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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 6, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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was one -- p5 plus one talks, the american position demanded that iran halt all enrichment develop its facilities and explain the military dimensions of its program and never obtain nuclear weapons capability. on each and every one of these demands, the obama administration has retreated. if their current proposal holds, iran will be allowed to continue research, continue limited enrichment, keep its fortified compound, and after 10 years of collecting billions of dollars worth of sanctions relief, it will be in a position to go for full nuclear breakout and that is assuming iran does not cheat. the presidents had long pursuit of a nuclear agreement has disfigured his response to the crisis in syria. the defeat of the regime would have vindicated strategic interests in principles.
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president obama has given token support to the opposition. no doubt he had many decisive reasons for his indecision. he concedes the survival is in the interest of iran. as he reportedly reassured the ayatollah last year. the results have been catastrophic. over 220,000 killed. over 7 million displaced. syrian christians and other religious and ethnic minorities endangered. as we have watched syria become a failed state, the islamic state chief among them are locked into being -- are allowed to incubate and has interests in the region and our safety at home. the reset with pressure is the third example of the presidents exercise in retreat.
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they pulled back from policies that offended but couldn't. the administration overlooked the invasion of georgia. they acquiesced to russian demands, and even lobbied congress to scuttle human rights legislation aimed at thugs in the kremlin. all that was done with hopes of reaping cooperation. the opposite proved true. as vladimir putin sees conciliation as weakness. the reset along with the syrian red line retreat only invited his adventurism and progression. both on his terms of crackdown on internal dissent and the invasion of ukraine. these are the most notable of the foreign policy failures. president obama promised to reorient u.s. foreign-policy away from what he deemed the tired path but now, as we survey the world, these policies have wrought, america seems only to be losing its way. the urgent question is, how do
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reverse this turned toward chaos and disorder? we are lost much ground, and our options in the near term have narrowed. but weekend foster an environment where the u.s. can shape challenges rather than be forced to react to them. first, we must start by reinvigorating our military. frederick the great said diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments. it is inert, in audible, and ineffective. if we want our diplomacy to be effective again, we must rebuild the military that has faced devastating budget cuts and 15 years of war. this will require dramatically higher levels of defense spending then congress and our president has managed to agree upon. make no mistake. our current defense budget was a mere political compromise.
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it is not linked to any strategy that confronts the threats we face today. or the threats we will encounter tomorrow. rdd is left with 260 ships. the air force with little more than 5000 aircraft, the smallest and oldest air force in our history. the army and marine corps are on track to drop below 450,000. the bare minimum we need to fill our missions. as diplomacy is sterile without military might the force of arms is also unfocused. without a coherent foreign policy and clear sense of our objectives. we want to retain our position in asia and foster the region's peaceful movement toward greater liberty and freer trade we must make clear to china that any
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attempt to exclude the u.s. from asia in any way will be futile. the obama administration has recently taken some promising steps on this front. i applauded efforts to challenge china's maritime claims in the south china sea and it s suppose that error -- suppose itd air defense zone in the east china sea. these modest moves will not suffice over the long term. we will need to expand our military presence throughout asia, particularly the reach of our navy. we should establish mechanisms to resolve disputes peacefully free from chinese coercion and that president should reach a deal that truly expands free trade on terms that will allow u.s. businesses to fairly compete and win. on iran, the president is currently keeping a policy with the ayatollahs that is impracticable.
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-- is impractical. it is doing nothing to stop iran's regional aggression. it encourages iran. they soon get over $100 billion in sanctions relief. it provides little comfort that we can prevent a regionwide nuclear arms race among iran's adversaries. and offers no answer once the agreement expires after 10 years. the clear goal would be to dismantle the nuclear weapons program which, after all, was president obama's stated objective. if current negotiations cannot accomplish that goal, sanctions should be strengthened and the threat of force restored. in other words, president obama should really be held to what his long stated policy was. with regard to ukraine, we must take the steps to deter further aggression and deny the kremlin a victory in its attempts to undermine the government of kiev. we must raise the costs of
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military action and it requires the u.s. to lead a robust and coordinated efforts with our allies to build the capacity of the ukrainian government. ukraine is prosperous, free, and stable. it will stand as a rebuke to moscow. and frustrate vladimir putin's attempts to revive the post-cold war consensus of a europe, whole and free. the challenges we face abroad are deeply complicated and contingent on political economic, and cultural factors. determining how we respond will require wisdom. as we continue these debates, i would encourage us to keep in mind the clear lesson of the past six years. retreat only invites aggression,
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chaos and disorder around the world. the policies we pursue should exhibit confidence in american power and america's mission. thank you all very much. [applause] >> i can open it up to questions. i will ask the first question. on the iran nuclear deal, seems like we are going into the final inning. what is going to happen if it actually goes through, how bad do you think this will be for the world? senator cotton: for almost two years, the president has had a habit of kicking the can down the road and increasingly, reports from our allies whether they are part of the p5 plus one or israel or saudi america suggest we will not have an agreement by june 30 because the leadership of iran recognizes
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that he has leverage against the president. the president seemed hell-bent to get a deal on any terms, on any grounds. that is why his deputy national security advisor referred to this as the foreign-policy equivalent of obamacare. they mean it his is legacy making achievement. that is why he lifted sanctions even when he had iran on the mat in 2013, and while the extended past the first deadline and second deadline, i expect they will go past the new deadline. if that is the case i would counsel walking away from the table, trying to rebuild the sanctions coalition that is undermined by his decision to go down this path. >> what is your role when it comes to you, what can congress do? senator cowan, under the new
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agreement act congress does not have the power to approve the deal. congress has the power to review the deal. there will be a 30 day period where sanctions cannot be lifted. congress will have the ability to pass a resolution of approval or disapproval and send it to the president. no doubt he will veto that. if he has reached a deal with iran which means 34 senators would be able to prevent us from overwriting the veto and allowing his nuclear deal to go forward. that is one reason i opposed the legislation. it turns the constitution on its head. this is not negotiation about fishing rights with canada in the great lakes. it is a nuclear arms control agreement with the world's worst sponsor of state terrorism, any agreement should be subject to the treaty clause and required two thirds of agreement in the senate. our founding others but that provision in the constitution because anything is far-reaching and long-lasting, they wanted widespread agreement across
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regions and demographics and viewpoints. not 34 senators not allowing a president to upend years of policy. >> kitty talk a little bit more about the south china sea? in 2012, when there was a big standoff between the philippines and the chinese military, the philippines wanted to see american ships on the horizon. they did not show up. a lot of people said that gave the green light to china to do a lot of what it has been doing. what steps would you take beyond what the obama administration is doing to stop china doing some of the rebuilding it is doing in the south china sea? senator cotton: that kind of a or weakness always emboldens
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adversaries and authoritarian governments. it is not just that decision. i heard from leaders in east asia who say the syrian redline is a critical moment in east asian geopolitics because it undermines the u.s. credibility which undermines the president's credibility. the credible right of use of force or other tools of coercion is one of the strongest tools that the u.s. has in the national security toolbox. to the extent the u.s. ever breaks promise for is not steadfast in defense of an ally, it only helps emboldened countries like china. what could we do now? i do applaud the administration's stated efforts to continue to fly aircraft as we all saw on cnn over the reclaimed islands in the south china sea.
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we can be more assertive in sending our naval vessels to the south china sea to include within the 12 miles on around this reclaimed land. i think we should encourage china to try to resolve the claims on neutral and fair grounds. the last thing we want is military confrontation, but we cannot allow china to confront our allies with their military might in the region and not expect dire consequences down the road. >> opening it up to questions from the audience. >> senator caulkincotton, my boss has spoken in terms of four factions, hamiltonian's, jeffersonians, jacksonians, and wilsonians.
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obama seems to be a practicing jeffersonian. what kind of foreign-policy philosophy do you think we will need to move forward in the next 10 years to restore the world we lost? senator cotton: in identifying the four schools of the american tradition is not that only one school is right or anyone school has adopted it that these are four schools of thought they reflect our foreign-policy going back to the 18th century. it always has and it always will. no single statesman, not even the namesake founders of those schools, no single statesman is solely planted in one single camp, but they all risk -- reflect strains that are important and will remain very important. we are talking about the hamiltonian strain. one of the fastest ways to get
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into a war with united states is to interfere with travel in the seas or skies as chinese suggesting or they suggest with their defense identification zone. the wilsonian strain, we are always going to have a greater moral element to our foreign policy than most countries will. it can be promoted in institutions. the imf should be shipped by american influence. the jacksonians strain said no one should ever question our military might and we have to have the strongest military possible. the jeffersonian recognizes the challenges the world's superpower poses. all of these schools are thought -- of thought are part of the american foreign-policy tradition. no statesman of far-reaching accomplishment reflects a single one. >> you mentioned moral
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foreign-policy. how does the moral high ground advance by supporting saudi arabia? >> there is no doubt that saudi arabia has many problems internally. for decades the united states has tried to influence saudi arabia to be more transparent and protect the rights of their citizens.
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they are a key ally in the gulf, especially against iran. they are supporting rebels that have taken over the government of yemen. that is an example of how iran, emboldened by the nuclear negotiations is trying to convince their position within the region and undermine their adversaries. yemen has always remained hard to govern place because of its geographical positions and its terrain. it is the latest example of that, just like syria is an example of that like with hezbollah and the levant. they need to improve their treatment of citizens and they need to open up their marketplaces. in most cases, and america is more effective in doing that by working with the government in power to try to advance human rights, to try to advance the
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rule of law and free market economics. in my opinion, though. >> how does it make it ok to ignore human rights in cases or give it less of an emphasis in saudi arabia but stand by it in places like china which are seen differently? senator cotton: we should insist that china continue to improve. to respect the rights of its citizens and to quit oppressing people's like the tibetans and so forth. we have many adversaries that are even worse. look at what is happening in iran. the records are as bad or worse than countries like china or saudi arabia. could i ask a question of my own? could i ask you about your four lapel pins? >> i am a gold star dad, i have three kids serving.
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i would consider you the biggest hawk in washington. maybe lindsey graham. would admit that right? senator cotton: i believe in strength and confidence. >> all i hear is somebody knocking on my door again can you tell me how long it is been since the last combat zone death? that is what it is all about. can you tell me how long it has been? senator cotton: we have had americans die this year. i cannot tell you the exact time frame. >> 58 days ago, and then it was 116 days.
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when do we get to hang up the mission accomplished banner and then we can bring my kids home safe. we've been fighting in iraq for 24 years and -- 24 years. we had 36 of our own killed that your print the more killed in iraq in 2010 were killed in 2001 if that is what you consider planning, ask people iraq.
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>> we squandered the gains that they go -- >> 7000 miles away in pickup trucks. business country we have 90 guns per hundred, we cannot win an insurgency there. somebody is going to come over and take over this country. that is just the fact on the day after you sign that letter, you spoke to a defense contractors
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meeting. it is very clear what your views are, sir. my views are keeping our kids safe. the difference between going caps off and sending your child is much greater. when you speak of sending our kids the of not just sending them to make money. 7000 miles away is not coming here are cutting our heads off. senator cotton: the only people who less want to see more than veterans is the fathers and mothers. the threat environment we face here is more grave today that it
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any time in any of our lifetimes. as just not my assessment i wish that were not the case. we have to stay vigilant. we needed to take the fight to their terrain. >> thank you for your service and for being honest. senator cotton: thank you for your family and the sacrifices they made, which very few people can understand. >> my question is about turkey. last week, one of the most credited newspapers in turkey published media of trucks full of weapons at the syria border.
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they are claiming that those weapons were sent to isis and al aqaeda. the government denies that. the united states has said nothing about it. if it is not true, how would the united states react to that and how would it affect relations between the u.s. and turkey? senator cotton: i can't speak about the specific report, because i have not seen it. i will say over the last 3-4 months, it is clear that numerous opposition groups in syria have been getting additional financing and weaponry from a host of countries throughout the region.
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that is because these countries view it as the only way to stand up to iran's drive for regional hegemony. this is why it was dangerous to remove assad from power with all of these extremist groups still in existence. you have countries that are threatened by iran's drive for regional hegemony, they are currently funding extremist groups, many of which we would rather not support. but that is what happens when america retreats from the region when we don't play the role of , imposing a balance of power that had existed for many of years. when we let the countries fight it out between themselves, it creates a real risk for the u.s. as well, not only our allies in jordan and israel, but for the u.s. right here at home. the islamic state has a safe haven in turkey. they are trying to recruit westerners including u.s. citizens at this very moment to
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conduct attacks here. >> it is believed that the weapons sent by the turkish government. senator cotton: i haven't seen the report, so i can't comment on it. >> i asked if it was a mistake that they did not have a residual force agreement. she blamed maliki for that. they could not agree, so they had to withdraw. why couldn't we have forced an agreement or something so that the victory was not completely squandered? what could we have done it differently in 2011 and how do you feel as if someone who has served in iraq, what is the morale given the squandered victory that we had? senator cotton: i put responsibly chiefly with barack obama and hillary clinton.
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dispute over the status forces agreement with largely about community of our strengths serving in iraq. -- of our troops serving in iraq. every time maliki and iraqi officials said they wouldn't give anything, it is a sensitive topic for any host country, but we have status forces agreement in any country where we have troops around the world. the bush administration had successfully negotiated multiple status force agreements that overcame that controversy. they did so because bush was committed to winning in iraq. he made plenty of missteps plenty in the early days, but in the end he was committed to iraq. barack obama, however, retreated and withdrew from iraq. the same objection was raised in the same way, barack obama and hillary clinton packed up the tents and said they couldn't do anything about it. this is not to absolving maliki, who was a challenging leader.
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but secretary of state, one of your primary responsibilities is developing good relationships with other leaders. we're seeing the consequences of that now. the director of the cia said al qaeda and iraq, the group we fought in the middle part of the last decade, were defeated in 2008, researched and was largely eliminated during 2011. without that kind of residual force continuing to provide stability and training to iraqi forces, to serve as a tripwire against iranian influence, they would be able to grow into advantage of the civil war in syria. they returned, not as a terrorist group, but as a terrorist army. we are seeing consequences of that kind of retreat now.
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not only predictable, but predicted by many government officials. >> i was intrigued that you mentioned ukraine. in your opening remarks, you made mention of a deterrence model to increase the cost for russia with their incursion. some politicians within ukrainian parliament has adjusted this would be helpful if they were adopted into nato fully and sit of being a nato nation. would you be for something like that? it would have to be approved by nato itself. just because it would increase the cost for russia. senator cotton: i'm certainly open to nato membership for both ukraine and georgia. in the more immediate term
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though, there is still a fighting going on inside the ukrainian borders. they are still occupying eastern part of ukraine. we should focus on providing ukrainian army with weapons to defend against russian armor and artillery. providing them better intelligence support, providing better logistics support and so forth. second, working with the img and other -- the imf and other international institutions. it has its own problems, but a group of leaders committed to turning towards the west and against the oligarchy model of the former soviet union. we need to put pressure on ukraine and russia, our major european partners say they would extend the sanctions against vladimir putin and his cronies in the kremlin. in the senate we just passed an amendment that would spend $400
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million to upgrade strikers in to send a signal to vladimir putin that we will not stand for this kind of oppression. we need to expand military exercises in estonia and latvia. in the long-term, nato number -- membership and even eu membership is something that we should consider. any short-term, we needed to focus on stopping putin. >> the mainstream american lobby, organizations like aipac would like to maintain the standard that support for israel is a bipartisan measure. ? but with recent changes in policy from the obama administration, as well as moves taken by speaker boehner to invite president netanyahu to speak, members of congress
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boycotting that past event, many believe that the nature of american support for israel is changing to more of a partisan issue with republicans and democrats. would you speak to that? and if you do believe the nature of support for israel is changing, do you believe it will affect the vote of the american jewish community, which largely votes for democratic candidates upwards of 80%? senator cotton: we would like to see widespread support of israel continued from both parties. a good example would be legislation in the house, about two years ago that would impose new sanctions on iran, which i helped draft the foreign affairs committee. it got 400 votes. many people often say that congress is the bedrock of our relationship with israel. the administration, not the state are meant. all of it. over time, it changes because various administrations have
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tried to put distance in our relationship with israel. congress has always remained steadfast. that is simply because the american people are supported of the u.s.israel alliance. they are supportive of israel not just for jewish americans but because it is the home of the people, but most americans who just want to stand up for the only constitutional democracy in the region against the rights of all its citizens to include israeli arab citizens. it has a free market economy and our closest security partner in the region. unfortunately, if you look at public opinion polls over the last 25 years, the olso accords, you will see that support israel has largely remained the same but has declined somewhat among democrats.
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to the event, you have some democrats are cutting mr. netanyahu speech or trying to put daylight, as he claims, is a reflective of the democratic base. i do not think that is a healthy thing. i think both israel and the u.s. prosperous when we are working most closely together. one reason for that is israel's geopolitical position. it is a small country, and its adversaries are right next to it. we are different, our adversaries are far away. to the extent anybody in the region doesn't think that israel can count on the u.s.'s support means that israel has to be more aggressive on its own terms. that is not good for the region, or our interests either. we don't want our allies like israel to have to freelanced anyway. we want them to work closely with us, as they did over the past several decades. it is important we do as best we can to maintain a strong bipartisan support for the u.s.-israel alliance.
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even as we have seen some of that support erode, not just among self identified democrats. >> what do you think obama's main reason for trying to have this friction between israelis and americans? senator cotton: i think part of it is no doubt personal. he probably has a bad relationship by all accounts with president netanyahu. part of it is related to his iran policy. the answer to most questions in the middle east under president obama is wrong. -- is iran. he knows that israel is the country most by nuclear iran not just because of iran itself, but because of the nuclear arms race it would create. he also knows that prime minister netanyahu is the most forceful critic of the proposed
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deal with iran. it is remarkable when the president came into office with a grand strategy to remake our alliance structure in the middle east, and he appears to have been successful, more so than the other president has brought iran and saudi arabia together again. >> the nuclear deal is focused mostly on the nuclear power in and of itself. the capability is a litmus test for the opposition. why has the united states not addressed deliveries for nuclear power as opposed to just nuclear power in and of itself? senator cotton: bad policy decisions by the president. it was excluded from negotiations from the very
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beginning, because the president is so determined to get a deal of any kind with iran. we largely excluded any negotiations about their ballistic missiles. they have missiles that can hit every one of their adversaries in the region. the only region they need a ballistic missile with intercontinental range is to reach the u.s. or at least threaten them and try to deter us from protecting our interests and defending our allies in the region. it should have been a prerequisite for the negotiations. >> a follow-up question -- is there any reason that the senate is not addressing this themselves? doesn't this look like we have our tail between our legs, trying to walk lightly around the iranians? it looks like we have the lower
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hand. senator cotton: i believe the senate should be insisting that we put a ballistic missile program on the table. these are policy decisions that are largely in the president's hands. there will be a time for a debate if and when there is a final agreement reached. these kinds of questions will play directly to the heart of that debate. one reason why americans object to ayatollahs having nuclear weapon capability is because they are not a normal country. normal countries don't take off hostages under pretext. they do not try to undermine every adversary they have in the region. normal countries don't sponsor terrorism. japan and germany are nuclear threshold states.
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not many people lose sleep about them at night. they are normal, peaceful, constitutional democracies. if and when there is a final nuclear agreement, the nature of the iranian regime and other questions like there ballistic missile systems, i strongly suspect it will not be along with u.s. interests. >> [inaudible] cylindersenator cotton: i oppose the so-called freedom act that passed. i do think that it will undermine our intelligence abilities and possibly re-create a gap that existed before the 9/11 attacks. moreover, it was a solution in search of a problem. there is not a single incident
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of intentional abuse that has been verified under the nsa's data collection program. i have visited with the men and women who run the program. there is not a single instance of abuse under that program. many of you have value cards from a local grocery store or pharmacy. your privacy is much more at risk because of that card more than anything the nsa collects. your privacy is much more at risk because of banking financial data that the government protects. it was however a critical tool in our counterterrorist toolbox. we have deprived our intelligence agencies of it for no good reason other than , misrepresentation. i am not confident that the nsa can create that equivalent in the next six months. i am hopeful that they can. but when you are dealing with a counterterrorist tool designed to stop an attack on the u.s., we should cannot go on hopeful
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or hypothetical. we should wait until there is a demonstrated capability before replace the telephone program. they are expiring anyway. he prolonged to debate. now they have been revived. whether the freedom act had been passed on june 2 for may 22,i would have opposed it. it has eliminated counterterrorism capability that posed no threat to privacy. to the extent that americans leave that it did was because of misrepresentation. a recent poll shows that 60% of americans wanted it real . -- reauthorized.
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there is no personally identifiable information. they merely assembled the dots without connecting them. >> can you speak to the implication of an iran deal on the world oil market? with the iran deal there would be a new flood of oil into the world market, and under ideal market conditions, would lower the price of oil? would that be an american interest? senator cotton: you're right about the deal. it will lead to more oil exports from iran, which would lead to lower oil prices. lower prices are better for the american consumer, but not at the risk of giving iran hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. i strongly disagree with what the secretary of treasury said a couple weeks ago, is that iran will use that money to buy
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hospitals, schools or roads. they have been able to do that for the past decades. they will fund terrorism groups like hezbollah. they will resupply the huthis. they will try to kill americans or jews around the world as they have been trying to do for 35 years. >> you had mentioned estonia and latvia and the possibility of a hybrid war there. under the current administration, do you think that would happen under nato agreements, for would be -- with the administration pull back from that? senator cotton: in estonia and latvia, it would not look like what we war gamed. it would not be 100 tanks rolling across the plains. it would be a combination of
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cyber warfare and a special forces, not wearing russian uniforms, working with russian language allies in estonia and latvia who view it in their economic or personal interests to create the same kind of ongoing conflict in those areas. that is a new challenge that the u.s. and nato faces. we need to stop it from happening in the first place. you conduct naval activities in the baltic sea and the north sea and make it clear to vladimir putin that we will not accept the presence of little green men in a nato ally. >> it is perfectly clear that we don't have a strategy in syria. with that in mind, as a policy maker, have you heard anyone in
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government seem to have a comprehensive strategy? any thoughts on what we should do? senator cotton: the best thing would be a time machine and go back to 2011 to encounter assad's regime. it is a critical source of iranian power in the world. there were not a large number of jihadist groups operating in 2011. it was a genuine uprising of the syrian people who had been oppressed for decades against an oppressive regime. today, the situation is much worse because of the islamic state in charge of syria as well as al qaeda linked groups. there are still plenty of local syrians who are not extremist s, who do not to see one tyrannical regime replaced with a second one. but they are oftentimes under resourced and have taken great casualties.
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at a minimum, we should be taking the fight to isis in iraq and syria. at a minimum, we shouldn't be letting the islamic state control large swaths of syrian territory, because that base of operations prevents us from effectively prosecuting them in iraq. >> would you support having some kind of safe zone, say on the turkish border? senator cotton: i have supported a no-fly zone in syria. that does not mean necessarily american aircraft in the skies as it did throughout the 1990's with the iraqi no-fly zone. but it does mean stabilizing syrian airfields and destroying their helicopters. that is the one key advantage that the syrian regime still has over its own population. i do think we have to establish some kind of air control in the
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country, that again, we should have done a long time ago. and i as many others have called for a long time ago. >> a compelling narrative with that, china outmaneuvered of the nations in order to join this bank. president obama says foreign policy is more nuanced than this. what is your opinion on the aaib in general? senator cotton: if china wanted to create an infrastructure bank in order to develop asian countries -- many of them are our allies and big trade partners. it would have been america's long-term interest to work with china to shape the rules of that institution, as we have shaped
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the roles of so many international institutions. our european allies are beginning to do so. i think there is still an opportunity to do so. >> i have a question about the chinese hacking. north korea hacked a movie studio, would you advocate sentence against chinese hacking? it seems to be a repeating action, but no punitive action seems to be taken. senator cotton: first we need to be getting all the facts. sometimes cyberattacks are masked and difficult. we have time to assess. we need a mindset shift about cyberattacks that i think we
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have not yet fully reached. we have to recognize them as real attacks on the u.s. and our interest. not just when they hack into a federal agency, but when they happen to regular citizens, or a company like sony. whether they are attacking a federal agency or a private institution, it is our job to protect them. we don't expect banks to find the bank robbers, we need to make clear these attacks will not be tolerated. >> how do you think the u.s. should confront those problem of finding itself supporting the
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militias? senator cotton: we shouldn't be collaborating with iranian backed shiite militias. we learned after the battle of tikrit that we were not doing so. we shouldn't do so, one, because it will only become more widespread in iraq, especially if those militias move into an bar. but two, they are ineffective as well. these militias have proven to be a paper tiger. just like iran, they could not defeat saddam hussein, where we defeated him in a mere three weeks. these militias show them to be paper tigers. we don't need an arbitrary cap
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on the number of troops. we need to provide more specialized skill sets to the iraqi military. some of those will be near the front lines, like forward air controllers, some of those are highly specified intelligence advisers or logistics experts. we can work with the iraqi governments in the region to be fighting the islamic state, not relying on toothless militias. >> these militias have been dispatched to retake the city in spite of isis fighters. senator cotton: they have repeatedly shown themselves not to be up to the fight against islamic state.
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>> i am an air force veteran. i want to shift geography a bit. what foreign policy challenges do you see in latin america and africa, and what strategies would you recommend in venezuela, honduras, mexico, and nigeria? there are great problems there. senator cotton: i will start with africa because, since it is closer to eurasia and the heart of islamic terrorism. we face challenges with boko haram. that have been attacks in the past week in response to his promises. we need to work with allied governments like nigeria, or in north america to continue to provide them the support they need to fight our common islamic terrorist enemies.
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it may be outright military support, intelligence support, but we cannot fight the islamic state or extremism everywhere directly with americans, we have to work with local governments. in latin america, there are many countries on the verge of being failed states like venezuela for some central american states. we have a strong interest going back to at least 1823 in the munro doctrine to ensure that the western hemisphere has countries aligned with the u.s. and support of the western way of life. unfortunately a lot of countries there do not. we should not support leftist governments. for example, what president obama has done in cuba by upending 50 years of policy.
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but rather try to work with governments that are open to the u.s. and are willing to support constitutional reform and protect democratic people's. sometimes that will involve more military or paramilitary support than it has been in columbia over the past 15 years to great success. it will be a matter of economic and diplomatic cooperation. >> when i try to make sense of this, is that there are areas the u.s. only congress feel compelled to actually be more adamant, much more involved in actually working on the ground to the other ones taken much more diplomatic approach. how does one pick which ones you're actually going to get in there or not or would syria? >> we are not in syria either.
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in the middle east for instance it has been a volatile region for a long time. we have a critical interest in stability and order in the region. great britain, when played the role of the great superpower they did it as well. we have always had an interest in a stable middle east because it is the crossroads of humanity. the threats to the stability of world order are greater in the middle east. right now they are greater east asia right now because of a rising and repressive china than anything you see in latin america generally. we have governments that are not friendly but they are not hostile as countries as china or russia. >> one final question.
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what do you think will be the main foreign-policy issue for the next year for the political campaigns. is anybody support? senator cotton: i am not endorse any candidate and i do not expect to any time soon. in terms of the issues we face, they are two manifold to just reduce him to one. the most immediate question will be a nuclear deal with the wrong because the president is treating it as a mere executive agreement. hillary clinton, who helped start us down this course has implied that she would not trade i would look at the broader strategic challenges and a few different categories.
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transnational terrorism and the slamming state and al qaeda. rogue states, and rising and declining nation state powers. i hope and expect the republican nominee for president will of policies that will reverse the president's policies and put us in a starter position -- stronger position in all of those categories. >> thank you for coming. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute wiich is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> next we will be taking your
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calls and comments, live on washington journal after that, the medal of honor ceremony for to veterans from world war i. and then the funeral for the vice president's son. this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on first ladies, we will look into the personal life of two first ladies from the 1850's. jane pierce and harriet lane. she loses her son, and does not go to her husband's inauguration. she later become so assisted the white house when he becomes president and the first to be called first lady in print.
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this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. examining the public and private lives of the women who fill the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency. and as a complement to the series c-span's new book, first ladies presidential historians on the lives of 45 american women. this morning on washington journal, nelson schwartz discusses the may unemployment figures. and then the inspector general for the homeland security department talks about the failure of tsa's readers to detect explosives and weapons. and then we have the latest on
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the kickoff of airbag -- takata airbag recall. ♪ host: good morning to you. it is saturday, june 6. the question is where you get your political news? a new poll finds that six he percent of millennial's get their information through facebook, only about one third watch local tv news. the opposite is true for baby boomers. a majority watch tv. what about you? care of the foam icicle this morning. we are taking your calls so start jamming and now. if you are between the ages of 35 and younger, you can call us at (202) 748-8000