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tv   Reagan National Defense Forum Discussion on Global Security Partnerships  CSPAN  January 19, 2022 7:15pm-8:17pm EST

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>> military officials and defense experts to bargain a discussion on u.s. security and
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the strength of military alliances and partnerships. hosted by the reagan national defense form. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to panel five. and the interest of all, advancing international with allies and partners, please welcome john aquilino, moral richardson, dr. william -- miss land correct and moderator david ignatius of the washington post. do you want to picture first? >> i guess, yes. thank you. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your photogenic panel. i hope everybody had a good coffee break and as well
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caffeinated for our discussion of advancing security through alliances and partnerships. i don't have to tell this audience that this is a moment in which we have threats around the world that are concerning. we have in the washington post this morning report that 175,000 russian troops may be prepared to line up along the ukraine border posing an extraordinary threat to ukraine. and indeed to the nato alliance. in vienna, talks to restore the jcpoa just appeared to have broken down. a bacon stand for our allies and partners. and in asia, an area of responsibility severe and rising concerns about china. in this world of danger, the united states has a unique asset. that is this network of
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alliances and partnerships that we have around the world. and so, that is our starting point. this precious thing that we have gathered over the years. but i want to begin with a question from each member of our panel. i will put a bit of it to each of you. the time when a theme of america first and pulling back to this country has residents in both our political parties, there is some concern among some ally and partner about our staying power, or credibility as their partner. so i want to ask each of the panelists intern -- starting with admiral akron we know, to respond to that. but do you see in the part of the role that you cover? what could we do, whatever the level of credibility is now, to expand it? admiral, i know that you are living in the age of office and
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maybe aukus is the answer that we ought to think about as a baseline. but tell us how that question looks to you? >> thank you david, it is great to see you again. it is an honor to be here with an extinguished set of panel members. as i look through the pacific, you know, we have to remember that for 80 years we have generated the security and prosperity that has existed throughout the indo-pacific. the u.s. is a specific -- we have been with these allies and partners for all of those years. so, would i have seen in my travels and i just recently over the past seven months come back in the execution of realignment or excuse me the validation of our five treaty alliances. so, japan, korea thailand, australia and the philippines. and everything that i see from those nations, as well as the
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rest of the nations in the region is no concern about the strength of the u.s. alliances and partnerships. again, our value and the value of our partners is clear in this region. so, for me it is validated and every one of my meetings. additionally, on the august piece, that is certainly a benefit. when you look at the different sets of security relationships, whether they are bilateral, whether they're exercises and experiments and other things that we do multilateral. you know, aukus is an additive. so, trilateral relationship with japan, korea and the united states. the asean, the nations to get together. the quad, right? so, caucus is a different and an additive security relationship that will be extremely helpful to keep the peace and prosperity in the
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region. so, i certainly welcome it. australia has made a big step and i think it will increase the security in the region. for the solutions that's long term, it is our allies and partners coming together to demonstrate the adherents international rules based order for the stability in the region. and to continue that. so, we are stronger when we are together. again, i think that will be the focus of this panel. so, we welcome all of our allies and partners for all of our on options and executions. >> i want to come back to our caucus with you in a few minutes. but let me turn to general richardson. they've just taken over at u.s. senate command. we have some great allies and partners in your area of responsibility but they don't get the headlines. i want to ask you whether you worry that we are in danger of
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ignoring the partnerships that are in our own backyard sometimes and at least the political blade in washington. but you go back to my basic question, this time and people are asking questions about america's forward commitment, how would we demonstrate that better to people in the western hemisphere who are part of your aor? >> well, thank you very much and thank you for having me on the panel. it is my pleasure to talk about the south calm area of operations. i've been in the seat for five weeks and i've been able to travel to columbia and brazil, so far. two of our biggest security partners. i'm happy to say that they've been by our side, our allies and partners for a really long time. columbia fought with us on the korean war. brazil fought with us in world war ii. so, we have a long history with
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our allies and partners in the region and they want to partner with us. they want to -- wear kind of scratching our -- what can we do any more, the challenges with cost threats insecurity across all the mains. plain honesty, we need to work together stronger. our allies and partners exponential and make a stronger. so, i think we should look at it from that perspective of what they have to bring, but we have to bring. we have to look at it from their perspective and their lens. a lot of time, we would have to look at it through our lens. we have learned that from working with north calm and mexico. how we look at the border issue and the southwest border and things coming to our united states border.
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they also look at it as a northern border. they look at it from a different perspective. understanding those two different perspectives i think helps us work closer together. i see a lot of opportunity with all the challenges. this aor doesn't get the headlines when you're talking about the things that have happened in africa, some of those things it happened in africa with our series are in the south harm region. that doesn't get any headlines. and so, i would like to say that i always use the football analogy. you have got to be on the field with your jersey on, your number on. we have got to be there looking them in the eye because they want to partner with us. they want to partner and they want to be teammates with us all the time. we don't have to -- we are not pulling them kicking and screaming to compartment
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with us and do exercises. they are there, they want to do it. they want to do more, we just have to capitalize on that. >> general, before i move on, i just want to take you up on your and our southern partners but they want to be moving and are looking for more from us as an ally. what are some of the things that you hear them asking for? not to say that you already, it is a policy decision what are you hearing? they love to do exercises with us. quite honestly, the exercises lead to things that happen like that haiti earthquake that occurred a couple months ago. a lot was heard, the big news story was operationalize welcome. meanwhile, southcom was working very closely with nine partnered nations and 7.2
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earthquakes that occurred in haiti. and so, you just look at the nations that we have, the relationship that we have and is really tremendous. our exercise program has decreased a little bit this year. we are going from 11 down to eight exercises. but when you look at some of these exercises can max, trade winds. and they've already been around for many years. but it gives the opportunity to showcase the professional militaries that we have in that these parted nations have and that also helps train them and they become key exporters of security as well in the region and so we are not only participating in an exercise to
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be better security partners in the region as well. >> that is a helpful specific i want to remind this audience in the people watching that you can get in this conversation astral questions and send them via the app the rdof app or via twitter hashtags are in the f. and they will land on my screen as it just an estimated and whoever was running this -- the director of strategic planning for the bush 43 has thought about these issues a lot. allies are fickle, they can be a nuisance and they are reducing sometimes because they really don't pay their fair share. they look to us for security, but as the nato debate during the reagan presidency showed, they just don't pay with the
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promise they will and from your perspective over many years, talk about the ups and downs of alliances and where you see us now. whether you think i am right and worrying that we may be losing a little bit of credibility. >> well david, i will try to both affirm and reassure your billet easier. for as long as united states is that allies in alliances, we have had frustrations for the allies in alliances. our allies have had frustrations with us. i know elie cohen is at the conference today and i'm a big fan of his work. has bucks a prima command is a profile on winston churchill. there is a great quote from churchill in the 1930s. churchill says, the history of coalition warfare is the tale of the reciprocal complaints of allies. so, this is a part of the wolf of come batting and doing diplomacy alongside of each other. they're going back to admiral, he really knows about the point
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of the last bit of american alliances. anna take us back to before. that this is one reason why think america's dna, there is some skepticism of parts of our political leadership and our body politic. but alliances, for the first hundred 50 years of our country's history going back to washington's farewell address, we didn't have permanent alliances. there were, you know, there were too many reasons for. that they continue as concerns today. the first is that allies will drag us into wars or fights or conflicts that aren't in our interest that we don't want. and the second is that they won't pay their fair share. they will be free riders. now, as somebody who was pro alliance and i think it's important to remember those parts of our country's deeper history. those concerns continue to occur pretty regularly. we have seen them on our debates today. but i think the key inflection point is in that post war moment, 1945 to 1955 and so
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much of the current structure of our alliance system today was built. that's when we abandon that previous tradition of no allies and embraced it. it is no coincidence that is also in the united states had our great debut on the world stage is the leading superpower right? so our embrace of alliances went hand in hand with our increasing national power. i think they have overall been mutually reinforcing since then. but given that there are these recurring tensions, we can't be complacent about it. we can just say that just because those tentative always better than we don't have to worry about. that but the reason we have been able to manage them is because that they take proactive management each generation and for each generation of political leadership. i will just mention the two areas that are really concerned about. well first, there are five key factors that maintain the alliances. those are the shared interest, we have those with the threats from russia and china today. and there are the treaties themselves, right? they are designed to transcend political pressures.
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especially, when we are speaking about our nato allies or our allies in the asian pacific. there is the institutional connections. everything from the five eyes to even the shared nato round, using the same cartridge. those factors are pretty good shape. the next two key, preserving the alliances are the ones that i worry about. those are presidential leadership in public opinion. this is not a part of some comment about the biden administration. our last few presidencies i think have failed to show the commitment to allies, to make their case to the american people why these matter to us. when was the last thing that we heard american president give a full-throated endorsement of alliances and said why they matter? they need to make a case to the american people, why we have these commitments because of what they have done for us. and then we need to turn of course and there are some diminishing public support. i think it can be turned around. but it is going to take those last two factors of presidential leadership in public -- moving the needle on public opinion. there are other building blocks the institutional commitments, the treaties, the shared interest of their.
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so, mr. -- around des moines defense and space business. i'm curious to what you are hearing as you talk to your international customers, customers generally, about americas staying power and when the question comes up, how do you answer that, how do you say yeah, we are here for you today and we will be free here for you ten years from now? >> well thank you for the question and it's such an honor to be on this panel with admiral aquilno and general richardson. you know, we owe them incredible debts of gratitude for everything that they do every day for us and as industry, you know, one of the big lessons for us has always been that our proximity to the fight does not define our contribution to the fight. and so, we view ourselves as an extension to the services, we view ourselves as wanting to be there to provide the equipment, the tools, the training, the services, and the forward thinking in our own investment
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strategies to enable that. that ties directly to what we are hearing around the globe and despite the pandemic, we have maintained operating rhythm where we are talking to everyone either in person or through zoom and, you know, the different technologies. and the message is clear. the support from the u.s. is still as wrong as it has ever been. we have seen zero downturn, in terms of believing that the u.s. is a firm ally and partner to the nation's. as a matter of fact, we are continuing to see even more progress within the department, in terms of, how do we be more proactive, in terms of when we are working cooperative relationships, when there are weapons systems, support that is needed, how can we help provide the information necessary so that not only does that nation get the benefit of what the u.s. has already done, but in turn, how do we take back from that benefit that we saw with that developing nation or that weapon system and bring
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it back so that the u.s. benefits? so, we've seen this reciprocal behavior over the years and we are seeing it as much now as ever before. so, there has been, you know, david, zero in my mind, any indication that there is a belief that the u.s. military is in with the allies and that that support remains as strong as ever. >> let me take a specific example. our european allies in nato, still a very strong alliance which are precious to us, but we hear increasingly from some europeans, especially france, that they want to focus on an independent european defense capability. and they give all sorts of reasons for that. you can understand why. i'm curious what that means for a company like boeing, whether that is going to complicate your life as the europeans move into their own space always saying yes, we are going to be cooperative with nato, but we
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want our own. is that going to make life harder for you? >> well, i will start by saying competition is good and, you know, i think it's really important to recognize in this day and age, our ability to turn technology faster, to bring forward more innovative and creative solutions, is critical. it's not just the weapon system itself, it's the interoperability and, so as we think about moving forward with nations who have desires for different products and services, those, they open up those competitions many times to the global landscape as well. so we are competing at home and abroad. and it is up to us as industry to be proactive, to look at where there is leverage opportunities, that interoperability is so key because when the conflict happens, very rarely do you not see allies coming together and so, even if they decide that they want to go invest and strengthen their industrial base, we still want to make
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sure that we are giving them an opportunity to offer them something that they can access, look at, and we can be competitive in that. and we owe great service to the u.s. government, who advocates on behalf of u.s. products in those situations. and so, we work very closely with the defense security contract agency, with the state department to see if we have as industry here in the u.s. has application around the world. >> so, admiral aquilno, i want to drill down a little deeper on aukus. aukus appears to all of us to be a big strategic idea. it's something that had a lot of turn because of french unhappiness initially, but it's a big idea. the nuclear navy has been a jewel of the u.s. navy. our undersea capabilities, it can't be easy to open the aperture to truly take in
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australian, britain as partners in aukus. i would love to hear, i'm sure the whole audience would love to hear how aukus over time will make life different for indo -- will be done differently and also, your first thoughts about how china is going to react to this new extension of the area where we have extraordinary, really unmatched capability, undersea warfare? >> how will the chinese react to that? >> thanks, david. let me start by i think highlighting one of the reasons that aukus came about, right? i know we are watching in the region's the largest military buildup we have seen since world war ii. that has driven the australians to assess the capabilities they need and this was an australian decision to be able to invest in nuclear submarine program
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that provides the capabilities they need against the security threats in the region that they see. we certainly endorse their decision, as we've partnered with them. we will develop those capabilities and what i think you will see around the rest of the region is, there's a real concern from the nations in the area on the security challenges that you have heard articulated by my secretary and the focus on the indo-pacific. there are true challenges. aukus is one solution, it is additive to the other security arrangements. to leon's point, it's interoperability with the united states. all those allies and partners that are beneficial, we value that interoperability and as the security apparatus works together, it does make us stronger. if i could jump on one of wills
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points here, the discussion was the fickleness of allies and partners. you know, that's the problem i would rather have because the other side of that coin is being the nations with no allies and partners. and that is what we are looking at in the region. so, from the united states's perspective, you know, we continue to work with these allies and partners. to laura's point, in indo pecan, we execute 120 exercises annually with our allies and partners. and we are looking to make those more mini lateral or multilateral. aukus can contribute to that whether it's on the sea, undersea, above the, sea or space and cyberspace, we want to expand that. whether there are increased multilateral events. if you look at the exercise rim of the pacific which will be upcoming in 2022, last time there were 27 nations with
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maritime forces, ground forces, air forces, right? so from where i sit, that's what -- looks like. that's what's been going on for 80 years. so, we need to continue down that path and we welcome those other sets of security exercises, relationships, however you want to characterize them. the work with the quad nations associated with exercise millibar. we would see that expanding. so, aukus is a small microcosm that applies to the entire rest of the security apparatus and we are here to support all of our allies and partners who would like to expand or increase their capability. >> so, i want to be sure i understand the specific question on whether aukus itself should be, as few people have begun to suggest, expanded. should new zealand be a part of aukus, should other nations that can contribute specifically to the mission set
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of aukus be considered as additional members? or is this try partied pact, fine the way it is for now? >> i think it's going to start there. there's certainly technology sharing agreements and other things that would have to work. we haven't discussed specifically adding to aukus with other nations at this point, but that should not subtract or detract from our ability to execute, increase cooperations through other means other than just nuclear propulsion. we are ready to take on any of those additional efforts that our partners and allies are interested in and start those discussions. >> we will come back to the quad in a subsequent round but i want to turn to general richardson. as we are talking about china, and the challenges, to put it mildly, that china presents, one overlooked area is latin
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america. and your staff sent me a figure which astonished me, that 19 of 31 countries in the hemisphere have signed up to the belt and road initiative. assuming that number is right, it's startling that china is making inroads to that extent. talk, from your perspective as the new quebec commander, about chinese presence in your aor and then more specifically, what we ought to be doing to counter it. >> so, thank you for that. i would like to say that china's playbook for africa is taking place in latin america now. and so, while there might be the news talks about i've watched a news program that was highlighting what is happening in africa. i think the news is a little
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bit behind and it's been happening in africa for years, and if we are not careful what is happening in latin america, we'll in five or ten years have the same impact. and so, yes out of the 31 countries, 16 dependencies, those belt and road folks, countries that have signed up for the belt and road initiative, the 19 of 31, i will tell you that i mentioned the cross cutting threads earlier that collectively challenge, or make challenges for our security and that has to do with covid, and covid is still very problematic in our nations and countries, in latin america. they have suffered pretty good at the hands of covid and are still dealing with that. and so, that in my mind has changed the geopolitical landscape for some of the countries, as they continue to deal with covid and we continue to try to help them.
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vaccines are continuing to be deployed to the different countries. i know the u.s., when i was there in brazil last week, was donating astrazeneca 2.2 million doses of vaccines while we were there. so, continue to work that we have to do but you know, when you look at the effects of that and then you talk about the projects. so if you are having a problem with your economy already and the chinese come with the belt and road initiatives with projects and money, and they are ready to start, it looks very attractive. to some of our countries that are having a hard time with their economies. and so certainly though, what i see over time, it will be interesting. like i've said, i've only been in this seat five weeks but as we go through this and i see the things that the different countries sign up for, there's a buyer's remorse at some point
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because, you know, the host nation workers are not used for these belt and road initiatives. chinese workers come in and then that all, in my mind, helps with the spread of the prc and the military bases, and the state owned enterprises that china has. and is using throughout our eight oh our in latin america. >> just to follow-up on that, one way in which the united states might combat this attempt to draw countries into the belt and road initiative into china's economic agenda is greater sharing of technology ideas, relationships, there is an interesting component of aukus that i want to talk about further, which is really about broad technology sharing, but we have a u.s., eu council in
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pittsburgh where technology discussions were a big part of it. same thing with the quad. we don't have anything like that that i know of with our own hemisphere and i'm wondering whether you think that is a missing piece. brazil is pretty technologically advanced country. it's got a lot of things that we probably ought to be talking with them about. would that be a good idea, do you think? >> i think it would be a good idea and, you know, if you don't mind, i would just like to talk briefly about one proximity of this. you know, david, you said backyard, i would like to use neighborhood because neighborhoods resonates with our allies and partners in latin america and the proximity to our homeland here in the united states, folks don't realize how close the southcom aor and all of these 31 countries in the caribbean, central america, south america. i can go to 83% of the countries in the south come aor
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in a shorter time distance than it took most of you to come from d.c. here to this forum. and i was talking to my father, my parents are still living and i went to visit columbia. my father was like, are you in the same time zone? like, how far away are you, how long did it take you to get there? and i said dad, you are in colorado, i can get here faster to columbia than i can to colorado and i am on the same time zone. you know, eastern time zone, don't even have to change time zones. you just think about the proximity but when you think about what is in latin america, in terms of the amazon. they call it the lungs of the world. you have 31% of the world's freshwater, it's in latin america. you have the lithium. 60% of the lithium in the world is in the lithium triangle, argentina, bolivia, chile. you've got a lot of rare earth minerals, resources, and capabilities that, in my mind,
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go hand in hand with what the chinese are doing with the belt and road inch initiative and expanding their reach into latin america. just like they did in africa. and so, a lot of folks don't understand all of the rich resources that are really there in latin america and in our western hemisphere. in terms of trade, i will just talk about trade. if i talk about western hemisphere at canada and mexico to it. 1.9 trillion. western hemisphere is u.s.'s number one trading partner with 1.9 trillion. and so, it's off the charts wet this aor offers and so, i want to share that because as i have learned all of the great things about this region, i think it's very vulnerable. and so, that goes to the point of why we have to be present all the time working really closely, using all the levers available to work with our partners, as they deal with
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these cross cutting challenges. >> doctor -- i want to continue on this question of technology partnerships, as the next phase in our strategic partnerships. the biden administration thinks it has a big idea here that this network that includes aukus, the quad, u.s. eu, dialogues, is going to stitch together one overtime. they imagine it's kind of an alliance of technologically advanced democracies, quasi-democracies. but that is the big idea that they are trying to frame. you've been thinking about studying alliances like this for a long time. do you think this is a good idea, a, b, do you think it's realistic when we have countries like france, like india, that are pretty darn resistant to some forms of cooperation. and what would you do, if it is a good idea, what would you do
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to make it better? >> i think it's a great idea. again, i strongly affirm it. this goes back to thinking about, you know, in our area of great power competition, what are americas asymmetric advantages? and two of the big a symmetric advantages that we have that, you know, china and russia, for example, largely don't. first, is our alliances. and if we doubt that, just look at the view from beijing or moscow. if you are she jinping, who are your closest friends in your neighborhood? well, maybe north korea, maybe cambodia. it's not a very good list, right? if you are putin, who are your closest friends? belarus, maybe serbia? this is why those guys are spending so much time trying to, you know, split and break apart and undermine and weaken our alliances. even if america doesn't appreciate how important our alliances are, the bad guys do. and that gets to the technology part that you are asking about and this is our second big advantage, it's the united states is still, all things considered, the world's leader in technology and innovation.
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you know, we are losing our edge in some areas but this is nothing to be complacent about. and yet, there's a tremendous multiplier effect both in terms of supply chain security and there was a great panel on that, you know, just before us here. and also in, thinking about the next generation of weapons platforms. essentially being able to deepen our alliances through this technology sharing partnerships and getting a real advantage over our adversaries. he we are here to invoke our namesake. i think there's a great precedent in the reagan administration's playbook, right? this it wasn't just reagan's deep and personal commitment to the allies, although that was a big part of it, but it was the technology sharing that was going on, you know, with the strategic defense initiative. bringing japan in as an important part of that, bringing the uk as an important partner that, bringing west germany, right? because president reagan realized, it's not just about out spending the soviets, it's about outsmarting them. and we can outsmart them with better weapons if we are working with our allies and
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leveraging that joint technology advantages. even with a difficult country like france as you asked about, and again, they're always a bit about layers. they had already withdrawn from the nato military -- but david it's a great, in some ways, historian to the intelligence community. one of our best, most successful intelligence programs in the entire cold war came from a great technology partnership with france over the farewell dossier. and again, great book that can be written on that and so even if there is going to be other fictions at the surface level, there can be some deep, quiet, potent joint cooperations on the tech front. so i think there's a great president for the biden administration to take a page from the reagan playbook. >> and miss -- i want to ask you to close out this discussion about technology partnerships because you really are at the cutting edge of that in a company like boeing. this administration sometimes speaks language that we
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associate with industrial policy, kind of centrally managed, white house directed efforts to mobilize, direct the private sector. do you worry about that? taking all the obvious benefits that the panelists have noted about this kind of partnership, do worry about too heavy a hand and are you trying to express that as a company and make sure that you still have the freedom to operate and be innovative outside of whatever alliances and partnerships evolve in the technology sphere? >> well, i will build on some of wills remarks with regard to the allies, that interoperability, the working together, the collaboration. there are different types of relationships between the u.s. and different partner nations. and what we have seen and aukus is a really good example of this, is the conversation is
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starting to turn about the sharing of technology. and how do you do that within the appropriate channels,? and what i've actually seen in the department do and has been working on this for a period of time, which is to understand what those technologies are, where is their comfort and release, how do you simplify that process? because probably one of the biggest opportunities we have in front of us is when we are offering a new system, a new technology, whatever it may be. what is that benefit to that allen edition, how do they get the maximum benefit from it, and then how do we make sure, from a sharing perspective, we can each learn from each other? so an easy example of that will won't cause too much stress. what about when we cause a noose test on you system and what level of testing has undergone here in the u.s. or what is needed, for that same weapon system, or slightly
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different variant of it in another country? how do we share in certification efforts? you know, a lot of what we have opportunity here to do is to make certain that we are able to deliver capability faster and so, what i am impressed with is, we are starting to be able to have those very real conversations already. i think aukus is actually going to accelerate because it's going to bring in certain countries relationships that are going to give us a benefit to working together and to that cooperative partnering. >> that's helpful. so, admiral aquilino, probably top of mind for most people in this audience when they think about strategic dangers is taiwan. and the potential chinese threat to deliver on their repeated statement that they intend to reunify taiwan with the mainland. i want to ask you straight-up, what is the united states doing to strengthen taiwan's ability to defend itself against what
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china announces is its goal? >> thanks, david. so, we are doing what we have been doing since 1979 at the passage of the taiwan relations act, followed up by the three communications and six assurances. we are contributing for the ability for taiwan to defend itself, that's responsibility and the task that's been provided to me, and we are operating in accordance with both policy and law. so, we have consultations, we do training, and like i said, we've done the same things despite what you read in the press on doing different things we are not. we are doing exactly what we have been tasked in accordance to what's the law and the u.s. policy. >> so, i want to ask you to take that a little bit further. one issue, obviously, but is,
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what weapons will best help taiwan defend itself against an increasingly sophisticated chinese threat? i mentioned to you before, our conversation that was a very interesting article in the journal of war on iraq, that i'm sure many in the audience read that several weeks ago, asked, is taiwan buying the right things for its defense against this adversary? it's buying more subs, traditional legacy systems, as they are called. more subs, more jets. doesn't it need more swarms of drones, more weapons that would complicate chinese adversaries planning? obviously, you are not buying weapons for taiwan but i'm curious about whether you think there are ways that jointly, the u.s. and taiwan can think about new systems, not the traditional hardware that we
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have had, you know, going through the taiwan straight, standing on shore, but different kinds of things that speak better to the ability to deter this very advanced adversary. >> yeah, thanks david. certainly, taiwan is currently under pressure, as you have read about and we have seen over the past number of months and you could argue, years. recently, we have seen extensive maritime pressure. we've seen air pressures or pressures in the air domain. certainly in the cyber domain. on the sea, under the sea, above the sea. that's a pretty tough neighborhood and we execute our responsibility, we talk to taiwan about capabilities that we think will be beneficial. that said, they get to choose. and because there are numbers of challenges, they're going to have to figure out how to decide which of those capabilities they want to invest in.
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and with the help of the defense industry, we hope to put those capabilities in their hands so that they can ultimately defend themselves, in accordance with the taiwan relations act. >> so, we will come back again to china but i want to turn to general richardson. ask about a part of the challenge in western hemisphere, in the countries that are in your aor, that's very hard to get your arms around but seems central to their security issues and that is corruption. of which narco trafficking is the most visible part. but sometimes, you look at these countries and worry that they are just being eaten from inside out. you are a combatant commander, you don't run a drug enforcement agency, but are there ways that you can help these countries deal with corruption problems that really
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do seem, in some cases, to erode the integrity of a state and institution? >> yeah, so that is a really good question and i'm more than happy to talk about it because i think what the transnational criminal corruption, poverty, crime, all of those things to flourish. and it allows a great opportunity for our competitors to come in and capitalize upon that. so i mentioned covid before. and then you add this on top of it. the $90 billion business that these transnational criminal organizations are involved in. and it's very serious. the impact in the united states is 100,000 deaths a year. so we are being impacted by in as well. and so make no mistake. it affects all of us and back to my point about the shared neighborhood and the proximity matters, it absolutely matters.
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i'm very proud of the organization that south com has underneath it, joint interagency task force south, jiata for short, out of key west and i'm sure many of you know about that organization but the fact that -- in my mind is -- as obviously a best practice, 16 law enforcement agencies are within that command, 22 partner nations. as i talked about earlier about the exercises and working with our partner nations and making them stronger, training them to do, help themselves, is that we think that we can see about 10% of the entire problem. and within that 10%, our partner nations are about 60% conducting their own actions.
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so we help with detection and monitoring and actionable information that with those partner nations that are with our jiata south and our law enforcement agencies, that that is -- that's a good news story. and the fact that we can share that actionable information in order for them to do their own interdictions is really tremendous. tremendous. but it's a big problem as i said. we think we're only getting after about 10% of the problem. and generally what comes in the -- what's in the south com a.o.r. ends up in our -- in our homeland. and so i think quite honestly, we have to continue to take that very seriously, continue to work with our partner nations. the capabilities that i need and my command to be able to see obviously is very important. and so we use very non-standard in some cases because of the ability to not get enough.
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we use a lot of non-standard ways of being able to hide the information and use the information and use it as actionable information. david: we've gotten some good questions from our audience from all over. i don't know where they come from. but they're on my screen suspect i'm going to ask one of them to dr. imboden because it gets us to an area that's urgently important. but we haven't talked about enough. the question is given its proximity to russia and threats to ukraine, how can we be more strongly encouraged germany to take a bigger role in maintaining global security? and i'm going to add a little add-on to that question. how would you rate the biden administration's efforts over these recent weeks to deal with this very menacing russian threat on the ukrainian border? >> well, putting professor mode
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on and give him a grade it would be incomplete. but not trending too well. and i worry in some ways that the biden administration is playing catch-up there. but i was, you know, critical at the time of the decision to waive the nordstream two sanctions and understand the strategic bet that they were trying to make which is if we give germany a pass on this because most of the pipeline is built maybe germany will play ball with us in other areas but it seems to no have the not cultivated any more good will or cooperation from the germans and has sent a sign of weakness and failure of deterrence to putin. so i'm pretty worried and i'm not privy to whatever is going on internally. and like i said in some ways they're inheriting a weak hand as far as the last several years have not been good for the u.s., ukraine relationship and the past three administrations now. and it's tough because one of the unique aspects of this area of great power competition we
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have is china is the first and primary threat. russia is a very significant one. and putin is very savvy it seems like he follows american politics and policy closer than most of us do. and he knows as we're focusing more on china there may be an opening for him to make a play toward ukraine. i do worry about the administration perhaps almost kind of deterring itself about worrying if they take stronger actions, whether sending more lethal weapons to ukraine or making them more explicit. and defense commitment that it could cause an escalation spiral. i do think putin at the end of the day is a rational actor and going to take everything -- everything he can that he thinks he can get away with. and so i think there needs to be a more clear deterrence there. david: and any thoughts on the specific question raised about germany? we have a new government in germany. they seem to be more interested if anything in the defense cooperation with the united states than chancellor merkel did. so interesting even though
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nominally more left wing. what do you think about that? >> i do think there is a potential opportunity there. their defense much more hawkish on china than many of us had expected to see and there are opportunities there. and again, and to invoke our namesake here, i think reagan had a great model -- and the front row paula debaranski, on the national security council staff of thousand deal with some of these complications with germany. sometimes it's an ally that's frustrating and you not doing enough. you can either hit them or hug them. and sometimes you need to hit them and other times you need to hug them. and generally when germany, i do think overall the hug 'em approach has worked a little more. in the way that reagan grabbed helmut kohl and hugged him tight and got his support for deploying the pershing two and ground launch cruise missiles over domestic opposition and played a key role and what became the i.n.f. treaty and getting the soviets to back down and withdraw there. so there's a precedent of embracing germany a little
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tighter but while we're hugging them also delivering some hard words. and since there's this new government perhaps a chance for a reset. at the end of the day, germany will need to see that it's in their own interests, too, to take a stronger line against russia. david: ms. caret, two questions from our audience that are about the defense industry issues. and i'm going to put them to you. and you choose what in this you want to answer. >> or neither. [laughter] david: as the speed of warfare increases what role does technology play in order to leverage alliances? that's a complicated one. more specific one, does the current export controls framework support now we need to partner with allies? and i assume the question is sheer are we too stinting in terms of what we're willing to share, stuff that you're producing that you think you could easily sell, is that something we should think about?
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and then second question, where are we on the burdensharing debate and where does it need to go? how do we balance the defense industrial needs of our allies and our industry? should the u.s. be buying more from our allies? so pick and choose among those. >> well, how about i'll start again with where i started on the first question you posed, david, which is we work -- we are an extension of the u.s. government. from a policy perspective or expiate perspective, we aren't making those policy decisions. we are making sure we stay in line with what the u.s. policy is with regard to a specific nation in the country and a weapons system. and depending on what that weapons system is, there could be a lot more latitude in terms of the purpose of it and where it can go and how much additional capability it can have or have not. or what restrictions might be applied to it. where it may not be releasable. what's important for us as industry in this entire
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conversation is to make sure that the u.s. government is really informed of what we have to offer. and understand that the development and understand which is where we do a lot of information sharing on our research and development on of where we're taking the future. now, how this all becomes relevant in this new age where -- and let's be frank. there is not going to be enough money for everybody to do what they need to do. and the -- world needs to figure out out how to pay for the pandemic. we have actually put ourselves back in this more for less environment once again. there are tough choices that need to be made. not only here in the u.s. but around the world. and so as we think about the key which is if we are truly collaborating together, if we are truly interoperable with our partners and our allies, then what is that level of information sharing not only from the key critical technologies that maybe releasable, but how do we get mutual benefit from the efforts we're undertaking on any
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specific configuration so that we don't have to redo, recertify, rework and drive out time and money? now, one way which we believe you achieve that is through the how. industry for years has been chasing the defense department's budgets and trying to anticipate what that next capability is based on what that next concept may or may not be. what is even more interesting as technology has continued to evolve is the how. how are they designing? how are we building? how are we testing? how are we supporting these weapon systems so that they can be modernized in a rapid way relevant for that nation for that partner? and so this starts with our investment in the entire digital journey. and having that digital life cycle from concept to support and it takes our development programs from a 10-year cycle to
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perhaps from concept to first light in two or three years. and when you start doing that, the affordability issues also take on an entirely different conversation because now you're talking about what level of digital definition are you going to release? what does the u.s. government want to have more control around? and how do we build upon that to keep these weapons systems relevant for the future fight? and so i think it's actually -- none of the questions you posed were easy. nor are they simple yes-no answers. what i would say as technology has evolved it is a building block. it's a framework in partnership with the u.s. government about how do we approach interoperability so that we can bring the best capability to the fight wherever that fight may be and whatever multiple areas it's cursing? david: so we're basically out of time and one question for
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admiral aquilinoo one minute straight at you. we talked about the quad. you mentioned the maldiswrabar exercises -- you mentioned the malabar exercises. and we want to know whether we're on the way to the quad being a partnership that has more of a security dimension? i want to say more of a military dimension. with japan, with india, obviously with australia. >> david, so that choice is going to be up to the individual nations. those are political discussions. what i can tell you is the quad nations, militarily, operate together frequently. but again, as we talk about the security discussions throughout the region, i would almost like to expand it just for a second to global. so laura and i are sitting here talking about -- talking about stove pipes in this security environment i would argue don't exist. the problems we're discussing are global.
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we talked about -- you said belt and road. i say one belt, one road, which was the original name it was given, right? and there's a reason it was one belt, one road. and that's because it was good for one nation. but the problem is global. as my secretary said, the indo-pacific is the most consequential theater for the u.s. and our partners and allies' future. but it expands to -- the quad is one aspect of that. you talked to will will germany and the e.u. nations. the united kingdom just deployed the queen elizabeth to the indo-pacific in recognition of the importance two thirds of gdp flows through the end of pacific to support a global set of nations. that is why it is important. we talk about france, a great partner with the largest gdp of
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the indo pacific of anyone and i have operated with them across the globe since i have been doing this business and they are a great partner. the expansion of the security relationships with allies and partners is the key. it is not just the indo pacific. laura has a number of pacific nations with coastlines in the pacific, because the region is important for the security, the stability, and the prosperity globally. thanks. we have to end there. it is a perfect note to end on. thank you to our panelists. [applause]
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