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tv   Sen. Duckworth Discusses Security in the Indo- Pacific  CSPAN  August 10, 2021 4:03pm-4:46pm EDT

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a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill which now heads to the house. the legislation provides money over several years for roads, bridges, public transit, rail, water projects, airports, broadband, and electric vehicle charging stations. senators working on the democrats' budget plan. live coverage of the senate on c-span2. >> tammy duckworth, a member of the foreign relations committee spoke about her recent trip to the indo pacific and the role the region plays in u.s. national security. this event was hosted by the center for strategic and international studies.
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>> -- we are pleased to welcome to meet the worth for conversation on the security policy in the into pacific. we are very excited to hear what she has to say about what she found in the region. she is an iraq war weatherman -- veteran and former assistant secretary of the department of veteran's affair. she serves on the armed services committee, the commerce signs and transportation committee, and the small business and entrepreneurship committee. the smart women's smart power speakers series is thanks to our founding partner citi. we are think of for their support. -- thankful for their support. now, and head of global affairs
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at citi for remarks. >> thank you for joining us. citi has been the supporting -- supporting the series for the past six years. it is an effort to bring women leaders together to begin a dialogue on pressing issues facing our world. we call ourselves the leading global bank, prison in more than 100 countries. we believe we have a unique perspective on the political -- financial challenges around the world. where led to have tammy duckworth join us. for service in our country. she is here to talk about the u.s. national security in the into pacific which is near and dear to our heart as well. the senator could tackle any
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issue that is thrown at her as evidenced by the comments made about her diverse committee assignments in the senate. as a member of the senate, she is passionate about building a clean energy future. i look forward to hearing her views on the challenges on climate change as well as the into pacific. i will pass it to me not to get us started -- mina to get us started. >> i am honored to be speaking with you today. you are a war hero, you have broken through so many glass ceilings. it is terrific to have you here. thank you. you are obviously in the middle of both infrastructures. thank you for taking the time to join us today. >> it is a pleasure to be here. you're going to see me mute on oh and off -- on and off.
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we are in the middle of votes. it is every pleasure to get to be here. >> the topic of this is the into pacific and your trip there. you are on the armed services committee, you could tackle any issue. when he to talk about the foreign issue, afghanistan. -- we need to talk about the four issue, afghanistan. taliban capturing capitals. we worry about women and girls and the people of afghanistan and national security concerns about creating a fertile territory for isis and al qaeda i want to ask you -- al qaeda. i want to ask you, did the biden administration make a mistake on withdrawing?
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what is your perspective on that? >> we need to see what our policy is going to be. we want what the american people want. did they want us to occupy and hold afghanistan against taliban forever? if that is the case, we should send in more troops. we have been there 20 years. we have spent a lot of america's treasurer, not the least of the lives of men and women on that foreign soil. the afghani's have not stepped up to take their own country. we have spent money training the national security forces in afghanistan. after all that time, they are still not capable of holding their own ground. what do we want? if we want to stay there, let is having a discussion on a new authorization for use of
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military force. the authorization would authorize us going into afghanistan was about 9/11. it was about capturing those who attacked us on 9/11. we did that. we punish the people who attacked us. that is no longer valid. we need to repeal it. if we want to stay there, the new mission is to hold afghanistan, to protect its women and girls we should have the full in the state senate. once congress decides we want to do -- what we want to do, then sure. until then, we kept the forces there longer than necessary for the mission they were given. if the mission is to nation build, let us put resources behind the state department. into the peace corps, diplomatic efforts. to try to nation build their. there military -- the military
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has done its job. i agree with president biden for pulling out. our mission was to find and kill those who cause 9/11. the new mission that we in congress need to take a deep breath and have the discussion and have that vote on the floor. >> do see that happening? is a movement towards having that kind of discussion? >> there is much more movement about let us look at the authorizations for use of military force. we are still using that to justify us being in africa. boko haram has nothing to do with 9/11. we need to go after them. africa is the place where we are getting a new system for the development of forces. i think we should be there.
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let us have that discussion. it is wrong, it is not supportive of our military to send them on a mission and not tell them what that mission is. i have had many conversations on both sides of the aisle about the need to sunset the old authorizations and have the debate and vote on new authorizations. most people do not want to put on it. it is easy to hide your head in the sand when you choose not to confront and use out of date language like we have been doing. >> spoken like an experience or veteran. let us turn to the into pacific region. you are there -- to the into pacific -- indo-pacific. they do not have the resources to set up to an increasingly aggressive china.
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this was a question that was contributed. what you do with the most critical capability for falls that the u.s. military faces? which of these congress must address the additional funding? what is your perspective on that? >> we need to have a longer, and more persistent presence across the whole indo-pacific region. the other is economic visibility should we have not been there economically. the prc has been there. the prc does not have the separation between the commercial economic sector and their government sector and national security sector. everything they do ties together. there civilian fleet of fishing
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fleets is a pseudo-military fleet. we have military officers on board. this fleet that is supposedly fishing is there to occupy territory and be used in a strategic military way. we are not there in the same way. i'm not proposing i sent a fleet -- we sent a suite of military fishing fleet -- i do not suggest we send a fake military fishing fleet. we need to follow-up on the national security issues i went on in the spring to talk about the fact that the u.s. needs to be there. to provide an alternative to the prc. both in terms of national security and economically. >> the trade agreement was an
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alternative to china prc. is that where we should be heading? >> yes. we need more trade agreements. either multilateral or bilateral. let us revise bilateral agreements with friends and allies we have in the region. thailand, singapore, places that are declared friends of the u.s.. let us work on countries like indonesia and vietnam and have trade with them. my three biggest products in illinois are pork, corn, and soybeans. who do you think buys the most corn, pork, and soybeans? it is asia. it is in the benefit of american farmers to have this trait as well. >> the intertwining of economics and trade. it is the threat to taiwan. the threat from the prc has
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risen so that the chair of the world's most important ship maker felt compelled to address the prospects of an invasion by china in a recent earnings call. he declared that no one wants to disrupt the semiconductor supply chain in taiwan. ascended like a message to beijing. -- it sounded like a message to beijing. >> they are doing everything they can to destabilize the government in taiwan. they things like the united states is so rich with vaccine there giving into cats and dogs -- giving it to cats and dogs. -- there are nostrums attached. these are strict donations. we donated -- you donated ppe e to us. i want sent us ppe and
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respirators -- taiwan sent us ppe and respirators. >> people forget that. >> the people of taiwan were so grateful we were there. this is a symbol that we were not abandoning them. i am concerned that the prc will attempt to take taiwan. we have to deter them from it. once they start it is harder to repel them from territory than to let them know that it is far too costly for them to try. >> how could that play out? what are scenarios you think are realistic? >> in terms of the deterrent, i'm working on something in this year's budget. i have two provisions on it. one is to create a partnership for peace program or the national guard, every state
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adopt the foreign country. we have been in a state partnership with the polish military in indiana for many years. the u.s. and army national guard in illinois have been training with the polish military and advising them for 27 years. the officers i knew when i first started, this begins a relationship. i have a proposal to bring taiwan into the national guards of one of our states. also i directed the dot to look at actively finding more training opportunities for the u.s. military and taiwan defense forces. we are going to have a much more persistent and visible presence of the united states when it comes to taiwan. >> that reese a question. -- raises a question.
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bloomberg points out, as the pentagon is reviewing the strategy, there is an interest of putting land-based weapons on the island chain close to china. what are your allies thing about this? what they allow -- would they allow ground-based weapons? >> some of them will eventually. i was in southeast asia with vietnam and thailand. i had many conversations. the since i got were the stations are on the front lines. indonesia, vietnam, and thailand are the only -- they are standing up to the prc. the prc is such an overwhelming force in the region, we have to give those countries something
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they can hang their hats on. when they are opposing the prc, like when the prc's turn to build new islands. they say the americans are here, we cannot do what you want us to do. the americans already here. -- are already here. those ground-based systems, we have to work on those relationships to be allowed to base those systems. we have to be in the region more. when we look through the archipelagoes in southeast asia. when we say we are here, we are here to set up for the rule of international law. that is something that all of those stations, even those who are hesitant, welcome. it allows them to hang their hat on that. they say to the chinese, you cannot do that. the americans are here.
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you are going to have to adhere to the rule of international law. just being a presence in the region is needed. >> the administration is showing that you think -- is the administration showing what you think is there? >> i have had conversations with different parts of the administration. they are very receptive. i spoke with a delegation at the tokyo olympic games. they were on their way to thailand. i spoke at length for pushing for more vaccines for thailand. the vaccine diplomacy we are doing is welcome. what is critical, we are giving vaccines without any strings attached. that is different from what the chinese are doing. they're coming in with their vaccine, strings attached to it.
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when the u.s. comes up and say we are here because some of you have been there to help us. it is the right thing to do for a global pandemic. that really helped. in our conversations with administrations in all parts about southeast asia, there is a real understanding within the binding camp of the need for this. there is dedication to it as well. >> you are part of the announcement in june of 750 thousand doses going to taiwan. that has been tripled to 2.5 million. can you talk about the numbers you have been seeing that will be coming out regarding scenes in the reason -- region? >> when we went there in june, there was not enough vaccines for in country. we were not going to be part of the first cohort receiving vaccines. i spoke with the white house and
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said hey, we were supposed to go to the sugar law dialogue -- we were supposed to go to the dialogue. everything was shutting down but south korea was still open. we both pushed the administration pretty hard and said hey taiwan is being blockaded by china. when china had done, the vexing program lock taiwan off from any of the vaccines until the the taiwanese said if you want vexing to buy our vaccines. they were telling other nations that they provided vaccines to taiwan, they would not -- china would not engage in trade with them. -- they were telling other nations that if they provided vaccines to taiwan, china would not engage in trade with them. -- we got to south korea. it was very much touch and go.
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we did not know it we would be able to get to taiwan. the ministers and agreed with us and sent a military aircraft and flew us in from a military base in south korea to the military base in taiwan. we could not even tell the south koreans were going to taiwan good they would have -- it would have placed them in a bad position with the chinese. we were on the ground for three hours, never left the airport. that turned thing around in the country. the morale of the people in knowing they were not abandoned. even though it was just a few thousand, we are now over 4 million vaccines to taiwan. thailand we announced 1.5 million initially, another million is coming. all of those are desperately needed and welcomed. >> that must've been a
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remarkable three hours. >> it was. we got done with our day actinic look at night. we had the speaker of the -- we got done with our day at 10:00 at night. we had the speaker, we had a show, we were on a flight on the ground for first meeting in taiwan. it was well worth it. the people of taiwan deserved to know that america had not been ended them. -- abandon them. >> australia is in the crosshairs of the prc. especially in regards to the coronavirus. now they are modernizing its military and engaging in military exercises with the u.s..
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talk about that. >> plus have been there with us. they will -- australians have been there with us. they have been with us every time. they were with us in the korean war, vietnam, iraq, afghanistan, australia has been one of our most forward allies. this is part of our need to be in the region. australia has been playing a leading role in the region. sending up to the prc. -- standing up to the prc. we have to support the australians even more. this is a case where we let australians tell us what kind of help they need. what kind of help they can accept for us. and be ready to provide it to them. >> climate change.
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when you talk about economic cooperation with the region, do you see climate change as part of that? what areas are you looking at doing? >> i think climate change is an opportunity for economic cooperation. one thing i was looking at in the spring, south korea, two months after the biden dialogues had happened. south korea announced they were going to make $30 billion in an investments. this was one of the places we could work on at take advantage of this opportunity. like batteries or technology. i think that we should be looking at nuclear. any future will have nuclear as part of it. how do we limit dirty fuels that
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already exist. these technologies are things we have the opportunity to invest in. to not only lead the world in setting the standard, but also in selling to the rest of the world the great technologies to get us through those grams. -- grams. -- programs. illinois has more nuclear reactors than any other state in the nation. we have coal, fracking, state-of-the-art biofuels. that is so that we should be looking at investing in. i see as an opportunity for america to really lead the world in this field. partnering and using that as a form of diplomacy, partnering with and making new friends in parts of the world that would not have been present in recent years. >> with 90's advanced to include
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as many -- we like these programs to include as many audience questions as possible. >> last month you and senator corbin were supporting integrated corporation between the national guard and taiwan. is there more of you would like to say about your vision for that relationship moving forward? >> one them to become capital relationship. -- i want that to become a provincial relationship. it is a tool in the arsenal that we have. it is very well respected, it has paid dividends for a small amount of money for us. hawaii is partnered with thailand. washington state with indonesia. to have that habitual relationship on the national guard to the taiwan event forces , that is a way to bring the
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taiwan defense forces up to a readiness level. they are already pretty much there. with u.s. forces integrating. that should happen. u.s. forces need to show up. we have already been training with taiwan. they have been using american equipment. their leaders have been going to american schools and the like. if it is if they the village of illinois has with poland, it will go well. you have disaster response to making sure that you are able to defend territory. >> that his face and aiding. -- fascinating -- that is fascinating. >> talk to any of the commanders. if you talk to any of the four stores and see what you think of
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the partnership program? -- four stars and see what you think of the partnership graham? -- program. there is nothing but accolades for this program. >> america has an edge by assisting countries in their education and technological advancement. -- such as changes in climate? >> there is so much opportunity there. people still -- our culture in our culture is our values as a nation. people want their kids to come to school here. we should invest in bringing other nations to come to school in u.s.. they go to an american college for a few years, the fall in love with the freedom and values and quality that exists in america's country -- culture.
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we are far better in terms of the wealth of our nation and culture that so many other countries. they bring that back. they want to work with americans. the understand america better. if we are smart about it, we can bring them here to go to so and give them a visa. so that they can stay here long term and start become occupant wars. they will surface -- entrepreneurs. they will engage in more economic activity. that is something we did well in the 70's. we have not done since the 70's and early 80's. it is time to restart some of this. >> ethan asks, as someone who works in foreign policy, i am constantly thinking about how foreign policy initiatives do or
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do not benefit all americans including those in the midwest. how would you justify the was commitment to a piece over solution of the taiwan prc viewed to the people of illinois -- feud to the people of illinois? >> not having a peaceful solution -- economic activity. we are going to find out we will have to defend those. so much of the trade from illinois goes through their. illinois is heavily dependent on trade in the indo-pacific region. is window hurt illinois -- it is going to hurt illinois' families. some of the largest concentration, all the
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businesses are tied to having good connections and peaceful taiwan we can do trade. and do joint partnership. >> cnn said bipartisan infrastructure bill has passed the senate. >> wonderful. i want to know when the next boat is going to start. >> you have more votes going on the budget resolution. it is the aroma -- it is vote -o-rama. the senate will take up the infrastructure plus package. you have a lot of looking --
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voting ahead of you. i want to go back to another passion of yours. that is immigrant military service. the importance of an expedited path for citizenship for those immigrants who are serving in the military. talk about the setbacks you have seen it in past couple of years. >> my ancestors, my five times removed great-grandfather were british subjects of the british lord. they were indentured servants. they were brought to the u.s.. they fought in the revolution. they gained american citizenship through service in the american revolution. my family has benefited from that ever since. there is a long history in this nation of people getting this and shipped through military service. -- getting citizenship
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through military service. we have people serving in the military and they are not getting citizenship come they will be flabbergasted. they think it is automatic. it should be automatic. under the bush administration, george w. bush actually signed and incentive order to expedite so that as soon as someone goes through basic training or if they are going to be deployed, would processor citizenship people work. the would become -- we would process their citizenship paperwork. that was love to atrophy. the current -- that was allowed to atrophy. the state departments that help process the citizenship paperwork at military bases.
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we have people who serve 10 years, get out, the arsenal citizens -- they get out, and they are still not citizens. -- i found out they were two of my soldiers who i've known for 12 years were not citizens. we expedited their citizenship before we went. but did not happen to a lot of folks. you have a lot of people who are veterans who have been deported. >> i wanted to ask about a personal note. president biden forged a political entity around, and personal resilience. -- around personal resilience. you are reflecting on why some troops come home from primer --
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trauma and survive and others kill themselves. after your devastating injury, it was not easy. here you are, a senator with two small children. which is amazing. could you give us an insight into the inner strength you drew on. give us what inspired you, look at you through it? >> i try to explore a little bit of that. a book. -- i wrote a book. i have time before bed with my daughter, she asked me how come somebody else could not have gone in my place and i could
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have had my legs. i was try to answer her. why america was worth it. she asked me again last night, why could someone else not have gone? i said i was hungry, and those programs give me food. i wanted to protect those programs. i was exploring the idea of resilience. i do not know, there's something about my personality. i think everything's -- ever since i was a kid i broke down things into the most minuscule steps possible. i do not let the bigger picture overwhelm me. i tell the story in the book where i woke up in a hospital. i find that i have no legs. i cannot move any part of my body. i can move one wrist.
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the nurse it went to get better you start moving that wrist. i started doing three sets of repetitions of moving my wrist. i was thinking of that of my journey to overcome everything. if i wanted to be able to scratch my nose a better be able to move this hand. i'm going to focus on moving that wrist. that is what works for me. everybody has their own way of dealing with it. i remember being in the army, i hate running. they said let's go on a 10 mile fun run. it is never fun. i do not care what they say. if you to all of the singing you want, -- you can do all of the singing you want, it is awful. i would get from one tree to the next tree. i never thought of myself overcoming something, i saw myself as surviving it and getting to the goals that i want. >> even before your injury, when
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you overcame obstacles. to become a female combat pilot. even then, that is how you approached things? >> i knew i wanted to fly a blackhawk. i figured out what were the steps. you have to get a really high mark on your hydraulics quiz. you have to get a high mark when you fly and take the flying test. it is one step at a time. i am a list checker. that makes me happy. >> that has gotten you really far. >> one step at a time can be the start of a long journey. >> you grew up overseas. a lot in asia. your upbringing gave you an idealized version of america. you talk about some the earliest
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memories of being in cambodia. you have this love of america. i wanted you to reflect on america over the past year and a half. where we have had a global pandemic, let the world in the creation of vaccines. we saw the murder of george floyd and the rise of the racial justice moments -- movement. we have seen a raise in a text asian americans because the pandemic. 15 the election -- we have seen the election and the peaceful transfer of power. what are you thinking about america these days? >> we allowed all that to happen. if this were a hypocrisy --
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autocracy, this would not have happened. democracy is messy. we are a big enough country with big enough parts in it to work our way through it. there are some bad tendencies. terrible, horrible parts of our nation's history. we had to be big enough to address them. -- we have two be big enough to address them. we can acknowledge them. and try to do better. with george floyd and the protests that happened. i learned so much from the young millennials. especially my stuff for people of color. they were out on the front lines, many of them. out of the marches. we were taking time off to go do that. i supported them. i told him teach me to help you. right my name -- write my name
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in sharpie and my number so if you are unconscious they will call me. it is not smooth. it is not like very dust. every time we gain something in this country it has come out of turmoil. hopefully, we will get to a better place. we are really divided as a nation. it has tested my love and believe in america and democracy many times. i start every day, go into the senate chamber and i look at the full so claim -- folks that claim that january 6th didn't happen. i'm going to assume that you love this country and you're not
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crazy. i'm going to assume you love this country. let us find a way to work on this together. let us find one thing we can work together. >> inspiring words. i am told i have to let you go vote or i'm going to get in trouble. thank you so much senator. i know you have to rush off. thank you, you are truly an inspiration to all of us. we need more like you. >> the well, everyone. -- be well, everyone. >> take care. >> the senate approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill which now heads to the house. the legislation provides money over several years for roads, bridges, political transit, rail, airports, broadband, and political vehicle charging stations. senators are working on the
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democrats' budget plan. live coverage of the senate over on c-span two. ♪ ♪ >> british writer charles dickens is credited with ridding some of the world's best -- writing some of the w

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