tv Washington Journal Rachel Ellehuus CSPAN June 14, 2021 11:54am-12:26pm EDT
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c-span as a service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. host: rachel ellehuus is the deputy director for the center for strategic and international studies russia, europe and eurasia program, joining us to talk about the president at his first nato summit in brussels, belgium. i want to begin with the agenda today. guest: thank you very much and good morning. there is a very robust agenda. there is regular business that the alliance needs to do at the summit, which is reinforcing the defense posture and making sure the alliance is properly funded. i would look toward some new areas that made up will discuss -- nato will discuss today. possibly even china. host: how many countries are part of the nato alliance?
guest: there are currently 30 and there is a mixture of networks and partnerships stretching as far across as the asia-pacific. host: what is the definition of a nato member? guest: nato members are countries who have applied for memory ship and gone through a vigorous process to become members. if there is a certain criteria about control of the military, providing your fair share in terms of professionalizing that military and it is a robust process that requires approval from each individual never stay. the bar is quite high. host: what are the benefits? guest: the primary benefit is collective security. article five is the cornerstone of the nato alliance. it says an attack against one member state constitutes an attack against all of them. the one time that was invoked was in the sense of the united
states after the attacks of 9/11. host: what do you have to pay or do to continue to be a member of nato? guest: nato has two forms of funding. it has indirect funding. that would be the defense budget of member states. and it has a small amount of direct or common funding. in the case of the u.s., that constitutes a very small percentage of the budget that goes into the alliance. that covers operating costs, things like a small headquarters presence. i would not say allies paid dues per se but they have an obligation to contribute their fair share, both in terms of common funding to keep nato up and running, but more importantly to keep up their own defenses. listeners are probably familiar with the requirements from the whales summit to send 2% of gdp on defense and 20% on modernization. host: and where has the united
states fallen on our payments over the last -- during the trump administration and what has the biden administration said? guest: those indirect payments toward the common funding are relatively fixed. those are allocated, according to a country's gdp. certainly, the united states defense budget is over 2%. it is worth recognizing that the u.s. has global commitments. 3.1% of the u.s. defense budget is not solely going to nato contributions. that is for the united states defense posture, globally. host: what then -- what has the biden administration said about how they will contribute, going forward? guest: certainly at this summit, responsibility sharing and burden sharing will be key. the defense investment pledge started in 2017 was put forward under the obama-biden
administration. since then, non-nato allies -- since then, nato allies other than the united states have increased their spending for seven consecutive years. one could say that pledge has been delivered on and allies are moving toward spending that 2%. i think biden will reinforce that message. he will also look not just at 2% but he will look at how allies are spending that in terms of contributions and procurements to the alignments -- alliance. host: what was your reaction to the editorial board when they wrote on april 18, some of the into gone funds, they call it bidens defense budgets, some of it will go to to get climate change. that means fewer resources to fight for core fighting capabilities. washington cannot ask the military to deter emboldened great prior -- powers and fight
climate change on a declining budget. the blunt truth is the u.s. is no longer certain to win a great power war. china's military maneuvers in the western pacific are at a new level of intensity. guest: nato has shown it is able to do a number of things simultaneously. i would not say it is necessarily true that nato -- because nato is often involved in climate change. even the pandemic, if we look at how nato has been so agile and responding to the coronavirus pandemic, that gives us faith they can say -- do the same in terms of climate. nato recognizes that their job is to look at the security implications of climate change. for example, how resilient is a base to a natural disaster? how many emissions targets can
the alliance help to reduce when it operates in training and exercises and even overseas operations? i think nato, as an alliance, has proven it is agile in its ability to respond to transnational security challenges like the pandemic and climate change, while still maintaining that core capability to determine defense against adversaries. host: we want to welcome viewers into the discussion. you can dial in. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. text us with the same area code, (202) 748-8003. you have to include your first name, city and state. what about afghanistan, rachel ellehuus? remind us about what the
president has said about u.s. policy toward afghanistan and how do you think -- what have the nato leaders said in response? guest: we are currently in the process of u.s. and allied forces moving out of afghanistan. but the president's message has been that even if the united states and nato are leaving militarily, they remain committed to the future of afghanistan. when you look at what is likely to come out of the summit, i would expect to see a commitment to a continued civilian presence in the country, with things like getting government institutions up and running, making sure corruption does not take over. there will probably also be a financial commitment to funding the afghan national security forces and hopefully a commitment to train those security forces in a country such as iraq. the clear message is even if we are drawing down the curtain in
afghanistan, the commitment to a secure and stable future in afghanistan remains. host: we will hear from paul, first. indianapolis, independent. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: i spent the last 12 years in retirement, keeping track of nato's capabilities. the sad truth is that over 90% of nato's deployable forces speak english. in other words, people who can go from there home base to that area to defend them are british. the germans have spent little on troops deployable outside of germany. the spanish, the french, these people contribute very little to the border defense. people like the greeks use their
pensions and say it is military spending. nato is -- the germans have said recently that they will cut back on their defense spending. the real problem is nato is a broken reed. the united states can do better outside of nato. host: your reaction? guest: paul has a point in pointing out that there -- that allies contribute differently in the alliance. the bottom line, all countries should be committed, to the article five commitment. the strength of the german military forces, for example, but also responding in cyberspace. i recognize that a lot of these
countries have, throughout the 90's and most of the 2000s -- throughout the 1990's and most of the 2000s have reoriented their defense posture to peacekeeping or crisis management. what nato has been doing is rebuilding the core capacity for collective defense and heavy fighting. the way that heavy fighting looks in the future is not necessarily how it looked during the cold war. when a country germany is rebuilding its forces, there will be an element of the war fighting capacity that paul referred to. but there will also be cyber and hyper capabilities -- hybrid capabilities that will be important. deploy ability and sustainability are important. but improving the quality and quantity of forces, the biden administration plans to shine a spotlight on that. as paul said, let's make sure the increased spending is not going toward pensions or legacy
capabilities but is improving the output of the alliance. host: rachel ellehuus, is president putin a threat to the nato alliance? guest: well, i'm not -- [laughter] i'm not sure i would put it that way that putin personally is a threat. his behavior and russia's defense posture presents challenges and a threat to the at lyons -- alliance. look at russia's military buildup, that is concerning to allies, particularly when the arctic is been an area of cooperation and low tension. the cyber attacks that we have seen recently, which putin claims are not being executed by the russian state, but we sort of traced those groups executing attacks took russian territories. that is a threat to the alliance. militarily, the fact that
russians -- russia is masking troops in ukraine, a country that borders nato allies is certainly a concern and threat to the alliance. all things considered, i do think russia is a threat to nato. there are some small, discrete areas where russia is a partner. without russia's cooperation, we won't make any meaningful cooperation progress on strategic stability or arms-control. host: here is a text from one of our viewers in california who says russia's government and its private businesses have been fortunate with not getting attacked from ransomware and cyber criminals. can you explain why the russians have been so lucky and not been a victim of these attacks? guest: i can't cite a specific example. but i do not think that russia has been immune to the cyber attacks. the u.s. and european societies
are relatively transparent. when there is a serious cyber attack or a breach in russia, it is not on the front page of the news. i have no doubt that nato's -- russia's defenses have been breached in the past and russia has been the victim of a cyber attack, it is just not something they are advertising. host: does article five of the nato alliance extend to cyber attacks? guest: it does. that is a wonderful question. at the inception, it applies to more conventional domains. in between 19, the alliance agreed to make cyber and operational domain -- in 2019, the alliance agreed to make cyber and operational domain, alongside conventional domains. host: what cyber attacks do you believe that we have seen over recent years should have triggered an article five or
have none of them? guest: the one challenge for nato is that, in cyberspace, the capabilities that would be used to defend against or respond to a cyber attack are owned by -- it is established by countries rather than by nato as a whole. the responses attended to be national -- attend to be national with -- tend to be national when there is a cyber attack. they intended to put forward a new cyber doctrine that would allow for more collective action. in a sense, catching up with the fact that cyber is in fact under the article five umbrella. host: we will go to north
carolina, republican, welcome to the conversation. caller: republican until i am able to withdraw. they have moved too far to the right. i no longer support them and their candidates. i would like to see president biden approach nato about opposing sanctions for two countries. one is russia for human violations -- human rights violations they make, putting bounties on our troops and attacking countries that used to be independent. the other is israel, because of a are not honoring -- because they are not honoring borders that were set up for them when we helped reestablish them. if we shut down all trade into their countries and all trade coming out, they might change their mind about what they want to do and how they respond. and russia would bury criminals
and ransomware, they have an obligation to help human beings be protected. thank you. host: your reaction? guest: i think that is a valid comment and the role of china is something president biden will be talking with e.u. counterparts. rather than nato, it turns -- it tends to be the european union that brings sanctions on a country like russia. you have seen that coordination between the biden administration and the european union in terms of sanctions on belarus and ukraine and on russia for the imprisonment, a real attempt to coordinate those sanctions and statements, under a belief that
when that action is coordinated and reinforced on both sides of the atlantic, you have a better chance of improving the behavior or deterring bad behavior. sanctions have their limits. i think that is why it is important that nato allies are meeting today to signal really -- military resolve toward russia as well. host: we talked about russia but what about china? guest: china will be interesting. one of the things nato will do at the summit today is launch an update of their strategic concept. the strategic concept sets the direction of travel for the alliance with a level of ambition for the alliance, and opportunities and threats to nato. the last strategic concept was from 2010. it does not mention climate or china. i would be looking for an update on language on china in that strategic concept.
the question is how china will be characterized. will it be characterized as a challenge? will it be characterized as a threat as russia currently is? how much will allies agree that it is nato's responsibility to respond to the challenges china presents? many of those challenges are economic, rather than military in nature. i expect to see some movement from nato in terms of -- much of which china has invested in. i expect action in the u.s.-e.u. summit, where some of the tools and economic measures will be more relevant with regard to china. host: what was your reaction, seeing the statement out of the chinese embassy in the united kingdom after the g7 summit, when they said they always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich our equals -- are equals.
the days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone? guest: china is, if nothing else, adept at image projection. if you look at china's presence in europe, they are very focused on presenting china in a positive light. providing masks and other medical equipment was an attempt to improve the chinese image in the eye of europeans. whether that is working is an open question. a lot of countries, particularly in europe, who may have been buying the more positive image of china, are less hold into it -- into it.
-- how that has a vote and aggressive -- evoked an aggressive response from china. we take those words with a dose of skepticism. climate change does not get solved without their cooperation. the pandemic is something that is transnational. we can't stop it without them. we need their help. i appreciate bidens message where we have to be tough but there are also areas where we have to have a basis of cooperation with china. host: chris in massachusetts, democratic caller. the morning. -- good morning. caller: you said russia was a threat to nato. i would like to remind you that in the spring of 1998, i think it was, that gorbachev was given a promise by james baker that italy -- that in return for the
dissolution of the warsaw pact and the reunification of germany, nato would stop pushing borders one inch eastward. since then, nato has pushed its borders to the soviet entity in the baltic state, it has made its wishes for the soviet socialist republic of georgia to become part of nato and it has also lobbied for ukraine to become part of nato. so, can you please tell me who is the villain in this? it is confusing to me. by the way, this has been -- this has been -- the national
archives just released this. it is all factual. thanks. guest: thanks for your question. i am certainly familiar with both sides of -- not really the argument -- but on what was or was not intended. i have seen those statements and all i can tell you is that only the people in the room really know what happens there. i think there is an understanding that even if, at the time, there were assurances given that nato would not enlarge eastward, those were somehow limited in time and depended on certain conditions, which russia also breached. i always try to keep in mind the broader principles of the agreement, which is that they have a right to self-determination. if a country like with the when you want to be a member of a
certain alliance, they should have freedom of association to apply to and join the alliance. if it were nato or cst a, that is there -- csto, that is their choice. those are principles russia helped to establish and has abided by in large measures. it surprises me when this right is thrown away by the wayside. host: tim, democratic caller. caller: thank you for taking my phone call. i would like to bring forth something that has been happening from 1974 in the eastern mediterranean, where turkey invaded cyprus.
a nato ally, and is infringing upon the territorial borders of greece. i would think that nato would start to address this matter. it has been how many years, now? almost 50 years that this has been happening. host: ok. rachel ellehuus? guest: cyprus is a difficult issue. it is a divided island. despite several attempts to resolve the dispute between the turkish and greece, resolution has not been in the cards. the u.n. attempted and found little common ground. what nato can do, given turkey and greece are both members of the alliance, is try to defuse these tensions. a few months ago, when there were tensions, a general stepped
in and had consulted talks on decreasing tensions in the region. that is in the interest of both greece and turkey. that speaks to nato's memory ship and the benefits thereof. if they were outside of nato, tensions would have turned into a much more serious situation. host: here is a tweet from mark that says if russia is a threat to nato, why is germany and eastern europe buying gas from them, lining their pockets with no ins that can be used against nato? guest: i think the caller is referring to nord stream 2, an energy pipeline that would take russia's gas onto the european continent, primarily germany.
every country has domestic economic interests that sometimes are at odds with security and defense aspects. the nord stream 2 issue has divided the alliance. countries in the north of europe, particularly in the baltic states and central europe, they see nord stream 2 as increasing europe's dependence on russia. and they want to see a resolution. what i can say is the biden administration, recently, even though they did not think that imposing sanctions on the pipeline would have the intended effect of stopping the pipeline, they are now trying the route of diplomacy, whereby they try to work with germany and other european countries
today's resources. in some cases, the economic nature is at odds, but on the good side, we made it perfectly aware of trying to resolve that through tough diplomacy. caller: good morning. here we are, i don't know how many years later. our relationship with other countries doesn't seem to fit what the democracy stands for. if we keep pushing our democracy across the globe, are we taking away heritage of other countries? host: that is a good point to
end on. what is the future of nato? guest: if you look back at the north atlantic treaty, the principles speak about every members commitment to liberty, democracy, the things the caller pointed out. in joining the nato alliance, countries signed up for this. these are not abstract words. they are foundations of the alliance. out of respect for these values and principles, you don't get political cohesion that allows nato allies to act for common purpose and to step up. in my view, the future of nato is based on these foundational values in remembering why countries joined the alliance. that is because they are stronger together rather than faci
announcer: update in brussels appears to be running about an hour behind schedule. we expect president biden will hold a news conference at nato headquarters at 1:50 p.m. eastern. you can watch it when it begins right here on c-span. also online at c-span.org. or listen live on the c-span radio a. -- radio app. >> later today a house panel looks at unlawful convictions during the coronavirus pandemic and what can be done to assist tenants. watch live at 3 p.m. c-span, online, or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> this week in congress, the main item in the house is a repeal of the 2002 authorization for use of military force against iraq. house members return for legislative business today at 5:00 p.m. eastern. the senate's also back with work on nominations expecteds
throughout the week. -- expected throughout the week. they are in at 3 p.m. eastern with a confirmation vote set for 5:30 p.m. on judge brown jackson to serve on the d.c. circuit court of appeals. the second highest court in the united states. watch the senate live on c-span2 and the house live on c-span. >> next, a discussion about the rise of anti-asian racism and violence. the american constitutional society, hosted the discussion. it's about an hour. >> our conversation this week is on a subject we all wish were not necessary to address. the rise in anti-asian racism and violence. but we know that our panel of extraordinary leaders will help us to identify ways that we as lawyers can be forces of positive change in our communities.
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