tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN June 18, 2010 6:30pm-11:00pm EDT
immediate? could i just raise something you had characterized in my testimony earlier saying that i was slicesing and dicing, that is to some extent, i'm sorry, mr. chairman, it's what the boxes are doing is slicing and dicing based on mission. frankly that's why i'm trying to enurage the commission instead to think rather in terms of convoy versus personal security detail, if instead you were thinking about what's happening in the environment y is there a rule of law? the f the military commander in the field says this area is secure. that's how you change the terms of the debate rather than convoy versus personal security. >> i can't control his boxes. but let me ask one final question to all of you really. and i think you're all aware or i hope you are aware with the transition from the defense department to the state departme thas going to occur in iraq. and the huge mission that state
is going to assume at the end of 2011 assuming this continues. a big part of that mission involves diplomatic security and related activities. in today -- today, the estimate from the state department is that it will take 2200 movement personnel in iraq to take -- in st iraq to take over this mission. you know what the size of ds is today? do you know how many agents are overseas today? the total ds force is about 1,800 personnel. about 800 of those are overseas. we're talking 2,200 movement
personnel in just iraq. now, my question is the following -- and we'll start with dr. burman. based on your knowledge of today's budget and projected budget and force structure, i'd like to know if you honestly believe we will see those kind of increases insourced into state and dod. dr. burman? >> i think it would be very difficult to do that. that would argue for again having as much management control as possible. >> fine. we all agree. dr. stanger. >> it would be very difficult to do so immediately but it could be done ovetime. >> budget is going to get better over time? >> the only way that will shap if congress acknowledges the problem and allocates the resource. >> there's the key. >> it's not going to happen in the short run, the key is to determine what the correct
balance, whether one dmplt s person or three per convoy protection to provide the direction. it's also going to be cost prohibitive because it takes money away from the development and dipmatic mission. >> and away from -- and away from the teeth in the case of dod. >> as long as you ever the management and control, there's clearly no way you're going to be filling all those slo with feds. >> okay. dr. avant? >> there you go. >> avant. >> yeah. i completely agree, very difficult to fill with government slots. i think management is the way to go. >> dr. na? >> i concur with my neighbor, by whatever name. >> okay. thank you. i'll give up the rest of my time. >> i thank the gentleman. we'll go now to mr. tief. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we're just been given by commissioner green the tough
practical challenge of trying to move away from a current structure which in light of nizer square the iraqis very much don't like and we've been getting information about how increasingly the minister of interior is saying we will not accept american pscs, you stuck with with blackwater a year longer than you should have so get rid of them to the extent you can. i want to ask professor avant, you know that -- do you know a development in the state department by which they're moving tard ease much quicker, training and commissioning of people who can fulfill some of the protective duties? >> there is this -- >> security protective special istds? >> well, in the state department
for a while, there's been the talk of building a civilian reserve of some sort. and there are, i know, from my chat with you ts morning, some of that is focused on security issues right now. think that that's a smart way to go. >> okay. it may take time but we might get there. dr. stanger, you drew a distinction even though you're characterized it as being one end of the speck trug trump between static security and moving security and i want t see if we can even with your concerns, aid may say that for its mission it wants iraqi locals because it has reasons that this is better for it. inhose situations, if the agency says we're we don't want to have american private security or arican troops, would you accept loc
natives -- local nationals doing the job? >> of course. i think that would be collaborating with the people we're trying to help. it's the reason we're there in the first place. >> okay. professor avant, do you draw a distinction in terms of convoys between routine supply work -- let me ask you in for. it's been raised the possibility we can't build a force structure where we're not sure if for convoys whether we nee to have troops or pscs, but we have incidents like fallujah in 2004 where it seems that there was a choice between army and private security. do you want to explain whether that allows to you say you can build a force structure or you should have one like that? >> i'm sorry, i don't exactly understand what you're asking. >> okay. are there times when where you have to make a convoy for one convoy at a time decision about whether to u tops or to use
pscs? and is fallujah in 2004 an illustration of this? >> right. in iraq that was a common occurrence at the beginning of the war. >> and was it right to make that distinction? convoy by convoy voi? what happened from us making a wrong decision about that in fallujah? >> well, to begin, i don't tnk that the people in the field were used to making that decision time after time. there was a lot of expectation that iraq would look more like the balkans than what it ultimately looked at. so i think that in the future, i would expect more and more incidents where in fact people on the ground do have to make those decisions and i actually agree with ms. brian that having a field commander that estimates the degree of stability in an area and makes a judgment about the kind of convoy security that it would require would be the way to go in terms of parsing those decisions. >> let me asking sk about other
moving personnel, namely the ones that go and do personal security. some of u -- we've all taken trips tots field. some of us have been guarded by personal security details. private security details. i'm sorry, excuse me, private security details. i was guarded by in both my trips to the iraq by soldiers. are there ways to draw - is there a way within a force structure and a budget to use some functions of this kind being one way and some functions of this kind being another way? >> again, i'm not -- >> can we stretch a lited private security -- a limited -- can we stretch a limited government structure by also having some private security? >> well, absolutely. i think you can sort of look at whd state department did post nizer square as an example of
that where you use some of your in-house personnel and in fact -- in effect as a greater sort of management boost for the kind of private security contractors that y're using. >> ms. brian? do you have a comment about that, any part of th? >> i was just agreeing with that. i don't nd to take your time. >> dr. stanger, you wrote a classic on the subject we're talking about, one nation under contract. the outsourcing of american power and the future of foreign policy. i want to know that we need to to buy a copy for every single member of the commission. a little plug here for the witness. >> i'll wait to read the classics illustrated version. >> well, maybe the two youngsters you point out will read their it that way also, commissioner. we're going to have aegis here on monday and i think you became familiar with aegis with that
book. i want to ask you two questions that jumped out when i read your section on this. they're headed by -- a british group that overall is head by tim spicer and your book callings him a mercenary and i had the imprsion this is not a rsonal exration by you that you're not saying they're all mercenary, quite he's very separate. is he a mercenary? or was he anyway? >> i'm the moving into hyperbole again perhaps. but that was in reference to his past activities -- >> but was he a mercenary in the past? >> i believe many people would say that he was. >> yeah, oh, yeah. and did we reallyet aegis about other contractors when we gave aegis big roles in the armed contractor oversight division in afghanistan and contractor operating cell in iraq? did we really set aegis above
other contractor and we are hang a contractor over contractor situationy. >> i think that's fairly well %-cepted that was the days kais. >> is that good or bad? >> i think it's enormously problematic to have contractors managing other contractors. >> so if we have a limited number of personnel in our force structure and in our budget, government personnel, should we stretch them by having the vital coordinating functions done by f either in each convoy or each private security detail, in each one, having some government -- at least one agent? can we stretch a limited number of government people? >> in my view, sir, when ever you have contractors managing each other, it is aed flag.
>> i'll stop right there, my time is expired. >> i thank the gentman. >> thank you, mr. chairm. i have two questions i would like a response from each of the witnesses. this whole decision today, we may be asking the wrong questions. the issue seems to be whether it must be public or can it be private? very fundamentally it must be environmental or it is eligible for commercial market forces to take place. it strikes me that is a business decision -- first of all, political policy decision on what is t government supposed to do? and then it goes to a business decision, cost decision, economic consideration, but it is not at its core a foreign policy decision or a national
security decision. i would like to read a short quote from a chapter in a national defense university press book. the author is bernard kerow. this chapter considering outs r outsourcing from an economic perspective. instead of asking the question is it better cheaper and faster, it asks does it contribute to minimizing threats to u.s. military and civilians deployed and max maimizing political goa? end of the quote. could you each respond to that in order? dr. novel? >> outsourcing does not maximize the accomplishment of maximum security goals.
however, it isn't strategy if it isn't done in a resource given environment. i believe that the author of this chapter is frankly not conducting strategy if hes not considering resource limitations. i believe there are many functions that can be outsourced with the proper oversight in a way that will actually enhance the accomplishment of u.s. national security objectives because it will allow us to devote more resources to higher priority missions. >> i think it is not just an issue of resources. there are ways in which the national security o the united states can be strengthened by partnering with a variety of different entities around the world. we've partnered with a variety of country. >> to include the private
sector? >> yes, if you look at what is going on in afghanistan, ngo's are delivering all of the u.s. aid that is going into afghanistan. there is a number of very important things that we care about a lot that are being done by a lot of people. so i actually think managed effectively, outsourcing could be away of bringing in partners as opposed to violating national security goals. >> but the question is are we asking the right question. >> i'm not sure we have bn asking the right question. also, it struck me as you were talking that one of the things that i think is missing. that ofp is asking, is the question of discretion tests and we haven't been acknowledging that important part of this equation. >> yes? >> i agree with dr. avant and
dr. noglett. it i how you manage oversee, planoordinate and communicate whatever your mission is through whatever network of capabilities there are. the aid in afghanistan is being delivered by non profit and for-profit providers but it is a network. and by the wa 90% host country nationals. >> i actually agree. and wrote a book about it. >> okay. >> i agree as well. and i think that you really are focusing on mission critical activities and that is the question and you can look at outsourcing from that perspective as well as to whs whether or not it would enable or not enable you to accomplish your mission. >> my second question is a political one. we are a pitical body and we
report to a political body with ur repo our reports. when we walked in this building this morning, we were met by uniformed security guard, government employee a member of the u.s. capital police. they are providing security for us. my observation is from our trips to iraq and from general awa awareness, we are undstanding that our forces in iraq are provided security at their operating bases by largely thi country tionals. many thousands of em, and very often provided minimal wages. the question is the political question is, if it i good enough to have publicly provided security in this builng, by a public employee, why isn't it
important enou to have it for our forces in iraq? mr. burman? >> ihink again, the question is the resources available to do it. perhaps if you didn't have the resources you might go that route. and the other question is what are the circs and the risk? it is not an overall question, i think you could go either way? >> okay. dr. stanger? >> i think that there was an attempt to learn the lessons of iraq in afghanistan and to hire local nationals. >> right. >> as uch much as possible. i think we ed to reflect on what jobs we are hing them to do if most of them are -- >> we are hiring them to guard our troops. >> we're hiring local nationa to guard our troops? >> local nationals afghanistan
or third country nationals in iraq. the point being that they are privatized so just respond to that. >> regarding a camp? >> they are providing forced protections and providing our forces the security so that they can operate at a base. >> i think because of static it is permissible. >> that is where i think your bright line does help and i commend you for drawing that bright line. >> at the risk of going to the end of the spectrum that the chairman put me at earlier, having lived in this neighborhood for 30 years, i doeptd thi don't think it is about whether they are public or private. i think we have to look at the system that is driving us to require us to go to low bids with the standards that we as the customer drive what the payment will be. but the fact that someone is
public or private does not speak to whether we are providing adequate or inadequate security. >> so you are saying it has thing to do with quality then? >> absolutely. >> i think your observation raises two points in my mind. the congress is always very good to itself. but, i do think, i have always had great discomfort with the fact that our troops at a time of war -- the green zone wasn't very safe. and i think think that was all right. it comes back to my distinction of is there rule of law and are there real concerns about the security and control of the situation and iraq now is not iraq then. >> okay. dr. avant? >> i have to agree that i don't think public or private is
absolutely the issue. even here. and i think that you know if our choosing, i would choose in terms of the kinds of management structure that you have as opposed to whether it was public or private. >> and so how well you manage it? >> yeah. >> fair. >> i'm going to disagree slightly. i think u.s. governmen is the gold standardard. i think -- >> you a making the quality distinction? >> yes. i believe with the correct oversight many mechanisms you can approach that standard. but it is more difficult to perform these functions properly and to the highest possible standard by contracting it out. in many cases, that is it is still the right decision or best decision for the comn good of
the missi based on all sorts of other reasons, but i do think the u.s. government security protection is the gold standardard. >> tnk you very much. >> thank you. let me start by support iing wh my colleague was pursuing. but i'm going to ask a couple of questions based on the asumt th the better we can manage the larger the space the contractors can inhabit effectively and i make a distinction between management and oversight. you no idea rather have the better management and not need so much oversight. a couple of things that i think are important critical, i would say and one is transparency. i'm going to ask yes or no
answers. i'm sorry to do that but you are probably getting to the end of your time here. do we have effective conflict of interest standards both personal and organizational to be able to deal with effectively using private security contractors? >> . >> okay. d one of the issues that has been raised is the subcontractor issues, many firms are subcontractors do you think we have enough information right now to be able to give the government the kind of visibility and oversight it needs? >> i believe the government has the capability to ask for whatever information it needs. one solution to the problems of the issues you raise is to turn the whole requirement over to a government contract. but, i believe the information is probably available. whether the government has asked forit, that i d't know.
there is a -- >> okay. dr. sanger, do you believe we have the information necessary from the subcontractor? >> i don't know if the information is available within government, but i do know it is not available within the public domain and i believe it should be. >> you make a point that after th kennedy report, that you think we have seen more effective command and control and that is really important to be able to have contractors in this space. is that something that can be done through a contract improving command and control procedures? >> i think they can be improved. if i were looking at what it would take for effective management, i would not just look at the contract, i would like at coordination and standards and licenses for individuals, i think those -- >> you mean putting those in
place? >> right. and i think those are the kinds of things that will move us closer in the private sector to what the government command and control is. >> my last point is on a countabilitcount ability we have talked about the legal ramifications of that, but is it possible to manage in this environment well enough so that we are -- feel comfortable continuing with the status quo? dr. nogle? >> i believe it is psible to do so, but we have not written or enforced the contracts in such a way that, that is the current practice. >> where do you see account abili accotability right now? >> i believe the contracts can
hold those performing the service responsible for their actions but i believe that a too often government fails to do so because often because of failures in capacity and capability in contracting officers and representatives. >> is it fair to say if we can't get accountability there really is no accountability? >> if we don't have it then we don't have it. >> ma'am, the heads of executive branch departments are responsible for the performance of any organization that works for them under their contracts. so there is accountability but it has not been well enforced at this point. anyone who has an exsaxample of where there has been
accountability i would love to hear that. >> i'm asking where would you say accountability now resides? >> i think it is a big problem right now. i think it is partly because government agencs don't always choose the contractors that have behaved the best. they don't always punish the contractors that behave the worst and i think there is a huge legal issue of being able to prosecute individuals who have committed criminal acts. that is the $64,000 question. that is a hard one to solve. >> we have the tools but not the accou accountability? >> yes. that affects the individuals applying to other d.o.d. contractors as well. the our geurgent need that can should be fixed soon.
>> i would like to question the use of language. we have cases, it is rumors we have speculation that there are thousands of task orders, hundreds of contracts in the iraq afghanistan theater that have been awarded competitively. let me finish the thought, there is a process in place. i wouldn't buy into the assumption that there is no quote contract accountability. second, i would agree with the point miss brine maan made we h supported the expansion. my understanding under the current rules is that contract and government civilians have an appropriate legal standing. we still have that issue and the third i think we have to look at
accountability holistically. i can look cases as some who is being held accountable. >> i meant the question in the holistic way. >> but whereas that is my question. i mean in a holistic way, where is it? >> ihink it is -- better than most people believe. it is not where we need it to be. we clearly have improvements that need to be made. >> an example then? of a place where someone has been held accountability for issues that we have seen whether it be hiring governmental functions or a contractor or employee? >> i don't have the visibility of that. i guarantee you in the companies knowing for a fact that there
have been employees who have been fired and taken off contracts for poor behavior. we have seen that. and i don't have the visibility on the chapter and verse. >> you have made a huge point. when everyone is in charge, no one is poresponsible. >> and i thinkt is the government that is held accountable and that is one of the reasons for the sensitivity of having private contractors do this work. >> thank you, my time is up. >> thank you, very, very much. it is nice to have a panel you can question of individuals who don't feel they have to -- i'm sorry? i got so eager. it is still nice to have you here. dr. zagheim? >> i agree. it is nice to have you here.
a couple of points one, that i don't think we have time to get into. i raised the afghan issue before. if there was ever a problem with accountability, it is those folks. we've got a policy to hand work over to people who are serrightw beyond our reach. you all need to think and write about that. we need ideas, how do you enforce it? even if you catch an afghan going something, then what? our kid's lives are at risk. so it would be helpful to hear that. you have talked about the commander in the field making decisions. the problem is the commander in the field will always default to the private security folks because it is easier. so i tend to come down with dr.
stanger and i agree with you entirely that we need bright lines. now the question is, where should the bright lines be spelled out. should it be in the far? should there be legislation for it? how should we do this in practical terms. tell me in three words or so where these bright lines should be spelled out? >> by the departments of the executive branch sir. >> i think some sort of a contin contith jensy would be a goo idea. >> i mean i think that is ne, but i do think that what you still will require is someone in the field to say yes, this is now under these circumstances. >> let me make myself ear.
we have guidelines, and what i hear from you all is that the guidelines are too vague. you could never sentence anything on the basis of parallel guidelines. so that is what i'm asking. >> think that wouldake perfect sense. >> in a collective place, there is o place all rules are including how we utilize or don't, private security would be appropriate late. >> contingency makes sense but i would like to see information on moving versu static security contractors around the world. >> i think it is an agency po policy question. >> let me go around again. i want to pick up on dr. stanger's distinction between moving and static. if there were bright lines drawn, would that be the place
you would draw them? >> no, sir. >> dr. avan? >> i pose three issues of risk. it is important but n the only o one. >> miss brian? >> no. >> dr. burman? >> i agree with dr. avant. >> we have talked about budgets and they are going to come down but they are under a lot of pressure. there are a couple of ways where this could be done. one could be a light item that doesn't effect the rest of the budget which would drive d.o.d. and the state nuts, but it is doable. another is taking mr. gates' approach which says i'm finding money but i'm going to give it back to you. he says wousome of that money g
to finding the kinds of people that we are talking about. right now they are talking about insourcing and talking about cutting budgets, and those two are not entirely coistent. how would you find the money? you can't throw your hands up in the air and say we can't find the money and this has been an academic debate? how do we find the money? >> the people we most need are contracting officers and their representatives. some of that is already happening. secretary gates, his primary source push is on those functions and i think that we can get that money from some of the other administrative cost-cutting measures that he is finding in the defense budget. >> so, you have mr. gates who everyone agrees is one of the best secretaries of defense that we've ever had.
he won't be there forever. should there be guidelines to enforce in the future the kinds of things that we agree mr. gates is doing now? >> i have argued in the paper i wrote, we need to enhance the level of the contracting oversight persol in d. orch o.dd those people should ensure that we continue to have the contracting oversight personal and the regulations. >> you want the agencies to police themselves? you don't think congress needs to say something about this? >> i think the congress should continue to conduct oversight. >> what do you think? >> i think that congress should be involved. but i agree that the money is going to come from reallocations. and if you are going to have --
and this is something that john and richard talked about too in the report, if you are going to have a defense department or state department that relies on contractors, you need to pn and train for it. and people need to get rewarded for it in terms of promotions. it is only starting to happen and that is why again, i come back to you, do we need something to box them into a corner? >> well, i think that is part of the process. if you look at changes over the course of history, they don't ever happen fast. >> so you think the process will take care of itself? >> no. i think congress being involved and trying to push things forward is a good idea. >> i think in this particular case it is helpful for congress to get involved but it is important to remember that the cbo challenged the assumption that it is necessarily more expensive.
it is not just more expensive to have the military doing the work. the problem is the long-term when we don't need them. one of the things that hasn't been discussed is to consider some short-term contract for these kinds of servic from the feds. >> as a former cbo person, i can tell you they don't always listen to cbo reports. what do you think? >> i agree in general, the creation of a special category is more problematic or more unrealistic than keeping the pedal to the metal. the other thing is to begin one of your favoritehings to some look at existing expenditures that are forming functions that are far more rou routine. >> and you would agreed that they will probably need
congressional encouragement to do that? >> in the 1990s they told us to cut the workforce by 25% a year. >> congress needs to be sure that the state department need to have the resources that we need. >> and i think that the congress has been looking at the whole question and moving in the right direction. >> thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. i'm sorry i tried to jump ahead of him. what i was beggibeginning to sa that it is nice -- this has been very stimulating to all of us. it is nice to be able to question people who don't have to purse their words and frankly were willing to criticize the co-chairman with the help of othe commissioners. i think we all agree that congress has made it -- it has
made it clear what the language is, the federal activities inventory act of 1998 defines it as so intimately related as to require performance by a federal government employee. omb has defined it as so intimately related to the public interest as to mandate performance by federal government personal. it is car that there is agreement with congress and the executive branch. i was trying to box you indiana pa in, in part to illustrate a point. you don't want to be boxed in.p. you don't want to be boxed in. if we box you in, tow muco muchy
won't be able to carry out their mission. you have probably the most differences. so, when mr. urban pointed out th you agree more than you disagree and he said that was a difference that i had. i value what he says because he is one of the best lteners i have ever encountered. sometimes at meetings i have him su summarize whate heard. it seem to me, that i would like you all, i would like to at least come back to continue this point we went through the convoys, and wwent through personnel. you have the government and private choice and you have the mixture in between government and private mixture. in other words private, contractors with government
oversight. in the static facilities, you have bases, government buildings, you have private facilities that come to my mind. would you all agree and if you don't that u.s. bases is in heff rently governmental and let me make this point to you. it means you don't have a choice. s it is a law that it b government. there is no you know, well, it is governmental, but we are still going to have private folks do it. now the inverse is not true. that if st could still be government. but not the other way around. would you all say that guarding a base is governmental? i will start with you, i'll even say u.s. facility state department facities our embassy. >> i would say it is not inher
rently -- i think it is not helpful in this circumstances. >> but you say it is not. >> so i would say it is better to look at the question of is it critical that government employees be used for this rposes? >> and there is a law. >> i would say it is not inher e ently governmental. >> i would say sit not inherently governmental. >> i believe if it is in a hot zone then it s but if it is not, then it is not. >> would you say iraq is a hot zone? >> not at the moment. the bases are not necessarily the way they were five years ago. >> afghanistan? >> it depends where. >> i haven't been to afghanistan. i think it is a hot spot.
dr. avant? from texas? no, from california whose parents are from texas? >> you got it right. i agree it is not inherently governmental but there could be circumstances. >> coun concur. >> so there is consensus. let me ask you this, that would have been the strongest case. the other cases would be the private facility and you would all say that is not. so, since you all agree, tell me in the unusual areas where you disagree. h who dow disagree with? i think the approach -- >> yeah. >> the approach tt doctor avant has suggested a framework
to look at the question of levels of risk. >> i'm ingreement with my colleaes on the panel. i would suggest that we conduct m further research around the world. >> i think the commissioner has put you under a spell. are you telling me you have no disagreement with anything you have heard? >> that is correct. >> wow. >> now she has put me in a box. >> because you were going to disagree with her? >> we are very close friends you ought to know, so. >> that is interesting. >> we have debated these issues before. i generally agree. and i said earlier on, if you cut through some of our own personal rhetoric, you find
commonality. the exercise of force is in and of itself a governmental function or that the exercise of force by someone in the private sector somehow automatically brings a negative impact on the mission. >> yeah, but, there is an argument that says if security people are carrying guns and they could cause an incident that would impact, that would be defined under critical but not governmental. and critical meaning you might want the government to do it. >> you could make that argument. but anybody doing security in iraq is very heavy armed. >> if they are saying that, it has to be done. >> i believe -- to your point i think private security in iraq or afghanistan is by definition a critical function. >> it is not routine easy --
right. >> miss brian? >> my apologies. i think the only person i want to cli parify is with you. >> that is not allowed. >> when you were describing the mix between public and private and you described -- in terms of. >> state department. >> you described it as oversight. from our perspective it is the management. >> that is a good clarificati clarification:i was in iraq and security would have taken a bullet for me. they were all well trained and even black water lost 30 of their own folks and never lost anyone to guard it. so give them credit for that. >> i think the system work eed better when we had a state
department person not overseeing but managing it. so we don't disagree? >> there we go. >> i'm in general agreement. the only thing is drawing bright lines in terms of categories than the way we can manage these issue. >> i agree with that. i think that the governmental bright line is useful but only in a very limited way. d that far more of the cases we're talking about, we should give the spexecutive branch as much flexibility as we can. including and in particular i think we need to encourage them to improve their capacity in something that i do think is inherently governmental. >> if it is the law it has to be applied. i mean that is not a choice.
but, my sense is from all of you that you want to -- you are not arguing that inherently governmental is a requirement. you would argue that we do need a bright line to help us sting issue th distinguish that. thank you for your work and staff as well, we will adjourn. >> coming up next, a discussion
about campaign finance legislation. this is 40 minutes. o clean up the spill and fight the oil spill. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is john bresnahan, a senior congressional reporter with "politico.com" newspaper. -- "politico" newspaper. i want to show you a few headlines. here is the hill newspaper. and finally, your story from about 1:00 a.m. last night, "how a campaign finance deal backfired." what is the campaign legislation that the house is working on? guest: this is bill 5175, which is the disclose at.
it casts light on spending elections. it is a response to a supreme court ruled in january that the high court struck down restrictions on corporations and unions being involved directly in campaigns. host: citizens united case. guest: exactly, and this is the congressional response to it. this bill will impose a new disclosure requirements on corporations or outside groups that want to engage and express advocacy. host: would it turn -- return to the days of mccain/fine gold campaign refinance? guest: no, it would not. groups would be allowed to expressly run ads, but
they would have to disclose their involvement in these ads. host: does this campaign finance law address the court's decision? guest: this is the response to the january ruling, to that ruling. it struck down decades of campaign finance law, which would have restricted corporations from being directly involved in campaigns. this is the congressional response saying, okay, we cannot stop that they are doing it, but we want them to disclose that they are. host: in an earlier article that you wrote -- how did that language come to be? and is language often used like that, that is that specific?
guest: no, it depends on the bill. it was marked up in committee in may and they were going to bring it to the floor several weeks ago. the national rifle association, which is a very powerful organization, was opposed to it. the democrats knew they could not pass the bill if the nra was expressly against it. congressman chris van hollen, the lead author of the bill, he carved out this extent -- exemption. this was really aimed at the nra. it exempted the nra from disclosure requirements in this bill. and the nra did not oppose the new legislation. they just said they did not
support it. at that point, it looks like the bill was going to come up for a vote this week. host: we want to get you involved. we are talking about campaign finance loans. -- campaign finance funds. the numbers are on the screen. please allow 30 days between your calls. john bresnahan of politico is our guest. what about unions? do they fall into this language as well? guest: there would be covered by that. they would not be exempted. host: who is for it? who is again ist it? guest: the chamber of commerce
and a number of other organizations feel this#ua is n infringement on their activity. they are opposing this bill. also, other progressive groups such as sierra club. what happened is that during the week, there were complaints about the exemption given for the nra. the democratic leadership decided to lower the limit on a number of -- and lower the limit on a group. but the sierra club does not like the bill anyway ann is opposed to it. they're going to oppose the bill anyway. it and different blocks of members -- and different blocks of members within the democratic caucus, blue dogs, they were opposed to the legislation.
and the caucus was opposed as well. host: why? guest: they were concerned about the treatment of the naacp and tax treatments and whether they could jeopardize their step -- their tax status. and they also did not like the special treatment for the nra. here we are doing a bill to require disclosure in politics and we are giving an exemption for one of the most powerful interest groups and there is. -- most powerful interest groups their resourcethere is. host: do they just have to disclose who founded an advocacy or an ad campaign? guest: it deals with a lectionary communication, which is an ad saying, vote for joe
schmo, or against joe schmo. they would have to say, i mdot acencio x and i -- i am not cce and i approved this data. under current law, they do not have to reveal owners. these nonprofits and the 501-c3 that covers them, they are saying, this is not public. why should we make it public now? host: they are afraid it will impact donations? guest: right. anyone who even funds to the data -- to even funds these
advertisements would have to be disclosed. the democrats' argument is, look, you cannot stop corporations and unions and nonprofit advocacy groups from being involved. but what is the problem with disclosing? the public has the right to know who is involved in elections. the public likes it when they know who is the political -- was behind the political clout. there is no reason not to know who is doing this. host: the supporters of the bill are saying that. guest: yes. host: who are the supporters? guest: nancy pelosi, congressman van hollen. there's also some bipartisan agreement. this is a first step for the
democrats in -- imposing any kind of limits. host: how close is the vote? 433 members of congress. guest: it is unclear. they started whipping it out earlier in the week. it looked like by yesterday they had gotten what they needed. it was going to be the two republican co-sponsors. and i'm not sure there will be any republican support. then you have these two factions within the democratic caucus, the congressional black caucus, and the blue dogs. host: that is 40 to 50 members. guest: exactly, so, you have
>> the afc, or american federation of -- host: when you talk about upsetting, what exactly do you mean? and i don't think he is going to give his political opinion on this anyway, so do you want to try to rephrase your question a little bit? caller: yes. i live in south texas. i'm a frequent caller on c-span. i own firearms. my wife is a school teacher. and i just see a lot of in-fighting among people who are confused with both. so i really would just like to ask your opinion. host: so it sounds like his wife is a member of a teacher's union and he is a member of the n.r.a.
guest: i think it's important that people understand that groups like the n.r.a. and advocate groups is really important to the function of democracy and important for them to have a vote here. what the issue is, is money and politics, what we're getting down to. money and politics. and who is funding what? and how big a role money plays in elections. to many people the spring court's ruling in january was a major setback and setback decades of campaign finance law. for others it was a victory for free speech and first amendment laws. that there's no reason individuals individually or collectively why they shouldn't have their voices heard. i think it's important to note that as a journalist, for me,
disclosure is the important thing. i would like to know who is paying for ades -- ades. -- ads. why they are paying for it. to advocate for a governmental outcome for legislation for a bill, for an administration to take some action. so i think there's a lot of difficult issues here. >> when it comes to all the bills in congress, the budget and tax extenders bill and financial regs, where does this rank in the priority list? >> well, i think president obama has made his views known on this. i think a lot of members take this very personally. they want to know who is going to be, you know, funding ads against them in an election. i think they are very concerned about way it is process can be
manipulated under the citizens' united ruling. i think there's legitimate concerns about that. let me give you examples. what if a company -- there was a bill on the floor and the company was opposed to it and they sent their lobbyist in to see the chairman or chairwoman of a committee and said we're opposing this bill and by the way we reserve $2 million of ad time in your district. that's a powerful message and one that would put the fear of god in a lot of congressmembers. we have to value the rights to be heard but protect our political classes and keep the integrity there as much as possible. host: barbra from pennsylvania, you're on the air. caller: thank you for c-span. you do a great job. i am really concerned about
this passage through this. i thought it was planning. because -- and especially, the people that say, oh, the government owns this business, and the government's trying to take over this business. do they realize how they open the door for business to own government? and not even disclose it is so wrong. guest: i think the caller raises an interesting point. i think one of the biggest concerns members have for folks who cover the federal office and work in politics is the amount of time spent fundraising. in the 2008 elections, candidates and incumbents and challengers spend over $5 million and that number keeps rising. it impacts the quality of our government. i think people outside of washington, i think this is the
hardest thing for them to realize. there's a first amendment right. people should be involved in politics but the california senate race is going to cost $ 10 million-plus. t most an individual can contribute is $400,000 per person. that means they need to get thousands of people on their side. if you have to see thousands of people are you doing an effective job now? and where are they going to go? special interest groups who raised it. and sometimes that's seen as giving a new impact on what happens legislatively. it's a very important issue and a difficult issue. a lot of journalists don't understand it as well. but you talk to members, they take this issue very highly. it can't be done in a 30-second
sound bite. but it's a critically important one. host: jane from baltimore. you're on. please go ahead. caller: yes. hello. i was watching rachel meadow back during the debate, and i remember, like, almost every day they twonet town halls and where people were getting crazy. and i remember when she was exposing not all of the stuff because we don't want to all call all the tea party people crazy, but she was exposing some of this stuff to be setups of the corporations. so i have two questions. my first question is would this legislation pretty much do what rachel mado was doing, and two, what do you think the chances are for a clean energy bill this year?
>> there was the issue of arrest astro turfing where corporations or advocacy groups were kind of beginning up some of the protests -- gining up some of the protests. but frankly a lot of it was concern over the health care bill. this wouldn't address that. this goes specifically to election engineering questions. as far as an energy bill, it's not an issue i cover every day, but the senate is the challenge there. it doesn't seem to be a lot of con census coming together. the schedule is very tight. it's an election year. we've got the supreme court nomination coming. afghanistan, campaigning, there's a lot going on. i think right now the odds are against an energy.
right now i would stay odds are kind of stacked against it. >> john bresnahan, a lot on capitol hill advocating or not advocating for this law? guest: there's a lot of interest in this for instance, some of the campaign finance reform groups want this bill. they are supporting it. campaign legal center. democracy 21, campaign watchdog groups. their main focus is finance reform. they are advocating as a measure, you know, they like to see more. they were unhappy, very unhappy with a united citizen ruleling but at least this gives some disclosure and who is funding what, on the other hand you have some very powerful groups aligned with this bill. for instance, commerce, which is the largest bill
association, association of manufacturers, association of real tores. very powerful organizations lined up against it. so there are -- may not get all the headlines a lot of time but there's a lot of interest going on here. host: will he grange, texas. caller: good morning, peter, john. guest: good morning. caller: you know, i really have a hard time with the supreme court's ruling. from what i understand the main reason it was moved to d.c. was to keep everything out of politics. at the time it was swamp and they fwilt capital there to keep money out. how the court can today say a corporation, which, by the way, i understand they were formed during jackson's administrations and he wasn't a believer in them to start with. he knew where they were headed.
so i don't know how the court can reach that kind of addition. of decision. another thing, i don't understand why these same corporations, if you're employed by them, and you accept a dinner for $125 to sway you, say you're selling something, and you cut the price by 25 cents because somebody spent $125 an meal, you're no longer employed with them. >> well, -- guest: well, i read this when it came out. but it was very strong. there was very sharp opinions in the court on this. and, but it came down in the end was this censorship saying up until that decision, you could not have unions or -- this is general treasury, not a
pact or -- could be funding ads within a window leading up to an election, the majority of the court felt strongly about this. they felt that this was an important principal, though it did overturn several decades of previous rulings by the court when they ruled -- and of course, the minority felt just as strongly. they felt corporations should be treated like individuals on this issue. so there is a lot of controversy over this topic. it is -- it is one we will see before the supreme court again, during some point. there will be legislation not moving in this congress but future congresses. in my -- on capitol hill.
congress has consistently tried to tweak this language. but now basically the rules are off. they can now use what we call soft money. not necessarily for their campaign but raise million-dollar contributions for other issues. for instance, a redistricting initiative back in their home state. they cannot benefit themselves with it. can't use it on their campaign, but it has an impact on the politics of their state. so right now we're kind of in a netherworld, and nobody's really sure what's going to happen next. this was one step the house democratic leadership wants to address to -- wants to take to address campaign finance rules. at some point there's going to have to be -- one of my colleagues wrote a story about a month ago. from politico. for a long time republicans,
say senator minority leader mitch mcconnell had opposed finance campaign saying the real thing is disclosure. it's not how much they give but who gives it. let them give anything they want but disclose it immediately. with the internet, we can have it out that day, we can find out who did what. but the funny thing is now some of these folks who wanted immediate disclosure are not so big on disclosure saying this is a united ruling. didn't have anything to do with that. so now they are kind of hemming and hawing. so there are very strongly-held views and principaled views on the first amendment and it's an issue that draws a lot of emotion. and when you take time digging into the fascinating issue, it's one of the long in this
country. we wrestled with money and politics. the powerful or well-resourced to influence our political process is not one that's going to go away. as long as we have elections, we're going to have this issue. hoot: have you ever seen a carveout such as the one that was created for the n.r.a.? >> sure. guest: sure. tax bills. they won't name it but there are -- there will be only certain organizations that can qualify for a language. ear marks. they may not necessarily name a company or the -- that gets an ear mark but the language will be structured in such a way. what was interesting on this is that you have very progressive liberal leadership, speaker
plosey, these are progressive liberals, not right wingers. this is the second time in months they've had to acknowledge the real power of the n.r.a. to swing votes. it was on the d.c. voting bill. and they ended up pulling that bill because there was language in there the n.r.a. opposed. i had one say to me 260. that means the n.r.a. can mobilize 260 votes in the house so if the n.r.a. wants to come in on an issue, that's an issue that is something that the leadership is going to watch. also if you remember back to the membership in 1994 and they swept away 40 years of democratic rule, one of the groups behind the rep can takeover was the n.r.a. they were upset with the assault gun ban. they mobilized their voters,
one of the democrats learned after the elections, don't mess with the n.r.a. they can bring a lot of pressure to bear on any issue that they choose to focus on. >> carol in reston. on our rep can line thank you for holding. you're on with john bresnahan. caller: yes, i think this is the most corrupt government we've had since i don't remember when. being a member of the n.r.a. we eat the deer meat we shoot and i'm also a member of the tea party. i went to the first tea party rally in little rock, arkansas. and it wasn't just white people. and there wasn't a lot of people there. but the second time i went, it grew and drew and it's continuing to grow in my small town, because people are tired of this spending.
the ear marks, the pork. and it's out of control. and -- host: two points to address with what carol had to say. corruption and government are the perception of government and also would this affect the tea party movement at all? guest: corruption is part of government. there's always going to be corrupt government officials. i think something like this, what happened in this -- on kind of jockeying around -- i think will feed some people's distrust of got to the. here you have a special interest group getting an exemption carved out. a special interest group. that is kind of what people are looking at here. in this case it was the n.r.a. but in health care it was different groups and tax bills, other things. that is a legitimate issue.
but then you go back to the folks pushing, what they are saying, saying this is what they are trying to address. if we don't do something about would youing special interest groups to run elections without any disclosure of who they are, how are they ever going to get to the issue of addressing some of the topics that or some of the crises that face america, across the board in terms of the economy, environment, and what not. so it's a have difficult issue to balance. host: does this affect the tea parties at all if the finance bill is passed? guest: well, the tea party as a group, primarily engage in express advocacy, if they were -- they wouldn't be affected by this. this is outside groups. this is not groups primarily
involved in politics. host: jane from new jersey, democrat. hi. caller: yes. hi. good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i, you know, with all the believeuating from the right about activist judges, the finding by the supreme court on citizens united, all that was -- i mean, the issue at hand was can they make this prop demand is movie or can they? and the answer was simple. yes, they could. but this court. the roberts court, used this opportunity have this finding that's further pushing us towards an olgarky. the right has been doing whatever they could to weak at any working class and put the power in the hands of the corporations. and now our entire congress will, with this finding, the congress have become the
employees or the puppets of the corporations. and the tea partiers in all their screaming about the government. government is here to protect us. and it worked just fine after the new deal. but little-by-little, the corporations have taken away our right to speak, and i'm sorry. corporations are not people. they are given privileges that we don't have. they have limited liability when they are found criminally culpable when found guilty of murder by -- they get a slap on the hand that wouldn't be worth a pimple on an elephant's butt. we would be put in the prison. guest: i think the caller read the book where he makes somewhat of a similar line. corporations are not individuals. they are treated under the law by the terms of those the right
to cast a vote and in terms of their involvement in the political debate, they hadn't been seen in the same light as an individual, but again, this is, you know, this is an issue. this is an issue the supreme court has wrestled with. this is an issue that legislatures, democratic and rep can, different congresses and the president, this is not going to go away. we are going to have this debate as long as we have elections. who is paying for what and who is running for offices? and are they being helped by powerful, rich interests? i mean, until early in the to the century we didn't have any disclosure requirements at al or whose campaign -- at all, or whose campaign was funded by
who. the system is a lot better than it was. it is not perfect. people are going to continue to work on it. politicians, advocates on both sides of the debate will keep covering it. it is a debate that will continue. host: about five minutes left with our guest. milton is a guest in bowling green. caller: hello. appreciate you taking my call. first time on the air. host: welcome. caller: i just feel deeply about campaign finance laws. i feel like it's the key to all our problems in government today. you know? can't have a government for the people, by the people with the current laws we have. when you look at the current laws that they just put in place with health care, i mean, who does it benefit? it benefits whoever paid those people and who gave them the
noun be elected. i mean, -- them the money to be elected. i mean, we need to take our government back. and this is the way to do it. it's the only way to do it. guest: and milton, i think you made an excellent point. i have been covering congress. this is my 16th year covering congress. i cannot tell you how important this issue is. it is one that in my time up on capitol hill, races have become exponentially more expense i, which means members and senators and challengers have to spend more time raising money unless her she can write a big check out of the pocket. when urp spending that much time raising money, it -- as hard as they work and they work very, very hard and have excellent staff, fur spending
that much time raising money, it's going to cut into other duties as a legislature. meeting with constituents, hearing their concerns, drafting bills, writing bills. it's just a very difficult balance they have to make. if you go around washington every night there's fundraisers, lob yippists, attended by lobbyists. and corporate folks, or those well-connected people. because members have to get money in order tore run for office. the first thing you're going to do. the people don't understand once a member gets elected, he or she wants to get re-elected. that sort of what drives everything they do. in order to get elected, they need money. to have money they have to meet money. as great as it was to see president barack obama raise $800 million.
even he stepped outside the campaign finance system and raised a lot of money in small doe makes nations but wanted -- raised a money -- a lot of money from people who wanted to see things happen. 3w he went to special interest groups, because that is where the money is and what's going to give these powerful organizations time with the conditions congress. some would make an argument that's a case for public financing right there. but how do you do that and balance it with the rights people have to participate in the political process and spend their own money out of their own podget. it's a very difficult issue and a nail hit on the head. a fundamental issue. who is paying for our campaign and how? >> and even after the spill, lobbyists for b.p. kept fundraising hopping. they hosted 53 parties for law
makeers and candidates and four skins the explosion and oil spill. lobbyists -- the numbers are based on fundraisers data compiled by sun light foundation. nine of the 11 known fundraisers this year were hosted by lobbyist tony podesta or other lobbyists for his firm. >> b.p. has a right to lobby the government. they have a right to express their views to the government around participate in fundraising. there's clearly politically -- clearly politically sensitive issues taking money around b.p. at this moment. but some may have been in the works beforehand and they carried through with it. but listen, every night in
washington there are dozens of these events. challengers, they go to them, because that's where the money is. they go to pack events. they can raise a lot of money at wivepbt that may take them much longer to do it over the internet or smaller events back home. you know, the folks who want things from government. they knew this is a big business. politics is a big business. running for office. campaigning is a big business. it's a multi billion-dollar industry. host: last call comes from al from gary, indiana. 3 caller: yes. i would like to say actually to carve out an exeept disclosure from the n.r.a. would actually inhibit or prohibit my free speech if i had a position that was against the n.r.a. in the sense that before you
have free speech, you have to be able to have disclosure and free thought. it actually seems to be unconstitutional for someone to be able to hide and not come through with open disclosure, and that stops and prevents me from even having an opinion to incorporate and use my free speech. guest: well, right now, as the law stands in the wake of citizen's united ruling, there's no requirement for disclosure at all. again, i'm not sure i necessarily agree that to incorporate the n.r.a. would not infringe on someone else's first amendment rights. they felt strongly that they did on theirs. and they felt strongly with the language covering part of the language covering part of the language on this extension. so a group had to be in business for at least 10 years. had to be around for at least 10 years.
so they've brought in other advocate groups that also fell into it. so the idea was, dump $10 million into it and then use that to run ads against congressman joe shmoe. i'm not sure that in doing that they -- on the rights of other individuals, but disclosure, as a journalist, disclosure is a good thing. the more, the better. so i think there's a lot of folks in the press who would like to see at leleast some
ohio, and it is wonderful to be back in the beautiful city of columbus. i just want to say thank you right off the top to mayor coleman for his outstanding leadership of this city. [applause] you've got one of the best mayors in the country. you also got one of the best governors in the country in ted strickland. [applause] and i also want to just acknowledge that you're going to have one of the best -- you already have one of the best senators in sherrod brown, and you're going to have another one in lee fisher. [applause] so we appreciate the great work that they're doing. i'm going to mention some of the congressional delegations here, because they've got a lot to do with what's going on at this site. my last visit here was a little over a year ago, when i came to take part in a graduation
ceremony for 114 -- the 114th class of the columbus police recruits. some of you may remember that. i know the mayor does. i don't have to tell anybody here that these have been difficult times for ohio and difficult times for the country. and when i was here last, america was losing 700,000 jobs per month. our economy was shrinking. plants and businesses right here in ohio were closing. and we knew that if we failed to act, then things were only going to get much worse. that's why, with the support of sherrod brown, but also members of the house of representatives mary jo kilroy, steve driehaus and charlie wilson, who are all here -- wave, guys -- [applause] -- that's why these folks worked so hard to pass the recovery actt which cut taxes for middle-class families, that
way boosting demand; cutting taxes for small businesses so that they could make payroll and keep their doors open; extending unemployment insurance and cobra to help folks make it through some really tough times; to rebuild our infrastructure and make investments that would spur additional investments from the private sector and strengthen our country in the long run. that's what the recovery act was all about. and since then, here in ohio, nearly 2,400 small businesses have gotten loans to keep their doors open and their workers on payroll, 4.5 million families have gotten tax cuts to help pay their bills and put food on the table, some 450 transportation projects are underway or have been completed, and more than 100,000 ohioans are at work today as a result of these steps. and today, i return to columbus
to mark a milestone on the road to recovery: the 10,000th project launched under the recovery act. that's worth a big round of applause. [applause] and i want to thank secretary ray lahood, who has been instrumental in so many of the projects that have taken place. he has done an outstanding job, as have our other agencies in administering these programs. now, these projects haven't just improved communities. they've put thousands of construction crews -- just like this one -- to work. they've spurred countless small businesses to hire because -- these are some big guys here, so they got to eat -- [laughter] -- which means that you got to get some food brought in -- or the local restaurants here benefit from the crews being here at work. it means that instead of worrying about where their next paycheck is going to come from, americans across the country are helping to build our future -- and their own futures.
now, as my friend joe biden --- who has done a great job overseeing the recovery act -- would say, this is a big deal. [laughter] and i think it's fitting that we've reached this milestone here in this community, because what you're doing here is a perfect example of the kind of innovation and coordination and renewal that the recovery act is driving all across this country. a lot of people came together to make this day possible -- business and government, grassroots organizations, ordinary citizens who are committed to this city's future. and what you're starting here is more than just a project to repair a road --- it's a partnership to transform a community. mayor coleman was describing for me how all these pieces fit together on the way over here. so the city is using recovery dollars to rebuild the infrastructure. and because of that, in part, the hospital is expanding its operations to take even better care of more people, more children, here in columbus and throughout ohio, which means they're hiring more people. so together, you're creating more than 2,300 new jobs and --
the hospital is expanding its operations to take care of more people and more children here in columbus and throughout are higher -- to not ohio, which means they are hiring more people. together, you are creating more than 2300 new jobs and sending a powerful message that this neighborhood will soon be a place where more families can thrive, more businesses can prosper, economic development that's being sparked today is going to continue into the future. and my understanding is, because the hospital is now growing, that means they're putting money back into the neighborhood for housing and other facilities so that the entire community starts rebuilding. ultimately, that's the purpose of the recovery act ---not just to jumpstart the economy and get us out of the hole that we're in right now, but to make the investments that will spur growth and spread prosperity
and pay dividends to our communities for generations to come. since i was here last year, we've begun to see progress all across the country. businesses are beginning to hire again. our economy, which was shrinking by 6 percent when i was sworn in, is now growing at a good clip, and we've added jobs for six out of the past seven months in this country. we were losing 700,000 jobs a month; for the last six out of the last seven months, we've increased jobs here in the united states of america, in part because of the policies that these members of congress were willing to step up and implement. now, i'm under no illusion that we're where we need to be yet. i know that a lot of families and communities have yet to feel the effects of the recovery in their own lives. there are still too many people here in ohio and across the country who can't find work;
many more can't make ends meet. and for these folks, the only jobs we create that matter are the ones that provide for their families. so while the recovery may start with projects like this, it can't end here. the truth is if we want to keep on adding jobs, if we want to keep on raising incomes, if we want to keep growing both our economy and our middle class, if we want to ensure that americans can compete with any nation in the world, we're going to have to get serious about our long-term vision for this country and we're going to have to get serious about our infrastructure. and i want to say a few words about infrastructure generally. along with investments in health care education, clean energy and a 21st century financial system that protects consumers and our economy, rebuilding our infrastructure is one of the keys to our future prosperity. if we're going to rebuild america's economy, then we've got to rebuild america, period
-- from the ports and the airways that ship our goods, to the roads and the transit systems that move our workers and connect cities and businesses. now, some of this work involves fixing infrastructure that's already in place -- patching up roads, repairing bridges, replacing old sewer lines. and the recovery act has made important investments in all these things.i mean we've got a huge backlog of work just with the infrastructure that we've got that could put hundreds of thousands of people to work all across the country -- just repairing roads that we already have and fixing sewer lines that are badly in need of repair. but here's the thing, columbus. repairing our existing infrastructure is not enough. we can't build an economy that sustains our kids and our grandkids just by relying on the infrastructure that we inherited from our parents and
our grandparents. we can't let other countries get the jump on us when it comes to broadband access. there's no reason why europe or china should have the fastest trains instead of the united states. there's no reason that germany or other countries in europe should have the newest factories that manufacture clean energy products instead of us right here in the united states. that's why the recovery act has been making unprecedented investments in clean energy, spurring america's businesses to build some of the world's largest wind and solar projects right here in the united states of america. i said this once at a state of the union address: america does not settle for second place. and we're going to make the investments to make sure we are first in the future -- not just in the past. that's got to be our priority. that's why we're bringing high- speed internet to ten thousands of homes -- tens of thousands of homes, and businesses and hospitals and schools. it's why ray lahood is helping to lead a surge in new
investment in high-speed rail. that's why we're investing in electronic medical records. a year ago, american businesses had just 2 percent of the market in the production of electric car batteries that power the vehicles of the future. all these hybrid cars that have electric batteries? those batteries were made someplace else; we only had 2 percent of them. we made investments in the recovery act, and by 2015, u.s. companies are going to have 40 percent of the global market. we have created an advanced battery manufacturing facility -- facilities right here in the united states that are going to allow us to maintain that cutting edge. from the very first railroads to the interstate highway system, our nation has always been built to compete. and you know, the history of ohio is a testament to that. nearly two centuries ago, our
nation's first federally funded highway -- the national road -- was extended across ohio, bringing a generation of settlers west to this new frontier, and paving the way for the automobile that would transform our landscape. and for our economy to thrive in this new century, we've got to act with that same sense of purpose and that same spirit of innovation. that's why the recovery is just beginning -- just the beginning of the investments we're going to have to make for years on our infrastructure. it's just the beginning of the work of increasing our mobility and our productivity, reducing congestion, reducing pollution, creating good jobs that can't be shipped overseas. because we know what we can achieve when we act boldly and invest wisely. we're seeing it right here in this community. we see it in this hospital and the depths of its commitment to this city. we see it in the city leaders who saw a need and an opportunity in this
neighborhood and decided to act. we see it in the folks right here who are ready to get to work building this road and providing for their families. and i'm confident that we'll soon see it in new families and businesses that are calling this area home. >> coming up next, admiral thad allen then a defense briefing on troops withdrawal in iraq and then the future of afghanistan. tomorrow, onnwashington journal, retired lieutenant general russell onhonore talks about the government's response to the gulf coast oil spill. ylan mui set credit cards and what they mean to consumers and joan lowy details about a defense department request to open up u.s. airspace for
unmanned drones. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. >> he was a volatile and emotional and very complicated young man. he was very adventuress. when he was in america, he was 25 and he was having an adventure. >> take a new look at the 18th 31 tour of america. leo damrosch on q&a. >> coast guard admiral thad allen is that there is a push in the gulf now to provide more additional protective boom. admiral allen briefs reporters from new orleans. this is about half an hour. >> to give you a couple of updates on the initiatives.
i will be happy to take any questions you might have for me. i am very pleased to report. we were actually able to recover 25,000 barrels of oil. this is utilizing discover enterprise and our exploitation of the key line to bring additional oil out and be processed. there are additional vessels being brought into the area. we anticipate by the end of the increase to about 53,000 barrels a month. following that, there'll have to be a decision made when we reach max capacity with the recovery system we have on the scene with the containment cap. at that point, the option will be to actually unbolt the flange and that small section of pipe that remains where we needed to shear cut and actually
replace it with a very solid, bolted-on cap that could be linked to a new flexible production system will allow us to use production platforms and shuttle tankers. once that's in place, we have the [inaudible] at that point to increase capacity on the production to 60,000 to 80,000 barrels. that should be somewhere around the middle part of july. we continue to move forward on that and it's proceeding apace. regarding the relief wells, development driller iii, which is drilling a first relief well, is now 10,677 feet below the sea floor starting to close in on the well bore. development driller ii is 4,662 feet below the sea floor and [inaudible] on task. some of the things we're working on this week -- we've had an extraordinary response to our vessel of opportunity program, in excess of 2,000 vessels operating around the gulf. our goal is to create a command and control system and a tracking system where we can most effectively utilize these vessels of opportunity. we only [inaudible] that local
expertise and passion and we want to channel that and make sure we're creating unity of effort. to that end, we're doing a couple of things. we're organizing these vessels of opportunity in groups, establishing a leader with the capability to communicate. a lot of these folks are very, very small and may or may not have radio systems. we're also putting automated identification system tracking devices on the larger vessels so we can bring those in to our common operating picture and have them actually displayed on a computer. we actually brought in extra aircraft into the area to increase surveillance as well. most recently, three additional h-65 aircraft were deployed to air station new orleans to provide overhead sighting. the goal is, over this week and into next week, is to create a command and control structure and a communications backbone to allow us to effectively deploy and utilize all those 2,000 vessels of opportunity that are out there. that reflects somewhat of a change in situation in both the supply and demand of assets. most recently, earlier this week, we announced the new flow rate numbers and, as you know, we think it's somewhere around -- 35,000 is the most probable,
but the rate is going to 50,000 or 60,000 barrels a day at the high end of the scientific evaluation. to that end, we need to redouble our efforts in -- regarding skimming capability from shore out to about 15 miles [inaudible] we have all this disaggregated oil starts to go to shore. we have the opportunity to do that with the vessels of opportunity that have volunteered their services to us, and now it's a matter of command and control structure. this is something that is on a scale that far exceeds anything we've done in a domestic response before, but it's also an indication of the willingness and the passion of local people to get involved and help us in this clean up, so that the whole issue moving forward is going to be unity of effort. regarding my personal activities and what i've been doing, i was down in port sulphur yesterdayy i went out with our vessels of opportunity. [inaudible] let's work with some fish guides out on barataria bay [inaudible] the jack-up rigs on the barges down there. later on today i'll be meeting with deputy secretary jane lute and deputy secretary david hayes from interior. deputy secretary lute is deputy secretary of homeland security. we will go down to grand isle.
we will -- we will also get a briefing on the vessels of opportunity and hopefully get out on the water and see what they're able to do down there. this follows several other trips i've made to grand isle with the president where we met with the local watermen regarding the best use of these vessels of opportunity. so i will tell you this is focused on vessels of opportunity and getting the command and control down right so we can most effectively apply these resources. and to that end, the best place we can apply them right now is in the area from onshore to 15 miles off where we have these patches of oil and trying to beat it before it comes on land. so with that, i'll be glad to take your questions, folks. >> [inaudible] >> sure. we're coordinated with dod right now to take a look at the
availability of skimmers within the navy inventory. that is right now between us and the department of defense and that will be worked out today. we're also looking at the entire availability around the country. we're actually starting to manufacture skimmers in places like port fourchon and other places. what i told the folks is don't anticipate demand can ever be met on skimmers. getting as many as we can make and as fast as we can get them here is what we need to do. we're hoping to have a larger strategic assessment of the exact -- actual gap that we've got and how many we will need ultimately. part of the problem is we never had to deal with oil dispersed across this wide an area, but we have the availability of the 2,000 vessels of opportunity. some cases you need skimmers that are actually integrated into ship [inaudible]. other cases you need what we have -- what we call vessel of opportunity where you take skimming equipment and just give it to a local boat and they could tow it behind it. so when we talk about skimmers, we're not -- we're talking about skimmers that are actually vessels and skimming equipment that can be put on a vessel of opportunity, and we're working through that right now.
>> [inaudible]. >> well, we're pulling everything we can as we -- and we're actually -- it's ordering. it takes six to eight weeks to actually build a skimmer. we got the production orders in. we're just -- it's kind of like the situation. what we're doing is we're taking all of it as quickly as we can get it and we'll have some more later on today or monday on that. yes. >> [inaudible]. >> there are a lot of ways to deal with the impacted coastline and i it really describes it all. if you look at three miles of coastline in a marshy area and you have oil penetrated back three or four hundred yards, that's a much more significant impact than the linear length would tell you. and what we're trying to do is drive the right metric associated with that. ultimately, i think we -- in my view, there needs to be a length and a depth to this and try to come up with the right
way to describe this and communicate it and we'll working on that continuously [inaudible]. -- shouldn't we know how far it is impacted? >> [inaudible] >> if i get the specifics you're i don't have the numbers in front of me right now. i'd be happy to [inaudible]. -- one of the criticisms local leaders have is that the big picture is not feeling the sense of emergency. >> sure, and in fact, we took significant steps this week to do that. first of all, the incident command post in mobile, which is responsible for coverage of
panhandle of florida. i directed the established three deputy positions, one for each state on the -- what the requirements are and to reduce cycle time between the reported target. in addition, at the -- after discussions with governor crist and the president when we were in florida, we're going to put -- we are in the process of [inaudible] into the management team in the tallahassee at the emergency operations center. so [inaudible] response cell in the state. there will be a deputy at the incident command post in mobile it. we're doing the same thing inwe're going to put an incident management team in biloxi. >> [inaudible]. >> yes, it will. the intent is to delegate authority down for response [inaudible] all the way back up [inaudible] command post [inaudible]. deployed or the skimmers or whatever the resource might [inaudible]. >> [inaudible] also [inaudible]. >> well, regarding the
testimony of tony hayward, i think that's a -- that's a matter between him and british petroleum and the committees he was testifying before. regarding secretary mabus, as him yesterday. as a former commandant of the coast guard and former -- and current secretary of the navy, together for the past year or so. we enjoy a great relationship and his request t o me was to forward on this. he's still [inaudible] up his office, but we're going -- we're going to be in close contact. there'll obviously be some work that's being done [inaudible] especially as it relates to long-term environmental impacts. assessment [inaudible] necessarily roll over into that with the [inaudible]. >> >> well, i'm referring questions on his tasking and the scope of his work to him. i would just tell you that we
were in communication. we have a great working relationship, a lot of mutual respect there and we have a long-standing friendship. >> [inaudible]. >> sure. >> [inaudible]. >> what's going to happen is, i think i mentioned earlier, by the -- by the end of the month we should be approaching 53,000 barrels a day capacity. we're going to max out at that point on what we can produce with the current status on the wellhead. and what i mean by that is what you have is the discoverer enterprise is fixed to the wellhead to that riser pipe, but we have the choke and the kills lines, which we use to try and force mud down the blowout preventer into the wellbore. we tried the top kill, which was unsuccessful. we are bringing two ships in -- the q4000 and another production vessel -- to take oil up to the choke and the kill line. that'll enhance production up to 53,000 barrels a day, but that's all you can do with that diameter pipe and the flow that goes through it. the goal beyond then, and that's -- it's going to be a critical
decision to be made around the 1st of july -- will be whether or not we want to unbolt that final section of pipe, that little piece of riser pipe that was cut with the shear cut, and replace it with a multi-fitting device over the top that's actually bolted, in which case you've sealed it. and then increase production rate to the floating production the cutover that will allow us to achieve that type of containment and that type of production and redundancy will have to be accompanied with the decision to replace the connection at the top and lower marine riser package. that -- was that responsive? >> [inaudible]. >> [inaudible] i'm -- that should be around the 1st of july. a couple things have to happen first. they have to install, and they're doing this as we're speaking, they have to install what's called a floating riser package. and what they're going to do is they're going to take a section of riser pipe that's about 4000 feet long and they're going to suspend it under water. they're going to anchor it to the bottom. it's got flotation collars
around the riser pipe. and there'll be a buoy on top just below the surface so it's suspended. runs from the well over the riser pipe, then a flexible hose for the production platform. potentially we create two of those, take the oil coming out of the wellhead at two top and then pushing it to shuttle tankers. this is what we do in the north sea. then we do -- then [inaudible] these pipelines [inaudible] that oil. we're bringing shuttle tankers. once we get to that point, we'll have redundancy and we'll have 80,000 barrels a day. being put in place. is that responsive? >> this'll be the last question. >> [inaudible]. >> exactly. that's the reason. >> [inaudible]. >> well, if we get to near 53,000 barrels a day and we're able to secure the vents and there's no oil leaking or there's a very small amount of oil leaking [inaudible] decision point and we think that is good enough.
[inaudible] we got in terms of containment until the relief well is drilled. there's another issue that has to be considered and that's the fact that these floating riser pipes allow you to either decouple and hook back up very quickly or quicker than we have right now with the vessel being connected to the fixed riserwe have hurricane season upon us. we may have to shut operations down, evacuate and redeploy. what the floating risers would also give us is better sea- keeping capabilities. the vessels are bigger, production vessels, their ability to disconnect and reconnect after a hurricane. so in addition to the risk associated with removing the pipe from the [inaudible] cap we get better flexibility from the new production system and a better ability to withstand a hurricane without losing control of the well completely. and that's got to be factored in as well. >> [inaudible] what about [inaudible]. how much gas [inaudible]?
related to what's in the oil stream? >> yes. >> what happens now is on the discover enterprise the gas that comes up is flared off, and then the oil is produced and shifted to a tanker. on the q4000, that's the second one we've established, we got our production rates up, both the gas and the oil are being flared off. where we're -- it's being atomized and it's actually being burned off on site, rather than being produced. at some point in the future, q4000 to where we're actually recovering the oil. measurement of cubic feet of gas, and we can give that to you. i just don't have it in front of me. >> [inaudible]. >> the q4000 is flaring gas and oil. in other words, there's a burner, and it's all just being burned as it comes to the surface. on the discover explorer, we're flaring the gas, burning off the natural gas, and we're producing the oil, and that's being shifted to a tanker. what we're trying to do is get as much out of the well so it's not going to the surface. that's the [inaudible]. >> operator, begin taking questions from the phone line. >> your first question is from
bryan walsh. please state your affiliation. >> bryan walsh with "time magazine." admiral, do you expect any additional increases in the flow rate going forward? i mean, as you mentioned today, knowing that higher flow rate, you had to really redouble surface cleaning. at this point, are you confident that this is the highest number; you won't have any more surprises down the line? >> well i think we have the best range of estimate s on flow rate, given the information we hold right now. and there are basically three sources of information on the flow rate. one is the amount of oil we're able to observe on the surface with satellite and aviation sensors that actually take readings on the amount of oil. the second is our estimates on the volume that's being released, and using high- resolution video to understand what is the density of the product coming forward, how much of that is natural gas, water, oil and sediment, and then the velocity at which it's rising. that's the second input.
the third input we have is actually from testing that was done by the woods hole oceanographic institute, where they deployed acoustic sensors that actually they're sending sonar signals across and get the density of that column. all of that, in aggregate, and plus some pressure readings we're taking at the blowout preventer, at the direction of salazar, led marcia mcnutt and the flow rate technical group to come up with the range that we have right now. i continue to challenge them to refine their products, challenge their assumptions, look at their analysis, and try to continually improve. i think we're at a plateau right now, as far as knowledge of the makeup of the column of product that's coming up. i think what we're really going to find out is when we finally get to almost zero leakage out of the production that's going on, and actually get the flow rates, i think that will tell us empirically exactly how much oil's coming out. and i think until we get there -- get to that point, it's always going to be an estimate and a range surrounding that with probabilities attached to
it. so i think, right now, mid-30's i think is the most probable, and as high as 60, as we released earlier this week. i think we're going to stay at that point for a while unless new information is developed. and i think what we need now is empirical data that's actually based on production [inaudible]. next question? >> your next question is from kristen hays. >> good morning, admiral. this is kristen hays with reuters. -- that relief well one was starting to close in on the catch the exact amount of feet they've both drilled down, if you could repeat that please? and second, is it still accurate to say about 120 miles of shoreline has been soiled or touched by oil? >> ok, first of all, the development driller iii, which is the first relief well, the drilling rig is now at 10,677 feet below the sea floor. the development driller ii is drilling the second relief well, the risk mitigator, is at 4,662 feet below the sea floor. i took a -- i took a question earlier on the amount of shoreline that's been impacted. i think we need to make some clarification and put that out to you.
and what we'll do is we'll put out a statement later on this morning that actually gives you the actual coastline impacted and the assumptions that are associated with that, so you actually something in writing. >> all right. thank you. >> next question. >> well, i tried. >> your next question is from jaquetta white. please state your affiliation. >> hi, jaquetta white with the "times-picayune." already asked on the phone. we had some trouble hearing the questions in the room. but i do have two questions. one, what is the status of the massachusetts? has it returned from mobile yet, and when will it begin the discover enterprise for anotherand then the second, if you could just run through, again, what the considerations will be in july 1st, assuming that the -- all the oil that is escaping is being captured? i know the ability to operate during a hurricane will be one, but what else will you consider in deciding whether to take the
something else in its place? first of all, let me apologize to everybody on the phone. i just realized that when i was giving my brief i had a piece of paper over the top of the speakerphone. so i am the source of your problems this morning. i'll try not to do that tomorrow. the massachusetts is the tanker that we use to offload the amount of oil that's been shuttled to mobile, alabama. location, but we will release that later on this morning. we'll just go find out. i just -- i just was not aware of that when i came in this that. just to restate, because the question was asked here in the room, let me -- let me state one more time for the folks on the phone. we will have a decision to make after we reach 53,000-barrel production, which is the maximum we can get out of exploiting the flow from the wellbore casing itself, and the choke, and the kill lines to three different production platforms. one will be the discover enterprise, another one will be another production vessel that's being moved into place right now, and the third one is the q4000 that is on place right now, and it is flaring both gas and oil to get rid of that so iteverything else we're producing and bringing to shore. the cutover point will be
somewhere around the 1st of july when we have to make a decision to go to a more flexible, more survivable system. but that will involve unbolting the riser pipe from the lower main riser package, and there will be an element of vulnerability there while we bolt a new system on board to allow us to basically achieve what we hope will be 90 percent containment. and that's where that comes from. is that responsive? i guess i'm also curious what to decide -- i thought it was almost a given that you would off and put this better sealingand now it sounds like >> it's possible that that won't happen. and so i'm wondering how you're going to >> no. i think a certain number ofif we hit around 53,000-barrel production, and we have minimum
krahn well we'll just -- we'll just operate that way until the relief well is finished. the added issue for us, however, is that we have hurricane season coming; we need a better way to be able to hook up and disconnect from the production facilities if we have hurricane that is separate and distinct from the production issue, but it certainly creates a vulnerability. if we were to stay at the 53,000 barrels with three different production platforms up there, and just have to disconnect those in a hurricane, we have better options with the floating riser connection. so there's a capacity issue whether or not we can -- if that is enough, is that good enough. and the second thing is survivability, and what we do during a hurricane. and those both will have to be taken into account. next question? >> operator, this will be the last question for the conference. >> your last question is from richard harris. please state your affiliation. >> hi. richard harris from national public radio.
two quick questions. yesterday the -- you stated the drilling had gotten down to almost 10,000 feet. did they actually get 700 additional feet overnight? >> i look at the number each morning. i have to go back and look at what i said yesterday, but it's an incremental increase over the day before. and, as i said, we're at -- we're at 10,677 feet this morning. and i'd have to go back and look at what i reported yesterday. i get the latest number when ibut they make a variable amountsometimes -- depends on the they're kind of angled over; they're not going straight down. they're actually -- they have diverted, i think, about a 33° angle from the original wellbore that was placed below the drilling unit, and now they're directional-drilling back towards the pipe to try and close on it. and what i'll do is, we'll get the difference from yesterday to today and we'll explain that, if that would be helpful. >> yes, that would. and, also, i'm wondering why, since your flow rate task group came up with a range of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day, why you think the end -- the lowest end of the range is the most
probable? that's not usually the way scientists express that. >> well i'm taking the input from marcia mcnutt, who's the head of the flow rate technical group. and i think what they're doing is they're trying to accommodate a range of analysis and opinions by the subject matter experts to make sure they're all represented there. there are some that thought that the difference between the pre- riser cut and the post-riser cut flow rate was negligible or nothing at all, and there were some that thought it was, youthis relates to the different views on how the data is examined and analyzed by a number of experts. and we're not trying to exclude anybody and make sure it's fairly representative. the wide range is there. there are some members of the group that think it's muchbut i think the thinking of the group, as represented by the --thank you. >> thanks. >> thanks, folks. >> all done. >> a c-span crew recently went to say catholic -- a st. patrick's catholic church to look at relief efforts that local fisherman who have lost work are receiving.
we spoke with relief workers and some of the fisherman. -- fishermen. >> my name is myrtle phillips and i am from koran by you -- grand by you >> what brings you here today? >> to get a food voucher and other help. i am a commercial fisherman. >> what kind of fishing to you do? >> shrimp. >> how long have you done this?
>> all of my life. >> have you gotten help here from the catholic charities? >> yes sir. >> what is the process like for you? >> we have been here since 4:00 a.m. this morning. we are now no. 7. there were seven people ahead of us. >> so this is first come first served? >> yes sir. we came last week and we got here at 710 a m and we were no. 85. >> we are distributing food vouchers. these are $100 for local grocery stores and we also wanted to offer winn dixie coz there are some food items that the stores do not have that the public wants.
some people like to purchase the jasmine rice which some stores do not have. we want to accommodate them. >> myrtle, nice to me to. here is your card. are there any children in the household that need diapers? >> in a server. >> how many people are in the family? just me. >> i need to to sign here. >> my ancestors have been here for 300 years. not only is it a way of life, it is our heritage that is going with it. >> have you received anything from bp? >> no, not a dime. i have put in applications to go work and i have never received a
call, yet. >> we went through katrina and we thought that was the end of the world, but we bounced back from that and i guess we will bounce back from this, too. we lost everything in katrina. we had to tear down and dismantle. >> do you mind if i come with you? >> not at all. >> i have been shorting for 69 years. i got it from my local. my dad was a former. it is freedom when you are out working. especially when you of the boss, you do what ever you want to do. you can stop whenever you want. i probably put in 12 hours or 13 hours.
>> what kind of help have you received? have you received anything from bp? >> yes, i got to checks from bp already. [inaudible] i just got mine a week ago. >> what kind of help to you get here? once we get food stamps -- >> he gets a food cart or a gift certificate, not food stamps. we give them a $100 gift certificate every week. they are able to get a gift certificate and then we pay one bill for up to $200 every month for them. at the end of the month, we will in roldan into long-term case management and that helps them to develop a plan for restructuring the lifestyle that they will be seeing in the future. >> self-employed fishermen.
i have been raised and going right here on the gulf coast everybody is shutting down. we cannot work. we are getting assistance right here for food. so far, [inaudible] everything is under question about that. the only thing we can do is wait it out and see what happens. >> we are allowed to distribute for the wheat three we can do $125 at this location. we will do 75 today and 50 tomorrow. we do have to turn some people away because there are more than 125 families are living here. >> [speaking vietnamese]
>> where does that hundred dollars come from? >> from my understanding, it is billed to bp. we had an agreement with them. i am not sure if it got extended periods it is my understanding that a lot of it has been coming from bp. -- i am not sure if it got extended. it is my understanding that a lot of it has been coming from bp. >> coming up next, a defence department briefing on u.s. troop drawdown in iraq. following that, a member of the afghan parliament talks about
the future of his country. that will be followed by discussion on campaign finance legislation. >> the u.s. and russia account for 90% of the world's nuclear weapons. in april, both countries signed a treaty to reduce that number to levels not seen since the 1950's. secretaries of state and defense urged the senate to approve that treated you can see that testimony on saturday morning on c-span. >> this weekend, on c-span2 " book tv," kai bird in his book. charles bowman and vietnam veteran carl marlantes. find the entire weekend schedule at booktv.org.
join us on twitter, more than 10,000 viewers already have. lt. general is the deputy general for advising and training in iraq. he also commands the training mission. he briefed reporters at the pentagon about the time line for iraq taking full responsibility and the transition to advise and assist mode through the this is about 25 minutes. >> is my privilege to introduce the general. he began his tour in october of last year. this is our first opportunity to have him back into the briefing room in this particular
capacity. obviously, he is such a crucial element of the iraqi mission. we appreciate you taking the time to come and give us an update and take a few questions. we hope our colleagues will join us. general, thank you again for the winning us. >> okay, thank you. and good morning. let me -- i'd just like to start off with a few comments, and then take your questions. i know we're all watching the process of the forming of the iraqi government very closely. but what i've been watching more closely is the development of the capabilities of the iraqi security forces. in my current duties, i work daily with u.s. forces-iraq, nato, and senior iraqi leaders to build the capabilities of iraqi security forces throughout iraq. i'd like to take a couple of minutes to tell you what i'm seeing first-hand, then take your questions. everyone knows the iraqi security forces have made remarkable progress since 2004.
thanks to a lot of hard work and sacrifice, the security situation has improved dramatically. violence is down more than 50 percent since this time last year when iraqi security forces took the lead for security in the cities, and down 90 percent than we experienced at the height of the surge. however, there is still progress to be made. yesterday, there were 11 attacks -- three of them effective -- producing two iraqi security force casualties. still, given the progress i see, my honest assessment remains that the iraqi security forces will be ready on 1 september to take full responsibility for internal security. i'd like to now give you a quick thumbnail description of the iraqi security forces, and a sense for their developing capabilities. first, it's important to note that we've moved beyond force generation, building -- moved from building large numbers of iraqi security forces to focus on force sustainment, with a shift in effort to the specialization and professionalization of the force. the ministry of defense has put over 245,000 personnel in uniform and has managed the world's fastest-growing army,
navy and air force. the army is a very capable counterinsurgency force, with more than 238,000 trained soldiers, who are preparing to transition from a counterinsurgency-focused force to building conventional defensive capabilities. the first of 140 m-1 tanks will begin rolling in this summer, and the iraqi army has already trained 65 tank crews, with more in training now who will be ready to man them. the army is actively training at 11 iraqi-run training centers across the country, honing specialized individual skills and working towards a large joint training exercise planned for april 2011. the air force now operates more than 100 aircraft and has nearly doubled in personnel in the past year, set to grow to 10,000 airmen. they are training their own fixed-wing and helicopter pilots. on election day, the iraqi air force flew over 120 sorties, providing intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance with real-time downlinks to their operation centers. they also provide essential airlift and battlefield mobility. the iraqi navy is also growing in size and capabilities. they possess more than 50 vessels, used to protect offshore critical oil infrastructure, territorial waters and the commercial ports. the navy conducts 50 patrols a month in this mission, a 300 percent increase in patrols from this time last year. they have been fully responsible for securing one of the two critical oil platforms for over six months. additionally, the first of 15 new u.s.-built patrol boats arrive later this summer, and the first crews for those patrol boats, 50 iraqi sailors, are currently training in louisiana today. the iraqi counterterrorism forces are the best in the region. they are very experienced, conducting warrant-based operations every night across iraq. similarly, the ministry of interior has fielded a force of more than 410,000 police. over the next month, they will begin the transition to police primacy, where the ministry of interior and police forces take the lead for internal security.
at the federal and local levels, police are increasingly capable, making iraq safer for the citizens of iraq so they can participate in the democratic process, something more than 62 percent of eligible iraqi voters did just three months ago. but there's a deeper story here that goes beyond these statistics. not only are iraqi security forces better trained and equipped, but they are changing their approach to the security mission in fundamental ways -- true paradigm shifts that are unique in this region. while still developing, rule of law and democratic policing are becoming the norm, with a focus on protecting the population. counterterrorism operations are all warrant-based. and the iraqi judicial system is evolving from reliance on confessions for convictions to one that relies on hard evidence and forensic science. and we are starting the initial steps to integrate the forces of the kurdish regional governnent into the iraqi security forces.
security forces have also embraced institutional training and have fully acknowledged the importance of sustainment. in the defense forces, we are seeing the emergence of a noncommissioned officer corps, another unique paradigm shift in this region. finally, they have taken the lead in the day-to-day training as well, leaving our forces focused on training the iraqi trainers. so the investment and sacrifice we've made are creating real opportunities for a more stable and secure iraq, and for a long-term strategic relationship with iraq. i mentioned earlier that iraqi security forces will be ready to take full responsibility for internal security on 1 september as the united states forces' mission transitions to operation new dawn. more than just another phase in the responsible drawdown of forces, new dawn puts our main task -- to advise, assist, train and equip iraqi security forces -- into clear focus. and it is a critical milestone in the progress that has been
made. while there has been much and tremendous progress, in building the capabilities of the iraqi security forces, much hard work remains. and some essential capabilities are still being developed. however we are on track to achieve our mission: to build the minimum essential capabilities of the iraqi security forces by december 2011. in tactical terms, the last 100 meters toward seizing an objective is the most critical part of the mission and the point where the commander brings all those resources together to close with and achieve his objective. i believe we are at this point now, in the last 100 meters of this critical mission. so with that, i look forward to your questions. thank you. courtney. >> you mentioned in your
statement -- at the end of your statement that there are some essential capabilities still being developed. what are some of those? >> well, let me do a quick review of where i think iraqi security forces will be in december 2011. i think the ministry of interior and the police forces, as i said earlier, will be fully capable of providing for the internal security of iraq. the army, while they will have fielded all of their 140 m1 tanks, that does not equal a combined arms capability, a conventional defensive capability. so they will not have fully developed that capability. the iraqi air force quite frankly will not be able to provide air sovereignty. they'll have two of the components of air sovereignty: the ability to see with radars, respond with a command-and- control capability. but they will not have the capability to respond with some sort of aircraft. and the counterinsurgency forces, i think they'll be fully capable to continue these counterterrorist operations into -- beyond 2011. yes. >> did you say that was -- i'm sorry, did you say summer or december of 2011? >> december. >> december. >> 2011. yes. >> sir, let me go back to your opening statement. >> sure. >> you have said that the size of the iraqi army is 245,000? >> 248,000.
>> 48,000. >> yes. >> okay. my question is, what's the size that you think that the iraqi forces need reach in the upcoming years? >> well, iraq -- that's a question for the iraqi leadership to determine. i know that they're in the process and just have initiated some studies to analyze what should be the final configuration of the iraqi security forces. but in the short term, i think we need to add about 1,200 more to the iraqi special operations -pforces, and they'll be ready o go. we've just recently added to the navy, for their ability to man the increasing number of platforms. and the air force still needs to grow a little. so they're -- as i said, they have a number of studies ongoing, and they're studying -- and they're looking at what they should be, how many divisions, what type of configuration. but i think we have an opportunity to shape that in the near future.
i think we have an opportunity, as i said, to help the iraqis achieve police primacy, where the ministry of interior and police forces are in control for internal security; get the army out of the cities. and that also allows the army to focus on and train for their conventional defensive capabilities. so i think in the next 18 months those are two opportunities which we must initiate and then help the iraqis through. >> and just to follow up, then can you give us an update about the status of the sons of iraq right now? >> right. the sons of iraq are being -- it's a government-of-iraq-run program. you know, i left iraq in september 2008 -- correction -- yeah, september 2008; came back just last september. and one of the surprises that i saw was how the sons of iraq had
been adopted and it is now an iraqi government-run operation. they're being paid regularly. forty percent of the sons of iraq have been incorporated into government of iraq institutions, with, i think, 30 -- correction, 40,000 have been, with 30,000 incorporated into non- security institutions. so it's ongoing and it's working, and the iraqis have -- are running that operation. yes, luis. >> general, when september 1 comes the mission becomes a training- and-assist mission, you're talking about how the iraqis are shifting from a coin focus to conventional. is that what our forces are going to be doing mostly, they're going to be helping them shift towards conventional training? >> well, we'll be helping the iraqi police provide for the internal security. and as i said, we're going to start the process this year of transitioning the iraqi army's focus from being a counterinsurgency force to one that has conventional capability. so, yes, our forces are involved in that, right now training m-1 crews, but i think we'll become more involved as we seize this opportunity before we depart. >> and the police training mission, how long do you envision that one going on for? >> well, we're going to do it until december 2011, and then
one of the transitions we have to manage is the transition to inl, state department. and that's on track. i think it's important, when you look at training iraqi police, especially, it's iraqis that are training it. they have 18 training centers across iraq, all iraqi-run. i went to two down in al kut just two weeks ago, and it's iraqi commanders. we have maybe one civilian adviser in each of the training centers. so we're not training iraqi police, except for a few specialized skills. the iraqis have it. they run their own logistics for the police. we're focused on helping them field these specialized skills -- forensics, canine teams, counter-explosives, criminal investigations. so that -- the transition of the iraqi police to an iraqi-run operation is well on its way. and this transition to the state department, i think, is well on its way, too. . .
>> what -- so if the iraqis are already training some of their own police, then why -- i mean, december 2011 is, like, 18 months away. why would state even have to take over the mission at any point? why couldn't the iraqis just eventually assume the entire mission of training them? >> well, i mean, there are still a number of: they'll be good enough; will they be where they
finally need to be with full capabilities? no, i don't think so. for example, we have six forensics labs in place now. we're going -- those are going to be expanded to 10. that requires a lot of training to be able to train the technicians there, and also get the judiciary to accept forensics as evidence in their courts. we're still fielding canine teams. you know, as you look at this region, canines are -- i had concerns about it. but the iraqis have adopted it. they've -- they're training not only the canine handlers but also vet techs, veterinarians, et cetera. and that's under way. some of these training programs are i'd term under construction. we still need to help move them along. but there still will be a need for advising and further professionalization after december 2011. >> and when state takes over that mission in early -- late 2011 -- and the u.s. military will essentially be gone for iraq. >> right. >> so will it be diplomatic security that's providing security to those state department people on the ground there? will there be -- do you think there will be a bump-up in the number of security contractors coming in? and then, also, there's this
request from state department -- >> right. right. >> -- for some large military equipment, black hawks, mraps. >> right. right. >> do you know what the status of that is, if that looks like something they'll need? >> first of all, about the equipping requests: i've not seen a specific request. i've -- we've -- obviously we've coordinated this transition with them. but the -- you know, the first concern of any commander is force protection. you know, i've got 1,200 american soldiers spread out all across iraq on some 50 or 60 different installations. i worry about force protection every day, even though we're down to 11 attacks. and some of those -- some of those areas are very secure. so i think it's prudent for the state department to take a look at it and ensure that they have force protection in place for their forces 18 months from now. as far as whether it's force protection or contractors, i couldn't answer that. i just don't know how they're going to pursue them. yes. >> when we get down to 50,000 in september, what will that 50,000 look like in the way of, what types of units will that be mostly? is it mostly special forces? or -- >> no. it will be mostly advise-and- assist brigades from the united states army. and their mission will be to partner with iraqi security forces and provide advice, assistance to them as they continue this development and build their capabilities. we'll also have about 1,200 trainers working in the institutions, in the schools and centers across iraq, because
one thing we want to do is build this institutional capacity, which i think is well on its way, so it endures and is self- sustaining after we depart. so one of our goals is to link iraqi institutions with american institutions and other institutions in nato. and i'll give you a few examples. there's being constructed an iraqi international academy which will eventually be a regional studies center, which has links to -- will have links to the nato defense college, to the marshall center, to the national defense university, to help as i said become a regional studies center for security issues. i talked to our united states army training and doctrine command commander, general dempsey -- who had my job a couple years ago -- about, how do we tie the iraqi army schools into our schools? and we're going to pursue that. so a number of programs along those lines.
we want to make sure that whatever we do here will endure and be sustained by the iraqis after 2011. yes. >> yes, going back to the iraqi air force, we heard lately that the iraqi government has requested the f-16 from the u.s. government. can you talk a little bit about that? >> the iraqi government has requested f-16s from the united states, and we're now in the process -- as you can imagine, it is a very complex process which involves state department and congressional notification. and we're developing, based on their request for the specific capabilities that they want: what does that package look like, when can it be delivered and, obviously, what the cost of it is going to be. so we're in the process of developing that back here in washington right now. >> well, when do you expect that the process will end and they will receive those? >> i couldn't answer that. and as i said, it depends on some milestones that have to be
met back here, working through the state department and congressional notification. and it's something that'll be managed here in the administration. so i -- from baghdad, i could not answer that. but i know the iraqis are interested in and they have requested f-16s. yes, sir. >> yeah, you've been talking about shifting the iraqi army from a coin capability to a conventional warfare capability, with these 140 m-1 tanks, and i presume other supporting capability. >> right. >> is there any kind of threat orientation to the -- to this shift, to the training that you'll be giving, in terms of these new capabilities? >> we are building it on a capabilities basis. an iraqi navy, for example, must be capable of protecting the critical oil infrastructures, territorial waters and the critical ports; an iraqi air force that can provide air mobility, isr and air sovereignty; an iraqi army that can protect the sovereignty of iraq and protect its borders. so that's how we're focused on
building capabilities. but i will tell you, in conversations with senior iraqi leaders, the iranian threat and iranian activities in iraq comes up as they talk about future capabilities. and so it is -- they are concerned about it. they look at these iranian surrogate groups -- kata'ib hezbollah, asa'ib al-haq -- which are active in iraq still, not only attacking u.s. forces, but iraqi security forces. and i believe these activities are creating antibodies in iraq. so we're building towards capabilities, but the iraqis are very aware that they live in a neighborhood where they must be able to protect iraqi sovereignty. >> sir, you spoke about this upcoming exercise, joint exercise in april. >> right. >> are we talking about a tabletop? is this a real-field -- >> no. >> -- exercise? and how different is it? i mean, are you going to require additional forces than what you
need now, with different capabilities? >> no, it's going to be mostly iraqi forces. and the iraqi minister of defense has issued an order, and the planning within -- by the iraqi joint headquarters and ministry of defense has started. it will be a naval -- some sort of naval exercise, vicinity of umm qasr, hopefully with some of the coalition forces there. it will be an army exercise, we think centered around their large and very capable training center at besmaya, maybe using some of the m-1 tanks and some other capabilities they have. it will -- we think it will also include iraqi special operations forces at possibly another location, and probably some sort of senior-level seminar to talk about security concerns in the region. so stillldeveloping now. the iraqis are planning it. and, but it's scheduled for april 2011. >> so the u.s. role will be much -- >> support. we could participate with a
modest number of forces. that's still to be determined. but this is iraqi -- they've got the lead in this, and we're supporting them. >> if i could go to september again, it sounds like what's going to happen in september is that the number of forces -- the forces that remain are just going to be pretty much doing exactly what they've been doing right now. it's just the number that's significant. >> i think -- you know, i've read something from secretary gates which he says, this is an important milestone in our evolving relationship. our mission is going to change. the mission of u.s. forces will change to a focus on as i said advise, assist, train and equip. so that's significant. and a lot of it as you said is ongoing today. the progress and capabilities of iraqi security forces have allowed our commanders to already focus on this. but 1 september, it will become official. and all of our forces in iraq will be focused on this very important mission. and it's more than the 50k. it's a change in mission. it's -- i think as i said it's a milestone, as we continue to move forward.
yes. >> general, viola gienger from bloomberg news. can you talk a little bit about the leadership skills in the iraqi military and police, and how those are developing and how much further they have to go, and also about compensation? and what -- how would you gauge the current risk of potential corruption? is that still a lingering concern? or is that taken care of? >> no. first of all, corruption remains a problem. it remains endemic in iraq. iraqi leaders i talk to realize it and realize they must do something about it. they've taken some steps, in standing up some of these inspector general offices in both the ministries i deal with -- ministry of interior, ministry of defense -- and some corruption activities.
but we have a long way to go. we've told our iraqi partners that if you want to attract foreign investment, you must deal with this. so i think the -- it will be a major task for the new government. the iraqi leadership in both the ministries and in the forces is very capable, very confident. they've been fighting, you know, for six years. and the cream has risen to the top in both the police -- which is a remarkable change from the bad days of the national police back in 2004 and 2005. now the federal police is a very professional force. in my nato hat, we have italian carabinieri who train them every day. and they are very well led and professional. in a recent poll, 80 percent of iraqis who were polled expressed confidence in their iraqi security forces, which i think is the strongest testimony to their professionalism and their
development. >> can i just get a quick clarification? >> yes. sure. >> when you -- you were just answering another question. you said that this is more than 50 -- it's going to be more than 50,000. you didn't mean, though -- >> no. i mean -- i mean, it means more than 50,000. >> okay. >> yeah. [laughter] i certainly don't want to leave here saying -- >> no, no, no, no. that's not the headline -- otherwise i'd go back to baghdad and never be able to come back. >> they seem to be doing that to you anyway. >> no, no. >> all right. well, if that's it, i want to thank you all for coming. and thank you, general, for taking the time. >> great. >> i know that we tend to focus on other theaters right now, but this is very important. and thank you for this. >> great. good to see you all again. thank you. >> thanks, general. >> thanks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> general david petraeus
testified on afghanistan this week before the senate armed services committee and continue to support the president's plan to begin withdrawing american troops from that country beginning next summer. we will show you his testimony tomorrow, starting at 12:20 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> now, a member of the afghan parliament talks about what he sees as afghanistan's ineffective government under president karzai and offer suggestions for improving the lives of afghans. this event at george washington university last about nine minutes. -- about 90 minutes. >> good morning, and let me welcome you to george washington university, to the elliot school here and to our roundtable -- our ambassador
roundtable series. even though not a formal ambassador, he certainly is an ambassador for the afghan people to the united states, and vice versa. this is the 45th in a series where we have had either ministers with responsibility for counter-terrorism or ambassadors representing their countries in the united states to talk on some of the challenges their countries are facing, both domestically as well as --. we are delighted today, and we have some competition. if i were not here, i would be glued to the t.b like many of my friends are, with your consequences that if i were living in somalia, were watching soccer is not an option. the stakes and the outcomes for today's discussion is great as the world cup is, are much greater. obviously, the future of
afghanistan not only has great impact to the united states, but most importantly to the afghan people. we are delighted today to have someone shared his perspectives and his pulse as to where afghanistan is today, where it is going in the future. most of the "newsweek see and hear in the united states is rarely positive -- most of the news we see and hear in the united states is rarely positive. there are reserves that are untapped, both copper and lithium, but obviously, afghanistan has its hands full in terms of challenges. politics anywhere is a contact sport. it is obviously a difficult set of issues, but i think in afghanistan is much more so, where increasingly politicians to stand up against the taliban and other forces find themselves in very tough
positions, including assassinations. most of you read just last week the young 7-year-old who was hanged because his grandfather was trying to push back on some of the taliban in the region, and obviously this has some significant consequences for all our books. i just met daoud today, but i have read some of his statements over the years, and the resonated with me. this is someone who is fighting not only for better afghanistan, but someone who is standing up and making bold statements, as well as the need for faster, quicker, and better political reform in afghanistan. politics everywhere is tough, and is that much more so in afghanistan. we are delighted today to be able to host daoud sultanzoy,
who is the chairman of the economics committee in the parliament in afghanistan to share some thoughts with us. maybe 20 minutes, and then we will open that up to questions and answers. we also welcome our c-span viewers this morning. >> thank you very much for the opportunity. the most important thing of like to say today, probably the most important part of my statement, is to think the people of the united states for their generosity, their sacrifices, and their willingness to persevere against all odds,
where politics dictates other things. the people of the united states at this point and afghanistan recognize that the stakes are so high, it is not just about security in afghanistan, but the extension of that stability or lack thereof can affect not only the region but beyond that region. you look at the demographics of afghanistan, about 85% of the population of that country is below age 25. again, i think the people of the united states -- thank the people of the united states. we appreciate the sacrifices that your young men and women have made, and the fallen soldiers in the country will not be forgotten. it is for freedom, for dignity of human beings, not just one country. while it is easy to politicians to use slogans like civilian
casualties to legitimize their presence, it is important to recognize the sacrifices and say that these people are there for a cause. even civilian casualties happen when taliban and the enemies of freedom are hiding in civilian areas and the cause the civilian casualties, but it is not talked about in that fashion because it is not popular. some of us talk about it. i will tell you a story, just about two months ago in a village near kabul, about 60 kilometers west, there were as a -- there was a house where people got together and said
they were burning the koran, the holy book of muslims. some got on a soapbox and try to take advantage up that story. we should have the courage to stand up and bring people back to reality. so i took that liberty and said, let's wait, let's investigate and see if the americans are so 90 or so reckless to come to a muslim country and step on a holy book of the people, does that make sense? tour three years later after the investigation was finished, it was discovered that the taliban had done this. some politicians have to be courageous and sometimes stand up and tell the truth, especially in those parts of the world, because everything has become personalized.
systems are built around personalities, and systems collapse after those personalities have gone. therefore, that is what we do not have continuity. that is why we are fighting for a system where people cannot, systems count, not personalities who you systems as their choice. -- who use systems as their choice. it would be better for me to touch on a few things briefly and then open the floor for questions. i am sure it will be more productive that way. i would like to just go back and revisit the situation in afghanistan after 9/11. after 9/11, afghanistan became a very popular subject. the international community's interest created an unexpected level of expectation.
that expectation was not managed. some of the expectations were realistic, some were unrealistic, and some of the tension was genuine. some was just a byproduct of the intrinsic attention that cost everything. on one hand, the unprecedented amount of media coverage, that aid money and the attention of the international community, and on the other hand, the inability of the afghan government, the weakness of the afghan government, created a very complicated situation which was mismanaged by the afghan government. we still have not had the courage to acknowledge that. in the third years of war in afghanistan, we have turned into an asian that feels a sense
of -- turned into a nation that feels a sense of entitlement. the political leadership in our country has not taken the leadership to emphasize and reinvigorate the necessity of national responsibility. that usually should start from the top, on the political leadership itself. that has been lacking in afghanistan. that is why when the mission started in afghanistan, the people of afghanistan were wholeheartedly a very enthusiastic and totally with the mission. slowly, corruption, lack of rule of law, bad governance, some bad choices by the afghan government, and at least the lack of ability of the international community to recognize certain sensitivities and cultural differences and other things created a recipe
that was creating a failure in front of our eyes without us recognizing it. slowly, the people started drifting away from the process, and the government of afghanistan, the leadership in afghanistan did not have the ability to recognize that and stop that. the gap became a vacuum, a void in which the people who were unhappy about the government, the regional players in iran and pakistan and perhaps other countries in the region and beyond, they found this opportunity to instigate further instability, because america was there, because the west was there and this was an opportunity for them to get even with america. so i think we cannot ignore those factors.
the most important factor that i always come back to and always point to is our own self responsibility of the nation as a government. that has been very anemic, to say the least. with that, the result of a weak government, the result of a lack of law, the populations alienation created a vicious circle. now the government lacks even a perceived legitimacy that should exist in a government after an election. that in itself has become a negative energy, and the government itself, in order to regain that legitimacy, instead of going to the people to find that, they are trying to go to the donor countries, to the other countries who are helping us, and they are seeking
approval and legitimacy elsewhere, where legitimacy should be with the people of the country. this is another mistake we are making. we are busy looking at washington, tokyo, berlin, paris for approval and legitimacy. the closest, easiest place to go and seek that legitimacy is probably in the villages of afghanistan and the homes of afghans who are suffering from corruption, lack of real law, and the resulting effects. for example, you all have self owns, electric -- you all have cell phones, and electric bills. how many of you go to pay your electricity bill and have to bribe people to accept your money that you should be paying? in afghanistan, have experience myself as a member of parliament, i have asked someone to take care of the electricity
bill and go paid for, and he comes to me and says we have to bribe the person so we can pay the bill. this is unacceptable. or in order to pay your telephone bill, you have to bribe people. or go in deposit or withdraw your money from a bank, you have to bribe the bank to accept your money or to give your money. nobody will accept this. that is why the legitimacy should be reborn. we need to pay attention to those little things. the little things make the biggest difference in countries like afghanistan. i do not want to depict the doom and gloom picture here. the situation that has created the attention that the world has paid to afghanistan has given us some by-products.
freedom of speech, the media, achievements in the telecommunications area, legitimate commerce. these are all things that people did themselves with their own initiatives, investment, and the efforts of free enterprise, people or trying to make a difference in the private sector have created opportunities. these freedoms are also at stake at this point, if we allow things to reverse, and the course is teetering on that edge of reversing themselves. those freedoms that are becoming part of the day life of the afghans are in jeopardy, so we have to be very careful. i am very astonished when i hear
in the past few months in different capitals of the world, that we are not in afghanistan to promote democracy. we do not want the american style of democracy or the french or german or european style of democracy. we live in societies in the 21st century where people are looking for basic services, basic individual civic freedoms that humanity needs to conduct its daily affairs. for good governance, for better justice system. these are the essence of democracy. afghan burdo different than americans or europeans when they seek those things -- are no different that americans or europeans when they see those things. a government that guarantees the freedom that every individual thashould enjoy.
that becomes the driving force for democracy, for people's participation to take care of their daily affairs, to create a system where they can participate in governance. for lack of a better government in afghanistan, in order to allow people to conduct their daily affairs and govern themselves, this again takes us to a situation where democracy becomes the only choice for the people who want to improve their lives. whether we like it or not, democracy is the choice that people cannot walk back on. there is no other alternative for it. i think the international community and those societies to enjoy a and are sitting on the moral high ground and enjoying democracy, for them to say we are not interested in democracy in a country like afghanistan,
it is hypocritical to the entire islamic world. then if we do not do anything, what will happen? those societies will fall into the hands of tyranny and extremism. can we afford that? look at france. just a few months ago, afghan and pakistan refugees were in camps outside paris. why were they there? there were not there to have a good time. they were there because they were looking for some freedoms, economic and political. if we do not pay attention to countries like afghanistan, to provide an opportunity to help those societies have better government, better systems, then where will those tens of millions of young people go to?
either they will be absorbed by extremism in their own societies -- some of them can travel. they will go to european countries. by extension, can the united states of for that in the long run? it is only logical and practical to create opportunities in their own countries for them to thrive and prosper and at least live a dignified life in the 21st century. in the past few years, the economic mafia, which has consisted of drug cartels, warlords, and those to gain government positions from the circles, they have treated --
created a political mafia in the country that right now is threatening one of the most important opportunities after the presidential election hamas and horry were, which is the parliamentary election. if we do not pay attention to this parliamentary election, in the only opportunity that the people of afghanistan have to regain self confidence, to regain the trust in the system they are embarking on an experiment they are undertaking, then we would have lost a very, very important opportunity. therefore it behooves our allies, especially the united states of america, especially those of you who are aware of the value of democracy, the value of people's ability to exercise their well, to make sure that we all raise our
voices for a free and fair election, if it happens. the most important caveat in my opinion is security. right now, the latest report that have, at least half of the voting centers in the country were declared unsafe or unmanageable because of security. i am not saying that elections should not be held, but they should be held so that people can participate in them. if not, the question should be answered basically in the next few weeks, will have better answers. the security situation improves and is such that we can have fair general elections in most of the country, then i think this is a good opportunity. otherwise, we have to weigh this very seriously, just because we should hold elections to fulfill
some political calendars in kabul or in washington or berlin are tokyo, i don't think we should shortchange the taxpayers of the world who are helping us or the afghan people. there are other issues to talk about, but i would also urge good questions that will be raised, and i will address those things. there are 23 other issues that are -- that i will touch upon -- two or three other issues that i will touch upon briefly. we had a piecpeace jurga. some said it was an unnecessary waste of time. in a country where you are embarking on a democratic experience our process, said the exercises of that sort index six
exercises of that sort are more beneficial than not having it. the majority of the participants were not elected. there were close to 1700 participants. the majority were not elected. probably about 300 of them were elected members. i was one of them. still, there were 38 committees, and i visited most of those committees and tried to play a role because there were many who wanted to derail the freedoms that we have achieved in the media and in the field of free expression. they wanted to curtail those things. i recognize that, so we visited every committee, and there were vigorous discussions there. there were vigorous debates, disagreements. the conclusion, i thought this
was a very good exercise, for getting the political reasons for which was held. none of its recommendations are resolutions are binding. they came up with communiques, as a major before it was held to change the name. it was initially named the peace jurga. then we said in the presence of a constitutional system that has the separation of powers, where the parliament legislates, this jurga has no legal jurisdiction and authority to come up with any sort of resolutions. that is why the name was changed, and the resolutions therefore are non-binding. they are all recommendations, and the government of afghanistan can take those recommendations and turn it
into the main points of policy and then bring it to the parliament for approval. that was a good achievement, in my opinion. another thing i would like to talk about is managing the afghan affairs. lately there have been some rumors or at least discussions that afghanistan is going to be subcontracted to pakistan again. i hope that the united states as the main driver of international effort in afghanistan does not look at afghanistan as an extension of anybody's power in that region. afghanistan is a nation. it consists of a proud people there. we are as proud of americans -- as proud as americans. we may have poverty there. we may have had worse, that governments, but one thing that
is important, and i disagree with so-called afghan experts when they say afghans do not want governance, they do not like the rule of law, they are unruly people. they do not like this or that. they forget to pay attention to our history. we have never been governed. we have always been ruled. a group of people who have never been governor, how can you conclude that they do not like governance? how can you conclude that they do not like the rule of law? if there -- everything has been at the whim of a few individuals, cousins, brothers, warlords, sons and daughters. if they have ruled the nation for 2.5 centuries, then we come and write books about that nation, that is a very reckless conclusion at the very least. afghans would have to be
governed in the 21st century to be part of this world. the world with all its problems requires harmony. the world with all of its challenges ahead of it requires harmony and cooperation. even if a society does not like it, we cannot just leave it and walk away. we have to provide the tools so that society can embark on the same jury that the rest of the world is on, in my opinion. for that and other reasons, afghanistan should not be looked at from be indian or russian or any other lens. we have to clean up and look at it through its own landens. we have to prove it to that region that prosperity and progress in the region, economic
opportunities in the region, can create an opportunity for afghanistan to be a bridge. is a very, very obvious thing, which brings me to the last point i would like to make, about a trillion dollars of natural resources that afghanistan is sitting on. we have been privy to some of this information for a while. it is trillions of dollars of natural resources that the country is sitting on. the thirst for raw materials is from china, and the rest of the region there and beyond. it will be who must pay attention -- behoove us to pay attention to how to take care of those resources and not give them into the hands of those who will not only lude but pollute
at the same time. this is another challenge that if not mannish, can be a curse also. with that, i would again like to thank the people of the united states, you are institute, a new ladies and gentlemen for being here, and i hope i can answer all your questions. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much for a very comprehensive picture, and one that i think people need to hear and understand. obviously, we have many unanswered questions. i am not sure we are always asking the right questions, but i will take advantage of sitting where i am asking the first, and then opening it up to the audience here. by the way,loot and pollute,
that is a pretty good bumper sticker. it almost goes without saying that economic growth and prosperity cannot occur without security underpinned by the rule of law. the question i ask is, who really is the rule law? once you get outside of kabul, it is obviously a very different sort of territory. i was struck by the comment made by the reason resignation of the intelligence minister, who had claimed that basically, karzai felt that the united states and the west was not committed, has cast in his lot with the taliban in pakistan. obviously that does not bode very well for a long-term picture. i would be curious what your thoughts are on that particular statement. also, how we could actually get to that point where we can have even enforcement's.
in all alone, it is how we enforce those laws and the spirit behind those principles. i would be curious how you see that potentially emerging. finally, the peace jurga, one of the messages i think came out loud and clear from the recent event, which of course is a positive development, and goodness the suicide or homicide bombing attempt, which was not successful physically, but it was successful in terms of getting all the western media to focus on that event. i think the taliban is recognizing that even failures technically could become strategic successes. how do we change that tie to focus on the things that really matter?
>> one of the ways we can take care of some the problems you alluded to with corruption at the village level oracle the national level, or even international corruption that we cannot ignore, is that in a country like afghanistan, the rule law and from top down, respect for law and order, nepotism, all the circle of influence and interested parties who were allied with the president or with other groups, they have created an aura and also a group. the people of afghanistan look at it and say they are
invincible, beyond approach, untouchable in the sense of -- first of all, they have political strength. second, they have arms, and at our expense they have gained a lot of wealth also. all these things have combined and created a group that sooner or later, if we are not careful, they will also control the destiny of that nation for many decades to come. so the rule of law and accountability, not only national but international accountability, should not be just a rhetorical slogan. what has the united states or the rest of the world have the -- help the afghan government accountable in practice? on one and we talk about these things, and on the other hand we say and do something else. this sends a mixed signal. it is just like raising a child
that is misbehaving. if you give them everything they want without holding them responsible, what happens eventually? i think holding everybody accountable and responsible -- >> you are not saying things have to get worse before they get better. >> know, things are much worse. we have to turn things from rhetoric to practice. i was present at a gathering were the president opened a seminar about fighting corruption, about five months ago. they created a new entity, the high commission to fight corruption. my comment, and immediately after the gathering to the media was, we do not need commissions and committees in seminars and conferences to fight corruption anywhere in the world.
if you have laws, if you have a prosecution, if you have courts, and if you have crux, what the need to do? you do not need to give seminars. just put those four things together and get results. there is no lack of corrupt people and high officials in that country. we have laws, we have courts, we have the police, we have the prosecution. all we need to do is have the political will to put the whole thing together. i was sitting about 30 meters away from where the rockets fell in a big tent where the jurga. even in the u.s., you cannot provide 100% security when it comes to terrorism. terrorism is a phenomenon that only population participation, civilians participating in securing their environment, and
giving them the incentive to participate, can give us the most percentage of security. but there is no such thing is 100% security anywhere in the world, in my opinion. for that sacking, the best thing i can say is that this sacking was in the mix weeks and weeks and months before this jurga. i saw the signs, and this is the consolidation of power. when people want to turn into strongmaen, they consolidate power, and they go into areas where the security apparatus is and they want to clean that up and bring their own people. this was in the mix for weeks and months before.
>> finally, taliban and other entities -- i would be curious how many western foreign fighters you are aware of in the region. next-to-last estimate is about 3500 to 400 non afghan fighters among the taliban forces. i would say about 15,000 to 20,000 mediocre taliban. some are really hard core taliban, very few in my opinion. others are profiteers of war, and at the group's two are turning -- unhappy groups who
are turning to weapons. the whole thing is estimated to be around 15,000 to 20,000. in upcoming weeks, you will see the numbers swell, because they will probably try to recruit more people to disrupt the election. therefore you will see an upsurge in violence and more in security in the vulnerable parts of the country. we are already seeing those signs. but if you went to -- it is a shrinking thing in the wintertime. they just a hibernate. when that snow melts, the comeback. >> if you could please identify yourself, and turn on the mike. >> at the beginning of your discussion, you talked about the
personality being the driver of people themselves. what does it take to put the systems in place that will ensure that the people are the drivers? >> a very important question, actually. it has been eight years that i have been talking to some colleagues in the international community. on one hand, billions of dollars are being spent on many things. the most obvious thing where there is a huge imbalance in the country is political activities in the country. we have student groups, we have islamic parties, we have the regional players who are pumping money into political organizations and media organizations. but the international community has not been able to listen to
the voice of those who want to create a pluralistic, national political organizations and parties. the only way you can create a nation that believes in systems is to create the core of the system which is political organizations that are beyond regions, beyond linguistic divide, and alliant -- beyond religious divides. afghanistan has consisted of so many regions and so many sections and tribes. the only uniting ingredient for the future of that country in order to really make it that nation that sustains itself politically is to create and allow political parties to grow and balance the imbalance that exists now. we need to change the system to a parliamentary system. let's assume today that we changed that system to a
parliamentary system in afghanistan. who would be winning the most of the seats in that parliament? the islamic groups, the extremist groups, the political mafia and the drug mafia and the cartels that are in power in the country. what would happen again? the majority of the people would not have a voice in that parliament, and the political turmoil in years to come. >> it has been said that political forecasting has made astrology look respectable, but i would be curious to what you see the political forecasting in elections occurring in september. where you see things going? >> if we leave things the way they are today, i think we will have a worse parliament and had. -- then we have had. we will have more extremist
elements in the parliament. we will have the influence of some of the banks that are fronts for money in that region. we will have more people aligned with drug lords and fringes, not the mainstream society. it will be a parliament that is controlled by probably one or two people, and that does not bode well for that picture of a stable afghanistan or and afghanistan that can be a good ally to the west. some of the countries in that region are waiting to fill these voids and vacuums. this would be the opportune time for them to fill up those seats, and they are doing it. they are spending money. they have had along time to establish intelligence networks and they are alive and well and very active.
>> president karzai has made a point that he is at least open to the notion of reiterating the were modern elements of the taliban into the new system. can that work, or can that strategy be viable while at the same time we are experiencing the systems building that you have been describing, and at the same time also pursuing the more extreme elements on the battlefield as other options? >> it would be very 92 say that we repeat it would be very naive to say we can eliminate those two can identify with the taliban. in many ways is a troubled country. most pashtun areas that are insecure or have lacking security, are not taliban.
because of the geography where they go to their sanctuaries, to pakistan and iran, their training camps, naturally that area has become the most sensitive area. we have taliban who belong to the northern parts of the country, but nobody talks about that. the international community has to realize one thing. it is the act but dan -- is the afghan government's job to create room for all political persuasions. one mistake was made, which was probably by default, that the northern lowlands avail itself to the u.s. forces, and when the u.s. came to afghanistan, they saw everything through the northern alliance lens. that created the recipe for disaster is we are experiencing now. we sell everything for their
lens, through their interpretation and their support system that existed. that triggered a political imbalance in the country, and that was one factor for many afghans defecting or at least going to the sidelines and becoming indifferent about the process. otherwise, to be -- and recognize that in time and given them a sense of ownership in the process and the new government, i don't think we would see what we have seen today. i think we have to create room very carefully and very cleverly and maneuver a process where those who are identifying with the taliban and who are not taliban can come back with greater legitimacy in the government' where the ranks of the taliban will shrink back to where they were in 2001. >> what would be the litmus test for reconciliation, and how would that be overseen over
time? what could you see some of the principles being? >> this would be processed. first of all, there has to be a process of confidence-building between those who want to talk with the afghan government and those of us who were credible afghan politicians who can become involved in the process. we have to take the lead and create a confidence-building process. that process will require certain bold moves by both sides, i taliban and by the afghan government and also by our international allies. it is hard to list all of those things, but there is an array of things that one can do from our side. you have to realize that they cannot continue fighting for ever, nor will they talk to a
week afghan government. we have to talk to them from a position of strength and from the moral high ground. we have to regain that moral high ground first. >> let's turn to one of the other big questions i think people are grappling with, and that is looking at regional solutions. you have some the countries in the neighborhood. i would be curious whether or not it can even be done without regional approaches. i am thinking specifically of india, and obviously that iran question. i would be curious what your thoughts are on that. >> it is probably one of the most essential elements of bringing stability to afghanistan and stability to the region. . .
level playing field. pakistan has to prove that it is a country, it is a nation, illegitimate legitimately. we have the right to be there. we do not have to apologize to pakistan or india or iran to choose our allies. the afghan government should not be apologetic to the rest of the world for being allies of the u.s. they are good allies and it is necessary and good for both countries. has pakistan asked us who they should be allies with? has p[unintelligible] why should we apologize to the rest of the world for being allies with the west? we have experienced alliances with the soviet union, we have been neighbors with pakistan and iran and we had that experience. the united states is not going
to back afghanistan and take it away. -- bag afghanistan and taken away. -- take it away. it is logical for our government to make a decision and explain it to the people of the world, we do not need to apologize for being somebody's allies or choosing someone as an ally. it is a very natural decision that a nation should make. they should speak courageously in front of the world that this is our right. and then that right after recognition of that right, a level playing field, pakistan, iran should recognize we exist and we will build a relationship based on cooperation and mutual respect.
use the other one. we have alternatives. >> [inaudible] >my question goes along the line [inaudible] the work we have reported, the gao has reported [inaudible] in spite of the donor nations. give the variety of things the strategy is seeking to achieve, how to prioritize what needs to be done and how to you address the shortfall going forward? there is an economic global crisis that impacts the donor
nations contributions. what should be done going forward? >> when the afghan national strategy was being prepared and it came to me, to the parliament and when i looked at it, there were so many priorities. we'll have to many priorities, there is no priority, in -- when you have too many priorities, there is no priority. it was a nice wish list, a dream list and some were achievable. some are not practical. when you draft a plan of that sort, you have to base it on reality and capabilities you have and the achievements and capacities you have built. otherwise, we all want to build 15 highways in five years and we have -- what factories and our agriculture production. is it practical? it was not a practical wis.
we have to revisit the needs. -- it was not a practical list. and the realistic capabilities and recalculate those things and create a new calculation based on new calculations. i will give you an example. 85% of people's livelihood depends on agriculture in that country. yet in that seven years from 2002 to 2009, only $247 million was allocated to agriculture, which was an obvious disastrous performance. we should have paid more attention to agriculture from the beginning. that would have given us the
impetus and also the necessary decision making to pay attention to irrigation, to roads, to other things and go to exports. that would have prepared an economic -- propelled and economic growth but we did not pay attention. we raise the subject during the introduction and we are revisiting the whole thing and paying attention to agriculture. the $18 billion shortfall is inaccurate. it is a number that they are projecting. nothing is realistic in that number. i think if you look at the a.n.d.s, you might have to
come up with more realistic numbers. none -- we have not paid attention to the potentials. in terms of agriculture, energy, in terms of mining, tourism is a long shot because of security. that is also potential. >> please identify yourself. >> i have two questions for you. >> make sure they are easy. >> sure. everyone i speak with [inaudible] everyone feels they are better managers than the government. it is a failed government and it has to be rebuilt. how would your bill that? on the ethnic divide, you have the national security structure.
when you have two pashtun policeman [inaudible] something is wrong. where is the money going to come from when we leave? it is not sustainable. >> true. this takes us back to their original point it was making. -- i was making. the best security and nation can have is through the suspicion of its citizens. you cannot secure through military and police alone. the united states is a major example. community involvement and participation, empowering people, giving them the ingredients with which they can feel good about the process. they are part of that process
and in the process, they feel a sense of ownership. we have not done that in afghanistan. the afghan government feels that the afghan people should be privileged they are governing or rolling them. even in the private sector, if you go to restaurants, the waiter comes to you, you should be happy he comes and talks to you. in the u.s., it is the opposite. he or she comes to you and they want to serve you. culture, we need to create this culture in that country in terms of civic responsibility. 30 years of war has ruined the nation in many ways. no one has the courage to talk about that. no one has the courage to take the leadership and reinvigorate the sense of responsibility the nation should have. people of a nation should have. not only in daily life but also
in terms of security. in order to create a good army, where do you regret that army from? from the people. if people do not have a culture, how do you turn regional individuals -- to think about the religious devices into a3 you have to instill a national culture and i can only happen if you have a leadership -- that can only happen if you have a leadership that inspires people towards that end and we have not had that yet. everything in afghanistan from then until now has been created based on allegations. we have to give this group that many seats. you cannot create a government that way. everything should be based on professionalism, performance, dedication, and credibility. that we have been lacking in that, in my opinion. the same goes with the national army and national police.
500,000, the total number of national army and national police is projected. afghanistan not only now but with our resources, it will be difficult to sustain that sort of military and security force. civic revival and responsibility, the sense of duty and the government should initiate those things. people cannot do those things. afghans are the poorest people on earth. yet, we are running the risk of turning that country, the culture that is coming to have its grips on that country is a culture of entitlement, a culture of handouts, a culture of drugs and war. we have to change that.
>> i agree with you that one of the main points is parliamentary or reelection. one of the key points. you will need more nato forces or military forces in ablorder o secure the elections? >> definitely. the short answer is yes, definitely. also, if nato does not participate in carrying its own burden in this alliance, nato is running the risk of putting all the burden on the united states and the united states will suffer from fatigue, if nothing else. public opinion in this country,
the fatigue factor on the military and also the meeting of alliance will become a rhetorical thing. what is an alliance? nationally, nato members from britain all the way to the new members from eastern europe have some participation in the afghan operation. this participation in many ways, the u.s. is carrying 99% of the burden almost. we have soldiers from some countries, two soldiers. i am not saying they should bring troops either. the distribution of responsibility in nato is not there and it does not send a good signal. even to those who want to
exploit in the region, they see it as a disarray. at least, a lack of coordination between nato members. parliamentary elections or not, the participation of nato in afghanistan has to be balanced. and parliamentary election can be a good test. those european countries to talk about democracy, those european countries to talk about non- military solutions for the problem of afghanistan, that is the time for them to secure our good election so we can go to the non-military solutions in the future. >> i'm glad you brought that up. that is a significant set of issues. if you read -- the temp check is not always good vis-a-vis the local opinions in europe.
it is more of the countries that are enthusiastic. how're you getting that message across? how are other afghan leaders getting that across to some of the leaders, not only in nato but the european union at large? i would like to build on one of the other questions. the question i have, can afghanistan transformed to where you would like to see it be with karzai at the helm? >> i think -- i would be very straightforward with this answer. we have to create an opportunity for afghanistan, for the people that personalities do not matter. democratic systems should not depend on one or two or three individuals. they should come and have their chance and play their role and
if they succeed within the confines of the role of law and what ever the constitution's this country -- those countries have, they can do their thing and move on. we cannot allow afghanistan to become a new dynasty of brothers and sisters and cousins and warlords and druglords. the u.s. and european countries have this opportunity in the islamic world and impoverished countries. afghanistan is the manageable project. a large majority of that population can say ok, this new world experiences working. the rule of law, people's participation in governance, civic responsibility, systems work, not individuals.
karzai or no, karzai, we should create a system where others can comment produce -- the last question i asked in india is is there an alternative for mr. karzai? it is insulting question to ask the nation of 30 million people. who was mr. karzai nine years ago? if anything, these eight or nine years have produced opportunities that others have grown into credible political positions that can create systems that can sustain and last beyond personalities. >> on the need to question. with other countries have made a commitment. >> there are two or three things that were going on three years ago. people should not misinterpret that. the media is talking about u.s.
withdrawal in 2011. it is -- we have to be careful how we phrase that. it is not a u.s. withdrawal. it is the beginning of probably a long process and yet australia, canada, and holland have had a schedule of withdrawal long before that. in 2005 or 2006, they announced the schedule. one of them was leaving the end of this year and one is living next year and two of them are leaving next year -- one is leaving next year and two of them are living next year. there is no relation between that and what mr. obama announced a few months ago. >> any other questions here? please. >> [inaudible] i am curious about after the
copper mine scandal of sorts, what is being put in place to ensure that the bidding rights will be transparent? >> this is a very important test for afghanistan and for the international community and those countries who, in the name of investment, and exploite the opportunity and lewd and pollute. if you go to africa, this has happened. transparent process requires good laws. and good operators at the helm. the ministry of mines in afghanistan, about four or five years ago, would have started a process of procurement for this copper mine. that process has been
questioned. there are many questions about that process. the mineral rights -- other than copper, there are other minerals in that mine. there are subcontracts. in order to produce energy, there are contracts for coal and that is in question, in my opinion. the amount of coal that is being extracted to produce energy for them in -- that mine is twice as much as is needed for the production of energy. the rest of that energy sold in the market. that in itself is something that has to be questioned and revisited. our donor nations would -- were participating in bankrolling security and development also have the burden to come with us and join us in creating a process with which we have a transparent procurement system
in place. we're not only companies bid but also we have had an experience three or four months ago. the company from the region had been on oil -- bid on oil explorations. they locked the project and won the bid and did not perform for six months. it was discovered they had no ability to perform. it is possible that some countries with lots of cash reserves can come and block mines without exploring it. -- lock mines without exploring it. we have to prevent that. >> how many years are we looking at to be able to benefit? >> it depends on the type of mines. i have looked into this a little more in-depth.
for yourself bonds and computers and batteries and everything. you should buy lithium stocks. depending on the type of mines, some lines are easily extracted -- mines are easily extracted and process. some take time because of the infrastructure it requires. one of the requirements would be roads to some of those regions that the mining can occur. the other one would be energy and we have been sitting on our hands in terms of production of energy for eight years. we have -- i was talking to some people. we have electricity, water, we have wind, the son, coal, oil, gas, -- the sun, coal, oil, gas, and uranium. i do not think that should be acceptable. we should have produced
electricity by now. we have -- because of pakistan and iran we do not want to touch it. this is something we should talk about. electricity that is needed in the country. people are reporting that quality oil from uzbekistan that are poisonous. people have lost their lives because of the chemicals used. it will depend on the type of minds. anywhere from three years to five years is the window. >> you touched on this a minute ago. general petraeus was asked a number of tough questions on afghanistan, particularly in hearings this week. specifically, what if and when the u.s. leaves? let's look in brass tacks.
if the u.s. were to leave, what does that mean for the future of afghanistan? >> if we hear an announcement tomorrow that the u.s.'s leading -- is leaving in 2011, the type of announcement can create a rapid erosion of confidence. psychological effects usually set the tone for further advance. we have seen these things in other parts of the world. premature announcements, politicking with war, wars have to fought or we should not choose to go to war. in my opinion. pakistan's war is not over. if it is over, why are we there? if we have not finished the
work, should we finish it or not? this is an obvious thing. if the war is not finished and if the u.s. leaves tomorrow, in three hours, the afghan government will collapse. very obvious. secondly, can the world afford another boy in afghanistan, especially now that things have changed? the world is not the same as the world of 2001 or 2000. this world is much different. the extremists are more bold. there boulder. look at the suicide attempt, the suicide bombers. -- they are bolder. compare the economic competition. can the world and the u.s. afford to leave afghanistan? the american people, while there
are economic problems, i totally understand it. the taxpayers' generosity is not just to help the country like afghanistan. your lifestyle is at stake if the world becomes more and save. europeans and americans will not enjoy their life style. look at how you travel today. compared to 15 years ago. how much time do you spend at the airports? how many pairs of shoes are tested so it will not -- even now, you have to take them off. you can use your imagination and extend this and project it. if the world becomes further destabilize. do you think this kind of lifestyle will be sustainable? i do not think so. >> do we have anymore questions? up front first.
>> icould you comment on two items. education and health. what international groups are involved in helping? what is the status of education of girls? >> as the father of four daughters, i like that question. >> education, i am sure that you have some sort of time with india. you know when india made the decision in 1947 to spend time and efforts and invest in education, 30 years later, they started reaping the benefits. it is education that is propelling the indian economic expansion today. there is no doubt that education will play a very important role
in the life of the people in afghanistan and the region. not enough attention has been paid to education. men or women. education should be gender blind. if you do not have been educated mother, she will never be able to raise an educated son or daughter. education for women is more important than men. we have to start somewhere. in a country left at that -- like afghanistan, we have to pay attention to man's education so they can except education for women as well. the health-care industry -- the mortality rate for women, pregnant women, women giving birth is the highest in the world. every three hours, there is a mother dying in childbirth. that should not be acceptable in the 21st century. it is almost criminal to allow
that to happen for a mother. >> what can the international community do to sobor you? >> one of the things that can help oversight in afghanistan is, the donor countries should hold themselves and the afghan government responsible. the oversight should began with self-policing of the donor countries and holding the afghan government responsible. we have a court in the country waiting to bring people to justice and one telephone call from this fellow or that fellow can derail the process. the parliament should play a very important role in the
oversight process. before coming to the united states, i was working on a draft to change the rules and procedures, to create an oversight committee in parliament. we do not have that. india has it, the indian parliament. i cannot remember the name. it is accounts and oversight committee. their job is to oversee all accounts and all performances by government or non-government organizations. the parliament should play a role. the international organizations and there are some international ngos that need to be made examples. the government should realize it is not just them but the international community is serious about fixing its own problems also. >> a question over here.
>> here in the u.s., overlooking at to afghanistan through a national lands in terms of the lack of leadership from the national government? should we look at success stories that are occurring on a local and provincial level and trying to emphasize we're leadership is being provided by afghans at those levels, and how can we do that? >> we sometimes talk about negative thing so much that we forget there're achievements. the country has achievements. not everyone is correct in that country. not everyone is a crook. just the fact that people are looking for justice and government and rule of law, it speaks volumes that people want to fix these problems. these problems are in the larger
perspective, they are an anomaly for our nation. i think we have judges, we have district governors, we have a few governors, maybe a few ministers, a few parliamentarians, a few private sector and entrepreneurs and businessmen who are honest people. in a country where the rule of law is not -- does not have the right grip, those who do not obey the law can pollute everything quicker than those who obey the law. the punishment and reward system should be created in such a way that while we bring people to justice, we should reward those who are obeying the law and promoting harmony and the role of law and the country. >> one last question. this is one that perhaps may be difficult to answer. i would be curious whether or not you see the commitment in
your neighbor, in pakistan, to address and not only vis-a-vis the fata region. what sorts of relationships pakistan and afghanistan have looked to try to build in a bilateral way to address from u.s. interest perspectives, al qaeda. >> the u.s. is a good ally. the united states government should be able to talk to the pakistani government and talk them out of this perception of paranoia. they live in paranoia. they think everyone is out to get them. >> [inaudible] >> afghanistan is not out to get pakistan. it is not the other way around. in practice. definitely, the indian-pakistan
relation is something that has to be discussed. pakistan's performance should not be based on its relation with india. india's relationship with pakistan, they should create a separate track. they could start cooperating in the fata region. that cooperation could become a foundation for regional cooperation. before we do that, pakistan has to pass through some litmus tests. the u.s. is spending billions of dollars in pakistan. pakistan has received = if not more money in the past 10 years from -- equal or not more money in the past 10 years. pakistan should become more sincere about its performance. pakistan should become one pakistan. not the pakistan of the
military and non-military. one pakistan under the rule of law, under a civilian rule of law and democratic values. the same thing in afghanistan. we could achieve much more that way in a transparent fashion. >> before we say thank you, this was a tour de force. your pension is contagious. you've covered so much territory. -- your passion is contagious. let me leave you with the token of our appreciation. a coin with a quote, "see truth and pursue it steadily." i hope you puseek truth and pursue it steadily. [applause]
>> i don't want to change the mood. i want to thank everyone and thank the people of the united states for their generosity and sacrifices. the job is not done. it does not mean that we have not achieved a lot. i think we will achieve more if we persevere and continue and not give up. thank you very much. [applause]
>> next, a discussion on campaign finance legislation. then president oobama. the latest on the oil spill cleanup. >> in his campaign 20 tenure way with the c-span video library. we make it easy to follow the primary season, from the campaign trail and the debates, to the victory and concession speeches. all free, on-line, any time. >> a look now at the camp icampn finance bill. this is 40 minutes. to clean up the spill and fight the oil spill. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is john bresnahan, a senior congressional reporter with
"politico.com" newspaper. -- "politico" newspaper. i want to show you a few headlines. here is the hill newspaper. and finally, your story from about 1:00 a.m. last night, "how a campaign finance deal backfired." what is the campaign legislation that the house is working on? guest: this is bill 5175, which is the disclose at. it casts light on spending elections. it is a response to a supreme court ruled in january that the high court struck down restrictions on corporations and unions being involved directly in campaigns.
host: citizens united case. guest: exactly, and this is the congressional response to it. this bill will impose a new disclosure requirements on corporations or outside groups that want to engage and express advocacy. host: would it turn -- return to the days of mccain/fine gold campaign refinance? guest: no, it would not. groups would be allowed to expressly run ads, but they would have to disclose their involvement in these ads. host: does this campaign finance law address the court's decision? guest: this is the response to the january ruling, to that ruling. it struck down decades of campaign finance law, which
would have restricted corporations from being directly involved in campaigns. this is the congressional response saying, okay, we cannot stop that they are doing it, but we want them to disclose that they are. host: in an earlier article that you wrote -- how did that language come to be? and is language often used like that, that is that specific? guest: no, it depends on the bill. it was marked up in committee in may and they were going to bring it to the floor several weeks ago. the national rifle association, which is a very powerful
organization, was opposed to it. the democrats knew they could not pass the bill if the nra was expressly against it. congressman chris van hollen, the lead author of the bill, he carved out this extent -- exemption. this was really aimed at the nra. it exempted the nra from disclosure requirements in this bill. and the nra did not oppose the new legislation. they just said they did not support it. at that point, it looks like the bill was going to come up for a vote this week. host: we want to get you involved. we are talking about campaign finance loans.
-- campaign finance funds. the numbers are on the screen. please allow 30 days between your calls. john bresnahan of politico is our guest. what about unions? do they fall into this language as well? guest: there would be covered by that. they would not be exempted. host: who is for it? who is again ist it? guest: the chamber of commerce and a number of other organizations feel this#ua is n infringement on their activity. they are opposing this bill. also, other progressive groups such as sierra club. what happened is that during the week, there were complaints
about the exemption given for the nra. the democratic leadership decided to lower the limit on a number of -- and lower the limit on a group. but the sierra club does not like the bill anyway and is opposed to it. they're going to oppose the bill anyway. it and different blocks of members -- and different blocks of members within the democratic caucus, blue dogs, they were opposed to the legislation. and the caucus was opposed as well. host: why? guest: they were concerned about the treatment of the naacp and tax treatments and whether they could jeopardize their step --
their tax status. and they also did not like the special treatment for the nra. here we are doing a bill to require disclosure in politics and we are giving an exemption for one of the most powerful interest groups and there is. -- most powerful interest groups their resourcethere is. host: do they just have to disclose who founded an advocacy or an ad campaign? guest: it deals with a lectionary communication, which is an ad saying, vote for joe schmo, or against joe schmo. they would have to say, i mdot acencio x and i -- i am not cce
and i approved this data. under current law, they do not have to reveal owners. these nonprofits and the 501-c3 that covers them, they are saying, this is not public. why should we make it public now? host: they are afraid it will impact donations? guest: right. anyone who even funds to the data -- to even funds these advertisements would have to be disclosed. the democrats' argument is, look, you cannot stop corporations and unions and nonprofit advocacy groups from being involved. but what is the problem with
disclosing? the public has the right to know who is involved in elections. the public likes it when they know who is the political -- was behind the political clout. there is no reason not to know who is doing this. host: the supporters of the bill are saying that. guest: yes. host: who are the supporters? guest: nancy pelosi, congressman van hollen. there's also some bipartisan agreement. this is a first step for the democrats in -- imposing any kind of limits. host: how close is the vote? 433 members of congress.
guest: it is unclear. they started whipping it out earlier in the week. it looked like by yesterday they had gotten what they needed. it was going to be the two republican co-sponsors. and i'm not sure there will be any republican support. then you have these two factions within the democratic caucus, the congressional black caucus, and the blue dogs. host: that is 40 to 50 members. guest: exactly, so, you have these is significant blocks. and any legislation that nancy pelosi and van hollen were pushing would have to be almost entirely democratic votes. so, they have to hold onto their democrats.
to try to rephrase your question a little bit? caller: yes. i live in south texas. i'm a frequent caller on c-span. i own firearms. my wife is a school teacher. and i just see a lot of in-fighting among people who are confused with both. so i really would just like to ask your opinion. host: so it sounds like his wife is a member of a teacher's union and he is a member of the n.r.a. guest: i think it's important that people understand that groups like the n.r.a. and advocate groups is really important to the function of democracy and important for them to have a vote here. what the issue is, is money and politics, what we're getting
down to. money and politics. and who is funding what? and how big a role money plays in elections. to many people the spring court's ruling in january was a major setback and setback decades of campaign finance law. for others it was a victory for free speech and first amendment laws. that there's no reason individuals individually or collectively why they shouldn't have their voices heard. i think it's important to note that as a journalist, for me, disclosure is the important thing. i would like to know who is paying for ades -- ades. -- ads. why they are paying for it. to advocate for a governmental
outcome for legislation for a bill, for an administration to take some action. so i think there's a lot of difficult issues here. >> when it comes to all the bills in congress, the budget and tax extenders bill and financial regs, where does this rank in the priority list? >> well, i think president obama has made his views known on this. i think a lot of members take this very personally. they want to know who is going to be, you know, funding ads against them in an election. i think they are very concerned about way it is process can be manipulated under the citizens' united ruling. i think there's legitimate concerns about that. let me give you examples. what if a company -- there was a bill on the floor and the company was opposed to it and they sent their lobbyist in to
see the chairman or chairwoman of a committee and said we're opposing this bill and by the way we reserve $2 million of ad time in your district. that's a powerful message and one that would put the fear of god in a lot of congressmembers. we have to value the rights to be heard but protect our political classes and keep the integrity there as much as possible. host: barbra from pennsylvania, you're on the air. caller: thank you for c-span. you do a great job. i am really concerned about this passage through this. i thought it was planning. because -- and especially, the people that say, oh, the government owns this business, and the government's trying to take over this business. do they realize how they open
the door for business to own government? and not even disclose it is so wrong. guest: i think the caller raises an interesting point. i think one of the biggest concerns members have for folks who cover the federal office and work in politics is the amount of time spent fundraising. in the 2008 elections, candidates and incumbents and challengers spend over $5 million and that number keeps risingg it impacts the quality of our government. i think people outside of washington, i think this is the hardest thing for them to realize. there's a first amendment right. people should be involved in politics but the california senate race is going to cost $ 10 million-plus.
t most an individual can contribute is $400,000 per person. that means they need to get thousands of people on their side. if you have to see thousands of people are you doing an effective job now? and where are they going to go? special interest groups who raised it. and sometimes that's seen as giving a new impact on what happens legislatively. it's a very important issue and a difficult issue. a lot of journalists don't understand it as well. but you talk to members, they take this issue very highly. it can't be done in a 30-second sound bite. but it's a critically important one. host: jane from baltimore. you're on. please go ahead. caller: yes. hello. i was watching rachel meadow back during the debate, and i
remember, like, almost every day they twonet town halls and where people were getting crazy. and i remember when she was exposing not all of the stuff because we don't want to all call all the tea party people crazy, but she was exposing some of this stuff to be setups of the corporations. so i have two questions. my first question is would this legislation pretty much do what rachel mado was doing, and two, what do you think the chances are for a clean energy bill this year? >> there was the issue of arrest astro turfing where corporations or advocacy groups were kind of beginning up some of the protests -- gining up some of the protests.
but frankly a lot of it was concern over the health care bill. this wouldn't address that. this goes specifically to election engineering questions. as far as an energy bill, it's not an issue i cover every day, but the senate is the challenge there. it doesn't seem to be a lot of con census coming together. the schedule is very tight. it's an election year. we've got the supreme court nomination coming. afghanistan, campaigning, there's a lot going on. i think right now the odds are against an energy. right now i would stay odds are kind of stacked against it. >> john bresnahan, a lot on capitol hill advocating or not advocating for this law? guest: there's a lot of interest in this for instance, some of the campaign finance
reform groups want this bill. they are supporting it. campaign legal center. democracy 21, campaign watchdog groups. their main focus is finance reform. they are advocating as a measure, you know, they like to see more. they were unhappy, very unhappy with a united citizen ruleling but at least this gives some disclosure and who is funding what, on the other hand you have some very powerful groups aligned with this bill. for instance, commerce, which is the largest bill association, association of manufacturers, association of real tores. very powerful organizations lined up against it. so there are -- may not get all the headlines a lot of time but there's a lot of interest going on here.
host: will he grange, texas. caller: good morning, peter, john. guest: good morning. caller: you know, i really have a hard time with the supreme court's ruling. from what i understand d.c. was nothing more than swamps and they drained the land and build the capitol. how the court can say that a corporation, they were formed during jackson's administration. he knew where it was headed. i do not know how the court can reach this kind of decision. another thing, i do not understand why the same corporations, if you are employed by them and you accept a dinner for $125 to sway you, let's
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