Skip to main content

tv   Reagan National Defense Forum Discussion on Global Security Partnerships  CSPAN  January 27, 2022 1:01pm-2:02pm EST

1:01 pm
so we look to continue to work together, even given greater challenges we may face. so thank you so much for being here. this is one of the most important hearings that we have had, and it was because of your participation in what you had to say. so i want to thank you and remind the members, we have five days to submit statements, extraneous materials, and questions for the record, subject to the rules of this committee. again, thank you for this important hearing. and with that, this hearing is adjourned. get c-span on the go. watch the day's biggest political events live or on demand any time, anywhere, on our new mobile video app, c-span now. access top highlights. listen to c-span radio. and discover new podcasts, all for free. download c-span now today.
1:02 pm
military officials and defense experts took part in a discussion on u.s. security and the strength of military alliances and partnerships. hosted by the reagan national defense forum. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to panel 5. in the interests of all, please welcome admiral john aquilno, william inboden, laura richardson, leanne caret, and moderator david ignatius of "the washington post."
1:03 pm
>> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your photogenic panel. i hope everybody had a good coffee break and are well-caffeinated for our discussion about advancing security through alliances and partnerships. i don't have to tell this audience this is a moment in which we have threats around the world that are concerning. we have in "the washington post" this morning a 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 appear to have broken down. big concern for our allies and partners. and in asia, admiral aquilno's area of responsibility, severe and rising concerns about china.
1:04 pm
in this world of danger, the united states has a unique asset and that is this network of alliances and partnerships we have around the world. that's our starting point, this precious thing that we have gathered over the years. but i want to begin with a question for each member of our panel, i'll put it to each of you in turn. at a time when the theme of america first and pulling back to this country has resonance in both our political parties, there is some concern among some allies and partners that i talk to about our staying power, about our credibility as their partner. so i want to ask each of the panelists in turn, starting with admiral aquilno, to respond to that. what do you see in the part of the world that you cover and what can we do, whatever the
1:05 pm
level of credibility is now, to expand it? admiral aquilno, you're living in the age of aukus, and maybe aukus is the answer we need to think about as a baseline. tell us how that question looks to you. >> thanks, david, great to see you again and an honor to be here with this distinguished set of panel members. so as i look through the pacific, you know, we have to remember, for 80 years we have generated the security and prosperity that's exited throughout the indo-pacific. the u.s. is a pacific nation, we've been there. we've been with these allies and partners for all these years. so what i have seen in my travels, and i've 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.
1:06 pm
and everything i've seen from those nations and the rest of the nations in the region, there's 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. is for me, it is validated in every one of my meetings, additional on the aukus piece, that is certainly a benefit. when you look at the different sets of security relationships, whether they're bilateral, whether they're exercises and experiments in other things multilaterally, aukus is additive. so trilateral relationship we know china, japan, and the united states. the asean nations who get together. the quad, right? so aukus is a different and an
1:07 pm
additive security relationship that will be extremely helpful to keep that peace and prosperity in the 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 solution sets long term, it is our allies and partners coming together to demonstrate the adherence to international world order. we're stronger together. we welcome all of our allies and partners for all of our ops and execution. >> i want to come back to aukus with you in a few minutes. let me turn to general richard son who has just taken over u.s. southern command. we have some great allies and partners in your area of responsibility.
1:08 pm
but they don't get the headlines. i want to ask you whether you worry that we're in danger of ignoring the partnerships that are in our own backyard sometimes in our at least political debate in washington and how, again, to go back to my basic question, at a time when people are asking questions about america's forward commitment, how will we demonstrate that better to people in the western hemisphere who are part of your aor? >> thank you very much and thank you for having me on the panel. and it's my pleasure to talk about the south com area of operations. i've been in the seat five weeks and i've been able to travel to colombia and brazil so far, two of our partners. as admiral aquilino talked about, they've been by our side, our allies and partners, for a really long time. and colombia fought with us in
1:09 pm
the korean war. brazil fought with us in world war ii. so we have a long history of allies and partners in the region. and they want to partner with us and they want to be with the u.s. they want to do things with us. in brazil they're kind of scratching their heads, why don't we do more, and what can we do more? because all of the challenges that we have, the crosscutting threats challenge our collective security across all domains and quite honestly, we need to work together stronger aquilistronge. our allies and partners exponentially make us stronger. we have to look at that from that perspective of what they have to bring, what we have to bring. we have to look at it from their perspective and their lens. a lot of times we look only through, i think, our lens. i learned that working in north com and working with mexico, you
1:10 pm
know, on how we look at the border issue and the southwest border and things coming to our united states border, they also look at it, that's their northern border. so they look at it from a different perspective. and understanding those two different perspectives i think helps us work closer together. i see a lot of opportunity. we can talk a lot about all the challenges. but i think in terms of the headlines, you're exactly right, david, this aor doesn't get the headlines. and when you're talking about the things that have happened in africa, some of those things that have happened in africa with our adversaries are now happening in the south com region, and that doesn't get any headlines. so i would like to say i always use the football analogy, you've got to be on the field with your jersey on, your number on, and you've 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
1:11 pm
the time. they prefer that. we don't have to -- we're not pulling them kicking and screaming to come partner with us and do exercises. they're there. they want to do it. and they want to do more. and i think we've just got to capitalize upon that. >> general richardson, i want to take you up on your comment that some of our allies and partners in southern command want us to be looking more, are looking for more from us as an ally. what are some things that you hear them asking for? not to say that you're ready, it's a policy decision. what are you hearing? >> they love to do exercises with us. and quite honestly, the exercises lead to things that happen, you know, for example, the haiti earthquake that occurred a few months ago. not a lot was heard, the big news story was that operation allies welcome and bringing our afghan guests out of afghanistan
1:12 pm
into the country. meanwhile, south com was working very closely with nine partner nations responding to that haiti earthquake. 7.2 earthquake that occurred in haiti. and so, you know, you just look at the partner nations that we have, the relationships that we have in that region is really tremendous. and so i think the exercises, our exercise program has decreased a little bit this year. we're going from 11 down to eight exercises. but when you look at some of these exercises, trade winds, these are names of exercises that many of you have already heard of and that have been around for many, many years. but it gives the opportunity to showcase the professional militaries that we do have and these partner nations have. but then it also helps train them. they become key exporters of security as well in the region.
1:13 pm
so we're not only just participating in an exercise to work towards another one. it actually trains them to be able to be better security partners in the region as well. >> that's a helpful specific. i just want to remind this audience and people who may be watching, streaming, that you can get in this conversation, ask your own questions. send them via the app, the rndf app, or by twitter, hashtag #rndf and they'll land on my screen in just a minute. dr. will inboden was the director of strategic planning for the bush 43 nsc and has thought about these issues a lot. allies are fickle and can be a nuisance. they're a nuisance sometimes because they really don't pay their fair share.
1:14 pm
they look to us for security, but as the nato debate during the reagan presidency showed, they just don't pay what they promise they will. from your perspective over many, many years, talk about the ups and downs of alliances and where you see us now, whether you think i'm right in worrying that we may be losing a little bit of credibility. >> david, i'll try to both affirm and reassure your worries there. i think for as long as the united states has had allies and alliances, we've had frustrations with our allies and alliances. our allies have had frustrations with us. i know ellie cohen is at the conference today, i'm a big fan of his work. his book "supreme command" is a profile of winston churchill. there's a great quote from churchill writing in the 1930s and churchill says, the history of coalition warfare is the tale of the reciprocal complaints of allies, right?
1:15 pm
this is part of the warp and woof of fighting alongside each other. employing back to admiral aquilino's point about the last 80 years of alliances, i want to take us back before that. this is one reason why in america's dna there is skepticism among some parts of the political leadership and the body politic about alliances, because for the first 150 years of the country's history, going back to washington's farewell address, we didn't have alliances. there were two big reasons for that which 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. the second is that they won't pay their fair share, they'll be free riders. now, as someone who is very pro-alliances, and i'll get into some reasons why there, i think it's important that we remember those parts of our country's deeper history because those concerns continue to recur pretty regularly and we're seeing them in our debates today. but i think the really key
1:16 pm
inflection point is in that, you know, postwar moment, 1945 to '55, when so much of the current structure of our alliance system today was built, when we abandoned that previous tradition of no allies and embraced it, it's no coincidence that that's also when the united states had our great debut on the world stage as the leading superpower, right? so our embrace of alliances went hand in hand with our increase in national power. and i think they've overall been mutually reinforcing since then. but given that there are these recurring tensions, we can't be complacent about it and say, just because we've had those tensions, therefore we don't need to worry about it. the reason we've been able to manage them is because they take proactive management for each generation, for each generation of political leadership. i'll just mention the two areas i'm really concerned about are -- well, first, there's five i think key factors that
1:17 pm
maintain the sinews of our alliances. the treaties themselves, right? designed to transcend political pressures, especially when we're speaking about our nato allies or allies in the asian pacific. the institutional connections, everything from the five i's to the shared nato round, using the same cartridge. those three factors are in pretty good shape. the next keys to preserving alliances are the ones i worry about. those are presidential leadership and public opinion. this is not a partisan comment about the biden administration. our last few presidencies have i think failed to show the commitment to allies, to make the case to the american people why these matter to us. which was the last time we heard an american president give a full-throated endorsement of alliances and say why they matter and say to the american people this is why we make these commitments because this is what we've done for us? that in turn is why we're seeing diminishing public support. so i think it can be turned around but it will take those
1:18 pm
last two factors of presidential leadership and moving the needle on public opinion. because there's other building blocks, the mutual building blocks, shared treaties are there. >> ms. caret, i'm curious about what you hear from your customers about america's staying power and when the question comes up, how do you answer that, how do you say we're here for you today and ten years from now? >> thank you for the question and it's such an honor to be on this panel with general aquilino and general richardson. we owe them a debt of gratitude for what they do every day for us. one of the big lessons for us has always been that the proximity to the fight doesn't define our contribution to the fight. we view ourselves as an extension of the services. we view ourselves as wanting to be there are to provide the
1:19 pm
equipment, the tools, the training, the services. and be forward thinking in our own investment strategies to enable that. that ties directly into what we're hearing around the globe. and despite the pandemic, we have maintained an operating rhythm were we're talking to everyone, either in person or as everyone else, on zoom, the different technologies. and the message is clear. the support from the u.s. is still as strong as it's ever been. we have seen zero downturn in terms of believing that the u.s. is a firm ally and partner to the nations. as a matter of fact, we're continuing to see even more progress within the department in terms of how do we be more proactive in terms of when we're working cooperative relationships, when there is 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,
1:20 pm
how do we take back from that benefit that we saw with that developing nation or on that weapons system, and bring it back so that the u.s. benefits. so we've seen this reciprocal behavior over the years and we're seeing it as much now as ever before. so there has been, you know, david, zero, in my mind, any indication that there isn't 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, 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's going to complicate your
1:21 pm
life, as the europeans move into their own space, always saying, yes, we're going to be cooperative with nato, but we want our own. is that going to make life harder for you? >> well, i'll 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 weapons 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're competing at home and abroad. and it is up to us as industry to be proactive, to look at where there's leverage opportunities. that interoperability is so key, because when the conflict happens, very rarely do you not see allies coming together.
1:22 pm
and so even if they decide that they want to go invest and strengthen their industrial base, we still want to make sure we're giving them an opportunity to offer something they can assess, look at, and we can be competitive in that. 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 what we have as industry here in the u.s. has application around the world. >> so admiral aquilino, 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 churn because of french unhappiness initially. but it's a big idea. the nuclear navy has been a jewel of the u.s. navy, our
1:23 pm
undersea capabilities. it can't have been easy to open the aperture to truly taken in australia and 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-pacom and your first thoughts on how china will 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? so what i think -- what i know we're watching in the region is the largest military buildup we've seen since world war ii. that has driven the austrialians
1:24 pm
to assess the capabilities they need, and this was an australian decision, to invest in a nuclear submarine program that provides the security they need with the nuclear threats we see. we certainly endorse their decision as we've partnered with them. we'll develop those capabilities. and what i think you'll see around the rest of the region, there is real concern from the nations in the area on the security challenges that you've 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 leanne's point, it's interoperability with the united states, all those allies and partners, that is beneficial. we value that interoperability.
1:25 pm
and as the security apparatus works together, it does make us stronger. if i could jump on one of will's 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's what we're looking at in the region. so from the united states' perspective, you know, we continue to work with these allies and partners. to laura's point, in indo-pacom, we execute 120 exercises newly with our allies and partners and we're looking to make those mini lateral or multilateral, aukus can contribute to that, whether it's under the sea, on the sea, above the sea, in space or cyberspace, we want to expand that. whether they're increased
1:26 pm
multilateral events. if you look at the rim of the pacific which will be upcoming in 2022, last time there were 27 nations with maritime forces, ground forces, air forces, right? so from where i sit, that's what wright 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 malibar, we would see that expanding. so aukus is a small microcosm that applies to the entire rest of the security apparatus. and we're 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 of whether aukus itself should be, as a few people have begun to suggest, expanded. should new zealand be a part of
1:27 pm
aukus? should other nations that can contribute specifically to the mission set of aukus be considered as additional members? or is this tripartite 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 shouldn't subtract or detract from our ability to execute increased cooperations through other means other than just nuclear propulsion. we're ready to take on any of those additional efforts that our partners and allies are interested in and start those discussions. >> we'll come back to the quad in a subsequent round, but i want to turn to general richardson. as we're talking about china and
1:28 pm
the challenges, to put it mildly, that china presents, one overlooked area is latin 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 inroad to that extent. talk from your perspective as the new combatant commander about the 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 the -- that china's playbook for africa is taking place in latin america now. and so while there might be the news talks about -- i watched a
1:29 pm
news program that was highlighting what's happening in africa. i think the news is a little bit behind. and it's been happening in africa for years. and if we're not careful, what's happening in latin america will in five or ten years have the same impacts. and so yes, out of the 31 countries, 16 dependencies, those countries that have signed up for the belt and road initiative, the 19 of 31, i will tell you that -- i mentioned the crosscutting threats earlier that collectively make challenges for our security, and that has to do with covid. and covid is still very prevalent in our nation, and countries in latin america have suffered pretty good at the hands of covid and are still dealing with that.
1:30 pm
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. 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 vaccine while we were there. so continued work we have to do, but, you know, when you look at the effects of that. then you talk about the projects. if you're having a problem with your economy already, and the chinese come with the belt and road initiative, with projects and money, and they're 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 there are what i see over time, it will be interesting, like i said, i've only been in the seat
1:31 pm
five weeks, but as i go through this and i see the things that the different countries sign up for, there's a buyer's remorse at some point, because the host nation workers are not used for these belt and road initiative. chinese workers come in, and 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 aor 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's an interesting component of aukus that i want to talk
1:32 pm
about further, which is really about broad technology sharing. but we have a u.s./eu council that met in 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. i wonder if you think that's a missing piece. brazil is a technically advanced country. would that be a good idea, do you think? >> i do think that would be a good idea. if you don't mind, i would like to talk briefly about, one, the proximity of this. david, you said backyard, i like to use neighborhood, because neighborhood 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 south com aor and all
1:33 pm
of these 31 countries in the caribbean, central america, south america, i can go to 83% of the countries in the south com aor in a shorter time distance that it took most of you to come to dc in this forum. i was talking to my father, my parents are still living, and i went to visit colombia, 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? i said, dad, you're in colorado, i can get here faster to colombia than i can to colorado and i'm on the same time zone, eastern time zone, i 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 fresh water is in latin america. you have the lithium, 60% of the lithium in the world is in the lithium triangle, argentina,
1:34 pm
bolivia, chile, you've got a lot of rare earth minerals, resources, and capabilities that in my mind go hand in hand with what the chinese are doing with the belt and road initiative and expanding their reach into latin america just like they did in africa. so a lot of folks don't understand all of the rich resources that are really there in latin america, in our western hemisphere. in terms of trade, i'll just talk about trade, if i talk about western hemisphere, add canada and mexico to it, 1.9 trillion. western hemisphere is u.s.'s number one trading partner with 1.9 trillion. it's off the charts, what this aor offers. and so i want to share that, because as i've 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
1:35 pm
the time, working really closely, using all the levers available to work with our partners as they deal with these crosscutting challenges. >> dr. inboden, 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 over time what they imagine is kind of an alliance of technologically advanced democracies, quasi democracies. that's the big idea they're 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
1:36 pm
france, like india, that are pretty darned resistant to some forms of cooperation? and if it is a good idea, what would you do 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 -- new era of great power competition, what are america's asymmetric advantages? two of the big asymmetric advantages that we have, that 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, right? if you're xi jinping, who are your closest friends in your neighborhood? maybe north korea, maybe cambodia. it's not a very good list. if you're 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 were asking about.
1:37 pm
and this is our second big advantage. the united states is still, all things considered, the world's leader in technology and innovation. we're losing our edge in some areas. this is nothing to be complacent about. 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 gain real advantage over our adversaries. and to invoke our namesake, there is a great precedent in the reagan administration's playbook, right? it wasn't just reagan's deep personal commitment to the allies although that was a big part of it. but it was the technology sharing that was going on, bringing japan in as an important partner in that, bringing the united kingdom in as an important part of that, bringing west germany.
1:38 pm
president reagan realized it was about outsmarting our adversaries if we're working with our allies and leveraging those joint technology advantages. even with a difficult country like france that you asked about, again, they're always a little bit of an outlier, they had already withdrawn from the nato military command by the time reagan came along. david is a great historian of 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, right? and again, great book that can be written on that. and so even if there's going to be other frictions at the surface level there can be some deep, quiet, potent joint cooperation on the tech front. so i think there's a great precedent for the biden administration to take a page from the reagan playbook. >> and ms. caret, 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
1:39 pm
company like boeing. this administration sometimes speaks language that we 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 all the panelists have noted about this kind of cooperation, do you 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? >> i'll build on some of will's remarks with regard to the allies, that interoperability, the working together, the collaboration. there are different types of relationships between the u.s.
1:40 pm
and different partner nations. and what we have seen, and aukus is a really great example of this, is the conversation starting to turn about the sharing of technology. and how do we do that within the appropriate channels. and what i have actually seen the department do and has been working on this for a period of time, which is to understand what those technologies are, where is the comfort and release, how do we 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 ally nation, how do we get the maximum benefit from it? and then how do we make sure from a sharing perspective, we can each learn from each other. an easy example that won't cause anybody to, you know, too much stress, what about when we're testing out a new system, and what level of testing is ongoing
1:41 pm
here in the u.s. or what is needed on a different -- for that same weapon system or a slightly different variant of it in another country? how do we share in certification efforts? a lot of what we have opportunity here to do is to make certain that we're able to deliver capability faster. and so what i'm impressed with is we are starting to have those real conversations already. i think aukus is actually going to accelerate it because it's going to bring in certain country relationships that are going to give us a benefit to working together and to that cooperative partnering. >> that's helpful. so admiral aquilaquilino, proba top of mind for people in this audience when we think about strategic dangers is taiwan and the potential chinese threat to driver on their repeated statement that they intend to reunify taiwan with the mainland. and i want to ask you straight
1:42 pm
up, what is the united states doing to strengthen taiwan's ability to defend itself against what 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 the 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're doing exactly what we have been tasked in accordance with the law and the u.s. policy. >> so i want to ask you to take
1:43 pm
that a little bit further. one issue, obviously, is what weapons will best help taiwan defend itself against an increasingly sophisticated chinese threat. i mentioned to you before our conversation, there was a very interesting article in the journal "war on the rocks" 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're called, more subs, more jets. doesn't it need more swarms of drones, more weapons that would complicate the chinese adversaries planning? obviously you're not buying weapons for taiwan, but i'm curious about whether you think
1:44 pm
there are ways that jointly the u.s. and taiwan can think about new systems, not the traditional hardware that we've had, you know, going through the taiwan strait, standing offshore. but different kind 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've read about and we've seen over the past number of months and you could argue years. recently, we've seen extensive maritime pressure. we've seen air pressures or pressures in the air domain. certainly in the cyber domain. on the sea, undersea, 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
1:45 pm
challenges, they're going to have to figure out how to decide which of those capabilities they want to invest in. and with the help of the defense industry, we hope to put those capabilities in their hands so they can ultimately defend themselves in accordance with the taiwan relations act. >> so we'll come back again to china, but i want to turn to general richardson and ask about, a part of the challenge in the 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's corruption, of which narco trafficking is the most visible part. but sometimes you look at these countries and you worry they're just being eaten from inside out. you're a combatant commander. you don't run a drug enforcement
1:46 pm
agency. but are there ways you can help these countries deal with corruption problems that really do seem in some cases to erode the integrity of the state and institutions? >> so that's a really good question. and i'm more than happy to talk about it, because i think what the transnational criminal organizations and this problem in the western hemisphere creates the wedge for corruption, poverty, crime, all of those things to flourish. and then it allows great opportunity for our competitors to come in and capitalize on it. you take covid as i mentioned before and you add this on top of it. it's a transnational operation these criminals are involved in.
1:47 pm
in the united states, 100,000 deaths a year. so we are being impacted by this as well. and so, make no mistake, it affects all of us. and, you know, back to my point about the shared neighborhood and the proximity matters, it absolutely matters. i'm very proud of the organization that south com has underneath it, joint interagency task force south out of key west. i'm sure many of you know about that organization. but the fact that -- i mean, in my mind, as a -- obviously a best practice, 16 law enforcement agencies are within that command. 22 partner nations. and so, as i talked about earlier about the exercises and working with our partner nations, making them stronger, training them to do -- help themselves, is that we think that we can see about 10% of the
1:48 pm
entire problem. and within that 10%, our partner nations are about 60% conducting their own interdictions. and 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'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 aor ends up 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.
1:49 pm
the capabilities that i need in my command to be able to see, obviously is very important. and so we use very nonstandard, in some cases, because of the ability to not get enough, we use a lot of nonstandard ways of being able to find the information, use the information, and use it as actionable information. >> 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, and i'm going to ask one of them to dr. inboden, because it gets to an area that's urgently important, that we haven't talked about enough. given its proximity to threats from russia and ukraine, how can we more strongly encourage germany to take a bigger role in maintaining global security? i'll add on to that question,
1:50 pm
will, 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 on, if i were to give him a grade, would be incomplete, but not trending too well and i agree in some ways the biden administration is playing catch-up there but i was critical at the time of the decision to waive the nordstream two sanctions. i understand the strategic bet 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 seems to not have cultivated anymore goodwill or cooperation from the germans and sent a sign of weakness and deterrence to putin so i'm pretty worried again, i'm not privy to whatever's going on
1:51 pm
internally and in some ways are inheriting a weak hand in terms of the last several years not been good for the u.s./ukraine relationship, really the last three administrations now. and it's tough, because one of the unique aspects of this competition we have is while china is the first and primary threat, russia is a very significant one and putin is very savvy, seems he follows american politics and policy closer than many of us do and seems there's an opening to make a play towards ukraine. i do worry about the administration kind of deterring itself, worrying if they take stronger actions when it's, you know, sending more lethal weapon to see ukraine or making a more explicit defense commitment it could cause escalation spiral. i do think putin at the end of the day is a rational actor, will take everything he can that he thinks he can get away with so i think there needs to be more clear deterrence there.
1:52 pm
>> 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 defense cooperation with the united states than chancellor merkel did, interesting, even though they're nominally more left-wing. what do you think about that? >> i do think there's potential opportunity there. their defense white paper is much more hawkish on china for example than most of us expected tos so i do think there are opportunities there, and to invoke our name sake here, i think reagan had a great mod alex front row played a great role in this in the national security staff on the complications how to deal with germany. sometimes if an ally is frustrated in you not doing enough, you can either hit them or hug them and sometimes you need to hit them, other times hug them, but i think overall with germany the hug them approach worked a little more and the way reagan grabbed cole
1:53 pm
and got him tight, securing personnel for the cruise launch missiles, tremendous opposition there, played a key role and what eventually became the inf treaty and getting the soviet to see back down and withdraw theirs, so i think there's a precedence of embracing germany a little tighter but while hugging them also delivering some hard words and the new government, perhaps a chance for a reset. a the the end of the day though, germany will need to say its in their own interest too, to take a stronger line against russia. >> two questions from our audience 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 -- >> as the speed of war fare increases, what pledge to leverage alliances -- that's a complicated one. more specific one, does the current export controls
1:54 pm
framework support how we need to partner with allies and i assume the question is here, are we too stinting in what we are willing to share, you know, stuff that you're producing that you think you could easily sell, is that something we should think about, and then second question, where are we on the burden sharing 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. >> i'll start again with where i started on the first question you posed, david, which is we work, you know, we are an extension of the u.s. government so from a policy perspective, from an export perspective, we aren't making those policy decisions. what we are doing is making sure we stay in line to what the u.s. policy is with regard to a specific nation, country, and a weapons system. and depending on what that weapons system is, there could
1:55 pm
be a lot more latitude in terms of the purpose of it, where it can go, how much additional capability it can have or have not, or what restrictions might, you know, be applied to it, where it may not be releasable. what's important for us as industry in this entire conversation is to make sure that the u.s. government is fully informed of what we have to offer i understand the development and where we do a lot of information sharing on research and development in terms of where we're taking the future. now, how this all becomes relevant in this new age where, unlet's be frank, there will not be near enough money for everybody to do what they need to do and the world still needs to pay for the pandemic, so we're still actually put ourselves in this more for lessen viermt once again where there are tough choices that need to be made, not only in the u.s. but around the world. so as we think about the key bridges, if we're truly
1:56 pm
collaborating together, truly interoperable with partners and allies, then what is that white level of information sharing, not only from the key critical technology that is may be releasable, but how do we get mutual benefit from the efforts we're undertaking on any specific configuration so that we don't have to redo, recertify, rework, and drive out time and money? now, one way in 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 conflict may or may not be. what is even more interesting as technology is continued to evolve is the how. how are we 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
1:57 pm
that partner? and so this starts with our investment in the entire digital journey and having that digital life cycle that is from concept to support and it takes our development programs from a 10-year cycle to perhaps from concept to first flight in two or three years. and when you start doing that, the affordability issues 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 toor more control around, and how do we build upon that to keep these weapon systems relevant for the future fight. and so, i think it's actually, none of the questions you posed were easy, nor were they simple yes/no answers. what i would say is as technology has evolved, it's a building block, a framework in partnership with the u.s. government on how do we approach
1:58 pm
interoperablity so we can bring the best capability to the fight wherever that fight may be and whatever areas it's occurring. >> we're basically out of time, one more question for admiral aquilino, a one minute, straight at you. so we talked about the quad. you mentioned the malibar exercises, and i think we'd all love 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
1:59 pm
security discussions throughout the region, i'd almost like to expand it just for a second to global. so, you know, laura and i are sitting here, talking about kind of stove pipes that in this security environment, i would argue don't exist. right? the problems we're discussing are global. 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. the quad is one aspect of that. you talked to will about germany and the eu nations. the united kingdom just employed the queen elizabeth to indo-and
2:00 pm
, indo-pacific, and the importance of it globally, 2/3 of gdp flows through the indo-pacific to support the global set of nations, that's why it's important. we talked about france. france is a great partner. france has the largest easy in the indo-pacific of anyone and i've operated with them across the globe since i've been doing this business and they're a great partner. so the expansion of these security relationships with allies and partners is the key, and it's not just in the indo-pacific. laura has a number of pacific nations with coastlines in the pacific that we both talk to because the region is important, for the security, the stability, and the prosperity, globally. thanks. >> so we have to end it there. it's a perfect note, really, on which to end it. thank you, to all of our panels. thank you, audience, and
2:01 pm
let's -- [ applause ] >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, funded by these television companies and more, including cox. cox is committed to providing eligible families access to affordable internet through the connect to compete program, bridging the digital divide one connected and engaged student at a time, cox, bringing us closer happen. >> cox supports c-span as a public service, along with these providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. now, a hearing on the management and operations of the department of homeland security, almost 20 years after it was founded in the after math of the 9/11 attacks. california congressman l


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on