tv Capital News Today CSPAN September 4, 2009 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
greater opportunities to demonize it. we bear a large responsibility to convey to people a concise way what this is about. >> we appreciate you coming by a to explain this to us. the seabed for being with us. you can read her report online at the washington post website. thank you for being with us. you can watch this as was others whose fault -- other c-span program on the web site. we have set up a special health care of for you can give you everything related to the debate at c-span.org/healthcare. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> the debate begins --
$535 million federal loan to expand its facilities. >> let me begin first by talking for a moment if you don't mind about the unemployment figures that came out today. when we took office back in january, job losses were staggering. there were 741,000 jobs lost in this last january. 681,000 in february. 652,000 in march of this year. we knew we had to act. within 200 days, we passed the book -- the american recovery and reinvestment act. we are making progress with substantially less job loss. the numbers reported today
showed 216,000 people lost their jobs last month, much too high. roughly two-thirds of the job loss we saw on a monthly basis when we took office and the lowest it has been in the year. less bad is not good. that is not how president obama and i measured success. we will not be satisfying until we start adding not losing thousands of jobs per month. one of the tools to get us to that point is that recovery act. experts have pointed out that we have created or saved between 500,000 and 1 million jobs in the last 200 days. another way of putting it, there would have banned another 500,000 or 1 million jobs lost. >> on tuesday at noon, the
president delivers an address to american schoolchildren. you can watch along with them on c-span and online. following the president's remarks, we will open the phone lines to get your reaction. similar speeches have been made by president reagan and president george h. w. bush, and we have made them available on our website. >> in more than a dozen works, award winning author jonathan kozol. he will take your questions on sunday at noon eastern part of a three-day "book tv" weekend. >> gordon brown spoke today about afghanistan where troops are stationed. his speech comes one day after a surprise resignation of an aide that criticize the government's strategy in afghanistan.
prime minister brown took questions from the audience following his remarks. this speech in london is one hour 15 minutes. hos [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> good afternoon and welcome to this special address. the international institute for the strategic studies is at the center of international debate and policy analysis on all major strategic issues. we have been indicated both through our analysis and in regional security summit that we convene.
the importance and methods of engaging regional states and in durable settlement, and in analyzing the architectures that need to evolve to solidify fleeting security arrangements. one of the more immediate contributions is to facilitate direct defense diplomacy in regions that lack formal structures for this purpose. the golf in southwest asia is one of those regions. it brings together prime ministers, foreign and defense ministers, chiefs of defense staff, and other security officials to discuss regional security challenges and to develop sound policies to address them. last year december 2008, the
u.s. defense secretary was asked in public session about the right policy mix in afghanistan. he replied in part in this way. this is the afghan's fight. it is their future at stake. i want -- i believe the highest priorities is to get resources and the country to help train and accelerate the expansion of afghan forces and to get more of them to fight in their own country. we are there to help them. i do worry that i am prepared to go forward with forces that the commander requested in 2009 but i do worry about the size of the footprint foreign forces on afghan soil. having been engaged in the fight to expel the soviets 20 years ago, i am more mental than most that with 120,000 troops the soviets still lost. we need to give serious
consideration about how many foreign forces we send in. we ought to think long and hard about how many more go in whether they are from the u.s. or anywhere else. it the secretary went on to say that the european emphasis on a strategy that combines security and economic development and settled development is exactly right since that assessment dialogue, the obama administration has taken office. the security situation has remained a challenging. it more reviews have been conducted and differing strategies proposed. some call for less, others for more. public opinion in the u.s., the u.k., and in other countries has become more skeptical about this war. the mission in afghanistan and the strategy to meet its needs fresh explanation. the united kingdom has been an essential player in this challenge. the prime minister has recently returned from another trip to
afghanistan. we are delighted that he has chose the iiss to speak on this thing. prime minister, your audience in this room, your viewers, and the wider public will be hugely interested in your strategic assessment to the mission and afghanistan and about what would constitute its success. this podium and the floor is yours. thank you very much. [applause] >> let me say first of all how grateful i am to this institute of strategic studies, the international institute. and to its distinguished members who are here today, not just for hosting the speech that i am giving but for your long-term interest in afghanistan and for your leadership in addressing problems terrorism around the
world. we meet here during the week we commemorate the anniversary of the beginning of the second world war. it is impossible not to feel an overwhelming sense of all and humility, and the scale of achievements and record of service and sacrifice that has defined our armed forces for generations. it is a history of extraordinary courage and dedication, often in the face of the greatest adversity. it is the spirit of service that is recognized in any -- and every corner of the land. as people gather, as they have done today, to honor two brave servicemen, a local attribute that has become a national symbol remembers all of those who have made the of ultimate sacrifice for our country.
nowhere have i seen more clearly that spirit of service but also the resilience of spirit of our armed forces than in each of my visits to afghanistan. as i travel last week and, our forces or the first to point out to me the positive signs amid the challenges. i visited a police station that had been a polling booth and heard stories of afghanistan people voting for the first time. i witnessed a joint operation at work, british forces supporting the afghan army and police in bringing security and the rule of law to that provincial capital. i heard from the governor about the real progress being made combating the heroin trade. i also saw as others who have visited the scale of the challenges now and in the months ahead. today has seen another serious
incident in the north from project in the northern provinces where hijackers have been intercepted. held in the last four months, over 50 british servicemen have been killed. 64 have been seriously injured. these are not just statistics. each one is a loss of a professional servicemen. in each case, there is grief of a family whose lives on never be the same again. it is right that the service will now be recognized by the new elizabeth cross. there is nothing more heartbreaking in the job i do then making people who have lost someone who is a loved one in the family. there is nothing more heartbreaking than as i did this week meeting a teenager who has lost [unintelligible]
these young men, we have got to thank for the service to their country. i want to take head-on the arguments that are shut agee and afghanistan is wrong and i want to answer those who question whether we should be there at all. there are those of course who fear that history shows intervention in afghanistan is doomed for failure. there are those that argue that our strategy cannot establish the security we seek. there are those who argue that policies for development will make no difference in a country that is one of the purest, no difference at least for many years. there are those that say that the state is not just a task but probably and a possible one in the near future. i want to answer those who argue that while our motive to [unintelligible]
our strategy is flawed. i want to remind people that what we are doing in afghanistan is part of an international strategy. it is right that we play our part and we do not leave the people in afghanistan to struggle with global problems. others must take their share of the burden of responsibility. 42 countries are involved all must ask themselves if they are doing enough. terrorism recognizes no borders. all of us benefit from defeating terrorism in this region and all members must play their proper part. the strategy is part of a wider international strategy and must be understood in that context. our aid in 2009 is the same in 2001. we are in afghanistan as a result of a hardheaded assessment of the terrorist
threat facing britain. we are part of the coalition embracing not just nato but countries like australia. this remains above all an international mission. we have seen the reality of the threats. it is our efforts, the efforts of our allies, armed forces, the police and security forces, prevented further terrorist attacks. it is an effort that is better we sourced and coordinated than before. from the increased counter- terrorism to stronger checks at our borders to international capacity building into the work of our other armed forces. it is right that eight years ago, britain with america and allies on behalf of the international community helped to remove a regime from afghanistan which enabled al-
qaeda to bring to cover around the world. we knew that as we remove the taliban from power and drove al- qaeda from afghanistan, so al- qaeda would reallocate. a new crucible of terrorism has therefore in march. the director general has said that three-quarters of the most serious threats against the u.k. have links that reach back into these mountains. the threat mainly comes from the pakistan side. the insurgency succeed, other terrorist groups will once again be able to use it as a sanctuary to launch attacks on britain and the rest of the world. the advice that i receive from the security agencies is clear. the sustained pressure on al- qaeda in pakistan combined with military action in afghanistan
is having an effect on al- qaeda's ability to operate effectively in the region. despite these difficulties, the main element continues to emanate from the al-qaeda and pakistan. al-qaeda retains contacts, principally through the provision of training through foreign fighters and military expertise. continues to view afghanistan as fundamental in the establishment of a [unintelligible] and there for a peaceful and stable afghanistan would be a propaganda blow and a strategic failure for al-qaeda. a stiffer afghanistan means a safer britain. it is on this basis that i make clear in the spring as did president obama that preventing terrorism coming to the streets depends on strengthening the authorities in both pakistan and afghanistan to defeat al-qaeda
and also the pakistan and afghan taliban. if in either country the taliban are allowed to undermine legitimate government, that would open the way once again for al-qaeda to have greater freedom to launch terrorist attacks across the world and would have implications to the credibility of the international community and for the stability of this crucial region and for global stability. that is why our strategy published in april reflects an integrated approach across both countries. we are seeing what has not been obvious before -- joint action on both sides of the border. in pakistan in the last few months, the army and securities services have taken on that pakistan the taliban. last week, the president told me his forces are preparing to tackle a threat because he fully
recognizes that terrorism poses a serious threat to pakistan as it does the rest of the world. we also agreed stepping up action in pakistan. in afghanistan, the afghan army and police are not yet ready to take on the taliban purely by themselves. that is what the international coalition must maintain its military presence. i believe most people in britain accept this but i know they are concerned about our armed forces. they ask what success would look like in afghanistan. the answer is, we would have had succeeded when our troops are coming home because the afghan's are doing the jobs themselves. we will be able to focus our efforts on supporting be elected government on security and development and human rights. the right strategy is one that completes this job, which is to
be unable the afghan's to take over from international forces and to continue the central work of denying the territory of afghanistan as a base for terrorist. to reach that point, where international forces can return home, we must place a greater emphasis on putting up the afghan army and police on a unity of effort across international and afghan authorities, on focusing our resources of both military lipstick and civilian in areas that most -- in areas that mattered most. it is security that comes first as in any certainty campaign. giving afghan security matters more to them than anything else. a. general has said that the measure will be the number of
afghan's share bid from violence, not the number of enemies killed. that security however comes at a price. the last four months, as i have said, i have seen over 50 british fatalities. august was the worst month for american fatalities since the campaign began in 2001. british and american forces went on the offensive. the main offenses were successful in bringing security to areas in central and southern region previously under control by the taliban. our commanders and international leaders all agree that the taliban should not be allowed free rein in these key population areas. we do not yet know the full facts of the election. it is already clear that thousands did vote rather than a
few hundred some have claimed. it was not as high as many like me may have fought. the incidence of voter irregularities must be thoroughly investigated including by the electoral commission. the very fact of the first elections run by afghan's themselves is an important step forward for the people and afghanistan and we should remember that the taliban vowed to destroy this election and they failed despite. an election was held and 6000 polling stations were opened across afghanistan. the biggest challenge facing our forces remains that of defeating the taliban tactics of using explosive devices. having failed into the 6 and 2007 to defeat international forces by conventional means, the taliban has doubled their
attacks over the past year. international casualty's are almost twice as high as a result. three-quarters of them are due to i.e.d.'s. this is a tactic that is hard to defend against. i have spoken to our commanders and experts who have been working closely with others to best respond to this threat. i am confident that we are fully focused dealing with it. in doing so, our forces will have every possible support. it requires not just new equipment, better detective, specialized troops, and defense operations, not just one single response. we have since 2006 spend 1 billion pounds from the reserve on new vehicles in afghanistan, including world leading protection against i.e.d.'s.
we have increased the number of helicopters by 84% as well as sharing coalition helicopters. let us be clear, while we are committed to giving our commanders more options, what separates successful surgeon sees is that it is one on the ground and not in the air. already this year, we have deployed 200 specialist counter- i.e.d. troops. they're great skill and bravery uncovered and defused 37 explosions in the area where seven british soldiers had been killed in the last month. our operations are focusing more on countering the threat. last month in a raid, one of the
largest explosive device making facilities ever found hidden in modern buildings was seized and destroyed along with bomb making equipment. i can report that this brings the number of explosive devices found by 19 light brigade to over 1000. i.e.d.'s designed to kill and maim but successfully dismantled by british forces. we are sending another 200 specialist forces and new equipment to fight it and diffuse the explosive devices and identify the targets that lay them. we are increasing our civilians to target ball makers. to ensure we have the best
vehicles, we are buying on top of the ones already ordered. more will be going into operation in the next three months. together with enhancements to other types of helicopters, by next spring, we will have doubled the number of helicopters and increased flying hours by 130%. the equipment has to be manufactured and adapted and personnel trained. it is simply wrong to doubt the speed the scale of the financial commitment either to both our soldiers into this campaign. military spending in afghanistan is spending that comes from the treasury reserve over and above the defense budget is going out
far in excess of the significant increase in troop numbers. it was around 180,000 pounds per year to support each soldier fighting in 2006. it is now 390,000 for each soldier. in recognition of the debt we owe to our forces, we are increasing pay for our forces at a faster rate than for other public servant. we introduced the first flat rate bonus for all service members in afghanistan, paid for out of the treasury reserve. it was tax-free for a six-month tour. it offered more money for the average soldier. over the last three years, medical care has been radically improved. i want to thank all of the medical teams and the support staff for their dedication and their achievements. we double the lump-sum
consolidation that we give to the most seriously wounded last year while recognizing we still need to improve this program. we are giving our servicemen and women the additional resources they need to keep themselves safe, to succeed in their operations, and to bring security to afghanistan. as we do so, we will also continue to adapt and improve our counter insurgency strategy which underpins this summer's operations. it is a strategy that starts with short-term security but links to medium term of what we do in longer-term development to create a state for afghan's for the future of their country. it has to be based on credible, deliverable, and time specific objectives. objectives above all for the advance of the afghan
responsibility and autonomy for their own affairs. the more that can take responsibility in the short term, the last hour coalition forces will be needed in the long term. it is a strategy focused on the key population areas, not just the towns but also the relatively densely populated river valley. this is a strategy radically different from the russian strategy and afghanistan and indeed from all previous foreign interventions in afghanistan which lack the support of the population, which stayed in the cities, and did not seek to empower themselves in maintaining security. hours essentially is a four- pronged plan. first we will now partner a growing afghan army presence in the region. secondly, we will be
strengthening the civilian military partnership including improving policing. we want to support the governor of the region by strengthening district government backed by targeted aid. fourth, we want to build on the success of the wheat, not heroin initiative. back in 2007, i said that we would shift over time the emphasis of our strategy to what i called afghanization. let me take each in turn on how we plan to progress. the afghan army. the members of our forces devoted to training the afghan army has been increasing albeit slowly. at a national level, we have trained thousands of afghan
troops and police. forces are already running security in kabul. overtime they will take over other district. a battalion has been trending and afghan army brigade, living, training, and fighting alongside them. we must move from simply an entering the army to what we call partnering. partnering with them as they take more responsibility for security. when we clear an area of the taliban, it is the army and police who must pull background and prevent the taliban from returning. when i met the new nato commander in afghanistan, i made clear that to back his new insurgency approach, british supported faster growth both of the afghan national army and the police. in the spring, nato announced we would support the expansion of the afghan army from 80,000 to 134,000 by november 2011.
that training is proceeding but it is at the rate of 2000 per month. britain would support a more ambitious target of 134,000 by an earlier date of november 2010, which would mean increasing the rate of training to 4000 at least per month. it is clear that to achieve that record increase in numbers, and to increase the quality and effectiveness of forces, this will require a new approach, shifting from the entering where small numbers work with units to this approach of partnering with the bulk of our forces would be dedicated to working side-by- side with the afghan army at all levels. british troops would fight together with their partners to bring security to the population. this is the best route to success, the most effective way to transfer skills and responsibility to the security forces, the best way to gain
trust of the population, and the most effective way to complete our task. every british combat unit could partner with a larger afghan unit. our combat units in the region could be ready to partner with an afghan army corps of around 10,000 soldiers. we will press the new afghan president to assign a greater numbers of afghan army forces to the region where the challenge for legitimate afghan government and to the security of the people is the greatest. this is a military strategy complemented by an even greater emphasis on civilian effort to work with local communities. the second element therefore of a shed agee is strengthening the security of and support for the local population by the strongest possible military partnerships including support on policing.
our forces were the first and afghanistan to set up a joint military headquarters. a model which the americans are looking to roll out across the whole country. in the 12 months following that, we doubled the number of our civilian support experts on the ground. i saw this joint approach in action. the police are often on the frontline taking heavier casualties than even the afghan army, which is why over 100 of our armed forces are dedicated in entering them in addition to our civilian police mentors. the challenge is tougher than the afghan army but there are positive signs including the success of the focused district development program. we need to go further in attacking the problems of illiteracy, drug abuse, and corruption, and insuring police are paid adequately and on time.
the third element at the heart of the future of afghanistan with its predominant village and will population is the strengthening of the local and district government. if a part of any counter insurgency strategy anyway but a vital part of the shadow governments of the taliban. a few months ago when i was last in afghanistan before last weekend, i attended a meeting of district officials and elders. i was there to agree the priorities of the local communities and they were discussing plans for policing and former justice as well as new roads and other basic services. as our policy advances, our experts will work with more villages and districts in the region and read across afghanistan i believe the priority must be given to the training and mentoring of the 34 provincial governors but also
400 district of lenders as well. our development department has funded many kilometers of new roads, 1800 wells, and irrigation. construction has been developed on a project for a water and electric plant. construction will soon begin on a new road linking the two towns. we are ready to fund and partner the first afghan district teams to be sent down to the region for stabilization purposes. afghan officials working alongside our teams not only reinforcing the gains of our forces but advancing afghan responsibility for their own affairs. to ensure this effort has the widest possible support, we will provide an extra 20 million pounds for security and
stabilization work in the region including police training and basic justice, increasing by around 50 percent for what we have provided over the last year. the fourth part of russia agee is moving the economy and to diversify further. attacking the heart when trade -- attacking the heroin trade -- the fundamental reason is to ensure this region is a base to train and planned terrorist attacks across the world. there are links between drugs networks and the insurgency and the terrorist. the drug networks are one of the most powerful forces standing against the legitimate afghan control which over time could take over the job of dealing with terrorism and the insurgency. that is why we have been part of mounting more than 80 operations across afghanistan this year, precisely targeting the links
between drugs and the insurgents. we also know that the strategy will work best when we provide alternative livelihood for farmers. i believe that the key to reduction in heroin in the region by 37%, a fact that was announced by the united nations earlier this week, with the support of the british military and civilian experts, wheat seed was delivered to farmers. the independent study carried out by a university confirms that the results are much better than outside it and we will help the governor to extend this program next year. we will also -- will also help set up an agricultural training college. as we look beyond the elections,
there are changes we want to encourage with our coalition allies at a national level. the priority is for the new government of afghanistan to retain the trust and support of its people. this means action against corruption. but it also means reaching out including two other candidates in the election. as in every other comparable conflict in history, lasting peace and stability will involve all sides reaching out and engaging in dialogue. this process must be led by the afghan's themselves. there is an uncompromising court of the taliban that must be met with force and be defeated. there are also those who have taken up arms because of coercion or simply because of a price. these people must have an option to choose a different cause.
it must take place from a position of strength. the insurgents must come to believe they will not win, but that all of those who can be reconciled, they must see an alternative way forward founded on the pronunciation of violence, acceptance of the democratic process, and the severing of any links with terrorists. political progress must be backed by a far stronger economy. in a country where over half of that can possibly be the poverty line, 40% remain unemployed and a three-quarters of which are men under the age of 35, poverty and lack of opportunity is a problem that must be addressed. 20,000 permanent jobs will be created and in comes will be boosted for 200,000 afghan's. as well as increasing assistance to the region to back the work of our forces, other
partnerships will also continue to work at a national level on longer-term objectives. continuing to support as we had since 2002 improvements to help and access to education, sometimes forgotten at times like these. it is a truly remarkable achievement that thanks to the help of the whole international community, basic health care covers more than 4/5 of the afghan people. 40,000 more afghan children will see their fifth birthdays this year compared to 2002. we should remember that when the taliban ran the country, only 1 million children were in school, all boys. today there are 6.6 million in school, 3 million of them are girls. with the help of our funding, 10,000 new teachers were recruited from 2007 with more expected in 2009 and this is an investment in the future of afghanistan and its stability
and its resiliency among extremism. our work on education in afghanistan, together with an increasing focus on education in pakistan, brings me to a final point. i have described the courageous and skillful work of our forces. rightly the focus of so much of our attention and our concern. behind that work is coordinated counter insurgency strategies. it is building of the afghan authorities to a point where they can defeat the insurgency and the terrorists themselves. i have set out to day the challenges we are facing as we put this strategy into effect. returning from afghanistan, i also reflected that while our objective is to advance justice
and opportunity underpinned by security, that of our enemies is an ideology of the violence and resistance as alien to the islamic religion as it is it to the west. as in the cold war, achieving our objectives depends not just on armies and treaties, it depends on winning hearts and minds. the task of winning hearts and minds is not primarily hours. it is for the elected government, the leaders of the civic society, but we must support them in this prett. encouraging new links with muslim thinkers and young people, using all modern means of communication and all that inspired a peaceful interpretation of islam. showing at every stage that we are not in a struggle with islam but with extremists who abuse
the name of islam for their own purposes. britain will continue the tradition of supporting education, free media, the exchange of ideas, learning and afghanistan as we do in the rest of the world. this is more than soft power or smart power. this is about people power and power and individuals and communities to stand up against extremism. this has been the most difficult of summers. the situation in afghanistan is serious. nowhere more so in the region. when i meet young people who have suffered at the hands of the taliban and who are in the hospital, and when i meet the families of those people, i have to keep asking myself, are we taking the right decisions for them and for the conduct of the action in afghanistan? are we doing what is right, both by our forces and the population of this country?
every time i asked myself as i do these questions, my answer is yes, we are taking the right action, the action that is necessary to safeguard both our country and promote security in the world. it is at times like this when we must strengthen our resolve, we must stand up to those who threaten our way of life, we must take heart from progress that has been made since 2001, and we must take actions that deal with the changing new tactics of the taliban. i know we are asking a great deal of our armed forces. i can assure them that the government will give them every support. just as important, the people and the communities of our country. in return, we are setting credible and deliverable objectives for their work. above all, for the advance of afghan response ability and autonomy. the more the afghan's to take
responsibility in the short term, the last hour coalition forces will be needed in the long term. this must be accompanied by a credible and specific objectives in pakistan, especially on action against terrorist networks based in the country. continuing the enhancement of security for our forces, expanding the by the work that is discovered and dismantled 1000 expose of devices this summer, a radical step out in the training of afghan forces through partnering not mentoring, britain ready to work with our allies to train all around 10,000 new forces in the region, stronger district governors across 400 districts, local communities given greater power to run their own affairs, and backed up by a civilian strategy to provide peace and services as well as security to out development work for securing afghan's the greater
economic stake in the future of the country, and pressure on the new government's for eliminating corruption. these are objectives that are clear and justified and also a realistic and achievable. it remains my judgment that a safer britain requires a safer afghanistan. i was further convinced last week that despite the challenges we face, a nation emerging from three decades of violence can be healed and strengthened and our country and the whole world can be safer because together we have the values of strategy and that believe the resolve to complete our vital and important task. thank you very much. [applause] >> prime minister, thank you very much for your remarks.
we have gathered together a large portion of membership and experts on afghanistan, pakistan, in the region. we are very grateful that you could stay a few minutes more to engage in a discussion. an awful lot of strategic questions where remit -- were raised by the remarks that you just made. many wonder if this is a realistic goal given the situation in afghanistan. people will be interested to investigate what the true balance is between the challenge we have in afghanistan and the specific challenge we have in pakistan. much have -- much of al-qaeda has been displaced. some might remove themselves to a safe haven in afghanistan. people might be interested in knowing what the relationship is
between these two. if we have a large footprint, what will be the tolerance of pakistan in the direction that has to be taken? a third big strategic question was exactly how and at what point do we deal with the so- called reconcilables? what is the position of strength? how do we flip the taliban more to our side? those are some of the questions in my mind. the members will have more. michael has already caught my eye, a former professor of war. >> my questions are very much more general. the partisan statement was
quoted about what american policy is. he referred quite frequently to the alliance and to what our allies are doing. the general if one were to read the press in this country would believe that we were the only people out there in the effort. in fact, we are of course a small if not vital part in which the united states [unintelligible] i asked my great nephew the other day whether we should still be in afghanistan or not. to his surprise astonishment, he said we have to be there so long as the americans are. i never expected to get that reaction from a young man of his
generation. we have got obligations as allies that we cannot weasel out. our contribution to their goes very much more deep than establishing a stable governments in afghanistan. it is establishing the success, the self-confidence of the west, and a very heavy general threat. would you not agree that my great nephew was absolutely right? [laughter] >> thank you for both your contribution to our country as a great historian and also to the contemporary debates of our time. i should thank your nephew as
well for his contribution. i am encouraged by the fact that the proposals we have been making about greater afghan responsibility is now the established policy as you have heard from the remarks of mr. gates quoted earlier on for the united states of america. in other words, we are at one with the challenges we face and how we must meet them moving forward. i am also one with you that this is a broad coalition of forces brought together by the americans after 2001, and these countries are countries that also owe a debt of gratitude to nato. i think each country [unintelligible] at the contribution is making for this project at the level of the burden-sharing that they
should be considering for themselves. i think it is true to say that we have a right to expect other countries to make a bigger contribution in the future. the fact there we share the same basic and fundamental values of the americans, the fact that we share the same objectives now for how we can achieve things and afghanistan, it makes me confident that the alliance between britain and america is stronger than ever but also makes me confident that we can persuade the rest of the alliance. >> in the front row, douglas herr. >> thank you, prime minister, for coming and talking to us so clearly. can you help those of us who
support the campaign over the question of measurement. in most wars, you can measure progress. traditionally, it is enemies that are killed. part of the reason for the anxiety in this country is that it is very hard to know what actually is going on. if we could have a system in place so that we could actually measure more clearly in a number of ways, even if we are doing badly, what progress there is proo? they do not know enough about
it. >> i am very grateful for you for both your question and what you have done in the many years to strengthen relationships that are a part of our alliance. the last time i talk to you you were writing a book. i was hoping -- i hope i was a vote -- i hope i was able to give you some useful information you rightly ask, the british public are saying to us, can you show us that you will bring forward results that you will have success in the time to come? what are measures of that success? the taliban tactics change over the last year or two from a position where they were prepared to take us head-on in military conflicts and we could
defeat them as we did it in almost every part of the previous period. the use of the explosive devices means they are effectively fighting guerrilla warfare. the first thing i think we have to say that despite the what -- despite what has been said this summer, the record of success of our forces in dismantling these explosive devices has been very high indeed. when i say 1000 devices have been dismantled, a high proportion of those from the taliban, they have not been able to see it ignited the way planned. we are tackling this threat. our measures must be the quality of afghan forces in the field, it must be the quality and size of the afghan police force and
its effectiveness free of corruption. it must be the success of achieving local governments that is accepted by the people of afghanistan themselves in their local communities. you concede that taliban were enforcing their form of justice themselves. we must show that we have strengthened local district governments. that must be complemented to be able to show that the corruption has existed in the center and is reduced. we must show that we make progress on the economic disparity of afghanistan because people must have a stake in the future of afghanistan. there are measures progress that you can examine. this is part of the debate at the moment that we are having as a result of the review. that while it is essential that we show that the very high
proportion of explosive devices are dismantled, it is a central also for the longer term that we show we have built up the afghan ability. it will be measures of that that comes within the civil institutions, the scope of the police, and the afghan army that i think will be the decisive measures of the future. yes, i understand that the british people need to know that what we are doing is part of a strategy to move things forward. they know that the taliban has changed their tactics. we have to show that our response to that by moving forward with afghan responsibility to their own affairs is something that can make a difference. i believe it can. can we increase the amount of trading quickly? yes, if we make that a very important part of what we are doing.
to follow this through? we have had initiatives to train the police. it is of the true that other countries have made promises that we would do this. but it will depend on the determination of the whole the coalition to follow through. i think that most people believe that this is credible. you can set time horizons for trending up the afghan forces. we will need the rest of the alliance working with us to achieve this. if the same thing that i goes fonow goes for the police -- if the same thing goes for the police and army, that is seen as successful. we are going to have to work at
a local level more and working with troubled chiefs, recognizes some of the problems that we perhaps did not recognize in the beginning about how they wish to operate themselves and sometimes working with the grain. i believe that these objectives are deliverable. it depends on the will of the whole coalition. >> here in the front row. >> just two questions, one about the at the steering and one about objectives. -- just one about the adversary. one thing that has not been mentioned is that it has looked
increasingly as though we have blundered without intending to do so into a war with nationalism. that has been one element in the insurrection that has affected us. i am wondering if you can say something about how you a imagine the possibility of the pashtoon elements may be separated. you said that you would address the objection that an afghan state cannot be built and tel.
to many it seems that up until now, there has been an attempt to do the impossible, to create something that has very little meaning in the minds of afghan people. no history suggests the loyalty to the state transcends loyal to family group, tried, or whatever. -- tribe or whatever. frankly, even now, 8 years after the western involvement, there is very little little taliban participation. the notion that we should be focusing on the state might be too ambitious and perhaps a concentration needs to be on the simple question of reassuring no al qaeda revival in afghanistan.
>> that is a tough question. we will take two more. >> i am wondering if you could say what iran's role is in insisting the emotional stability. they have had a common interest in stopping the western flow of drugs. one hears that they're being unhelpful perhaps after tightening sanctions, they could be less helpful. >> the third question from robert fox. >> in the buildup to the program of afghanization, do we have the
sufficient power? when we look at the level of casualties, have we been too light? have we got enough for contingency? al qaeda is not just residence in pashtunistan. >> professor robert raises an interesting question, first, can the state ever be in a position to exercise the authority that is also necessary for you to feel secure and for there to be stability. is a recognition of the tribal loyalties something that we have
failed to take fully into account in our efforts? there is some truth in the suggestion that post 2001 we did not appreciate the long history of afghanistan, the weakness of a central state. it was set in britain in 1914 that the only knowledge that people would have of the state if they lived in a remote village was the existence of a post office. i think in afghanistan, it is true to say when you meet people locally, they are not talking about the role of the central government, they are talking about how they can get local justice and greater local security and their linthey relyt can be created locally.
we cannot place all of our faith in the responsibility being taken by the government, we will have to build up local government. you will have to work with the grain of the history of the afghanistan all local level. that does not mean when you have cases of drug overlords that you can't condone that behavior but there must be some recognition of a local systems. i think that more emphasis will be placed on local and regional government where you have a good governor, you have to support him in what he is doing but he
has to be encouraged to be in constant contact with local leaders and build up district government's. that is a better way forward than to rely on the central state in order to build an army or a police force and then dispense justice. we cannot ignore the fact that if you are going to have a national army, you have to have an apparatus at the center. you have legislators that want to impose laws that are contradictory to the dignity of women, we have to be clear that this has to be held for afghanistan as a whole. we have to get the balance right and having a state that is successful. we have to have a better understanding of the history of
afghanistan to move forward. this raises a question of pakistan. i think the most interesting and positive development has been the fact that simultaneously on both sides the border, there has been action against terrorism. i am surprised and encouraged by the speed of which there appears to be developing a national coalition in pakistan that to the terrorists have to be taken on. what happened when the pakistan army went into the swat valley could have been done temporarily and then a long return buildup for the taliban. what seems to be happening is that people are returning, they are managing to resume their lives but under justice that is not taliban justice but under a better framework. i hope that what this proves is
that their attention to this problem terrorism which has never been complete is something that is bringing results but can still commander support run across the political system. -- still command support across the political system. if you are going to have a desertion from the taliban, as the professor has said, we are dealing with people who are paid to do the work and therefore their mercenaries. you have people who aren't committed and they are reluctant. we are dealing with nationalists who see this as an
occupying force rather than supporting the elected president of the country. he will have this group of people who work ideologically claiming that islam can justify any terrorist attack on anyone who is from a western our coalition power in the attempt to build a group that excludes any other religions. there are some that can be persuaded to renounce violence, terrorism, and support the democratic process. that is something that the pashtun nationalist could do but at the moment they feel they have to support the taliban. there are opportunities here. as long as you have a strong enough afghan government and you have local government that is in
a position to make it possible for us to deal with this reconciliation from a position of strength. what is our current number of troop levels for the next page? clearly, the approach is as i described it. there is a new element on partner in with the afghan forces. that requires us to look at the resources that we need for this exercise. . i have had our discussion with the chief of the general staff.
it will have to be a coalition decision as to whether other countries are willing to work with us. the netherlands, canada, and potentially japan have indicated that we have dates by which time their active forces would not be in the country and we have to deal with that situation at the same time. that is part of the same strategy. this is a share strategy. >> we have to go soon. we will take a couple more questions.
if you give me your name, i shall remember. you can stand up, it is easier. >> [inaudible] >> if your program is successful, can you imagine a situation whereby all troops [inaudible] >> i think the issue is how fast that we can move on this. we will move faster. if, as i say, afghan forces can take more responsibility for the functions of security in the different parts of afghanistan and if we consider that transfers of responsibility are done district by district or province by province, then it is possible to see that as a number
of afghans taking responsibility grows and the quality of leadership grows, we can reduce the number of our forces. that is the basis of our strategy and the americans strategy. it can be specific about the buildup of afghan forces that we're trying to the chief when we see the quality of the effort. we are assured -- we are trying to achieve and women see the quality of the effort. we are assure>> the last questi. >> premised year, taking away from afghanistan -- prime minister, i am wondering why you're not paying attention to the al qaeda in places like somalia or yemen. >> the answer is that we are
paying attention to al qaeda in different parts of the world. a considerable amount after is being made to examine and see what we can do. my worry has been that you will see al qaeda moving into different parts of africa and the mining elected governments there and creating religious divisions that will foment conflict within these countries. of course, using these countries as a base to send terrorists into countries like britain. we have to except that the leadership of the credit is based in the mountains of pakistan. the crucible of terrorism is the concentration of al qaeda supported by the taliban and pakistan and the taliban of afghanistan. this is the most serious concentration of terrorists planning in the world and we have to recognize our
responsibility is just not on our behalf to keep our streets safe but also working around the world as well. i can assure you that a great deal of work will be looking at the position of al qaeda. al qaeda operates in different ways and in different countries. some people have local grievances and they are local grievances masquerading as al qaeda objectives. i think that we have to look at each individual area. >> prime minister, thank you very much for choosing the institute for strategic studies for giving this speech and for engaging in the members of the debate. for the rest of our members, on
the 18 of september we will be receiving president zardari a fact stan. -- of pakistan. we thank the prime minister for being with us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 200 guest9] -- 2009. >> the supreme court has a rare special session next wednesday. it marks the first appearance on the bench for justice sonia sotomayor. her formal swearing-in is
tuesday. >> it is stressful for us, we wanted it to remain the same. the system works. it gives us an opportunity to make sure we're doing to the right way so that the new justice will be able to take some instruction from our example. i am sure that a new justice can always ask the question, what are you doing this for and then we have to think about that. >> hear from other justices during supreme court week as c- span looks at the home of america's highest court. >> on friday, the labor department announced an increase in the amount of unemployed as
employers eliminated 216,000 jobs. vice president biden commented on this as he spoke through satellite to employees at a solar panel plant. >> let me began a first fight talking for a moment and -- let me begin first by taking a moment about the unemployment figures. when we took office back in january, job losses were staggering. there were 741,000 jobs lost in january, 681,000 in february, six under 52,000 march. we knew we had that act parent within to wonder days, -- we knew we had act. we passed to the reinvestment
act. the recovery act is working and you will see it work. we are making progress with substantially less job loss than we saw a few months ago. the numbers show 216,000 people lost their jobs last month. that is much too high. roughly 2/3 of what we saw when we took office and the lowest in a year. less bad is not good. we cannot point to be satisfied until we start off adding not lsoiosing jobs. one of the tools to get us to that is the recovery at. we have created or saved between 500,000 and a million jobs in the last 200 days.
there would have been another 500 jobs lost if we had not had this recovery act up and running. >> on tuesday, the president delivers an address to schoolchildren. you can watch it along with them on c-span. following the remarks, we will open the phone lines to get your reaction. some speeches have been made by presidents reagan and a steady bush and we have made them available on our website. >> coming up, a discussion about afghanistan's elections. a discussion on the safety of bottled water. we will look at the senate debate in negotiations over health-care legislation.
tomorrow morning on "washington journal" we will discuss proposals about pulling troops out of afghanistan. we will also discuss a plan to give the fda a greater role in food safety. will talk about health care. gu"washington journal" is alive each morning at 7:00 a.m.. >> jonathan kozol has analyzed and critique to be american education system.
september 1st marked the 70th anniversary of the start of world war ii. sunday, the commemoration with vladimir putin, the polish president, and angela merkel. >> a team of election observers recently spoke at the center for strategic and international studies of of the recent presidential elections in afghanistan. u.n. officials have said that irregularities might require a runoff election. this is an hour and a half.
>> i would like to welcome you have to what we call will be a very rich discussion about the presidential and provincial council elections in afghanistan which are inconclusive. the latest figures that esau are 60.3% of polling stations have reported. 47.3% for karzai, 47% for abdul abdallah. -- the latest figures that we saw.
each speaker will speak for five minutes and then we will open the floor for discussion. in addition to some of the cameras, we will be recording this so that you can encourage your friends to down load it on itunes university. our first speaker will be the president of the national democratic institute. can wken wollack. he will talk about the challenges of organizing elections in a complex environment. he will be followed by dr. christine fair who is a professor at georgetown. she was out working on the security analysis for the
elections. she has to lead a little bit early so please some be upset or offended if she leaves. then we will have the regional director for asia programs at ndi. he will talk about the results and what may happen. he will compare with the 04-05 elections. kristin hashaffert will talk about the roles that women had been participating in elections. last but not least, one of the observers will provide some analysis from his perspective.
>> we have observed some to wonder elections. this was the most challenging observation that we have ever carried out. -- we have observed some 200 elections. we should not overlook the fact that there was a strong afghan domestic observation that trained and deployed more than 7000 observers that did an extraordinary job. we were very proud to have supported them.
the we relied very much on the relationship that we have developed over the years with them i. we benefited by a leadership group that included gary hart, john manley, the former foreign ministry official of canada. also the former justice minister of ireland. there was also 27 long turn observers that were in afghanistan since july that were
stationed in every region of the country. also by individuals who were looking at functional areas. christine, who was examining the afghan security forces. we had someone looking at the complex process and the election. thetrying to deal with securitys the most difficult challenge for our delegation. we dealt with this creatively. we try to deploy in as many provinces as we could, we ended up being in 19 of the 34. we were able to do so because of a separate program that we were engage for and which was training some 31,000 candidate
agents at polling sites. that is a program was supported by the undp. the trainers for a very talented coupe of afghans that had been with the group for years. -- the trainers were a very talented group of afghans. we made a decision not to send international's into provisional teams. others decided to do this. we would rather benefit from afghan observers who are better trained because we feared that we would be fighting off and then we would be fighting to get out.
many of the other observers found that they were either denied an opportunity to leave or they could only see polling sites in the immediate vicinity. i think it was a good decision. we were able to get a lot of information on election day. i have to confess that we were hampered by the insecure environment in a number of parts in the country. we have to confess this and deal with that issue that we cannot go to certain provinces where we want to go and then certain places within certain provinces. nevertheless, we received literally hundreds of thousands of reports and some of those are reflected in a statement that you have which was released.
our statement was a preliminary statement. we talk about some aspects of the election that were consistent with democratic principles that the same time we talk about serious flaws and needless to say, the insecure environment in the number of parts of the country. as we look at the problems in this election, that there are two silver linings. the first is a highly sophisticated software system that the independent election commission possesses and that allows for certain votes coming
from certain stations to be quarantined if there seems to be anomalies or evidence of fraud. it seems as though the software system is working. what happens to those votes, we do not know. the second silver lining is the electoral complains commission. this is a very unique institution, perhaps it reflects the weakness of the judicial system in afghanistan but there are very few countries that immediately after the election, you have a body that can investigate complaints quickly, can adjudicate those complaints and has the authority to annul results. they can do all this before the
final results are certified. a lot of responsibility that falls on the ec seec. sometimes it takes months if not years before complaints are resolved. in the case of nigeria, before the last elections, they were doing results when people had been seated for three years. this gives us hope that the problems that we have been reading about will be dealt with and we hope that is the case. this was not simply a presidential election, this was 34 elections. one election dealt with the president and 34 dealt with provincial councils.
we have to look at this election in a much broader way. the provincial councils in afghanistan is the only son of a national entity that interfaces with citizens. if the council fails to perform its role under very difficult conditions, the afghan people could lose faith in the entire governing structure of their country. yet, they face enormous challenges. they have a government that has been reluctant to give authority beyond the governors. provisional teams that are dispensing a good deal of development funds. local warlords. because of these councils that don't have authority, they began
to get marginalized because of these conditions. i believe that it be hosbehoovee international community to spend more time building up the capacity of these councils so that they can fulfill their responsibilities. there are those who make the case that the best outcome is for a first-round declaration of a victory. perhaps a power-sharing agreement could avoid the ethnic tensions that may emerge in the run-up to a second round. the most important goal for both the afghan people, particularly
those that turned out at the polls, and if i did the violence and the threat of violence is first to the integrity of the progress and second to the issue of legitimacy of the government that emerges. i doubt whether the people would have gone into this election feeling that the best outcome would have been some behind-the- scenes deal between a handful of leaders to avoid a process that was to avoid the hopes and aspirations and the will of the people. >> think you very much. -- thank you very much. >> my task was to meet with some of the other observer teams.
i went to kill all buto pakista. i think in many places, security was an over determining factor in the sense that it set a ceiling as to how credible some of those elections could be. prior to the election, the security environment shaped the availability of the registration list. oin some cases, people were able to register because you could actually purchase the cards in the open market. the security environment put a
limit in terms of how credible the exercise would be. the arrangements that were in place, the actual polling station itself, the first premier was the police, they're supposed to be an external group providing security. they set up operational coordination centers both at the regional level and also at the provincial prime level parent had a chance to go to one of those -- in line at the provincial level. we had a chance to go to one of those. some of them were constituted a week before the election.
some were supposed to be gathering information throughout the province. they're supposed to be a police training program. the police that were used maybe got three hours of election training and certainly one has to wonder what the outcome was given that the police presence in afghanistan leaves something to be desired. that is a concern about the elections is that police are so important yet they have really left behind the training of the afghan army. no people would say that the police training has not been a success. some areas had 50 police
officers so it is not a surprise that you had taliban running roughshod. the afghans delayed female security agents. this heathis should have been anticipated,. in some cases this was left to two weeks before election day. this was a preventable oversight. president karzai's brother in long, to the other a national militia plan that aims to deploy
between 10 and 13,000 militias. conveniently, they were planned to be deployed mostly in the south. it was never clear what they were supposed to do. how would the police know if they were legitimate? no one we have spoken to soughaa heavy presence of the militias. who knows why we did not see these militias. before the election, there was considerable violence targeting party workers, campaign managers. we don't have the complete universe of victims, it looks as though women were more vulnerable. candidates can routinelroutineld
then about their safety. there was a fairly consistent concern about security. obviously, voters were intimidated. intel than-controlled area, there were reports that they were taking -- in taliban- controlled areas, there were reports that they were taking over mosques. there were reports of this but the taliban did not honor their pledge to violence. afghans themselves were not certain about the security arrangement that security forces put in place.
thit but who's the incumbent to discourage less voter turnout. the government might want to explain to the citizenry that this is the security preparations that will be here, therefore you should feel secure. there were a number of interesting reports. we saw some of this in the press yesterday. there are stories that president karzai had cut deals with commanders by which no one would cast a vote but they would also not stop ballot boxes being returned. there was almost 24,000 votes
return for president karzai in an area where no one had a chance to cast his vote. we thought about security at shaping the electoral exercise that many people said that security was used as an excuse to disenfranchise some voters. we heard concerns that areas were deemed to be insecure because they were not expected to support the incumbent. there were disagreements about which polling centers could be open. it was not clear which would be open for in some regions. in some cases, they decided to locate them together. if you look at those that were open, you have someone moved from the outside the district into the center. the problem is that afghanistan
is very poor in the justice. the roads are not practical. if they had to move large distances, this would be tantamount to being disenfranchised. while it looks like putting them together for security reasons might have been vanish, it did have the effect of making it impossible for people to cast their vote. i think there are a number of things that need to be fought out today -- sought out today. police training pastor may focus. the international community is culpable for the lack of police who do we of not about the elections for some time yet the police training is still underutilized.
it is not comprehensible why police training has remained a low priority. greater effort has to be done to get female search agents. the government needs to commit that. it doesn't help if people don't feel secure turn to we have had a lot of difficulty tracking down what militias were actually up to. the very fact that president karzai's brother-in-law put his plan to place, there needs to be an accounting of what they were up to. going forward, if you look at
the plan, the international committee signed off on it. if people could not get out to vote, the credibility would be in peril. the message needs to be that militias are no excuse for police. if you are going to go out of your way to have a competent militia force, you are better served taking us efforts. -- making those efforts. >> while the news reports that we have been receiving every day are in an unrelenting - picture -- negative picture.
and violence and fraud has affected the process. those reports overshadowed aspects of the election time that we're pretty positive and an improvement over those in 2004. these elections involved issues the candidates campaigned throughout the country, abdullah abdullah was able to go to remote districts. another candidate had a van traveling throughout the country advocating his populist message. president karzai could travel almost everywhere trying to make a deal. it was well covered by the news media.
long-term servers for reporting that small groups of people were getting together and talking about the campaign issues. abdullah was talking about decentralization and a parliamentary system. they're talking about karzai's record. political parties played a role in this campaign. there were about 10 or so parties that were able to field candidates for the provincial party races to the for the first time, party names appeared on the ballot. that had never been the case. it promises to help establish a system that has been so far totally absent. there were more women participating in this campaign. there were more candid for
provincial council. millions of afghans voted despite the threat of violence. all of those things were important. we did not want to entirely overlook this. there was little that was done over the past five years to improve the process and address a lot of the defects in the system that or not apparent back in 2004 and 2005. foremost among them is that there was thousands of people get registration cards. you could buy such a car for about $10. as election approached, the price inflated. they were being sold to people
who engages in electro misconduct. all of these things had been out there and everyone knew about them. i think about five or six months before the election there was a renewed effort to pour resources into the system and fill all of the observable gaps that people saw. it was too late. you cannot deal with problems with millions of voter registration cards in the system just a few months out. we have another election coming out in october. if these problems are not addressed now, they threaten the entire legitimacy of the process. there's not much time. what has to be done is reconstituted the electro complaints commission. it expires about 30 days or so
after the certification of the results and has to be reestablished. planning for security requires several months and that was done later in this process as well. the results are still coming in. this process is not finished. we're watching them play on a day-by-day. 60% had been counted. a lot of the votes and have not been counted are in the south could tell those are presumably votes for hamid karzai. if 51% of them are for him, will
this be widely expected in afghanistan? will there be suspicions that this is not a rigid >> result. -- that this is not a legitimate result. we were talking to both sides about brokering an arrangement. all that will play out over the next several weeks. that is where we are. the complaint process continues, there were two dozen complaints that have been filed. 500 are considered serious, this means that they can affect the outcome of the election. we wait as you do for the final tally. >> now we will talk about the role of women in the election. >> i was in afghanistan for five
weeks monitoring and its participation in the lead up to the elections and i had a very unique experience in that i was able to spend a lot of time talking to the provincial candidates during that time. i thought i would do today, some of the challenges that women had had been mentioned already, security, proxy voting. i'm bob would be interesting is if i gave you a glimpse of what i heard -- i thought it would be interesting if i gave you a glimpse of what i heard from these candidates. . .
and christine mentioned the co-location of polling sights which prevented many women from traveling to be able to vote. and while this was definitely true in the south and the southeast, this was actually true once you really got out in many provinces, just out of the city. one woman said to me, i rented
a car with my personal money to take some women to the polling station. they refused to get in my vehicle and told me they're not permitted by their family. the 18 women we interviewed they cast their votes by themselves. they new from friends and family has the male members of the family were not permitting women to vote. it was interesting because we saw that women came out later in the day. men were out. the lines were longer earlier. and women sort of swelled in the afternoon. which may have been a result of the security concerns. women also told us as christine mentioned the challenge of recruiting female staff was very high. and they saw women who were unprepared. it was sort of a mix. there were some women that were prepared. and other women who were uneducated, unprepared. and these candidates had a concern that thaw would create
an enabling environment for fraud. one of the challenges, of course, was security and recruiting female staff both to check i.d.s and security guards. but also the lack of literally, especially in the rule areas was another challenge that women cited to be able to recruit staff. as far as the voter i.d.ing goes, we heard from many women that women in berkas would go to vet and their faces weren't checked against their picture on their photo cards. and the photos were actually optional. so in my many cases women were asked to give the name of their father and were allowed to vote without any sort of screening. we also heard a great deal from the women candidates that we spoke with about proxy voting. we heard more with female proxy voting than we heard male ones.
we hear young women in berkas under the age of 18 went in and voted. they were actually permitted to vote. so that speaks to the registration process. one woman said i was informed by my brother that he had observed some cases of proxy voting. a man wanted to vote on behalf of proxy voting. he was further arguing that this is his right to vote instead of his female family members. women also requested that their fingers not be inked and actually their requests were granted for fear of retribution from the taliban. female, just on the issue of female candidates in particular, we heard a number of instances really throughout the country including in kabul of women being warned of a land mine on their way to a campaign
event, night letters, anonymous phone calls. one woman gave us the man in pakistan to threatened her in case we wanted to follow up with her. you can imagine the extent to which some of these threats took place the south and southeast where there were gun fights in front of some female candidate's houses. we had one woman in kandahar, who went to live with relatives in the lead-up to the election not allowing her to campaign because of major threats and men sort of coming around her house with -- armed men coming around her house. you can really see -- i mean, i was struck by really how brave these women were. after being in 50 countries, i actually think these were some of the bravest women i've ever met in my life. also just briefly on the candidates -- because women had
limited access to public space as they do in daily life in afghanistan, you really saw women campaigning indoors. they talked about how they -- they actually lit up going door to door. they were pleased with the receptivity they had. but the interesting thing they were often campaigning to women because it sounded like these gatherings were very much gatherings of women m and then you had women disenfranchise. i think it was interesting to see that that -- that they were campaigning really just to women. in large part. there was exception for some of the incumbents. they had access to some large gatherings. but in large part we heard from the women that really from the time that we get acceptance from their family to run which is an absolutely critical. they're really reliant on men for every aspect of their campaign. most of them really talked about how they got permission from elders and tribal leaders
and religious leaders to run. and then you know, in very lucky cases those men were able to, you know, provide opportunities for them to speak in mosques, but really saw it was the elders and the leaders who opened the door and asked people to open the door for women to go into people's homes to campaign. which is really done in a private way. across the world you hear this, but in particular in afghanistan, the fun raising and the ability to have any sort of small money to campaign was really a challenge. and you saw women's posters, but a lot of them were black and white instead of colored ones. people felt they weren't able to compete because they weren't able to have this sort of visibility. they allowed for women to come in and print 1,000 posters for free of their campaign posters. and you saw that 36 women came
from various prove convinces traveled to kabul just to print 1,000 posters to hang up in their districts. just finally, we'll have the conclusions and recommendations in our final report. but i think, you know, as you've already heard, many of the challenges that women faced really could have been addressed with more prep vacation, particularly the polling station and the security guards which was a rushed effort at the last minute to try to prepare for it. we already included in our statement a recommendation for increased civic outreach to women and men on the issue of women's participation and the importance of everyone voting and the privacy -- the importance of the privacy of the vote. and finally the tiblet are verify female voters. without any sort of way of identifying women with a photo
or whatever the case may be, if it's eye scan or something more sophisticating, you really have no way of verifying that a woman is who she says she is. >> thank you, karen. i'm delighted to have a chance to be the final speaker so i can build on the points already made by my colleagues. my couple colleagues, i should add. we had a great experience observing this election. i'd like to step back and call attention to some larger points here. and use that as our concluded comment before we go to questions and answers. i'd like to start with what kristin had to say. now i'm looking at our report that we did. i trust that you have seen that, particularly the overview that we have and reck hen dations. i want that start with where she left off. we say in the reports that the
rights of the women in the electoral process require special attention. i just want to underscore that. we had an opportunity to meet with three male and three female candidates for the provincial council in kabul. we had a good discussion with them. the women that were there were extraordinary. they were the most animated and motivated and articulate. they clearly see the stakes in this election for them. what is important for the. kristin said that these were the bravest women she's seen in seeing the roll of women. i'd have to underscore that. the women there also know that if the -- if the darkest de sensdz again on afghanistan, they will pay the greatest price. so while we're looking at large issues of al-qaeda and all of
the security issue, we cannot forget fundamental principles and values at stake at what goes on there. secondly, i do want to call attention to the reference to the security. we say in the report that it is critical for the growth and survival of the nations in the democratic process the continuing process is brought to an end. obvious point, but it need to be -- needs to be stated here and we've seen that the general has forwarded his recommendation. this is a big issue. we can want get afghanistan right unless we get the security part of this right. so we want to call attention to that. we've already heard from peter and others about where the international community fell down in the run-up to this election. we heard from grant kip pin, who is president of the e.c.c.
saying that international community took its eye off the ball after the election. for the next several years an undp official called the years of 2006 through seven, eight, a funding graveyard in terms of the assistance that we were providing there. it did obviously, pick up in the last year. we have a recommendation here about the international community and partnership with the afghan government should immediately begin prepare for the next election sikettle. and now allow that funding graveyard to continue. the elections for 2010 are parliamentary elections. and obviously, the next round for the presidential elections five years later. this is all hopeful. we ve to go through this current election before we can go on to the next, obviously. but we do need to not step away from the plate again in terms of funding. now a broader issue -- i'd like
just to mention this. we saw in "the washington post" editorial. "set back in afghanistan." i don't think it was a setback. the security steps, the allegations of fraud and the rest. but i do think that we do need to also step back for a moment and place this election in a broader context. if you look at where afghanistan is today and we hope it goes, it's important. afghanistan's road to self-government. it was 2001 when the -- when we started the u.s. bombing campaign. we had the bomb process in november 2001. bringing together all of these groups there. an interim authority was established in december of 2001. in 2002 the emergency council
was convened. in 2003 the loya jerga took place. also in 2004 president karzai won the presidential election. in 2005 elections for the particlement. in december of 2005, the convening of the national assembly. now we have this election. nobody's going to suggest that it was a major step forward in the democratic process. but it is a step. and we do need to place in in context. dem mock si will -- democracy will not come over night. there will be set backs. what we need do is to work with the afghans to see that they make it through this deaf time. i want to call attention to -- afghans to see that they make it through this difficult time. i want to call attention as a concluding comment. it reads, this election has
demonstrated that millions of afghans want to participate directfully the countries involving democratic political systems. the elections were a long road towards constructing a democratic system. we believe that we must continue to si cyst them until the journey. a democratic and peaceful afghanistan is in the interest of the afghan people and in the international community. so with that concluding comment, karen? >> thank you very much. and everyone can see that this was an extraordinary complex challenge. the observing as well as the participation that india and other groups did along with their afghan counter parts. i'm noticing along of serious expertise. and i'm sure we will have a lot of questions. what i would like to do is take three or four questions at a time and go back to the panels.
everyone here will take good notes. please introduce yourself. please try to keep your questions short that we have time for many. so i've got alex, then rick, then harvey. alex, you're over there. yeah. >> is this on? >> no. >> it's not working. >> oh, it is. >> thanks, guys. fantastic, panel and insights. >> introduce yourself. >> alex from the institute of peace. i have a technical question and broader question. one of the innovations of this election was that the ballots were to be counted at the polling stationings. one of the disappointing things about the results that have come insofar together with the work that ndi did, is that one
of the things that we'd hope for is that they would be counting that was observed at the polling stations and those figures would be posting which would allow for some kind of parallel check on the process of counting what they were doing. that seems to have failed completely as far as i can tell in the sense from what i heard from anecdotal accounts that the results were not reported. people were not allowed to view the counts. so i'm wondering if you could explain why that hasn't succeeded if we're not hearing why that has been valuable but the information hasn't come out? and the brooter thing that i think -- broader thing that -- i'm not sure, but i think the only way out of this election crisis is a run-off. i think that the legit massy is so tainted that any number that karzai gets 51%, 52%, 53% is not going to be tolerated by the opposition or the afghan
people. when you look at youtube and you see those guys with the ballot books checking vote after vote after vote, the level of eth of fraud to my mind suggestions that the only way you get out of this with legitimate outcome is with a run-off. if i'm right or if that is what happens, what can we do in the next six weeks to deal with sol of the problems? can we actually do a better job of detecting the fraud offer threatening to detect the fraud in advance so that it will be a fair election? is there something on security they could have done better? what can we do to have a run-off that gets us in the same place that we are now? >> thanks. rick? >> right here. >> thank you. it seems -- rick barden from csis. it seems as if the only institutional if the complaints commission really works well. i'd like to hear your thoughts on how it's working. do they have the capacity to
aadjudicate 500 serious complaints? have the most valuable complaints come from the campaign as opposed to independent sources. are the members of the commission safe? or do they have offshore homes already? i mean, there's just a whole series of how were they selected? there's an awful lot of weight that's fallen upon a handful of individual who is have never probably had this kind of responsibilities before inside of a system that isn't going to guarantee them their safety. so the insights into that commission would really be helpful, thanks. >> just a comment with harden. he was in afghanistan. >> you made an excellent point,
it was captured by the p.r.t.'s as by attempted to carry out lerm observation. in kandahar we managed to set up outside the wire which allowed us to view on polling day in the city limits what was going on. the point of greatest concern in my mind that point, we made our way to about 1/3 of the polling centers in kandahar city where we saw turnout rates were pretty rather low compared to 2004. in fact, your average for your polling station was 51 to 52. the i.d.c. are releasing results in kandahar that shows results of 200. and today there were about 400 per polling station in kandahar. i'm wondering how this information gets filtered up?
and at what point the level of credibility becomes very difficult to sort of aadjudicate and what mechanisms are in place to deal with that? second point to christine to serve the playoff of the point that you made about the preparations for security. we spoke to a number of -- one presidential candidate and then a couple of candidates for provincial council in kandahar who said frankly they were waiting to tell when to speak to their voters turning out not so much where the police were at that but based on the disposition of forces of the taliban. so that's what they were really concerned about. that's what they call in to us to tell us what whether or not it was safe to go out that day based on where the taliban were . >> again, terrific panel. i realize that you do not have
your report quite right. was there a systematic attempt by president karzai to rig this election? that seems to be the summary that i'm getting from all your comments in terms of precluding women from voting, have the security force position, etc., etc.. but is that really at this state based on the panel's collusion that there was a systematic attempt to rig this by one more ruling party? >> one more over there. thank you. >> john rockenburg, independent consultant. i think the other other solution is some kind of negotiated deal between karzai and abdula. do you think that the people of
afghanistan would accept that. and what kind of format would that take? >> ok. great. let's start -- maybe rick, you want to make a few comments? we can just come down this way. >> first of all, this this panel has not reached that conclusion that there was a systematic attempt by president karzai to rig the election. i didn't hear anyone say that. that was not our conclusion at all. it's a much more knew answer -- nuance. so that's not our conclusion. i'd like to respond to that question of ruling coalition of president karzai and abdula. however this end up, at the end of the day, i think that the most important thing is for the afghan to pull together. and that means a lot of people being able to work with their
opponents. we also hear that the clock is ticking in term of u.s. and international involvement 12 months, 18 months. we see the papers. we see the polls. we see the statements being made in europe capitals. for this to work it is going to require the afghans themselves to, if you will, reboot. they need themselves to say, how do we do what we can do and only we can do? which is governs, which is a corruption issue. which is tackling these internal problems. the international cannot do that. whether it would be some bridges of abdula and goshra and beganny, they need to pull together. if there's' weak leadership, we can't do this. so however they work it out, i hope they do as soon as this
election period is resolved. >> kristin, did you want to -- >> ok. >> >> where the ballots were being counted, obviously, that was a huge controversy. after the last election, they were being counted in this provincial level. i think in retrospect, they should have been counted at the provincial level. there's still a couple of checks in the is. but wferwl they work or not remains to be seen. at the polling station level everybody -- all the observers are there if there are any. political party agents have to sign off on the final tally, which is then supposed to be posted. if in fact on review if the e.c.c. found out that the party
agents didn't sign off, then that could trigger additional scrutiny and presumably those votes could be quarantined. we have to see if that process actually works. in records with the s.c.c. i asked kippin that question. he said he had been provided armored vehicle and a personal security detail. the three international ones are appoint bud the secretary general of the u.n. the other two are afghans, one comes by the human rights commission. the other by the afghan scream court. he was quite concerned about it because he thought there was a
real security threat. the e.c.c. has a staff of 200 people. when i arrived a couple weeks before their election, they were doing their last training of their provincial staff. he was very critical of the funding agencies in regard to the movement of money. never the less, i think they're doing a good job. they face an enormous challenge. i think they've thrown out about 1,000 of them. they still have 500 that they consider to be very serious. whether they can process those by september 17th when the election is supposed to be certified remains to be seen. i think they're working very hard. and they're doing what they can.
>> use -- he knows the environment and he's depositly committed to this process. and i think they take a position. i think it's in the electoral law that the i.e.c. is unable to certify the elections until it's to complete its work. they may not complete their work by september 17. so i think they're driven by the process. not driven by dates. and i think that is reassuring. there are a lot of safeguards built in. some of the safeguards in the software in the i.e.c. is not known because they want to keep some of those safeguards secret. so there could be some people to figure out ways to hack the
system. and i think also have investigators that have gone out. it's not investigators looking at issues. they are actually sending peep out to certain places. with regard to this notion of these issues being raised in zimbabwe where the end of the notion of a power-sharing agreement was the last best hope to talk about those. i think they are wanting a process that's going to reflect their will. if you look at every poll
that's been conducted in the country, this was not an article process. this was a process that represented the hopes and aspirations of the afghan people. and if people now talk about this, some type of power-sharing agreement as a substitute, to a legitimate election process, i think that the repercussions both short-term but long-term, i think, would be quite damaging. i think first we have to deal with the issue of the integrity of the election process. and that's where much falls on the shoulders of the i.e.c. and the e.c. crfl. -- e.c.c. we have to talk about the institutions that emerge. again, i will say that it is not only the issue of the president. it's also the issue of 34 provincial councils as well. those are the institutions that the afghans will -- this is not a spectator sport at that level.
and these are individuals and institutions that the afghans will have to interact with over the course of the next five or four years. on the kandahar that harden raised. i don't know what the i.c.c. has quarantined. i don't know what they're looking at in kandahar. i know they sent a team to investigate kandahar. in particular reports have been coming out in kandahar about problems. so these conceivably the numbers that we're seeing could change. depending on what the i.e.c. does and what the e.c.c. does. i think there are going to be a number of places where we're going to see some numbers. then the responsibilities falls within these two institutions. finally -- alex raised the issue of vote that beau lation.
-- tabulation. i think fiffa could have carried a tally nationwide. unlike the international observers fifa said they were in 34 provinces. when we trained the candidate agents we insisted on two thingss. the first that they would be literal. and second that they would be credited by the electoral commission. what this did was it spurred the candidates to register their agents before the training began. and so what we tried to do is create a critical mass of party agents. i think it would have been very, very difficult for party agents to be be there because
of that security challenge. and i imagine it still would have been difficult for any organization to develop a wide enough sample and a statistically significant sample to develop a vote that beau lation. i think it's unfortunate. and i hope that in future elections that that will be a component. and now that the votes are being counted at the polling sight level, there is at least the possibility of doing some verification that will -- that will be seen as being an actual, you know, an accurate reflection of what happened in the voting. >> i have just to an an additional point of pressure for the i.c.c. and e.c.c. is
that it happens before winter. there are more donkeys and mules to transport. it would be difficult to do it once winter sets in because it would be too difficult. chris, you wanted to speak? >> yes, there are two sides to the same coin. the taliban are where there are no taliban security forces. we've known this election was coming around for a while. and the fact that police production has been such a traling for the international community. i think it's really inexcusable. you don't have to have is00 tallobs. you just need one guy. he doesn't but one arm. this goes to the larger point that this should have been a priority. police training is absolutely fundamental. by the way, armies don't win
insurgencies. armies wins insurgeon i. >> i want to go back to the point about a run-off. i look at international security issues. one of my biggest concerns about a karzai victory is that this comes backing to the issue of governance and credibility. when we think about yes a run-off may be expensive and it may be difficult to do particularly with weather. it may be violent, but the long-term consequences of not having a run-off and not having a president which is seen to be credible will which much more long-term consequences in terms of trying to deal with the insurgency. if we don't have a president that's credible being able to resolve this be it negotiations
with the taliban, be it provide government sources, it's going to be difficult to have a guy in kabul to be legitimate. >> thanks, chris. >> this gentleman here. you also, ok. ta thank you, karen. edward joseph. helsinki commission. let me thank n.d.i., polling agents and also the domestic monitors. it's quite to be commended. and let me, if i could take another run. about a potential second round because i think it's important. i believe the ambassador mentioned that your views of your team is nuance. the narrative would just be something like it was something like a sham. i understand there were positive things about the campaigning and discussion of
issues and so forth. but the question goes to this overarching issue that's inex-capable of whether this is legitimate or not. and then alex has a very important question. which is, can't anything be done in the limited time that would be there until the second round to make sure -- if there is a second round that it is better and more legitimate in the eyes of the afghans than the first round i think that's quite important because some people think the answer is no. and the second round will will give the taliban another shot. and you'll end up with the same mess. it's an important question. but in terms of context, there is also a larger context not mentioned here and that is that afghanistan's neighbor iran also had elections that are quite disputed. so the notion of legitimacy has
a larger context. does the panel believe if we simply say it was a step. you can't expect too much, does that con train what we might be able to say about the challenges raised about the iranian election? thank you very much. >> let me just -- i don't think it's our place to say that there should be a second round. i mean, before the i.b.c. and the e.c.c. completes its work. it would be rather premature for us to say. this is the result of the election. there's no doubt when one looks at it politically, that should there be a second round, the problems that existed in the first round would take on less significance than you will have people that will look at it and say, despite all of these flaws and all of these problems, the system worked. in the sense that there is another shot at this. so politically, i think even
the notion of a perception issue, there's no doubt, you look at our own election here when elections are very, very close and you have a winner, and there have been significant irregularities, those irregularities take on added significance. so a second round allows those issues to be addressed. in terms of what happens in a second round, let me just say, some issues are out of even's hand. the question is what is the taliban going to do in certain areas. what isaf does and the afghan police and the military do, i think there could be beefed up security perhaps to expand the areas that are less secure. and i think that there's going to be a concerted effort on the part of all three to see if there's going be a greater presence -- have a greater
presence of security. fraud, those are issues of political will. and those are the issues that the candidates themselveses are going to have to i pose on their supporters around the country. what pressure can be brought to bear to make sure that is the political will. d question is -- that falls on the leadership of these movements to be able to impose some discipline on their supporters to ensure that some of the more egregious problems that we all saw and are merging right now are not repeated in the second round. >> let's try to take question. >> please. there's a microphone. yep, i see you. i'm not sure if i'll be able to get everybody. and you too. and you too. >> john, from the atlantic
council. i have two questions, one is about the relationship between the levels of violence in the provinces proceeding the elections. there's a "wall street journal" map that says it's in the ba tune map. are you going to help us understood what elect that had in voting provinces? and related question is in genard and nunastan in that map there was relatively less vie lance. what did you hear, if anything about the role of ikmadhar? was there kind of a secret deal with mr. karzai that may have accounted for this? or was this something that was unexpected? >> great. can i have the gentleman in the back. he's been waiting patiently. thank you.
>> thank you. fred tipson with u.n. development program here in washington. >> can we impact the notion of the international community a little bit and get to the question how the u.n. performed? i think it's helpful to kind of break down the notion of international community support. >> ok. >> i'd like to thank the distinguished man panell for excellent insights. my name is steve gail i'm on the sub committee for foreign national security. i have two questions that span a question of issues. you've talked about the shortcomings in the police. shortcomings in security. and a number of issues which i think you've done an excellent job in highlights. i have two questions on this.
one, given all these shortcomings, who do you see is the real winner in this election process? in terms of institutions? and secondly, what does it say about the u.s. engagements in the last five years. i would guess about $37 have been spent in afghanistan. what does it say about the actual process in terms of supporting elections and i'll just leave it at that. thanks. >> there were concerns that it's not independent at all. the members were hand picked. what's your observation about that and how it's affected the credibility? second is about the media. there was some journalists who were investigating corruption
of the administration who were harrassed and abused. how has that played into independence of elections? thanks. >> there other organizations you would single out negatively or positively for the role they have played in the elections. and any contributions that have stood out? >> in terms of the i.e.c. our statement refers to the independence and perceived lack of independence by the i.e.c. there was no doubt that there was some controversial statements made by the i.e.c. there were also decisions by the i.e.c. that demonstrated independence from the
government. however, we said in a statement that if an organize is going to be -- call itself independent and be seen as independent, there has to be a structure that ensures that independence and autonomy. so we recommended that we go back to the drawing board and provide some checks that's provided by the president. the legislation has been passed to that effect. but president karzai has not signed it. but we recommend it that there will be a different system for choosing members of the election. in terms of organizes and groups that -- organizations and groups, we have spent time analyzing and grading international actors and what they did and what they didn't do, i think would be very
difficult. i think everyone as peter said were performing in the 11th hour. and i think that was very difficult. and i was just going to say, they seem to have a more sustained presence in that period between 2005 and 2009. and i should add that u.s.a. i.d. had supported this observation mission. a lot of other group because of the "funding graveyard" had a difficult time ramping up in the 11th hour. that's a lesson that is to be learned from all of this. in materials of the media, i think from the observation and all the studys that were done, that the private media was relatively fair and balanced. relatively fair and balanced in the process. be there was no doubt that the media commission issued report
after report highlighting the bias in state-run media. an it was unfortunate. we talked about this in our statement. that actions were not taken by the i.e.c. to impose angsts on the media to force the media to abide by the media code of conduct that was passed by the e.c.c. and the i.c.c. which should have been done and should be done in the future. in terms of the violence, we are going to be doing some mapping for our final report and look at areas of violence. but there was also an element in this too that affected the campaign. pete ser right, the campaign surprised lots of people because it focused on shishe yous. 10 million people watched the debates. candidates crossed lines to campaign. there was very little interethnic violence that took
place. presidential candidates were able to operate. even again, the silver lining in the story that appeared in the post yesterday that you had in the poss tune area -- posh tune area. dr. abdula working out a deal for a tribe. you did have this notion of what appeared to be people willing to cross ethnic lines to vote in this election. but there was also the threat of violence. in candues, for example, radio stations were begs candidates and women candidates to appear on radio. and yet, they wouldn't appear on radio. so the campaign in those areas where -- where there was the greatest threat of violence, during the campaign period, people would rather campaign in
homes. and not in a very physical way. a lot of the visible campaigns just didn't take place. and it affected the campaign environment. there was very active campaigns that was taking place in these homes. and, i think those were some of the main -- the main ones. >> ok. kristin, you want to make some more comments? >> i'll just briefly mention one positive thing that i thought undp had done was play a role in establishing a gender unit within the i.e.c. that gender was setup very late due to a variety of complaints. they helped support the afghans working in the i.e.c. but there was one woman se cunded by undp. and i thought this was actually -- i think looking at a potential run-off, you know, we may not be able to adequately
address many of the challenges that women face. but do see this gender group with the opportunity to go forward. and they did make sure that gender was de segregated. i think they will be a stronger voice going forward. so -- >> just one additional piece of information about fred's question about undp and the united nations. i mean do keep in mind that this election was afghan-runned. it was their decision. they wanted to move to have responsibility for the election. after 2004, 2005, when the u.n. was the primary agent. not only did they want to have responseable for the electoral process but in terms of the security provided, they continually talked about the three rings of security on election day. first the afghan police, then
in n. -- a.n.a. and the afghan police would be there if needed. there was a funding graveyard which we heard from u.n. officials which took place in 2005, 2006, 2007. 2008, i think undp got about $100 million to start that voter registration process. 2009, i think $250,000. children $25 million. they set aside, i think we heard about $20 million for the run-off or they set aside some of that funding if needed for a run-off. but clearly more will be needed. and the real issue here is the sustainbility of electoral process for afghanistan over the long-term. they cannot pay for these things. they do not have the funding -- the budget to do that. in terms of the international commitment, we do need to get a fast start op what curse next
after this -- on what occurs next after this successfully, legitimately and credably. but we do need to be looking at the electoral mechanisms as well as the mechanisms for these down the road. >> one concluding comment, the -- i think what we've seen over the past five or six years is -- the international community having very low expectations about what could be accomplished in afghanistan and perhaps much lower than the afghans themselves. we would ask people, why -- why didn't you prepare better for the 2009 elections. i mean, we were told byson some do nors, well, we didn't know the elections would take place.
they didn't want to put money into a process they didn't think it was going to occur. although i don't think the afghans had any doubt that the elections would take place. it's the soft footprint that mr. bahemi talked about in 2002. it's a mental framework in approaching afghanistan. i think it's much to the detriment of the country. >> all right. thank you, peter. i just also would like before closing i would like to thank any colleague justin and the other volunteers for helping us out today. thanks to our very extraordinary panel. [applause] >> if anybody is on not on our mailing event and wapts to hear on future events, please sign up outside the door. so thank you again for coming. >> just wanted to add one name
>> up next, on c-span, vice president biden talks about today's unemployment figures. in a moment a house hearing on the safety of bottled water. after that, we'll look at the senate debate and negotiations over health care legislation. and then today's "washington journal." >> tomorrow morning on "washington journal" arnaud de borchgrave will talk about
proposals to pull troops out of afghanistan. eric olson discusses a plan to give the f.d.a. a greater role on food safety. we'll talk to kevin carey. and we'll talk with joel marx with the association of health care. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 eastern time. >> retired general tony zinni on how leaders can respond to the shaping of the world. he discusses this with julius beckton. it's part of c-span's two book tv weekend. >> on friday the labor department discussed a rise of unemployment from 9.4 to 9.7% as employers eliminating
216,000 jobs. the vice president spoke via satellite to workers of a solar panel company. they are receiving a federal loan to expand its facilities let me begin first by talking for a moment if you don't mind, about the unemployment figures that came out today. you know, when we took office back in january, job losses were staggering. there were 741,000 jobs lost this last january. 681,000 in february. 652,000 in march of this year. we knew we had to act. and within 200 days we passed -- 200 days ago we passed the recovery, the american recovery and reinvestment act which we're going to talk a little bit today. but the one thing i want to say
is the recovery act is working. and you're going to see it work on that site. we're making progress with less jobs lost. the numbers show 216,000 people lost their jobs last month. much too high. but roughly 2/3 of the job loss when we took office. and the lowest it has been in a year. i want to be clear about something -- less bad is not good. that's not how president obama and i measure success. we're not going to be satisfied anymore than the governor is or anyone else instill we start adding not losing thousands of jobs per month. but one of the tools to get us to that point is the recovery act. experts have already pointed out that we created or saved 500,000 or a million jobs in the last 200 days another way of putting it, there would have
been another 500 or one million jobs lost had we not put this act in place. >> the president delivered an address to students in virginia. you can watch on tuesday live at 9:00. we'll open the phone lines to get your reaction to the speech. similar speeches have been made by president reagan and presidents george h.w. bush. we've made them available on our website. c-span.colorado org. the supreme court has a rare special session next wednesday hearing oral on a campaign finance case. it marks the first appears for judge sotomayor. her formal ceremony takes place tuesday afternoon. here's justice kennedy on what it means to add a new justice. >> it's stressful for us