tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN April 5, 2013 10:30pm-6:00am EDT
sentimental question about the role of government in this. the question of the role in government took place in an era where a lot of the world is shifting the other way. they are having -- countries are taking their own capital and investing in industries to compete against us in a way it s hard to win. so we can get cynical about these debates but i think there are principles animating it and the country is polarized, even after this election where one side won a lot of seats. we still have the level of polarization. we're electing these people so that is part of the challenge. >> i think business is far from cynical about this. far from cynical. one of the greatest things about being in business you don't have to spend a lot of time here.
so if there is a problem in education, businesses engage locally with educational institutions and try to do the best they can. what we found is they engage a lot. a lot of money, time, human capital, engaged in local grade school all the way up through universities and not necessarily effectively. so we formed an organization that is called change the equation to get companies pointed to more effective ways to use the money they are already using. there is a lot of work around the table as well. cynicism is not the name of the game when you try to go out and operate a business or live every day, we work to solve problems. i think all that -- i'm saying that a little help from government would be nice. but it if -- if it does not come we can do it but it could be
with a turbo charge behind us. we can try to lay a system that fundamental helps small to large companies exports more of their goods and services. that is the whole goal of the president's council. it is an infrastructure that can actually work. there are private companies say we're not going to wait to see r going to debate until hell freezes over with the keystone pipeline. i don't think they are sitting back. i don't think there is cynicism until we come here and talk about the problems here. when we go back to our home bases we work and try to solve problems. >> let's have questions from you n this very wise and experienced panel. i can see you. so there's a microphone there
and she will find you over there. all the way over there. oh, that's another microphone. o questions? >> this is always an odd process. >> i'm angela from atlanta, georgia. i am a small business. i love what you just said when you talked about businesses going back to their own home base and still working in their communities to be able to change the problems. you also stated that when they y to take away the bank, the businesses came together and spoke up and there was change. so i love this panel. this is great. why not take the same concept
and use the platform of our export/imports and all the businesses that are here and take on issues one at a time and let all the businesses come behind it and the money? >> anyone want to take a stab at that? i could stake a stab at that but it would be very controversial. >> i'm going to start. there is a vehicle that is trying to do that, obviously, all the issues are, you know, too numerous to take on. one of the things i'm pleased about is that we're stepping back from a million issues and try to line up around some key issues, education, energy, immigration reform, and try to get the voice of business --
this is clearly a bigger usiness forum. so they can have a common voice and a consistent voice around key problems. so when x.m. bank, when we had the silly discussion about the x.m. bank, businesses did weigh in very activity front and behind-the-scenes but we did weigh in and make it clear on what we wanted to have happen. there is work on that as well as education and immigration reform. on cyber security there is are things moving forward and it takes a long time. it just takes a long time. >> i think the short answer to your question is, large parts of the business lobby in washington became partisan. >> yeah. >> some people who ran those
organizations decided they could get more if they align themselves with the republican caucus and the house of the representatives. for a while they did. but that wound up poisoning the well in a way that now makes it difficult for those business organizations to be part of the solution because they are perceived by democrats as being of -- pockets of the republicans. that has been a problem in the last decade. it was a strategy that worked and then it worked too well. now it is hard to pull back from that strategy and be so -- the business organizations to be what they usually were, which was quite bipartisan and provided the political balance
for the conversation here. they are not the kind of issues that people talk about in the country, how to treat h.b.1 visas was not something they were talking about in indiana. but that is how those things get resolved. until recently, like very recently, the business community was not providing that. i think they have an immigration and they said -- the chamber sat down with the labor unions and they ironed out a few things. that was unusual in the last 10 years. that that conversation did not go on 10 year guys but 20, 30 years ago it went on all the time. any other questions? >> i'm way over here. i asked this question the other day as well. since it is global, keeping the
economy competitive in the global market, in my opinion you need to have a weak dollar. if you agree with that, is there anything we can continue to do to keep the dollar at a lower rate so we can export more competitively? >> so this is a fairly standard argument that our currency is overvalued because it is the world's currency and among other things, it is better than the alternatives. but it causes a problem for us in terms of our balance between imports and exports. who agrees with that idea? >> i absolutely agree. >> go ahead. i think it is very -- look, some countries have manipulated their currency, no question about it. for a country like ours to manipulate the dollar would be
difficult indeed. the more you do it -- clearly exports is down. we have a lot of people who own our debt and the notion that it is worth less over time is not particularly attract pitch >> so it might help in the short term but it will be expensive for us to get our debt financed n the future and it may offset the economic benefit? real conflictis a there. >> he covered it all. i agree. as a company leader we try to stay far away foreign policy. we're going to make the best product, provide the best service, and go for it and someone else can deal with the currency issues. we would prefer if other countries did not have a duality in their currency or have ways to make it fernly unfair.
theon't get too involved in currency manipulation. >> there was a question there. >> based on the education front, i just turned on the tv on msnbc and the person who came up said that u.s. education is not geared towards communities. we're look at the individuals. so my family wants to see my child be the best but the community is irrelevant when it comes to educating. some european countries send their kids to public schools. n new jersey, .75 of our taxes support the school system but most people send their kids to a private school.
so to go to a public school you're wasting your time. when are we going to change our wealthy have the people bring their kids to the public schools and get the same skills for this business? >> so if you look at the american school system compared to the world, we do have the best -- our schools are in a con tin yume. our best public schools are as good as the best in the world. the challenge of the american system is the worst school are on the same level as the worst in the world. our challenge is our middle schools are doing pretty poorly compared to the middle schools f finland, singapore, etc. so that makes you look at what are the best public schools
doing? it is the case of the best public schools in massachusetts, minnesota, which i would add are states heavily unionized. states that are heavily unionized do have the best schools in the country. they are, they often have property taxes and they have local supporting them. that leads to equity issues but they do have strong, local support for the schools. and the wealthiest people in the community as well as the middle-clals and the lower income have kids that go to the schools. they are high quality schools. i went to one of those schools, i went to bedford until massachusetts k-12. pretty much they are the engineers, the korea, everyone september their kids to the public schools.
's, everyone e.o. sent their kids to the public schools. i sent my child to d.c. public schools but they are good schools the one i sent them too. i'm proud to do that. if parents have poor schools we can't do that. we need to improve the public school system so parents want to sent them. you see this in new york city, there is an effort that middle schools that are lower income that have though schools. if you create a system where everyone is invested in the schools that will build over time. jet parents will have the option and hopefully sent their kids to those schools and they can
compete in any schools in the world. >> that is a good example where we probably, at some level we think we ought to have a strategy. maybe we ought to have a strategy in this country where everyone sends their kids to the same school. but this is america and that strategy can't conflict with the individual right to sent your kid to whatever school you want to sent them too. you know, within the law. >> right. >> it is sort of our problem is that we want to vezz v these -- we sort of think we know what the solution is but it runs up against our, sort of political philosophy. >> those are two -- >> extremes. >> but they are not on the same plane. having everyone go to the same school rich or poor is not issue. every public school should have
a minimum standard of performance. >> but the argument is if everyone is invested in the schools in a personal way the bad and the mediocre ones won't get better because they are on a downward spiral and that weaks the whole system. >> i don't agree with that. i go to the neighborhoods all the time and i walk around the neighborhood, i guess parents are involved, some aren't. >> the parents are involved. >> they all have to be. >> someone has to be involved for the kids to go to school. but they go to this school in a fairly bad, but now it is getting better, but in a fairly bad community. this is as much about will and about not being embarrassed to say we're not doing well and say we're going to fix it. i was watching this news program
about the teachers cheating. it was interesting. i thought it was -- that the motivation -- i understood their motivation but they motivation is odd. if you want to educate the child, if the child is the customer you want the customer to have a good result. the problem we have now is we have a view, i think on the wrong customer. the customer is not the teacher. the teacher is the provider of the service. the parent is the payer. the customer is their kid. we don't have finland. we have people from all over the place, speak all different languages, have all different backgrounds. so we have to adjust the system and find a system that works community by community by community. some will be public, some
parents will send their kids to private school. you have to make sure all of them are reasonable. i say treat them very much like we treat any other problem, which is what is the problem, how are we going to solve it? who is the customer? the customer is the child, it is not the teacher, it is not the union. if we think about it from that perspective, as jeff kennedy thought i will find a way to serve the kids, shorter days, longer days, or whatever it is. we should do a lot of what these countries do but we have to realize we're not these countries. >> even in states that are much more home generous. our schools are not competing with the best in the world.
>> i disagree with that. ingredients s of and i wish every child had that opportunity. if upper income families are pulling their children out of public schools you see this in cities, it does leave fewer taxpayer dollars for those resources. how do you make those schools attractive for -- then the schools decline. how do you make the schools more attractive? i absolute sli agree. the best way to do that is focus on what the child is learning. that is the number one standard. but how do we get there is the issue that politics involve themselves in. >> let's thank our panel. we're at the end of our time. >> now from the export/import bank of the united states
conference. a conversation with the transportation secretary. expanded rail service and the spending cuts on air travel. his is 20 minutes. >> this man needs no introduction. we're fortunate, we were seated next to each other on a program that did not start on time so we had time to get to know each other. we've been fast friends since. we've done a little travel together as well. he's been just a great fellow traveler in the obama administration. one of the brief introductions i will say, last year working together he said we want to make sure that the transportation is helping the export initiative and helping to double exports. we formed an agreement with the
maritime administration to make it easier for u.s. exporters to ship on u.s. ships to make sure we stay competitive and meet delivery deadlines. let's give the secretary a round of applause for that. [applause] >> good morning. tom is fred's partner. they have the best dinner parties. if you get an invitation, they are the best. i doubt he can invite all of you but if you get invited to fred's dinner party it isand the best wine. the best. >> let me ask you this question. you are theoretically wrapping up your time as secretary. what has been the best part about the job? >> carrying out the president's genda. the thing about president obama is, he is a big infrastructure president. he has a big, bold vision for nfrastructure.
we launched for the president his spite -- his high-speed rail initiative. people in america have traveled in europe and asia and they ride the trains on the come back and say, why don't we have them? president eisenhower had signed he high-speed rail bill. we have the state-of-the-art interstate system. it's the best. what we have tried to do is implement the president's vision for high-speed rail, and for safety in all modes of ransportation. safety is a very strong part of ur agenda. we also had the privilege four, right in the beginning, he signed the economic stimulus bill, which for our part really did work. you may have seen articles that it did not work.
it did work. we got $48 billion. in two years we took the 48 billion dollars and created 65,000 jobs and 15,000 rojects. all kinds of projects all over america. what we do creates jobs. what we do creates economic opportunities. that is what we do at the d.o.t. that is what infrastructure does, whether it is modernizing an airport -- we have great airports in america. whether it is modernizing a road, implementing a streetcar system or light rail system, as we have done in atlanta, detroit, charlotte, all over america -- we create opportunities for economic development, for jobs, and we are really improving local and state economies. our best partners are governors and mayors. i have been to every state in the country. i've been to 15 or 16 countries
looking at high-speed rail. the goal and vision for the president is to connect america over the next 25 years, 80% of the country will be connected with passenger rail. that's what we're going to leave to the next generation. the next generation of transportation for america is assenger rail. on the northeast corridor, amtrak is making money. they are providing a good service. we've made over $3 billion worth of investments on the court or for new equipment, to fix up the infrastructure so that we can get a faster train. in california, they have a plan where we have invested $3 billion. they have over $10 billion invested.
they're going to have a train from san francisco to san diego, 200 miles an hour, within the next 10 years things to the leadership of governor brown and the assembly and other rail enthusiasts. we are not going to have 200 mile an hour trains on the northeast corridor. were going to have faster rains, and on-time trains. >> how does this job compared to when you were a house member? >> best job i've ever had. i would not go back to the house of representatives if you all elected me. [laughter] being in congress is a good job. it takes forever to get anything done. in four and a half years, we have done a lot of good in terms of putting people to work, building infrastructure, creating economic corridors, creating economic development. and that is because you don't need to get 218 people to agree ith you.
i loved my work in the house and i still have many colleagues and former colleagues and friendships. this is a great job. and mainly because the president really believes in infrastructure, and really believes it is a way to get america back to work, moving again, and creating economic opportunity. >> you answered about six of my questions already. >> let's take questions from the crowd. what do you guys have to say? >> i think there is microphone roving around. if i don't see a microphone, i will pick someone who can stand up and speak with a loud voice. any questions? what do we need to do on the freight rail side? >> great question. we have created a freight rail policy committee within the department, and we have just
gone out and solicited the dvisory committee. all forms of transportations, so we can coordinate. we have a great freight rail system. i think it is the best in the world. the way that they deliver goods all over america, and goods coming from the outside into our country -- we need to make sure there is a lot of coronation between trucking and our maritime industry. the freight rail policy group within the department will rely on this advisory committee which we have just solicited. we have lots of interest for this advisory committee to help us put together a very strong coordinated freight rail policy that includes all modes of transportation. >> is our question back there?
>> hi. alan levin from bloomberg. >> he's from the media. we need to let these people who actually pay to get in here ask a question. >> let the record show that i differed -- deferred -- >> did you pay to get in here? >> go ahead, alan. >> you get a free question. >> we don't want to stand in the way of the first amendment here. >> go ahead, alan. >> alan is a great reporter. we have never had a complaint against him. that's why he gets his free question. [laughter] >> my question is on the 787 and
your eventual role in putting it back in the skies. do you have any sense on the timetable that once boeing completes its tests -- >> they are doing the tests now. we have agreed with the tests they are doing. when they complete their test, they will give us the information and we will make a ecision. i know you wanted something more definitive. >> so does boeing. [laughter] we want to get it right. we want to make sure everything is done correctly. we want to make sure that to the flying public that these planes are safe. the plan they put together is a good plan. >> while we're waiting, safety issues. safety is a big issue, one of the most critical issues. >> here is what we say about safety. thousands of people boarded
planes, trains, got an automobile today -- got in an automobile today. but they did not think about safety. that's what we think about as d.o.t. think about all the people who got on a plane, on a train, in their car today,people don't think about safety, but we do. we want to make sure that when somebody boards a plane, the pilot is well-trained and has the experience, that the plane is mechanically ok. that is what we do at the faa. now that is what we do when it comes to transit systems. that is what we do when it comes to automobiles. we make sure that automobiles are safe. if they are not, we hold automobile companies'feet to the fire. we take the safety agenda is one of our top priorities. we know that people just don't think about it, and take it for granted. it's a very important part of
the work that we do. we have people who get up every day and come to d.o.t., and the thing they think about more than anything else is safety. >> have you seen anything in your travels in other countries that we can emulate as far as safety? >> actually, we have a lot of >> actually, we have a lot of countries coming to the united states to work with our safety people particularly when it comes to cars. we have just taken a group of bus companies off the road because they are fly-by-night companies. we take them off the road. they slap another name on their bus in their back on the road again. we have taken that is one of our top priorities, to make sure we get those bus companies so their buses are safe, but also that their drivers are properly licensed. we do the same with trucking companies. trucking companies do take safety as their number one priority. we have got some fly-by-night bus companies we have taken off the road. we have a lot of folks who come
to us because they know that we have the experts in safety. >> a question there, then in the front. >> i have a question about the high-speed rail. i'm from the east coast but i ive in california now. the 200 mile an hour train -- the east coast is a very dense area. california and the western states are not a dense area. even a 200 mile an hour train, what is the plan to make them ost effective? just because i live in california -- it is kind of losing steam. the high-speed rail. it probably will happen, but not probably as fast as the administration would like it to. how are we going to make it cost effective for someone to get from los angeles to san francisco when there's really nothing in between? on the east coast you have four or five major cities between
new york and d.c. >> part of what we're doing in california and part of plan is to tie in transit so that people can use the transit system in bakersfield or merced, and make sure there is a connectivity between cities where there may not necessarily be a stop -- although there would be for bakersfield -- so that the transit systems can connect. that is what they do in other countries, certainly in asia, china, japan. connectivity, so that people have a way to get to the trains that are running on the corridor, is a part of what california is planning. it is an important component of it, so you don't just have a straight line, but there are ways for people to have access to these trains from cities where the train may not
stop. in illinois, we have invested over $3 billion in infrastructure there to get trains to move faster, from 79 miles an hour to 110 miles an hour. there aren't going to be stops n my home community of peoria, for example, but we're going to provide connectivity from peoria to bloomington normal so that people can get back and forth. that has to be a part of the plan. i know there was a recent poll in california, and i don't know what the question was -- i can tell you there is still very strong sentiment from the people. the people are ahead of the politicians. people want alternatives. any of you who have driven in california know what a mess it is on the highways. people would love to happen opportunity to be able to get on a train for an on-time arrival.
that is what the plans are in california. i think it is going to appen. >> i'm going to take one quick second. we've got a number of our advisory committee members here. can i take one second to ask the advisor to take a stand? they have done a great job advising us. there is another 10 or 12 beyond them. >> how can we truly expect the sequester to have impact on air travel? >> it will have a huge impact. there is a recent article that said it had not had any impact. it did not start until april 1. for example, at the f.a.a., we
have to find $1 billion. we don't have the luxury of mocking money around. sequester doesn't allow us to do that. we had to find $600 million at the f.a.a. that's lot of money to find. it makes it very difficult. that is why we are looking at closing towers and looking at furloughing some of our f.f.a. -- f.a.a. employees, which is a very tough thing to do. it is not any way to run an aviation system. i can tell you that. >> question in the corner there. >> i have had the pleasure of meeting the secretary. graduated from the united states marine academy and you've done wonderful things for the maritime industry. you might want to relate that to the list of the gentlemen and ladies here. >> i'm going to keep us moving with questions. >> fred doesn't want me blowing my horn. >> go right ahead.
>> oh, no, no, no. go ahead. >> i am from "business imes." every country expects america to finance their transportation projects but as we know our infrastructure -- [inaudible] roads, highways, bridges. the city where i live, the roads are full of holes. we need financing. why not get other countries to come to america and help our prote mote our infrastructure projects? america has done so much things for the world. i think the world has to come back to america. so it can do something good. thank you. >> there are some investors from japan and china looking at investing in high-speed rail. from japan they're looking at investing on the northeast corridor.
from china they are looking at investing in rail out west. there are people that are interested in making investments, particularly in high-speed rail. that is something we have really encouraged, because we know there is not enough money in washington to be able to fund the high-speed rail. we need the private investment. we know of people that are here in america. let me say word about maritime. we have worked very closely with the export-import bank on this to make sure that the maritime industry -- which creates a lot of jobs. we have tried to update the merchant marine academy, where we have over 1,000 students who are training to be -- work in the maritime industry, which is a great reservoir and supply of young people who eventually will be in the industry. we have put out the marine highway program, a plan to use
the waterways along our ports, and we have also emphasized our ports. we have funded 19 different ports in the country. we believe ports are a real economic engine and communities. we believe with the expansion of the panel on canal ports, some canals are going to expand ramatically. >> this is related to pr-17 in marin. i want to complement the department. it is good to see revival of some of the u.s. flag fleet. we have here some u.s. flag arriers. i did study at suny maritime. i see u.s. lines, sealands. my question to you is
how do you see this revival and bringing back this innovation that the u.s. brought to hipping? >> we have to continue to invest in ports. we have to take advantage of the expansion of the panama canal. he have to implement our marine highway plan. -- we have to implement our marine highway plan. meeting with fred and putting together a good agreement on the use of american ships, american companies to transport our goods around america and around the world. it is a priority for us, making it a priority in making sure that the maritime industry has all the tools that it needs to be successful. that's what we tried to do for the last 4 1/2 years. we appreciate the support of the industry. >> let's give the secretary around of applause. i have 13 seconds.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2013] >> vice president biden up next. his remarks are part of the annual export-import bank conference in washington. this is about 35 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome mrs. jenny fulton and the the vice president of the united states, joe biden.
>> good afternoon. chairman harper. members of the board of directors, and ladies and gentlemen. my name is jenny fulton. 'm the founder and co-owner of ms. jenny's pickles. hank you, thank you. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. our pickle world headquarters is located in north carolina. i am so honored and grateful to be introducing vice president biden, our keynote speaker. but before i do, i'd like to share our story. miss jenny's pickles was born after ashley fur, my business partner and i were laid off during the recession. we took a family recipe and, by god's grace, we started our own pickle company. in the beginning, we grew our own cucumbers. we jarred every jar. we formed a partnership with
the local ymca to use their kicken. -- kitchens. we knocked on doors for stores to carry our pickles. and by the end of 2010, we were in 50 stores. by the end of 2011, we were carried in 200 stores. and by the end of 2012, we are now in over 900 stores. [applause] thank you. thank you. knowing that 95% of the world's population lives outside the united states -- [laughter] >> i was just telling them to sit down. >> yes, please sit down. i'm sorry. i forgot to tell them. why didn't you tell me that earlier? i'm so sorry. >> i didn't think of it. >> i'm so sorry. [laughter] i'm glad you're with me. >> i'm glad you're with me. >> i do apologize for that. let's start over, you ready? [laughter] knowing that 95% of the world's
population lives outside the united states, we knew that exporting was crucial to our success. we have now been exporting for two years. we have pickles in china. in fact, they left yesterday. which is our second shipment. mongolia, the u.k., and very soon canada. in three short years, exporting has allowed us to grow our staff to 12 employees. that's 250% increase in employment. and by the end of 2013, we're going to do $1 million in gross sales. and i hope 0% of that's in exporting. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. early on, i had the pleasure of hearing x.m. chairman fred hopper speak in north carolina. i was so impressed by his remarks to help small businesses like me export that i was running out to the car and i gave him his driver, chris, a jar of miss jenny's pickles.
and today we partner with the x.m. bank so that we can let our foreign buyers have terms, because without the x.m. bank, we could never do that. and because we have partnered with the x.m. bank, we now have our foreign sales increased, and now here's the fun part. it is my great honor and privilege to introduce our luncheon keynote speaker. with president obama, he has worked the last four years to strengthen our economy, to help small businesses like mine, and to open the world to american exports. please join me in welcoming our vice president of the united states of america, joe biden. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, this is why we can outcompete anybody in the world. his is the reason.
>> thank you, sir. >> you did a great job. >> thank you. good luck. [applause] >> thank you. jenny said to me, good luck. i tell you what, man. i was telling jenny backstage that a lot of you know my home state of delaware and know it for the chemical industry and the banking industry. but i remind everybody the single biggest industry back in delaware is agriculture. and pickles are part of that. and it employs a whole hell of a lot of people, and it generates a whole lot of balance and surplus. and an awful lot of it. you know, i kid with people who don't know much about farm economies, and i would hallenge you this. you can go to any -- this is obviously an ad lib here.
but you can go to any major city in america, walk into a fancy restaurant and sit down to talk foreign policy with the folks in that restaurant or i'll take you to a diner in southern delaware or out in the middle of the midwest and you sit down with a bunch of farmers and they can talk foreign policy, literally. they know. they know more about what's going on because they're -- they know the folks they want to sell to are over there. and that's what y'all are about. i especially want to start by thanking fred. fred has done inedably important work, and we owe him a great deal. fred, we owe you a great deal of help for the -- what you've done to boost american exports. but every single job you've ever taken on, you've done extremely well. and i want you to know, and i mean this seriously personally and on behalf of the president, we appreciate your dedication more than you know. and it's an honor also to be with all the rest of you this
afternoon, to have a chance to speak to so many people on the frontlines of our economic renewal. i understand better than almost anyone, you understand, the sheer potential this global economy affords the united states of america. and you are well aware of the challenges as well. this is a familiar story. in the post war era, post world war ii era, we faced a slightly different set of challenges as a global economy re-emerged we knew that institutions and rules were needed to navigate through this new world order. and because our parents and grandparents were wise and because they were committed, we did what we've always done best. we exercised our global leadership. we were driving -- we were a driving force behind the creation of the world bank, the international monetary fund, as well as the gatt, as well as the world trade
organization. the architecture for the global economic system. our companies and our financial institutions from that period through the mid 1980's and 1990's were also instrumental in establishing the standards for corporate responsibility and transparency and governance. defining the norms that shape the good business practices in an increasingly global economy. and thanks to all of you, participating in that global economy, you all know better than most that this is self-evident, and while many americans, too many americans, to those institutions and norms seem to be abstract, but not to all of you. they would help us glow the largest, most successful middle class in all the world. they set the road to economic expansion and shared prosperity in the united states and throughout the world. we didn't just stumble upon our economic destiny.
we shaped it. we shaped our economic destiny. and now we have to reshape it. it's a different world. my colleagues are always kidding me and fred's heard me say this for quoting irish poets all the time. they think i do it because i'm irish. i don't do it. i do it because they're the best poets. [laughter] there's a poem -- there was a poem that yeats wrote easter sunday 1916 about his ireland. after the first rising. that's what we irish catholic called the last time we tried to get rid of the british. but all kidding aside, he wrote a poem called easter sunday 1916. he used a line in there that better describes the state of he world today than it described his ireland in easter sunday, 1916. he said all's changed. changed utterly. a terrible beauty has been mourned. all's changed.
in the last decade, all's changed. in terms of the globalization of the world economy, in terms of the rules of the road or lack of the rules of the road, in terms of watching emerging nations trying to figure out where they fit and how we fit relative to them and so on. and so these institutions that the affirmative task we have now is -- is to actually create a new world order. because the global order is changing again. and the institutions and rules that worked so well in the post world war ii era for decades, they need to be strengthened. some have to be changed. so we have to do what we do best. we have to lead. we have to lead. we have to update the global rules of the road. we have to -- we have to do it in a way that maximize benefits for everyone, because, obviously, it's overwhelmingly in our interests. this is not a zero-sum game. it's overwhelming in our interests that china prosper,
that mongolia prosper, that nations big and large, east and west, in latin america and in africa prosper because, you know that old expression, they asked willie sutton why he robbed banks, he said that's where the money is. [laughter] we want everybody to have a little money. to make sure they can buy american products. so the paradox -- [applause] >> so we don't view, the president and i and fred, we don't view economic growth as a zero-sum game here. that somehow we grow and it's in our interests that other major powers grow as well. that's the paradox in this new global order. so much of our success depends on the success of those with whom we compete. that's the challenge the president and i and the entire administration take very seriously. it's been the center of our
economic philosophy from the day we took office. from our perspective, there are two things that we must do abroad to ensure our strength at home. first, we have to reorient our focus not just toward the greatest threats, but toward the greatest opportunities that exist for us. and second, we have to level the playing field, that old phrase, it's almost overused over the last 20 years, but it's true. we have to level the playing field so american companies and workers can compete in the world that the competition is fair and it's healthy. so the first point, we came into office facing the worst financial recession since the great depression. we had to unfreeze the credit markets, reform the financial system, inject demand back into the economy, and while this agenda is far from complete, we've made significant progress with all of your help. the economy is now added private sector jobs every month, disappointing this month, but they nonetheless added jobs. even though we still found that
the time there's a need for an ambitious affirmative agenda. we strengthened and signed three free trade agreements. we're working -- we're making historic progress toward meeting our incredibly ambitious goal of doubling american exports, adding two million export-supported jobs by the end of 2014. we reoriented our development strategy to focus on sustainable economic growth. but there's so much more we have to do. the second term, the president and i believe we have to take up the task of updating the international economic architecture that serves as the foundation and must serve as the foundation for long-term american economic growth. that's one of the reasons we've dedicated so much attention to asia. we're proud of the role we've played for decades ensuring stability and security in the asian-pacific region. when i had one of my -- a number of my long meetings over
a period of 10 days and five in china and five here with the chinese president because they wanted us to establish a relationship, it was fascinating. they asked about how we viewed ourselves. we are a pacific power. we are a pacific power. we will remain a pacific power. and he and others acknowledge that our presence, our -- our influence in the region since world war ii is one of the reasons why china has been able -- been able to expand in economic growth in terms and conditions of stability. the world's economic engine has shifted eastward, and we know that it is in asia where much of the opportunity of the 21st century will be found. economically asia already accounts for one quarter of the global g.d.p. over the next five years, the asian pacific may account for
as much as 60% of global growth. and that's why through the efforts like the trans-pacific partnership, our dialogue with the chinese, indians and others and our enhanced engagement in southeast asia, we're continuing to assert ourselves as a resident economic power in the region. think about the opportunity that the transpacific partnership alone represents. 11 members comprising 658 million people, with a combined economic output of $20.5 trillion per year. we've been working to forge an agreement that will bring together economies from across the pacific, development and developing -- developed and developing alike. the transpacific partners is perhaps the most ambitious trade negotiation underway in
the world. it will break new ground on important issues from the challenges of state-owned enterprises, to ensuring the free flow of data across borders, to enhancing regional supply chains, to ensuring transparency in cutting red tape. we're also working to strengthen protections for labor and the environment. the transpacific partnership is open to countries willing to meet our ambition. since we started these negotiations, vietnam, malaysia, mexico, canada, all have joined in the negotiations. and we continue to welcome other countries. the interest of other countries. including japan. that was a source of discussion when the prime minister was here several weeks ago. our goal is for high standards for the transpacific partnership to enter the bloodstream of the global system and improve the rules and norms. and by the way, it ends up affecting conduct in those countries as well. as the president and others, the transpacific partnership
leaders have clearly stated we intend to conclude the negotiations this year. our economic engagement with europe, by the way, is no less ambitious. we've built especially deep and robust security institutions that span the atlantic. and now it's time for that economic cooperation to catch up and -- and sink deeper roots. because the truth is, the united states and the european union are each other's most important trading partners. and will remain so. the u.s. and e.u. commercial relationship today exceeds $5 trillion, far and away the world's largest. but we know, we know, you know, we can do more. that's why we've announced negotiations of a new transatlantic trade and investment partnership. this is a big opportunity. a new partnership can build on what's already our leading export market, supporting more than an estimated 2.5 million
well-paying american jobs. but this is not purely about basic economic gains. it's about the possibility to drive progress together on shared priorities. that's why we have an ambitious agenda. not only to eliminate tariffs, but also to tackle costly so-called behind-the-border barriers to the flow of goods and services, improved transparency and developed rules and principles that promote global competitiveness. again, i'll keep saying this. when i was in china speaking at the great hall of the people and they were talking about our economy, i made it clear when i was recently in germany with the chancellor, in paris with the president, and in england with the prime minister, we americans, we welcome competition. it's stamped into our d.n.a. it is not a problem. it is not a problem. period.
and that's the fundamental point with regard to both these trade -- both of these trade agreements. we're talking -- what we're talking about is shaping a new standard that can become the metric by which all future trade agreements are measured. and that's the first part of the question. the second is something i know this audience understands well. i don't have to tell you as i just stated about competition. you're out there fighting every single day. you know. you know that genuine competition pushes our companies and our people to perform better. genuine competition. america welcomes it. as i said, it's stitched into the very fabric of our society, our economic system, and the benefits of healthy competition require a level playing field. or at least a close similarity to a level playing field. we even win when the field isn't quite level.
but literally, i mean this sincerely, this is not hyperbole. when the field is level, american workers, the american capitalist system, the american market system, the american ingenuity can and does compete with anyone in the world. on any level. [applause] i have overwhelming confidence in the competitive capacity of the american worker. they are the most productive workers in the world today. but we will not fully realize our potential if the game is rigged and there's a lot of rigging going on right now. that's why we're troubled by state-owned so-called national champion competitors that enjoy
subsidized financing, cheap inputs, artificially inflating their competitors by -- their competitiveness by restricting foreign investments or trade designed to induce american companies to transfer that technology, their manufacturing as a condition of market access, by procurement rules that unfairly keep american companies from the chance to compete, by, and by governments that steal our intellectual property to benefit favored companies increasingly, increasingly we're seeing wholesale theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyber intrusion. and that has to stop. it has to stop. and as i point out when i travel in other countries and i travel about 700,000 miles worth of other countries in the last 4 1/2 years. i really mean this. when i talk to the leaders of other countries about the theft of intellectual property, when i talk to them about these
issues, i point out that they are denying their own people the promise of being able to become more competitive. because indigenous capacity to grow creatively is stifled when they engage in the theft of intellectual property. these are serious challenges. and in many ways they're growing challenges. and we're taking them on each in turn. we're enforcing trade rules that are already on the books, bringing a record number of cases to the w.t.o., cracking new -- crafting new rules and setting ambitious standards for global trade and working multilaterally to strengthen global growth and global financial systems and we're fighting for american companies. i make no apology when i travel abroad. to make the case for american
companies. no apology. part of our obligation is in a sense to be an extended chamber of commerce, to make sure american companies get an even shot. that is part of our responsibility in our view. we're fighting for american companies, doing the hard, grinding, daily work of economic diplomacy. these efforts, large and small, are mostly outside the public eye but they pay off. just in the last few days the usda opened taiwan's $8 million fresh potato market to our colorado farmers. the commerce department is helping increase trade with mongolia where u.s. exports have grown by more than 1,500% in five years. the state department's economic dialogue with the united arab emirates will build on a $20 billion -- build on our $20 billion exports last year. and we've celebrated exam's
record-breaking deal this year, a $5 billion loan that will support more than 18,000 american jobs. these efforts involve everyone. from the president on down. last year i personally sat at the last minute hammering out deals to open china's auto insurance market and to bust the quota that unfairly limits chinese imports of american movies. worth hundreds of millions of dollars. everybody has to understand, you want to play on the world stage, you got to play by the rules. you know, i have -- as i said, i've traveled the world for the president over the last four years. and everywhere i go i along with everyone else fights for america's economic interests. but in a way, in many of the toughest market it's, including china and roughia, i've also made the case, as i mentioned before, that publicly and
privately that an open economy and a level playing field is not just in our interest, it's overwhelmingly in their interest, to develop their economies and develop their countries. an open, innovative, dynamic, innovative economic institutions. when countries stick to the rules of the road, globally, they tend to build better institutions at home. this requires the kind of reforms that can secure any country's long-term stability and prosperity. that's how a level playing field and a global economy supports values we'd like to see everywhere. free exchange of ideas, free enterprise, transparency, anticorruption, the rule of law. we take these issues very seriously. we also take seriously the need to attract global investments in the united states. in the past, that's been an easy sales pitch. america has long had, still has the most productive workers of the world, as i mentioned before. we have the best research, universities in the world, we have the rule of law.
we honor contracts. and legal obligations. we protect intellectual property. but it's about more than just our legal structures. it's about our culture of innovation. i don't know if any other country in the world, including our european partners, that would actually encourage its people to challenge orthodoxy. we have a lot of trouble with our education and we're trying to improve. t the one thing our system stands out, no matter what the school, children are encouraged to challenge orthodoxy. not accept it. in fact, we don't just encourage it, we teach it. jobs in that famous exchange of the student at stanford said, what do i have to do to be more like you, paraphrasing. he said, think different. you can't think different in a country where you can't speak freely. you can't think different in a country where you are not allowed to challenge the orthodoxy. you can't think different in a
country that limits what you can be engaged in. that's why i'm so optimistic about our future. because i believe in the 21st century, the true wealth of a nation is found in the creative mind of its people and their ability to innovate. to develop technologies and not only span new -- spawn new products but entire new industries. more than any other country, the united states of america's hardwired for innovation. it has enabled generation after generation of americans to give life to world-changing ideas. from the cottonin to the airplane, to the microchip, to the internet and the list can go on and on and on. these accomplishments were made possible by the bounledless capacity of the american people and the immigrants who constantly enrich and revitalize our national fabric. and that more than anything is why i truly believe we're better positioned than any country in the world to be the
leading economy of the 21st century. at the same time, we know that things are changing. we have to make sure we maintain our edge. we need to make sure we are fully equipped for the coming competition. and that takes me to the last point. that's why we're investing so much in education. that's why we think it's so critical. that's why we're making early education, stem education such a high priority. that's why we made investments in research and development so critical to our -- and central to our economic agenda. that's why we're committed to investing in the kind of cutting-edge technologies that will help us ensure that the new new thing which is now an old, old phrase is not just imagined here but is manufactured here. and that's why we insist on updating our infrastructure. so that we can accommodate the rapidly changing world, not only will we encourage businesses to stay in america and invest in america, it will create jobs on a scale that we require right now. we also think it's essential to
reform the immigration system. every year we in a sense export. every year our university system generates roughly 40,000 people with ph.d.'s and masters degrees in areas and science and technology that we need. and we make sure they're promptly ex -- escorted back to their country. at the same time we're spending hundreds of millions of dollars on stem education. it makes no sense. in my humble opinion. sending them back to the country denies them the visa even when when they have a job waiting for them. instead of sending them home we should be stamping a green card and a diplomat. as they walk across the stage. literaly. i mean this literally. not figuratively. [applause] literally. if they have a job here, they should be able to stay here. we should want them here. ladies and gentlemen, i've also
proposed adding additional h-1-v visas so american employers can hire the best and the brightest no matter where they come from, if they can't be found here. you know, it's a very real terms, our future national competitiveness can be tied to getting a comprehensive education reform bill on the president's desk. those are the things that we're doing right now. infrastructure, investment and innovative technologies, education and immigration. these are the things, like, for example, when the president announced the -- if we had our way it would be a $1 billion project, to map the human brain. that's not some idle exercise as i watch some of these talk show guys thinking, you know, i mean, we should scan their brains. [laughter] but i'm serious.
it's amazing. since when did we become the nation that instead of embracing science and believing that we can solve any problem and extending ourselves, since when is that anticompetitive or antibusiness or liberal? ladies and gentlemen, these are the things we're doing right now. we continue to make america a place where foreign companies will want to put down roots. we are one of the most open economies in the world. so we know there are great opportunities for investment in the united states of america. and we're determined to make sure foreign investors know about them as well. that's why for the first time ever we have an initiative that's entirely dedicated to helping foreign companies that want to invest in america. to figure out how to do so. it's very much in our interest for that to happen.
each of these actions will have another effect which is maybe the most important of all. and most important to do. and i think this audience probably understands that. that is, i think that will help grow the base of american exports in the companies that include the type of products and services that the u.s. -- that are u.s. trends. but aren't exported at the rate they could be. and also includes encouraging more first-rate exporters in the united states. because as all of you know, reaching the 95% of the consumers who live beyond our borders is not merely an opportunity for american companies, more and more it's a necessity for american companies. we've already made incredible progress in that front. last year u.s. exports hit an all-time record of $2.22r8 trillion -- $2.2 trillion. without question this export growth has contributed to
america, creating more than six million jobs over the past 30 months and i believe if we get it right we can achieve even greater results. i absolutely, firmly believe we can do this. i know i'm referred to in the white house as the white house optimist. i read that all the time. well, like i'm the new guy, or as my grandfather would say, i just fell off the turnip truck yesterday. [laughter] in case you haven't noticed, i've been there longer than any of them. [laughter] and i hope you all haven't noticed that. [laughter] but i'm afraid it's self-evident. [laughter] but i'm optimistic not out of naivety. i know the history of the journey of this country. the history of the journey of this country is every single challenge we've unleashed on the american people and all of you have never failed to be met, given the american people have a chance. we have big challenges.
challenges we have to attend to. but we're attending to them. as long as we are in the white house, i think we'll continue to attend to them and i expect democrat and republican will who follows will have no choice but to attend to them. the truth is, the reason america's been a global leader for so long is not luck. it's not a matter of chance. it's a matter of effort. it's a matter of thinking about the next step. it's a matter of understanding how much it matters. we've always risen to the challenge. that's who we've always been. as i said at the outset, it's stamped into our d.n.a. it's why so many people still, as corny as it sounds, why so many people still want to come to the united states. so we'll rise to the challenge and hopefully we'll be led by all of you in this room. as i've told many foreign
leaders, it's never, never, never been a good bet to bet against america. i mean that sincerely. never, never, never bet against america. [applause] and the reason is because of all of you in this room. fred, you're doing a great job. all of you are in this for yourselves and for your country and i just think the next 20 years we have a chance to leave our kids and our grandkids in a position where they are -- they are clearly unequivocally better positioned and remain better positioned than any country in the world. to be the leading economy in the world. thank you all very much for listening and i appreciate it. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
>> lauren frost and camille torfs-leibmaare third-place winners in c-span's studentcam contest. they attend eastern middle school in silver spring, maryland. in their video, lauren and camille ask the president to focus on water quality and the environment. ♪ >> everybody needs clean water. we rely on it to drink, cook, clean, and to live. yet we stand by and watch corporations violate national laws daily. 40% of rivers and 46% of lakes in the united state are too polluted to fish, swim, and drink. >> in the 1960's, president lyndon b. johnson called the potomac river a national disgrace.
it was choked with pollution from shore to shore and alge slime across it so thick that you could deep your hand in it and your hand would come out green as if you had stuck your hand in a can of green paint. >> on june 22, 1969, the cuyahoga river in cleveland ohio caught fire when a train rolled by and its sparks flew off the track, igniting the vast oil spots in the river. >> in 2002, the u.s. reached a record for largest dead zone in u.s. history. it sits at the mouth of the mississippi river. when it rains, runoff filled with sewage and many other harmful chemicals are washed off streets and is drained into the mississippi river and enters the gulf of mexico. this nutrient overload leads to a surplus of algal blooms, killing the majority of aquatic life in the area. >> in 2012, this dead zone was the size of connecticut. >> in april of 2010, the bp
infamous oil spill terrorized the country. >> nearly 200 million gallons of toxic crude oil were spilled in some of the richest, most diverse waters anywhere in the world. we know that thousands of birds were killed -- whales -- everything from shrimp to sperm whales, plankton to pelicans. we know that there were plumes of oil the size of manhattan at 3,000 feet of water careening through this gulf. we know that there is a carpet of oil up to two inches thick that has been found up to 80 miles from that spill site. >> local and national water protection efforts were written until 1972 when the clean water act was firmly established. >> the clean water act contains a very democratically principled provision, which allows for suits and civil suits penalties in the event the responsible agency is not enforcing its own law to protect citizens' rights to safe, clean water.
>> according to the epa, the clean water act prohibits anybody from discharging pollutants to a point source into a water of the united states unless they have an npds permit. the permit contents limit on what you can discharge, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not hurt water quality or people's health. an npds permit will specify an acceptable level of pollutant or pollutant parameter in a discharge. npdas permits make sure that state's mandatory standards for clean water and the federal minimums are being met. >> the national pollutant discharge illumination system is basically the system that we have in place to ensure that we have fishable and swimmable water here in the united states. what we do is basically -- it is illegal for any point source to pollute into our waters
without getting a permit, and then we allow polluters to receive a permit to discharge into the water. >> numerous other acts have been proposed as well, each focusing on individual aspects of water quality and protection. >> the continuous efforts, permits, and acts seem like great solutions to providing all americans with clean water but sadly, corporations all over the united states are constantly violating these permits. >> laidlaw international incorporation works with waste collection embossing and needs to dump mercury on a regular basis. laidlaw broke the discharge limitation in their npdis permits 13 times as well as committing 13 monitoring and 10 reporting violations. similar violations occur all across the united states. these kinds of pollution are classified as point source pollution but there is also
nonpoint source pollution. >> it does not actually cover agricultural runoff like waste from turkey farms and chicken farms we have here in maryland, and so this is clearly not a strong enough system to ensure that we are going to have the clean water that we deserve in maryland. >> we need clean water as described in the clean water act but what is being done to maintain it? organizations such as friends of the earth are working on strengthening the requirements. we need to make polluters realize that dumping into our precious resource will be more of a hassle in the long-term in thinking of a way to get rid of the pollution once and for all. >> one of things that we hear at friend of earth really care about is making polluters pay for their pollution, putting a rice on pollution. we let polluters pollute for free. we do not charge them for what they discharge into rivers and streams. by putting a price on
pollution, we would have a real conomic incentive to produce in a more responsible and more sustainable fashion. >> what do we still need to do? every year 14 billion pounds of sewage, sludge, and garbage are dumped into the world's oceans. on top of that, another 19 trillion gallons of waste are discharged. to ensure that generations after us have clean water, we need to do more than charge these companies for polluting. we need to educate people about their effect on local water ways. we also have to limit the amount of pollution that a company is allowed to dump into the water under a permit. >> i think that permitting part of a larger solution to protecting our water. obviously, we have had the clean water act 1972. it has a stated aim of making every river and stream in the united state fishable and swimmable. we have fallen far short of that, so we are clearly not doing enough to protect our water.
this system, while better than nothing, is clearly inadequate. >> the clean water act and npdis permits are not as strong as they need to be. we as a country need to take action to strengthen the permits and the acts so we can make earth's water swimmable, fishable, and drinkable. it is time to make some significant changes to the system in place. these changes include charging companies to obtain the permits, strengthening limits on the amounts of pollution companies can dump into a river under the program, and institute strict pollution guides for all of america's water. >> dear mr. president, help us look towards the future and create strictly enforced national laws that protect our waters for the present and future. let us work together to make our waters swimmable, drinkable, and fishable for ourselves and the generations to come because water pollution affects everyone. >> you can find this video and
thers at studentcam.org. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> today's ceremony was the culmination of more than a decade's wort of work that started in 2002, when the remains of two united states sailors were recovered from the u.s.s. monitor and although they've got great information on the age and the height and some of the ailments and even some of the things, habits, they weren't able to provide a d.n.a. match. >> monitor was a revolutionary type of ship. it changed modern naval warfare in one single day. the ship was different from its predecessors because, one, it was an iron ship made entirely of iron. and it was transition fromed from the wooden warship to the age of iron. but probably more significant than that was its revolving gun
turret. the monitor was designed by a swedish engineer who designed this vessel with two guns to -- its contemporaries had 40 guns or more, but it had two guns protected in a heavily armored turret that could rotate 360 degrees and for the first time in history it separated the navigation from the ship from the firing of the weapon. and this changed everything. and on march 9, in fact, 151 years ago tomorrow, the monitor met on the field of battle the c.s.s. virginia and for four hours these two ships slugged it out pretty much to a draw. but what changed that day was the course of naval warfare would take in every navy in the world. >> this weekend, the history of the union's first ironclad, monitor. and the final fade of two its of crew on american arts facts, sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 3's american history tv. >> next, a discussion about how the u.s. handled the war in afghanistan.
then the producers of the documentary frack nation talk about energy policy and the process of extracting natural gas. after that, citigroup chairman michael o'neill talked about the economy and the state of the banking industry. >> in keeping with the december, 2001, bomb agreement. in which the united states and the international community pledged to help, quote, end the conflict in afghanistan and promote reconciliation, lasting peace, stability and respect for human rights in the country. unquote. nearly 11 years later, amid a daily parade of reports detailing human rights abuses, bloody suth attack, chronic political instability and rampant petty and large scale corruption, afghanistan continues to face serious obstacles. what went wrong? one typically hears one of two responses. the first is that president george w. bush squandsered america's quick and easy
victory. by both committing an insufficient number of troops in the beginning and redirecting america's energies to iraq, his policies created a vacuum that enabled the taliban to resurface. the second explanation for what went wrong is that president barack obama correctly shifted america's focus back to afghanistan but failed to fully resource the mission and wrongly fixed a date for ending combat involvement. although both answers have a great deal of merit, the project decreed a viable, seblized and legitimate afghan government may have been doomed from the very beginning. debates about the war in afghanistan often mirror debates about the war in iraq. we get wrapped up in procedural questions about planning and execution and we appeal the counterfactuals of if home we did this or that differently. but we rarely challenge the underlying assumption that we could have ever promoted national reconciliation, lasting peace or built a capable and popular government. in addition to what seems to be an unquestioned faith about our
abilities in afghanistan, both the bush and obama administrations promoted the belief that establishing rule of law, building infrastructure, growing an economy, eliminating corruption and resolving disputes would somehow prevent another terrorist attack on american soil. the prevailing assumption that rebuilding afghanistan and other failed states is necessary to cure the problem of terrorism is if a lashese, costly and ultimately wrong. the united states and its coalition partners have pumped billions of dollars into one of the world's poorest economies. that has exacerbated the problem, created winners and losers by enriching petty elites and among a host of other intended consequences, inadvertently funded suths with militants profiting from profits through protection rackets. the notion that enhancing political reform in afghanistan increases u.s. national security also fails to address the much simpler question. even if the taliban reconcurred afghanistan and invited al
qaeda back, how much of a threat would that pose to the united states? can that threat be addressed without a costly, multi-decade, troop-heavy campaign? to help us answer these questions and the ultimate question of what went wrong, i am pleased to have on the dais with me today a distinguished panel of experts, who will provide a broad cross section of opinion. first we have rajiv chandrasekaran. he is author of "little america: the war within the war for afghanistan." from 2009 to 2011 he traveled extensively through the southern provinces of helmand and kandahar to reveal the impact of president obama's decision to increase u.s. troop levels. he is also of author of another book, a best-selling award-winning firsthand account dad's green bag zone and the troubled american effort to reconstruct iraq. he has served as "the washington post's" south asia
correspondent, cairo bureau chief, baghdad bureau chief, national editor and assistant managing editor. our next speaker will be ambassador james dobbins, the director of iran international security and defense response after the terrorist activities of september 11, he was tasked with putting together and installing a task force for the taliban regime. the newd establish afghan government and on september 16, 2001 he raised the flag over the newly reopened u.s. embassy. stabilizationhe and reconstruction of bosnia and the nato intervention in kosovo. award-al speaker is an winning historian, associate professor of history and director of the military history program at west point. in theticle appeared world politics review first exposed the growing risk among
military intellectuals about the growing -- u.s.'s conventional capabilities. he was among a small group of dissident officers and defense analysts who questioned the necessity and efficacy of using counterinsurgency in afghanistan to destroy al qaeda. draws oncoming book his experiences of the combat of italian to better -- battalion commander in iraq. >> thank you for that kind introduction. my apologies to all of you who might have come expecting a pointed debate between the cato analyst and the "washington post" editor. there are many points of agreement. that go whereg to start, with afghanistan.
if we look at 2001-2009 time frame, the common criticism is that the u.s. took its eye off the ball in afghanistan to focus on iraq. that is true. i am not about to support the iraq war. but there were more critical mistakes made by washington that were only tangentially related to the invasion of iraq. the first was the afghan constitution. in the name of fighting corruption and promoting modernization, it centralized power in kabul to an absurd degree. karzai had the ability to hire and fire governors and police chiefs. the constitution aggregates power in the capital to a degree unseen in any other country on the planet. except save for north korea, perhaps. united states should have used its ample influence, this is , but this issm really a set of issues that occurred after his tenure.
but we should have used our ample influence in the early years of the war to push the afghans to change their constitution, drafted in a way that was more in keeping with the country's conditions of decentralization. hours -- our failure to do this enabled the framework for karzai and other political elite, look, they are, warlords, to a tab .ish -- establish what they did the second is our failure to help karzai in the early days. in 2002, president karzai did try to do the right thing. he wanted to take on the warlords and establish a more technocratic government. when he asked washington to authorize a deployment of nato forces beyond kabul to other major afghan cities, youth told no. donald rumsfeld did not want to commit u.s. soldiers the country. when karzai as the u.s. military leader in 2002 for help to remove a warlord turned governor in western afghanistan who was
enriching himself through smuggling, karzai argued to washington that doing so was essential to establishing the authority of the central government. the request was rejected on the grounds that u.s. troops were not to engage in what was called green on green activity. even if one side was the president on who our nation was depending. since we were not going to provide the muscle to remove the warlords, karzai engaged over the following years, in a rational act of self- preservation. by the time we and our nato partners got wise about the damage the warlords were having across the country, karzai had moved into their camp. let's fast-forward to 2009. you know the stakes. obama campaigned on afghanistan being the good work. general stan mcchrystal told him that if it did not commit to a surge, the taliban would not be possible. you know what obama did. 30,000 more troops. but with a deadline.
the first troops would have to start coming home within two years, which he took from the military's own planning documents that promise that areas could be cleared of insurgents and turned over to afghan security forces within 18 haven't had for months. what went wrong e let's break it into two levels. the first a strategic. with the search the right decision. the second is operational. what the president signed off on about how well did the organs lamentedvernment policy? ?- implement his policy her veil in afghanistan, several things need to occur. the afghan government had to be a willing partner. the government had to be railing to crackdown on its own soil. the u.s. government had to commit troops and money for several years. the american people had to be patient enough or security to improve drastically. first, list about the afghan
government. karzai never agreed with the u.s. war strategy. even having a supported government, a fundamental prerequisite for counterinsurgency, we know most afghans have no great love for the taliban. they view them as the religious zealots that they are. , they have no great love for their own government, either. karzai's government is filled with warlords and corrupt scoundrels. many of whom do not provide basic services to the population. of course, he answered washington has been calling. -- coin. we can connect those institutions on the provincial capital and foreign up to the national capital, we can fix this mess. appealing idea. it was fundamentally flawed. that is because karzai has no interest in letting us succeed. --we did, it would distress disrupt his networks. .o he undercut reformers
and you slow rolled efforts to institutions of local governance. we americans naïvely assumed act in 2009 and 2010 that the failure to get civil servants down to the district is because of a lack of human capacity. sure, that was the problem, but the bigger problem was that karzai simply did not believe in the venture. he had his ministers interfere with the process even when the united states was footing the bill. pakistani government, after the leadership relocated to commencementr the of military action in afghanistan in 2001, they were given a degree of safeguard her. .- safe harbor they were allowed to meet, reorganize. they could raise their own money and whatnot. they were not getting a lot of direct help. all that changed. by late 2009, they were getting
substantial amounts of money, intelligence and other material civilian intermediaries. by one assessment, i spring of 2011, at least of all insurgent commanders were working closely with isi operatives. the price tag, was it worth it? -- the annual tab for the war in 2010 was about $100 billion. to achieve a marginally less bad outcome in afghanistan were worth that expe nse? the afghans often decided to hang back and let u.s. troops to be fighting. what was supposed to be a good kick in the pence, or at least a golden opportunity to work intended with the americans, instead turned into a crutch. despite all those assumptions that turned out to be false, our troops have made remarkable
progress over the last two years. parts of southern afghanistan that were once teamed with insurgents are now largely peaceful. schools have reopened. people are living as close to a normal life as possible. , are theychanges because of a troop surge or the ofult of the military's use counterterrorism tactics advocated by vice president biden during the white house urged debate? and 2010 there was a huge increase in special operations. use of airstrikes also multiplied. in short, they got a glove soft thrashing. thrashing.ff will the afghans, their government, there are may come in their police force have the willingness and ability to take the baton from american troops
as we begin coming home. will they sustain the gains, all that blood and treasure we have extended have been worst- hit? -- worth it? i don't think they can roll back into kabul like they did in the 1990 of the afghan army fears to be better. controlrgents will rural districts and valleys and retain the ability to contact frequent attacks. the for example future will be messy and chaotic. many americans may well see it as good enough. osama is dead, the leadership on the rope's, taliban has taken a beating. could we have achieved a similar outcome without hundreds more americans dead jack? want to turn to have the search was executed area of the
strategic disconnect. i want address the operational failure. the search was the president's strategy and the government beneath them had to make the best efforts to and lamented. each department may critical errors. in the summer of 2009, the most at risk part of the country with the southern city of kandahar. if they could've seized it, they would have had a crucial foothold to take over much of the rest of the country. as they did in the 1990's. they were literally massing in the areas around kandahar. you think we would have devoted the bulk of that first wave of new troops into that area to protect it areas no. ,s onto fewer than one percent of of afghanistan's population. why? tribal rivalries. that in afghanistan, but the pentagon.
that was composed of u.s. marines, they wanted to fight with their own aviation assets, intelligent assets, they needed their own patch of the sandbox. instead of working to integrate them with u.s. and canadian army unit our already operating there, talk commanders in kabul as well as top officials back in the pentagon suddenly chose the path of least resistan and give them a part of afghanistan not home to a lot of people. we should he been near a key population center. civilian surge was supposed to occur in tandem with the military surge. down there in field with our combat battalions to help divide -- provide government services to help engage in basic reconstruction. the fed whether the whole notion of some national governments was a good idea or not, it was the strategy.
we were suosed to send individuals to work with our commanders. the civilian surge was about a year too late. the bulk of the people do not start flowing in until well after the first waves of military forces arrived areas the bulk of them wound up saying in the comfortable embassy compound in kabul with a swimming pool and bar, as opposed to getting out into the dangerous operating bases where they were desperately needed. some of this was a failure of imagination on the part of the screen the hiring of scouring the country for the right people to fill these jobs. they instead waited for resumes to come in. contractors who worked on wasteful projects in iraq could get more lucrative employment in afghanistan. yes, afghanistan has very dire needs. rates of malnutrition, it infant mortality, illiteracy, they are all off the charts. it is one of the poorest
countries on the planet. it was starved of assistance. there is such a thing of trying to do too much of a good thing. think ofanalogy is, afghanistan as a parched man on a hot day. he needs a tall glass of cold water. but the obama administration turned a firehose on afghanistan. $4 billion onend reconstruction projects in that country. of theeded the capacity country. in districts of afghanistan, they have more money per capita -- then the per capita income of every man woman and child in those places. wound up trying to fuel the very corruption we were trying to stem in kabul. lastly, the war within the war. in my travels back and forth, i discovered that it is not just the fighting over there.
there is also a huge degree of bureaucratic infighting in washington. battle i cameed upon was that between the state department and the white house over the subject of reconciliation with the taliban. policyas no substantive disagreement. the state and the white house ath favored trying to lay framework to get to negotiations with the taliban. reasoning that the only way this conflict would end was across the negotiating table. dave pointman for this was richard wrote. point man for this was richard holbrook. she was also a guy with really sharp elbows, a big ego and a dramatic personality. down so well in the white house with the president named no drama obama.
scheduled two meetings when he was out of town, deny him the use of aircraft. , we a bottom line here squandered first year of the search. the year we had the most leverage. we squandered the best opportunity we had to try and chart a path toward possible peace talks with the taliban because senior officials in washington are far more consumed with fighting with one another than growing in tandem to try and get to the right objective area and in closing, what should the president done in 2009? i do not think we should've packed up and left. had we done that, or if we do that today, it would likely condemn the afghans to the hell of a prolonged insurgency or another civil war. we still have a moral obligation to the afghan people. we launched the war in 2001 and made a promise to them that if they stood with us against the taliban, we would give them a shot at a better, freer life. that did not require a strategy and search that tired so.
is af the main characters state department officer named cale weston. he argued that instead of going big with a surge or packing up and going home, we americans should have gone long. he needed to determine how many troops he was willing to commit to afghanistan, perhaps for 10 years, and then pledge that level of support the afghan people. that would've meant no surge, troop reductions back into jackson nine. kill weston was convinced -- cale weston was convinced that it would've been better. would compel the afghan army to more quickly assume responsibility. it would for the americans to focus only on the most essential missions instead of grand nationbuilding project. aghanistan he told me, is marathon, not a sprint. the search was a script and we got winded too quickly. and wee was a sprint
got winded too quickly. it is much harder to say no. thank you. [applause] >> thanks for inviting me. there is a good deal of agreement between myself and the previous speakers. i have a somewhat different emphasis. look at most glasses as half-full. i do want to get to what we have done wrong and what went wrong in afghanistan. it might be useful just to start off with what has gone right. since 2001, afghanistan's gdp has gone up five times. in 2001 there were 700,000 children in school, today there
are 8 million. about a third are girls. there are even 77,000 university students. was around 15% in 2001 is already up at the five percent. 10 years from now, more than half of afghans be able to read and write areas 80% in 20 years. about 60% of afghans currently have access to very basic healthcare. the result is that longevity has gone up from 44 years life expectancy in 2001 to 60 years life expend safe -- expectancy today. women dying in childbirth has been reduced by 80%. child mortality is down by 44%. vibranthave access to a numerous media. hundreds of radio stations, tv stations.vate
about 60% of afghans today have access to television in some way. 95% listen to the radio. remarkably, given that no afghans had a telephone into thousand one, two thirds of afghan households currently have telephones. is, an afghan public more optimistic about their future than we can to be about their future. there are a lot more optimistic about their future than we are about our future. [laughter] the recent recent opinion poll, 52% of afghans caught that the future would be better and tasks and and better than their current situation. if you ask the afghans the classic ronald reagan question, are you better off today than you were four years ago? 53% of them say yes. nina did state's is about 15%.
they have high degrees of confidence in their army. government, 75%. the same polls show very high degrees of concern about corruption. and very clear criticisms of the government. we started off by listing our aspirations for afghanistan in very broad terms. measuredways achievement by aspiration, he would almost always come up short. 10 years after the american revolution you would have to declare it a failure. a society ofated the central promise of the declaration of independence which was that all men were created equal. that took us 100 years to get rid of slavery and 150 to get
women to vote. we are still fighting over some of these basic issues of equality today. no, we have not met many of those aspirations. wheret finished a study we took 20 societies in which there have been military interventions of a peace enforcement sort since the end of the cold war. , but a dozen or more smaller un bang -- u.n. peacekeeping operations. we measured is over a ten-year. -- ten-year period house rates every country in the world every year, give them a numerical rating. d u.n. development
apparatus for education and standard of living in the country. the world and gratings for government effectiveness. how effective with the government? and imf figures for economic growth. growth these 20 societies where there is a military and post-conflict environments. of the 20 oh afghanistan was in the middle. in terms of economic growth, it was second from the top. government effectiveness, remarkably it was from the top. these are rates of improvement, not absolute achievement. in human development, it was the top of all 20 countries. there have been things that have gone right in afghanistan. of those 20 societies, 16 are at ease today. 16 of those 20 interventions succeeded in bringing enduring
peace in afghanistan is one of the ones that didn't. that is the central failure in any kind is operation. peace operation. in the 1990's and the clinton administration, we learn something about nationbuilding post conflict intervention, reconstruction, stabilization of operations, whatever terminology you want to use. the basically learned three big lessons. the initial after failure in somalia which was a complete catastrophe. lesson one was, go in big. don't dribble your forces in. don't be incremental. deploy an impressive peacekeeping force. cybersecurity and then draw the force down once you deter the emergence of any violent resistance. aftermath of a conflict,
the indigenous and contusions will have been disintegrated or discredited or totally destroyed. as a result, the intervening party will have to assume responsibility for public safety. for some interval. institutionsous can be restored and takeover. thirdly, you need to involve the neighboring societies in your project area did not in the piece being elements, but in the political aspects of the project. ,f they feel that your project the society you are trying to build or rebuild is not in their interest, they will have, by reason of their proximity, either commercial, familial, religious, ideological connections the ability to subvert your effort. the classic case of that is only
brought peace to bosnia. --invited melissa visscher melissa bitch we invited the two leaders to that peace conference. that weok the view were worker medals, they would still be fighting in bosnia. this is a classic case of making sure the neighbors are brought in. the bush administration came into office. they were in opposition throughout the 90's. of the clintonl interventions. they criticized them and the whole project of nationbuilding. during the three debates that gore and bush have leading up to -- thedential election presidential election, the only they had tohat
discuss was nationbuilding. whether or not to send he's keeping forces into post- conflict societies. bush said he was not going to do this anymore. first three years, he invaded three new countries. inwent into afghanistan 2001, iraq in 2003. in 2004 u.s. troops went back into hindi. -- haiti. they felt compelled to do nationbuilding, even though they didn't call it that, even though they promised not to do it. they were determined to do it differently. they were not going to learn any of the lessons that the clinton administration had sort. they were going to approach this differently. don rumsfeld explained what he called the small footprint approach to nationbuilding i arguing that in having flooded bosnia and kosovo with international manpower and mayomic assistance, we
does to societies, turns them into permanent wards of the international community. we were going to avoid doing that in afghanistan and iraq by minimizing those commitments. by putting in the smallest number of men and smallest amount of money possible. so they would become self- sufficient more quickly. may was a transposition of 1990's debate over u.s. welfare reform. the analogy could not have proved more inapt. the strategy of reinforcing only under failure, making a minimal commitment among then raising it only one your initial commitment shown to be inadequate. when facing defeat on the battlefield, turned out to be a terrible way of resourcing. and a vastly more expensive way of resourcing needs. the first mistake was inadequately resourcing afghanistan. if you compare initial andurces for bosnia
afghanistan, the average bosnian in the first couple of years after the war got $800 a year in international assistance. afghanistan, $50 figure. --nia got dickstein times 16 times more. if you look at the security forces, the number is even more striking. you -- at the end of 2002, we had 8000 american troops in afghanistan, a society of 50 million people. the size of the stabilization force in bosnia was 50 times bigger than the size of the stabilization force in afghanistan for the first couple of years. lowest level of resource commitment of any american
post-conflict reconstruction effort since 1945. we had a strong international coalition going into afghanistan in 2001. pakistan withdrew its support for the taliban. iran cooperated with us quite closely in the diplomacy leading to the creation of a new afghan government and offered further assistance in the aftermath of the installation of the karzai government. and the administration's response was to put iran on the the of evil list and allow pakistanis to resume their assistance to the taliban. ignored lesson two. in terms of establishing public security, the bush administration took the position that u.s. troops in afghanistan would do no peacekeeping and neither would anybody else. they allowed a small peacekeeping force to go into kabul.
they refused pleas from karzai and to the. position that u.s. troops would not to peacekeeping. the result was, we turned security throughout a society of 70 million people to the afghans, a society that had no army and no police force. i think it is not remarkable that things deteriorated. the taliban was able to reconstitute itself, to recruit, refinance, reorganize and begin pakistani power from sanctuaries back into afghanistan. and the united states responded in dribs and drabs over the years. we tend to say that this is the longest war we have ever fought. if you look at the major wars, it is also the least costly in of military manpower.
the level of casualties in afghanistan is not only smaller than iraq, but much smaller than vietnam or korea or world war i or two. as a practical matter, the serious fighting is only gone on for the last 4-5 ears. -- years. at did another study looking the prospects of winning a counterinsurgency. there are a number of elements that have to be in place to give .ou a reasonable prospect once you have all of those elements in place, which are not just resource elements, it usually takes about seven years for them to actually turn the tide and begin to definitively defeat the enemy. anybody would argue we have those almonds in place before 2009-2010 in afghanistan. you have to put in some
perspective that this was the longest war. we are getting tired and we have to leave. things have gone wrong. i don't disagree with the more tactical points that she made about deficiencies in the search -- he made about deficiencies in the surge. i do think we need to stay committed in afghanistan. we are going to be committed at much lower levels of manpower and money. i think the intent is to have reduced the force to something like 8000-15,000. lowerre luck -- the more level being more likely. think a continued commitment of that sort is going to be necessary. i don't see -- there are several
transitions coming in 2014. one of the transition from american combat operations to afghan combat operations. is fromr transition karzai lead afghanistan to somebody else. moreecond is by far delicate and more difficult. the afghan army is not going to run away in 2014. the afghan government could begin to disintegrate if the elections go badly. if they are indecisive, if they are divisive rather than bringing the country together. assuming those go reasonably well, i believe the kind of progress that we have seen and i have suggested from the statistics can be sustained. [applause] >> tanks to the cato institute for putting the panel together.
i have to start off with a disclaimer that says the views that i am about to present to you are mine and not necessarily those of the u.s. government or the department of defense. am serving that, i army colonel and i teach history at west point. i consider myself to be a student of history. i would like to start off with some history. the american war in vietnam and pose this instion of what went wrong afghanistan, to the question that people were asking, shortly after the united states lost its first four to vietnam. what went wrong with the war in vietnam, and why did the united states lose? what came to be understood is that the reason why -- the right
answer for what went wrong in vietnam is that the united dates lost the war because it failed at strategy. strategy in the vietnam war should have discerned early on that the war was unwinnable, based on a moral and material costs that the american people were willing to pay. strategy also failed to appreciate in the post-world war ii world the very real limits of american military power and what it could accomplish when it tried to do nationbuilding at the barrel of a gun. what i think strategy failed to understand, especially was thetary side, mistaken belief that in any war that the united state commence -- commits itself to,
is that any military power war will work as long as the operations are done correctly. these were the real license that came out of the vietnam and answered the question, what went wrong. what went wrong was a failure of u.s. tragedy. -- strategy. this basic insight into what went wrong in vietnam, namely that the united states failed strategy, started to get buried by a different explanation that was, went wrong in vietnam the way the war was fought. unitedne of thinking, states life and war in vietnam not because strategy or policy right, but because it didn't fight the war in the correct way. there is a big difference there. the way the war was fought. the first make this argument was an army colonel in 1982, in a
book called "on strategy or ."pe -- "on strategy a few years later, in 1988, and opposites arguments, but still the same coin, although a different side, was starting to be put forward. the was first laid out by book called "the army in vietnam." like the army colonel, it could've been 11 if it had been filed correctly. he argued that if the u.s. had not focused on heavy use of firepower and instead concentrated on winning the hearts and minds of the self done inpeople, or
counterinsurgency correctly, the war could've been one. in the 1990's this explanation becomes a prominent one. it is shown in many books. the reason i start with this vietnam analogy because out of this explanation comes a story. that was built around counterinsurgency or for. call it a narrative. it says that counterinsurgency or ther the war in iraq war in afghanistan can be one as long as the army and the military fights it correctly and the way it fights it correctly is by bringing better generals on board to transform their armies and get them doing the process, the procedures,
and the tactics of counterinsurgency correctly. which brings us to iraq in 2006. after three bloody years of american occupation, people started to ask the same question again. what went wrong? becomes bad tactics and generals. the solution is get a savior general on board, and he soon arrives on the scene, general, with the surge of troops, turn the army around, do the tactics correctly and the war could be put on a path to success. this had to do with a lot of other things. his belief that by turning the tactical approach of the army around is done by a savior general, this kind of thing
could put these wars of counterinsurgency on the path to success. which then brings us to the war in afghanistan in 2009. people ask again, we have been here since 2002, and now it is 2009, what has gone wrong? again we get the same answer. bad tactics, bad generals. the answer is to tweak the tactics, get the army to do counterinsurgency correctly, bring an enlightened general on board, this time it was stanley onhrystal, and we will be the path to success. the solution in afghanistan, i think, these are my views, just like in vietnam and iraq thomas has never been about the tactical use of military force or better generals reap leasing that generals. bad is -- replacing generals.
the is the answer to question -- what has gone wrong is the strategy. let me define what i mean. is a informed by -- it simple explanation, but it think it is useful. in war, strategy sits in the middle of two other planes. on this side is hollis he -- po , and puts weren't place over here are the resources of war. strategy is gone right, it looks to policy to see with the purpose of the war is for and then it applies to resources of war to achieve policy aims with the least amount of blood and treasure spent to achieve that policy aim. when i say strategy, that is the definition i am using. in afghanistan has been botched from the start. not from 2009, but all the way
back to 2002 when we committed ourselves to a nationbuilding campaign. the core policy for the united is as and afghanistan -- core policy, i mean, what is the primary purpose for the united states military in afghanistan? core policy in afghanistan as stated by senior generals, secretaries of state, secretaries of defense, both presidents -- i have gone through and read the unclassified testimony to both the house armed services, senate armed services, from 2002 all the way up to the present. when commanding general's, under secretaries of defense, whomever, were asked by senators or congressmen, what are we doing in afghanistan? why are we there yet go -- there?
the answer is always the destruction of al qaeda. period. period. the destruction of al qaeda. this is a very, very limited core policy aim. since 2002, the united states has sought to use a maximalist operational method called armed nationbuilding which is the same as counterinsurgency. to achieve this limited core policy aim. i ask myself why. i think it is because of this rocksolid belief that war can always be made to work. you see why this narrative is so important and so dangerous? the war in this view can always be made to work as long as the tactics are tweaked and the better general is brought into place. hard tolso become very
break out of this idea that the only way to achieve our limited is byicy -- core policy nationbuilding. and this moral commitment. with that, how are we ever going to be able to stand back and look at this objectively and ask, what is the right approach or the right strategy for the united states to have taken in afghanistan? in my view, strategy has not worked. in iraq, in afghanistan, and let's look at the cost very quickly. you have to look at both of these together. first with iraq. ambassador dobbin mentioned some of the better things that have come out of the war in afghanistan. let me set that within another set of figures. with iraq, after 8.8 years of war, 4480 six americans killed, thousands more with life- changing wounds.
depending on which estimate you want to take, close to 3 trillion american dollars and -- spent. close to a quarter of a million iraqis killed. that many more are seriously wounded or close to a million ,isplaced from their homes very few have returned. we replaced one strong-arm later with another. withone is allied closely our regional adversary, iran. then we look at afghanistan. close to 2200 americans killed. that many more seriously wounded. spent.$1 trillion tens of thousands of afghans killed. i've asked myself this this hypothetical, just to try to set in contest -- context what these wars have costs relative to what we have achieved. if the united states and gone into iraq like it did in 2003 and in afghanistan in 2002, and would the cost of the
war been any worse than what 2003-ly happened between 2011 in iraq and still ongoing in afghanistan. strategistnerdish said in the 1930's, the object of war is a better state of these. with this data i laid out, how can we say that american war is worth it in afghanistan and iraq? not to say that we have not achieved tactical success. i can point to success in my own cavalries out in 2006, can others. in all of this, tactical success is supposed to lead up to something. , i will close by posing a derivative question to
be one of what went wrong in afghanistan and i will ask this question -- where is the better piece that this decade of two costly wars in iraq and afghanistan? where is it, this better piece that was supposed to have been produced? [applause] >> thank you so much to our speakers. i will begin with a question. just for the panel. it can already sign wants to go first. -- you can decide who wants to go first. is notthink the lesson that we should be relearning the lessons of counterinsurgency and nationbuilding and knowing how best to set up reconstruction operations and development programs, maybe the lesson is to avoid the sorts of conflicts? have the finest littering the
world, we can make these choices. we have routinely found ourselves in these situations. would anybody like to -- this is a strategy question, not tactical. you can answer from your seats. i think it tends to be somewhat situationally dependent. punitive strikes can dissuade -- or the threat of punitive strikes not followed up by any further intervention can -- deter punish or did governments perpetrating certain act. punitive strikes cannot stop genocide. we can stop nuclear perforation -- proliferation. civil wars.top they can't stop terrorists.
sure punitive strikes as a way of punishing regimes you don't like have limited utility. to takere not going responsibility for shaping the post-conflict environments in ways that improve it over the pre-conflict environment and you are likely to have at most, a very short-lived success. john asked, what would afghanistan have been like if we left? answer is is easy -- easy. it would have been like it was in the early 1990's. --n millions of afghanistan afghans fled afghanistan. the level of conflict was much higher than at any point in the last 10 years areas you would have returned to a sectarian conflict between who's next -- people from whose pakistan --
whose pakistan -- uzbekistan the taliban would have become the dominant force in the country. although probably not controlling all of it. the taliban remains today, allied with al qaeda, close links with al qaeda. al qaeda would have been able to reestablish itself. the united dates would not be doing drone strikes. it would not have any place to ace those assets. i think it is easy to say what would have happened in afghanistan if we had simply conducted our punitive attack on taliban. routed them, and then left the country. >> are those emissions we should be fighting back out -- fighting? >> one should not take for my talk and isolationist view. be involved in
this kind of things. what we should ask ourselves at the beginning is, what will the cost of military intervention be? what is the likelihood of success? and have an honest discussion of in sot will cost and applying military force in the process of doing that, which produces actions, reactions, , will thetions process of using military force has been worth it in the first place when we talked about this decision, whether or not to go in? i also think that, there has come to be almost this rule that says when the united states intervenes militarily for rule sayseason, the it has to stay and fix it.
i think that is a dangerous proposition. seems tos the case, it me that it commits the united states to perpetual, never- ending wars of nationbuilding like we have done in iraq and are continuing to do in afghanistan. coin a littleiew like nuclear weapons. something that we need to have as part of the arsenal, but given its cost, we should not be out using it but often. .- all that often birdregard to the early in the afghan war, we also look .t the early period in iraq we seriously under bald -- under-ballecd the cost. inking you could engage in this
and trying to build a more stable, new administration in countries like that and do some modest reconstruction. with a light footprint. you can't do that. i think iraq and afghanistan are clear lessons of that argument. these sorts of interventions are and costlyexpensive in terms of lives as well. to have thatnt honest discussion up front as opposed to trying to go in with the small footprint, trying to convince the american people that you can do this on the there is an enduring lesson from both of these endeavors, it can't be done on the cheap. you have to have an honest discussion about the cost.
all that said, i don't think we should look at a nationbuilding skill set and say, because these things are expensive, because we hope we will never have to fight another land war in asia again, we should just develop thatt capacity. it is an important capacity to have. a danger, particularly among the civilian agencies and our government, a narrative taking hold that the civilian surge in both iraq and afghanistan worked brilliantly. the truth is far from that. it needs to be honest. a lessons learned process. that is further build up and refined. one i hope we will never have to use, but we have there if necessary. >> could i just add -- i agree entirely with both the speakers that we need an honest debate before we engage in these interventions, but a well informed debate. and an effort to accurately predict the likely costs.
if we had done that before we went into iraq, we would not have invaded. the american people would never have sanction the invasion of iraq if they had any idea of what it was likely to cost and chief areas if we had that kind of -- cost and achieve. if we had that kind of debate in 2001, we would've gone into afghanistan, anyway. we would not have been wrong to do so. it is also not true that these operations are always costly. we did not lose a single person single soldier or airman in kosovo. or bosnia. about 20 international interventions since 1989, eckstein of which produced enduring peace. most of those took no casualties and spent their little money. >> sometimes we make too much of this notion of special skills required to do these kinds of
operations. especially at the small unit level. a well-trained military unit can do these kinds of operations. with this ongoing focus on lessons learned, figuring out what we did wrong tactically, it takes the important attention away from what is most important in these kinds of wars. it is not the tactics of doing them. this idea of special skills. it is what ambassador dobbins said. at the beginning of these wars come the strategy and the policy that puts them and lace in the first place. that is what iraq and afghanistan has turned on. not whether or not the army the right manual in 2003 than in 2006. >> we will open up the questions to the audience.
form of a question and give your name and credentials. gentleman in the back. is [indiscernible] currently a 2013 fellow in the south asia program. my doctoral research was on afghanistan. i agree that there have been a lot of problems. i will put this in the form of a question. there was a dire lack of understanding, the link just between tribes, power bases, and how karzai is utilizing different tribal bases, tribal families, groups to maintain himself. it is not a bad thing in itself that he is trying to do, maintain power in the country.
any leader would want to do that. it is the same dynamic overall. i find that the united states entirely misunderstood afghan .ociety, which does not work it has been the case in the , when they tried to implement drastic reforms, and disaffected a large section of the population which resulted in a war as well. this was the case again. culturally sensitive approaches are more appropriate rather than implementing [indiscernible] actions or models. more importantly, what would happen in the future? things have gone wrong, what would happen in the future? it fall into a civil war, like you said yucc? design good for society or
neighboring nations? >> country-specific context, different values, different norms? is that something that you also noticed in your research of these various countries? adapting international standards, gender equality, economic and military policies? >> i think some understanding of local cultures is very important, but again, just going back to the study of 20 different -- the purpose of that study was to determine what kind of local cultural and ethnic factors influence the outcome is in these 20 different interventions and levels of success. -- and was it the homogenous in this of the
society, all of those things. we found out most of those things had no correlation with the things that had the most correlation with outcomes were, first of all, whether the intervention took place on the basis of a peace agreement and peacekeeping or whether it took place on the basis of invasion. that was one of the two dominant differentiators, if you will. the other two factors were basically, one, could you convert neighboring countries from a line to the nine policies? if neighboring countries would stop supporting contesting factions, stop feeding the conflict, put convergent pressures on indigenous actors to come together rather than fight, you almost always succeed. so geopolitics was more
important cultural sensitivity. it was getting the neighboring countries to stop feeding the conflict and began adopting bening, helpful policies. the second was coopting the patronage networks in the country into collaboration. it would still be patronage networks. there would still secret, that would still extract wealth from the society, but it would not kill each other to do it. in some societies, these are organized tribally, by religion, in some cases geographically, other sectarian or religious affiliations to find a patronage networks, but if you get the patronage networks to stop killing each other and enter into some sort of collaboration, again, you almost always produce peace, and that almost always leads to some degree of economic growth and
improvement of the life of citizens. >> i agree with what ambassador dobbins just said. that is the point i make in these wars like iraq and afghanistan, there really turned -- like in the american military, this whole notion of cultural understanding? it has almost become what denies it. the idea -- it has almost weaponized. if you understand the local culture and all that in falls, and somehow at that level you will be successful and produce a better or good war. but these were still not turn on those kinds of things. they turn on the issues the ambassador just mentioned. for the united states, within all that, we should be asking whether it is in our interest at the beginning of it to intervene in those very things in the first place.
>> just to dovetail with that, taking a realistic approach of u.s. interests, wouldn't it be best for terrorists to have haven in failed states? failed governments? we would not want terrorists to congregate and pakistan or malaysia or germany. we would want some malia, yemen, afghanistan. should we be changing our approach? >> no. [laughter] want terrorists to congregate in areas where the affected governments can suppress their activity. you don't want them to be left free to organize. and he dealt with them to use the state, diplomatic pouches, the banking system freely. the reason is better to have al qaeda in pakistan and afghanistan is because in pakistan, they're not allied with the pakistani government. the pakistani government, while the supporting the taliban, it
is not supporting al qaeda. it is prepared to give us targets that we can strike with drones, it is willing to pick out the al qaeda people. what you dealt what ought, the problem with afghanistan, before al qaeda had aircraft three aircraft from the that states, they had hijacked the whole country and government, called afghanistan, and that is not what you want to replicate. >> anyone else? >> building on that, i totally agree. but then taking the whole surge debate in afghanistan, the argument advanced by the military was you had to build up an afghan state that was strong enough, a government strong enough with security forces strong enough to resist the return of al qaeda operatives from pakistan into afghanistan. and if we did not surge and pour in the resources, the
significant elements of the cut would go back into afghanistan. i think what we have seen is that is a little bit of a fallacy. al qaeda might be doing completely irrational things, but at their core there are rational actors. if the cost of doing business in afghanistan is in from italy higher than it is in pakistan, there will not come -- if it is incrementally higher than it is in pakistan, they will not come back in large numbers. if the government takes action against them and provides us with intelligence, certainly for those who were still around, pakistan has been a more respectable place for them to operate and afghanistan. to keep the cost up in afghanistan did not require 100,000 u.s. troops. a couple of special operations task forces, coupled with other sorts of assets, could probably have made the cost of doing business in afghanistan
incrementally > and pakistan, dissuading significant numbers of them from crossing over the border. >> we can stop doing counterinsurgency in afghanistan and start doing counter- terrorism as long as the afghan government does counterinsurgency. it is not that counterinsurgency does not work in afghanistan, it is just too expensive to do. a million dollars per american is too much. we need to do it more cheaply. figure outans can which sense -- which parts of the three make sense to tackle first, with american support, as opposed to was doing it entirely for them. why did it take us, what, from 2002 until today, 11, 12 years to figure that out? >> you did not have an afghan government in 2002 that could have done that. >> for the next question, i want
to recommend that it is concise. the gentleman in the back? >> gordon johnson. my only experience and your arena is plan, which is a very different situation. my question is you have not talked about perhaps the biggest difficulty we have created for ourselves in setting a deadline when we would leave. if we are going to go in, the calculation it should seem to require support of the local people. if vietnam is the lesson for leaving the local people, we leave any people would support, will be before we showed. bush had a terrible time with the democrats saying you have to get out, you have to get out. and in a sense, how can you negotiate with the taliban if he tell them you are leaving in 2014, when the only thing they care about is when i you going to leave. so if you going to get the
support of the local people, we cannot set a deadline to leave, but if we don't set a deadline to leave, how we take care of the american people? it goes back again to vietnam and the minister in williamsburg who asked lyndon johnson, tell me, what are we there? is it not there for a requirement to not only get the support of the local people, we have to explain to the american people better the job of why we are there in order not to give them a deadline to get out. but the deadline to get out, seems to me, has been one of our biggest mistakes. >> so the deadline and also speaking to two audiences. >> i don't comment on a couple of those things. compared to vietnam, at least in a moral way, the american people are not connected to these wars. they were during the vietnam war because there was a draft.
personally, i don't think the draft is the answer. i think a less more ambitious foreign-policy and a foreign policy that is premised on the notion of limits to what american military power can accomplish, i think that is the answer. i don't think over these last 10 years of war the american people have been morally connected to these two wars like a war with regard to vietnam. the other point about time and how long these kinds of worst take, you are right, a rational strategy -- how long these kinds of wars take, you are right, and original strategy is to use nation-building and counterinsurgency, if that is to achieve the policy aim, irrational strategy would say and come out front and be honest about it that if we're going to apply our nation building to keep al qaeda at bay in afghanistan, then it is going to take a long time and it is not
going to take 18 months or eight years or 18 years. we're talking about a multi generally shingle effort. then my point in my talk all along is if we're doing strategy right, the way i explained, especially with regard to afghanistan, we have this limited corps policy aim which is the destruction of al qaeda, which was pretty much accomplished by early 2002. why did we need to put into place this huge operational framework that committed us to a decade of war, trillions in blood and treasure, to achieve that limited corps policy? that is why i think our strategy from the beginning has been botched. >> first of all, we are not leaving afghanistan. the president has not committed to withdraw but drawdown. he will leave some residual troop presence there after 2015 and beyond in order to support, enable, train afghan forces.
in 2002, afghanistan had no army or police force. the day at has an army of three of 50,000 men, as a police force of about 250,000 men, and by regional standards they're not bad. it is a question of for they can with a minimal american commitment of trading and financial support continue to resist the taliban. pakistan isietnam, not going to invade afghanistan. in vietnam, the u.s. left, but the south vietnamese government did not fall. then we cut off all financial and military assistance and it fell, but it fell largely because north vietnam invaded, not because the indigenous insurgency overthrew them. that is not one to happen in afghanistan. >> we can all agree it is a high likelihood we are not leaving afghanistan.
pardon some afghans, though, for being a little confused on this one a white house official raises the possibility of zero troop option, and options are put forth of maybe just a few hundred troops post-2014. that ambiguity that exists here in the policy debate gets multiplied several fold over as it echoes across the world. the way that you build public support is that you talk about these wars. political leaders are not talking about afghanistan. look at the 2012 campaign. neither obama nor romney said much about the war. if you want to build public support for it, you at least have to say, bush talked about iraq and a lot, but remember the early days post 9/11, we were
all told to go shopping is the best thing to do to help support the effort, the fight against terrorism. but just with regard to the deadline, the specific question, if you want to mount up a full 1 comprehensive counterinsurgency campaign, yes, a deadline does not make sense. it is counterproductive. but let's say the president, a young president who is skeptical of a counterinsurgency strategy, does not really want to surge, but kind of feels boxed in by his military commanders who cannot really give him much of another option, but recognizes that to get to the point where you get the afghans belong the counterinsurgency fight themselves, the need to create a little white space, you need to beat back the taliban, and then you could move to a security force assistance mission.
then perhaps a deadline make sense out and you say, all right, military, you want to fight this, i will let you do with because what is going to do over the short term is beat back the insurance, -- beat back the insurgents, and then i can push you to shift the focus of the mission perhaps faster than you might otherwise want to get to a point where we have fewer american boots on the ground. look at that way, then a deadline becomes perhaps more rational. >> wow, so many to choose from. ben freeman in the far back? the gentleman behind him? sorry. cato.an friom i agree that counter-terrorism does not necessarily require
conference are to see, but once we're doing counterinsurgency, it seems in the united states there is one model. it seems like in the history of counterinsurgency, not just in the u.s. but around the world, there are a lot of different models, many of which require coopting insurgents. but in pakistan, where there are regions of the country, or even india, where they have had a fair amount of autonomy and have rebels or would-be rebels. it seemed like we have done in these two wars is not necessarily always consistent with state building and to the extent we have been successful, it often requires it coopting insurgents by buying them off or long them to have a big part of the country said they did not become uncertain the first place. afghanistan, i am not an expert, but it appears particularly ill suited for a traditional monopolization of violence, build out the central state type of model.
it seems like that makes us a revolutionary power because we are overthrowing local authority structures, arguably creating resistance to the central state. when the ambassador mentioned these 20 countries, 20 efforts, 20 state building efforts, is there one model of success? might there be one strategy for bosnia that is different from the right strategy for afghanistan, assuming we are there? first of all, the best way of marginalizing extremist groups and insurgency is to support the insurgents, not to counter them, if you can afford to do that. because there is no insurgent in the world who would rather have the american support and al qaeda's if they have that choice. so we have muslim insurgency is in bosnia, kosovo, we support it and insists the in afghanistan in 2001.
we supported muslim insurgents in iraq, and the iraq awakening by coopting the iraqi insurgents, the sunni insurgents and offering them protection. yes, that is certainly a viable tactic. there are cases in which you cannot afford to do that, or the insurgents will not come over. we offered the taliban the option of handing over bin laden after the 9/11 attacks, in which case we promised not to attack them, not to invade their country, not to overthrow them, and refused. that option did not work in that case. more generally, i expect john and i will disagree somewhat on the utility. successful counter insurgency requires a variety of different tactical and strategic approaches. you have to put a lot of different things in place to have success.
obviously, is differentiated from society to society, the situation to situation to some degree. but the successful counterinsurgency practices tend to run in packs, they tend to coalesce. when they do coalesce, they usually succeed. and bad practices usually lead to failure if they are pursued continuously. >> a couple of quick pence, to ben and what the ambassador said. you cannot find a historical case where american-stop counterinsurgency, field manual three-24, which is the same as state building, the lines of an effort within the field manual are about building local governments, national governments, the economy, infrastructure, military forces, all kinds of things. you cannot find a case in history where armed nations -- this kind of covered services carried out by foreign occupying power has worked.
the united states lost in vietnam because it failed the strategy, nor can use this kind of counterinsurgency to explain or use it as the main positive factor as to why violence dropped interact by the end of 2007. question,e, to the there are different ways of countering insurgency. with the ambassador there should be a variety of tasks or math it's the united states has when it decides to use military force to counter insurgency. the problem with american counterinsurgency today, as it was laid out in the field manual 3-24, which became elevated to the level of strategy, policymakers using the language, there really is not any variety.
there is only one way to go about doing it. that is sort of the operational methods. this is what they're talking about. for the american military and 2009, when there was a legitimate, when there was an attempt at a strategic debate in afghanistan, there really was not a debate at all. this is one of the main points he brings out in his excellent book, "little america." and there was not a debate because there was only one way to go about achieving the corps policy aim, which was american conference of urgency, promised on the idea that general petraeus and the surge force made it work in iraq. this is the problem we have. its strategy is going to look at the world, maybe we want to use military force to counter an insurgency or do with instability or whatever, at least the way it is now we don't have a variety of methods. we only have one. and it is called american armedrence jicama a.k.a.,
nation-building. insertions were using effective coverage receipt techniques in el salvador in the 1980's, columbia more recently. by and large, the kind of techniques and tactics described in the american field manual were consistent with those campaigns. they were not conducted donnelly by americans, but they were supported and advised by americans. >> the gentleman who initially stood up the first time? hi, bob shadler. thank you very much. you demonstrate impressively, informed, highly intelligent, but i would like to ask you to address a different framework. we the people were on board for
the first afghan war because of three very obvious, specific things -- 9/11, the termination of bin laden and his associates or responsible for 9/11, and as we mentioned, a taliban government refused to give them up. so the mission of the first afghan war, i would suggest, was to kill or capture bin laden and his closest associates. that war and it when he left afghanistan -- that war ended when he left afghanistan and oat/or one realized he left. the second war began immediately afterwards and was too diffuse or embarrassment of having utterly failed. that so all of this about counterinsurgency and phone usage in afghanistan and girls learning to read were not why we the people went into afghanistan, and we would be
just as happy barely being able to spell afghanistan and having only a few specialists know where it is. but it was that purpose, and once that purpose was lost because he left, we were fumbling around. so building up a central government or improving life there was not something we the people signed on for. it was to kill or capture bid laden, and the government continues to avoid embarrassment by staying there. towe did not invade germany get hitler. we did not invade japan to make a prosperous democracy. and a major export power. but we did both of those things very consciously in the aftermath of the war because we did not want either of those countries to return, in one case, nazism, and the other case
military is them. the reason we stayed on in afghanistan was so the taliban so i not returned, cut would not return, and its and alisa we would have a base to attack. >> they're not on the level of nazi germany, we're not implying? >> you will always go into a war to stop something. you never going to war for positive outcome. ego went to war to stop aggression, to stop genocide, to stop something. once you have stopped it, you are left with, what do we do now? the injuries you want to picture the situation after the war is -- the answer is you want to make sure the seats which after the war is better than before. otherwise, what is the point? >> right now we are at the point where we will be engaging the taliban and reconciliation, which was not necessarily one of the options when we invaded
germany. >> that was one of our mistakes. that there are some really big differences between world war ii and afghanistan. the overall global threat that was there in world war ii with did is and nazism, also an historical example where strategy made sense and where you had unconditional surrender as the policy objective, and in a very elaborate and well thought through and generally well executed by all the allies -- the u.s., great britain, and others -- to achieve that policy aim. i think with afghanistan, absolutely we were right to go in and hammer al qaeda and taliban for their support of al qaeda. and then, i agree with a lot of the points that you made. we achieved our objective fairly quickly. by 2002, relatively speaking
there were only a handful of al qaeda fighters left. now we're back to the basic question of strategy, what does it take to keep after that corps policy objective? and whether or not we needed to stay and fix and billed to achieve it. to understande the cost of staying, fixing, and building in 2002, 2003 was exponentially less than they were in 2009-2010. and had we could bit more -- and had we commit more resources than we did, but nothing on the order of what we have done today, we would not be having this discussion today. had washington listen to people like ambassador dobbins, among others, and more properly resources some basic state building, basic training of afghan security forces, basic peacekeeping efforts in major cities -- mind you, back then,
much of the burden would have been distributed among nato partners and others. it would be a far different discussion. 2009, it mayget to not be there are two afghan wars, it is more like there are three. the initial 2001, then the period of the rift that goes from 2002, late 2002 to early 2009, and then the decision to sort of recommit. by that point, the cost of getting there was so much greater. and that is when they are really needed to be, in my view, a more substantive argument over, well, yes, it would be great to have a functioning afghan state, you do not want bonn government spaces
because of -- you did not what un-govern spaces because of what that potentially yields with bad actors in those areas, but is the cost-benefit analysis, which probably could have been easily calculated in 2002 and come out 2009, the cost, at least to me, seemed to be far too great. havedly, with that, we gone substantially over time. i would like to thank all of the speakers on the dais with me. much.you very lunch reception will be held on the second level of the conference center, by the staircase. thank you so much for coming. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by
national captioning institute] plays]ps today's ceremony start with decades of work when two sailor ' remains were recovered by noaa and navy divers. even though they got great information, they were not able to provide a dna match. the monitor was a revolutionary ship. it changed modern naval warfare
in one single day. the ship was different from its predecessors because, one, it was an iron ship made entirely of iron. it was a transition from a wooden ship to the age of iron. probably more significant was the revolving gun turret. the monitor was designed by a swedish man who designed it with two guns, where many catori said 40 tons or more, it had two guns protected in a heavily armed. that could brocade -- it could rotate through her 60 degrees. and it was separate from the navigation and that changed everything. on march 1, 150 years ago tomorrow, the monitor met on the field of battle with css virginia and the slug it out. much to a draw. but what change that day was the course of naval warfare. them this weekend, the history of the union's first ironclad
monitor and the final fate of to occur. -- in the final fate of two crew. >> next, the producers of the documentary "fracknation" and about energy policy natural gas. after that, the state of the banking industry. then a discussion of u.s. competitiveness and the global markets. predictability and judgment? that are the assurances this committee and senate has as to where you will be given the background and the history? >> the fact that as a teenager into my early 20's i was a socialist hardly seems to indicate fundamental instability. as winston churchill, i think it was, said, any man who is not a
socialist before he is 40 has no heart. any man who was a socialist after he is 40 has no head. and i think that kind of evolution is very common in people. characters, one was the einstein of the law, bork, one was the einstein of the senate. you had to trains passing in the night. arlen specter was one of the hardest senators to lobby on anything. bork on the other hand was brilliant. he was smarter than rehnquist and a lot of ways. he was a brilliant judge. he taught antitrust law. he wrote the book at yale. hear these two guys were meeting and they were passing like to trains. never did they come together on anything. korologos h tom
sunday night at 8:00. >> now energy policy and hydraulic fracturing. "fracknation" aims to address what they say is the process of fracking for natural gas and addresses and firemen to concerns. we will also hear from the former interior secretary gale norton. for the annual rockies retreat, this is one hour. [applause] good afternooneveryone. it is terri fi>> good afternoon, everyone. it is terrific to see so many of my friends at the leadership program of the rockies. it is wonderful to see people from all over colorado coming together for some great policy insights. hour today, for the next we are going to be talking about energy, and specifically about hydraulic fracking. asking you to think back a few years.
think back to 2002, 2005, 2007. think about what our energy picture looks like at that time. when i was secretary of the interior, the emphasis on energy beca painfully clear after the september 11 attacks. for many years, our country had talked about energy independence of how much we wanted to see that. but we suddenly realized just how vulnerable we were pared those me kinds of terror attacks that came to our shores could easily disrupt our supply lines in the middle east. all of those nations that we depended upon were ones that becomingangeof dominated by terrorists. weaw so many problems with our reliance on middle eastern oil. yet our reliance continue to grow and grow. we saw our prices go up, and
there was a great deal of concern. sensing an opportunity to embarrass the united states, donated heating oil to poor people of new england. natural gas situation was different, because natural gas was a domestic supply. in theuce our own here u.s. and canada and mexico. resources were depleting. we were concerned that the future was looking at very bleak for natural gas production in the united states. we saw the prices grow dramatically. they were six times the historical level. and 10 times what they were and many other countries. and with that situation, people worried about how they were going to pay their heating bills, the cost of electricity rose. visibly, natural gas is an
ingredient in so many products. and so, the prices of fertilizer went up. i talked with farmers who were concerned that they wanted to grow corn for ethanol but could not even do that because the high price of fertilizer because of natural-gas. chemical companies depend on natural gas as a feedstock, but chemicaljobs in companies had already gone overseas. when i talked to the leaders of some chemical companies, who said they were going to have to send even more. they hated to do it. there were forced to buy the high price of natural gas in the united states. one of them even said, he saw de- as the industrialization of america. try to increase production on public land. that ran into litigation and red tape. 40% of our production was coming
from offshore. that ran into problems named rita and katrina. the solution looked like liquefied natural gas. what that meant was going to the same places in the middle east where we got our oil supplies, liquefying natural gas, putting it on ships and importing it to the u.s. i talked with alan greenspan out that. he saw that as something we had to do to get our economy to stay one.rong -- a strong that was the picture. fedel policy was in turmoil. congress was trying to pass legislation. the executive branch was looking athat we could do. below the federal policy radar, technology and the free market were working something called hydraulic frturing began to be used more and more broadly and quietly
this began the transformation. producers began tapping into new resources. all of these places that were seen as having small resources, loomed large on our horizon. today, natural gas prices have fallen dramatically, and we are seeing, instead of the exodus of jobs from america, the renewal of manufacturing here in the united states in large part because of those prices of natural gas. if we do bright future not mess it up. seere even beginning to a decline in the dependence on foreign oil. of course, whether we are going to mess it up or not is today's policy debate. our next speakers have challenged conventional wisdom
on environmental issues. they have entered the fracking debate with a new movie called "fracknati". ann mcelhinney and phelim mcaleer are a husband-wife team of journalists and filmmakers. tomorrow afternoon at 2:30, there will be a special showing of their movie "fracknation" for the leadership program of the rockies. if you want to make good pol -- public policy, you have to hear from all sides. what you will see when you listen to our speakers and see their movie is that they express the view that is not the same as what it will hear from hollywood or the media. now lets welcome ann mcelhinney and phelim mcaleer. [applause]
>> hello. it is very nice to be here. >> hello. >> you are sounding very quiet. >> we are married, so it will only get very messy very quickly. >> as long as i do what i am told, it will be ok. >> he always says that d i find it equally amusing each time. i think one of the things we would like to do, talking to groups, because some people have heard speak before. oh, yawn, we have heard this before. we like to tell people how this started. >> tell us where we are no and look at how it all started. we want to pay a little -- of "fracknation". towant to play a trailer whet your appetite.
>> these people are campaigning against fracking. i am a journalist. what could possibly go wrong? the think it is a corporate? -- appropriate? >> [bleep] i am aed. >> you are armed? 9:30knation", january 22, eastern on access rf. tv. >> we are not on a christmas card list of much of the environmental movement. [applause] ago, it was very different. we were liberal european journalists. there are no other kind, just in case you're wondering. it is a trifecta. the perfect storm -- liberal
european journalists. you know it a. you really do. americans are stupid. as long as you keep saying that, you will go far. so how did we get from being that his standin in colorado today showing our film "fracknation" which is basically 77 minutes of environmentalists attacking me for asking questions. it started on a mountain in romania. not used to be a teacher that long ago in ireland. and then i met a man. at the beginning of my tragic story. tragic.case, it was not and he got a job covering romania and bulgaria anwe moved to bucharest. i was not a teacher and i thought, what will i do? for the first year, i did very
long boozy lunches and very long boozy lunches. it works out really well for a year. i highly recommend it. everyone deserves a year like that. then i thought, what am i going to do? i said to my husband one day, and my mother who recently passed always used to talk about the hand of god. i am not that religious, but it is funny the way things work out. i said demise husband, i would like to be a journalist. -- to my husband, i said i would like to be a journalist. within the hour, a friend told us about a story in ireland about a body found in this case in a canal, a murder. i said to my husband, i wanted to be a journalist, and i got my first story, which was an extraordinary murder of a romanian man by a russian mob and dublin. and i found the murderous. -- the murderers.
and i thought, this is great. i stard doing story about everything. then a story came out in europe that was the huge store for environmentalist. it is about the largest gold transylvania,n which is an actual place, even though dracula's from their. defaultup there as lefty journalist, having heard what "the new york times" had said. having heard what abc said and what the mainstream media said, which is that greenpeace is telling the truth. the locals are being pillaged. and the canadians, as we well know, evil canadians. yoknow that narrative. we went up there. and something amazing happened. >> we discovered that everything the environmentalist were saying was either exaggerated or untrue, and everything that the
gold company was saying, you could check it. it was facts. they had to file documents with insurance companies, banks, the world bank, the mother, their granny. that was the azing thing -- one could say whatever they want. the other, the gold mining -- if they said whatever they wanted, they would go to jail. that was the difference. we went to the environmentalist and said, you got is completely wrong. but the woman is emotional." two women, a swiss and belgian, kept the people of this village in poverty, because they look at the village and saw culture of poverty to be preserved. the locals just wanted the gold mine. romans invaded roumania 2000 years ago because of the cold. no, that was not the way that
that -- those women saw the place veloping. documentary called " your-- mining your own business." six years later, that gold mine never took off. a lot of those people are no immigrants in greece because the economy there is better. how bad in your economy be when people flee to greece for a better life? that is what these environmentalist did. they have the patron saints of forced integration and priority -- forced immigration and poverty. >> we changed from being his people -- i had thought that people were members of greenpeace. in college, green peas was a guy in a woolly jumper. and he had a lot of facial hair. >> women.
>> that's not true. a lot of facial hair and he wore sandals, and he was jesus for nature. and the rest of us did not care enough. we went up the mountain in romania at the net, and we came down the other way. right wing nut jobs. and that is why we are here, because i suppose the thi we realized what is it is serious an awful is -- d amazingly did not know before that is that the enemy of the port -- and ana-- environmentalists are the enemy of the poor. the thing that capitalists do. the capitalists, what does a capitalist answer? what did they offer the poor? they do not offer them handouts. they offer them a job and the
possibility of a better life. it is great. it is a way for. so we became those kinds of people. for the last few years, we have been looking and firemen to list stories. and no story is bigger than the story of fracking. there was a survey done a year ago and the states. what americans not know fracking is. it is becoming a mass of story. -- msive story. there are lots of people who do not want you to go ahead and develop any of the opportunities u have here. so gas land happened. >> gas land happened. as a journalist, we were trying to attract people to our website to buy id'd de's, because -- buy dvd's, because we are capitalists. i wanted to ask difficult estions to the director aabout "gasland."
the famous scene is the flaming faucet seen. -- scene. oh, my god. i am so surprised. there is a very great investigative journalist a tool. it's called google. right? words and you put in the flaming faucets, you get all of these results. there are three places in america called burning springs. the indians called them that, because this brings burned. the water burned -- the springs burned. george washington and tom -- over whetheret they could said the river on fire in new jersey, and they could. ofent to a screening
"gasland." being as an his face difficult questions. he cannot believe that someone has the nerve to ask him difficult questions. it's shocking to him. there werees, i knew cases of people lighting their water on fire before fracking, because i chose not to put it into the documentary because it is not relevant. he actually says this. tomorrow.e it i thought that is a great story. let's get it up on youtube one of the great journalist -- the hbo documentary filmmaker -- he got his lawyers to force you to to take it down because we use a clip of the guy lighting his water, and that was a breach of copyright, he said. we put it up on another web te. he got it taken down. eventually, i got so angry that
i decided to make my own documentary. [applause] one of the places we went after the flaming faucet thing we had the ball, we thought, what did the other big stories in "gas land." and the central geographical zone is pennsylvania. whicis a wasteland, according to the documentary, a disaster. everyone is dying, horses are twitching and men did not fancy their wives and more. all kinds of bad stuff. in pennsylvania, there are 11 litigants. people in this room have been in litigation. fair play. if you think you have been wrong, call for your life. maybe someone wants to find out a story in litigation. it is very interesting that the journalists of america have been
to pennsylvania, including josh fox. they have only spoken to the 11 tigants. we spoke to them. we did a lot something that a lot of journalists did not do -- we knocked on all the other doors. who say,r individuals the water here was always crap. 1500. they signed a petition called, and of already pared some of them in their 80's. the water here was awful forever. we made a calculation. what' 11 out of 1500, les than 1%. we made a film for 99% of the people whose story has not been told, with the media are ignoring about the truth about fracking. and this is the story. we then decided we are making
the story for the 99%. let's get them to pay for it as well. >> a clever trick. [there's a thing called kick starter, a lefty website. you want to make a documentary, you ask your rich friends to support you, and they do. so we went on that website and asked people. 3300 gave usths, $220,000 to make the film. it's a great weapon. it will change the worl-- kick starter. no longer do you have to rely on hbo or robert redford, or the hollywood elite. you can ask pple, if people think this is important, let's go for it.
an interesting aside, at the same time we were making a documentary, there was another campaignooking for $ 150,000. anyone here remember troy davis? from georgia or texas. for that. executed there was a huge campaign to not execute him. involved.go he was executed. the people were having to campaign -- they looked for $150,000 to make a documentary. they got $106. i think that tells you what the people of america really want in their documentary's. do they want the truth about fracking? media,to the mainstream you think everyone is obsessed with and in capital punishment and no one cares about the truth
cares fracking. the actual truth is a very different. thank you, people. i am sure there are two executive producers here today. are there? >> there' always one. any advance on 2. one, two? one of the things we love to talk about when we travel run the country is how exceptional america is. we are here on visas. we are legal. apparently, that is a disadvantage we would like to stay permanently. we are constantly talking about how exceptional america is. if you ever wanted proof of it reno ifrom a down market n ireland. that's where im' from. we came to america and went on ask people ford
money. only in america, that is my theory. the next thing that happened is only in america. how many people here watch "shark tank." who is your favorite person? >> mark cuban. >> of course, guess what happens next? acquiresan "fracknation". our film is being shown in homes across the nation because mark cuban saw something in us. god bless capitalism. thank god we are notiving in runsnd where the state television. and they do not like our ideas. >> it then history was made when "the new york times" bid as a positive review. gave us a positive
review. >> they said, harriet cook carter i -- said, "fracknation" is not tossed off frackinglm depicts with a dogged persistence. much of what it reveals is a provocative." what can i say? collapsed when friday gave us a good reivew. -- when "variety" gave us a good reivew. -- review. starterhing about kick we love is the fact that everyone gave us $1.00, has their name on the credits. our credits go on for seven
minutes. it is a thing of beauty. some people, when i was going out asking people to help us, to speak at eventsa lot of people sent in money in dedication to their parents. people dedicated it to divisions of the army that were still fighting in iraq. people dedicated to lost brothers and sisters, and to their children. i know there is a "q&a". i want to show you another clip. the media has been very kind to the environmental movement over 40 years. they have never ask the environmental movement a difficult question. everything the environment, and has said has been true, and everyone has to react to that truth. the consequences -- the environmental movement, they overreacthen they get asked
difficult questions. one of the big families that have polluted water was the -- andhey got the local dep, they said the water was fine. the epa examined the water. i heard that the results were not held the family liked i interviewed them. they thought i was another journalist doing another puff piece on them. i went back to ask difficult questions. if we play the second clip. [video clip] >> i was back on the [video clip] >> i was back on the road. the pennsylvania department of environmental protection had tested the water and the well. >> the environmental agency tells cbs news there is no evidence in pennsylvania of fracking ever having contaminated drinking water. >> that was not good enough for them. they insisted the federal
environmental protection agency investigate. the epa started a comprehensive testing of the water wells. >> officials have released a fourth round of results from testing. the environmental protection agency says it could not find any alarming results from 12 more wells tested. >> the 1500 people said their water was fine. the department of environmental confirmed this. i asked if they woul;d dd drop r lawsuit. i was half a mile away from their house. i was on the phone calling for an interview when julie drove up. >> how's it going? >> if you put craig in the movie, you will be sued. >> do you agree that the water is dirty?
>> absolutely. >> but the epa says the water is clean. >> they didn't. >> they said there is no contamination. what did the epa say? >> yes, there is contamination. i am an american. i do not know what part of that you do not understand. you are turncoat. you turned against your own country. i do not need your crap. >> i want to find the truth. >> you think we're small time? you put craig in your movie, i will come down on you like a ton of bricks. you put craig in your movie, i guarantee i come down on you like a ton of bricks. >> why -- >> you're anti-manner and lying. -- american and you're lyging.
>> what are we lying about? >> about what's going on here, you put me in there so help me god it will be the last thing you do. >> why do you -- you've given hundreds of interviews to people. >> you keep your anti-truth over there. and i'll keep mine. >> i want to know what the e.p.a. said about your well. will you give me the results of your well? >> i will not give the results. >> you are involved in a very public lawsuit and giving interviews and you said your well is contaminated. i'll drink your water now -- and can we go into some of your brown water? is your water brown at the moment? >> that came from my well. >> let's go to the well. >> you aren't allowed on my property. >> with your permission -- >> i'm going to call 911. >> please do. >> i am armed. i will tell you that. >> you're armed. well, i'm not getting involved. >> that's good. >> what are you reaching for -- >> i do have a permit to carry a gun. >> well, i'm not -- harassing you. you stopped to -- i'm standing here and you stopped to talk to me. that's -- that's -- >> that's a permit to carry a
gun. >> are you declining an interview? julie, are you declining to show me the result? i just want to get that officially, are you declining to show me the results? >> put your hand where i can see them. what's going on? >> we're making a documentary. >> ok. do you have any i.d. on you? were you on her property at all? >> no. public road. and she pulled up and i actually was standing on the road and she pulled up to me and we had this conversation while she was in her car. >> did you say were you going take water from her house without her permission? >> you asked voluntarily? >> yes. >> so not come on and take your water when you're gone --- >> did she say is that?
>> yes. >> well, that's why i'm here. >> what was julie sauter trying to hide? why would she not release the findings of the e.p.a. water testing? three senior e.p.a. officials had given her the results and that the meeting was filmed. through freedom of information request i managed to get hold of a tape. and showed the e.p.a. telling the sauters that their water was not contaminated and their reaction to this good news was rather strange. >> she's got a problem. no. >> right here. >> i'm done with it. you can finish this. i'm done. i'm getting myself too upset. >> i'm sick and tired of this. what happened to you people? really? you guys are the same as you were two months ago, three months ago. do you think i made this stuff up?
this is -- this -- you're out of here? put this down and talk rationally to me. you guys won't listen to anything we say. you say my water's fine and we can drink it. >> we're telling you we tested your water and at this point in time we found no contaminants in it. >> campaigns by people like the sauters bring bans on moratoriums on fracking around the world. >> ok. can i just say something? \/[applause] isn't my husband a bit of a hero actually? >> i've been a hero and i've been stupid, right? and irish. in ireland, people don't really have guns. and i didn't realize in america when someone tells you they have a gun and reach for your purse you should actually run. i was -- reaching for your purse.
and now i think about it, if someone tells you you have a gun and reach for your purse get out of there. >> so obviously we've done very well getting the film out on the television. we've done very well-being reviewed on the mainstream media which is really important we think. that we're not in a ghetto of speaking to the choir. it's very important that the message is heard by more than a protected group. and we've also been very conscious of working on social media. and here's the question to this group. how many people here tweet? yeah. that's super disappointing to be honest. \/[laughter] and i know the ones who did -- you see? you see? and everywhere i go, i evangelize. and i get my converts everywhere. tweeting is really, really -- it's hilarious. tweeting is really, really important.
i tell the soledad o'brien story which is a great motivator for people to tweet. the thing about tweeting that's different from facebook is facebook is a closed community. you bring people in. and you chat to the people that are in there with you. if you're on twitter, you're talking to the world. that's a good idea. particularly when the battle for ideas is so important. and these ideas really matter. and bad ideas really are -- will kill us all. and it's so easy to see that. the maps of the world will show you the places with bad ideas and the places with good ones. we live in california. you get in a car and drive down to mexico. it's the same land mass. it's the same weather. it's just ideas that change the thing. and changed drastically. so these ideas matter. and by the way i shouldn't really use california as an example. where great ideas -- but i think you get the idea. so on twitter, all of these things have been talked about and one of the things i like to say, i've come from an event in grand junction last night. 1,000 people came to see the film in grand junction.
they were involved in the oil and gas business. one of the things i like to say to them, they've been to college. they're the guys who didn't get many dates in college, you know? \/[laughter] and has to be a payoff for that at some stage. but i just think -- really good at books. and the kind of -- with the pens in their pockets and those kind of guys. and those guys could wipe the floor with these people on twitter who are talking nonsense, for example, about geology and about water, about about the environment. they don't know anything about what they're talking about. but they just talk. and i actually think and i've said this to lots of audiences and patriots like yourselves, you know, there are people shooting guns and putting themselves in the line of fire for america. all over the place. why couldn't you tweet about the truth? it won't kill you, you know? and people will say awful things to you. like i hope you die.
but it's not quite the same as having a gun pointed at you so it's worth doing and i think you can change the world and want to show you how it works. soledad o'brien, if you possibly know, tell the story about joel pollock. a great guy from breitbart and andrew breitbart, very close friend, warrior, warrior, prince, amazing person. who we really could do without losing. we could -- because -- yeah. because just look at the republican party. all the great ideas they come up with. as i said -- i just come from hillsdale college, leadership conference in florida. which was magnificent. and i said to them, how great are the republican party? here's what they thought of the great idea. let's pick the loser to the loser as the guy to go forward. against the coolest candidate
possibly ever. you picked a guy who lost to the loser. that's a great idea. only a crowd of people who spent far too long in washington, d.c., could come up with an idea like that. [applause] i love america. only one place in this country i don't love. that town. that town. it's a hardship to go there. i find it a hardship. you know what makes me really upset, sorry i'm ranting slightly here but i want to make this point. what really upsets me and loads of you guys know this is to go there on a monday night in february and every restaurant is packed out. and everyone's -- another bottle of chardonnay. there's loads of money because that's the one business that's thriving. with no controls on it and no regulation on it. god, i hate that town. so anyway, moving on. on the point about andrew, on the point about andrew, andrew always talked about retweet the hate. retweet the hate.
so when someone -- you go on twitter and you start seeing stuff, people will say horrible things, i hope you die and your children are born handicapped and you retweet that and i put when andrew died, people wrote awful things about him. loads of you guys know that on twitter and i retweeted what they wrote and said your parents must be so proud. and education wasn't lost on you. and you know something, not one of them ever responded to me on that. but soledad o'brien got into an argument, some of you know that with joel pollock. on this race rissue. great, great joel pollock from breitbart on this issue of race this -- what's -- critical race theory. one of those critical -- and long story short, soledad o'brien who was moderating a debate, ended up looking like she was speaking for the white house. just unbelievable. she was amazing. so people like me started tweeting and saying you, madam are a disgrace to journalism. i wrote it a few times. maybe 50.
and loads and loads of other people wrote the same thing. here's how twitter works. she went on cnn and said on cnn could people please stop tweeting? don't you want to annoy soledad o'brien? you got a tweet. you got a tweet. john over there is a disgrace, anyone who knows him, desperate, he's got a twitter account. he tweets every time he sees me because he knows i'm coming after him. that's the problem. i encourage you to tweet and here's how it works for us. and you tell this story. >> again, it goes back to this thing of environmentalists and the left actually not being used to hard questions or hard facts from journalists. twitter makes you a journalist. you find some information. you put it out there. it's a news agency actually that everyone can read. so $200 million, his mother, $500 million.
he -- he has 100,000 twitter followers. but he has an easy life. and he's now an artist against fracking. and he hates fracking and doesn't like fracking. so i started taking him on twitter and went uphill and he couldn't handle it anymore. so he said, you are an excuse for an abortion. >> no, you were an argument for abortion. >> how's that? so i -- it went -- somehow made its way into the media. i don't know who would have alerted the media to that. >> hang on. hang on. that's what happened. it was in the mail and daily news. and the huffington post. that's what happens, and that's the power twitter gives you. you're able to talk to people directly and put your thoughts out there. the article you can put out there with your comments. and sometimes like during one of
the debates, and for the tweet out there, with the facts about what you find obama was graying the truth, what a surprise, about gas permits. and put the figures up there. retweeted 1,200 times. that's -- and so each of those people have thousands of followers or not. but that's a potential audience of millions and millions of people. with your comments. with your thoughts. with your news. so you can -- that means you have -- you can have a higher readership than piers morgan has most of the week. >> higher readership than "the new york times." we love to say about "new york times," can you remember when "the new york times" made money? if you're old enough to know that, ask your doctor if cialis is brought for you. and this time piece here and i'm going to watch that. we would encourage you wildly, first of all, come to the film tomorrow. for many people can come to the
film tomorrow. great. ok. when you come there we're going to be shapelessly capitalistically pushing d.v.d.'s on you, we're selling d.v.d.'s because they're keeping us on the road and very important. so please buy some and marvelous present for thanksgiving, thanksgiving, bar mitzvah, i don't know, all kinds of tradition -- >> ramadan. >> what's the summer thing called? the fourth of july. so and also very good to invite lent which we're in at the moment. and very important to invite that child as i always say to audiences, that child in your life that young person in your life who comes home to your house at thanksgiving and tells that you you're an idiot. do many of you have that person? lots of you have that person. that person needs to watch "fracknation" and ask themselves which side they're on. please be in touch with us. we are tweeting and ann
mcelhinney, we are on facebook and we have a facebook page fracknation which has more friends on our facebook -- some of it is up there. not really. and we have more friends on our fracknation facebook page than matt damon's film "promised land" has. we like that. we like that. >> q&a. >> we would love to take questions and loads of team for questions and that will bring out more issues that we didn't touch on when we got a chance to speak. and how is that done? >> and john harpool. >> of course. i recognize that voice. where is he? >> class of 1991. and please don't do the math. and i plan to come up here and plug your d.v.d.'s but you did such a terrific job i don't need to. but folks, if you can see this, come tomorrow. i bought 10 d.v.d.'s when i first saw it. and giving them all away.
and ann shared a story about a hollywood producer's party that she went to. and just to put these people in the mindset of what some of these enviros think, share that story with us. >> yeah. i was at a party. we live in los angeles, god between us and all harm and you can imagine. great people obviously in california because yeah. anyway. so i went to this party. and i kind of knew before i wept there might be -- it could be challenging let's say. and it was very challenging. and it was challenging at a level that got kind of comical. the one bit that john maybe is referring to is i had a few -- i decided -- i knew what people were going to be like at the party and you can't fight what everyone -- life's too short. but i could. and i thought just no fun in that and i'm -- and only one person. i'll keep it down to one. and i'll find the one that i think i cannot shut up about. so loads of people came in and said things that i thought were
appalling. the stuff that drives every one of us completely nuts. the one that killed me and i had a bad ankle so stuck on a sofa with my leg elevated and this woman sat beside me, hey, how are you? and she was like very good looking and a really good- looking husband and good-looking children and she was pregnant. and she said to me, do you have children? and i said, no, no, i don't and she went, well, you're a lot kinder to the planet than me. and i just oh, yeah, they're all over the place. and i thought you know something? i really cannot -- i can't -- i can't close my mic for this one. this one, sorry girlfriend, you're going to get it. and i said to her, but i tried to keep it. i'm really bad at this. i'm so bad at this. the diplomatic corps was not for me. i said to her, really? why, i don't understand, well, there are too many people on the planet? i don't think you got that right. because a beg problem -- huge problem with population in europe and aging population in china and aging population in russia, where is this problem with the population?
and she is going, i didn't really hear that before and this is -- by this is your classical intellectual. huge amounts of education, like ph.d. standard and that shows you what colleges do to people nowadays. so i went on with that and i kind of did my normal which is really, really? you think there are too many people on the planet and the voice is getting slightly bitchier? and really, have you been to australia? have you been to australia? have you been to canada? have you been to canada? no one is living in canada. no one is living in australia. no one is apparently living in america and how i can prove it to you, 330 million people live here. yeah? so that's overcrowded. i can prove to you it's not overcrowded. steve fossett, remember him? a gazillionaire. he takes off in a light aircraft from nevada. missing. how long did they look for him? for six months and gave up. couldn't find him. then the wife because she missed her gazillionaire husband and
she had been looking for him for a year. did they find him? no. in america. that's overcrowded and this is a man -- this is a man, a dead body who has a plane wrapped around him. he's wearing a plane. that's what he's wearing as a jacket. and they still couldn't find him and he was found. he was found. but don't let anyone tell you that the planet is overcrowded. shut up. it's not overcrowded. and as for sustainability, s somebody asked me about sustainability which is the same thing. >> another question. >> shut up to sustainability. another question. another question. >> hello. >> oh, no, sorry. yeah. >> class of 2011. this whole fracking debate, using water to fracture oil wells, makes me wonder, what is this country come to? oil wells used to be fractured
with jet fuel. and we didn't have those kind of protests. enough of that. my question, what are you doing next? could you carve out a lucrative career debunking everything michael moore has ever claimed? >> yes. yes. we have a list of our own. and we have a list of our own. we're just looking for money. so anybody who would like to donate, it's all good. we have a list of things. there are so many things we would love to do. food. we would love to do food. all the nonsense about food. god preserve me and protect me from organic food. and there's a whole list of stuff. we have a plan. our very big plan is to make movies. to make movies that change the world. because we think that that's the only way forward. to make movies that change the world. and we've -- we're taking this very seriously. we're living in los angeles for this very reason because we're going to make movies that change the world. because nothing, nothing changes
the world like a movie. nothing works like that. i mean, the example that we give people is china syndrome. don't ever let anyone tell that you films don't change the world. that piece of trash of a film ended the nuclear power program in this country. they never built another nuclear plant in america. not because of three mile island. don't let anyone ever tell you that. it was china syndrome. that was the end of it. so on the flip side, you could make a film and tell the truth and change the world. make people think differently about energy. make people think differently about resource development. and that is what we're going to do. and somebody asked me this question, at hillsdale, and i said, and we are going to do this. because we're in america. where everything is possible. [applause] >> yes. i'm walt johnson from lakewood. i'm one of the few geo physicists in the world that's also a professional engineer. i developed and pioneered some of the techniques to measure
natural fractures. i also keep the people in the reservoirs, the folks that put together north dakota, are friends of mine and clients. one thing that has not been mentioned today is we are likely going to be the only country that meets the kyoto protocol because we let the free market do it. and my real question i'm leading to is i ordered your film the day after it came out on television and i still haven't received it. maybe you should stay at home and print your cop ills. -- copies. >> they are being sent out. it's one of the bummers about working when you have to depend on other companies. but depending on another company and it will be sent out. we'll actually give you that one. >> where is the official photographer? >> we'll give you this one. that's great. any other -- yeah. over there. >> yeah. >> hello. i'm angela dugan and i'm seen on city of colorado springs city council and we were dealing with
the fracking question. and honestly i was on the task force for 18 months. and you're absolutely right. when you look at the science, when you look at the documentation, you truly look at the facts, your film is just wonderful. it was -- and i sit with nine of my colleagues who we keep pushing this off. because we do have a group of environmentalists. people will go to our colleges and these young kids who have such great energy and passion and fill them with what to say and have you guys ever seen a phrase or a quick bite that could allow people to understand that this is true, don't follow the path? how do i do that? >> i was asked that question last night. and my answer is -- last night was that the first fracked well in the united states of america was in 1947 in kansas. since then, there's been about a million. fracked wells in the united states of america. lisa jackson, the outgoing head of the e.p.a., and no friend, no friend of the oil and gas industry, knows of not one case
of water contamination caused by fracking. if that's not good enough for people, i really don't know. and a kid there last night. i know exactly what you're talking about. these people with this kind of the stuff that they've been taught in colleges and in high schools. and she kept coming up to me, what about the proper research? i said since 1947, that doesn't work for you? that we haven't seen like widespread death and disease and destruction? since 1947, and things have -- as the previous speaker or the questioner asked, things have improved a lot since then. that's the line i give. that's one of them anyway. >> i appreciate it. >> janice taylor from colorado springs. and i'm one of your producers. and i did receive my d.v.d. thank you. very much. i wanted to give a plug to the d.v.d. before that, though. "fracknation" deals with mining and hydraulic fracturing primarily in the united states.
but your other film, "mining your own business" deals with the environmental movement around the world in developing nations. and i would urge people to go ahead and see that one as well. if you've ever lived and been in africa or like you were talking about in romania, bulgaria or someplace, you can see the connection with the terrible things that the environmental movement is doing in those places. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> i'm steve davis and work for an airline but my degree is in geology. that town in pennsylvania is interesting because it states they work in petroleum extraction they may find the water quality that's historically been bad tasting or whatever gets better over time. there are a number of examples
of that that are famous. santa barbara, the oil seeps out there off santa barbara been there for tens of millions of dollars and i walk along the beach in santa barbara and find tar balls. when they started doing offshore drilling and reduced the pressure on those reservoirs offshore, less oil seeped out of the pacific floor in all those oil seeps so less oil on the beaches because of petroleum exploration. and a project that my dad who's also a geologist was involved in. uranium. a solution type mining up in northern colorado. north of denver. and the locals opposed it. even though it would have removed the uranium from the subsoil which is what they were worried about. was the uranium in the subsoil. so they -- the project was shut down. through ignorance.
and just case after case after case like this. and i would second what the gentleman said earlier. earlier, fracking attempts that aren't safe like now were done with things like jet fuel. i know of at least two sites in colorado where the department of energy, the u.s. government, exploded nuclear weapons down oil wells. in order to see -- and one's in colorado. i've walked to the well head and been there at the site and still hotter than hell. and these things were done as experiments or whatever. but what we're doing now is far, far safer and actually stands to improve conditions. >> exactly. in pennsylvania, talk to doctors in pennsylvania. they're saying people's health has improved since fracking started. because people have decent jobs and they have health insurance. so they have the operations. they have things that they put off. they go to the doctor more often. farmers, if you're a struggling farmer with 100 acres what do you do? you sell off little lots to wealthy manhattanites for vacation rentals. and that means more concrete, more storage, and in a. so farmers have stopped selling off parts of their land for housing development and preserve green spaces. if you want to preserve open green spaces you have to be in favor of fracking. but the
reality is this is not about fracking. for many people. this is just another way of being anti-development, anti- modern, anti-fossil fuel. anti-american fossil fuel especially. because they don't mind saudi arabian fossil fuel. and someone needs to say to the environmental left, do you want to support -- i thought you were in favor of gay rights. i thought you were in favor of equality for women. do you want to support regimes that hang guys? that stone women to death for adultery? or do you want to support the regime in philadelphia? and pennsylvania? >> or canada. >> or canada. which regime -- which regime do you think is better for gay people or women? where do you want the billions of dollars to go? they're not hanging gay people in pennsylvania. but they are in iran and saudi arabia. so buy your oil in saudi arabia and they hang a gay tomorrow. that should be their slogan. >> can i ask one more question?
just a brief question to you. is there a movement to get your films -- i really appreciate your films. is there a movement to get them in junior high schools, colleges, at the public level? that's where we need to win this battle. >> you know what? you're the movement to make that happen. you're the movement to make that happen. you know why? you're paying taxes. i'm paying taxes into our education system that's brainwashing children. get involved. get involved. you can -- you can change the world. don't let anyone tell you one person can't change the world. get off your bottom and go to the local school and find out what they've shown the kids lately. have they shown the -- all this hate and anti-american hateful stuff? and -- say again? and inconvenient truth over and over again.
a kid wrote to me the other day in their math class they were shown gasland. and you know the standard of math in this class. like you can't afford to be spending one second doing anything other than teaching math in that math class. you know what i will like to do by the way? i would like to stop all teachers showing any movies ever in classrooms. i would love to stop all the movies. but in the case of the fact that they're allowed to show movies they should show some kind of balance. the problem in this country and sorry, it's the same everywhere and i was a teacher and know how this works, you are a dictator. you own that space. you own -- you own those kids for that time. and those kids for a period in their lives think their parents are idiots and they invariably love the teacher. and teachers know that and get to spew out their ideology. unfettered. it is child abuse, that is what it is. i know all about it. they go in there and they spew all of this stuff from morning, noon, night. that is what social justice is. marxism.
it is terrible. it is here in colorado. do the campaigning. i know what they are doing in schools. [applause] we have run out of time. thank you. >> thank you. >> come tomorrow. don't forget. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] citigroup chairman michael o'neill talks about the economy and the state of the banking industry. followed by a discussion on u.s. competitiveness in the global market. then ray lahood talk about expanded rail service and transportation safety. after that, remarks by vice president biden.
on the next washington journal, danielle kurt slaven -- urt zleban looks at the jobs numbers. in the state of the pipeline system in the u.s.. , director ofollins the institute of health. initiative called brain research advancing neurotechnology. washington journal, by that 7 a.m. eastern on the span. -- live at 7 a.m. eastern on c- span. >> in this high-tech digital ,ge, all we ever get a static that veil of distortion and misrepresentation and half truths that obscure reality. what we need the media to give us to the dictionary definition of static. criticism, opposition, unwanted interference. we need a media that covers power not covers for power.
theeed a media that is force of states not for the state. we need a media that covers the movement that make static and history. >> author and executive user of democracy now, amy goodman, taking your calls and e-mails and tweets, three hours live sunday at noon eastern on book tv on c-span two. >> citigroup chairman michael o'neill said some of his top concerns include gridlock in washington, the european economy and cybersecurity. the can at the annual export bank conference in washington, annual speaking at the export bank conference in washington, d.c. this is about 25 minutes.
that might affect marketing decisions and how it can make better decisions on how to target efforts. i heard from a small business panel talking about the importance of social media, twitter, things like that. the twitter feed and qr -- you have a smart phone. i hope you will download the program. we will do all of our surveys online. that is how we find out the programs you like and which panels you like. we will do more of what you liked and less of what you didn't like next year. my mother said you cannot dance at two weddings and i try to dance at four. david average age in china is 26 and in india is 36. maybe a slower growth, but long- term and a lot of opportunities.
a lot of back to the is -- a lot of activity in seoul area. they have an election next year in india. things slowed down before federal elections. no one has ever heard of that in our country, but sometimes things slowed down a little bit before the election. you will hear from denny rodrick about a lot of nuclear opportunity as countries look at energy security and reducing their carbon foot rent. another of interesting factors in that. i heard that he talks about the balance return market and -- about the market and the state. those are some of the things i picked up yesterday. last evening, we signed an agreement with a council.
we signed a memorandum of understanding. i was just there. we signed an agreement to provide financing for up to 5 billion dollars. it depends on the industry. a lot of infrastructure in dubai. power, water. it is our fourth largest country of exposure globally. number four, right after india. india is coming up fast. a lot of opportunities there. i had a meeting with the chairman of a bank.
they have every turn on equity at 24.5%. i'm not allowed to buy stock and i cannot make stock tips, but that sounded pretty good. we signed an agreement less than a year ago with them for $1 billion. they announced this week a purchase of 12 boeing aircraft with the leasing company. we are closing in on that on the next several months. i'm hopeful that you are also finding opportunities, deals, and the new relationships that you can make here at this conference so you come out of here with the understanding up opportunities and perhaps an order or two or the beginnings of an order. after this, larry summers had
some airline problems coming down here, so we will have a conversation with michael o?neill instead. after that, a panel on competitiveness. was one of the best panels we had last year. following that, ray lahood on transportation and infrastructure and how it impacts global trade. we have the vice president of -- she has some advice on how we can do a better job at the banks. and the vice president will be here. that is a little bit later. as soon as you can come back to get screened for the luncheon speech, if you have to make a phone call, better to do it inside this area. the only other thing i would
add, the unemployment figures came out this morning. unemployment has dropped to the lowest it has been in years. 88,000 jobs in the month of march. i will ask michael o'neill to join me. i have had the privilege of getting to know him. he is that chairman of citigroup. he also ran the bank of hawaii for a number of years.
probably nicer weather there. one of the best banks in the country. let's give him a round of applause for that. [applause] i'm always reluctant to say -- you have been in the banking industry for a long time. as citibank, you're one of the largest banks in the country. what are the big changes in 30 years? what are some takeaways from that perch you are in? >> where do i begin? first of all, it is 40 years in the industry. the environment we are in now is clearly one with economic prospects are less clear. i started thinking, i think,
when there was great confidence in the u.s. that is no longer the case. another key point that needs to be made is regulation. it has become a much bigger part in the banking business than it was then. i learned early in my career what not to do them what to do. there is a name that some of the older audience members will remember. the bank failed. it was perceived too big to fail
at the time. the government basically got its money back. it was an awkward situation. jpmorgan is a trillion dollar bank. we are an -- you can imagine the change in scale here that has occurred in the last 30 or 40 years. that creates all sorts of issues. it also creates potential problems like those we saw in 2006, 2007, and 2008. it really did threaten the global economy. it is night and day over that time. we are still struggling not to right the ship,
but ensure the safety and soundness issues that occurred in 2008 do not happen again. there are things that are being now explained. how do i describe this? identified by the regulators. we're not done yet, but i think it is time we are with the implementation. we will see. we are already much safer and sounder than we have been in a long time. that has not been completely troubled, but we are making terrific progress in that area.
the economy is going to determine our earnings prospect. i'm a little less sanguine than i am about -- >> in 2008 in the aftermath of the crisis, what many broker firms and others became bank companies. what are some of the good outcomes from that? what are some things we need to keep an eye on in the merger of those kinds of financial markets?
>> let's first start by asking ourselves why those brokerage firms became bank holding companies. the market environment at the time was toxic. the liquidity, visitations could not sell their assets quick enough. it was absolutely critical that the banks and the government established by those large banks were safe. and the way they did it was to allow those brokerage firms to become banks and have access to the federal reserve window. very quickly the liquidity issues that threaten to become more serious than they were were resolved. this evidence to do it it was
making sure that they had liquidity. the consequences of doing that was at these companies now have to live in a much more heavily regulated world. that is not all bad. i think some of that disciplines they are having to live with our good. certainly for the economy overall. the risk of mixing capital banks with banks that take consumer deposits has been well discussed. everyone is concerned that these consumer deposits that are guaranteed by the fdic will be used to make imprudent
investments. the uk has gone so far to suggest that the investment banks unfairly described as casino banks, separated from the consumer banks. we in the u.s. are taking a different approach. it is a concern that consumer deposits are used inappropriately. i would say it that would be the area that one would want to continue to watch and continue to make sure that banks are being prudent and well capitalized. >> before this conference started, several people met with some of the largest banking partners. one of the things that came out of that is that a number of bankers in the room said that
they felt like they were underlined. moore capital could be put into projects. working people in this room think about underlend? >> i think the statement is true. what we are seeing is a massive deleveraging both by consumers and companies. that is not all bad. it is a reaction to issues that occurred in 2008. long-term, it is not sustainable. largely we were overlent.
not because the banks are unwilling to lend. at this point we are willing to make any good -- there is good news on the horizon apparently, but there really isn't long demand from people that are strong credits. i do not think there is a policy. some would argue because we are building capital to meet the new standards that we are unwilling to make love. i do not think that is true. i think we will make whatever good loan we can. >> i was trying to be generous by saying 30 years and you said 40 years. tell us about a country you visited early in your career
that blossomed much faster than you thought and looks like it has a lot of potential that took longer to come to pass. >> let me take a second to think here. as a child and teenager, i lived both in europe and asia. in the late 1950s and 1960s. i think the place that impressed me the most is singapore. i recall leaving the u.s., i think it was kennedy, flying on panam. and ending up in singapore. >> it was a boeing plane. >> it was. there was no airbus, my friend. >> those were the good days. [laughter] >> you can tell that it needed a lot of work. i'm happy to report that a lot of work was done.
it looks fantastic when you go today. it is state-of-the-art. now you can board an airplane as singapore happily and travel back. there is a different feeling than you had four years ago. it is we that we need the work. i think there are a lot of challenges that need to be met. i'm also confident that they can be met. if we have the political will. that is a contrast -- the contrast. >> before the global financial crisis, i think that people around the world, model market economy, so forth, it has gotten a little kicked around based on
the financial crisis. how does that change from your perspective our country's ability and financial institutions to provide models for the rest of the world? does that change in your opinion? and how? >> i think it has change, certainly reputationally. the perception was that it was the u.s. that it's greedy ways cost of the crisis. i do not think the financial situations were the only parties.
i think fannie and freddie were it was suggested that they make loans. monetary policy was such that it sponsored it. i think there were some dishonest people in the business. certainly not all of them, but some. it would fraudulently filled out applications and make loans. there is plenty of blame to go around. mortgages were bundled up. also in europe and asia. results were not good. the perception of the u.s. as a bastion of capitalism has certainly been hit. when you look at the economies that have been successful in the last 10 or 15 years, there has been a good combination of government and business working together. i think that is the direction
that would be the right one today -- to take. we will talk more about that on the competitiveness panel. i think we will see more of that in the future. obviously there are advantages and disadvantages to to both. that has not always worked well, at least not recently. this is important. >> what keeps you up at night? >> well, assuming this position, i sleep less well.
what keeps me up at night, well, i worry about the sustainability of the economy. europe continues to be a problem. i think it is being dealt with in an unbalance. it is a long-term problem. given europe's problems and our slow growth, things are performing ok, but not the way they were in the past. we have our own any problems at this point. the government increasingly -- dare i use the word, dysfunctional. the issues that people are wrestling with the need to get
resolved, hopefully sooner rather than later. i'm no expert. i'm not terribly confident that any big solution will happen. another issue that keeps me up is cybersecurity. secretary panetta and one of his last speeches describe the single biggest threat to the united states. when he says that, you certainly have to listen. we have been targeted, all of the big banks have been targeted. cybersecurity is not just about hackers. it is not just about guys trying to get your credit card number. in the case of many economies, there has been a lot of press
[captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> today's ceremony was the culmination of more than a decade's worth of work starting in 2002 when marines were recovered from the u.s.s. monitor. although they got great information on the age and the hacte and some of the ailments and some ott things that happened, they were not able to provide a d.n.a. match. the monitor changed modern warfare in one single day. the ship was different from its predecessors because it was an iron ship made entirely of iron
and it transitioned from the wooden warship to the age of iron. it was designed by the swedish engineer john erickson who designed it with two guns and its contemporaries have as many as 40 guns or more. they could rotate 360 degrees and for the first time it separateded the navigation of the ship from the firing of the weapons. this changed everything in on march 9, 151 years ago tomorrow. the monitor met on the field for battle and four hours they shrugged it out. what changed that day was the course that naval warfare would take with every navy in the world. >> this weekend, monitor and the final fade of two of its crew. sunday on c-span 3, american history tv.
>> lauren frost and camille torfs-leibmaare third-place winners in c-span's studentcam contest. they attend eastern middle school in silver spring, maryland. in their video, lauren and camille ask the president to focus on water quality and the environment. ♪ >> everybody needs clean water. we rely on it to drink, cook, clean, and to live. yet we standby and watch corporations violate national aws daily. 40% of rivers and 46% of lakes in the united state are too polluted to fish, swim, and drink. >> in the 1960's, president lyndon b. johnson called the potomac river a national disgrace. it was choked with pollution
from shore-to-shore algae slime across it so thick that you could deep your hand in it and your hand would come out green as if you had stuck your hand in a can of green paint. >> on june 21, 1969, the cuyahoga river in cleveland ohio caught fire when a train rolled by and its sparks flew off the track, uniting the vast oil spots in the river. >> in 2002, the u.s. reached a record for largest dead zone in u.s. history. it sits at the mouth of the mississippi river. when it rains, runoff filled with sewage and many other harmful chemicals are washed off streets and is drained into the mississippi river and enters the gulf of mexico. this nutrient overload leads to a surplus of algal blooms, killing the majority of aquatic life in the area. >> in 2012, this dead zone was the size of connecticut. >> in april of 2010, the bp infamous oil spill terrorized the country.
>> nearly 200 million gallons of toxic crude oil were spilled in some of the richest, most diverse waters anywhere in the world. we know that thousands of birds were killed -- whales -- everything from shrimp to sperm whales, plankton to pelicans. we know that there were plumes of oil the size of manhattan at 3,000 feet of water careening through this gulf. we know that this is was a carpet of oil up to two inches thick that has been found up to 80 miles from that spill site. >> local and national water protection efforts were written until 1972 when the clean water ct was firmly established. >> the clean water act contains a very democratically principled provision, which allows for suits and civil suits penalties in the event the responsible agency is not enforcing its own law to protect citizens' rights o safe, clean water. >> according to the epa, the clean water act prohibits
anybody from discharging pollutants to a point source into a water of the united states unless they have an npds permit. the permit contents limit on what you can discharge, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not hurt water quality or people's health. an npds permit will specify an acceptable level of pollutant or pollutant parameter in a discharge. npds permits make sure the state's mandatory standards for clean water and the federal minimums are being met. >> the national pollutant discharge illumination system is basically the system that we have in place to ensure that we have fishable and swimmable water here in the united states. what we do is basically -- it is illegal for any point source to pollutant into our waters without getting a permit, and
then we allow polluters to receive a permit to discharge into the water. >> numerous other acts have been proposed as well, each focusing on individual aspects of water uality and protection. >> the continuous efforts, permits, and acts seem like great solutions to providing all americans with clean water but sadly, corporations all over the united states are constantly violating these permits. >> laidlaw international incorporation works with waste collection embossing and needs to dump mercury on a regular basis. laidlaw broke the discharge limitation in their npds permits 13 times as well as committing 13 monitoring and 10 reporting violations. similar violations occur all across the united states. these kinds of pollution are classified as point source pollution but there is also nonpoint source pollution. >> it does not actually cover agricultural runoff like waste
from turkey farms and chicken farms we have here in maryland, and so this is clearly not a strong-enough system to ensure that we are going to have the clean water that we deserve in maryland. >> we need clean water as described in the clean water act but what is being done to maintain it? organizations such as friends of the earth are working on strengthening the requirements. we need to make polluters realize that dumping into our precious resource will be more of a hassle in the long-term in thinking of a way to get rid of the pollution once and for all. >> one of things that we hear at friend of earth really care about is making polluters pay for their pollution, putting a price on pollution. we let polluters pollute for free. we do not charge them for what they discharge into rivers and streams. by putting a price on pollution, we would have a real economic incentive to produce in a more responsible and more sustainable fashion.
>> what do we still need to do? every year 14 billion pounds of sewage, sludge, and garbage are dumped into the world's oceans. on top of that, another 19 trillion gallons of waste are discharged. to ensure that generations after us have clean water, we need to do more than charge these companies for polluting. we need to educate people about their affect on local waterways. we also have to limit the amount of pollution that a company is allowed to dump into the water under a permit. >> i think that permitting part of a larger solution to protecting our water. obviously, we have had the clean water act 1972. it has a stated aim of making every river and stream in the united state fishable and swimmable. we have fallen far short of that, so we are clearly not doing enough to protect our water. this system, while better than nothing, is clearly inadequate.
>> the clean water act and npds permits are not as strong as they need to be. we as a country need to take action to strengthen the permits and the acts so we can make earth's water swimmable, fishable, and drinkable. it is time to make some significant changes to the system in place. these changes include charging companies to obtain the permits, strengthening limits on the amounts of pollution companies can dump into a river under the program, and institute strict pollution guides for all of america's water. >> dear mr. president, help us look towards the future and create strictly enforced national laws that protect our waters for the present and future. let us work together to make our waters swimmable, drinkable, and fishable for ourselves and the generations to come because water pollution affects veryone. >> you can find this video and thers at studentcam.org.
>> next, a discussion on how the u.s. handled the war in afghanistan. then your calls and comments on with the washington journal." >> where is the predictability in judge bork? what are the insurances that this committee and the senate has as to where you'll be given the background and the history? >> a fact that as a teenager and into my early 20's i was a socialist hardly seems to me to indicate fundamental instability. as winson churchhill said any man who is not a socialist before he is 40 has no heart and after he is 40 has no head. i think that kind of evolution s very common in people.
>> you have two trains passing n the night. spector was one of the toughest, hardest senators. orks on the other hand, he was smarter than lind quist in a lot of ways. here are these two guys meeting and they are passing like two trains. never did they ever come together on anything. more with former deputy assistant to presidents nixon and ford. >> in this high-tech digital age with high definition tv and radio, all we ever get is static. that lies inries representations of half truths that obscure reality. what we need the media to give
us is a definition of static. unwanted interference. we need a media that covers power. not covers for power. a force of theis state, not for the state. >> author, host and executive producer of "democracy now" amy goodman taking your calls, emails and tweets. "in depth" three hours live on sunday noon eastern on c-span 3. >> now a discussion on how the u.s. handled the war in afghanistan. speakers include james dobbins who served as an ambassador during the bush administration, chandchand and army counselor, gian gentile. a critic of the insurgent strategy in iraq. >> it is my pleasure to welcome you here today for the event.
the war in afghanistan. what went wrong. on may 21, 2002, republican and democratic lawmakers passed the afghanistan for freedom act. which pledged no less than four times to advance the creation of a broad-based multiethnic, gender sensitive plan in afghanistan. the united states and the international community pledged to help "end the conflict in afghanistan and promote reconciliation, lasting peace, stability and respect for human rights in the country." nearly 100 years later, detailing human rights abuses, bloody insurgent attacks, rampant petty and large scale corruption, afghanistan continues to face serious obstacles. what went wrong? one typically hears one or two
responses. the first is that president bush squandered america's quick and easy victory. his policies created a vacuum that enabled the taliban to resurface. the second explanation for what went wrong is that president obama correctly shifted america's focus back to afghanistan, but failed to fully resource the mission and wrongly fixed the date for ending combat involvement. although both answers have a great deal of merit, the project to create a central government may have been doomed to failure from the very beginning. debates often mirror the debates about the war in iraq. if only we did this differently or that differently. but rerarely challenged the underlying assumption that we lasting
reconciliation and peace. both the bush and obama administrations promoted the belief that establishing rule of law, growing the economy, eliminating corruption, would somehow prevent another attack on american soil. it is necessary to cure the problem of terrorism. it is fallacious, costly and ultimately -- the united states and its coalition partners have pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into one of the world's poorest economies. that has exacerbated the conflict, created winners and losers by reaching petty elites. militants profiting from construction projects. it fails to address the much simpler question. even if the taliban reconquered
afghanistan and invited al qaeda back? how much of a threat would that pose to the united states? can that be addressed without a costly, multidecade campaign? i'm pleased to have on the dais with me today, a distinguished panel of experts. first we have chandchand. the senior correspondent -- chandchand. -- rajiv chandrasekaran. from 2009 to 2011 he traveled extensively through southern provinces of hell mon and kandahar. he is also the author of "imperial life in the emerald city." life insiding baghdad's green zone. he has served it is a "washington post's" south asia correspondent. national editor and assistant
editor. our next speaker will be ambassador james dobbins. after the terrorist acrossities of september 11, he was tasked with putting together and installing a task force for the taliban regime. he helped establish the new afghan government and on september 16, 2001 he raised the flag over the newly reopened .s. embassy. he helped on the stabilization and reconstruction of bosnia and the nato intervention in osovo. our final speaker will be gian gentile. he is an award-winning historian, associate professor of history
and director of the military history program at west point. this article appeared in the world politics review first exposed the growing risk among military intellectuals about the growing -- u.s.'s conventional capabilities. he was among a small group of dissident officers and defense analysts who questioned the necessity and efficacy of using counterinsurgency in afghanistan to destroy al qaeda. his forthcoming book draws on his experiences of the combat battalion commander in iraq. and his research in a variety of historical contexts. with that, i turn turn the podium over to rajiv. >> thank you for that kind introduction. my apologies to all of you who might have come expecting a pointed debate between the cato analyst and the "washington post" editor. there are many points of agreement. what went wrong that go where to start, with afghanistan.
a couple of things. if we look at 2001-2009 time frame, the common criticism is that the u.s. took its eye off the ball in afghanistan to focus on iraq. that is true. i am not about to support the iraq war. but there were more critical mistakes made by washington that were only tangentially related to the invasion of iraq. the first was the afghan constitution. in the name of fighting corruption and promoting modernization, it centralized power in kabul to an absurd degree. karzai had the ability to hire and fire governors and police chiefs. the constitution aggregates power in the capital to a degree unseen in any other country on the planet. except save for north korea, perhaps. united states should have used its ample influence, this is not a criticism, but this is really a set of issues that occurred fter his tenure. but we should have used our ample influence in the early
years of the war to push the afghans to change their constitution, drafted in a way that was more in keeping with the country's conditions of decentralization. our failure to do this enabled the framework for karzai and other political elite, look, they are, warlords, to establish what they did. the second is our failure to help karzai in the early days. in 2002, president karzai did try to do the right thing. he wanted to take on the warlords and establish a more technocratic government. when he asked washington to authorize a deployment of nato forces beyond kabul to other major afghan cities, youth told no. donald rumsfeld did not want to commit u.s. soldiers the country. when karzai as the u.s. military leader in 2002 for help to remove a warlord turned governor
in western afghanistan who was enriching himself through smuggling, karzai argued to washington that doing so was essential to establishing the authority of the central government. the request was rejected on the grounds that u.s. troops were not to engage in what was called green on green activity. even if one side was the president on who our nation was depending. since we were not going to provide the muscle to remove the warlords, karzai engaged over the following years, in a rational act of self-preservation. by the time we and our nato partners got wise about the damage the warlords were having across the country, karzai had moved into their camp. let's fast-forward to 2009. you know the stakes. obama campaigned on afghanistan being the good work. general stan mcchrystal told him that if it did not commit to a surge, the taliban would not be possible. you know what obama did. 30,000 more troops. but with a deadline. the first troops would have to
start coming home within two years, which he took from the military's own planning documents that promise that areas could be cleared of insurgents and turned over to afghan security forces within 18 aven't had for months. -- 24 months. what went wrong e let's break it into two levels. the first a strategic. with the search the right decision. the second is operational. at once president signed off on about how well did the organs of his government implement his policy? for going to her veil in afghanistan, several things need o occur. the afghan government had to be a willing partner. the pakistani government had to be willing to crack down on its own soil. the u.s. government had to commit troops and money for
several years. the american people had to be patient enough or security to improve drastically. first, list about the afghan government. karzai never agreed with the u.s. war strategy. even having a supported government, a fundamental prerequisite for counterinsurgency, we know most afghans have no great love for the taliban. they view them as the religious zealots that they are. turns out, they have no great love for their own government, either. karzai's government is filled with warlords and corrupt scoundrels. many of whom do not provide basic services to the population. of course, he answered -- the answer in washington has been coin. we can connect those institutions on the provincial capital and foreign up to the national capital, we can fix this mess. appealing idea. it was fundamentally flawed. that is because karzai has no interest in letting us succeed. if we did, it would disrupt his etworks. and the deal he u cut with
regional power brokers. so he undercut reformers. and you slow rolled efforts to institutions of local governance. we americans naïvely assumed act in 2009 and 2010 that the failure to get civil servants down to the district is because of a lack of human capacity. sure, that was the problem, but the bigger problem was that karzai simply did not believe in the venture. he had his ministers interfere with the process even when the united states was footing the bill. pakistani government, after the leadership relocated to pakistan after the commencement of military action in afghanistan in 2001, they were given a degree of safe harbor. they were allowed to meet, reorganize. they could raise their own money and whatnot. they were not getting a lot of direct help. all that changed. by late 2009, they were getting substantial amounts of money, intelligence and other material via civilian intermediaries. by one assessment, i spring of 2011, at least of all insurgent
ommanders were working closely with isi operatives. the price tag, was it worth t? $1 million to -- the annual tab for the war in 2010 was about 100 billion. to achieve a marginally less bad outcome in afghanistan worth hat expense? the afghans often decided to hang back and let u.s. troops to be fighting. what was supposed to be a good kick in the pence, or at least a golden opportunity to work intended with the americans, instead turned into a crutch. despite all those assumptions that turned out to be false, our troops have made remarkable
progress over the last two years. parts of southern afghanistan that were once teamed with insurgents are now largely peaceful. schools have reopened. people are living as close to a normal life as possible. but those changes, are they because of a troop surge or the result of the military's use of counterterrorism tactics advocated by vice president biden during the white house urged debate? and 2010 there was a huge increase in special operations. use of airstrikes also multiplied. in short, they got a gloves-off thrashing. will the afghans, their government, there are may come in their police force have the willingness and ability to take the baton from american troops as we begin coming home. will they sustain the gains, all that blood and treasure we have
extended have been worth it? i don't think they can roll back into kabul like they did in the 1990 of the afghan army fears to be better. the insurgents will control rural districts and valleys and retain the ability to contact requent attacks. the for example future will be messy and chaotic. many americans may well see it as good enough. osama is dead, the leadership on the rope's, taliban has taken a beating. could we have achieved a similar outcome without hundreds more americans dead ? want to turn to have the search was executed area of the trategic disconnect. i want address the operational failure.
the search was the president's -- the surge was the president's strategy and the government beneath them had to make the best efforts to and lamented. each department may critical errors. the first is the pentagon. in the summer of 2009, the most at risk part of the country with the southern city of kandahar. it was strategic prize for the taliban. if they could've seized it, they would have had a crucial foothold to take over much of the rest of the country. as they did in the 1990's. they were literally massing in the areas around kandahar. you think we would have devoted the bulk of that first wave of new troops into that area to protect it areas no. sent those troops off to the home to fewer than 1%
of of afghanistan's population. why? tribal rivalries. that in afghanistan, but the with their own aviation assets, intelligent assets, they needed pentagon. that was composed of u.s. their own patch of the marines, they wanted to fight sandbox. instead of working to integrate them with u.s. and canadian army unit our already operating there, talk commanders in kabul as well as top officials back in the pentagon suddenly chose the path of least resistance and give them a part of afghanistan not home to a lot of people. there were bad guys there to kill, but if our strategy was coineds, we should have been near a key population center. civilian surge was supposed to occur in tandem with the military surge. down there in field with our combat battalions to help provide government services to help engage in basic econstruction. put aside the whole notion of some national governments was a good idea or not, it was the strategy. we were supposed to send
individuals to work with our ommanders. problem was the civilian surge was about a year too late. the bulk of the people do not start flowing in until well after the first waves of military forces arrived areas the bulk of them wound up saying in the comfortable embassy compound in kabul with a swimming pool and bar, as opposed to getting out into the dangerous operating bases where they were desperately needed. some of this was a failure of imagination on the part of the screen the hiring of scouring the country for the right people to fill these jobs. they instead waited for resumes to come in. often from contractors who worked on wasteful projects in iraq could get more lucrative employment in afghanistan. yes, afghanistan has very dire needs. rates of malnutrition, it infant mortality, illiteracy, they are all off the charts. it is one of the poorest countries on the planet. it was starved of ssistance.
there is such a thing of trying to do too much of a good thing. the best analogy is, think of afghanistan as a parched man on a hot day. he needs a tall glass of cold water. but the obama administration turned a firehose on afghanistan. we tried to spend $4 billion on reconstruction projects in that country. it exceeded the capacity of the country. in districts of afghanistan, it equated to more money per capita income of every man woman and child in those places. wound up trying to fuel the very corruption we were trying to stem in kabul. lastly, the war within the war. in my travels back and forth, i discovered that it is not just the fighting over there. there is also a huge degree of bureaucratic infighting in washington. the most pitched battle i came
upon was that between the state department and the white house over the subject of reconciliation with the taliban. there was no substantive policy disagreement. the state and the white house both favored trying to lay a framework to get to negotiations with the taliban. reasoning that the only way this conflict would end was across the negotiating table. state's point man for this was richard holbrook. he was the guy who had some imminent qualifications. he served on the u.s. delegation to the paris peace talks, ending the vietnam war, but he was a guy with really sharp elbows, a big ego and a dramatic personality. did not go down so well in the white house with the president named no drama obama. scheduled two meetings when he was out of town, deny him the
use of aircraft. the bottom line here is that we squandered first year of the surge. the year we had the most leverage. we squandered the best opportunity we had to try and chart a path toward possible peace talks with the taliban because senior officials in washington are far more consumed with fighting with one another than rowing in tandem to try and get to the right objective area and in closing, what should the president done in 2009? i do not think we should've packed up and left. had we done that, or if we do that today, it would likely condemn the afghans to the hell of a prolonged insurgency or another civil war. we still have a moral obligation to the afghan people. we launched the war in 2001 and made a promise to them that if they stood with us against the taliban, we would give them a shot at a better, freer life. that did not require a strategy and surge that tired us out.
one of the main characters is a state department officer named cale weston. spent seven years in iraq and afghanistan, more than any other american diplomat. he argued that instead of going big with a surge or packing up and going home, we americans should have gone long. he needed to determine how many troops he was willing to commit to afghanistan, perhaps for 10 years, and then pledge that level of support the afghan people. that would've meant no surge, troop reductions back into jackson nine. cale weston was convinced that it would've been better. it would compel the afghan army to more quickly assume esponsibility. it would force the americans to focus only on the most essential missions instead of grand nationbuilding project. afghanistan he told me, is a marathon, not a sprint. the surge was a sprint and we ot winded too quickly. surging was the easy thing to do, he said. it is much harder to say no.
thank you. [applause] >> thanks for inviting me. there is a good deal of agreement between myself and the previous speakers. i have a somewhat different emphasis. i tend to look at most glasses as half-full. rather than half empty. i do want to get to what we have done wrong and what went wrong in afghanistan. it might be useful just to start off with what has gone right. since 2001, afghanistan's gdp has gone up five times. five times bigger than it was. in 2001 there were 700,000 children in school, today there are 8 million. about a third are girls.
there are even 77,000 university students. as a result of that, literacy, which was around 15% in 2001 is already up at 35%. 10 years from now, more than half of afghans be able to read and write areas 80% in 20 years. about 60% of afghans currently have access to very basic healthcare. the result is that longevity has gone up from 44 years life expectancy in 2001 to 60 years life expectancy today. women dying in childbirth has been reduced by 80%. child mortality is down by 44%. afghans have access to a vibrant and numerous media. hundreds of radio stations, dozens of private tv stations.
about 60% of afghans today have access to television in some way. 95% listen to the radio. emarkably, given that no afghans had a telephone in 2001, 2/3 of afghan households currently have telephones. the result is, an afghan public more optimistic about their future than we can to be about heir future. in fact, they are a lot more optimistic about their future than we are about our future. [laughter] the recent recent opinion poll, 52% of afghans caught that the future would be better than the past and better than their current situation. if you ask the afghans the classic ronald reagan question, are you better off today than you were four years ago? 53% of them say yes. i think in the united states, it's around 15%.
after gans have high degrees of confidence in their army. 93%. police force, 82%. government, 75%. a lot of people say they are just giving answers to the questions that the government wants to hear. the same polls show very high degrees of concern about corruption. and very clear criticisms of the overnment. we started off by listing our aspirations for afghanistan in very broad terms. if you always measured achievement by aspiration, he would almost always come up short. 10 years after the american revolution you would have to declare it a failure. we hadn't created a society of the central promise of the declaration of independence which was that all men were created equal. that took us 100 years to get rid of slavery and 150 to get
-- allow women to vote. we are still fighting over some of these basic issues of equality today. no, we have not met many of those aspirations. we just finished a study at the rand corporation where we took 20 societies in which there have been military interventions of a peace enforcement sort since the end of the cold war. all the big ones, but a dozen or more smaller u.n. peacekeeping perations. we measured progress in all of these over the 10-year period. we used freedom house measurements. freedom house rates every country in the world every year, give them a numerical rating. we used u.n. development program ratings for human development, which is a right based on the degree of education
and standard of living in the country. the world bank ratings for government effectiveness. how effective with the government? and imf figures for economic growth. growth these 20 societies where there is a military interventions and post-conflict environments. of the 20, afghanistan was in the middle. in terms of economic growth, it was second from the top. in terms of government effectiveness, remark blirks it was second from the top. these are rates of improvement, not absolute achievement. in human development, it was the top of all 20 countries. there have been things that have gone right in afghanistan. of those 20 societies, 16 are at peace today. so 16 of those 20 interventions succeeded in bringing enduring
peace and afghanistan is one of the ones that didn't, and after all, that is a central failure in any kind of peace operation. so what did we do wrong? well, i think in the 1990's and the clinton administration, we learn something about nationbuilding post conflict intervention, reconstruction, stabilization of operations, whatever terminology you want to use. we basically learns, i think, three big lessons, particularly after the initial failure in somalia, which was a complete catastrophe. lesson one was, go in big. don't dribble your forces in. don't be incremental. deploy an impressive peacekeeping force. establish security and then draw the force down once you deter the emergence of any violent resistance.
secondly, in the aftermath of a conflict, the indigenous institutions for blic security will have been disintegrated or discredited or totally destroyed. as a result, the intervening party will have to assume responsibility for public safety. or policing for some interval until indigenous institutions can be restored and take over those responsibilities. thirdly, you need to involve the neighboring societies in your project area did not in the piece being elements, but in the political aspects of the project. if they feel that your project, the society you are trying to build or rebuild is not in their interest, they will have, by reason of their proximity, either commercial, familial, religious, ideological tribal connections the ability to subvert your effort. the classic case of that is only