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tv   John Bolton Delivers Remarks at Young Americas Foundation  CSPAN  July 31, 2019 8:35pm-9:06pm EDT

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♪ >> the house will be in order. >>. 40 years, c-span has been providing america unfiltered footage of congress, the supreme court, and public policy events from around the country so you can make up your own mind. 1979, c-spanble in is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. ♪ >> yesterday national security advisor john bolton discussed foreign policy challenges facing the u.s. at a student conference hosted by the young america's foundation. this is half an hour.
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>> good evening, everyone. [applause] >> we are going to go ahead and get started with tonight's programming. good evening to everyone attending in person as well as everyone watching online. i serve as the program assistant for public relations. i would like to recognize two special guests from the audience, the president of the young america's foundation. [applause] >> as well as ron pearson, the vice president of the board of directors for yaf. [applause] >> young america's foundation is the premier outreach organization of the conservative movement. in 2018, the los angeles times called y.a.f. one of the most
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preeminent and influential forces in the conservative youth movement. each year we introduce thousands of america's youth to the fundamental conservative values we believe in such as individual freedoms, free enterprise, a strong national defense, and traditional american values. this campus activism initiative, campus lecture tours, and conferences. i have the distinct honor of introducing tonight's speaker, who is a longtime friend of the foundation. the honorable john bolton is serving as the 27th national security advisor of the u.s. appointed by president donald trump in april 2018. bolton is a native of baltimore, maryland. he graduated from yale with his bachelors in 1970 and graduated from yale law school in 1974. he has dedicated his life to public service, serving in key roles for the united states department of justice, department of state and u.s. agency for international development. in 2005, bolton was appointed by george w. bush as the u.s. ambassador to the united
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nations. he served as the senior vice president and senior fellow at the american enterprise institute, as well as a contributor to fox news. bolton recognizes the importance for strong national defense and for america's role as a global power in promoting democracy around the world. he resides lives with his wife -- resides with his wife and daughter in bethesda, maryland. we are honored to have the esteemed speaker with us tonight. join me in welcoming the honorable john bolton. [applause] advisor bolton: thank you very much. [applause] thank you.ton: it is great to be here tonight and i really appreciate the opportunity to be with you. the conference agenda sounds fantastic and i can tell you as
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member cana.f. tell you as a former member myself, back in the day when we are doing it, if we had an opportunity like this to be in washington, it would've been something. so i'm sure the rest of this will be great. i want to talk to you tonight about some of the foreign policy challenges that face the u.s. today, but i want to start off with a little edmund burke, who is someone that i read as a high school student and one of the things that propelled me toward conservatism. burke had an extraordinary political career serving in the british parliament during the american and french revolutions. he understood that the foundational reality for foreign policy was the national interest. he despised idealistic fantasies with no pragmatic purpose. he believed that prudence and statecraft and reasoning from empirical reality helped to inform what a foreign policy
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should be. i think that provides the foundation for how we ought to proceed across the board today. if you go back to the end of the cold war in 1991, people came away from that with very different views of the way the world should be going forward. there were some people, who under the rubric of the end of history, declared it was over. we were done. we had won. we had reduced our capabilities , we undermined our structures of deterrence and weakened american influence around the world. people called it the peace dividend. that is what the liberals were doing. conservatives were more fragmented, and there were three schools, i think, at the end of the cold war. one was flat out isolationists. there have always been some isolationists among conservatives, but it was an argument that made a lot more sense in 1790 than it does
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today. the second group wanted to go into another worldwide wilsonian crusade for democracy. they are still out there too. and then there was a third category that i would put myself in, looking to build an american foreign policy based upon national interests. the first impression, we don't seek hostility with anyone, we are a trading nation. we has been an oceanic nation from the beginning and we would like a peaceful world to engage in peaceful intercourse. there are a lot of people out there, whoever, who don't agree that, and we are confronting some of them. -- don't agree with that, and we are confronting some of them. we confronted some on 9/11 and there are others we are facing today. i'm not proposing a world order. i'm proposing a world where america is safe. it means that american sovereignty is no longer offered submissively to nations that would control our ambition.
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not all americans understand or agree with that. in 2009, president obama addressed the un's general assembly, saying in an era where our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. he went on, no world order that elevates one nation or group of people above another will succeed, no balance of power among nations will hold. what he was talking about in a world order that elevated one nation above another was us. that is what he was opposed to. after another speech given by president obama on the 65th anniversary of d-day, a reporter said comparing reagan's speech in 1984, the reporter said reagan was all about america. obama is, we are above that now. but the job of america's president is to ensure the
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security of the american people we are not above that now. and never will be. in his day, theodore roosevelt understood this fully. when president woodrow wilson called for making the world safe for democracy, roosevelt replied emphatically, first we are to make the world safe for ourselves. that remains our objective today. let's consider some of the specific problems we face. with iran, we withdrew last year from the joint comprehensive jcpoa, theion, the nuclear deal, because it failed utterly in preventing the mullahs from developing nuclear weapons. any nation that chants death to america or death to israel will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. we designated the islamic
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revolutionary guards corps a foreign terrorist organization. no other element of a foreign government has ever earned such a dubious distinction. what it means in practice is we are watching very closely for any individual company or institution which chooses to do business with the irgc and anyone associated with it will find it difficult to get into the united states. following u.s. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, president trump reintroduced sanctions to prevent iran from being able to reach their objective of nuclear weapons. these sections are crushing iran's -- sanctions are crushing iran's economy, devaluing their currency and depleting their natural reserves. iran has tried every trick to smuggle oil to other nations in exchange for cash. when that did not work out, they turned to other industrial products, and we sanctioned those as well. iran's behavior has only grown worse. not only does the regime continue to pursue nuclear
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weapons, it has increased its support for terrorism, such as aiding the houthis in yemen and ramped up its conventional military activity in syria and iraq. the irgc's force has become more aggressive, not less. moreover, iran has chosen the very risky course of confronting the united states directly. they have shot down our aircraft seized ships in international waters. they choose to test ballistic missiles and increased the amount of enriched uranium in their stockpile. they seek to buy time, hoping for a softer, more pliant administration in 2021. much like barack obama. the people of iran deserve better than to be pawns in a mad game of run out the clock until
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the mullahs build a nuclear weapon. america will continue to work with our allies to apply maximum pressure on iran. [applause] advisor bolton: iran can solve this problem very easily by demonstrating that they've made a strategic decision to stop pursuing nuclear weapons, give up the ballistic missile program, which is intended to provide delivery systems for those weapons, abandon their financial and military support for international terrorism and stop their other maligned activity in the middle east. the ball is in their court. we recognize also that iran presents a particular threat to israel. president trump has stated that the united states supports israel's right of self-defense and he has taken consistent actions to demonstrate our support. since 1993, presidents have stood up one after the other to
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say that they would recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel and move the u.s. embassy to the city of david. president trump actually did it. [applause] advisor bolton: he did it against dire warnings of unprecedented bloodshed that did not materialize. today the u.s. embassy is in jerusalem. the president took another historic step recently in recognizing israeli sovereignty over the golan heights. [applause] advisor bolton: in the united states, we closed the palestine liberation office right here in washington, d.c. we also stopped funding the u.s. agency for palestine and cut all
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funding that benefited the palestinian authority. when the plo takes concrete steps to negotiate in good steps -- in good faith with israel, we will reconsider allowing the office to reopen down the street. when the palestinian authority stops paying for fighters and their families who end up in the hospital for killing innocent american and israeli men, women, and children, we will reconsider how and when we continue funding it. these are common sense steps in our national interest. don't fund terrorists who are trying to kill you. [applause] advisor bolton: that is a hard lesson for some people to learn. perhaps you have noticed that the relationships in the middle east have started to shift. arab nations recognize that iran will continue to fund terrorist organizations to destabilize the
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region and concentrate power in tehran. arabs and israelis are working together in a united front against nonstop malicious iranian actions. this is how strong, prudent leadership improves stability in the middle east, and that is good for the united states. [applause] i was recently in jerusalem for trilateral talks with israel and russia. and even russia agrees with the united states that israel's security is central to the stability of the middle east. it is significant to get russia and the united states to agree on anything today. so that was, i think, an important lesson. in particular, we disagree on the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty, which prohibits ballistic and ground-based cruise missiles with a range of
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roughly 300,000 miles. this friday will mark the official end of the inf treaty when the united states withdraws. by and large, americans are a law-abiding people. when we agree to a treaty, we uphold our end of the agreement and we expect other nations to uphold their end. for too long the united states abided by the treaty while russia continued to develop advanced ballistic and hypersonic delivery systems to modernize its inventory, all in violation of the treaty. here is another part of the problem. we have had our hands tied by this treaty, while china develops its intermediate range weapons unconstrained by any treaty obligations. in the interest of our national security, we chose to untie our hands in order to protect america effectively in the 21st century. there are threats out there that
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are existential and with which there is no compromise. the president has charged the national security team to think more broadly about arms control both in terms of the countries and weapon systems involved. the world has moved on from the cold war and its bilateral treaties that covered limited types of nuclear weapons or only certain ranges of adversary missiles. the president wants effective arms that delivers real security for the american people and our allies. to achieve this, he has concluded that we must negotiate with both russia and china. the administration has been consistent, beginning with the u.s. nuclear posture review that arms control can contribute to the national security of the u.s. and our allies. but unlike some true believers who worship at the altar of the current arms control apparatus,
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we see arms control as a means to an end and not an end in of itself. for example, the new start nuclear agreement that was ratified in 2010 was flawed from the beginning. it did not cover short range tactical nuclear weapons or new russian delivery systems. it is due to expire in february of 2021, and while no decision has been made, it is unlikely to be extended. why extend a flawed system just to say you have a treaty? we need to focus on something better, and we will. as i mentioned with china but we are concerned about a whole host of issues, not nuclear weapons. we want to cooperate with china when the interests align, but as presidential laid out in the national security strategy, we are here to compete. we see very hostile activities by china on a range of military fronts, such as in the east china sea and the south china sea.
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we see a tremendous buildup of their nuclear missiles and blue water navy capabilities. we see a determined form of their mercantilist economic policy internationally and particularly the way they have abused their position in the world trade organization. the united states is committed to securing fair and reciprocal terms in our trade practices and that will require china to be more transparent. it is on that point that the president has particularly confronted china. he is doing it on the basis of an insight that no one would dispute, that ultimately national, political, and military power and its projection around the world rests on a strong economy. when one country is abusing the rules of the international trading system for its own advantage, and particularly taking advantage of the united states, that must stop. you see through the use of
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tariffs that the administration is willing to use all available tools to help level the playing field. the trade negotiations that followed the imposition of tariffs have concentrated on what we call structural issues. massive, persistent theft of american intellectual property, forced technology transfer, and discrimination against american businesses and investors. all of these complaints about china are shared in common by european, japanese, and other foreign participants in the international economic system. china has made it common practice to coerce and intimidate other nations in the indo pacific region, and the u.s. has made it clear that we want peace and stability there. we will protect freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea. we will continue to partner with those nations who respect
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national sovereignty, fair and reciprocal trade, and the rule of law. turning to a different range of problems, consider international organizations. the founding fathers developed the constitution that to this day gives our nation legitimacy and the authority to create and interpret and enforce laws. in our constitution, we the people were handed the instruments of natural sovereignty that make us an exceptional nation among nations. others disagree with that. some even in our own three to -- even in our own country has taken steps to reduce our sovereignty and national security, as shown by the establishment of the international criminal court. 1998, a group of nations gathered and adopted a multilateral agreement called the rome statute. they established the international criminal court of 18 justices to try perpetrators
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for crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. there is no dispute that those crimes are heinous and unacceptable to the united states. we demonstrated time and time again, when americans abuse our constitutional system, when they do it in foreign lands, we hold them accountable. we have the strictest rules of war of any country in the world. we have the strongest indoctrination and training of our service members. we are -- we every right to be completely proud of the way america conducts war. i think when it is considered to the extent to which we have gone the idea that we need an international criminal court to second-guess us is just flatly wrong. one central innovation in the international criminal court was
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the office of the prosecutor. this prosecutor has the authority to open investigations and pursue prosecution. the prosecutor should go after military commanders and anyone who knew and didn't stop the military operation, all subject to fines and jail time. if there was ever a nightmare example of an illegitimate court structure with an unconstrained jurisdiction and unaccountable prosecutor, this was it. it was my distinct pleasure to lead the effort for the united states to unsign the rome statute which president george w. bush did in 2002 one year before the court went live. instead, we created over 100 bilateral agreements, all binding, so that other nations would not transfer u.s. personnel to the custody of the international criminal court. unfortunately not all of our european friends would enter
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those bilateral agreements. in late 2017, what we feared finally occurred when the icc prosecutor requested authorization to investigate and prosecute american military members and intelligence personnel for alleged crimes committed during the war in afghanistan. last year on the anniversary of the september 11 attacks, i had another distinct pleasure of letting the icc know that america would not tolerate such an illegitimate intrusion upon our sovereignty. [applause] advisor bolton: in april of this year, the icc finally backed down and decided not to authorize the investigation, which was a win for the rule of law. an international court of outsiders that can second-guess the actions of u.s. personnel during war and is free to
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prosecute the chain of command up to and including the president of the united states has no authority or legal standing in our country. one of its more dangerous goals is to constrain the military actions of our nation, apart from our own constitutional system which does so. to sow doubt in our service members and personnel that they be subjected to war crimes not through our own constitutional system. our national survival depends on our defense, which we are perfectly capable of regulating and judging ourselves. understood,rke well we have to be continuously evaluating changed circumstances and be ready to adopt our policies accordingly. we must remain vigilant against all attempts from the outside and inside to erode our national sovereignty. we will not ask permission.
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and we will not apologize for protecting the united states of america. [applause] just to say that last line again, we will not kneel. thank you very much. [applause] thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. , you dotold that questions and answers, which i am happy to do. there are microphones out there, am i right? people standing in line somewhere? >> good evening. my name is ryan. i am from queens university in united kingdom.
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the united kingdom will leave the european union, and i was wondering what opportunities you see for greater cooperation between the united kingdom and the united states especially now we have a new government under boris johnson? sec. bolton: there are number of opportunities. i have been in london on the day of their brexit referendum because i wanted to be there on what i thought was a historic occasion. i am delighted they had the best -- the wisdom to leave. if i had been a bridge, i would , i woulda brit leave. freed of regulations and restrictions of the union, the potential for economic growth in great britain is enormous, and i think there is a natural partnership with the united states. president trump has been
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emphatic since the campaign that he looked forward to negotiating a reciprocal trade deal with the united kingdom at the earliest opportunity. we are expecting prime minister boris johnson will be here we hope in august very soon. going to be a great relationship between the president and prime minister and i think it will be a real opportunity to strengthen the special relationship between the two countries. it is enormous, and it is in america's interest to make sure it succeeds. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you for coming out tonight. sorry, thank you for coming out tonight. i am from whittier. a lot of iranian americans have inherited a long-standing mistrust of the u.s. stemming , so how do wecoup appeal to them to vote for president trump when family lives are affected by sanctions?
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what we have seen across iran is demonstrations and a position to the regime -- opposition to the regime not because of 40 years of the mismanagement of the economy. the myth -- opposition is now .ery bright -- very broad it is not just in the cities but in the villages with farm laborers and across the country. it does not get reported in the western press because it doesn't leave the big cities. weaker than it has been. it is not a quarrel with the iranian people. we had great relationships between -- before the coup. it is good to believe we could have relationship again. a 1953, it was actually the restoration of a legitimate government that had been ousted p that started before
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the one that restored the shots of power. it is important to keep it straight. strong feelings in the iranian-american community about the illegitimacy now. i don't think there has been a resident since 1979 who has -- d as strongly for the >> thank you. [applause] whoever is next out there. yeah, yeah. no others? fair enough. [no audio] [applause] thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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