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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  March 24, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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talking about the long-term strategy between afghanistan and the united states and at the same time you are talking about the alliance about the withdrawal of the soldiers from afghanistan. how do you ensure the long-term or how do you define the long-term strategy partnership after 2017 or from 2017 on ward? >> mr. president, ghani, what do you expect mr. president, what are the expectations coming to the united states and what would you like to return with to afghanistan? >> translator: our expectations were that our cooperation will be enhanced and we will have clear vision and practical vision with cooperation for an -- an enduring cooperation
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with the united states there and this hassen occurred and today the united states government -- considers the government of afghanistan a really reliable partner. commitments that are made are considerable. and the funding proposal of supporting afghan security forces by 2017 and it has reached to $4.1 billion. it is nothing less. it is a significant issue. it is a very important issue. and also yesterday there was a new framework of our economic cooperation was laid out according to which $800 million -- a commitment was made to be spent through the afghan budget. but most importantly is the flexibility that has been shown in the area of security
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cooperation and this flexibility is going to ensure and provide confidence to our security forces and our people and also is going to send a very strong message to the region that this cooperation is not short-term but it is enduring and long-term. >> our strategic partnership is based on a very simple principle. we want the afghan people through their security forces directed by their president and commander-in-chief to be able to provide for their own security. and our goal is to make sure that we are a strong partner in helping to build and sustain effective afghan security forces. so from the start, when i first came into office we put
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additional u.s. troops coalition troops and resources into afghanistan to shift momentum at a time when the taliban and the enemies of peace and stability inside of afghanistan, i think, we moving and had momentum. we broke that momentum. elections took place. and the afghan national security forces began to build up and get trained and become more and more effective. and because of a successful election, and a national unity government and the leadership of president ghani and dr. abdullah, we are now in a position where the afghan security forces are not only more effective, but they are also better directed by the civilian government. we've been able to draw down and remove ourselves from the combat role as president ghani
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indicated, without collapse as was predicted. and afghan soldiers have fought. and they've fought well. and obviously there are still improvements to be made. but they are making significant progress. so the strategic partnership involves us continuing to help support afghan security forces that means financially, the internet commune -- international community will have to continue to support the region and the world and we've made a commitment to do that. continue to provide the kind of security, cooperation and support that is required training and assisting and advising on logistics and developing and enabling our capacity and all of the things that go into a modern military and a professional military and police force that can provide
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security on afghan soil by afghans and the cooperation and the strategic partnership involves building up the prosperity and opportunities for the afghan people through the economic development that was mentioned by the president. so we intend to be working with the afghan government and the afghan people for a long time. and in many ways our troop presence our military assistance is just one component of what is a much larger process. and the more successful we are in building afghan capacity and strengthening the afghan economy, the more the strategic partnership that we have will be like the partnership we have with many countries around the world. and it will be based on mutual interest and scientific and
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education alex change exchanges and business opportunities and that is the goal i think we are all looking for. josh letterman. >> thank you, mr. president. you've made very clear that you're not buying prime minister netanyahu attempts to walk back the comments that he made before the election opposing palestinian statehood and reassessing your approach. what could prime minister netanyahu do if anything in the short-term to persuade you that he's serious about palestinian peace and that he is an honest broker and is there any truth that israel was spying on the iran talks and president ghani, if i may, you've been working hard to pursue reconciliation talks with the taliban, but there is indications that that is not going so well and they may not be willing to sit down with you. what makes you hopeful that you can get those talks off the
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ground and do you want the u.s. to be involved in toez -- in those talks? >> let me first of all address your second question about spying allegations. as a general rule i don't comment on intelligence matters in a big room full of reporters. and i think i'll continue that tradition. but with respect to the possibility of a -- an agreement that ensures that iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon we have not just briefed congress about the progress or the lack there of being made but we also briefed the israelis and our other partners in the region and around the world. and if in fact an agreement is arrived at that we feel confident will prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon it
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is going to be there for everybody to see. and people are going to be able to lift up the hood and see what is in there. so i have confidence that if there is an agreement, it will be a good agreement that is good for american security and israeli security and the region's security. and if it isn't, then there probably won't be an agreement. so there will be i think, significant transparency in the whole process. with respect to israel's relations with the palestinians i think it is important to understand that the issue here is not what i believe, but it's what the palestinians and the parties in the negotiations and the israeli people believe is
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possible. that's the most important issue. i've said before and i'll simply repeat. prime minister netanyahu in the election run-up stated that a palestinian state would not occur while he was prime minister. and i took him at his word that that is what he meant. and i think that a lot of voters inside of israel understand him to mean thattin equivocally. and afterwards he pointed out that he didn't say "never" but there would be a series of conditions in which a palestinian state could potentially be created but of course the conditions were such that they would be impossible to meet any time soon.
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so even if you accept it i think the corrective of prime minister netanyahu in subsequent days, there still does not afear be a prospect -- appear to be a prospect of a meaningful framework established that would lead to a palestinian state even if there were a whole range of conditions and security requirements that might be phased in over a long period of time. which was always the presumption. i don't think anybody ever envisioned in any peace agreement, certainly not one that prime minister netanyahu would agree to or that that the israeli people would agree to that overnight you suddenly have a palestinian state right next to jerusalem and that israel would not have a whole range of security conditions that had to be met and that it would be
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phased in over a long period of time. so the issue has never been do you create a palestinian state over night, but the question is do you create a process and framework that gives the palestinians hope and the possibility that down the road they have a secure state of their own, standing side by side with a secure and fully recognized jewish state of israel. and i think it is not just my estimation, but i think it is hard to envision how that happens based on the prime minister's statements. and so when i said that we now have to do a -- an evaluation of where we are, it is not in reference to our commitment to
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israel's military edge in the region israel's security our intelligence cooperation, our military cooperation, that continues unabated. and i will continue to do whatever i need to do to make sure that our friends in israel are safe. that is what i've done since i've been president. and that is not going to stop. and so the israeli people need to know that. but i am required to evaluate honestly how we manage israeli-palestinian relations over the next several years. because up until this point, the premise has been both under republican and democratic administrations that as difficult as it was, as challenging as it was, the possibility of two states living side by side in peace and security could marginalize more extreme elements bring together
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folks at the center and with some common sense and we could resolve what has been a vexing issue and one that is ultimately a threat to israel as well. and that possibility seems very dim. that may trigger then reactions by the palestinians that in turn illicit counter reactions by the israelis and that could end up leading to a downward spiral of relations that would be dangerous for everybody, and bad for everybody. so bottom line just to summarize here number one, our military intelligence cooperation with israel will continue unabated uneffected, and we are committed to making sure that the israeli people are safe from rocket attacks and terrorist attacks aimed on civil
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civilians. number two, that the evaluation that is taking place is specific to what happens between israelis and palestinians going forward. we'll continue to engage the israeli government as well as the palestinians and ask them where they are interested in going and where they see this interest being resolved. but what we can't do is pretend there is a possibility of something that is not there. and we can't continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen at least in the next several years. that is something that we have to -- for the sake of our own credibility, i think we have to be able to be honest about that. and i guess one last point about
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this, because obviously i've heard a lot of commentary there is a tendency i think in the reporting here to frame this somehow as a personal issue between myself and president -- prime minister netanyahu. and i understand why that is done because when you frame it in those terms the notion is well if -- we all just get along and everybody cools down then somehow the problem goes away. i have a very business-like relationship with the prime minister and i've met with him more than any other world leader, i talk to him all of the time. he is representing his country's interest the way he thinks he needs to and i'm doing the same. so the issue is not a matter of relations between leaders, the issue is a very clear substantive challenge. we believe that two states is
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the best path forward for israel's security for palestinian aspirations and for regional stability. that is our view and that continues to be our view. and prime minister netanyahu has a different approach. and so this is -- this can't be reduced to a matter of somehow let's all hold hands and sing kumbaya, this is a matter of figuring out how we get through a knotty difference that has a consequence for the countries and the region. >> [ inaudible question ] >> we're going to do that evaluation and partly wait for an israeli government to form. >> peace is a priority. don't make premature judgments.
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and what we have asked from the united states and president obama is graciously supported it is to support an after lan led and afghan-led peace support and we have confident this will be in team. peace is always difficult. and it requires focus, attention and sacrifice and that is what we are willing to do to bring it about. [ inaudible ]. >> thank you very much. mr. president, i have a question to mr. obama. you just mentioned that afghanistan is still a dangerous place. while it is a dangerous place, is it the right decision to draw down the force level at a time when it is a dangerous place and meanwhile, afghan forces are
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less equipped and they cannot fight truly? >> mr. president, my question is -- the question is the peace process, what was your initial or your request from the united states president? >> translator: the united states has agreed with us that the peace process will be led by afghans. and afghans will be -- will continue this process and it will be led by afghans and this is obvious for us and we are thankful for their support. >> afghanistan is still a dangerous place. the way it is going to become
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less dangerous is by afghan security forces and afghan police being capable of keeping law and order and security in the country. and that is not going to happen if foreign forces are continually relied upon for the basic security of afghanistan. so they are go -- there are going to be specialized areas where we can cooperate dealing with some of the most vicious terrorist networks. there will be intelligence cooperation and counter-terrorism cooperation and specialized areas where we can provide logistical support and training and enabling support. but the fact is is that unless afghan soldiers and afghan police can maintain security at some point, some day the united
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states and other coalition forces would leave. and and the good news is what we've seen as we've removed ourselves from combat roles is the afghan security forces have stepped up. and although they are certainly not as well-equipped as coalition forces they are better equipped than the taliban. they are better equipped than the hakani network. so with the kind of leadership the president is showing with the commander-in-chief and the leadership being shown by a growing cod ray of military officers up and down the
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military chain, afghan forces are proving themselves and discovering that in fact when they fight, they can be successful. and we want to stand with them in that process because we are very much invested in your success. so mr. president. thank you for an outstanding visit. >> thank you. >> president obama just wrapping up a joint news conference with afghan president ghani where a whole lot of news was made including on our relationship with israel. and of course on our relationship with afghanistan as the war on terror rages out of control. we'll have more on that coming up. but first on the big breaking news which the president also addressed. >> our thoughts and our prayers are with our friends in europe especially the people of germany and spain following a terrible airplane crash in france. it is particularly
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heart-breaking because it apparently includes the loss of so many children. >> good afternoon, i'm krystal ball. and as we come on the air, french investigators are trying to reach the debris field of the downed passenger jet in the french alps. one of the plane's black boxes has been located. as of now there is no indication that terrorism brought down flight 9525. the airbus a-320 was on route from germany to dusseldorf. there were 144 passengers on board and six crew members. there wfr 67 germans on board and including 16 high school students on a school exchange trip. memorials are being set up at the school. families are providing dna sem pells to help -- samples to help provide identity.
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and there is very little hope for survivors. search conditions are deteriorating as night falls. fog and rain is settling in as well further hampering the salvage efforts. remember this is french alps. debris was spotted 3500 off sea level and it dropped 31,000 feet in just nine minutes with no emergency signal given. a mountain guide nearby said it sounded like an avalanche. and a reporter for daily mail is at the staging site near the crash, david barnes what is happening? >> reporter: night has fallen here and all operations have been suspended until first light. so the mystery, unfortunately, remains as to what brought down
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this plane and killed 150 people. >> david barnes with us from the plane staging site. thank you for that update. joining us is tom hatter a former ntsb director of aviation safety and analyst john cox, a former u.s. airways captain and ceo of safety operations. and thank you for being --. and tom, if i could start with you. and there was no distress signal given and how unusual that to occur when a crash of this type happens? >> it is not terribly unusual. the crew will first fly the airplane and communicate when they can. the indication is something happened catastrophically. whether it is a fire or rapid depressionde de -- depressioncompression. and why this happened hopefully
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we'll get the voice recorder and we'll determine that. and what happens is the crew is busy and they don't make a call at the moment. >> and from the time this occurred to the moment of impact a few minutes within that time period it seems the plane stayed on the normal route versus veering right or left to an airport. does this stick out to you as unusual? does that leave a question mark in your head? >> not necessarily. i think that it says that the airplane quite possibly was still on the auto pilot and using the flight automation that would be normal and that the pilots' selected a decent. this is well within the descent of the capability and indicates it was under control. i think it is early and we don't have a lot of information yet. when we find out from the flight data recorder we'll know a whole lot more about actually what was commanded to the automatic flight systems on the airplane and that will tell us a lot. >> tom, we have video of the
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debris field and it appears to be quite a large area. what does that tell you, sir? tom in. >> i'm sorry, tom, go ahead. >> looking at that debris scatter, one it is the high fragmentation. this appears to be a high-speed impact. it is over a fairly large area. we can't see exactly where the initial impact crater was. once it was hit, pieces could have been thrown out quite some distance. but looking at the fragmentation going on here this appears to be a much higher speed than normal. it is going to be very difficult to find all of the victims' remains from what i'm seeing on these videos. >> and we're watching some of the video footage right now. john, can you tell us that early stage given what we know what would be the main working theories and possible theories at this point? >> well i think the first thing they will look at is why did the airplane need to come down? did they have a pressureization problem or was there a smoke or
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fire? what were reasons to cause the airplane to only be the cruise altitude for three or four minutes and then initiated de -- descent. and then why didn't they stop at 10,000 feet. if you had a problem on board that needed descent, that is an abnormality. why did it din to 6800. that we don't know. >> and one of the black boxes have been located. what type of data would be recorded there and how would that help to solve this mystery? >> it depends on which box is recorded. if it is the cockpit voice recorder, we'll get all of the conversation from the crew members, what they determined what they decided to do. if it was the flight data recorder, we'll get heading, altitude control movements,
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we'll know the cruise input into the controls and was there anything wrong with the plane and was it responding normally. it depends on which box they have. and the bea, which is the equivalent of the ntsb in france will be reading out that recorder tonight and have that information tomorrow. >> and john what, does the size of the debris field tell you? does that tell you anything about what possibly could have happened here? >> i think the size of the debris field is going to indicate, as tom said earlier, the fact that it hit at a high speed. >> looking at the pieces small pieces indicate that the airplane was at a high speed when it impacted. an when you have something like that occur, the resulting explosion from the impact it can hurl pieces for quite some
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distance. so the debris field as it stands right now is consist went a high-speed descent, beyond that it would be speculative to draw conclusions, tom hatter and john cox, thank you both. we appreciate your expertise today. >> and we're going to squeeze in a quick break. and when we come back we'll have more on the airbus model used by so many american carriers and at the white house with reaction to the president's news conference. cycle breaking news coverage continues next.
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the french alps. teams had to get to the scene by helicopter to try and find the wreckage. and they've also located so far some of the bodies. and one of the investigators who flew over the site in a helicopter said the aircraft had been ripped apart and the bodies are in a state of destruction. so clearly a very high-impact there into the french apples-- french alps. and you heard the president talking about the nationalities, mostly french and german. and they are working to confirm it any u.s. citizens on board. and among those on board were a party of high school students from germany, 16 from dusseldorf area and would babies among the 150 people in that germanwings airline crash. the plane took off this morning at right about 10:00 local time from barcelona on route to ducel borve -- dusseldorf and it about
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eight minutes it went from 37,000 feet to 6,000 feet and there was no distress signal and they are focusing on and if the pilots knew there was something wrong with the aircraft and were unable to alert anyone to what had gone wrong or to tell them what had happened. app that is latest from us. >> reporting from london. thank you. the airbus a-320 is popular and there is a lot of them around the world and they end in smooth landings but there are room for error. frances has been looking at these. tell us about your reporting. >> the a-320 is the work horse of modern aviation with flights of duration times of 5 hours to
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one hours. an the a-320 has a good safety record. let's break it down. .14 fatal accidents per takeoff according to boeing. and there were crashes, in december of last year air asia flight 8501 and the flight between indonesia and singapore. the crew had requested a change in altitude and route to avoid the poor weather. it fell into the java sea off the coast of indonesia and all 155 people on board were killed. in january of 2009 known as the miracle on hudson u.s. airways 1549 taking off when the aircraft struck a flock of birds and power to both of the engines and sully sullenberger landed in the hudson river and all 155 people survived evacuated on
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board and you remember the passengers evacuating on to the wing. and then a crash in sao paulo, brazil. one of the thrusters were detact vated before the flight -- eactivated and so it crashed into a concrete building and caught on fire. here you see the ammage of the after math. all 187 people on the plane were killed and people on the ground. and a crash during an airshow. it failed to gain height and crashed into the trees while performing a maneuver in haversham, france. and there were 133 passengers on the plane who survived. initially pilot error was identified but it was determined that the flight data recorder had been substituted after the crash and that threw doubt into the investigation.
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and in 1988 the a-320 launched and right away manufactures sold and it has been the fastest selling plane in the world and so you can imagine how many take off in a daily basis but you have a handful of these incidents so awful to hear about, including the one that happened today. >> indeed. awful to have that context. frances, thank you. we appreciate it. and let's bring in christine dennison founder of mad doing expedition and investigate yoror dan five. and obviously this debris field spread across the french alps. a wide debris field. how does that complicate things? >> it is tragic. you have very difficult terrain. and bad weather hampering it.
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and search teams that can't access the area. and so what they are doing, from what i'm seeing they are trying to get them as close as they can to get eyesond ground to hike into this area and photograph video, whatever they can send back up to get a clearer picture of what they are dealing with which is a tremendous tragedy. >> christine, one challenge, recovering all of this stuff. in a normal situation difficult, in the french alps very difficult. the next challenge is reassembling policeieces of this plane that has disintegrated. how do you do that? >> right now they are working the best in this business mountain recovery or search recovery that have rappelled down, and what we are seeing is you have as many people close to the debris field ascertaining where they go from here and it is one big disaster for them.
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you can't get machines into this area and you are using people looking and digging and searching and mapping out and sending back so they can form a grid system and then they will go back in and do it in terms of what they need what is the most important, the black box. they've located it and they have to recover it and get it out and get it up that hill and up to a helicopter and bring it back. so they will be doing this methodically and very carefully and very slowly. >> and that is the most important next step greg getting the black box and figuring out what information is on that to help us better understand what happened here. based off of what we do know what is running through your head and the big questions that seem somewhat unusual from what we know? >> the fact there was no radio communication. tom and john had talked earlier about a problem that happened up at altitude. we don't know if that problem occurred at ault tude at 38,000 -- altitude at 38,000 feet and the crew had to deal with something or the plane
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topped off at 38,000. it was a commanded pitch-over. it was an uncontrolled pitch-over you would see the command higher. no pilot would fly into a geographic area like that and plus they have warnings going off in that cockpit that said terrain, terrain, pull up pull up because they are getting into terrain. so there is a lot of circumstance here that a cockpit or voice recorder will help us resolve. >> and you've been talking about terrain and we've been reporting on this. it is scary and obviously not the kind of terrain that anybody would want to have a flight problem in and we've covered how difficult it will be hard to recover and speak about the time
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line and what can you gleam from the fact the information we have at this hour within the first 45 of the flight? >> it says there was an issue that the crew may have been dealing with. the curious thing is why the crew didn't communicate in any way, shape or form with air traffic controller with what problem they were dealing with. even in brevity. we have an issue, we'll get back to you in response to air traffic communication. so there are some things going on that either dominated the flight crew's time or inhinted their ability to communicate with the ground. in 1985 i climbed a 21,000 foot mountain when eastern airlines lost a 727 it. was a high-speed impact and a cruise descent going into la paz and it spread wreckage over a thousand feet vertically and horizontally. there were very small pieces of the aircraft and we had
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attempted to get the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder but short of not being able to get that we still had enough information to make a determination as to what happened and i think that with the physical evidence, that may not tell us what happened but cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder should shed light on this. >> and some of the pieces you are talking about, there was no radio communication and the fact that they started the descent in this area, do any of those details lead you to believe the crew may have been incapacitated and what conditions could lead to a crew being incapacitated? >> that is a good question. the fact is the airline, when you look at the descent profile, 3000 or 4,000 feet per minute is not unusual. it is unusual for a high altitude unless it is commanded that the crew is trying to react to a pressurization issue or smoke or fire in the aircraft. but it was a sustained and steady type of descent. the airspeed or in this case it
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is the ground speed because we are pulling it off of data was consistent, but the question is why didn't level out well above that terrain. again, they would have had warning and nobody the terrain and the on board information would have told them to pull up caution, caution, whoop whoop, and they didn't react to that. we don't know whether they were physicallyin cap as ated or couldn't command the airplane to recover. >> thank you both for your expertise. next up, we'll turn to the other breaking news we opened with this hour. the president and president gauning talking about troop levels and making news on israel. we'll go there live. that is next. scar® driver. i'm kevin nealon comedian. and i'm arnold palmer, professional golfer. know what we have in common? we talked to our doctors about treatment with xarelto®. me, when i had a blood clot in my leg that could have
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if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision or any symptoms of an allergic reaction stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. why pause the moment? ask your doctor about cialis for daily use. for a free 30-tablet trial go to with a new government in afghanistan and the end of our combat mission and this visit is an opportunity to begin a new chapter between our two nations. president ghani and dr. abdullah, i thank you both for your strong support of the partnership between our two nations. >> you stood shoulder to shoulder with us and i would like to say thank you. i would also like to thank the american taxpayer. >> the awkward moment at the white house as the pred stood side by side with the afghan president ghani but also during the news conference the breaking news that nearly 10,000 u.s. troops will remain in
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afghanistan through at least the end of this year. translation -- no drawdown. msnbc alex seitz-wald is on the white house north lawn. >> reporter: that is the big news. that is what the president ghani wanted and why he came to the white house today. they will not draw down half of the troops but the president made this clear this is not a return to combat mission and he plans to bring back the troops by the time he leaves office in 2019. >> thank you all for that. and now let's turn to senator bob casey, democrat from pennsylvania and member of the national working group. we have halted the withdrawal of almost 10,000 of our men and women slated to leave afghanistan very soon. they will be there through the end of the year because the afghan president asked for that. are you comfortable with almost 10,000 of our men and women staying there that much longer? >> well i think any time the president makes a determination
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like that we have to provide some scrutiny and over sight of that determination. but we don't want to have happen is the gains that have been won all of these years now, our taxpayers, our soldiers fighting men and women, 91 in pennsylvania for example killed in action and hundreds wounds almost 750 wounded in our state, we don't want their gains to be lost with regard to the progress that has been made with regard to women and girls -- girls in school millions of them now, 12 million in school the gains made by women still a long way to go on that by the way, but we don't want those gains to be reversed because we don't have the -- the stability on the ground. >> senator will keeping those men and women on the ground one year locknger, will that be enough to ensure we do lock in those gains. >> we don't know for sure. and that is why the relationship not only between the two leaders, president ghani and president obama is so important, but the relationship between our
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two governments. one of the questions we have to ask is -- with regard to their security forces the roughly 180,000 army the roughly 150,000 police. are there enough of them that are trained and ready to take on the fight both internally and external force or pressure? if they're trained and prepared to take on the fight to keep their country stable. >> senator, the president also made news earlier this hour on israel. people will remember prime minister netanyahu made his closing argument killing any palestinian state as a solution to the conflict there, and now he's trying to give cpr back and revive that plan by saying he didn't really mean it. the president at this hour not having it. take a listen. >> what we can't do is pretend there's a possibility of something that's not there.
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we can't continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something everybody knows is not going to happen. >> that's the strongest rebuke positioning it as a matter of u.s. credibility. what do you think the congressional reaction is to that? the president choosing to hold onto netanyahu's older comments. not his attempt to revive the peace process. >> no matter what happens, the relationship between our two countries is not only strong. it is unshakable and unbreakable. that's number one. number two, if there's one thing members of congress agree on is the strength and importance of that relationship. this country's policy has been and should continue to be a two-state solution. i think that's a bipartisan point of view. >> you think the president was wrong to say he can't pursue that today? >> well we'll see. we'll see what happens. i know this for sure.
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i know secretary kerry and the administration have worked for a long, long time to develop the metrics or the elements, i how old say-- i should say to a two-state solution. i think we should try to move forward. i realize it is difficult right now, but frankly the number one concern i have right now is on the iranian nuclear program to prevent iran from getting nuclear weapons capability. that has to be dealt with, i think, before we can have any reengagement on the peace process. >> thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. let's get deeper into policy options with kevin barren. our relationship with afghanistan and all that we have put into this is something you have followed very very closely. something the president mentioned was it is more than
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just military. there's more progress to be made. women's rights for example, but the problem is we are still working with a budget from 2006. so how much of the problem here lies with the fact we don't have the resources, we don't have the money to help out? >> i don't think money is the problem when it comes to afghanistan. afghanistan has its own problem, which is its stability. it's ability to sustain the government that's been formed to keep it together to hold back the taliban, which has regained tremendous amounts of territory in the south, encircling kabul. it's much less about the withdrawal of troops or the troop number as much as it is about the foothold for a future that afghanistan was not able to grab and sustain when the soviets left. there's a real fear in the region of how this country can exist on its own.
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but as far as when it comes to money, it is not just about american money. congress can appropriate as much as it wants. the international community can donate as much as it wants. afghanistan is completely reliant upon the international community for its budget, but there are far many more factors than just money. >> we've been grappling with that issue of the foothold in afghanistan and how to maintain security and control in that region. would you rather have this force of about 10,000 american men and women keeping it relatively under control or afghan soldiers fully policing the area but not risking american lives there? >> i think that's a false choice. what the united states is living behind -- first of all, it is no surprise the president's announcement today that he was going to slow the pace of the
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draw down. he still says next year is going to be the end of it all. the end of it all was going to be an embassy presence with some sort of troop presence. both will remain open to keep counterterrorism operations able to occur for good reason. afghanistan is kind of in the middle of nowhere. if the united states wants to continue to have the option to do counterterrorism, which it still needs if it wants to pacify the region, it has to have bases to launch from. it is much different from iraq. a lot of us recalling the mistake of leaving iraq. right now door to iraq there are 30,000 troops in kuwait and far more throughout the entire region. it's a lot different in afghanistan. the u.s. needs that foothold. >> do you think that isis makes it much harder for the u.s. to withdraw further? >> in afghanistan, i'm not so
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sure. i think we're jumping the gun a little bit to make any claims to isis -- the effect of isis in afghanistan at all. yes, even if afghan president has said there are people there who are trying to associate themselves with that movement. when it comes to isis, my eye is much more to the west of the middle east and how much influence and connectivity isis has with all the way to boca haram and nigeria. afghanistan still has its own set of problems. whether it becomes that launching point for a tax on the united states that may be far off still, but it doesn't change the need for u.s. troops if you believe the u.s. has an interest in that region. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. that does it for "the cycle." "now" is up next. ult lifetime that's 221,314 cubes of sugar. but you can help change that with a simple choice.
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i'm in for alex wagner. we're following breaking news in the deadly crash of germanwings flight 9525 this morning. according to french prime minister all 150 people on board are now believed dead including a group of 16 high school students and two infants. president barack obama made his first comments on the tragedy. >> our thoughts and our prayers are with our friends in europe especially the people of germany and spain following a terrible airplane crash in france. it's particularly heartbreaking because it apparently