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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 19, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EST

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course, there will submit -- not succeed except for the local forces then they should promise with the independent state but no russians or americans but my point is they feel as i will leave but how? i don't know. >> the point several of you made that the russians are not trying to succeed against isis. >> yes. but even in gauging in that operation but were never
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like to say in putin is very controversial with his attitude because before a was no there are five or 6,000 people looking for citizenship for fighting in syria. so the russians have succeeded to squeeze out the terrorists out of russia and then put syria in the position of isis i the putin is completely counter-productive in syria but he does what he loves.
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>> he himself as profited you prefer to fight them there a man here in russia. i think part of the problem as we ourselves have learned just because you're there is a meeting of the targets elsewhere but his government does not treat muslims at all. even if they are very successful is a huge problem that they're not dealing successfully itself. and basically being agitated what is happening in syria by russia itself so it seems that operation does not change cattle -- at all.
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>> what about putin schools and in syria? you said he was to keep in power and also he supports the illegitimate regimes which is not exactly true because if you remember when the georgian president was elected he was accepted and moreover russia supported all three presidents so according to this we cannot say he always stands guard
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so when he says he wants to keep in power it is just his words and we know he is a liar. it is a matter of fact he lies constantly and publicly >> the you have a question? >> don't you think he will give up assad as he needs it? >> i fink you misunderstood me a said he wants to project to the world but russia supports all legitimate rulers i didn't say that i agreed with that but that is certainly the message that they said that we support the leaders that are in power we are against a regime change.
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maybe i did not make that clear but for the moment it does want to show assad and whether that operation has been successful or not. as much as russia intervened it was concerned that the forces were weakened in the government might be in danger. but they seem to be stronger and achieving limited goals. but some point they think that is in their interest as long as they have a say in who the leader is and can be you reinsure their influence will lasted is not tied to the man but for the moment that is where they are.
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>> also any suggestion russia calculates a big but hard-nosed based on power nothing emotional. >> there is no love lost it is just the government in power. >>. >> from executive intelligence review. most of the speakers were singing from the same song she tore a beating from the same drummer want to ask a contrarian question with the presentation there is something about composition talking about with the russians than the iranians have to do due to come to a solution if you see them
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connected at the hip that is a very big mistake because they both have their own interest the only way to deal with the situation and especially with russia with the much broader spectrum of interests that have to be dealt with to see them together read me the biggest mistake. second, the question is how much putin sections are proactive? if we have to go into syria to assert our great power aspiration and how much was reacted? remember what was happening in syria before that the u.s. was considering having a no-fly zone which of course, would have put that conflict in a much different context we would be on our way to a regime change by setting up an area under
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protection. and if the petitions they invest made the moves to counter that if you see it that way it was a brilliant move on his part to throw a monkey wrench into a very dangerous development in syria. with regards to his proposals working together when he came to kennebunkport to talk with bush after 9/11 he said let's work together to deal with this terrorism problem and bush said yes federating that happened after that expansion of nato, missile defense we did not follow up on that and that was the biggest mistake in the world so there is a certain sense they put out the hand of friendship -- frangible long time ago and was rejected.
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>> when my paper is published you will see a little bit more new ones with the russian and iranian relationship. they do come at this from an entirely separate set of interests. but where they come together for the time being is in the perpetuation of bush are in power in syria. now this touches on the plane to lamp absolutely in favor of engaging the russians to the topic of syria. the shortfalls of american policy the past two years
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probably this isn't an area where we can be criticized. most of 2003 we carried chase and when they finally caught him he got a peace conference that was a fiasco. now we have the vienna process we can hope and pray succeeds. what i would like to see if they do think we're in crisis management mode i agree entirely. nobody has us silver bullet but the one thing that is absolutely essential for the united states and russia us to agree upon is mass
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casualty attacks on civilian populations are inadmissible under international law and must stop now. even the fact we're in the middle of the privy your humanitarian abomination of our time and means nothing to individuals, how in the world will this be in a process get anywhere with the civilians on the bull's-eye? how does the opposition delegation come to new the table in the spirit of goodwill and compromise while the constituency is blown away on a daily basis? how do we fight isil with
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this marvelous recruiting tool provided by assad regime remains in effect? that is why the issue between the united states and iran and russia needs to be addressed up front otherwise the vienna process becomes elongated permission slip of the continued slaughter that will stop anything good at all from happening in syria. >> from the atlantic council with the policy we have heard unequivocably the only issue that had bipartisan support that everyone in the u.s. agrees that assad must go but it was how much support in read never challenged the basic premise
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that the russian said it was dangerous and of the to the destabilization they have the german interest in was dismissed and maybe four years later can we challenge the premise that the russians got it right in russia have listened? >> i think given the role of assad to make isil possible in syria and the ongoing roll to keep that organization healthy and well inside syria, tens to reemphasize the fact that if we had a strategy to implement the president's words, have implemented that strategy we would be a much better place than we are now. >> but we didn't so the question remains. i guess we can kick that to
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the next panel where do we go from here? >> you are right to with a very good point from the russian point of view that the syrian problem could be resolved like chechen town -- chechnya and then demolished that and then establish authoritarian piece that occurred in algeria and after all why should the west complain? we have dealt with the a sock regime before what is the difference? in what is the difference between the algerians? or quite frankly just like egypt it is seen as similar. but that indicated the
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continuation of the assad regime shows that is the trouble but i have a feeling we will see in syria what everyone doesn't want that iraq will be a defacto and maybe more complicated there will be a kurdish area or the arab area and isil has its area. and neighboring states have their areas of influence as well. that is what we will see even though that is what nobody wants. >> jumping in and, of course, it is a sensitive issue. . .
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but the day after i can tell you because i have done this for a long time, hundreds of scenarios, and there are conflicting with each other.
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it is a question, and it will always be a problem until it is answered, but if you try to develop for the new syria and then back to he will actually be the president. >> a reference to the morning after will resonate. we try to deal with the same issue with respect to saddam hussein. saddam must go in the thesis of the united states work with iraqi democratic opposition to construct this idea of the morning after, what would it look like. i don't regret that, but i think it was our failure to actually succeed in having a clear vision of how shiites and kurds and sunnis and christians and all the rest would hold that out.
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>> exactly. it was. we have got just a couple of minutes. why don't we see if we can put together whatever questions are there and in the panelistsany panelists would like to sum up we can do that. the me take the farthest back that i can see. again, the last and i could see in the back and i will work forward. >> you know, from turkish equatorial, the imprecise bombing that has gone on by the russians. yesterday we had a conference. the number of people fleeing syria has increased. a lot of them are going. i was wondering, i have never heard anyone talk about russia. helpinghelping syria and the sod, are there any syrian refugees and russia?
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>> okay. thank you. the gentleman with the red tie. >> eastern europe and russia and nato. thank ournato. thank our egyptian colleague for asking us to be mature. and i think that is very helpful. we have heard there is a redline on the part of the administration which seems to be accepted. if you're going to be mature and accept that we have to accept we are compromising with other people's interest. we have to make real choices. for four years we have played a part in keeping syria enmeshed in civil war. mr. kerry said that that was his objective. mr. obama has said on several occasions he does not want our side to win by force. that is a very peculiar argument.
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it does not do any good. i think there is a real need for maturity command i would like to see us. our initial presenter said to do the right thing to give substance to our hopes. we still probably have to compromise, but in the absence we have to compromise more. i would like to suggest that the coalitions might not solve everything, but you did not say that but that seems to be the logic. therefore it is not worth it to have a grand coalition because we might disagree about the future afterwards. we think that kind of statement. >> one more comment only and then we will have to close.
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>> my name is dmitri. you said that you believe that the middle east cannot do it without the west end without russia. do you think the general population supports that idea? and do you think islamist extremism has increased over the last ten or 20 years or do they just have more avenues and resources at their disposal? >> comments on use of force, people like to sum up. >> i will sum up by answering that question. i generally believe that the educated public understands that they cannot solve alone and therefore engaging the russians and the west and nato and europe is the only realistic way out because there is no support for the
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air were alone taking all the risk. so i think that is unfair. the emotional public dislikes the russians and americans equally, although americans when a little bit on that. but that is not really my concern. who are the activists, the serious people that want to engage. the rational thinking is we need to do this together. >> if i could just address that point about the grand coalition. the trouble is there are certain patterns we see what wants to happen or not. the grand coalition against hitler did not lead to a grand coalition going forward. the alliance came to an end. i think that we have to expect something similar
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here. especially with putin's call , he works against the west and ukraine in particular, 2014, 2015. can we be allies together and syria? i have ai have a feeling that will not be the end of the story. when he can. he will do so. understand the nature and so i think thati think that that -- we have to be very realistic. if it is defeated we are not going to be agreeing on what should be continuing in syria at all. >> i will may be just take off on that and go back to the question of what the russians expected. the language about the anti- hitler coalition was used in 2,001. why did it work?
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you know, the relationship seems to be on the uptake event. the russians were helpful in that initial phase, the fall phase, the fall of 2,001, war in afghanistan because we agreed on to the enemy was. it was in russia's interest to have the us and allies go in there and take care of the problem. we are not in the condition today. of course we should try to work with the russians, but to have a successful coalition like this we have to agree on who the enemy is. we do not accept by saying in general it is the islamic state. we don't have the trust which in a way we did have even in that brief window because of everything that has happened in recent years particularly the ukraine and/or the russians have failed to say what they are doing. that is why we can try, but
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the conditions that make cooperation counterterrorism cooperation possible are not there now. >> okay. on the question about the, yes, i agree that it is rare but then i think we can of course try, but i think it is too late. completely different. the coalition under such circumstances.
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claiming to help syria. >> if a coalition of truly professional military forces and sufficient numbers i saw an eastern syria to the job professionals cannot. not sure about the effects
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how this is obstructing rather decisively the inflow of humanitarian assistance to needy syrians discussions about the future, the composition of the opposition delegation all obviously interesting discussions but to the extent that they dominate, this vienna process to the effect that the protection of syrian civilians excluded from the discussion, it is excluded from american,
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russian, marion -- american iranian, this process would go nowhere. >> one might hope and think logically there has to be a focus everyone can agree on. i would like to thank everybody. we went a couple minutes over. we will reconvene promptly and see you in 15 minutes. [applause]udible conversations] >> i would like to thank everyone for coming this
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morning. as you can see, we havesee, we have a great panel. the importance of the conversation has been heightened. as we speak their negotiations going on in new york following secretary kerry's visit to moscow. with that i turn it over to our 1st speaker. >> thank you. i am flattered to be here, delighted to be invited to atlantic council program and humbled to be among so many deeply experienced and wise co-pay lists. my task was to layout the motives for the russian intervention in syria and then say a little bit something about what it means in terms of the context. in my paper i layout two sets of motives. the circle of three at i consider to be primary or strategic consideration and three less important ancillary motives which may or may not intertwine in
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interesting ways. the 1st circle of three, the least ambitious and most obvious russian motive for the intervention in syria, mentioned in the 1st panel is obviously there was an ally in trouble. over the last years but as of last summer as was mentioned in the 1st panel the regime looked to be in real trouble, and the russians don't have a lot of allies. the only days the russians have outside of russian federation territory. it would look that and be that for the russians if they lost the only ally they had in that part of the world. just like the united states intervened many years ago to protect south vietnam from being defeated the russians intervened. the 2nd motive alluded to
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earlier is that they put russia and the role of the kingmaker. they are there on the ground tanks and airplanes and other military accoutrement and had become a much larger factor in any percent -- perspective settlement and then what might be done thereafter. the 3rd motive is highly speculative on my part. i have no hard evidence to back this up. it is a logical inference that we need to at least consider. the syrian regime over some four years which is not a very impressive order of battle managed to kill something like a quarter of a million people to create something like 4 million refugees and to create something like seven or eight internally displaced people's.
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the russians if they wanted to take kill three times as many people to put a good deal of pressure on the european union. aa great deal of difficulty coping with 800,000 refugees imagine what it would do if they had to deal with three or 4 million. i have no evidence that the russian government w was deliberately trying to exacerbate and pushed to the right european politics, but i would not put it past him. the three strategic rationales. i also see the dolls nested inside of one another. the 1st is to create a rubble heap so that they can get closer to moscow in the
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2nd would be to suborn. the 3rd goal would be to send little green men into a baltic state and watch what would happen. it is possible in theory king previously harm nato than the asylum refugees in syria command is possible to put a great deal of pressure i grant the union. have already seen the italians a little wobbly
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against russia on the count of ukraine. these motives are not unreasonable. the three ancillary motives one of which has been mentioned a lot, his desire as a matter of course in the course as was mentioned, a lot of domestic political residents and i don't think we should underestimate the domestic political motivations for a lot of what the russian government has done over the past several years. you can track what the russians do a broad the difficulties that are perceived in the domestic realm. but there are two other motives. i mentioned ukraine. if people's minds off of eastern europe and ukraine and this is worked wonderfully. after the speech is that
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president obama and president putin gave you will recall the french and italian delegates risk -- wished the russians well. what kind of amnesia do they have to have? the 3rd ancillary motive command i am not a russian expert. it seems to me that one of the things we have been witnessing is a kind of international arms show designed basically sell weapons. the russians had to eat and $8 billion bill in the government in a rack went down. the syrians of them foreign have to $5 billion but more important the russians have sold the iranians the air defense system.
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the order of battle is basically useless. elliott something along the order of a hundred billion in cash. where will they get it? we are not going to sell it to them. the only place they can go is russia. it is possible that they will decide if only for the cause of interoperability with iran to purchase a new russian conventional order of battle and add up numbers , you're talking about grocery money, looking out over ten years. that may not sound like a lot of money to the united states but in russia with the military-industrial complex being plugged in, that's a lot of money. two sets of three motives that i think explain with the russians are doing. the problem is it is easy to
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list motives. the problem is to assign what the priorities are in the minds of the decision-makers in moscow and then to say how these various motives interact. we don't have any hard evidence about how that works. i would defer to the russian experts to counsel. last comment. what does this mean for the united states? just let me say briefly, if you think about the problems long enough you come to the following. asia is a problem. people can argue but after what has happened the last couple of weeks it is dangerous. there is a lot of discomfort that the policy right now that the united states is pursuing is not adequate in terms of likely consequences
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for urgency to have the the problem. you have to go after these guys on the ground. airpower alone does not work. who will supply forces on the ground? there has been a change in the polls the last couple of weeks. more americans are willing to send large number of forces than i thought and probably for the wrong reason but i don't think president obama is slated. political efficacy, looking for allies on the ground. market pointed this out, it is not anyone's 1st priority. it is impossible to assemble a local coalition's main target is the destruction of the age. however, it is not impossible in my view to
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construct a coalition's target is the aside regime which brings us back to where we should have started in the 1st place. the regime is the problem. thethe russians on the problem in helping them in the iranians are as well. the real danger in the region is an emanation of the problem. that is the larger strategic problem to my view. this puts us at loggerheads. our interest would be to displace and physically by re- caulking the battlefield so that diplomacy can produce the kind of outcome we desire. that's how i see it. if the united states decided to create a humanitarian zone my preference was at
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the turkish soldiers but no one paid any attention to me obviously. if we had done that we would have been they're 1st. the opposition would have a chunk of syrian real estate against which to trade for influence over a political solution to the syrian civil war. the russians are they're 1st. suggestions we create a no-fly zone over a standoff weapons to attack the regime or degrade the regime or suggestions we create aa humanitarian keep out zone right into the fact that the russians are already there and raises the possibility of a clash between american and russian forces in syria. that is what comes from not using force judiciously and allowing it to fester so that this gets worse.
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>> wonderful. what i am going to try and do his complement what adam said and what i heard from the 1st panel as well. i want to put into a larger context the issue of what is driving the russians and how we should respond. if you back to 1971 from the standpoint of in 1971 oh problem anywhere in the world could be resolved without the soviet union. vladimir would like to create that is a reality for russia. in 1971 we did not view it positively. supposed to regulate and make competition predictable. is it a good idea to put?
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maybe we can discuss that in the panel. i would like to say on the issue of terrorism and i heard this little bit, he said a lot of the right things. going back to 2,001 he said the right things. we agreed on the same enemy. if you listen to what he said at the un what he said later in october, what he said in his december 3 presidential address the essence of what he said was we need to grant alliance forget about our differences and come up with a common front. we cannot differentiate between moderate and a moderate terrorists. we half to basically not have a double standard and should not be dealing with terrorist groupings. all those things sound good. in the december 3 address most of us were directed
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against turkey and when he talks about modern terrorists it is getting at us but it is fair to say that it is not consistent with his own behavior. who is he partnering with? he is partnering with the revolutionary guard forces, has blah. these are two organizations it isis fair to say who have made terrorism a fundamental instrument. in the case of has blah it is fair to say that they invented the idea of suicide bombing. he has no problem being a partner with them and no problem providing air cover for what they're doing on the ground. that begins to raise questions about whether or not we can be partners when it comes to terror but it does not address the question of whether or not we can elaborate on syria. we should be -- there is no answer unless we are all
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they're and it is clear the president and secretary kerry also believe that. but what is interesting is they sound a little different. the objective is the same, but they are different in terms of expectation. the president was confident that eventually he would come around, take some time but he will come around because of the logic of quagmire. the cost will be too high which will produce a change so that he will not support the same way and decide that he has to go after isys as opposed to where most of the attacks are coming today. kerry is much more enthusiastic. when you look at what he said in the aftermath of the vienna conference he said we agree on the same principles the secretary said we may
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not see eye to eye on every aspect of the syrian policy but we want the same outcome we see the same challenges. they both want to go after this group. you know, that obviously creates potential, at least the administration and i really wish and hope that they are right. like you said, i want them to be right. i am afraid that they are wrong. i hope i am wrong. i say that because i look at the pattern of behavior over time. i ami am afraid the approach in syria is very much a zero-sum approach. i am afraid it is still very much one of backing the
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regime. you know, what you described i accept. it is no secret that he wants to preserve the military presence and access they have had. he wants to be an arbiter of any outcome in syria. he wants to parlay being an arbiter in syria into being seen as the key arbiter in the region as a whole and the fact that you look at who has been going to moscow and he looks increasingly like he is succeeding at that command there has been a constant message as opposed to a zero-sum notion the message from the russians has been, and, and i have heard this constantly from my friends throughout the arab world, the russians are saying you may not like our support but we stand by our friends. that is part of what i think
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the approach has been. if you look diplomatically they supported the geneva principles but in december of 2013 in january 2014 a completely backed a sod. and the military intervention is following the logic of what you might imagine. it is designed to change the balance of power. so all of this suggests that when you look at what they are actually doing it is unfortunate that the day he was in moscow was the day we had the stories that she was quoting from the un officials responsible for
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providing humanitarian assistance. the russians are carrying out a set of attacks not just going after the non- isys opposition the trying to depopulate areas, deliberately making it harder for humanitarian assistance, attacking hospitals, attacking grain silos, attacking water treatment plants, and all of this again is part of a fundamental approach designed to produce an interesting reality. they want ironically a posture that is similar to what a sod wants and what isys wants as well, polarization. they wanted to mobilize. a sod wants it to mobilize the world. and it is clear that is what i think putin wants.wants.
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maybe he can change of the costs go up high enough. i come to what will be the last set of comments. first, again, the administration could be right and i can bei could be wrong and the proof of that we can and should see soon. the proof of it is what happens with ian. the issue is not whether or not a sod is at the table. i am going to expand a little bit. they enforce a real cease-fire? listen to secretary kerry. we will see a huge change in the cease-fire. if we see a cease-fire, real cease-fire, real cease-fire
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which only the russians can impose, only the russians have the leverage to impose. if there is a real cease-fire and if they go along with the creation of humanitarian core doors to provide humanitarian assistance, if that takes place vienna becomes real. if that takes place the opposition will have no other reason to believe that there could be a transition. right now they don't believe it and have no particular reason to believe it. what i was just saying about the assessment would be wrong, and i hope that is the case. it will be better for everybody. now, if it turns out that i am not wrong that does not mean you necessarily have to give up on the idea of trying to still push the vienna process, but it means
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we approach the vienna process and prudent you have to put not with the logic of argument but with the logic of leverage which is actually the logic that putin understands. in the logic of leverage would have us to the following, have us go and say comeau we are deep believer'sbelievers in the vienna process. we have committed to it unmistakably but it cannot work unless there is a cease-fire. so if this fails you leave us no choice but to support safe haven. the administration has been reluctant because it requires us to do something command you are right. the administration should look at having invested so much and the court our strategy is not only ratcheting up because we
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have a contradiction. we send them out. there is no chance to bring the men. so long as we were ratcheting up and they continue to hammer the opposition meaning that for them to join us your part of the onslaught and they won't do it. if you have a safe haven which deals with part of the issue you create an area you could have leverage of the opposition and in this sense the sunnis are seeing the something is done to stop the onslaught and he change the circumstance. the administration understands the logic of its own position, if you want to
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be successful in these to make the vienna process succeed the only way it has a chance to if i'm right about the russians is the venues leverage. he will get what it means. he will understand. has become much more difficult to achieve. putin understands the logic
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i don't think i'm alone doesn't attempt to impose a cease-fire. and we're going to have to think about the ways we can build leverage. create the kind of equivalent of what we did, create a real coalition eu safe is not -- safe haven is a leverage.
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one last comment. the interesting thing, with the turks clamoring for it, go states requiring it it gives us leverage. we will do it providing you europeans will provide forces, provide the money monies to build the infrastructure with the safe haven, provide forces on the ground to police the safe haven and it goes through one channel so that we can build leverage on the opposition so that the opposition itself becomes more coherent. there are ways to proceed where we have the potential for leverage. >> you are 1st up.
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>> i am supposed to be brief i will make four or five quick comments and maybe for the 1st time in the session actually maybe disagree with a couple of comments that have been made. on the issue of motives i largely agree with what has been said. i would only have a couple of emacs. i think i had a little bit of a problem with an assist talk about prudent and russia wanting to be a global arbiter. russia and prudent at this stage and for the foreseeable future is not going to be a global arbiter
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russia as we have seen in recent years is going to have a more robust policy, project power and in the neighborhood and certain circumstances and take advantage of opportunities like the one offered by the syrian civil war but i do not see the economic political and even domestic grounds in russia, the reemergence of a kind of global superpower in the form of russia. secondly, i also am a little bit skeptical of motive of somehow russia taking this action and syria as a way of destabilizing the eu through migration. the one country arguably that has been perhaps most destabilized and politically
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affected by the salt -- flows of immigrants is germany, almost a million migrants in germany today. from germany to come a critical country in terms of his strategy, working and trying to deal with the european union. i have not heard one german leader express that concern. it is highly unlikely and i do not think it is credible to suggest that he is trying to find ten politics and western europe by creating chaos in syria. but i will make a point about ukraine. the point that have been made this morning about his
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thinking in ukraine and western sanctions and syrian intervention are absolutely right. i do think that russian intervention in syria had a catalytic impact in terms of not only diplomacy and force in syria but a change the debate in europe command it is interesting as i was discussing that françois along after he visited washington following the terrorist attacks there went immediately to moscow and sat down with. the fact that we are thinking now about how the russians might be folded into some kind of diplomatic solution and process makes it enormously difficult for the europeans to continue to justify sanctions policies against the europeans, particularly in a moment when the sanctions have in this portion of impact on the europeans.
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and when it is hard to justify new projects like north stream to and at the same time keeping sanctions in place on russia. i am not predicting an early change in this policy, but it demonstrates that he is trying to seek somehow to just purely public diplomacy and play a constructive role in the syrian exercise the sanctions policy, european eu sanctions are going to be vulnerable. the 2nd point i would say is simply that i think that if you compare us and russian policy to the syrian situation that what prudent has done has created a much easier task for himself than
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us foreign policy has created for itself. he is supporting a sod and he is demonstrating to the region and elsewhere that he will stick with his guy and he will be a loyal friend and ally. we on the other hand not only want the ouster of the ssd w we want a process wanted a process that is enormously difficult is enormousdiffic to o implement that is going to leave to the end of finding the end o the humanof f rights abuses into some type of settlement thathatl takes all of the interest of the groups into account. that judgment including a lot of people like myself is unlikely in the near term, so we have got
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not just asymmetrical interest perhaps but certainly asymmetrical goals and needs to be taken into account for what we are trying to do. i think that the issue of russian the introduction of russian ground forces in syria could change the scope of the conflict and actually defeats isis. i think putin to does extend has been burned by his intervention not to mention that shoots down of the airliner in egypt and the loss of the tangle he had with
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the turks and the pilot and the costs that are going to grow because of this dispute. i can't think of two more narcissistic international leaders then what america can and -- vladimir putin. we could add a donald trump in that piece to give presidents. thinking about how this thing could go on the hinge tells me that the russians are running big risks and i doubt very seriously that he would take the step of introducing substantial numbers of ground forces. i think a more interesting question to think about is their likely a convergence of u.s. and
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russian diplomatic strategy and this will result or revolt around whether there is a deal through the r. e. n. c. with slight movement as it has been pointed out this morning that he seems to be backing off from the idea that assad wouldn't have to be around at the completion of some kind of deal so there seems to be some kind of progress there. that said it's not even an issue of whether putin is playing a zero-sum game. we think somehow the united states and russia even if they were to reach agreement could drive in overall settlement.
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first of all there are the other regional powers and they are going to have a lot to say in some cases more than the united states or russia including turkey, iran and saudi arabia into and then there are the groups on the ground in syria who enormously again are complex including isis. one thing that i don't think is adequately fleshed out in today's discussion is i am in the camp of those that argue that what we are seeing with isis and in syria in iraq is part of a bigger almost 30 year war that has two critical elements, one is geopolitical pushes a contest if you will
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between saudi arabia and iran come and number two at sectarian and that creates a dynamic that make it more barbaric and complicated so what i'm suggesting into this has to come back to dennis and his creation of a safe zone. i don't think ideas like humanitarian court or state zones work without a strong ground partner and we have failed this morning to define who the strong ground partner is. we can talk up we will get the turks will be already recognized that the major interest is not
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isis, it is protecting and dealing with the kurdish issue. so if it's not the turks come and they are ready when they are defending their community and their regions. you can't expect the kurdish to go into the air in zones in tight isis. so we are left with the problem of sunnis and without a strong ground partner we are not going to be able to deal with isis. so in the end even if the u.s. russian convergence isn't going to address this problem, and if i'm correct we are seeing a more work itself out i don't think that either the united states alone or together are going to solve this problem.
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thank you for those comments. >> thank you for having me here. russian objectives have been mentioned today and i can only concur the first regime as a lasting friend with a military and political foothold. it's kind of two birds with one stone. but there are more their ambitious goals in sight. using it as a tool to build a wide coalition as putin says in a speech in september and based on this coalition a new world order. as putin divided the new world order would be based on the
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following principles of the union for any kind of revolution and giving the possible established tyrants that mandate to do as they wish because revolution is more worse and the second principle is the principal of the concert of great powers defining world issues with big power may be using the un security council making the decisions and more power concurring with ben and third though not publicly so clearly defined this type of carve up the implementing the political to the new world order that would give europe peace for the generation.
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so, first come in the coalition yell to one. also the ukrainian problem eliminates the anti-russian sanctions and more or less the problems personal. it's took a high-risk gamble, but the carnations today seem increasingly irrelevant after november 4 when they were shot down by a turkish fighter close to the series in order -- syria border. we are on the brink of an armed regional confrontation between turkey and russia.
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in the province that forces are on a total collision course. the campaign is vicious and with the support, hezbollah and the militia and others are pressing the ground defense against the positions and that is moderately successful there are some increasing ways that have the ordinance been used including few bombs were delivered by air or with a multiple rocket launcher system to the opposition forces and some of the fighting is already happening just on the border and
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as this continues it will move closer to the turkish border. that is more or less inevitable. and of course the russian military are given orders to shoot first and shoots to kill. you should destroy any targets that potentially can threaten you and the military of course wants to level the score and maybe see the turkish down. and if nothing is done it is a high probability.
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which would mean that russia could suffer the losses which means that the conflict may escalate further. it's too big to destroy and it also should be taken into account and the operational plans for confrontation with nato whether russia will be weaker.
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to resolve that this problem, we are going to go nuclear at a very early stage by these long-range cruise missiles and they said that these cruise missiles could be tapped. we are here in the situation now that may be even more dangerous in the middle east we could see it coming up again in the coming days or weeks if nothing is being done and right now nothing is being done seriously. but we should understand that if we use some tactics to have diplomacy between moscow to solve the immediate problem of
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the local spending and effective cease-fire that would give the turkomans possibility that they wouldn't be pushed out because for the turks and especially not only for her gone politically but the turkish military, ethnic cleansing of the ethnic turks. for russia and it is important because it still goes to the base so they could launch a ground attack. there is not enough strategic depth. to avoid the coalition right now i'm afraid isis is not the real
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problem. and there there are more important things at play. it's like 1914 after the shooting to believe that the main problem is terrorism. however it was a problem in the state sponsored and they'll put it mostly as a terrorist problem which of course was wrong because it led to a terrible war i don't believe that the present american policy stated recently by obama and his visit is adequate. it's avoiding a collision between russia and turkey which could be fueled by
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misunderstanding and misperception on all sides of attitudes and possible outcomes and russia is sending signals and putin made the point you can't fight in attacking shorts down -- shoots down a nuclear power. a baby leave the basis that one will attack the nato nations have baby leave the secure and they may be stumbling into a very dangerous situation. >> thank you for reminding us no matter how badly for felt the situation was in fact it's worse [laughter] >> thank you, ambassador for
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inviting us to this council. i am not an expert in the discussion. this is a very sophisticated discussion for me. i would tell you in the next five or seven minutes, seven points from where i sit the way that we look at this action due engagement if you like and i get back to five years ago when they spend 60 minutes talking about the islamic extremism and so
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it's a real threat he feels at home and i believe that this has been overlooked by. we have 2,000 in my country that zone themselves so this is the real task. they can ruin the minds and hearts of people. i believe that they understand much better than a lot of people around the world and the ideological challenge that this
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orthodox or whatever you call it but i call it violence in the hearts of people. >> this is important. there were a lot of negative things in the russian engagement but let's try to find is there any possibility of things in this engagement we understand the ideological challenge. the other is the russian
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campaign in syria from our perspective has heightened interest and encouraged and enhanced u.s. involvement in my country. i can feel it and i can feel the urgency and all sorts of things so that created a sense of urgency in helping the fight against isis in iraq. >> we also felt we were advanced we felt that it's not strong because they have been destroyed
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had been destroyed by the campaign in syria because they were coming from syria for us and that is exactly what happened when we lost were a -- ramani this year. so i believe it has some possible implications. the others had a lot of competition and this american sentiment in the region is always being capitalized for the
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last two or three decades now. i think they wanted to capitalize on this and rejuvenate their own ties and we can see in their approach the old communists, the extra orthodox islamist if you like that on the left side. so this is another aspect you can look at in the campaign in syria. >> you can see in the region that i've come from is mostly that they are welcome in the
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middle east while they are opposing it basically with russia in the region. also they may region the rules of engagement are different whether they are the military or the political peril sensitive if you like it india controlling our american allies that the option that is supplying is then
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selling it in the black market in turkey. and because this is the administration they said this is a civilian target and until three or four weeks ago they started [inaudible] the refineries and a peace talks so now we are trying to market the idea of targeting the high-value individuals. the rules of engagement of the
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targets are very highly selective and the high-value individuals when the trouble they used to travel in convoys and now they travel with their family and his wife and children so they are more worried about the rules of engagement. to crash this enemy this is a brutal -- it is indispensable for iran and russia i don't
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think so. they would settle for a more representative regime but if we force them out without an agreement. we show this happened in a very bad way. we really left the country in a total vacuum and this is what is going to happen.
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i believe i tried to put a positive spin on the counterbalance against the russian intervention but i think i understood or i hope i understood them wrong. but they said that created an afghanistan and somalia and
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yemen all over the world. it is the ideology which you might have plotted and please don't get me wrong and they've killed tens of thousands of my people and when i prevented them three times with evidence, he denied it between now they are at the border in 2005, 2006 and 2008 until it's been backfired on him and i honestly believe that this would repeat itself with turkey, because it isn't coming on this side of the table
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it isn't isis, but this ideology is the concept that is in the minds and the hearts of muslims all over the world. >> i'm going to offer a few comments and then opened the floor to questions and get five or six observations to try to find a sense of where we are wix observations and it stays on this side of isil and the other jihadi groups. with that doctors point of ideology but importantly ill the highlighted
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what began to see some indications that maybe moscow is changing, and these have been referred to already. one, what is it coming you have european diplomats suggesting that the mosques also may not be waiting for assad at the end of the process and at the same token we have seen a movement in the american position that they do not have to leave right away. we see all the diplomatic activity that heightens the role in the world stage but there's an understanding that we have to reach out to the sunni powers by backing the extremist groups on the ground. nonetheless moscow is going to do the necessary. they also want to use the role in syria as a way to persuade the europeans to ease up on ukraine. that's not going to happen in
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january. they took the positions of the g. 20 summit but now they are looking at the june and july. the statements give moscow hope that this will work but so far they do not necessarily see the need to do the necessary in syria. we see them falling over themselves to welcome them without moscow doing something scary is. dennis laid out a very clear the test of conventions that they would fail that test but the interesting question would be what happens when they failed that test if the process is going nowhere and they start to be on the defensive again in the russian air power alone will not do it. fred gave us this morning a possible solution to this and dennis also gave us a partial solution to this which is "-begin-double-quotes a military presence on the ground.
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that, however, requires troops on the ground although the public is changing after the attack after san bernardino. probably french troops and very important and understanding that they will stop their support and maybe put their own troops on the ground. i sense that this is all possible possible that the timeframe isn't three months or six months or 12 month as months it is probably 24 to 36 months into the administration would factor into this. without i with that i will answer questions. >> [inaudible] >> im security and -- syrian american. you claim to be a representative
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of but he seemed to be a representative of the government on this panel. you claim you want to take a look at the positive benefits of the intervention in syria and you cited two examples that are focused on the benefits of the government. i would like to know what you think about how the intervention could possibly be positive for the people inside of syria talking specifically about the 200,000 have been displaced since the russian intervention and i'm talking about the thousands that have been killed as a result of the targeting. i don't believe you saw last week it was the russians russians the targeted schools and hospitals in the area i would like to know why zero he didn't say that basis was created by assad what you think about the fact they've been able
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to leave the poll in the countries that utilized corrupt measures to control their people and have used -- but this has made it worse and allow the isis two florida -- 24 flourish. >> my question is related to the solutions. this might sound ignorant but i would like to ask isis exists because it constantly replenishes the fighters coming mostly from europe. they are supposed to cross a border. they can cross the border with israel and lebanon and basically they cannot come down. the only country they come through is turkey. wouldn't it be easier just to
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ask to stop because it is easy to identify those people, they come and go permanently. why nobody raises this issue? >> thank you. >> i am a european and senior fellow at brookings this year. first of all, regarding the speculation on the european union and ukraine sanctions, i understand the concern but today it was indicated that the sanctions were rolled over for another six months. in june or july it may come up again. there was a syndication that you said italy is bubbling on it. and if one looks at the russian involvement in ukraine and syria, then one could even have the possibility that russian involvement in syria with being
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less positively, they would have less bandwidth to make trouble in ukraine. i don't think that you can feasibly increase the commitment at the same time that they are looking to reverse what they have committed to in ukraine. that is my comment and by the way on the refugee question i think also it is a bit far-fetched, and i've heard also i heard also some conspiracy theories almost about how turkey opened up its borders to allow the flow of refugees in fact if one looks at the situation it was an objective factor that they have been completely overwhelmed and now the welcoming mat is wearing thin and they were desperate looking forward if they did look the other way it was a whole set of
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circumstances and calculated strategy to put pressure to open up the negotiations and i think also the same applies to russia. regarding the origins of the group i'm astonished that there is no recognition that the group started in iraq. it's excellent that they are represented on the panel because as we have already recognized by adopting a strategy on iraq and syria it's difficult to resolve this issue looking at syria in isolation and my last point or question would actually be regarding the russian intentions and motivations and perhaps this would key into what the representative said regarding the newfound interest of the united states to be involved in iraq and that is what are the intentions with regard to iraq and iran.
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iran was already mentioned as a military supplies of a larger intention regarding resources in iraq and iran. is syria if i is or isn't looking further to iraq and iran? >> we will go down the panel and asked questions. >> as i said, i don't think i ever said that isis was created by assad i just misspoke about the series in regime -- the syrian regime has been a recruiting tool for isis. they go back of course to the 12 punch of the american policy in this managing the iraq war and then withdrawing too soon before the government in fact could stand on on its own 2 feet. the. disagree is that for just one reason why complex things happen. there is always more than two, three, four, five.
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so if i said that, i misspoke. about the russians designing a policy to create more refugees, to say that it is far-fetched maybe it is. as i said it is speculative. but i will reserve my judgment on this until the truth, if it ever spells out. latin america putin seems to me to be a textbook example of the kgb thinking and was raised to believe that the western institutions were ultimately lethal and iran actively hostile to russia that means both nato and the european union and i also think that if they were to go the way of history and of european politics in general turn in a little more towards the right as we've seen recently in poland and hungary and czech republic at the next elections in another land we will see something quite unusual even in
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germany i think this makes it easier for the russians to deal with the member states one-on-one than it is to deal with the european union as a strong confederate unit. so we will see on that point. as for the so-called conspiracy theory, and this is an empirical matter. i don't know all the facts yet. i read the stories. again, i'm mindful of them. i don't know if they are true or false leaders of this is an mp or call matter and we shouldn't rush to judgment. the last thing i want to say is -- and this is jumping around a little bit but if the united states wants to create some kind of a coalition force that is useful on the ground, one thing that hasn't been mentioned is this idiotic in yemen and the united states policy is abetting this dangerous war and i think
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that we feel bad with a variety of other things that picked them off but this is very dangerous and stupid. we are never going to get anybody on the golf to look towards first assad unless we ended the war in yemen and it is possible. they need to do more to end the war. because alternately what this will do is reenact and reopen the wound of the 1934 war and in the fullness of time we won't see the forces screwing around in yemen, we will see them try to retake. one on turkey. there's been a focal point in the administration to try to get
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the turks to try to ensure that the border isn't as porous as it has been. there is no doubt that the turkish priority has been more kurdish than isis. on the other hand, today they have 2.2 million syrian refugees more and more that they are facing itself is isis driven. if you look at the turkish behavior over the past couple of months coming you have seen a much more systematic effort to go after those who are the source of terror which means there is a potential to affect turkish behavior and when i say create some kind of a safe zone, right now i know the
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administration isn't going to go for that. the president has basically resisted every step of the way. the david ignatius piece the other day i think captures the -- it's put it this way it wasn't an interpretation, he was simply quoting the president thinking if the president's reluctance in the conflicts remain as powerful as it has ever been in many ways i feel like the president over learned the lessons in part of the problem is we never had a serious discussion of the country. they've never been prepared to revisit anything that we should be learning from this. they never admitted what was wrong and we have a president has made that is an allergy.
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the analogy for this administration that they applied was iraq. it gets me into this issue. they decided to declare a war with those that are demonstrating against the regime not at the out set by the way almost all of whom are secular to begin with, not because they were calling for regime change. they were calling for the reform and the response to that list are coming in. and then as a way of saving himself, he had to create a sectarian conflict and say if i go, url finished. so he created the war. now it's true if tomorrow he
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goes, the prospect that isis is the one that replaces them is very high. if we've learned one lesson from iraq and maybe libya it's don't create vacuums that are going to be filled by the worst possible forces but that doesn't mean the only option is to be that. and here again i was echoing i don't see an alternative to the process but i don't think the vienna process as it is structured as much success and i think if putin is really serious about wanting this to work right now, because we will see about a certain way. they are just making sure that it will be turned into a reality.
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if you're right which i suspect you are because the way that i presented what i did is i don't expect putin is going to do this the problem we face is a diplomatic process. it's going to create that you lose shame that we are trying to do something without giving it and unfortunately instead of saying assad must go, we have objectives and something has to give and what has given has been our credibility. >> a couple of brief points. i completely agree with adam and i'm glad he brought up the war because it crystallizes the point i was making earlier about
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the aspect of the regional problem that we face. think about this for a second. our friend and ally in saudi arabia is attacking a group that are fighting increasingly a group that is dominated by isis. so if they succeed in this effort, they are -- they could very well face in isis dominated yemen to the south and increasingly strong isis in iraq and syria in the north, so the policy could actually bring about the demise.
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next year while we are sitting in a conference room talking about these issues, we could be discussing the strategic implications of the fall of the house so that i think underscores the problems we are addressing and that takes me to a second point i think that it was maybe you, dennis talked about 1991 and the success that they had in creating this global coalition to drive the forces from kuwait. in 92 itu it was thinking about the region as a whole. you have the army and the adjacent states and they realized this is a rule.
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it's a line that shouldn't be crossed and then we had to respond command we did and we responded with a spectacular success. but to try to cut about a grand coalition to fight in the situation of civil conflict in both syria come in iraq, yemen, libya, to think that we could create such a grand coalition to fight these internal conflicts is a huge mistake and that's where we are left with a terrible dilemma. tennis is great, if you intervene in the sectarian conflicts and then you leave coming you create, you create a
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vacuum and you get as we have seen in iraq and libya chaos. but if you don't believe you are an occupying power particularly if you don't have an army that is arab. if it's russian, american, european, how long are you going to be welcomed to the area that is the dilemma thinking about what he should do that nobody can resolve. >> it's a sickly impossible to our geographical or just go problems that are insurmountable and you need to control the
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streets and if you can't control the streets and you can't secure guarantee and logistical support for your troops coming you can't do it and right now they are increasingly insecure. actually even having a second air base right now is logistical because we have to move thousands and thousands of tons of equipment and continue to have one base which is overcrowded. the russian policy in the middle east right now is off-balance. it was absolutely unforeseen the turks would move militarily. putin begins to say that is a
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backstabbing and i believe him it wasn't calculated. so, the russian policy is right now in a reactive mode and seeking ways right now mostly targeting turkey is seeking to isolate turkey and working on possible allies no matter what. since the russian military and the kremlin situation when they have to improvise, it's not the russian weight. they went to the band with what happened the 24th of november and now we are in a reactive mood and what comes out is not fully predictable. spent a couple of comments. i feel for you honestly and i
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know millions are displaced, 4 million refugees, hundreds of thousands killed. our position was very clear. the uprising was peaceful and just at the beginning. people missed the boat and it didn't help the syrian people and the terrorists have hijacked a that uprising and now we are left with the deep blue sea. we are between the evil and less evil so will you use the less
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evil and then try to do something else after that politics is all about choices. and believe me, what do you feel i you feel i feel more than probably everybody because we have tens of thousands of people, my people, killed by this regime is now we have a completely different story. things have changed. iraq had been started this atomic ticker is on.
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the table that were there before the iraq war, before everything. the most peaceful community on earth was the muslim world because they believe in the central core of thinking of their messenger and those that are in charge of you. what happened in the last 40, 50 years, what happened to this community?
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9/11, paris and so on, what happened to them? one thing, the violence which infected the mind and gave this exclusion and the heart which created the hatred and if you go to almost anywhere else in the world, you will see that very clearly teaching this ideology you will see more than 11,000 teaching the same ideology in pakistan. you will see all over the world wherever you go in the mosque, you will see the buck. they spend billions and billions of dollars to promote this
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ideology. they have to reverse it. it has to be reversed. and i'm not attacking my fellow country at all because as i said, it is a secular class and i know them, but if the religious establishment, which is what we are talking about, the religious establishment had been funded and given the power, money and status command this is what the message has to be to the west. please apply some pressure on your allies coming your regional allies coming your friends in the region to stop funding these guys. sorry, i got carried away.
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>> we are fight and it's over. no more questions. thank you everyone for coming. [applause] ..


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