tv Jim Sciutto The Shadow War CSPAN October 9, 2019 6:20am-7:29am EDT
many of you know is the chief national security correspondent and cnn anchor and the author of the new book shadow war inside russia is operations to defeat america. the book was extracted in various forms in the atlantic and most of "the wall street journal." and it's had a lot of good critical success. you may not know jim was also the chief of staff at the u.s. embassy in china.
he's a graduate of the university in washington with his wife and former journalist for abc news and they have three children and he is reported he'd around the world in asia and europe and the middle east and made some opening observations throughout the book and then we will open up for q-and-a. >> thanks to all of you for taking time out of your busy friday and the folks at home appreciate having you here as well. thank you to peter. he was one of the first few people to read the manuscript of the book early on and since he didn't throw it back in my face i thought i was probably okay moving forward with this and he was kind enough to write one of the blurbs on the back of the book.
i wanted to start by getting atd how i came to write this book, with my intention is also what the process was to recognize what i call the shadow war connecting the dots on a number of fronts on which both russia and china are seeking to surpass the u.s. indices were fronts of the shadow war that i experienced firsthand on the ground in ukraine is the little green men took territory in europe in the 21st century. i was on a spy plane over the south china sea as china manufactured territory including the allies such as the philippines. i went on a submarine under the arctic where the marine forces are training to track capable quieter russian submarines and
another front in this war. i spent weeks traveling around the space command and i wrote about this in "the wall street journal" the fact is the u.s. already has a space force in the space command and there is already a space for underway. so i was traveling to each of these runs over the course of many years both regarding russia and china and seeing that there were connections that were not isolated and in fact that they were part of a strategy both russia and china are using with great effect. you write about anything today, talk about anything today and of course it is colored by the hyper political environment that we are in. this is not a political book. as i look back at how republican and democratic administrations have approached russia and china
spread the blame because there's been consistent mistakes by both republican and democratic administrations and their approach to russia and china and i want to read a section that's the last three paragraphs of the book to get to my personal motivation for writing this if you'll bear with me. my personal motivation is far from political acts as a concerned american idol i thought living overseas cements the patriotism. you can better identify your countries weaknesses from abroad can also better recognize its strengths. there is no question america has far more to offer the world and china and russia and the shadow war is in large part the battle of those fish in. i see this as alerting my fellow americans to the war and the threat it poses to what the country holds dear.
as it was one set of journalists all that we try to do is live at the growing point of society and detect the cutting edges of history, the shadow war is defining the cutting edge of american history. and i feel bad. i spent a lot of time covering china, russia, the war in the middle east for a brief time to the u.s. ambassador to china and as i saw the outlines of the shadow war i also found that it shook my sense of the country and place in the world. i have three kids as peter mentioned and i want their future to be as free and peaceful as my present and past has been and that is why i felt
the need and the drive to connect the dots in a way to talk about the semipublic conversation in a way that i don't hear journalists talk about much anymore but i certainly don't hear the lawmakers were the president speak about much. i'm going to go back to the beginning of the book because this also gets to another reason i sat down to write these pages. a consistent error of the shadow war committed by republican and democratic administrations is misreading russia and china. having spoken to a good couple of dozen u.s. intelligence officials, military commanders, diplomats as well as european diplomats and intelligence officials who served multiple administrations and they gave honest and self critical insight
to say we missed this and persisted in that we looked at russia and china and imagined they want what we want. even in the face of these events the fact is they don't want what we want. they've got to go to war but they have different interests and aspirations and want to play by different rules. that's one mistake but even when you have contradictory evidence, i "-begin-double-quote the poisoning in spring of this time lasat this timelast year in thef solitary, the two russian agents used literally the most powerful nerve agent ever developed in the history of the world.
they thankfully and almost miraculously survived a british woman who picked up a bottle of perfume in which it was hidden put it on her wrist and died within days. her partner luckily survived as well. you remember the outrage from this and i spoke to numerous diplomats afterwards and they said to me this is different. we've never seen anything like this. russia has been aggressive but now they've used a nerve agents to kill someone on british soil. i speak as an intelligence official who described to me how they later discovered that they brought in enough to kill these two people but they brought enough to kill thousands.
the kremlin dispatched and it is the view of the intelligence that this was okay from the very top dispatched to agents with the most powerful in the world to threaten the lives of thousands thinking you know what we can get away with this, no problem. but as i was covering the story i said wait a minute as i was in london 12 years before, i remembered and covered a successful assassination of another dissident on british soil with a very powerful radioactive agent so let me read from the opening chapter of the. book. in 2006, 12 years before the poisoning among the world of the kremlin had already calculated it could get away with murder on western soil and it would be proved mostly correct. it's a belated response was to expel four russian diplomats a full decade after he died.
in 2017 the u.s. congress would impose sanctions under the act on one of the two murders the only russian national tv targeted by the united states. the penalties for the 2006 operation delicately measured and long-delayed were clearly insufficient to change russian behavior perhaps laying the groundwork for a repeat on the streets of salisbury in 2018. to add insult to injury, one of those assassins would be elected a member where he still serves today. two deadly operations on the western soil using weapons that threaten the lives of thousands carried out under orders from the russian president told years apart. for russia is difficult to identify one single attack in the opening battle of shadow war in the united states however the events of the last decade showed to consistent and disturbing lines, aggression and delusions about russian and intentions.
the same pattern as with china launching its own battles and another arguably more existentially dangerous shadow war on the united states. in that you've actually see to consistent errors one persisting in the dilution in the face of contradictory evidence but also the response being too weak to change the behavior, throw some sanctions on there. you try to murder someone on the streets with it will make public statements critical and we will impose sanctions 12 years later and russia calculates it can do it again and they did. we will invade a country in europe on a sovereign country and annexed the territory in crimea and continued to occupy the territory in the east. you will make some critical statement and behold five years later we still control the
territory. in the case of china we will create carriers in the south china sea and you'll make some contradictory statements and fly over the islands and land behold four years later we still hold the territory and we are increasingly militarized despite the chinese president having made a promise they would not do that. these consistent errors over time have always been striking to me. i want to get to the many fronts of the shadow war because these are the thoughts i try to connect here. americans are aware of some of the front-end w content we talkm on cnn and you'll hear about them from the halls of congress people are aware russia interfered we talked about that a lot. they know that they don't talk
about it that much. we talk a little bit about the island in the south china sea rarely framed in the idea of this challenging idea of sovereign borders. that idea and the treaties and forcing the idea has kept the peace for decades it's important when the nation violates those and is allowed to violate those. that is another front. how many folks here know china and russia already deployed weapons in space? >> there's a chapter in here on this and that i did a documentary on this russia deployed with the space command refers to as the satellite able to move from orbit to orbit to circle the predator predators cg its prey in multiple orbits and
disable the satellite if there are lasers in space or things that travel 17.5000 miles per hour it can do a lot of damage. in addition to, cause the satellites deployed with the u.s. space command calls the matters that relate. but they can also grab satellites right out of orbit. it's a good 20 or 30 years out of the game on this kind of stuff. why do they target our satellite technology? we are more advanced than any other country in the world and also more dependent. they are not smart without gps satellites. drones don't fly and if you've ever been embedded with soldiers
on the field i've always been amazed when they take out their laptops and open up through the system is a bad guy on the other side of that and i that is a combination of satellite based communication and also surveillance technology that allows the soldiers on the ground to be aware of their surroundings and where the threats are coming from. so we are more advanced and dependent but also you take out a few of those and paralyzed could be strong but you certainly disable the most powerful military in the world and i speak on this to a lot of deployed military commanders to say i don't know if we know how to play today without this capability is because we have grown so used to them. they are teaching just in case they end up in a situation where this stuff doesn't work. so, tha, that is the space fronf the shadow war. another one is under the waves and a whole chapter on the
submarine warfare. again, hollywood out of the game can't think of the hunt fo the d october, quiet submarines are first attack weapons, russia and china have been deploying article for the submarine forces to track and detect. that is a problem because that weapon can show up off the coast of your homeland and if they get through and they have gotten through before they can launch nuclear weapons without warning and you will see every once in a while you will read headlines about showing up off the coast of florida. i'm sure you're familiar with the u.s. carrier groups and interestingly the chinese box doing so well in the category they've got incapable. i think a particular focus in this book on the arctic because it is another field of play in
the great game because it is more accessible submarines are an extension of another front in the shadow war. of course there's the cyber aspect as well and there is a whole chapter in the efforts to steal the u.s. private sector and public sector. i focus on one gentleman who was a chinese businessman with a lot of friends in the u.s. and over the course of four years stole hundreds of gigabytes of data on the 35. today come and you can look at the pictures you might have seen them they look remarkably like the f. 35.
i speak about this in the chapter the former head of counterintelligence for the fbi who was involved in this and he says the fbi is aware of about 10% of what china is up to and he makes the point they don't even need a physical guy on the ground as much and you have these tens of thousands of capable chinese hackers doing what he refers to as a program hacking into the u.s. systems and they do a good job of it. if you think china is a more subtle player in the game, think again. bob henderson has been involved in a lot of the cases and he's a former cop so he is one of my favorite interviews and the book i'm going to read the way that he describes the chinese intelligence, they are more
vicious than the russians. anderson told me pausing to make sure i was listening. listening. they've told people at the drop of a hat and kill families at the drop of a hat, do it much more quietly inside of china or one of their territories if they absolutely have to it would be a very vicious service. they don't underestimate how the other guys are willing to operate in these battles. the final point i will make before i let peter grill me and members of the audience as well, it is a point of another mistake that successive presidents, democratic and republican have calculated they could get these relationships right remember president george w. bush saw somebody he could work with and learn later not so much.
president obama, hillary clinton, they hit the reset button months after and it didn't work out so well. president trump of course calculated and still calculates that he can get it right in some way. in russia he still will not call ouout the behavior and a host of firm.he's been more aggressive e trade front because of trade secrets etc., but the question is has is approached changed or solidified and we will see that over the course of the week and months to follow. again as i come back to this, it is a pattern of years and learning if you speak to submarine commanders were the commanders of spy planes or in
spite of the operations and her fighting the cyber attacks by the thousands every day, intelligence officials speak about this in the clear terms they are desperate for leadership from the top. you don't hear about discussion from the top or from the halls of congress and that's what you need to come up and articulate a strategy for pushing back. the final chapter the boo of ths a host of solutions if you want to call them back, but tactics as a part of a broad strategy. i pulled half a dozen smart people with experience, jim clapper, michael hayden, john scarlett former head of m.i. six, ash carter etc. and we customized at the end because there is a way forward and some of these are ways that are
already being pursued at all of them come back to the fact you can't pursue that in a credible way without an articulated strategy at the top and that is what they say that they don't yet have today. that is the shadow war. i look forward to my interrogation. [laughter] >> the first big question do they have a version of the munro doctrine or they want to replace this is the superpower or do they not know as working out, what do you think? >> the latter. their ambitions have grown over time and i speak a lot he's too hot itaught us that the naval wr
college he describes how in 1949 come actually prior, china laid out these goals and detailed a flowchart of how they were going to approach power. first was let's solidified control in china and then solidify control on tibet. strengthen, build a military comic about the second island chaichain but they referred to s the near cds and then at a later date the far cds etc.. you have seen in their moves the man-made islands 600 miles off the shore they have a naval port in sri lanka. they now have a military base in djibouti. it's designed in a softcover way to extend you've seen them very active on that continent
increasingly so in latin america so they have the economic interests and shortly establishing capabilities beyond to help enforce those interests. a bigger picture question folks ask what is a bigger threat to russia or china and when you ask the intel folks they will russia and china at the top and typically say russia short-term they have a capability to a stronger economy and population etc.. it does china want to surpass the u.s. come absolutely. it's about regaining their rightful place at the top of the world.
what's interesting is russia had a similar mindset going back not as far but the collapse of the soviet union they feel they were humiliated and folks know better in the room tammy what's interesting chinese leaders to study the fault and collapse, china studies at and they say we don't want to be that. >> by impression is they say knock it off and it kind of works for a period. >> the former deputy director of the nsa, basically the cyber
operations response. he said after obama delivered a tough warning that there was a discernible downturn in activity in terms of volume but not a substantive change in the aggression. it's still as active as what they were taking away in the public and private sectors. >> they basically la lay out wht they are going to do so i mean, what is it that they are going to do in general they were trying to build for carriers so what is their approach? >> it is basically asymmetric they know russia and china can't
gain the territory by rolling their tanks across the border in a kerr carrier they are not goio build 12 aircraft carriers, so they do it in an asymmetric fashion and the strategies again he likes the chinese wrote an essay laying out the little green men. the chinese call it something different but it's called winning without fighting and the idea is again finding ways for david to beat goliath in military terms and this is a piece of the shadow war below the threshold of where the u.s. reacts consequentially or by
shooting back in effect for instance into ukraine to take the territory slowly but surely you have it and there's no more. similar with china and the south china sea. the thing is over time they stretch the threshold thresholdt push a little bit further. i will give an example. what do folks in the u.s. national security circles worry about now as a next front, estonia, article five etc. but what they really go to war to defend estonia today when they question may have or when tucker carlson is a segment questioning whether u.s. boys and girls should go to die for estonia
they push the limit further and go after a nato partner. in the pentagon they talk about taiwan. we have a long-standing commitment and treaty with taiwan. how many folks in the room of the u.s. go to war if china invaded taiwan, what if they did a ukraine style packs to because these are questions and they are stretching the threshold over time. >> looking from this perspective has been highly threatened and ensure that they feel similar about what we've done so what is their perspective as you are portraying they have a plan but how do they see us? >> a couple things. i don't want to end my yearly e. craig them but they are similar
for two countries with different languages and history's etc., very similar approaches. they are a few of us dissimilar. you hear some of this in russia that america is a declining power they look at us as having our best days and laugh at the internal divisions and other issues we have shown. they also seek to exacerbate those divisions. i talk about this in the a lot of the interference wasn't just to advantage or disadvantage one candidate or another it was just to expand the fishers, and that works. michael hayden talks a lot in the book about the tape and the protest in the nfl where russian trolls were very active because it was a nice issu issue and thy could help drive it deeper and he makes a great .1 way they
were involved in this early the trolls were screwing up the hash tag they were calling it take the knee because when you translate it is hard to get it right and some were using the wrong hash tag into that kind of thing. so they view us as declining and having seen our best days and they seek to kind of accelerate that in any way they can. >> when historians write about the trump administration russia at the end of the day the economy [inaudible] but on this big thing you've got it right. we did try to apply pressure on them is it too early to tell what historians will say or is it something to the idea getting
it right even if the tactics are wrong? >> to give credit where credit is due certainly on the stealing trade it's the also access to the markets it just amazed me the companies of course new they were getting raked over the coals and access was denied or restricted and so on but they were too afraid and reported to us that they would say don't think a big deal of it i don't want you to stick your neck out on this because they were worried about being punished even more or denied access so it was almost a battered wife syndrome. it's changing now, they are getting more public about it, but for so many years first you had this dilution you open china is economically it will liberalize over time then you
just add beer i don't want to go there because i will be punished more. so, trump is confronting that in a way that was necessary frankly. the trouble is knowing the chinese psyche if you beat china over the head with a baseball bat and say we are telling you to change your economic model which you have calculated this in your national interest and you've calculated that i served you pretty hopeless and a half to three decades who could argue with the results of several hundred million out of poverty they say change it or i'm going to slap on you.
trump may have had the predicates. but they made the point publicly we are not in the war in a decade long trade war with china so the tactics are so intrusive maybe this isn't the right way to identify the problem is one thing but the tactics are sort of -- this is a trump tactic with other things and adversaries. iran grew out of a deal, north korea we are going to squeeze you economically. where has that worked so far? >> there were two approaches one
is places like afghanistan and that the regime so getting these right is obviously very hard that there is a sort of is he using sticks and carrots to quote what if they don't like carrots. [laughter] but what is the right mix? >> when you have been putting in concentration camps a million people it seems our response has been somewhat muted is that reasonable? human rights stopped being a priority in the administration.
it's been set up as a false choice we can't throw the entire relationship in the toilet. they've had credible long-standing relationships where they've contested. that's now in this administration none of those issues are. >> speaking of the administration on russia it seems you have to position the rest seems somewhat robust. how would you characterize that the sanctions what difference if
anything does it make? >> in cyberspace i talk about this in the look under the administration cyber command i'm sure folks in the room know this better than me they've been able to use offensive measures to today's "washington post" about basically go out and attack the hackers before they come. so they've been given more offense if flexibility than the administration was willing to grant to them you could easily get t through an escalation kind of situation and again credit where credit is due it happens to that response can you have the hold of government response and fe speak to folks in that se
they say to me all the time you need the whole of government response. another one yo when you have a contradictory response where yes, this started under the obama administration but there has been a consistency of the claimant of u.s. forces in eastern europe and some small contingents 1200 or so in poland and exercises and that kind of stuff so that's good when you have that at the same time which signal do they read which signal does russia read as more definitive? 12, 15s in poland or the president saying not a big deal? we don't know yet but there is real concern. >> that raises an interesting question.
donald trump is lucky in the sense there has been no crisis. and is that -- could that happen again? what would it look like if there's a crisis between the united states and china? >> i thought about that over the south china sea. pa has replaced it as the principal surveillance aircraft and we are flying over these man-made islands and got challenged by the chinese navy eight times and the challenge became more aggressive. this is chinese sovereign territory. get out. they did not. at that time they did not have deployed aircraft to challenge you in the air but they are doing that for now.
so 2000 was -- think of china's growth in military capability, economic power and ambition in two decades since. china less likely to back down, saving face domestically. what will china do now? it would be a lot harder to find the off ramp. >> is national is more in style than two decades ago? >> absolutely. i was on the ground for a couple years. we would meet with a lot of chinese groups and meeting with college students, we were talking about the south china sea and what struck me as the
college students 18-22. this is a question you hear from us military strategists. are the us and china destined for war? classic rising power, a lot of conflicting interests. what struck me was kids all 5 yes. professors didn't. don't hold us down. think of that generation is a generation that only knows china on the rise. parents and teachers remember the steps from which they came. i am not saying 25 university kids -- that was one data point that stuck in my mind. you read the editorials in the papers, there is an increasing bravado. graham allison has written
about this and made a point that anytime a rising power, it was accommodated by the british but obviously britain and the united states share laws and customs and sort of a language. how do you come down on the conflict is inevitable? >> i don't think it is inevitable. i would like to do a lot to avoid or reduce chances of that and some of that is in the final chapter. when is we've got to negotiate treaties in cyberspace and accept rules of law so that you can avoid past conflict. you have to set clearer redline so you don't tempt behaviors that might reach a breaking point. and the us and soviet union.
and and keeping a peaceful world now. and you could see yourself retreating into economic silos to some degree but we are a long way from that and we still have so many symbiotic interests and you hope that makes a difference. it is one reason you will often hear the more dangerous one because you don't have those connections. russia, a declining power, are they more dangerous or likely to swing back?
>> do you have a question? raise your hand and wait for the mic. >> do i have to wait for the mic? >> it will be there in 5 seconds. >> i have a question. i am a national security analyst for the association of the u.s. army. i was recently at an event in brookings, the book, putin's world, said that if putin did by trump he must be having buyers remorse. basically saying the trump administration has been quite hard on russia. >> no one has been tougher on russia than trump as the president said yesterday. i am glad you asked. >> my question is how do you and how would china and russia interpret the administration's national security strategy and national defense strategy that
refocuses the us, specifically naming china and russia for the first time since the cold war? >> a fair question. donald trump's and administration took steps, when in the cyber realm -- not turning off lights in moscow but more aggressive cyber activity. he gave for instance more offense in weapons to ukrainian forces. there are a lot of restrictions. i am citing examples of things the prior administration did not. on the flipside the president in his public comments will point out or challenge the russian president on election interference, water down the sanctions, there's been a lot of reporting on that. you have some conflict. the president's comments about the nato alliance which is your best tool for pushing back
against russia. you and your european allies pushing back. you have cognitive dissonance in the mist of that policy. i don't think the president can credibly say it is a different approach. some things but in other ways weaker. how does it all fit together. the president recognized, acknowledge the degree of the russian threat and articulated to the american people what we are doing about it. it is a fair question how that fits together. when they have done some things but not other things, some of them conflicting. if you listen to the supreme allied commander in europe, he talks about russia like i guess we are okay. when he travels to the european capital, the president says something and gets called and says what is it? we don't know. that conflict is important.
then you wonder what -- which one doesn't listen to more? this email i commander in europe, as you make those calculations. >> this lady over here in green. >> i am a fellow at the gibson center. i was wondering if you could take the us out of the analysis and speak to the relationship between russia and china. are they using tactics against each other? how competitive is that relationship? >> are they working together? they have their own interests. there are like any country, the interests coincide they might be on the same side of things. if you watch north korea, russia and china like to make themselves involved and play spoiler. there's a reason russia and
china, and there are russian engines too. you have some spoiling going on but to their own interests, not like they sat at the table and said let's do this together. there are areas in conflict when you look to the east of russia, low population, chinese operations and they are not working together illicit serves their interests and there are other places they are working against each other. primarily they are both interested in china's case straight up surpassing the us in russia's case dragging down the us where it can in a 0-sum game, any degree we are diminishing the us we are adding to our own power. >> gentleman in front here.
>> pro bono occurring but since 1962 i worked in the government on us military and intelligence ways to deal with threats from china and russia but since tiananmen i'm also involved in human rights in china. my question relates to your last comment as to one of the things the us could do or ways to avoid this trap which was treaties and agreements. for country like china daily violated statutes, and many international treaties regarding torture and international relations at the drop of a hat. that kind of a country, what good do you think treaties to
protecting us if we see they are violating it but we do that all the time. >> a great question. part of the shadow war is intended to disrupt, the international rules-based order post-world war ii, a whole host of organizations etc.. from russia and china's perspective they see the international rules-based order is fundamentally skewed against their favor. and it is in their interests. >> they have some. >> look at russia's violation and china too. that is the problem.
we would like to hold ourselves up as the great defender of international treaties but if you look at the last couple years we unilaterally pulled out of the jcp away, a treaty negotiated by the us. the president raised questions about the nato treaty. pulled out of the climate change agreement. if you're a foreign country, you say i us politics so divisive and so on a pendulum that if i sign a treaty with the government here in the next election and swing back here it's not worth the paper it is printed on. what partner are we for those treaties? we have to gain back credibility to create circumstances for them. >> the gentleman in front.
>> i'm a donor advisor. you've spoken to our internal divisions and it seems to me in a very real way we are much more focused on the threat of the other political party than we are on russia or china or climate change or any other very real threat we face. to what extent of this problem with our not being able to have leadership that recognizes and take seriously these threats does that reduce to a problem of us political dysfunction and their we are again and of course very much as you said in their interests to exacerbate those? >> jim clapper asked a question, he makes a point. the us is not good at responding to things it hasn't quite seen yet.
the example of 9/11. if in august 2001 george tenet had said we are going to walk you all through detectors, take your shoes off and no liquid on planes because there has been a lot of chatter. what? i am not going to do that. what is the pearl harbor that will spark action? you can argue 2016 election interference was. that is remarkably bold impactful strike at the core institution of our country, a presidential election. because of the division half the country and a president won't acknowledge it is a real thing and in the president ask a seemingly because it diminishes his victory but even the facts of it, not just the president. i'm sure you've talked to people. one trope, $100,000 on facebook
ads is all it was, haven't really read the mueller report, right? yet people just persist in that because they can't let go. have we already seen the pearl harbor but not reacted to it because of the division? that is a huge problem. trade, china and trade, you do have a bipartisan agreement, china is a bad actor. a lot of disagreement is not so much how you react but the degree of reaction. a lot of folks think this trade war will be years and years long. even if you have a democratic president are they willing to pull back from challenging china? maybe not the tariffs trump is using but on that issue there's more agreement but on the other issue there is not? how can you move forward folks on the same side can't agree? >> was pulling out of tpp smart?
>> absolutely not. massive victory for china. >> this gentleman and this gentleman. >> thank you, mark jacobson of amherst college. as hard as it is, the type of warfare you describe, the nature of whatever changes the type of war described is one that the pentagon has problems with because there's not enough blast heat and fragmentation and one that us aid and state department have a problem with, they don't like to use the word war. in your interviews you have seen, do you think conceptually the senior bureaucratic leaders, uniforms or not uniformed understand this and are willing to engage with these threats the way one would a classic, quote, war by organizing national power? >> yes.
it took time and takes time. it is hard to capture the attention of the american public or lawmakers on the hill because there is not a big hole in the ground, ground 0. in new york. that is part of the brilliance of the strategy, below the threshold so it works. it is really good. over time, it is not just the bespectacled eggheads. if the guys driving nuclear subs talk about it this way or folks driving spy planes, the folks at space command, you sit down and they call themselves space warriors. the latest phraseology today. it is not theoretical but is playing out in real terms.
and to confront it. it is not as visible or tactile were that kind of thing, hard to get money spent on that kind of things. forget about the money part. it is harder to focus attention and concocting strategies and taking some of the steps. and in 2015, general john heighten, the head of strategic command went out there and raised the alarm about this and in classified session, got to get together. and those folks are thinking in those terms. >> i mike nelson.
when i did a washington dc scan of your book. >> how many did you buy? >> the index makes clear this is a comprehensive look and you haven't talked about that. one is in the arctic, norway is and you talk for several phases about what russians have been doing to claim the arctic as their space. >> you say i don't talk about it? >> i've do that by the way. >> i did not think about the word venezuela. some interesting things going on. what would you do about the arctic and what about venezuela? >> on the arctic i do talk about that.
russia has enormous force, arc of steel on the northern coast. loads of subs deployed plus they have icebreakers. the u.s. navy has how many icebreakers? 0 in the navy. they say operational. the navy has not. russia has 2000. our primary weapon up there, force projector, is the submarine. that will be the us focus. britain dropped out of it. you have some sense among the allies, russia has an enormous force advantage but the us is pushing back, and there is attention being focused on the arctic. russia had an enormous force.
there aren't little green men in ukraine. the russian forces in venezuela are straight up, uniform patches on their arms. and when they landed nuclear capable bomber. russia's interests, and us military options that were never seriously considered. it was more cage rattling. it is also interesting because that is in our backyard and a real challenge, and the usa ukraine. russia did believe it was all concocted by the cia. if it had happened earlier it
would have been a chapter in the book. >> this gentleman here and this gentleman here in the back. >> my question is in the 21st century, russia, china and the united states have not learned the lessons pointed out among others, becoming a superpower, parent victory. and close to the back. >> community activists environment and getting increasingly pessimistic. i take hard in some developments like the greens gaining in europe recently in
the green new deal and some other efforts, progressive efforts i would call getting traction, a lot more attention and support in the us. and yet we grew up on the dystopian novels, 1984, the handmaid's tale. that already exists in china and russia to some extent and many other countries already. we side in nazi germany. the question is where do you see the long-term optimism especially when every time the us gets in a war, we have never been out of this. every time we get in a war, our civil rights are violated, suppressed and we become more like the countries we are opposing. >> down here.
>> hugh grindstaff. yesterday, general ashley, head of the defense intelligence agency gave a talk at hudson about china and russia. it brought back a sense of reality, we are up against two forces, being in the military and being at that level, you have to think to yourself how far do i go to defend my country? in that sense you are left saying if i say something wrong i am gone. >> okay. one of the problems with shadow war, no beginning and no end.
it is permanent war. and now shelling of fort sumter to signal the beginning of it. it begins silently and continues on and that is part of the issue. you have to make a lot of long-term changes to push back and you are not going to put out the fire but you want to keep it to a low smolder like fighting a forest fire. you are not going to put it all out and that is hard, we like beginnings and ends but we would like to adjust the adversaries and strategy if we want -- is that a superpower? here is the thing. there is a drive to pull back, the appeal and strategy is we don't want to get caught up in this stuff.
us benefit enormously from being involved and the american arguments, don't know if i swallow this entirely but just ask, ask southeast asian nations if they want to have the us and asia or not acute to be a counterbalance with china because they don't want to get bullied by china. they don't want to be dominated but they do not mind having the us police presence there. you may have a lot of pushback in europe, but will they like it if russia successfully carries out a coup in montenegro or if they invade the baltics? there are benefits to us and our allies to having this present so as my says it would be to walk back we would pay a cost for walking back. if you're asking what we can do
about it, i think be informed, call your congressman. be aware, be aware on the positive side there are loads of folks who are thinking this way that are already pushing back. i am impressed by the men some of you are probably them so i think we are going to be okay. [applause] >> name? [inaudible conversations] >> here's a look at what is live wednesday. on c-span our campaign 2020 coverage includes joe biden holding a townhall in rochester, new hampshire at
12:4:05 pm eastern. it the same time on c-span2 there is a discussion on us policy toward russia and ukraine with david kramer, former state department official with the george w. bush administration. later ireland ambassador to the us talks about brexit and the future of us uk relations entry:40 p.m. eastern. >> you never made a documentary film before. we have resources to help you get started. thank you for producing information and video links to footage in the c-span library. and -- >> find