $10,000, you want $12,000, i'm a lot more compassionate than you. i think it should be $15,000. hillary says $20,000, trump says $25,000. the bidding war goes up. before we know it, we're broke.
>> this one i'm confident i have the answer to. famous last words. right now we have-k have creep in all kinds of these programs -- it's such a big political issue thaw mobilize attention on it. so things happen. if we have a basic guaranteed income of this kind, changes in that number are going to be a huge deal politically. it's not the case you can get away with saying, let's jack it up 1,000 bucks. you'll have very well funded, very vocal people saying, that's crazy. you can't do it. and i think keeping the costs in check with a consolidated system like that, whether it's andy's or mine, would be a whole lot easier than trying to get the umpteenth new job program from being enacted that nobody even knows is happening. >> why don't you take a shot at
the critique. what do you think is the most valid criticism of your propos l proposal? >> the most valid criticism is, i think it's not the basic income would be increased radically, but that even if you replace the system, as i want to do, that i want a constitutional amendment saying, no other transfer payments. and -- but that's not realistic. what would happen is the welfare system would gradually be rebuilt. politically speaking, that's a very real danger. >> andy? >> i totally worry about the issue of work and what happens in society when there isn't enough work or people don't work. i doblt think we know how to live a life where there isn't work attached to, it whether it was working on a farm or working on a factory. i think we have to confront that problem regardless of my plan. one way to confront is give
people work. we should decide about that. i don't really understand what life is going to be like when there's not enough work for people to do. i've watched a lot of people who don't seem to be worried about it in their 20s right now, who seem to do just fine in a different way than i would have chosen. i'm also worried about trying to have a generation like mine place moral values on another generation about what they do with their time and their money. >> well, we thank you once again for coming on out. we do have lunch four upstairs in the jaeger conference center if you want to go upstairs to have lunch. we have books from both these gentlemen on sale right outside here. you may even be able to talk them into signing them for you. we appreciate you coming out very much. mike tanner with the cato institute. thank you all.
once here on c-span3, economists and health insurance executives on the future of health care in america. we'll have live coverage from the national institute for health care management foundation at noon eastern. you could also watch it live on c-span.org. first ladies is the name of the book, presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american women. mark farkas, executive producer here at c-span, what is this? >> it's a book that grew out of our television series, first ladies and image. we've taken every single program where we had some of the greatest historians on the presidency and biographies of first ladies and put them into narrative form in each chapter. every first lady has a chapter
in which you learn about their biography and time as first lady. some had great influence, some had less of an influence. >> was it hard to find records on first ladies? >> some are easy. abe gale adams, massachusetts historical society and they have thousands of letters between her and john adams where she's lobbying him to remember the ladies and lobbingy him on issues of slavery. martha washington burns all her letters between her and george washington. only two exist. you go from one extreme to the other and the farther along in time, you see the -- i think the adaptation of technology and the role of first lady begins to merge as well. now you've got a very public role for most of these first ladies. the past can get away if they want to be behind the scenes. i don't think can you do that anymore. >> former first lady is running for president. >> the chapter on hillary clinton, for anyone who wants to
know how she approaches campaigning, how she approaching politics, you read that chapter. one you know right away, she's the most famous woman in the world. most well-known woman in the world. gale sheehy is with her when she's on the campaign trail in '92 when things are getting sort of rough for the clintons. it shows how hillary reacted. the thing i think she rather not have happened but she goes on the attack with republicans. so, it shows a very savvy first lady and politician even back in '92. >> what did you learn during the series and working on the book? >> my favorite stories are the ones i knew nothing about these first ladies at all. lucy hayes is known as lemonade for prohibiting alcohol in the white house. she's deeper than that. she's pushing causes. someone like grace coolidge, you have silent calvin coolidge and grace is a rock star in her
time. she's the opposite of calvin coolage. you learn about the modern first ladies. lady byrd johnson, all first ladies go back to her as a role model because she's the first to take on causes. eleanor roosevelt does and then a little break in taking on a cause. lady bird takes on the cause of beautification. it's really environmentalism. i learned they really do play a role and the public stage and public et they have now, they can get a lot done. >> what's the involvement of historian richard norton smith in this. >> great friend of ours. his idea for the series. guest on the martha washington program and betty ford program. he makes a good point. it comes out when you read this book. some first ladies, when you think about it, probably had as much if not more influence on the way we live our lives. look at betty ford. she comes out for era. she's ahead of the curve as a first lady. she's not actually saying some
things gerald ford wants to hear but then you think about her causes after her time in the white house and substance abuse. in a way, she's had an effect on a lot of people's lives. maybe more than some presidents. >> here's the book "first ladies:presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american women" available at your favorite book seller and online. in 2014 the environmental protection agency proposed regulations known as clean power plan that require states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. west virginia is challenging the regulations in federal court. state attorney general allison wood is arguing the case for west virginia. she debated the issue with advocates of e.p.a.'s climate change regulations at an event hosted by bipartisan policy center. it's an hour and 40 minutes. >> good morning, everyone.
welcome to bipartisan policy center for our tenth, probably not last public forum, discussing the clean power plan. the importance and increase of this issue has really been with us now for several years. since the original proposal that ruined some of your summer vacations in june of 2014 to the final rule that ruined my summer vacation in june of 2015. this has been an issue that has dominated a lot of our discussion. and it's really been quite fascinating from the very beginning, a number of very smart people who i know and trust said this proposal rule was transformational. a word that will come back later in the discussion. other people said, it's business as usual. so, from the very beginning we had a dramatically different imagination about what was happening. i think that intrees has certainly continued for the last couple of years, when the supreme court issued a stay back in february. that certainly surprised a number of folks.
when the d.c. circuit chose to delay argument in favor of this bizarre, mysterious hearing that i think was a question that generated some interest. when judge pollark, unrecused herself, if that's a word, and then the ten-judge, almost 20-member attorney oral argument, which is probably the longest many folks spent without a cell phone in their adult lives was certainly a unique experience we'll talk a lot about today. just to kind of frame this in the broadest terms, the importance of this question is actually greater than question of greenhouse emissions from the power sector. it's become in many ways the cruise bell through a number of broad social questions being asked. it's a question of the role of executive action in a closely
polarized congress. it speaks to the rural and urban divide. it's a question about the societal response to the changing economy and dislocations we see as being so prominent in today's presidential election. and even really a question about how we see the u.s. role in the world. what is our right and purpose as we think about not just domestic action but how that influences collective action. within that very broad amount of questions we have an incredibly talented panel to talk about some of the legal questions and some of those ramifications. just to run through the group. christophe, chief of environmental protection agency as mass a.g.'s office and leads their carbon and climate change litigation. david donnager, national