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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  April 8, 2015 9:53am-12:01pm EDT

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think is the most realistic is the fact that, and again, tracy mentioned this very end of the siege of petersburg, general lee's headquarters was to the west -- far west of the city. at the edge hill. at turnbull's house. while lee was there one of his aides, walter taylor, instead of being available to lee, had gone off to richmond to get married that night. and so what happened was apparently in richmond, where the supplies were to be sent from they got a message from lee's headquarters saying, you know, we're preparing to withdraw our troops from the city. you know, send the supplies down the line.
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but they didn't say exactly where. what happened was, the individual, the commissary sergeant, or whoever was in charge of the supplies in richmond, then sent a message back to the turnbull house, to lee's headquarters, asking for more specific instructions. but what had happened as tracy again mentioned, these union sixth army corps that morning had broken through the confederate lines,j basically were pamplin park is if you're familiar with that area, they broke through the union lines and lee was then forced to abandon his headquarters, so when that second message came for where do we send them, nobody was there to receive them. and that's -- to me and that comes out of the four volume seat of r.e. lee, it's an appendensy in the back of volume number 4. i think knowing that area quite " -ñ well, i think that's probably is
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what happened. >> anyone else have a question? ron has a question. he is making his way to the microphone. i will throw something out for chris here. it's a large campaign. seven days over 100 miles. is there a particular incident that is most intriguing to you during the campaign that you didn't cover in your talk here?4ó> hmm. >> humorous incident? kind of a wild moment? >> one of the things i am preparing for this forthcoming april 8th is we're starting off the programs at appomattox with a talk on the battle of appomattox station. we'll start the program with a talk by myself at a -- the local church liberty baptist church, whose predecessor was there at the time of the battle.
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when i worked there and even when ron was working at appomattox we had no idea where the battle of appomattox station took. was. we had an idea because we knew where the station was but by all accounts it says the battle was a mile from the station. you take a compass and go a mile it could be anywhere. in fact, the area we hypothesized that it was located was in a triangular plot of land where route 24 26 and 460 come together, and of course, it was built up in a shopping center. and that's where we thought it was for the most of time. when i was writing the book on the battle of appomattox, i happened to stumble across a diary journal of an ohio cavalryman.
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roger haniford, he was in the 2nd ohio and he was in all of these battles and on the retreat, particularly appomattox station. but what he did was, he would draw little maps of each of these battles, and then he would annotate them. like general custer was here. confederate ar tilly was here. i took this basic sketch map and cleaned it up, superimposed it on then 1867 map of that area. with that i put it over a top graphical map and lo and behold we found the battlefield. it was a location none of us have ever would have thought of. so my talk on april 8th is the mystery of appomattox station, before which i will move and meet up with pat because of what we found the civil war trust
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bought a large acreage of the battlefield, particularly the confederate position and it's now being preserved and developed as a battlefield park. so that would -- and then after that, pat and i will do a tour there, there will be some living history and then we'll move into the village. that's probably one of the most exciting finds that i can think of. by the way, once i superimposed the battle map on a modern topographical map i got permission from the land owner, because a large portion of the woods and things and the top graph was still there, and it was kind of tucked in amongst some businesses and where haniford showed the confederate artillery was located, i borrowed a metal detector and went over that ground and it was covered with friction primers, which is when you fire a cannon, that's the physical remains that locate where the
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cannons were, and then out in front of where the confederate artillery was located the woods was filled with canister balls. and if you read about the battle of appomattox station, it was union cavalry, attacking confederate artillery, who were using canister to knock down the horses. if you're around april 8th, come on and join us. >> ron's waiting -- >> yeah, ron. >> i would like to point out how difficult a task general lee faced in trying to coordinate these different units to assemble in one location at a specific time. the route that he chose is 18 miles further toward amelia than
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the union route to the south. so the distances involved precluded this early start. i might also like to maybe chris can talk about this some more, about the union rebuildings, let's say of the south side railroad between petersburg and burkeville. because they did that in a period of about nine days. and also -- >> we will leave this presentation at this point. you can see it in its entirety on our website going live now to the brookings institution for a conversation with customs and border protection commissioner gil kerlikowski. he's expected to address the agency's mission and future initiatives which include combatting terrorism and transnational crime, advancing border security and enabling lawful travel and trade. this is live coverage on c-span3. >> -- largest federal law
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enforcement agency and also it provides the second largest revenue collecting source for the federal government. on a typical day, cpb seizes over 10,000 pounds of drugs 650,000 dollars in undeclared or illicit currency, and $3.4 million of products with intellectual property right violations. so needless to say this agency is working very hard to safeguard america's borders while also enhancing legitimate trade and commerce. our feature speaker today is commissioner gil kerlikowski. he's going to discuss his insights from his first year of leading this agency. he's also going to look at some of the highlights in terms of his vision for moving forward. the agency has put out a new vision and strategy 2020 document that lays out what the agency would like to do in the
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future. the commissioner was nominated by president obama and sworn in last year. in this position he oversees the dual mission of protecting national security objectives while also promoting economic prosperity and security. he brings four decades of law enforcement experience and drug policy experience to this position. before he took on his current position he served as director of the white house office of national drug control policy. he also formerly served for nine years as chief of police in seattle washington. so our format today is the commissioner will offer his reflections on the past year as well as his thoughts on the future. and then we will move to the q&a period, so please join me in welcoming the commissioner to brookings. [ applause ] >> thank you, darrell very much. it's a great pleasure to be back at brookings. and to have this opportunity.
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you know brookings has such a wonderful history. this tremendous policy resource that we have here and the analysis that you all do that shapes debates. this wide range of economic social, political issues, the opportunity i have to talk about drug policy just a few years ago to the issues of our weapons, to trafficking, and to tax reform. so something that's on everybody's mind. you get ready to celebrate your 100th anniversary next year. and the theme that unites the brookings program, governance andry newal is one that we at cpb can really embrace. i've been in office just over a year and i really appreciate him talking a little bit about the complexity of the mission. because oftentimes i think cpb is looked at as an organization that is -- that is only focused on border security issues. we'll talk about it a little bit about that but when you think about revenue collection, and
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you think about the huge role that we play in our economic security it's important to recognize and understand that complexity. so cpb, customs and border protection, was created in 2003. at that time, as in just before that every border function was somewhat separate. so different agencies perform different inspections. so you had immigration admissibility, you had customs inspectors for imports and exports, and you had agriculture inspections for items that could harm the nation's crops and livestock, and national -- and our natural resources. and like all bureaucracies, i think that the communication had difficulties amongst, there were essentially three different port directors at every port. it just wasn't the greatest system. so we have a unified border agency as a result of 9/11 the nine lynn commission, and the
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creation of cpb under the department of homeland security. and it allows us to craft a comprehensive strategy to secure our borders and support our economy. we have 60,000 employees on the ground, on the water, and in the air. both in the united states, and abroad, and cbp is one of the world's largest law enforcement organizations. it's the largest law enforcement organization in the united states. the primary mission of course, is to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the u.s. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. we enforce nearly 500 laws for 47 different federal agencies from the food and drug administration to the consumer product safety commission. so this wide array of laws that we have responsibility for in partnership with all of these different organizations. law enforcement ranks include officers customs and border
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protection officers that you see when you come into a port of entry and our agricultural specialists who do those inspections. they're the ones with the little beagles that are really cute and we try to really promote those beagles a lot. and they work at our parts of entry. between the ports of entry we have the united states border patrol and chief mike fisher is here with me today. they secure our border between those ports of entry. we also have air and marine interdiction agency patrol the skies and the seas, supporting the border patrol, as well as supporting state and local law enforcement. and we also have thousands of nonuniformed individuals, professionals, who manage trade issues, international affairs cybersecurity, and other important facets of our complex mission. while i'd be -- i'm a good fed so rhyme going to give you a few more statistics to add onto that. just in a typical day we process
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a billion people at 32 land, air and sea ports of entry. we screen 70,000 truck rail and sea cargo containers. we process 4.4 billion dollars in exports and $6.8 billion in imports. we seize more than 650,000 dollars in unreported or illicit currency. we discover 425 pests and intercept 4400 prohibited plant and animal materials that could hurt these crops. we seize $3.4 million in counterfeit products. and we apprehend more than 1300 inadmissible people at the ports of entry. we arrest on a daily basis 21 wanted criminals who attempt to enter the united states. we identify 548 individuals who would suspected national security concerns. we intercept 76 fraudulent documents. we fly 213 enforcement missions
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in the united states. and we seize more than five tons of drugs. 550 pounds of cocaine 81 pounds of methamphetamine. 15 pounds of heroin. 9,000 pounds of marijuana. that's a typical day. then you have to toss in the unexpected. last year's surge in the arrival of unaccompanied minors and the family osen the southwest border. and then the outbreak of ebola that required enhanced screening at five major airports. so really what you see is no typical day. if i could summarize my first year it would come down to three "ts." travel, trade and transparency. and travel and tourism is vitally important to our nation's economy and cbp is committed to making sure that lawful travelers are allowed, while those who wish to do us harm are kept out. in fiscal year 2014 we welcomed 107 million international air travelers.
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an increase of 4.5% over the last year. for those returning to the united states, the greeting from cbp was often welcome home. during the past five years the united states has seen an increase of more than 19 million annual international travelers. and this growth has supported about 280,000 new american jobs, these travelers spent more than $220 billion in 2014 alone. we're mindful of that direct correlation between travel and tourism, and healthy american economy. but, our first mission, of course, is border security. and it remains our highest priority. we constantly strive for more strategy to successfully facilitate lawful travel. and we're committed to innovation. automated passport controls, which some of you might have seen in some of our airports,
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they have been proven to reduce wait times at these airports by as much as 30%. and these apcs, these automated passport control technology simplifies the process of international travelers, using kiosks, eligible travelers enter the united states more quickly, more efficiently with no charge and no special enrollment. last may we set a goal with apcs to have them in 25 international airports here in the united states by the end of last year. and through partnerships, we met that deadline in october. today, 34 airports use apcs, and that's tremendous progress in less than a year. well travelers are embracing abc and a reporter for conde nast traveler, for example decided to review the technology when she arrived at jfk. she stated thanks to the apc she had the shortest wait time she ever had at that airport. sure you've experienced the same thing at jfk.
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another exam of our commitment to safe, secure travel is an app. everybody has an app and so do we. travelers support their information and customs declarations from their smartphones or tablets when they arrive. last september the mobile app was recognized with the future travel experience award. those awards are given to organizations that have gone the extra mile to improve passage or experience. our crowning achievement in all of this, we think is our trusted traveler programs. through these programs we expedite the processing of low risk travelers while allowing our officers to concentrate on and focus on higher risk travelers. since the beginning of 2014 an additional 1.5 million people are enrolled in the trusted traveler programs through global entry, as well as on the border with mexico and as well as through nexus on our northern border. global entry allowed expedited
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clearance for preapproved low risk travelers. members of global entry pay a fee, they undergo background screening and they receive front of the line privileges and automatic membership in tsa's precheck program. cbp's primary goal of course remains keeping those borders secure preventing people who would do us harm from coming. but we continually look at our risk based strategy, as well as a layered approach to security. extending our borders out, pushing the borders out. focusing our resources on the greatest risks. preclearance, having cbp officers at foreign international airports to inspect travelers destined to the united states, that provides us with the best means of identifying and addressing threats at the earliest possible point. cbp cleared in fiscal year 14, $17.5 million passengers out of that 106 million that came in. that's 17 million people who didn't have to wait in line at
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the airport at customs when they arrived, they picked up their baggage, and they departed. we have preclearance facilities at a dozen foreign locations, including several in canada. this year we intend to expand that preclearance operations to new locations around the globe extending our reach and pushing our zone of border security outward. let me talk about trade for a minute. turning now to the cbp's role in trade during the past year we had this great opportunity to travel all over the united states. really all over the world. we've gotten to see firsthand our integral our mission is to the nation's economic health and vitality as well as to the safety and security of our global supply chain. and in fiscal year 2014, we cleared $2.5 million -- trillion dollars in imports. $1.6 trillion in exports. we did 26 billion cargo
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containers. and that's an increase just as travel is increasing, so is cargo. global commerce involves hundreds of different types of forms. numerous federal agencies. the system actually can be quite time consuming and it can be costly for both government and private stake holders. and outside forces can have a significant impact on our operations. and last week, for example i met with manufacturers of the retail and manufacturing industry who praised customs and border protection for reducing the maritime wait cargo backlog in the wake of the slowdown on the west coast. and that was very impressive to see. as you read over and over about the ships that were stacked outside of oakland or long beach, et cetera, we made sure that we had the people and the processes in place so that once that that labor issue was settled, we weren't going to be the stopgap for that cargo coming in to the country. first, we accelerated our deployment, also in
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import/export processing and it's called automated commercial environment. the a.c.e. system. it's a huge shift. so we're moving from all of these paper-based faxes, original signatures to a cost effective electronic submissions form. and it's the core of the president's executive order that he signed in 2013 and it's called the single window. and it's going to allow all relevant federal agencies to review and respond to cargo movement to reduce costs and speed the cargo process. there's another important change. e-bonds. they let customs brokers and other trade stake holders electronically transmit bonds to cbp. historically in that cbp paper-based system they'd receive our answer in about four to five days. today, they get an answer in 10 to 15 seconds. that's good for business, it's good for us. let me tell you about the centers for excellence and
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expertise. they're transforming the way that we're doing business by consolidating particular industries. instead of having to communicate with dozens of different ports of entry, over 300 ports and perhaps getting dozens of different responses an importer can contact the center, designated for their particular line of business. so right now whether it's pairle or footwear in san francisco, electronics in los angeles pharmaceuticals in new york, they can go to one virtual center and get an answer on those imports. the centers improve our ability to identify high risk cargo. they increase consistency in predictability, which is what we hear from over and over again in the industry. be predictable and be consistent. so it helps our trade stake holders and their business decisions. in the travel environment, we have risk-based system for trade area, too, just as we do in the travel environment and that's called our trusted trader program. i talked about global entry.
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and sentry and nexus but we have a trusted trader program. acas, air karpgo advanced screening was launched as the result of a true terrorist threat and explosives that were hidden in printer toner cartridges were intercepted in express mail shipments from yemen and they were destined for the united states in 2010. acas allows us along with our partner in the transportation security administration to jointly target and mitigate air cargo at high risk before it is loaded onto a u.s.-bound aircraft. the cargo industry recognizes the value of this program. and it helps to improve security. it helps to improve the integrity of the supply chain, and prevents major business disruption. acas membership is expanded by 15% in the year that i've been at cbp we now have 51 participants. our customs trade partnership
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against terrorism, ctpat. we have lots of acronyms. you think the defense department has acronyms? we can match them. and we have a lot. we continue to build cooperative relationships with trade stakeholders, that strengthen and improve that security. we focused on amplifying our international engagement. we have a container security initiative. we deploy teams of officers to foreign sea ports to address the threat to border security, and global trade. posed by the potential use of maritime containers by both terrorists, and smauglers. these programs foster information between cbp and our foreign counterparts. and pit pushes out our zone of security. it pushes out our border. finally, a word about that international engagement. the security integrity of the global supply chain depends on these international partnerships. the trusted trader programs which i described a few minutes ago, align effectively with something called authorized
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economic operator programs that are being implemented in other countries. and these are often done with our input and our training, which we are happy to provide. cbp is active in an organization called the world customs organization. and i believe that our participation in wco plays a critical role in helping build and foster ties. i couldn't have been more proud to nominate annie hinojosa our deputy assistant commissioner for international affairs to be a united states delegate to the wco as the director of compliance and facilitation. she goes through an election process in june. and if anna is elected, she's going to bring 28 years of considerable experience, including being a port director, and her leadership can strengthen our work with our key trade partners. last year i signed mutual recognition arrangements, three of them, mexico israel and singapore. and last month, some of you know that secretary johnson signed a preclearance agreement with
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canada. that country's parliament will have to act to put that agreement in place. mutual recognition arrangements are critical tool in aligning standards to the international community. these arrangements provide a platform to exchange trusted trader information, and to try to harmonize the reciprocal supply chain security programs throughout the world. we have ten of these agreements that are in place since 2003. and other countries now recognize that our leadership in harmonizing these regulations and securing our borders is to everyone's benefit. let me mention the third, "t." transparency. i'm taking steps to make transparency and accountability hallmarks of my tenure at cbp. the public's trust depends on it. the vast majority of cbp's employees do the right thing they do the right thing every day. and they're dedicated public servants and they're committed to our mission. but there are times in law enforcement when a level of force must be used to safeguard
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the public or protect an officer or agent. and historically our default position after something was to occur was to circle the wagons, and say, no comment. one of the first things i did as commissioner was to change this to make our policies and processes more transparent to the people we serve. for every law enforcement agency that's part of an ongoing and intense debate right now about how and when and where officers should use force. and a use of force can include a physical restraint, the use of an alternative device, or the application of lethal force.=d)ñ cbp particularly the united states border patrol, has come under increased scrutiny and criticism for using force during apprehensions. well march 31st marked the midway point for this fiscal year and we have recorded 385 uses of force. that means that right now we are on track to reduce our use of force by nearly 30% compared to
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fiscal year '13 -- or fiscal year '14. this reduction in the use of force is encouraging and it's considering that the assaults against our border patrol agents are trending up. as i said a moment ago, there are times when some level of force must be used. and in those instances, the force must be justified, and within our policies. with that in mind we have implemented a unified formal review process for use of force incidents involving death or serious bodily injury. and the review process will help us resolve use of force incidents in a timely and a transparent manner. training is critical when it comes to the use of force. we've issued newlines for all personnel and we've revamped our entire training curriculum to put agents in simulated field situations so they can practice their responses when they have to make a split-second decision. and technology is extremely important here too.
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we have an agency-wide working group to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating body-worn cameras into law enforcement operations in each part of our cbp environment. air, land, at sea, and between our ports of entry. and we've also equipped and trained agents with less lethal devices that can protect them. tools that would be practical in the rugged terrains that the border patrol enforces. these include things like tasers, and equipment that can incapacitate an aggressor. we've implemented these options because no apprehension, no seizure, no arrest no pursuit is worth the risk to an agent or a member of the public being injured or killed. that brings me to something that is too often forgotten when we discuss the use of force. there is a personal toll for every officer or agent who uses deadly force. and for many it's a burden they don't anticipate. they don't anticipate it because
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it is very rare in law enforcement. but when it does happen, it can stay with them forever. and does stay with them forever. in a recent op-ed in the seattle times, last august a friend of mine former king county sheriff sue rohr said something that hit home to me. she said she need police officers with the skills and tenacity of a warrior but the mind-set of a guardian. well, certainly this issue policing in a democratic society, remains front and center for all law enforcement agency. cbp is no exception. one of the primary ingredients of transparency of course is integrity and it's one of our core values. last september, secretary johnson delegated the cbp the authority. for the first time ever to police our own ranks, investigate our employees for alleged misconduct, and we're implementing this authority and we're doing it in a transparent way. secretary johnson also supported
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me in forming an integrity advisory panel under the dhs homeland security advisory council. the panel is co-chaired by the head -- former head of the drug enforcement administration karen tandy and new york city police commissioner william bratton. the panel is comprised of some of the best leaders in law enforcement and i am confident that they're going to make a significant contribution to our culture of integrity and transparency. we continue to emphasize the need for personal responsibility by every employee for ethical behavior, both on and off duty. sometimes law enforcement agencies have to respond to difficult situations. that grab the attention of the media, they generate interest from all kinds of stakeholders. and transparency is critical in these situations. but it's also important in other circumstances. i want to give you one example during my first year. last spring and summer there was an unprecedented surge in the number of unaccompanied
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immigrant children and their families. tens of thousands of them, primarily from central america, who arrived at our southwest border. these children are vulnerable to trafficking schemes by adults who were eager to take advantage of them. our agency's response to that surge, and the response by the department of homeland security in general, really illustrates our commitment to transparency, and openness and it ultimately benefits the relationship with the public that we serve. this was a border management issue. since nearly all these people we encountered turned themselves over to a border patrol agent or a customs and border protection officer, it was not a border security issue. first we never lost sight of our primary mission to maintain the security and safety of the border. we deployed extra agents to the areas most affected, we continued to stop smugglers and disrupt transnational criminal
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networks. second we cheated the children and families with professionalism, and compassion. we recognized the situation as a humanitarian crisis, and i am proud of how the agents and officers conducted themselves, many of them having donated clothing from their own families to these kids. and third we developed a multimedia multicountry strategy awareness campaign called know the facts. it's about how dangerous it is to make the journey north to the border and in that campaign we emphasize that no legal papers or path to citizenship awaits those who cross illegally. we took those actions under heavy public scrutiny and throughout the process we gave full disclosure to the press and the public while maintaining the privacy of the children who were in our care. and our actions were supported through the inspection process by the inspector general and the department's office of civil rights and civil liberties. this was stressful and difficult
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experience for our employees, but they showed the world how cbp responds to this kind of crisis. i could not be more proud of those individuals. well those are some highlights from my first year. but what's ahead? what is cbp's future? it's called a vision and strategy for 2010 that darrell mentioned. it's a milestone for our agency. it represents the first comprehensive strategic plan from cbp in nearly a decade. clearly recognizes that cbp must balance border security with our nation's economic competitiveness. these are really two sides of the same coin. cbp is going to continue to mature and advance the following strategic themes. first collaboration. the complexity of our mission which i really outlined this morning to you, requires that the agency serve as a global leader in delivering border security, and expanding strategic partnerships.
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innovation. cbp must remain vigilant through innovative initiatives to continually advance, and transform the agency so that we're more agile, and that we're more adaptable organization. and integration. cbp must lead in the development of the seamless global network to integrate border enforcement capabilities, and meet the demands of a constantly evolving landscape. well, these three strategic themes, collaboration, innovation, and integration, have surfaced in various ways in the form of many of the accomplishments i outlined for you earlier. they continue to permeate our culture that should be in our way of thinking. these themes are essential to meeting our goals. specifically, we have four goals. combat terrorism and transnational organized crime. advance comprehensive border security and border management. enhance u.s. economic competitiveness by enabling lawful trade and travel, and
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promote organizational integration, innovation, andagelety. and that vision -- that vision and strategy outlines how we plan to enhance both our agility and our ability to meet these increasingly global and increasingly complex challenges. we intend to lead and aggressively champion strategic partnerships that facilitate the integrated risk informed, intelligence driven law enforcement operation. this requires a whole of government approach as well as an international unity of effort. we're committed to transforming our trade and travel processes through technology through public/private partnerships, and simplifying and integrating processing capabilities. to do that we have to harmonize processes across ports of entry, including operational approaches to risk management. and we must continue to expand our risk-based strategy, and constantly refine our
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information and data collection capabilities. effective border management requires layers of security that must consider points of origin, modes of transit, the actual arrival at our borders and even routes of egress or departure from the physical border to a final destination. finally cbp must strengthen its culture, and that culture depends on our ability to recruit, train and retain exceptional people. accomplishing our mission directly depends on our workforce, we're committed to getting the very best people for the job. that includes placing women in front line positions to remain competitive with modern professional law enforcement operations. well women comprise about 7% of the united states marine corps for example but only about 5% of the 21,000 age sents in cbp's border patrol are female. with that in mind we sought and obtained approval from the office of personnel management
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for the legal authority to specifically recruit women for entry-level border patrol positions located on the southwest border. and to date we've received 5500 applications. in closing, let me emphasize cbp intends to be a standard-bearer for other customs and border security administrations around the globe. and our core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity will continue to serve as the bedrock of our culture. ensuring unwavering commitment to the highest levels of professionalism. our vision is crystal clear. to serve as the premiere law enforcement agency enhancing the nation's safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation and integration. i appreciate the opportunity to share that vision with you here today. i thank you, and i look forward to the discussion. >> thank you. [ applause ]
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>> thanks. so thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us both on the past, and the future. you mentioned some of the travel innovations that you have helped to implement and spread. i am a user of the global entry program, and the tsa, they are wonderful programs, i highly recommend them, and thank you for your work on implementing them. you mention in your remarks that you -- your agency does a lot beyond border protection that obviously is an important priority but you're also very actively involved in promoting trade and commerce. and i know you travel to various countries around the world.
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what are they doing? and how are they helping to promote trade and security? >> well in your opening remarks you talked about the revenue collection. which was important. the revenue that we collected actually is what made us a free country for funding the revolutionary war. many customs organizations around the world only see themselves as revenue collectors. that is changing markedly as we see the changes in the world right now when it comes to security. so here we are at both locations, both on the border, and at these ports of entry, and we need to be able to not only do our economic and customs fulfill those duties, we need to be able to help those countries understand the importance of one, sharing information, and, two, recognizing the importance of border security. and we have these requests just literally stacked up in the office from countries that would like us to come talk about our experience. and we're very proud to share
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with them not only what we think has worked and what's been successful for us but we also tell them what hasn't worked as well. and where we could improve upon. and i think they value that level of honesty, and dialogue. >> you also mention some of the use of force initiatives that are under way and i think you specifically mentioned possibly adding body cameras to some of the officers use of tasers and so on. i'm curious what's the implementation schedule on this? where are we now? and where are you wanting to go? >> the border patrol is made particularly significant changes in their training -- reviewing their entire training curriculum right now. but for instance in the training center in artesia and new mexico, there are a variety of different kinds of fences that exist along the border now. this gives those agents in training an opportunity to practice. we have a field test going on of different types of body-worn cameras to take a look at those.
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those seem to be very popular right now in law enforcement. oftentimes, of course that evidence can exonerate an officer. but it adds a different level of transparency. along with that are the -- our advanced training center in harper's ferry, west virginia, we're also experimenting in looking at a variety of different mechanisms. things that can help to stop pursuits, because oftentimes people will flee in vehicles. along with a variety of less lethal technology. we think that will be a tremendous benefit to the united states border patrol. but also to our customs and border protection officers. >> so one of the big challenges in border protection is getting information in realtime and having it be actionable to the officers. information that arrives two days too late or two weeks too late, obviously, is not very helpful. so, what have you done to get
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information to the front line agents in realtime so that it can improve? >> i think when you go to those ports of entry right now and you see using the apcs that i mentioned or the mobile passport control, you go through customs and you see a customs officer in a blue uniform and they're busy entering data. and looking at a computer screen. when that information is already up on the computer they can spend the time asking the right questions, and verifying the information, rather than merely doing data entry. so that's particularly helpful. the other, of course, is pushing the borders out. so, that when someone is entering the united states and clears customs or attempts to clear customs where we have foreign locations, we can actually make a recommendation whether or not that person would be declared inadmissible should they arrive in the united states. that's a huge time savings but
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it's also a huge security savings. so our technology and our improvements in technology, while style having a long way to go are an important consideration for us. >> so one more question and then we'll open the floor to questions from the audience. it seems like workforce development is a key and your agency, as well as in most agencies you know some bureaus are having difficulty recruiting workers, retaining them. what are some of the new initiatives you have under way? you mentioned kind of diversifying the workforce bringing more women in. what are you trying to do to deal with some of these workforce development challenges? >> i think one of the things we see with our employees is the value that they place in working for customs and border protection. honestly our very best recruiters are the people that work within the organization. they have friends, they have family members, we work closely with colleges, and particularly community colleges.
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we were just down in brownsville at ut brownsville and others to talk about the benefits, and what you can give back to your country to be very frank about it. what you can give back to your country by joining customs and border protection and being a part of this important mission. >> why don't we open the floor to economies or comments from the audience. if you can raise your hand we have a microphone. there's a question up front here. so there's a microphone coming up to you. if you can give us your name and your organization? >> thanks, peggy congressional correspondent with the hispanic outlook on higher education. so, a couple of questions. one about foreign students. i wonder what kind of data the customs people have from the, what's it called, the foreign student database because i think there's been some slips. and i wonder if you can prove
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that. and the other is pregnant women. i had thought that there was some kind of a restriction of someone who is seven or eight, highly pregnant, is not allowed to come in. but maybe i'm wrong about that? but i know we have a problem with the tourists -- birth tourists. so if you could talk about those two. >> there's absolutely no prohibition to someone that is allowed to enter the united states, regardless of whether or not they are pregnant or giving birth. so there floe prohibition at all. the student visa information i think, was highlighted during the boston bombing information. and and there's a fusion center of state, local and federal law enforcement in boston. the discussion was how can more of that information if someone is no longer a student, so they enter on the student visa, but then they drop out of school or they never enter school, et
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cetera, how can we be more attentive to that? that is both a state department system and also with our uscic part of the department of homeland security. so we actually have to work in conjunction with them. i think you're exactly right more attention is being paid to that now than -- and more information is being shared than had been in the past. >> other questions? question right here. this gentleman right here. >> hi. tim wharton with international trade today. i saw that cbp recently released statistics on the fiscal year 2014 seizures for intellectual property rights violations. and i noted that they were -- there were fewer of them than the previous year and i wondered if cbp had any thought on why the decrease? >> the report that's issued talks about not only the value, but the number of seizures.
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for violations of the international property rights. and we do that in conjunction with i.c.e. immigrations and customs enforcement. we jointly staff an intellectual and property rights command center for information coming in. over the past few years those numbers and the value of those seizures have increased quite dramatically. only within this last year did it kind of plateau out. we want to make sure that we're going after the things that can cause most harm to people in the united states. counterfeit pharmaceuticals. counterfeit air bags. counterfeit camp pewter chips. those types of things. so we're concentrating on that and we continue to make progress. but i wouldn't -- i wouldn't look at a one-year slight decrease as being really demonstrative of what's going on.
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>> near the back. gentleman with his hand up. >> hi, commissioner good to see you again. eric coolidge of the american shipper magazine. i have two questions. you've been praised for your outreach to the trade community to industry. it's been a year or more since there's been a trade symposium that customs typically hosts. just wondering when you're planning to host or have another trade symposium to bring together the trade community? and then update them. and then second the -- with all the budget constraints that cbp and dhs have, have you been under any pressure to privatize any of your mission ss or use some kind of third parties to, you know, outsource certain functions, and maybe i'm thinking in the c.t.pat arena but maybe there's another functions. >> when it comes to vetting those organizations and those
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travelers, because we want to make sure that the people and the trade community has the least amount of risk to the public, is reviewed, i only want that done by employees of the united states government that are representatives of customs and border protection. so there's no intent to outsource that. we do use a number of contractors, we look at a number of different databases, in that vetting. but if we're going to give that trade group the kind of good housekeeping sale of approval i want to be assured that it was done early and completely and professionally. and i think that's particularly important. when it comes to another trade symposium, as you know, the federal government has been under a lot of scrutiny for certain conferences. so we look at that very carefully. that's why before when you got lunch, now you get a bottle of water, if you're lucky. so we'll be looking at putting
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that together within the guidelines of making sure we're good fiscal stewards. but bringing people together with us is just a key element of the relationship and the communications needed. >> smart move. you can't be too careful on the conference fund out there. right here is a question. >> thanks. huffington post. you spoke about the unaccompanied minor situation last year. i was wondering if you could give us an update on what you're seeing this year and if the response or you know the way the border patrol is handling it this year is any different from last year? >> well, as i said i couldn't have been more impressed the first week that i was sworn in to office. i was in mcallen, texas and i got to see perhaps in a room this size literally dozens and dozens and dozens of kids sleeping on concrete floors because we didn't have the contracts in place to remove them.
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we didn't have the nongovernmental organizations available. all that changed california maltically. so one, we're in much better shape today, because of having these contracts. having additional detention space, and having food and medical care available should we see that. the good news is that certainly so far this year, and if you remember march and april were certainly high points of the influx of kids last year, those numbers are down significantly. and we're very pleased with that. but we're certainly keeping a watchful eye on it. perhaps we'll be down to the levels of 2012, fiscal year 2012 kind of the way it's trending now. so we're glad about that. >> so you mention this problem of counterfeiting. and we have counterfeit pharmaceuticals, computer chips you mentioned air bags. how big of a problem is this?
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and what are the most effective ways we can deal with this? >> well first i think the -- one, it's a significant problem. and when you mention how much are you actually seizing? how much are you identifying? you certainly know and i certainly admit that we're not seizing or identify being all of the counterfeit materials. but first we have really experienced people. really knowledgeable people. we have people that can examine women's shoes. my wife wondered about my new from in women's shoes. but we have people that can examine these things and really have, and really determine whether or not these things are counterfeit. but then we have other experts that can look at the computer chips and air bags and those kinds of things, so that's important but i think the second probably most important part of all of this is that the more we expand our international foot print and the more we're in other countries and the more we develop relationships, and paths
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for communication in those other countries, the better we are at identifying something before it ever gets in the container before it ever gets headed to the united states. and i think that's helpful. >> gentleman right here on the aisle, a question? >> i am from japanese think tank. my english capability -- by rising risk to help in japan i have to pose two question to you. first, what kind of a relationship between yours and japanese government to border protection from the terrorists? which agency is in japan for
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cbp? second question for that means u.s. and government sharing type of data or other data? >> so i think that on the equipment issue, there are kind of two parts of the equipment. one is the equipment that the border patrol would use in our air and marine agents would use between the ports of entry. so we have tethered stats many of which have come to us from the department of defense and they have infrared cameras and high technical surveillance equipment in these tethered arrow stats. we have unmanned aircraft. a uas program that's also very helpful. we also have things like ground sensors that can be trigger information or alerts to the border patrol agents. and then the border patrol agents have a variety of
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equipment in their trucks and also the ability to have night vision goggles and things like that. so that's between the ports of entry. at the ports of entry are kind of different pieces of equipment. are different pieces of equipment. one is radiation portal monitors so that cargo coming through can be analyze edd to see if, in fact, there's a dangerous level or some concern about radiation. the other is something we call a nonintrusive inspection devices, really it's just big x-ray machines, both portable x-ray machines but also those that are mounted within. and they can scan a piece of cargo coming through and kind of look inside it. then the last in both of these areas is the knowledge and experience of our personnel. one of our agriculture inspectors the other day was looking at a palette of fresh vegetables that had come in but
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he was looking at the palette itself, the wooden palette, and e he said i think that palette is thicker than what i have seen in the past not by much just a little bit. of course, when a canine checked on it, sure enough it was filled with drugs. so the level of experience and ex. per tees that our people have is particularly helpful. i'm not sure of the agency that we work with. i was recently in tokyo but only for a very short period of time, but i know that our relationship with the government of japan on these issues is very close and very strong. >> i was in aruba last year and discovered that the u.s. customs office there is actually on the island. you go through the customs process before you get on the plane opposed to arriving here. is this a model that you're seeking to expand? are people happy with that? >> i think the agents in aruba --
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>> they seem very pleased with us us. >> they seem very happy about that. but we're in canada, we're in ireland, we're in bermuda and the bahamas also. so we're in negotiation with about 25 different airports right now around the world who have an interest in this. one, it really improves border security but number two what most people don't recognize is that those governments or airports pay 85% of the salary and benefits of the people that are assigned there. so that's 17 million people that i talked about when they landed at jfk or los angeles. they just picked up their bag and got to go and didn't clog up any customs line. so we see a real benefit in that. we'll see how it goes. >> right here is a question. >> the washington homeland security roundtable, i have a question about the joint task forces that were created in
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november. i wonder if you could speak to the successes you have seen or hope to see from these kbrups, especially since you are leading them in collaboration with some of the other agencies. >> the joint task forces are the secretary's goal for his, unity of effort. essentially, taking homeland security investigations, customs and border protection and the united states coast guard and saying how can all three of you work better together cooperate and collaborate, and the coast guard is heading up out of florida, is heading up the caribbean of florida gulf area. customs and border protection is heading up the land border from texas to california. and homeland security investigations is really kons concentrating ongoing after particularly the human smuggling networks. so quite often the arrest of
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just a young person who is involved in smuggling a couple people doesn't really get to the network. they have started but they are not in operation. we believe that i think some time around july the joint task forces will work, but the secretary gave myself, the coast guard and the i.c.e. director an opportunity to really be a part of forming that unity of effort collaboration. so i think we're looking forward to that and i think he's really to be commended for pushing that. >> in the back there's a gentleman with his hand up. >> yes, i'm jose diaz. regarding the issue of apprehensions of minors and unaccompanied minors and family units at the border, you mentioned that you expect a drop towards the 2012 levels.
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this is a larger compared to for example, a projection made by the migration policy institute that thinks that it's going to go to a 2013 levels. so you expect a larger dive? >> i'm hoping it will be at the 2012çó &e5jereiec
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here, you're not going to be allowed to stay. and i think that was an important message. >> i think we have time for one more question. i have a question about the global supply chain. it seems like a lot of security issues concern that and so i know you have kind of focused a lot on trade and commerce issues. how are you going about identifying high risk shipments and what are we doing to make sure that supply chain is, indeed, secure? >> besides having people assigned in foreign ports and making those relationships with other governments and being at the ports themselves and being willing to demonstrate to other
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governments how we go about identify ing identifying these things, there's a second part of that, and that is that we need to make sure that we're exchanging information in areas that may be at risk. we're not going to examine 70,000 individual 20-foot equivalents that can come in every day to our ports of entry. so everything we do is based upon risk. we are always seeing and certainly have the rule of law and certainly have the authority behind us to be the regulator, to the enforcer, but quite frankly to the trade community, we weren't as open to developing relationships and communication with the trade community. we're on opposite sides. that's really not true. the trade community wants to make sure that what they are
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bringing into this country is as safe and secure as what we want it to be. and when we really opened ourselves up to having for instance, a federal advisory committee made up o of a wide array of traders, shippers, retail manufacturers et cetera, when we opened ourselves up we expanded our network of eyes and ears because frankly if you're a shipper and someone comes to you and says i'd like to ship this and i don't want to go into much detail. the shipper says, you know what i'm a ct pat authorizer, i'm not going to do that. i'm not going to put my organization at risk. we want that shipper to call us and say, daryl was just here and we're concerned about -- we don't know much about him and we're a little concerned. we love and value that exchange
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of information. with all the technology, it still gets down to that human factor. >> i like that exchanging of information until you involve me. thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on travel, trade and transparency and good luck in the future. >> thank you all very much. [ applause ] internal revenue service john koskinen will give an up update including employee retention and budget cuts. live coverage from the brookings institution starts this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on c-span.
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each night this week at 9:00 p.m. eastern conversations with a few new members of congress. >> as a result, i try to stay disciplined in my message in a a football sense i try to stay between the hash marks. i understand that i represent everyone in montana. montana is one congressman. i represent not only the republican side, but i represent the democrat side independent side, tea party side union side, i represent everyone in montana. and i think if we take that value set forward congress represents america. it's true to articulate the values and the needs, the desires of your district, but the purpose is to make america better. >> five newest members of congress talk about their careers and personal lives and share insight about how things
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work on capitol hill. join us for all their conversations each night at 9:00 can eastern on c-span. with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span and the senate on c-span 2 here on c-span 3 we compliment that coverage by showing you public affairs events. on weekends c-span 3 is the home to "american history tv" with programs that tell our nation's story including six unique series. the civil war's anniversary visiting battlefields and key events history book shelf with the best known american history writers, the presidency, looking at the policies and legacies of our nation's commanders in chief, lectures in history with top college professors devil delving into america's past, and reel america featuring educational films from the 1930s
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through the '70s. c-span 3 created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. next, iraq's ambassador talks about some of the military and political challenges facing his country. the middle east institute hosted this 90-minute event. >> good afternoon. i'm a professor here at john hopkins as well as a scholar at the middle east institute. so it's a particular pleasure for me to welcome the ambassador and a co-professor here
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abbas kadhim to this session on the future of iraq. we are meeting at a time of particular sensitivity for a country that many of us have been engaged with one way and another for many years i made many trips into iraq during the period 2004-2010. i know others have been on the ground as troops there. others are native to iraq and i think it's fair to say that we are all concerned with this country's future. let me introduce abbas and then he will introduce the ambassador. abbas is a colleague at the foreign policy institute. he's a berkley ph.d. a former
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professor a at the naval post graduate school, a form erer employee at the iraqi embassy, but most importantly for today, a real expert on sectarian and ethnic relations in iraq which i think it's fair to say he doesn't think always bad. >> it's good for me. >> and it's a pleasure to have abbas with us and he will introduce the ambassador. the ambassador will make remarks and then we'll take q&a from the audience. >> thank you, professor serwer for this introduction and for putting together this timely and important panel and also for inviting a man who is really, i feel great respect and
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appreciation of. they have asked me to wear a couple hats on this panel. first, ambassador faily comes from a long line of the excellence of iraqi diplomacy when we think about it from the days of the monoor i can until these days. we have names that are to be proud of as iraqis and one can think of people and definitely our guest of honor today. ambassador faily has a long and impressive, i'm not going to go through because it's already in the announcement. i'm going to just highlight a couple things just to mention that he combines both the work
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of previous position to dictator dictatorship where he spent a lot of his time. he has lived in the uk for over 20 years doing two things, one of them, again currying the coasts of iraq heavy as they are on his shoulders. meanwhile, doing a lot for personal excellence where he pursued an impressive agenda of education that you have in his biography. also including e degrees in mathematics and business managements. he's an engineer of sorts and he has also served in want diplomatic field and first in japan between 2010 and 2013 doing an excellent job there.
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you always get given a harder job. so the hardest job of any ambassador who would have being an ambassador to the united states. so it is an honor, also such a recognition doesn't come to many people. he came in 2013, started i believe, july of 2013 officially as an ambassador. i am biassed towards ambassador faily. i worked with him between 2013 and 2014 getting close to him personal personally, i found him to be an intellectual of a genuine type. he is a real intellectual when you talk about the good intellectuals and those are rarities these days. also he is a highly professional, very good and demanding in the positive sense
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of demanding, of his team and crew. he's also an amazingly kind man and down to earth and a good family man, i must say also having known that side of him. he also is the only one i know of among those ambassadors to the united states who runs a marathon. so you are talking about someone who is very hard to catch if you are trying to chase him in any way intellectually or in the athletic field. it is my distinct honor to sit next to him and to introduce him to you. after he speaks, we will start the rest of the panel. thank you, mr. ambassador, for coming. >> good afternoon, everybody. first of all, let me thank the professor for his introduction and the opportunity.
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i was recently speaking to his own special class one of the floors up there, and we discussed in a focused and productive with the students. students usually enjoy the session because you never know what are the normal narrative and how do they view lives with their simplicity of background or the complexity of what they read in their literature. so thank you for your introduction, it was music to my ears. i didn't want you to stop. i'm honored in a number of ways. to talk about to a diverse audience, also for the media and also to talk about it in just a week before the prime minister's visit here. we hope to have his first official visit to the united states for a four-day visit, in
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which he will have discussions around the topics that we are talking about today and i'm sure the q&a will highlight that, which is where are we going with iraq. it started as a project in 2003 in relation to as far away as dictatorship as possible and as near as possible to democratic, free market economy defined by a unified highlighting federalism, talking about freedom, expression, democracy and all those features which a lot of nations take for granted which was what i must call a dream to iraqi to think he can even have such a discussion, let alone for him to practice it. that has been a key feature for us. over the last 12 years, what have e we done so we can define how do we move forward. obviously, talking about the future of iraq is a very
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difficult. topic for anybody, even for myself. mainly because there are so many prompters that control the path of a nation. it's not just what resources they have or remaining to have or the region have supported or how much focus in the country is for the unity of the country or what national project we have which we can talk about nation states or nationalism r or the international supports we have or we will get or preconditioned to get for us to develop with the future. if anybody can tell you the future of iraq within a decade or more, then i'm afraid he will move more into fiction than reality. because these are so many parameters. i can also assure you that those iraqis who are involved in 2003
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project may not have the same believes they do now based on the reflection of that country. not in relation to the dream that's always there. the iraqi's dream has been there for the catalyst of why we have been able to survive so many tsunamis and political sense we have had over the last 12 years. bearing in mind also that that dream is always there and will always be there. simply because the nation regardless of whether the borders we're talking about that and people say this is only 100-year border, as a community they have more or less every day realized more and more that they have interdependencies among each other. the kurds we're talking about having their own country. post isis i would doubt that
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now. certainly for the immediate -- within the next deck aid or so. the majority of the shiite they can govern post isis, they are certainly finding out that the inclusion aspect, the requirement for the nation to suffice its key foundations of the adherence to the constitution in spirit and literacy is a key challenge. majority of the remaining societies such as minorities and others, they thought they may not only want to be involved in the pollitics and that should keep them safe and they found that with isis, with isil, with the sectarian narrative in the region and other in the region that they cannot feel safe by their own. they needs to be part of the political discourse. and let's not forget what people in d.c. call them the arab sunnis. that, as well they are trying
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to find a new social contract with each other. if somebody asked me do you really need to have this discussion after 12 years of post saddam i would say we just started that discussion. the stability the politics of iraq, true we're not doubting that. but when you look at nations, what is a decade in terms of nations? what is a decade in terms of a vision of a country where they are talking about moving to the other end of the pendulum with heritage of saddam hussein. here i'm not blaming anybody but i'm also aware and wary that after a decade post saddam hussein's rule majority of our populations do not know about saddam hussein's rule because if they were born after 1990 then they wouldn't know saddam
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hussein. we cannot go and put the blame on saddam hussein. even if he is blamed, we know he's blamed because of the social in what we see now in the territories. or in the dictatorship or in socially destroying the fabric of society by vul churl violence. we know that, nobody is disputing that. so for the academia, it's clear cut where the foundations and who supported it or not. but for the society, our young one who is seek to be employed and who seeks to have a job and who, by the way, are active in social media. so they have a very good aware rans of what is taking place in the region and elsewhere. they have that it question. we in iraq need to answer that question, post, current and future generations need to answer that question. i will talk about it in sort of five parameters. i think i should finish in about
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ten minutes. i will give you an observation of my trip. i saw quite a few people and we had our ambassadors conference so i was able to get a good grasp from the top officials as to the status of the country. i will also talk about the current recent military operation and specifically in the city of tikrit. and finally i will talk about the government focus or vision moving forward. those are relation to inclusion or decision making and relation to military capabilities relation to combatting corruption and developing economy, national and our foreign policy relation issues which we highlight by next week's visit by the prime minister. in my visit only yesterday i
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have been there about three months ago as well so i was able to do good compare and contrast. it was clear to me that the country in a very ironic way with all the isis and all the media, iraq being at the focal point, the country in baghdad felt that they are at the safest point that they have been in a long time. very few car bombings, assassinations assassinations, no clear militia or anybody in the streets, and moving a lot of blocks, concrete blocks is so free traffic. that was one of the key highlights i realized from day one. obviously, being sort of the spring was the best part of the year, so that helps as well. so it was important that everybody talked about not just
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tikrit, but also what is a post isis scenario. to me, our engagement with isis, with them still occupying mosul, i would say it's a healthy discussion to have. i started having this six months ago, but the majority of the people who are not politically savvy enough to talk about what's the se narcenario post cystist in relation to national guard and everything else, i think that's a good healthy political position to be in. the other key point was how do we all stabilize and strengthen the government. the prime minister is new to this position. he certainly doesn't have what you might call a healthy environment to start governing from because he came in in the trail of the mosul and elections and everything else. so how can we help them?
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that was one of the key issues. a majority of the politicians were frustrated by their not lack of ability, but that they sometimes try edied to offer help but it's not materialized because of the politics. . so that was a positive sign of frustration. the tikrit operation, it was also clear as an ambassador from the united states people ask me why are you not doing x, y and z. we can't talk about those items but primarily looking at united states as a prime partner in our fight against isis. here we're talking about iraq, by the way. the american perspective to the iraqis they don't appreciate that. they say we have a problem with isis. you need to help us now. syria, everything else, good, we need to resolve that.
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but we have an immediate threat because isis we cannot co-exist with isis, so help us now with your intensive campaigns with your military with everything else. that's another issue to take into account. obviously, the politics is not an area of concern for them. nor of interest. congressional discussion, that's not their concern. and i will say they are right in that sense because of the menace of isis. that's an area for people to appreciate. so in that sense, the tikrit operation was, what you might call, a roller coaster where it was done by iraqis, with support from volunteers, mobilization forces and obviously support from our neighbor and the advisers and so on. then there was a halt and the l
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u.s. campaign and others playing part a significant part, an effective part and more or less everybody working together in the city of tikrit. the key concern for the government was in minimizeing collateral damage and iraqi forces. isis was able to booby trap hundreds of houses, posts, and other type of things. so it was not an easy terrain u to walk in. so in a way what key issues we took away from the operation was that we need to have a closer corporation with our neighbors that each is unique and therefore what took place in tikrit may not have to be copied, but we have to learn from. and we need each other, but the
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good news out of that was that the tribes in the region and others significantly worked with the popular mobilization forces and iraqi security. so there was a clear engagement. and also a few days after the liberation, it was handed over to the provisional government and the civil society to manage. and those mobilizations and sometimes i hear they call the militia pulled out of it. we'll talk about that i hope, later on. the third point, which is a five-point vision, and then i will finish with it, the key government issues are to make sure that the government is inclusive. the prime minister does seriously believe in decentralization. and he seriously believes in cabinet making decisions. he seriously sometimes delays decisions where to the frustration of partners because he says i haven't got the buy in
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or x, y or z. he's not where he will make a decision himself and say sort of tough luck to the rest. he's not that type. so people are appreciative of that. as i said, the sense of urgency sometimes people want him to make that decision and he usually says i need to be more inclus inclusive to mitigate the risk in the day after scenario and that's one aspect. as to the military it has been major restructure, more to come in the military and interior ministry. that has been more hand on role for the prime minister and the military. they certainly have tried to outreach to the trainings of the tribes. the discussions in relation to national guard has taken place.
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people asked me one senior official asked me to talk about the national guard and the -- i forgot the english name for it. accountability and justice, he asked me about that. he said, where are you with that? and i said it's a history aspect. national guard is our future. that's where people have to bear in mind. people now no longer talk about it. if they do it's more of a sort of unhappiness or justice didn't take place. but it's no longer a show stopper. national guard, no that's a key issue of how do we immobilize those who are -- whether they are the volunteers or any other type of military establishment in iraq and how do we integrate
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them into the government and how do we let the prime minister to manage that. that's where the future is and it will take time. people pushed us and i kept saying e we wouldn't do it to your time line. we'll do o it to our own time line. in that sense, the reforms are taking place, providing weapons to the tribes and others. it's not tos pace because we haven't got the weapons ourselves. it's not like we have them and store them. we're not playing politics with that. it's pure logistical problems that we have. we also have a financial crisis, which means we don't have the luxury of the funds and we can't just buy any weapons in the market. it takes some time. there also significant reduction in violence. there were some, what you might call, people want to take advantage of the security lack and do ransoms and kidnapping.
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that's significantly reduced. now three other points before i will finish. it has to do with the economy. the budget was signed and we still do one year at a time budget. it's not a five-year plan or anything like that, which means that unfortunately we still catch up. we're still in the catch-up mode, and that doesn't help in our development. there has been initial signs of economical development. corruption is still a major challenge. we have, more or less only now touched the surs if of that. it's an issue of culture it's an issue of structure it's an issue of processes need to change and certainly legislations have to be there. and we need to move away from the current three methods of integrated approach. i can talk about that later on. however, what has taken place as well as major steps from the
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prime minister's initiative, that will certainly be the way forward. including what i must call taking away some ministries and diverging them into the local authorities. that's also a plan. as far as reconciliation, the prime minister came yesterday as a prime minister. the steps taken was very positive, but they are all in the theme of confident building missions. we do one step at a time rather than have a package solution in which we all sign it in blood. that's not the culture in iraq now. it's more step by step because after mosul and after the new
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formation, an issue of trust had to be regenerated. the communities of iraq now realize that they have interdependencies. but at the same time the maturity of the politics has not allowed for those politics. i can talk about that. so you have to be cautious and you have to think twice and you have to take into account a myriad of issues rather than a few parameters for your decision making. that's one of the complexities of iraq. as far as also human rights abuses and so on, that has been a major focus for the prime minister. he has really opened up and he called for international organization to be there on the ground, support as possible. we're not saying abuses are not taking place. we're saying that we dare to monitor and for us to be aware
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of it in facts and figures, not in perceptions or rumors, for us to do something about it. so at least we have that understanding and i might call it we have that big chest where we can say tell us what has taken place and we'll look into that rather than say it is driven by whatever sort of negative connotations we have towards the media. that's not the case. but at the same time please bear in mind, our world is a messy world. all wars are messy but what we have is not a trench war. we have a street war. we have an enemy who doesn't wear uniforms who doesn't show themselves and who are conniving and have broken every rule of engagement of any ethics of any war to achieve their objectives. this is the type of fighting and
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casualties are there. it's unacceptable, it has to be zero tolerance. but that's the environment we're working on. so the final point is about relationship with foreign countries andq#-2ñ others. the prime minister and the cabinet have been very active in doing an outreach to all countries. he has been tremendous in going to all the major conferences where i know for a fact that the previous prime minister didn't for language barriers and other things, but the prime minister has done a tremendous job of reaching out and more so by accepting delegations. his trip to the united states ofis one sign of that. the key message that we have is we know we have relationship with neighbors we need to address. we know there are camps where there's pro-iranian pro-american, pro-saudi, but we are keep partner in that region. we can a partner to anybody who wants us to partner with them in
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the fight against terrorism against sectarianism and others. we are there, we will still u be there, iran will always be our neighbor bear that in mind. the region is going through tremendous social political upheaval. the arab springs has been hijack hijacked. no clear mandate to the governments in the region governing pre-arab spring. so please bear that in mind. so in that sense, i would say in iraq you have a reliable partner, but at the same time help us to help you in the fight against international terrorism. somebody asked us the other day a question, a senior official said to me. he said, look, let's say we get to isis. will you be a partner in the fight against isis elsewhere or
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would you say that you're happy with just being content with iraq? my response was, no, we know we have a responsibility. we'll take that seriously, but we also know we have an urgency know which we want you to help us with. thank you again for your time. >>. thank you, mr. ambassador. [ applause ] before he begins, i want to invite those -- i see people standing in the back. i have seats up front. i'm selling them for a good price. if you're too embarrassed to come down the center, you can go through the room next to this one. by all means i want to try to get people seated. professor abbas? >> thank you mr. ambassador, for this excellent overview of the current situation in iraq. you are our look into the future
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and how the vision of the iraqi government and the best it to speak about what the iraqi position is on all various issues that you addressed. i will take us to what we might call post conflict iraq because the panel part of the aspects of its title deal with the future of iraq and where iraq is going. and just like the ambassador put his talk and few points i'm going to put it in three letters, all of them are "r." washington loves these kinds of classifications. the three would be reclaiming the iraqi territory reconstruction and reconciliation, what each means
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to me. i'm fond of this word. my first economic book. was "reclaiming iraq." any future action for iraq. there is nothing that can be done of meaning without extending iraqi sovereignty and iraqi authority over the total iraqi soil and governing the entire map of iraq. you cannot leave and govern or weakly govern spaces in the country and then do any kind of governing from that. this is, and it has been one of the problems in iraq too many ungoverned spaces that led to flares of violence flares of weakness and let's face it isis was a phenomenon of a governed
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space in the country, or spaces in the country. so that is an important aspect and it has to be coming first before the other two. before even talking about any kind of future plans on all fronts, the extending of iraqi authority over the total soil, getting back mo zul, getting back ann an bar not squeezing a balloon where you'll take one place and the tourists will go to the other and chase them there and leave the place you just liberated and keep chasing you and you are chasing them and that is not going to work. the united states tried that in iraq before and we only succeeded when we moved from the squeezed balloon kind of method to grabbing and holding the land that you liberate and then moving forward, sweeping your
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way until you get to extend all your authority over the entire soil. so that is the important task right now and i think the fwoft is aware of this and they are working that way. but with this you have to do more than one task. fortunately for the last 12 years, iraq has not done many issues that bouf made life easier for now. not just because of the iraqi government, yes, the iraqi politicians and political process bears moreuch of the blame for what has not been done but definitely there are other governing issues arming and procurement of arms and military equipment, et cetera, these are all complicated processes. you know very well how it goes, but definitely you have to do both of these things.
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iraq needs credible force that can do what i just said, extending the authority and keeping the authority strong equally strong throughout iraq which means we have to redo the iraqi military. they have ten divisions running at 50% personnel and the rest o of it to make it functional is really from the pmus, popular mobilization units, and there were two divisions constructed that are at full capacity. so that is not what iraq needs at this point. it needs much stronger, it needs an air force, it needs logistics, which is a very important part. so this process has to go both hand in hand reclaiming the land and building a force that can be enough to hold iraq inside iraq and peace and also deter future
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aggressions if it happens, god for bid. the second one is a reconstruction. i do not mean by reconstruction a series of contracts to restore the houses and restore the roads and whatever the war and the conflict have destroyed. i am talking about our historical understanding of the term reconstruction when i speak to an american audience, the post civil war united states. that era that was called the construction era. we're talking about not just the reconstruction of what was destroyed by the war, but reconstruction of politics, reconstruction of the political infrastructure, the economic infrastructure, the social infrastructure. a reconstruction of a nation that can function into the future and doesn't fall again with the next challenge into the same trouble that we were just
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or we are coming out of. that is very important. iraq does not and should not take this task alone. i do not believe that we do have in iraq enough expertise to do this. iraqis, as a government as a political class need to be humble and look at post conflict situations learn from their own history and the history of others and seek as much expertise or give. the task to similar to the system of politics in iraq and then end up not doing the job right and having to redo it time and time again. so that is the other issue. the third is reconciliation. the last two reconstruction and reconciliation, should go hand in hand. they don't have to be one after the other because reclaiming
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territory has to come first before anything else. what is reconciliation? a cup canouple days ago we were in a conference and there was a talk about the conflict between those the box and those who were urging us to leave the box and think completely out of the box. i think here we need to think out of the box. the box in iraq has been as follows. re reconciliation giving politicians from this faction or this sect or this ethnic group or that one. and if you already gave 33% of the positions to a group and all of those politicians did such a lousy job that their own people revolted against thim, giving two more ministries to them will not solve the problem. out of the box thinking is to
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look at reconstruction where reconciliation where it has not been done in iraq. iraq for the last 12 years had been doing nothing other than reconciliation but in the wrong place among politicians. and every time a politician doesn't get a job, we'll go and raise -- become a rebel rouser and, again, it's like we never done anyy9]f reconciliation. you need to reconcile the people with each other. we have not done anyp reconciliation at the popular level. and as long as there are people who are disenchanted, and i'm not talking about here one group or another. there are people that are louder and get the media and there are people who are silent. i can tell you that every iraqi right now out of the rolling class is disenfranchised, disenchanted living in subhuman conditions. some people are probably less
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vocal about it because of their backgrounds. if you ask every v9(airaqi, they will look at what they were and what they are right ñ the same position they had under saddam hussein, but the91b uz their lives as a right not a privilege anymore.c:e so it looks┌y forward, but iúnv] would notqg7÷vy arguezzñ that a way of governance or services or anything like that that is from any place. it is all right now underserved. it is all unserved in many places and the problem with iraq right now, you really need to get out of that fixed idea of reconciliation by reconcile inging
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the political group to reconciling the people. if the people are content, are happy, they are happy with the system, we know that. they are unhappy with the government and with the ruling class. we don't find iraqis saying let's go back to dictatorship or destroy what we have right now. they have a problem with the governance. the institutional framework, note the way iraq is going. so these three things, if we start thinking about them creatively, i think we are going somewhere. if we do not, then we are not just risking but we are garn guaranteed to run another round of trouble in iraq and the ball is in the court of the iraqi government the iraqi politicians. again, i would say the international community that is dealing with iraq because we all have to think about it in the right way. thank you very much and thank
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you again, mr. ambassador. thank you, professor. >> i'm going to open the floor to questions. i see the microphone that i was looking for. you'll have to come to the microphone so that the audio-visual stuff will work right or the microphone will be brought to you if you're in an inner slot. the floor is open and i ask you to identify yourselves before you speak. i'll take two questions at a time. one there. >> thank you very much for a very interesting panel. >> please identify yourself. >> insight iraq, sorry about that. i wanted to pick up on the three
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r's. i wanted to pick up on the reconstruction one. when we think of reconstruction in the united states, some would say u it took a hundred years. but the question i have is how do you see -- i'm sorry, on the reclaiming of land, it's obvious that we have to reclaim, that's obvious. but what about the disputed territories between kurdistan, the krg and the rest of iraq. how do you apply the thinking of reclaiming to those disputed territories. >> thank you let me take another question right here. >> executive director of iraq foundation. i like the three rs too.
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my question is about reconciliation of people. of course, i agree with you, it's just how you think of doing it? >> doing what? >> reconciliation of people? >> at the popular level. mr. ambassador would you like to start us off? >> sure i mean, the disputed territories and others, sometimes people think that that should be a historical discussion because the situation after isis the facts have enforced itself. that might be true maybe in an academic sense but in the realities to the history of iraq in which it's a tribal society people's pride is important for them or perceived pride is also
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as important. people's understanding that things were not taken under duress, but it was more in what you might call a constructive way. for the constitution to be implemented, there are sometimes loopholes in the constitution, which people have taken advantage of in that sense. so there's a lot of dialogue to be made. getting rid of isis has been an important factor for all parties, that's a good sign. people are not taking advantage of that now. they no long erer reside to the fact that isis can be used for the politics of iraq because everybody is losing out. the political class majority of the sunni politicians are in exile because of that. the shia primarily although they feel safer now than before they also know that isis will keep
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being a threat to them certainly with a kurdish krg over a border with isis is an area moving forward. so in that sense, the question is still outstanding. there's a lot to discuss regarding the oil share and others. we still haven't resolved the consensus for counting -- for the census. it's still an outstanding issue. i will say what we have done is try to do initial steps of building measures. one of the things that's part of the three rs that's important to understand or to highlight that is we are not a very reflective society. we do same mistakes, for a number of reasons. a, these are what you might call heritage of dictatorship. it didn't allow you to think.
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it allowed you to have the infrastructure of civil society or others to come up with a decision to do reflective in an open constructive way u see where the box is outside inside, that was not allowed. so here now we are learning democracy in a harsh way in a tough area, in a tough neighborhood and as a result because we are not very reflective, we do the same mistakes again and again. that's not something i like, but that's the reality of it as well. time itself, the whole region is relative. i'm talking about politics point of view. time is still relative. what you might call our culture, that in itself is a very problematic issue. this frustrates a majority of
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our western partners when they talk about it. they ask, what does that mean? so it's another issue to bear in mind. we need to define boxes. again, the doctor, i grant him that. we need to define boxes. that might be a timeline or a pre-condition in others. but because of the myriad of parameters involved in decision-making, we sometimes think we leave it to god. that is another problem we have. a scenario we need to look at. and i would say to be honest in an open answer to you, a frank answer, is the jury is still out as to how we resolve these disputes. there are confident measures. it is important that we trust each other. an element of trust because of the interdependency which we now realize. they say when children are brought up, they go from
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dependency to interdependency, isis has told us that we need each other and still hasn't told us how we need each other. still hasn't told us. >> and personal reconciliation. >> quickly. and also i have a word or two about reclaiming. when i spoke about reclaiming i was speaking about ungoverned spaces, ungoverned by the regions or the spaces is fine by me at this point. maybe the ambassador and myself are coming from different points of view. he is more with the -- with the government affairs. >> they pay me for that. >> and they pay you for it. but i'm talking about my pefrnl convictions -- personal convictions that i held all along. i think at this point who
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governors kirkuk doesn't matter. this is not similar to isis getting hold of mosul or getting a hold of chunk of anbar. the disputed lands between the center or the federal government and kurdistan has to go with the reconstruction and reconciliation phase that is where you need to decide. because at the end of the day that is where you need to make a change. because if kurdistan, long-term or short-term, then it matters who will government. then who cares whether 10 kilometers will fall here or there, 10 square kilometers. and one things that has to be done with the reconstruction, the iraqis have to settle the issue of the future of kurdistan in the immediate future. there has to be a decision or a
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referendum or whatever it is to end that question once and for all and i believe the kurds, if they decide to go for a state, then it is their right and no one in the 21st century would tell people toñk&@ stay -- to stay with a country or not. but that would be very instructive and the reconciliation phase. how do you make your reconciliation? i'm thinking here of two issues. one of them good local governance at the local level, that will deny the politicians who want to create trouble for the government for the system. and also the other demo -- demo goings will deny them that. and i talk about how dem yiy talked
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to his father to stop from shooting to investing, to making their life better to changing it to a world class place and then the people who were in that area and who were raising up against the government, would tell their leaders, we do not need to revolt any more, just go away. you are looking for your political future and we are happy with what we are getting. that is the kind of system -- and again this has to go with all of the country. there is more disenchantment in bisra than in anbar. and to think about the reconciliation, it is really to think about a nation level of reconciliation rather than just looking at again, at the political class. you need to look at all of the experiences that were there whether -- and iraq has different, of course, set of historical facts.
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you need to borrow from the others, not copy their systems, but definitely there needs to be a very good international effort and it has to be done scientifically not the haphazard way that the iraqis have been going about it. but these are the things i'm thinking about it. to make people's live better, you will not have politicians to threaten you with demonstrations and isis every year or every other six months. >> as i teach these three r's, not the other three r's here maybe i can offer a sentence or two about the reconciliation issue, especially at the more inter-personal level. i think the literature is very clear that the absolutely prerequisite for reconciliation is acknowledgment of harm. in the iraqi case it will have
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to be mutual acknowledgment of harm in several different directions. that is a very difficult thing to do. it is not easy when you feel you've been harmed to acknowledge the harm that has been done to others. but that's the step that gets you out of the spiral -- the downward spiral of violence. i haven't seen it happening yet in iraq, but i look forward to the day when it begins. i have two questions here. somewhere here and then -- >> thank you. rend introduce you. >> i'm rendal rahim. thank you for a sweeping and very candid presentation and thank you doctor. ambassador, you are an ambassador in washington. we want to hear about
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washington. as ambassador to washington and you wish to encourage united states support for prime minister habad's government and for the change that happened since september 2014 what do you ask for? what are your bullet points when you speak to the u.s. government to the u.s. congress to us, to support the iraqi government? >> well you are contemplating revealing all of the secrets of the iraqi government. let me take one more question. >> we want you to be as candid as you were in your presentation. thank you. >> thank you very much. and my name is acmad red alan for the peace in the iraqi center and thank you doctor and
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ambassador for the remarks. my question is not about revealing secrets it is about talking and analyzing a situation that happened in tikrit. mr. ambassador, you mentioned that the iraq sunni tribes play a role in clearing tikrit and expelling isis from the city. how important is it for the iraqi government to have the participation of the iraqi-sunni tribes to create in that area and for the operation to clear mosul. >> okay. your second question or hamad's question is a rerequisite it is a must-prerec wizid. and without the localities, we must not get engaged in any theater operation unless it is a mosul damp where we think there is catastrophic. but geopolitically, we get the engagement of commit -- of
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locals. what are it takes -- whatever it takes to do we will do that. but we determined to have the locals to participant it. and we have what they call it the post stabilization forces. that is another issue. that is an area we are working on. and mosul, the scale of the city that is required, the officers the local services needed and so on. and bear in mind the clock is ticking and we have refugees displaced in the countries. refugees create social upheaval in any area because of the nature of that problem itself. accommodations schools and everything else. so we need them to go back to their homes. so it is an area we cannot afford but at the same time we know politically we have the precondition of localities to be involved.
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as far as washington is concerned and i'm an open book as you know, rand. there are quite a few requests we have been made. the administration has been what i call not very understanding of the


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