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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  April 28, 2011 10:00am-1:04pm EDT

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enormous number of resources people can look at. host: david masci, thank you for being with us on "washington journal." that wraps up our program today. very busy weekend on c-span. no. 1, white house correspondents' dinner will begin at 6:45 p.m. eastern time on saturday night. c-span will be bringing you the red carpet, as always, and we will be bringing you all the speeches, the president, the entertainment. we will have all evening plan for you on c-span1. if that is not your cup of tea, join us on a c-span2. the "l.a. times" book festival is happening this weekend and we will be live in los angeles on saturday and sunday. call-ins planned, and go to for the entire
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schedule of events. we will be back tomorrow., because all sorts of things are going on today. thanks for being with us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> and here is what is coming up live today on the c-span network. after noon, a look at the recent crackdown on syria protesters. the u.n. security council failed
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to agree on condemning the government. that is live here on c-span beginning at 12:00 p.m. eastern. we continue looking at presidential politics in iowa from woc radio in davenport. that will begin at 3:00 p.m. eastern. the white house says president obama will make personnel announcements. we will have live coverage at 3:10 p.m. eastern. the president is expected to save leon panetta will replace the defense secretary. that will be on c-span 2. joint chiefs of staff were at the national press club this morning to talk about developments in the middle east.
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this event is one hour, 15 minutes. special welcome to our guest, admira michael mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staffho is here for the fifth consecutive year. thank you very much for being re. it is early. earlier than we usually start, and so a double thank you for this full rung. i was thinking that we could view this as good practice for tomorrow when we have to get up even earlier for the royal wedding. [laughter] . we may not offer quite as much glamour as a royal wedding but i'm sure we'll have a lot of interesting substance to deliver here today thanks to admiral mullen being here. admiral mullen has served our country for 43 years, ever since graduating from the naval academy in 1968 and going off to
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fight in the vietnam war. he has been chairman of the joint chiefs of staff for the past four and a half years and before that was the chief of naval operations so he has served as the very top of our military leadership under two presidents, democrat and republican alike, which says something about how they view him being a straight shooter and a very talented man. it is also been a period, a decade of continuing war, endless war. and so he has the job of running those wars. the world is not a very peaceful place. the embers in hot in north africa and the middle east in iraq, afghanistan, north korea, iran and we're keeping a wary eye on china as well. that's not to mention the
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continuing threat of stateless terrorism or the invisible threat of cyberattack and so since these are some of the worries that admiral mullenies from day-to-day but, of course, he's also concerned of the leave and the forces down there and putting pressure on many defense establishment. and these are some of the topics we'll address with admiral mullen, again, welcome and thank you for being here. before we get to the hot news of the day, today's headlines and yesterday's headlines, in recognition in like five months or something in the end of your terrific military career, i thought i'd start with this question. in your long service and especially in your tenure as in
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your joint chiefs of staff chairman, what did you see your principal accomplishments and strengths? and on the other side of the coin, what has particularly concerned you about the military operations, its reputations and its country and the world. >> from its accomplishments i guess i'd put at the top of the list having to go into iraq in 2004. and assuming the job of cno in 2005 and 2006 were the navy at that time is putting thousands of sailors on shore and coming in as chairman just as we initiated the surge and remembering very well actually as if it were yesterday how bad things were there and i was in iraq last week. and it's night and day.
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it's truly been an extraordinary shift change and the creation of an opportunity for 26 million people that just didn't exist a few years ago. and that came at a great price, obviously. and that is a reflection, i think, of our military's ability to adapt and change from the classic conventional force to -- i call it the best counterinsurgency force in the world. but it's also more important -- it's a reflection of the extraordinary young men and women who serve, 2.2 men and women, active guard reserve who serve in a joint way many of us could not imagine just a few years ago. and i'm very proud of them. they could not have succeeded without the extraordinary
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matchless support of their families over the course of this decade. families are obviously critical, always have been critical. but from my perspective what's happened in the last decade is they've become important. and even when you're back from deployment, the stressors that they're under as well as those who are actually deploying some believe even more because of the worry every single day when you have your husband or your wife in the fight. so probably the single biggest area that i am most proud of and just privileged to serve for every day are those -- are those young men and women who make a difference. >> and on the other side of the
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coin, while you've perhaps started to answer this question, what has concerned you about -- about the military and the status of the military? i know you've talked about the isolation of the military, if that's the right word, only 1% of the families who are actively participating in the military but there may be other things as well. >> well, two immediate thoughts. first of all, i've spoken consistently about the needs for the military to stay apolitical, in what is seemingly increasingly a politicized world, not just the united states. and i think a lot of that has just to do with the 24/7 news cycle and the need, i think, to ensure that we are absolutely neutral.
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and we serve the civilian leadership, and we need to be very much mindful of that in how we speak about it in how we engage, whether you're active or whether you're retired. so that's something i think we just have to constantly keep out in front of us to make sure we're not coming off track here. i've been in too many countries where that was not the case. it's a fundamental principle for us as a country that we need to make sure that is very clearly and cleanly sustained. and then secondly is what you mentioned, tim. i do worry about the contact we have with the american people. the coming up next we have with the american people. we're less than 1% of the population. we come from fewer and fewer places in the country. and i worry about the things
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that we don't do anymore. through brac we've moved out of neighborhoods all over the country so we're not in the churches, coaching the teams in the schools, living in the neighborhoods. so the relationship or the understanding is often created by just what's in the media and i don't expect that's going to change in terms of physical size. we're not going to move in. i think we have to recognize that as a challenge. and the reason i'm so concerned about it, is america's military must stay connected to the american people. and if we wake up one day and find out that we're disconnected or almost disconnected, i think that's a very bad outcome for the country. so we all to have work on that. that's part of what military leadership must do and also i think in being a two-way street connecting with leaders and the american people throughout the country. and one of the great avenues for that our guard and reserves who live throughout the country, who
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serve, obviously, out of communities, local communities, and i think we can do a better job connecting there to ensure that -- that that very important connection between the american people and our military is healthy. >> we have one more question on this. there seems to be at least here in washington a great deal of support for in particular wounded warriors and people who are coming back from having served and getting out. getting out of the service. is that something that is -- is on the surface -- does it go deeper? do you think that sentiment exists across the country? >> i think it goes much deeper than here. i have traveled fairly
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extensively over the course of the last year, year and a half to meet with local leaders in big cities and in small rural areas. about a month ago i was out in boise idaho a month ago. i find, one, the american people support their men and women and that i ever families, two, that the local leadership that i meet with is -- they're passionate about connecting with our veterans as they return home and their families. and i've tried to work to be able to better make that connection. the way i describe it here in washington, our yellow pages in the pentagon is still about 4 inches thick. those of us that work in the pentagon don't understand it. if i'm out in rural america and i have a good idea, how do i connect with someone in the pentagon or the va to try to get that idea across the goal line
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to help and support our young men and women, and they are by and large -- most of your young men and women are not going to stay in the military, make it a career, although we have a substantial number that do, they are returning at a time at a very robust gi bill so tens of thousands of them are going to school and i think there are generations -- i call them -- they're wired to serve. so they're in their mid 20s. they've seen some difficult times in some cases clearly. but i think they offer a gradually potential in the country and with the local investment customized locally which must be because i don't think dod can do it. i don't think va can do it. i think the three of us, dod, va and communities across the country, working together can focus on employment, health and education. and i think with a small investment there, they'll take
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off and provide decades of service. they, i find, while some of them, and particular the wounded, their lives may have changed but their dreams haven't changed. they still want to go to school, start a family, put their kids in good schools. typically two incomes and they'd like to own a piece of the rock so what i've tried to do is connect with community leaders in ways to be able to create the knowledge of those who are coming home, who they are and where they're going and what the opportunities are with those who have given so much. part of this focus has been for the families of the fallen, those who paid the ultimate price. and sometimes we have to be more active in pursuing them in terms of support because their lifeline has been that military
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member. so the services are all very focused on that and i know in community after community after community they all want to say thanks and to make a difference in their lives so that they can -- they can literally put food on the table and take off for the next chapter of service wherever it might be. >> at the same time, you've also expressed concern about homelessness. you referred to what happened after vietnam in that regard. and we have the new effort by michelle obama and stan mcchrystal who support military families. what's the impetus of that as you see it. >> well, many of the issues those -- the military leadership and our spouses have been working on have actually now been raised to the level of the
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president and the first lady. and the vice president and dr. biden -- dr. biden and mrs. obama have come to together in this initiative called joining forces. and it really is support our military families. and one of the things they do they give a great voice and it's back to this connection piece so i'm very encouraged by that. and it's focused on the needs of our families. and raising the awareness and the opportunity to -- to reach out to them. they are a wonderfully -- military families, a wonderfully independent group. they won't ask for help. it's part of what gets them -- you know, allows them to be as strong as they are, and yet there are -- there are -- we live in a time that has been particularly stressful, tenth year of war, multiple deployments. we see -- my wife deborah sees
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thousands who have post dramatic stress symptoms. kids, children, who are exhibiting the same kind of thing. and again, it's back to this connection. so i really do applaud the efforts. there's been a lot of work that's gone into it and i'm very thankful that the president and mrs. obama and the vice president and dr. biden have taken this on. it's really a big deal. >> let's turn to the top of the news here. we've just learned that leon panetta and david petraeus will be cia director. you've worked with both. you're not going to comment of the nominations before they're made by the president. but hypothetically -- [laughter] >> are there tea leaves to be read in the appointment of a military man to head the cia at
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this particular point in time? >> actually, even hypothetically i can't even answer that question. [laughter] >> again, you said it very well. i mean, obviously, the policy is anything before anything official is announced, i really can't comment on it. suffice it to say, that i've worked very closely with leon panetta as well as with dave petraeus. in dave's case in 2004, and i have a great admiration to both men, who are wonderful public servants and their service in their current positions have been extraordinary, and then we'll see what happens. >> okay. i won't ask my second question on that. [laughter] >> let's turn to the budget. the budget trends today and what they portend.
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you have said that the greatest long-term threat to america's national security is america's debt. you also have said, i believe, the years of pentagon budgets including the off-budgeting of the wars has destroyed budgetary discipline in the pentagon. budgets already tight. personnel reductions have already been taken with senior officer abolished and ses positions as well. i know that you're concerned and many military leaders are concerned about the claim of personnel on resources in the defense departments and the health costs, benefits costs associated with that. how do you view the budget going forward. what are the key challenges as you -- as you see, if you do see, a period of declining
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defense budget? >> well, i do see that. and the reason i talk about the debt as the single biggest threat to our national security is -- it's basically not very complex math. i think the worse situation that we are in as a country, fiscally, the likelihood of the resources made available for national security requirements continue to go down is very high. this is the third time i've been through this. we did it in the '70s. we did it in the '90s. when you look at the data going back to the '30s, our defense budget goes up and down. and it does so on a fairly regular basis. so certainly this is not unexpected from my point of view. what i've seen and i've been in
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the pentagon most over the last decade, with the increasing defense budget, which is almost double, it hasn't forced us to make the hard trades. it hasn't forced us for prioritize and it hasn't forced us to make the analysis and it hasn't forced us to get to a point in a very turbulent world of what -- what we're going to do and what we're not going to do. and so i see that on the horizon and we need to be paying an awful lot of attention to that. i have said the defense needs to be on the table. and i'm comfortable with that. that said, i'm required to articulate our national security requirements and certainly advise the president and others but particularly the president about how we best can achieve them with the force that we have and we find ourselves at a particularly difficult time for, let's say, modernization of our
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air force. we are running out of life in those assets that we bought in the '80s under the reagan administration. at a time where i don't have to tell you or this audience where our national security requirements continue to challenge us. if we'd been sitting here a few months ago, and you asked me what's going to happen in the next couple months, i would not have put japan and libya at the top of the list of countries i'd be sending the majority of my time on for the time that i have. and that just speaks to the unpredictability that's out there. the tragedy and the loss of lives in japan. while there was great focus on libya, at the same time we had almost 20,000 troops and i think 18 or 19 ships in support of that humanitarian assistance and disaster relief for weeks at a time. so the demands, i think, will continue. we just have to be pretty
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measured about what we're going to -- what we're going to do and what we're not going to do. i've been in a hollow military before. i won't lead a hollow military. i know -- i know what one is and what it can and can't do, and i think it would be particularly dangerous in the world that we're living in now to hollow out. so we have to -- whatever we have, however we get to our future, it must be whole. and you talked about cuts in personnel and that's in the 15, 16 time frame, maybe 14 right now. when i was the head of the navy, out of my budget, it was 60 to 70% of my budget every year, and that's active reserve as well as civilian -- the personnel costs were about that percentage of my budget and i've said it this
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way, i need every single person i need but i don't need one more. and oftentimes that becomes the -- almost too easy and say, okay, let's immediately do away with forestructure because there's a lot of money there specifically but we must evaluate that against our overall requirement. i've talked about the health care explosion that we've had in our cost, i think 19 billion in 2001, 64 billion in 2015. that's not sustainable. so i think we all have to sharpen our pencils and make sure that every dollar we have is being spent well. and we need to be good stewards of the resources that the american taxpayer gives us. and i just think we really have to -- we're going to have to do the hard work to get the right. we've got to come through this cycle, and we will. we've together come through in a
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very strong fashion back to what i said in terms of the demands of the national security environment. >> and so do you see the ratio changing, the 60 to 70% of the payroll and associated costs are going to pay the associated share of the budget as you see it. >> i don't know the answer that because we haven't resolved that and we need to recognize the investment as secretary gates have focused on, on the future and how we've talked about that is in terms of -- if we get it right to our people, we'll be okay. if we retain in our military right now this most combat -- the most combat force we've had in our history, if we retained the right young junior officers who have been through this -- if we retain the right young ncos in our officers, we'll be just
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fine and if we don't, almost no matter what the budget, as we come out of these wars, and i believe we will over the next decade or so, then we're going to struggle. we need on the retention aspect but we should not be blind to the cost and investment to make sure we get it right for the overall defense resources. >> let's talk for a minute and i think an interesting question of the relative importance of the uniformed services and whether or not the army's role in that relative scale will recede in that. secretary gate has said that in his opinion, and i'm quoting here, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big american land army into asia or into the middle east or africa should have his head examined.
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and you have told young cadets that they will lead with a garrison force. how about the army, a? and b, what will be the most important roles for the army and air force and we could talk a long time about that. sorry about that. why don't we start with the army? >> i love our army, my army. and one of the great joys of wearing the uniform for this long. and part of the reasons i have been privileged to literally do that is offering me an opportunity to grow in every single job and certainly this job has afforded me this opportunity and i don't think i've learned more than any single subject than our army, who i didn't know well. i knew more about the marine corps because of the navy/marine corps relationship and -- but again i learned a lot more about our ground forces and so -- they truly have been a heroic force
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and both the marine corps and the army. and i've watched the army change. i've watched them go through this counterinsurgency develop its capability in a way and speed i could not have anticipated. when we get -- what do i worry about, when we get in this environment, there are an awful lot of old saw that people have pulled off the show. we went through it before. we went through it in the '90s. i think as we move forward we recognize that we're living in a different world than the last time we went through this or the time before that. that's why the wholeness of this, the comprehensiveness of this challenge in terms of how do we adjust is really important. and i think, you know, a catastrophic adjustment, a massive change in the world that we're living in right now would not be very prudent at all.
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and i certainly take secretary gates' point but my expectation is, most of the senior leaders leadership think we live in this time of, quote-unquote, persistent conflict and we don't know where we're going to be used and we don't know when, but we need to be ready and i think in that regard, all four services, and they're wonderfully unique and wonderfully joint in ways that we hadn't as i said before imagined before, excuse me. and we need the talents and we need the capabilities of all four services. so i think -- i mean, i think the future is very healthy for all four services. there's a tremendously important role for our navy and our air force along with our ground forces. it's really been that combination over our history that has served us exceptionally well. and one of the immediate old songs is, well, let's just
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divide the pie up, the budget, and i think you have to do that very carefully. as difficult as it has been historically and it has been when we see these pressures, i think we need to lead as the president has laid out and as secretary gates and i have talked about, we need to lead with a strategic view, a strategy before we just start taking out the meat ax and the scalpels and just reduce the budget and then just figure out how to meet that meet that number and then after that well, what are we going to do after that? that's exactly the wrong way to do it. and i think a very dangerous way to do it now given the world that we're living in. the framework in which we review our national security requirements has really been the
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qdr. and it's fairly current. a lot of us worked on that. i think given the intensity of the fiscal crisis, the reality of it as well, we need to re-assess that, not throw it out, but look at it and adjust it and given that adjustment, this is where we ought to go. >> let's engage on a tour of the horizon of the world's hotspots, arab, spring and beyond. let's start with libya. can you talk a little bit about how you thought the hand-off to nato has gone? and how nato has performed? obviously, there have been some problems, reluctance by various countries to undertake various missions, shortages of precision missiles among them. complexity of command and
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control but how do you think this nato deal has really gone? >> well, i commanded in nato twice over this last decade, once as the fleet commander down in norfolk for the nato strike fleet and in naples, italy where i commanded all the forces in the south, which included forces that were assigned to the nato training mission in iraq in 2004 when nato took that mission on as well as the forces in the ba balkans. i think someone said it pretty well we've done in 18 days what it took us 18 months to do in bosnia in terms of standing up the command, committing to a mission and execution and i think that speaks volumes about nato's agility in these times certainly compared to where it used to be and i've been impressed with nato and how they
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execute it and, yes, 28 countries are not participating on the combat side but the majority of countries are participating one way or the other, and it's not all about combat or military capability per se. there's humanitarian assistance. there's the kind of support we need in the hair time environment. so i've been very, very pleased with how nato has both stood up to this and executed it. a few years ago, when i first came into this job, both secretary gates and i were fairly frequently beat up by critics who say, can't you get more nato forces into the fight in afghanistan? and, in fact, over the course of the two years, nato has stood up in ways i couldn't imagine just a couple years ago and just like this mission. and i think nato is in a much better place than a few years ago. more adaptive, more flexible,
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more capable. that said, there are some things that have to be addressed that we will learn from this libya campaign that i think not just individual countries but nato as an alliance will have to adjust to -- or adjust having studied those with assistance. >> the assertion in the question is like black and white just because we've -- we've done it once in terms of -- which is something actually we've asked other countries to lead more
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aggressively in previous times and they haven't so to say this is it for the future. i think almost across-the-board, whether it's nato or the united states is -- we just can't be that certain. it's working now. they're leading well. we're in very strong support. the mission is executing well. i fundamentally believe that we've prevented a massive humanitarian disaster that gadhafi would have reaped on his -- on his citizens in benghazi. that's the mission is to protect the libyan people and so in that regard i think nato has been very, very effective. and the combination of us going in early, them taking over, them leading has worked very well. >> various people including retired general dubik have called for, you know, more involvement. military advisors, preparation for u.n. peacekeeping force of
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some sort, and -- and i'm wondering what you think about that? and also whether you think we are following the weinberger doctrine which says you don't go in unless you know how you're going to get out. >> well, i think long term -- clearly the strategy -- and this is really the political strategy is gadhafi is going to be out and needs to be out along with his family. clearly the initial limited mission on the part of what we participate in and participate today is to ensure as best we possibly can the protection of the libyan people. there are many, many ideas on what we should be doing, what nato should be doing and how to do this. i can only say being on the inside, this is as every single
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operation is extraordinarily complex. it is -- it is not -- when asked about well, when does it end and how does it end? those are unknowns right now. there is an extraordinary amount of political pressure that has been brought to bear and i think that will be not only exist but ratchet up. the arab league has pitched in against, you know, a fellow arab in a very, very strong way. so gadhafi is a pariah. we know. and i actually do believe his days are numbered. if you ask me how many, i don't know the answer to that. so i think the political pressure will continue to that emphasized and focused in a way that sees him leaving as quick as possible. he's a survivor.
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we know that. and so it isn't going to be -- there's no easy solution that's certainly staring us in the face. .. >> my question is, is our own security, the united states security compromised by the turmoil in these countries the? no, i survey don't see that right now. and i think we've had a 30 relationship. with egypt.
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and very strong relationship with -- quite frankly up in an club without the military leadership has been handled and continued to handle it. and what is a constant in all three of those countries, is this is about the people. these are internal issues. we have a military to military relations with yemen, but it's not been for that long. we have worked hard to drink them. so in that regard it's a vastly different in terms of both strength and depth and breath, and gym and then it in egypt. and at the same time it is internal and will continue to evolve there as well. your point israel taking. there is i think the most viral strain of al qaeda that lives
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there now and the most dangerous strain of al qaeda lives there, and that we all must be mindful of that in yemen as well. and then briefly, in tunisia, that's another country that this is principally driven from the inside, and so not that the national security requirements of the u.s. -- we clearly need to keep an eye on a fitness to a fact, i don't know, out of the three countries probably the al qaeda threat in yemen is one that is of most concern, although that was a very high concern before recent events in yemen so we will continue to stay focused on them. >> let me see. let's turn to another group of countries. saudi arabia and bahrain. some experts say that
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suppression of protests there will lead to further revolt, including possibly even in saudi arabia, which has been a longtime key ally out there. are we concerned about that? and what are the obligations of what is happening in bahrain for the fifth week? which, of course, has a major installation there, headquartered there i guess. and do we have contingency plans for the fifth fleet if things will turn bad in bahrain? >> i travel in that area several weeks ago right at the height of the bahrain crisis. and a couple of things really struck me. first of all, how strongly the gulf cooperation council has come together, all of the countries, and the message to me was that bahrain is a red line very specifically. secondly, there was a belief
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that iran was behind this. i just don't agree with that. all the information that tells us i've seen is iran had nothing to do with what happened in bahrain, like the other countries it was an internal issue. and i do agree about the extent of the crackdown in terms of potentially opening the door to iran. and i have now seen that this doesn't surprise me at all, iran tried to take advantage of the situation, not just their but in other countries as well. which is no surprise. we all continued to be extremely concerned about iran. i want to reassure everyone that we haven't taken our eye off that ball. iran still continues to try to
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destabilize, they continue from my perspective to develop capability that gets into nuclear weapons. and that they are still the leading sponsor of terrorism from a state perspective of any country in the world. they are more acted out in iraq. and one of the things i have been concerned about is the relationship between the instability in bahrain and how that's impacted our capabilities, or what's going on in iraq as iraq continues to go through the transition. so, it's an area of great focus and great concern. i don't see anything right now that would jeopardize our presence in bahrain, our fifth fleet has been there for longtime.
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and, in fact, the u.s. navy has been in bahrain since the late '40s. we have a long-standing relationship there. and it continues to be a very strong relationship. certainly it's important that we never get to a point, it never gets to a point in bahrain where that fleet, that capability which is so important, providing the kind of security that, and support, given iran's stress, which none of us would certainly ever want to see askew to the point where that would jeopardize. and i just don't see that right now. >> admiral mullen, you recently returned a few days ago from a trip to iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan. let's spend a few minutes on the issues there. iraq, something of an arab spring arising there a little bit which may be of concern. but i believe you're focused during your visit to iraq was on
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a pointed question. do they want us there? does the iraqi government want us there, our military there? pass the end of the year, we have 47,000 troops there now, and i believe that there is only something like a three-week window in which the malik a government must actually tell us that he wants us there or else we will have a train moving out of the country and we will be gone. >> will come as you said where 47,000 troops and the current policy is we will be completely out of their butt end of of december i wouldn't give this, i wouldn't limit it, or constrain it to three weeks. what i said when i was out there, we have weeks, not months to address this issue. if the iraqi government wants to address it, and so others, that
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working is extremely hard. and will continue to do that. we think there are great opportunities with respect to the future of iraq. the challenges are there now are principally political. and the arab spring demonstrations there has certainly not turned into the kind of demonstrations that have existed and other countries. the security environment is good. that doesn't mean we don't have the challenges are that the iraqis, iraqi government doesn't have challenges because there still is a level of violence, but it's the lowest since 2003. i'm comfortable with the development of it and the leadership of iraqi security forces. they tell me that they will have some gaps should we leave 31 december, intelligence in
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aviation, you know, its logistics maintenance and support. so we are aware of that and we'll just have to see what the political leadership in iraq does. >> and are you not concerned that the governance structures and the civilian governance structures have not kept pace with the advance is in security forces, and so that the people of iraq are not seeing, you know, real results in terms of their own daily lives, their own economic and social lives? >> well, the iraq government certainly has some challenges there. although i think they have improved and will continue to improve. they are rich in resources and i think economically, fiscally in the next few years they really will be in pretty good shape. from a security standpoint, again, i think the security forces have performed exceptionally well. so, in many ways the politicians
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to get all this organize. their ministries have developed a great deal from a -- have really improved over the course of the last few years. so they are a much better shape in terms of delivering goods and services then used to be, but they still have significant challenges. >> great. i'm going to ask -- they could have three or four but i'm going to ask if you'd like to ask questions in about five minutes here. if you would, please come to one of these two microphones. pakistan. i believe there is tension in our relationship with the pakistani leadership. i believe that when you traveled there just recently, you delivered a pointed message about the pakistan intelligence service, the haqqani network of
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terrorists which are dedicated, who are dedicated to killing our people. what is the status of our relationship with pakistan? and could it deteriorate to the point where those key supply routes that supply our troops in afghanistan with the needed equipment could be compromised? >> i think theoretically it could devolve, threatened those lines of communications where we bring an awful lot of power supplies and support for the efforts in afghanistan. that said, our relationship is one that continually work on. and right now it is pretty strange. it is straight in great part recently because of the raymond davis? he was the individual that was taken by the pakistanis after a very serious incident where he
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shot two individuals who threatened him. and we worked our way through that, but in working our way through that it really did strain the relationship. so that's what i -- this was a routine trip for me in the sense that i go there about every three months, but certainly it was not routine in its nature because of the strain -- the relationship that had been so badly strained as a result of the davis case. it's something i've invested a lot of my time in because i think it's important we stay connected. it's an extraordinarily complex country, and actually it's an extraordinary complex region. i've talked about our engagement in that part of the world. you can't pick one country or another. it's afghanistan and pakistan. and you have to take the region, put the region into context, if you will, in just about everything that you are doing. so, we've been through a rough
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patch. we've been through before with pakistan. and i'm actually hopeful that we can, that we will continue to be able to build on the relationship. we understand each other much better than we did a few years ago. we are still digging our way out of 12 years of mistrust with no relationship from 1990-2002. that's just not going to be solved even in a few years we've been working with them. it's going to take some time. but i think a partnership, a strategic relationship with pakistan in the long run is absolutely vital to the security, not just in that region but because of the downside possibilities for security, global security. >> afghanistan, neighboring country, as you say you can't consider them together but with 100,000 troops in afghanistan, and many, many thousands more
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contractors. i want to ask you, and i believe the drawdown is supposed to start happening this summer in july, is that correct? and so, what do you see as the pace of the drawdown plan? are we in there for the really long haul? what do you think speak with we will start to withdraw troops this summer. general petraeus has not made a recommendation to the present yet so there's no decision with respect to that. but no question that we will. we just don't know how big it will be, or from what part of afghanistan per se. it does speak to a very important message of transition. president karzai i think the 22nd of march identified seven provinces for transition over the course of the next year or so. and then we are focusing on getting to a point by the end of 2014 with afghan security forces have a responsibility for their
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own security. and we think that's doable. we think we can meet that goal. i, on this most recent trip, which was out in these which is a very tough fight as well as down and helmand, was encouraged by what i've seen from security, improvements over the course of last year. so what you hear about that, i can just verify having been there, that said, visual be a very, very difficult year. it's already started out to be a tough year. we have tragic losses yesterday. we had eight of our airmen who were killed by this afghan airmen who was inside. and every loss is tragic. we know that. these are particularly difficult because it comes from an insider threat. we are working very hard to
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eliminate that. not just we had been working on this. so this'll be a very difficult year. it's a tough year for the taliban last year. it's going to be a very tough year on the talibans issue because they are by and large out of their own safe havens in afghanistan, and they're going to come back and try to take them. and i think they will meet a force that is more than ready for them. we are starting to see signs of reconciliation and reintegration on the ground there. i'm concerned about, one thing, not that i'm not concerned about security, the governance peace, the corruption peace for the governance in a few areas. and i would add rule of law to the. those are areas that have to really start to take traction. and we need to improve in those areas in order to get where we need to get to over the course of the next three years. >> it's an interesting story in
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the paper the other day about people in rural afghanistan who feel that they cannot trust the government or the united states forces there, trying to help them because if they do the taliban will target them and go after them. and on the other side, they don't like the taliban either. and so, what's the answer? >> the talibans are still i think the numbers i've seen, they are in the nine or 10% at that level in terms of how the afghans feel about them. i think most afghan citizens are on the fence to see how this will go. and i'm hopeful that with another year, similar to what we had in 2009, will have much more clarity about what it looks like once we get through this fighting season. so into the october, november time frame, and we're starting
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to see some good signs copies of local leaders, local governments starting to function in certain places. so, i'm cautiously optimistic at this point, but i don't want to understate the very difficulty over all, the challenge we have in front of us. >> please come if anyone has a question, come to the microphone. and let me see. thank you for coming to the microphone. we shouldn't ignore one more country. i'm sorry, north korea and korea in general. very high tension levels there. what are our key concerns? i know you're concerned about that. >> we work very closely with them. it's a critical part of the world to ensure stability. obviously, the proximity to china, the economic engine that china is, our relationship with
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the country, et cetera so awful lot of people focused on keeping that part of the world stable. we do that and great support of the south koreans. and there have been provocative acts and we were a great deal about those. there's also this guy, kim jong-il is not a good guy. and has acted in ways that have been very dangerous at times. the word is competitive secretary gates said this very well, the word is in five or 10 years, he's looking at a nuclear capability which threatens the united states. this is not just about local security, in the not too long run. that potential exists as well. and he is by and large starving his people. we know that. and, in fact, his army which is pretty unusual, is having a pretty tough time beating food this year as well, or through this winter. so it's a very, very tough,
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complex situation and an awful lot of us are focused on a. we need it to be stable. we need him to stop the provocations. and what i worry about his as he continues to propagate, as we look at the succession plan for his son, that the potential for instability and miscalculation and escalation their is pretty high end of great concern. we continue to focus great aunt ensuring as best we can that it has to goes in the other direction. >> and, of course, should a war erupted we are involved, right, because we have a mutual defense treaty with south korea. >> six to one is the ration of contractors or civil servants. yet civil servants continue to endure public -- what is your position on the total force structure and who should be doing the work for the
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government speak with civil servants continue to endure what? >> a lot of civil servant bashing. >> i've worked with our military for a long time. and as i talk about the investment when i was ahead of the navy, the total force, if you will, includes our civilian workforce. they have been extraordinary. and will continue to be a vital part of our force in the future. there's no question about it. they bring a level of skill and continuity, and actually dedication and patriotism that equals that of any of us who wear the uniform. that said, all of us have to be realistic about the budget environment in which we exist,
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and then look at the best way to move forward. one of the things that i worry about on the civilian side is the rules, when we get into a tight situation like this, the tendency is last in first out. and we've got to pay attention to refreshing our workforce, our civilian workforce. so we have to figure out a way to reach our goals, whatever they might be in this environment, while at the same time not sacrificing our future. i think the average age of our sibling workforce is about 47 or 48 years old. and we have to recognize that. so leaders have to be very creative and cognizant of this to ensure that this isn't just about, this isn't just about the next 12 months or the next 24 months, but it's a long-term requirement as well. but we wouldn't be anywhere without the great civilian workforce that we have. >> do you think there'll be a
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shift in that ratio to more civilian is asian? >> i think that -- were that is going on in the acquisition workforce right now. it has been over the course of the last two or three years, for example. i -- in terms of the overall budget pressure, i think that ratio certainly has potential for changing, but i don't know. i mean, it's natural. many of our contractors are what i called in direct support of what we are doing as well. secretary gates has asked all of us to look at this to see how much of it we really need. i think that pressure is going to grow. >> we will take one hit and then the of the microphone is over here. making, we have -- take that question expect i'm captain ed sector i think you work for my dead years ago. we'll be entering him in
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arlington in two weeks. >> i'm sorry to hear that. >> the question of going to raise this morning is not new. my sister and brother-in-law both served in the army in the early '80s. my son and daughter-in-law are both active duty now. my son and marine intelligence officer just came home from his third tour in southwest asia. my daughter-in-law, a service worker officer has been doing drug intervention off the south america. they have been married for six years, and this month they will have been in the same town for one year total. you know, when i was on active duty we paid attention to the joint service couples, and we made promises about allowances in this regard i understand the operational exigencies of our time, but i don't see that anything has changed in the last 30 years in terms of really making the rubber meets the road. literally, my son just deploys,
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my daughter get some. my daughter just deploys, my son gets home. it's happened again and again and again. is anybody paying attention to this in terms of retaining people that are critical? >> well, in the mid '90s i was in a position of leadership in the assignment world, and we actually initiated steps to assign dual military couples in cross services it and i believe we've got to extend that outside, outside the military. i think we have to pay a lot of attention to dual careers, whether a family has one in the military and one not, not so. i will do two things. one is, i would love to take turning into some research in terms of how much this is --
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where exactly we are. i know that we're much better than we were in the mid-nineties with respect to that in terms of those assignments. but you overlay that with demands of the war and the repeated deployments and it's much more difficult issues to manage. i know there is a great deal more focus on this from a leadership perspective than there used to be. and goes to what i said earlier about guaranteeing the future. if we don't get young men and women like her son and daughter-in-law to stay in, we are not -- our future will be somewhat problematic. i have been struck, it goes back to the dedication and extraordinary young men and women who served right now, i have just been struck by their willingness to do this, to pursue the career. odyssey to meet the needs we have from the national security standpoint, and in many cases
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even surprised that they will continue to do it because of the kinds of percentages that you just laid out there, one year in six. and yet we have lost -- i have talked to more than my fair share of said i want to get a life, start a family. we just got to slow down. and it's something that i have addressed and people have addressed very, very closely in terms of not just dealing now, but how does this affect our future. i don't think it is my own take on, i don't think it is deliberate. i do know -- i have run into so many, many couples that have been assigned or detailed very specifically to make it work as opposed to what's odyssey going on. so i would be happy to take your name and e-mail address and get back to you with what exactly we are on that. but i know it's a focus of all the services, and i'm very
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comfortable we have improved. it's not where we were 30 years ago, but that doesn't mean we don't have work to do. in the long run, i believe we're going to have to assign people, we'll have to put people at the center here as opposed to the institutions. and i think if we do that, really, no kitty, do that, and assign people accordingly, that this will be well taken care of the. as opposed to the institutions, we are protected of the institutions, face the institutions needs and put that up front and in sort of figure out where people go after that. i just don't think that will work. >> good morning, sir. truth in advertising, retired military, retired air force them former defense contractor, current air force civilian. that being said, libya is maybe
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a one off but maybe a precedent, and i'm concerned if this precedent would be applied to syria. i came through bosnia, and my personal belief was that, we can fly over all you want but until you put boots on the ground things don't change much. that was my personal belief and i'm a little concerned about possibly applying the pariah killing his own people through syria, which i perceive to be a significantly greater threat than libya was at the time that we begin this. >> the president has made it very clear that he decries, and we all do, the violence in syria. it needs to stop. i talked about this trip that i took up through the right at the height of the bahrain challenge. is one of the things that struck me, and i think we just have to
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be very careful about this come is you can't broadbrush this. every single country is unique. every single country is obviously in the region as well. and i don't think we can disconnect a country from its region. i think we have to be very careful about how we address each one, and there are differences and reasons for differences in each one. and so, the question of, okay, libya, why not burma? i mean, there are, for instance, and i've actually, i have actually heard that question as well. i think it is too broad brushed. to your point, said he is a different country. it's in a different place. and while we certainly deplore -- implored the violence and for the killing, i think whidbey remain full of the uniqueness of syria in both its history, its location and what the potential is, and where we are in that,
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where they are in that crisis. so, i just don't think that we can say because, you know, one, because one leader was doing something that is absolutely translates to an intervention that involves another leader. i think we have to be very, very careful about that. my comment about how much the limit of air power per se, but would reemphasize what the president has said come and i assure you, he has no intent that i am aware of how he made very clear to me, no boots on the ground in libya and that's what we are today. >> we are counting down. we have about three or four minutes left. yes, sir. >> good morning, admiral. thank you for your service and your example that you not on a sacrifice your generation but generations to come. thank you. my question is, how effective
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are civilian, our workforce to our military leadership? >> its evolving to our civilian expeditionary workforce is evolving. i was in kandahar in afghanistan a few months ago and sat down with maybe half a dozen young foreign service officers who had come from lima, london, paris, and rio and found themselves in kandahar excited got every bit as excited as young officer in the military, about doing what they were doing. and i was very taken by them in terms of their dedication and their service. and the excitement that the generated in terms of making a difference in peoples lives. so i think it's improved. i think we need to continue to focus on this because we are living in an expeditionary world. we are not going to be able to
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just deal with it from the washington perspective for the future. so, all the agencies come and it's going to be harder now that the budgets are tighter, have to continue to focus on a. but i think we're in much better shape than we were a few years ago. that said, still a long way to go. >> i'm being signaled that our time has just about run out. so, admiral mullen, i'm going to ask you, if you have any final thoughts for this audience before we give you a round of applause for being here. >> lastly, i would just say thanks to all of you, many of you in the audience have served and make a difference. when i think about the challenges we have been through, this is what we're going to do for the next 10 years, we're going to deploy this many times, when you ask these sacrifices, of our people. and we should be mindful we lost almost 6000 young men and women,
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and tens of thousands physically injured, and hundreds of thousands with invisible wounds like pts. they have been the best i've ever seen, we just never forget their sacrifices. we are blessed to have them. we are a great, great country for many reasons, and one of the underpinnings of that is this extraordinary force of young men and women who serve today. and again, i'm privileged to still be in uniform and still be >> thank you for your service, admiral mullen. thank you for being with us. [applause]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up live in about one hour, all look at the recent crackdown by the syrian government on peaceful protesters in that country. on wednesday, the u.n. security council failed to agree on a resolution condemning syria's treatment of the protesters. the u.n. nuclear agency is saying that the target destroyed by israeli warplanes in the syrian desert fighters ago was a secret nuclear reactor under construction. they are gathering -- the hudson institute is covering a panel of experts on the topic. we continue our look at presidential politics in presidential witha simulcast 0--- with a simulcast of the "jim fischer show" at 3:00 p.m. president obama will be making some personnel announcements.
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he will have cia director leon panetta replacing robert gates, retires as defense secretary at the end of june, and general david petraeus taking panetta's position as head of the cia. those appointments are subject to senate confirmation. the announcement is expected at 3:10 p.m. eastern. >> live on saturday, the 2011 white house correspondents' dinner. covered includes highlights a pass dinners and your comments from facebook and twitter -- coverage includes highlights of past dinners and your comments from facebook and twitter. >> this weekend on "booktv," panels on science, american history, climate change, the american constitution, and collins -- call-ins. just a few of our highlights from the "l.a. times"
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festival of books. sign up for "booktv" alerts. >> the bertelsmann foundation and "the financial times" held a forum on the economy. the next panel is on the debt and trade. larry summers is part of the panel, along with other world bank officials.
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>> if you look at times of crisis, history tells us that times of crisis not only in the u.s., but also in europe, have always been times for great opportunities and innovation, in particular in the u.s. most of the iconic companies of the u.s., such as time warner or microsoft, created in the 1970's, a well-known media companies like twitter and facebook have been created during the doc-, bubble -- dot- com bubble. you can get the impression that it is difficult to keep up with the competition we get from the brick countries -- bric
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countries. that financial crisis has -- the financial crisis has further impacted the competition. we have a very distinguished panel. i have the honor and pleasure to introduce shirley anne jackson, the presence of the polytechnic institute. to my left is the president of another organization. we have gary shapiro, president and ceo of the consumer electronics association. from china, we have the vice- chairman of the china international economics society corp.. i would like to start the debate not with the obvious candidate, china, but brazil. brazil is a very interesting
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example. your country has managed the financial crisis extremely well. brazil's economy is growing at an annualized rate of 5% right now. what most of you might not know is that brazil has the most entrepreneurial society in the world. most of the time -- tell us what brazilians are so entrepreneurial. >> it is about culture. if you have traffic in downtown, you have people selling water. they are going to make a buck out of fact. our late vice president -- x vice president started as a very poor man.
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he died with at least $1 billion in his pocket. this is a brazilian tradition, very much like in the u.s., brazilians like to work and innovate. we have many problems. right now, we have been not lucky -- i would not say lucky. we have been fortunate enough to have done some of the right things that we should have been doing for a long time before that. we have done this adjustments, eight or 10 years ago, that help us pull through this crisis. and this is very important. onht now, we're sitting assets. we have large reserves. we have low indebtedness, government indebtedness.
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praxis as have their incomes grown by 3 or 4% -- proxies has had their incomes grown by 3% or 4%. education, governments, including the budgetary process of brazil, etc. >> where do you see the book of money going right now, as -- where do you see the ball of that investment money going right now? -- bulk of that investment money going right now? >> it is little sized companies who go after the consumer. it is very important. we are importing or developing a lot of new technology. we need to adapt our product to
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consumer-perceived needs. brazil trades for around $100 billion per year, which accounts for around 15% of our gdp. the correct gdp, but accounts for even less. -- the correct gdp probably accounts for even less. we have a big consumer goods market. we are starting to provide goods and services. there is a possibility -- the possibilities are very big. down brazil is investing in -- >> brazil is investing in technology. china is also investing in its talent and people. you have been among the first students from china who studied abroad. you made your mba in canada. you studied and teach at ivy
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league universities in the u.s. , to give our audience 1 #. in the last three decades, 100 million -- i want to give our audience 1 number. in the last three decades, 100 million chinese have been studying abroad. you are trying to convince them to go home to b.c. 04 c a zero of the big chinese companies -- of the big chinese companies. how do you convince them to come back? >> we are grateful for this interesting forum. china has grown very fast.
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manufacturing -- since china opened up cheap labor, migrant workers -- 300 million migrant workers, 300 million consumers -- it = globalization and it benefits china very much -- it globalization and benefits china very much. china has suffered from labor unrest and a shortage of labor. the government feels it is important for china to continue to thrive, so they have developed a plan from 2010 to 2020. one key element is that
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they're going to increase the talent pool and attract talent -- in the past, to attract capital, not talent. they have developed a talent plan, attracting talent from overseas, including foreigners. china -- the service industry is 42%. u.s. is about 70% to 80%. you'll see a lot of activities, a lot innovation, a lot of entrepreneurs that rely primarily on talent. that is where china is really in doubt. for the next 30 years, we're trying to shift the model from population dividend to talent dividend. china has about 7 million university graduates every year, actually. in the next 10 years, china could add another almost 100 billion college graduates to
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increase the working population. for -- from 400 million to 700 million college graduates. bamut in case you have students studying at -- >> you have students studying at one of the best technology institutes in the world. what are you telling them to get them to come home to china? u.s. and european companies have been much more attractive for chinese high potential. >> the most attractive thing for those people to come back is basically the opportunity. you have the chinese -- the chinese growing at 10% over the last few decades. serving industry, from 40%, 60%, the 70% -- the enormity is in the opportunities.
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europe and western -- the u.s. and western europe is probably already saturated. >> you have the best of the best at your university. where are your best students coming from? how're you convincing and tuesday in the u.s. and not follow you out? -- how are you convincing them to stay in the u.s. and not follow you out? >> the best undergraduate students are coming from the u.s., but there is a lot of desire and pressure from abroad for students to enroll in the our undergraduate program.
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our graduate programs, nearly half of them are from abroad. 1/3 to one half are from china alone. we're seeing a phenomenon where the students come to us from abroad. more than has been the case in the past, they are attracted back home because of opportunity. there is an underlying phenomenon that a lot of people have not paid attention to. this gentleman actually talks about them. he talks about the sea turtles and the seagulls, those who returned to china after having built careers abroad or who have spent time in both places. we have seen both of these phenomenons. the new president of the university was our dean of engineering. he went back home. we have a very well-known physicist, very well known in research, who is a member of the chinese academy of sciences, but
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a tenured professor at our university. we're seeing more of that happened. both of these individuals built their careers in the u.s., but they're clearly really attracted to the opportunity in their homeland. talent is global. we are seeing -- we draw talent from here. we draw some of the best tunes both here and from abroad. so i think that is a core message, that talent is everywhere. the question becomes what are the conditions that attract people to come to a place and to remain in a place. most research university presidents in the u.s. are very concerned about what happens to a advanced degree graduates, particularly, and making sure we have immigration policies and attractiveness to retain some of that talent, while we continue to focus on developing our own talent at multiple levels. >> thank you.
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she has given us a fairly positive assessment about where innovation is coming from in the future of the u.s. you have just published his book but is called "the come back -- that is called "the comeback." you attended an official state dinner in china. you got upset when a chinese official coasted to said that china is going up and u.s. is going down -- toasted to say that china is going up and the u.s. is going down. is this country on the right track? >> i am hopeful, but china has a
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strategy. united states has some strategically strong elements. we have some of the world's best universe shoot -- universities. we have the first amendment. it not only protects entrepreneurs from the government's stomping them down, but it is attractive. it lets any american access the internet, facebook, which some other countries do not allow, like china. we have an immigrant culture which is the reverse. it is a mosaic, which encourages entrepreneur should innovation. it is a question in culture. it is almost biological and genetic. we came here from people who wanted a better life. we have a culture where failure is rewarded. you can start a business, not succeed, and consider that as a
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60 -- a badge of experience, rather than dishonor. we do not have recognized strategy of innovation, which does not require government investment, but common sense. as president obama noted in the state of the address, we educate students and our best universities, give them ph.d.'s, and then kicked them out of the country. that is insanity. >> you are representing more than two dozen companies that make and sell technology. from your experience -- 2000 companies that make and sell technology. from your experience -- >> the advantage of the recession is that it forces you to focus on elements of the strategy and are essential. you cut out employees who were not performing, who were just going along. you are forced to try something different and that of things, products, or categories which are now working. what i have counsel companies
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last four years is innovate or die. we are ready to expand in so many different areas. some of it is very obvious. when you see what the smart phone can do in terms of applications, how that can be used for medical -- medicine, home, communication. some of it is not obvious. there are opportunities for expansion. companies and countries that have strategies to get there first will do very well. >> you also mentioned in your book that one of the key factors of innovation is the connectivity between the corporate sector and universities. you have innovative and new system that you called emerging branches ecosystem. tell us what is behind this very
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complicated name? >> it is about the fact that, in fact, innovation occurs within an ecosystem that does occur some strategic focus, requires ideas, requires talent. it requires transitional pathways and it requires capital, access to capital, human, infrastructural, and of course, financial. the emerging in ventures ecosystem is meant to accomplish several things, first, to be more coherence to multiple things we do within the university -- to bring them together in a collaborative way. we have a technology park that is home to about 50 technology- based companies, small to medium, most of them. we have a vice provost for entrepreneurship education to promote entrepreneurship across
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the full curriculum. we have a center in our management school devoted to technological entrepreneurship. we are bringing greater coherence. the second is to divorce the idea of launching ventures from just one geographic location, where we have had an indicator on the campus for number of years. instead, we have placed ourselves into downtown new york, which has been economically depressed. from there, when they're upset with the engine that comes -- we've very deliberately engaged our alumni who are not only national, but global, many of whom are entrepreneurs, very
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successful themselves, many of whom are venture-capital list, many of whom are inventors and innovators, whose inventions have been the bases of many companies, like nvidia. by engaging and focusing on what we call the pre-seed stage, we think we can have an important effect, not just for the university and region, but for the nation and, ultimately, global. >> you had one of the top five policy-making think tanks and foundations in the world. not many of you have heard about this foundation. you are very successful in innovating and transforming your innovations to the marketplace. how do you do that?
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>> first of all, you have to focus on what type of innovation you are looking for. in the case of brazil, the most important thing is to improve efficiency. we want to improve process technologies. we work on that. mannesmann, public management, everything -- management, public management, everything comes out of that. we were on that -- those subjects. it is very important to understand. for countries like brazil, which is actually midway between developed and undeveloped, we have to improve our governance, take a very simple issue -- the budgetary process. we have a very bad budgetary
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process. how do you change that? how do you educate people to be interested on that? this is a very important thing for brazil. we're doing things like that. >> how important is the role of the state in brazil for your work? a much direct investment do you receive from the state? -- how much direct investment do you receive from the state? >> very little. we get around 2% of a subsidy. it is not under brazilian tradition to invest in these types of things. oddly enough, we're a private institution that was created by the state 70 years ago. it is a different way of doing things. one of our biggest clients is the brazilian state. >> talk about the necessity for ikea investment -- idea investment.
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there is talk about quantitative easing 2 and whether the $600 billion the fed is pumping into the economy will change this situation. >> it does not affect innovation. borrowing yourself and moving things around is an absurd policy. as a majority -- as an organization, we did not support that or the stimulus package, cash for clunkers, any of this incredible amount of spending that has now evaporated and done nothing. we believe that the role government is to focus on things like infrastructure and making sure there is opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter the market without a lot of barriers. right now, the government has taken a look at the facts are we used to have a hundred% of the venture capital in the united states -- have 100% of the venture capital in the united states, and now we have less than half. it stems from national lack of
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-- natural lack of innovation. the government has erected a number of barriers regarding bureaucracy and accounting. i'm sure you have noticed our challenges in the united states, getting budgets. what affects businesses is, frankly, black uncertainty over where the taxes will be, what will happen in the future. most entrepreneurs are just happy to have the government stay on of the way, pay their share of taxes know what that is the huge u.s. has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world now -- pay their share of taxes, and know what that is. the u.s. has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world now. for every 11 residents in the district of columbia, there is one lawyer in this area. it is hard to believe that new york has one for every 121
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residents. we have a legal system, all sorts of laws protecting people's rights. we have union issues. we have many things that are considered barriers to investment and creating and enter a partnership in the united states. we lack a strategy for this. most would be happy to have a strategy that focuses on certainty, reasonable taxes, and allowing businesses to enter new areas without fear of litigation. it would allow them to go much public much simpler and raise funds. it would prefer stock ownership over borrowing money. right now, our tax system encourages companies to borrow rather than to have equity. >> china observed -- china has learned from what they have done in the past. >> that is an extract for china and probably the u.s., to --
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that is the next strike for china and probably the u.s., too. this class of entrepreneurs is emerging. there are 200 companies listed on the nasdaq from china. for the last year, the increase in ipos -- half of them were from china. there are a lot of issues. in the past, entrepreneurs or more in the rural area. now it is spreading to the city and internationally. companies ining high-tech and all kinds of figures. -- and all kinds of things. the first wave of globalization, trade, starting from columbus --
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the so-called road in china, about 300 years ago. trend is already one of the best on that. the second wave is the financial movement. the u.s. is now the best, even though they have gone through the financial crisis. the third wave of globalization is this entrepreneur movement, venture capital with entrepreneurs, chinese investment u.s. that is the solution for the future growth of the economy globally. leaders are having a summit in china right now, emerging countries together with developed countries. there are new ways to cooperate. entrepreneurialism is on the rise. that is the solution for the future. >> it is the weakest point the chinese university system question -- >> is the weakest point the chinese university system? we are not seeing a single
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university in the trend among the top-ranking universities -- in the top -- in china are among the top-ranking universities. >> particularly the university system -- it is designed to deal with exams, not innovation. the state councilor was in the u.s. yesterday. she announced that china will send 10,000 students on scholarship to the u.s., and china would give 10,000 u.s. student scholarships to study in china. that is a pattern of change for .he future ki when you have enough people working together, then
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innovation, brainstorming, it will happen. otherwise, you hold society in a box and there is no creativity. we need to go forward. >> [unintelligible] >> i am only sale m -- only calm externally. you talk about u.s. failures, but what you're talking about is really people learning from u.s. success. they emulate the historic understanding of the role of the different sectors -- government, academia, business -- that has created the backbone on which a lot of the innovation we are talking about has occurred. china has invested very strongly in the infrastructure. brazil is investing in infrastructure. we talk about great
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entrepreneurial enterprises. let's take google. would googled exist without the internet? would google exist without the global positioning satellite system? would have google exist without micro and national-electronics? -- would google exist without micro and nano-electronics? absolutely not. there was investment in people, in educating people advanced levels. from the timeout was growing up, -- the time i was growing about development of talent, attracting talent, matching ideas together. and out of that comes very
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innovative ideas. we have to get our fiscal house in order. we have to have the right kind of regulatory framework and so on, particularly as it relates to economic-type of regulation. let's not forget the backbone on which innovation occurs. you have to decide where to place your bets. i am glad that we have a big , gaidar -- big promulgator of that here. i say we need capital markets and frameworks that allow innovation to rise and companies to prosper. we do not want to be so addicted to the simple answers that we do not understand the root of things. we do not want to be so focused
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on failure that we do not understand the root of success. >> thank you so much. google is clearly a national champion. china has come up with a plan to develop 30 to 50 big companies as national champions in the next year to serve as role models in different sectors for the country and also for the labor force. would it make sense to have more national champions here in the u.s. or to really embrace a culture of the national champions again? the u.s. has a lot of iconic companies. it seems the public is not really appreciating them. >> my in-laws is a communist poland. they survive the holocaust. they both came here and add to retake the medical exams and learn english -- had to retake
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the medical exams and learn english. sports figures are glorified and scientists are not. it is befuddling to them. other countries to a much better job of taking less and making more heroes out of companies and people. here, sadly, the business environment and business leaders and corporations are generally vilified. even google is being attacked by our own government, the federal trade commission and others. it happened microsoft and ibm. the government seems to lead the way in attacking our best companies. it makes no sense as a national strategy. our companies, the executives and of being function -- focused on -- in our companies, the executives end up being focus on
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litigation. president obama has been five -- has vilified businesses. what should bill gates and steve jobs be rich when others are poor? they create something that others are willing to buy. that is what the entrepreneurial system requires -- rewards for creators. we need to change our national mind-set about how we view business. >> thank you very much. i would like to open the floor right now for q&a. >> i have a question to the two american participants on the panel. you have stressed the importance of innovation, america is strong in innovation, and must remain strong in innovation.
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that task to be seen against the background of continued shrinking of the industrial sector -- has to be seen against the background of continued shrinking of the industrial sector across much of the economy, much of it having been moved to china and other countries. can america live only on the sector that produces innovation? that is my question. in the labs, universities, research sections of big companies. isn't it necessary to make an effort, at the same time, to strengthen the industrial sector, which has moved away, at least large part of it? if that is true, how do you do not? -- that? >> certainly, i think it is important to make things, to export things. and even though our manufacturing base has shrunk,
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it actually for something like 70% to 75% of our global exports. i think the difference, however, is not to try to bring back the old, but to innovate based on the new. gary mentioned advances in nanotechnology and advanced materials. there are things in biotechnology and life sciences. this is where we have placed our bets at university, was still doing things with i.t. competition. the immediate -- computation. let me give you an example. there is an idea of the smart planet, the smarter planet. when you marry the technologies that people typically associated with services, i.t., a computational things, with those
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things that relate to what you might call manufacturing, things in the energy arena, in health, in transportation, so that you just do not -- so that you do not just innovate things, you indicate how you make things. you use fundamental knowledge to actually grow things. people are talking about computationally-driven design of materials for new things. if you think about that, there is opportunity that people do not think enough about. we get too addicted to the silver bullets, the simple answers. the answer is there. it is not either/or, but and/and. i fundamentally believe that and i have seen it over and over again. >> gary, do you agree? >> when i was 14-years-old, i
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lied about my age and got a job in a factory. i left at the end of the day and told my father i was going to college. i have been in factories around the world. i do not think we want a lot of those jobs here. >> that is the old, not the new. >> i agree. i'm getting there. 20 years ago, it was china, then mexico, then vietnam, then indonesia. there is always danger. i got a call from a manufacturer in the u.s. who said costs for minerals will go up 33%. china has captured the market and is jacking up the price, which is very different -- very dangerous. we should not rely on any country for anything. it is not good policy. germany is a better model for us. they have focused on precision
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manufacturing in the automobiles. highly skilled. i will be in detroit tonight. my wife is there with our son. highly educated, highly skilled work force -- not fully employed. it is the tragedy. we are letting it go fallow. we need to focus
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which are basically in asia right now. >> thank you very much. >> i have a question. you talked about the next phase of competition for talent. you said that in need of reform of your university system -- you need a reform of your university system. do you also need a reform of your state system to attract talent? if you obscure the internet and do not get everyone free approach to all the information in the world, will talent from the u.s. like to go to china? >> that is an interesting question. i think china is in a stage that, coming from the old days of the contra revolution, the 30 years ago problems as well, my guess is that the government -- sometimes, it is very sensitive and tight. in order to maintain the growth development, there is a certain way they are trying to do. you have some consequences , of course. on the balance, if the development -- if the growth is
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more, probably some of it will come up gradually. i am optimistic that -- china has [unintelligible] some of the technology is already available to see. we're in the internet age. there is the -- mobile phone users are sending short messages everywhere. there are always ways to get around policies. in the long run, people will know what is happening around the world. >> my name is bart. i am a recent graduate of congress. my question is for our guests from china and brazil. in terms of the u.s. innovation and enterprise, what do you see as strengths and weaknesses?
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what would be your advice to us? >> i think, for the u.s., my observation is that you have talent. you have the best universities. you attract talent from all over the world. the u.s. has the last -- least baggage as a young country. that is a strength and will continue to be. what china can learn from the u.s. -- to have people coming from all over the world and trying to be more intellectual and exchange more wisdom. the pattern will be the next move for china -- for the last 30 years, china has relied on cheap labor and migrant workers, but that migrant -- but that model is coming to an end.
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we need to be innovative and more prosperous. >> [inaudible] >> if i had personally observed this, sometimes there is too much debate. [laughter] the frequency is not that great. the policy is correct in china. 10 years ago, there was no high- speed rail in china. china saw the need for doing that. in 10 years, you got the best high-speed rail in the world. for the u.s., it will take a long while. >> thank you very much. i would like to give the floor to carlos. we had an interesting debate in
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the green room about europeans and americans. he made the comment about what we would get if we listened to to each other. what else can brazil learn from the u.s. model? >> we can learn a lot of things. i think that the u.s. has the best foundations for innovation in the world. however, i also think that innovation is a very complicated process, of which we understand very little. you have a question of the sustainability of this process. each year, if i may talk about years, you have to invest money that you're not sure if it will give results or not. you have a repeated cost that you have to incur.
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and this cost tested be, first of all, paid for -- and this cost has to be, first of all, paid for. i am not in the position to give advice to the u.s., but if i were brazil, i would say, look at your fiscal side. you can spend as your spending and then simply raise taxes. these taxes will take money out of innovation. companies will be taxed, people will be taxed, so people have less money to consumers and companies will have less money to invest. there is no magic. if you just borrow money in the short term, maybe you have 1%
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less interest rates. but inflation will come. you have to do the hard things later on. so the big question is -- to have innovation, you have a good university system. i completely agree with investment in infrastructure. i suffer from that investment in infrastructure in brazil. i know by experience. i know you worth doing things that we have done, unfortunately, in brazil. so this politick is very important. then you have to look at what are these big markets telling
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us. you have the european common market. and you have asia. the first round of this crisis was very interesting. everyone was very cooperative. the first round of this crisis, everyone decided to become -- a doable thing. the second round is becoming more complicated. politics and competition for natural resources will come into the discussion. it will become terribly complicated. what will happen, i do not know. but we will have to innovate and find solutions. >> thank you very much. we have questions.
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>> i would like to make a distinction between corporate taxes and individual income taxes. there is a hell of a difference. how do you judge the latest -- the recent report on children's education and how they perform. one has to look at the long-term dynamics. a country may have top-rated universities, but what matters is the education of children for long-term dynamics. a country can live with top- rated universities and assuming that they will have a net flow of top scientists from the rest of the world. the rest of the world does not have top-rated universities. if that is not the case and longer, then they should ask themselves what will happen if
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there will be a reverse flow, which apparently is happening. >> excellent question. >> i am a university president. we sit on the receiving end on what comes out of our high school, church reflect what happens away through -- which reflect what happens all the way through the pre-collegiate educational system. we see the best students that come out of those schools and out of the best schools. but that is not the case generally. i do think that we can sometimes take ourselves down a track that is not entirely productive. i am one who believes one has to be a global magnet for talent. at the same time, and this is not what is talked about, we have to invest in our own people, our own talent pool. we cannot just ignore what is happening in the k-12 system, ignore whole groups of people
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here and think that we will have the strongest and most innovative economy forever. when i grew up, i used to play with the dolls and i used to play with what we called -- i am dating myself here --? -- jax. and we used to play marbles. you could not play unless you brought something to the game, usually marbles. the same is true the talent base. i think it is more important to have scientific literacy, generally so that we can have a public that can weigh in two key issues of public policy, particularly where science technology and public policy come together. i agree with you 100%. if you do not get that together, the chickens will come home to roost. >> thank you. >> over the last decade or so,
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in response to a number of different kinds of threats and crises, terrorism to financial management, we have had several waves of regulations, all the way from visa restrictions to piles of paper that ceo's have to go through now on a regular basis. that, in turn, has generated an awful lot of criticism that we are short circuit ingersoll's in terms of being able to innovate and move swiftly enough. there has been some corrections -- short short getting ourselves in terms of being a will to innovate and move swiftly enough. there have been some corrections. where will there be some over regulation at this point, particularly in education where be sayvisas have become a chall?
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>> i think the united states shifted its strategy after september 11. we changed. we changed in our willingness to welcome people from abroad. i have a commentary published yesterday in talking about are crazy recess situation -- our crazy visa a situation. we have undertaken an overreaction and maybe winston churchill was right, at the end of the day, after early fight everything else, the americans do it right. we have a lot of debate on these issues. the reason i wrote the book, in part, is because i believe in the future of this country.
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we are almost arrogant at this point and entitled. i am deeply afraid that where we will end up is not where we are today, but in a second or third tier status. because of the debt -- even present obama's speech was encouraging initiative because he is becoming a leader and focusing on it. but we are a long way from there. as we speak here today, my 3- year-old son is in detroit with a nanny who is from china. and she only speaks chinese to him. he is fluent in chinese now. maybe i am betting both ways, but i am not confident in my 3- year-old, that he will have the type of life we had. that is, to sacrifice for the next generation. i think we are shifting in the
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right direction very slowly. >> right. >> it is not that i disagree, but i think we spent too much time posing the problem and not enough time talking about potential solutions. i talked earlier about being evicted to simplicity. but here is its simplicity we could be addicted to. simplification of the tax code, transparency and consistency of regulation, and understanding that health and safety regulation is different than economic and financial regulation. there is a compact with the public. i was chairman of the u.s. nuclear regulatory commission. if you want to have nuclear power, if you want to have a healthy pharmaceutical system, on the one hand, we have to get through why it takes so long to have drug approvals on the one hand, but the answer is not to
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get rid of the fda -- the nfda. we have to talk about solutions and not just the problem. >> can you speak of a little bit, sir? >> the experience of china and brazil could be a good example for africa and the middle east. police africa has resources, oil, minerals, but the big challenge in the middle east, in north africa, morocco, and nigeria, is job creation, innovation, and had china and brazil and even the u.s. can work to promote innovation, job creation. i know they're having -- >> we will leave the last few minutes on this discussion.
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we are heading over to the hudson institute for a discussion on the recent crackdown by the syrian government on peaceful protest. yesterday, the un security council failed to agree on a resolution condemning serious treatment of the protesters. here at the hudson institute, they had gathered a pal of experts. it is just getting underway. >> i would like to welcome all of you, both here at hudson and our c-span audience. for approximately four months, the arab world has been the scene of dramatic events. it is especially dramatic in tunisia, yemen, the gulf, and, of course, libya. there have been many, many differences between these events, but they all share in common to things.
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dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, the status quo -- a status quo, which in many cases has been around for 40 or 50 years -- and the desire for some new beginning. this desire for new beginning has led to the popular name given to all of these events, the arab spring. this movement, this general movement, both of dissatisfaction and hope, has now come to syria, a country, which i might say, is especially distinguished by its unchanged character in its situation and regime. it has lived an exceptionally long time under the same regime and the same family. in that sense, it is an
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important touchstone of this movement. it raises the question will the air of spring move forward as to follow the metaphor to summer? or will it revert to winter, to the past or a continuation of the status quo? this is important, generally, in people looking at the phenomena of the air spring. most importantly, it is important to the people of syria as well to its neighbor and its people in lebanon. it is also important to the united states. the current regime has been, to put it mildly, no friend of ours. quite the contrary. the events in syria, especially the most recent events, are
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terribly important. we are very, very fortunate to have today three people who can guide us through this mess. they can describe them, analyze them, and perhaps even predicted the way in which they may be going forward. our first speaker is ammar abdulhamid. is a native of syria, although living in this country for quite a while. you can speak from there or at the podium. >> thank you very much for having us here. thank you for organizing this.
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we want to find a clear message about what is happening in syria. basically, i think i will sort of tried to speak about three points briefly so that i can allow more time to my colleagues and also for your questions. the first point is how we got started. the second point is the transition we're looking at right know and wea role that we hope as activists and opposition members and with the army will play. and the third is what are we organizing? what sort of alternatives are there in this regime and would keep people will play a role in that? the first thing, the whole thing got started when the shot himself came to power.
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from the very beginning, people saw an opportunity finally to begin to challenge the system. the opposition was divided at the time between people who were completely against the family tradition and the minority. but most people in the opposition accepted the transition and made it conditional on a set of implemented reforms. bashar's owne speech when he accepted the nomination that he would implement some reforms and he would indeed sort of change course for the country. the inability to implement anything was really the problem and created a crisis in his leadership. after the promises were made, there was a raid called damascus
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spring, which lasted a few months. there were a lot of activities at the grass-roots level by the dissidents. they tried to form new parties, new movements. the immediately called for social reconciliation, realizing that the sectarian divide israel and that the issue needs to be addressed. -- divide is real and that the issue needs to be addressed. realize this development, the crackdown started. the usual accusation of foreign conspiracy and embassies interfering and foreign funding, the usual accusations that always are used in this kind of situation to justify oppression -- the fact that you are being accused of being foreign
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conspirators is not new. we have been given this accusation since we were born. if you're not for the regime, you are against. >> even in the well. >> yes. b. even in the woma >> yes. the syrian dissident community realize that they have to be somewhat more confrontational and more organized and a different sort of facet on how we can do this. there were a group of people, people like me and others who believed in activism in the traditional sort of activities. not a political, really, but not associated with the usual political factions. by creating a greater awareness
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among the young people to bridge the sectarian divide, the role this will play in facilitating the transition, and doing something on the ground rather than talk and theorize about socialism and communism and imperialism and all of this, that is where the force was behind this kind of activity. we managed to create networks in due course of time. this is how the germans spread. -- the germ was spread. all eyes were on syria the time. bashad's position in the country became weekend.
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the battle line from that moment shifted and we became purely inside syria. a role, butill play bay rol it was focused on development inside syria. bashad had to make promises again about reform that he did not deliver. but he needed to maintain the syrian base. he had lost the periphery, the empire, less safe. ever since that time, the situation became difficult for activists because bashard had to make sure that he had complete control inside syria. from the point of view of the opposition, this is a muppets -- an option to prevent that from
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happening, to get our act together, and see if we can fuel the greater challenge inside syria. obviously, we did not do a very good job. by 2008, he rose again as a person inside of the country and, despite attempts at unity and the fact that we came up with the damascus declaration, a major document that unified the syrian opposition for well, inside and outside the country, and was endorsed by the international community, we could not move beyond that and the -- beyond that in the organizational capacity. in a sense, you can say that we lost another battle, but we also won something. we won an experience. a lot of people realize that you really need to focus more on activities on the ground, this high and politics and involvement in political
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alliances and forming political parties and coalition being nonsensical if you do not have support on the ground. after that, 2007-2008, people realized that we needed to work on the ground. this is where the action should be. quietly, a lot of activists began working on the ground, try to communicate the message of change, tried to great support networks for change, tried to articulate a message of why we need to be more politically active, how this is relevant to them. and we tried to do this by creating youtube videos on the need for change, on the realities in syria. we created a foundation -- we made a tv program called "first step" where we are to do with the message on the need for democratic change and of the
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impact of authoritarianism on our way of life. why do we have forced child labor? what we have poverty? why has the problem not been resolved or addressed effectively in many years? all of that was really a link through this discussion, common- sense discretion, basically, to the fact that we have a system that is not accountable in any way to the people. we have a regime that is himself and his family and the military, thinking themselves above alonte law. if we cannot hold them accountable, then we cannot have any kind of reform. we tried to communicate this message as clearly as possible in a variety of ways. we also realize, on feedback from people on the ground, how to particulate this message.
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2009-2011, we had this message on youtube. we have had it on an opposition channel. we replayed over and over again. we really had limited resources so we managed to produce very few programs. but we kept playing them. the message was very clear. we hope that by simply repeating it, that it would get through. many of the messages we hear right now on the ground are coming from the protesters are reflecting the dialogue and language that we used in these kinds of programs. of course, the elephant in the room is the incident in tunisia. had it not been for that young man and that incident that took place in that spot into asia, we would not be talking about this today. -- in that spot in tunisia, we
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would not be talking about this today. it was communicated by social networking sites like facebook and twitter and other channels. that is when the tunisian revolution really happened. that is as it unfolded. even when ben ali was toppled, people in syria did not know. we discovered that they were saying we can do that. we have been saying that we can do that, but never believed it. but now we see it happening. why not? we began talking about preparations. for a long time, i really believe that we should push it until august of wanted to do something. i felt that reporting on development would be extremely important in a country like syria where there is limited room of liability by foreign media and the press will be
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completely-. i felt we needed more time to make sure we were covering the country and have what it takes to cover the developments on the ground to the international community in a timely manner. but i was outvoted after some discussion, basically, and a lot of people inside syria felt that, if did not start now and soon, because of what was happening in libya, because of the violence in libya, people would lose faith in joining a protest movement. also, we have already seen some attempts -- there was a spontaneous demonstration in downtown damascus, what did people, raising a slogan that drew the attention of everyone. when the violation lead to a confrontation between a
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policemen and a local committee come immediately, people poured into the streets. this was a slogan that was raised by the protesters at the time. i think this kind of spontaneous events and several that happened after words indicated what kind of slogans needed to be raised. the people are finding their voice. basically, we had to go with the flow of events inside the country. this is really where the difference between the official line of accusing at the outside for fomenting this and the truth that it was being led by people on the ground, very young people, they wanted the advice, but advice on how things could be done. they also wanted mouthpieces
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outside the country. but the reality is that they are the leaders. >> will you also say something about where you think the situation is now. >> exactly. that is a good point to transition to pick it right now, we're talking about the self- organizing movement, collective leadership, a new generation, fresh blood being infused into the situation, which is why, with all of this tracking down -- cracking down by the regime to the point of using heavy artillery and arbitrary arrests of armed protesters and lying to the people that there infiltrators that you have heard reiterated in libya and egypt and elsewhere, that kind of
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development sort of led to this movement to become more adamant, led the protesters to really raise their level of demands to reforms in the first few days of freedom, freedom, freedom. that people will not be humiliated. that people want to topple the regime. you are killing off and we're supposed to have an occupation. it does not make any sense. this is the situation we are in right now. the protests are alive and well. i am hoping that more will prove the point when people take to the street, hopefully in mass numbers again, to show that they are willing to risk their lives in order to fight for freedom
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and dignity. the army has an important role to play. one of the slogans raised by the protesters, a similar one raised in egypt as well, is that the people and the army are one hand. in a country like syria, with the susteren divide that we have and the fact that the minority community play a key role in the army, that slogan is not naive. that slogan is meant as a reassurance to that community that, if you're looking for guarantees on what will happen when the assads are out of power, you have a lot to say to the army. no one is asking for them to leave the army. if anything, we want them to stay. we want the army to play a role
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as a safeguard of the secular nature of the state, of the stability of the state. and to help ease their transition and protect minority rights and ease the transition from where we are from right now. we realize the army has a really important role to play. we want the army in its current leadership to feel that they are definitely part of the process and realize that their stake in the political future of the country will not change in our push for democracy. we want the political process to be open. we won it, on a day-to-day basis, to be free from army intervention. at the same time, we want the army to be there to get to the stability and to make sure this process is not dominated by a
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false element. they want to keep the country is there a private system. we want the army to realize that there is a need to transition from this kind of a system, where we have a family treating the entire country as their own private system, into a country where there are political processes and there are political parties and there is some measure of accountability to the people. we want them to play a role in that transition from a to z. this is where we are right now. we keep assuring that message. we will continue to issue that message. we hope that the army leadership will get it. as a result of all the developments on the ground and the pressures of the international committee -- this is the last point i will make before yielding the floor -- we have been asked about alternatives. who will come? will they be the muslim brotherhood? is this a suny revolution?
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it has always been diverse. this is a revolution by activists. the leaders on the ground in syria are in the decision-making process. all communities are represented. if you look at the damascus declaration, you get an idea of what we're talking about here. many -- there's a similar structure almost emerging, but where people are not joining as representative of their parties, but as independents. we are trying to fuel an alternative not only to the regime, but also to the old traditional parties. this is not a communist party thing. this is not a basque party thing. this is the movement of independence, hoping that, to lead a transitional process to lead to formation of political parties that will lead to free
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elections and then, once these elections happen, we will find out the true nature of the political system. they are all arabs and kurds, christians, and jews. most of the people that died in a protest movement were below the age of 30. we're talking about very young population with a very young movement. now we're talking about a very young coalition. it is called the syrian national initiative for change. most of the leaders inside the country we are not revealing. there are new people emerging that have been elected at the local level. they are key figures in their communities. outside the country, there are people like me and my
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colleagues, a lot of other figures whose names will hopefully be provided in a list in the days to come there are spokespeople and out-of-country representatives for the movement. we will hopefully get popular support committees in order to make the representation more transparent and more inclusive of the diversity of the syrian movement outside the country. this is where we are right now. the alternative is being formalized. we are hoping that, with a key role played by the army, the international community also, through sanctions, asset freeze, and potentially also going to the international criminal court if the oppression will continue, we will continue to accept a
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transitional scenario and an exit strategy. >> thank you. people have an exceptionally strong interest in what is happening in syria. syria has had for a very long time a powerful effect -- i could say for better or for worse, but it has been mostly for worse. such circumstances usually concentrate the mind and they generally lead to insight and clarity about what is going on
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in the neighboring situation. that has been true of many lebanese. i think it is the especially true of our next speaker. , a journalist originally from south lebanon -- our next speaker, a journalist originally from south lebanon. i forget whether you have an alternative site now. >> it is part of the same side, created just before the first friday of the demonstrations in syria. >> it is also a case that you can find out what is happening in syria from what is going on in lebanon. [laughter]
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she will be telling us both what is going on in syria and what is going on in lebanon. >> thank you very much. unfortunately, lebanon and syria are linked to a certain extent in a way that we cannot talk today about lebanon without talking about syria. >> move is a little closer. you have a lovely soft voice. >> is this better? see how his blood is reacting -- seeing how hezbollah is reacting and treating certain incidence that show you that they are marking their territory inside lebanon.
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there were two incidents that happened after the serious uprising. hezbollah -- speak up? ok. is this better? hezbollah, two weeks ago, started a campaign in the south lebanon where they forced some shops to stop selling alcohol. this is not a big deal. it is not like their closing liquor stores. but, inside the committee, they're telling people that we are the authority. they are marking their territory inside the committee. at the same time, they created a few incidents where news was leaked to a paper which is a hezbollah-affiliated paper which
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published the fusefirst news of building on state property. this has been going on since 2006 when the reconstruction started. of course, people started building on state-owned property in the south. >> naturally. >> naturally? well, it was not that obvious before. but, after 2006, it became obvious. as the law was -- hezbollah was due in the reconstruction. why it was released now? they went down to the south to stop construction on state land. it turned into a war zone.
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that is after people shot at the isaf. the isf shot back. one shot another and then another. why this is happening now and why is hezbollah acting that way? its is the people who attacked the investigators, the women, the people. it is always the people who are at the front creating problems and hezbollah is always leading the people from behind. this is also another sign of marking the territory in the south, that this is our state. these are our rules. you cannot sell alcohol. people are allowed to build on state land. according to the people who were
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interviewed by reporters, they said these are lands that we pay for with our blood. so they have a feeling that they have the right to the land and the state has nothing to do with the state land in the south. this is not the property of the state. this kind of marking territory is also -- i think it is a big sign of fear that hezbollah is experiencing now because of what they see in syria. they know that syria will influence its power in lebanon. syria is key to hezbollah and hamas and every organization that is similar in the region. whatever happens in syria will influence lebanon. when it comes to arms smuggling, it will the felly and flaws that. in lebanon -- it will definitely influence that.
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in lebanon, if the regime falls or does not fall, syrians in lebanon will be weakened. they cannot influence the government and parliamentary decisions alone. so they are feeling this concern and they definitely want the syrian regime to stay, obviously. they organized this big conference where every single politician in syria and iran who supported the egyptian, a tunisian, and a rainy uprising -- in syria, it is a different case. they make statements about protecting the regime because the regime protests their
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existence. many people who are not hard core hezbollah supporters or members, they tend to be more liberal, leftist, communist people. these standards do not make sense anymore. to them, the syrian uprising is genuine. but hezbollah is telling the syrian people that their existence is more important than people's freedoms, demands, reforms, or lives. the killings that the regime is exercising -- 500 syrians were killed in the streets and much more people were arrested and tortured -- and has allies telling everyone in the region -- and hezbollah is telling everyone in the region that our existence is much more important than the lives of these people. this is definitely not something
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they would like to convey, but they have to because they have no choice. another thing that is now becoming very obvious to people in lebanon, for people who are in the middle, like the shia community and the committees, there are people who are hezbollah supporters, but tend to be critical of hezbollah. they are realizing the main thing for the people in lebanon and the people in the region in general, all of the aggression that hezbollah has been using to be in the opposition have not been as efficient as the peaceful demonstrations that are actually becoming more effective in toppling dictators
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and regimes. in egypt, especially, it was more efficient. even in syria, the demonstrators -- so far, people are dying, this is the main slogan for the people, peace. i think it is a part of their political strategy. peaceful demonstration is definitely what they want to do. whoever will come and take over in syria, it does not matter. i do not know who it will be, but whoever it is, they will come through peaceful methods and they will carry peaceful methods throughout. i do not think that they will put up many fronts in the area without peaceful strategy. hezbollah is concerned about that.
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suddenly, hezbollah finds that peaceful messages are being more effective than the military message. this is the situation of hezbollah now. then there's also the indictments coming hopefully very soon. no one knows when it will be published, but this will also add to the fears of hezbollah. so far, before this year in uprising, hezbollah did not care about the fdl indictments. even if they were to be accused, no one would ever be able to arrest anybody in hezbollah and send them to the hague. hezbollah and syria agreed not to cooperate with the tribunal because it is really an israeli- american told to defeat hezbollah. now some people are saying -- i read some analysis saying that
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whatever happens in syria and even if the regime does not fall or is weakened, they will do anything to protect themselves. they will cooperate with the people who have the capacity to protect the regime, the international community, the international organizations. they may cooperate when it comes to the tribunal. maybe, when it comes to their existence as a region, the alliances of hezbollah may be sacrificed for this. when it comes to the tribunal or other matters. hezbollah knows that they are important allies for the syrians, but for their own version, they might be sacrificed. i would like to add one more thing. there is concern among the syrian people in the region,
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from lebanon to egypt to tunisia, everywhere, that there is a kind of hypocrisy when it comes to the western stance for syria. people are raising questions like why has the u.s. and the not taken decisive stance is like they have for libya? the west and mainly the u.s. are creating enemies inside the syrian opposition figures. but it know if you agree, have heard many people saying that the u.s. is protecting the regime because israel wants to maintain this regime and the u.s. wants to help and protect
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israel. this is definitely not a good thing. the u.s. is not credible enough for the people on the street for the opposition. they do not understand because this is a pro-democracy movement. this is a peaceful movement. it is a dictatorship that is an enemy to the u.s. so what is going on? something has to be done. something has to change immediately. otherwise, there would be a big problem afterwards when this is over and the u.s. will look like -- will look very hypocritical to everyone in the region. this is major. i think i will conclude now. i am definitely in sure that you have a lot of questions about that. >> thank you very much. that is a good segue to the remarks of our next speaker.
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i would just observe that our principal further explanation that we side with our enemies, are hostile to friends or potential friends -- this is very mysterious at the moment. i think our next speaker may be able to explain this. our next speaker is lee smith. he is a fellow here at the hudson institute and is also an editor with "the weekly standard." he has written with many publications and still does. he publishes practically weekly in "the weekly standard." he also wrote a very fine book published last year called "the strong horse power politics and the clash of arab civilizations."
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>> thank you. i do not know if i can explain it in its entirety, but i can venture a guess that, when writing about the last few weeks, it is more on the surface that it looks like we have been siding with our enemies and helping or damaging our friends in the region, both within different regimes and within the opposition movement. it is certainly worth asking why it seems to be that preserving the regime is a vital u.s. interest, while protecting the regime is a vital u.s. interest? -- why protecting the regime is a vital u.s. interests? one of the first statements that came out of the white house was the president, his first demint i believe, where in his first
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sentence, he warned the regime against bloodshed. in his next sentence, head-to the opposition to also refrain from violence. -- he also admonish the opposition to refrain from violence. this is astonishing. the fact that the syrians -- the syrian opposition was entirely on our been entirely peaceful and has remained so. the idea that this administration was warning them to avoid bloodshed was remarkable. there were a number of other statements that came out of the administration, some with attributions and some with not appear if you remember what the secretary of state said. she was quoting lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who described the westernized
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president assad as reform- minded. then she rolled it back some saying that she did not say that. it is preposterous. it appears that this is still what this administration expects. it is what it keeps talking about. for assad to keep to the reforms that he has promised, as he rolled out tanks into syrian cities. this administration is still talking about assad reforming, .ha it is preposterous. why is the white house protecting this regime? the reason is -- actually, to be fair, this goes back to the obama administration.
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it has lasted for the entire assad regime. if you look at different statements and different officials and envoys and diplomats who visited damascus, who has spoken with this regime since the 1970's, the comeback with these different statements that assad is a man who keeps to his word. what these different promises that the former syrian president supposedly kept to to make u.s. policy making in the region possible is unclear. there are u.s. diplomats who boasted that he would not let them go to the bathroom for hours. it is astonishing what these people believe about this same regime. we saw a brief respite from this with the bush administration. this is only after the syrians were believed responsible for
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hariri.assination of her wear it was at that point that the bush administration believed that this regime was without remedy. nonetheless, the solution was not to go 180 and reach out and tried to engage the of that regime. the reason that they had tried to engage the regime was two reasons. the first reason is because the peace process is central to the obama administration's middle east strategy. in fact, that is their middle east strategy. the point is not just -- where most administrations and policymakers understand the peace process as a way to get all the other arab states on board, in a way to get the other arab states -- the obama
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administration understands that this is the way to go over the head of air brewers and win over the affection of arab and muslim -- over the head of arab rulers and win over the affection of arab and muslim people. the line was to go around the way u.s. policy makers typically work, which is to do business with arab states. of course, this is how diplomacy works. states do business with other states. with the obama cairo speech was about was going over the heads of arab regimes, for better or for worse, and for making the case that the united states would win back or win the affection of the arab and muslim polities, not their regimes, but societies. the way to do this was to, not necessarily win a comprehensive peace between arabs and
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israelis, but at least to show the good faith of the white house. that is what the peace process is central to the it ministration. it is about reaching out to arab and moslem masses. the city of point to that was, if the -- the subsidiary point to that was, if the administration could further the peace process, it would put some distance between syria and iran. the administration was not insensitive to the fact that iran was washington's key strategic concern. but to deal with iran, that was the instrument that this administration believed was most useful, the peace process. by loosening the syrian from the iranian access, by showing the syrians how much there was to gain by ptn
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