tv Public Affairs CSPAN November 11, 2012 6:30pm-8:00pm EST
we have seen john boehner say he did not think major decision should be made by outgoing members to of ever been outbid by the public or are retiring. he is pushing for something like a bridge to get us past the fiscal cliff and into next year. 2013 will be the year for these big deals on entitlements, taxes, and spending. >> the president has invited the leaders to the white house. what else is happening in this coming week that people need to know about? >> the republicans will have their leadership elections. we are expecting that john boehner will remain the speaker and erick cantor will be the number two. there is not any major
legislation on the floor of the house that we are expecting. >> the president is speaking again on wednesday on this and other issues. >> and using his post as the election pulpit to start the process. >> absolutely. >> a thank you for being here. an interesting couple weeks ahead for us to watch. >> tomorrow, roger daltrey and pete townshend of the who will talk about their program on childhood and young adult cancer. onid cameron's speech foreign policy at the lord mayor's annual banquet. this will be his third time speaking at a banquet since becoming prime minister in 2010. join us for his remarks at 3:30 p.m. eastern. later at georgetown university,
musician and activist bono talks about social enterprise and social movements, like his project red campaign. our coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. eastern. >> 2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform. i am proposing that we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with a major problem -- the major problems that are facing us. >> i am open to compromise, i am open to new ideas, i am committed to solving our fiscal challenge. but i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. i am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 are not asked to pay a dime more in taxes. >> the newly elected congress
starts work in january, but the current congress still has work to do through the end of the year in what is typically referred to as a lame duck session. work is pending on the fiscal cliff, including the expiration of the bush tax cuts, raising the debt ceiling and by how much, and planned cuts to domestic and military spending, also known as sequestration. all the floor debate starting tuesday, 2:00 p.m. eastern, with live house coverage on c-span and the senate on c-span to. >> president obama and other dignitaries gathered at arlington national cemetery for this year's ceremony honoring the nation's veterans. the president laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown before proceeding to the nearby amphitheater, where he gave his annual veterans day address. joining him as veterans affairs secretary eric shinseki. this is just over 45 minutes.
together united as one people ot honr -- to honor veterans of every generation. we feel your presence, along with all who are memorialized here. we come today with thankful hearts, knowing well that we owe our very existence as a nation to veterans living and dead who dedicated their lives to the cause of freedom. as we honor our veterans, we also remember their families and loved ones. we know that they, too, have sacrificed much in support of their military men and women in times of war and peace. today we remember our veterans who have returned from the battle to face unexpected challenges at home. help them to take their skills and build a new and meaningful life in the cities and rural
communities all across our land gwe pray for our military members who are serving in harm's way in afghanistan and around the world. may they know that a grateful nation remembers an honors their service. now major presence bring healing and comfort to our nation's veterans and their families, hear our prayer for veterans. amen. >> now i would like to invite the national president of the retired enlisted association to lead us in our pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag at the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation,
under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> please be seated. it is now my distinct privilege to introduce the members of the veterans day national committee. the committee was formed by presidential order in 1954 to hold this annual observance in honor of america's veterans and to encourage and support veterans day observances throughout the nation. please hold your applause until i have introduced these special guests. if you are able, please stand when i called your name. delaney. harold fritz. national commander, disabled american veterans. national president, military
officers association of america. legislative director of polish legion of american veterans. national president of korean war veterans association. albert gonzales, national commander of american gi forum. national commander, a jewish war veterans of the usa. national commander of american express years of war. national commander of catholic war veterans of the usa. secretary, vietnam veterans of america. commander-in-chief of veterans of foreign wars of the united states. national commander, amvets. national president of the blinded veterans association. national commander of the army and navy union of the usa.
national commander, noncommissioned officers. national commander, the american legion. national commander, military order of purple hearts of the usa. national president, fleet service association. national, and don, marine corps leak. national president, military chaplains association. national president, paralyzed veterans of america. national commander, the legion of valor of the usa. commander in chief, military order of the world wars. president of the national association of four uniformed services. associate members of the community are located in the boxes to my left. i would like to ask the president and national commanders to stand and be recognized. ladies and gentlemen, please
join me in recognizing our veterans' national leadership with your applause. [applause] it is now my pleasure to introduce our veterans organization host. founded in 1963 the retired enlisted association is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for enlisted personnel their families and survivors including active duty reserves national guard and all retirees. the association is represented today by their national president retired air force master sergeant rick delaney. a vietnam veteran he reside in georgia. please welcome mr. rick delaney. [applause]
>> thank you. president obama, secretary, members of congress, members of the armed services, ladies and gentlemen, fellow veterans, and friends it is an honor and a privilege for the retired enlisted association to host this years veteran day ceremonies and i want to welcome each of you here. mr. president, congratulations on your reelection to office. [applause] secretary, i especially want to thank you for your service to our nation both as an army office and secretary of veterans affairs. because of your personal experience, you're leadership of the v.a. is not just another job. you know firsthand what can happen to those who serve and
how important it is that our nation take care of its veterans. we are here today to recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of all those who have worn one of the uniforms of your nation's armed services. whether they served in a combat scene like iraq or afghanistan or remote destination or somewhere around the world or right here in the united states, they all gave more than lip service to their country. they gave part of their lives and some gave so much more, so much more. we honor them today because they stepped forward when their nation called. we also remind our fell citizens that taking care of veterans, keeping the promises made to them is a cost of defending our nation. veterans have kept faith of our nation, our nation must ensure that it keeps faith with its veterans. perhaps you saw in the news a
couple of weeks ago a story about a world war ii japanese american veteran who even though he was placed in a camp after the start of the war, he volunteered to serve in the army. in an interview he gave a number of years ago he said i wanted to do my part to prove that i was not an enemy alien. that none of us were. that we were true americans. and if we ever got the chance we would do our best to serve our country and we did. the story was newsworthy because he was ailing and cast his vote by absentee ballot just one week before he passed away. i believe he embody what it means to be a veteran. pericles, one of the greatest greeks who ever lived said freedom is the sheer possession of those who have the courage to defend it.
today at the 11th hour of the 11th month 11th day we honor those millions who have defended our nation and remind the citizens of the debt that is ode to all veterans. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen please welcome the secretary of veterans affairs. the honorable eric shinseki. [applause] >> thank you very much. what a beautiful day. let me say mr. president, congratulations, to you and the vice president on your reelection. [applause]
let me also congratulate the first lady and dr. biden for their leadership and support for veterans and veterans' families. [applause] medal of honor recipients, other department of defense leaders, and leaders of our uniform services in the case of our own department our deposit tear secretary, other v.a. colleagues and once again national president of the retired enlisted association, our co-host for this year's celebration, representatives of all of our other veteran service organizations, fellow veterans, other distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen, 94 years ago today the guns of
world war i fell silent all along the western front. today we gather at this sacred national shrine to honor and thank americans of every generation who throughout our history have answered the call of duty to safe guard our nation during time of war and during periods of restless peace. 22 million veterans, american veterans today have distinguished themselves by their service in uniform. their devotion and sacrifice are the bedrock of our sovereignty as a nation, our values as a people, our security as a democracy and our offer of hope to those in other lands who dream of the freed ms that we enjoy. the service of veterans has provided all of us the gift of liberty. though the doe boys of world war
i are gone, our veterans today represent every other generation since. and so as we gather today before the start of the coming seasons of both thanksgiving and gift giving, we are grateful for the blessings bestowed on our country. this legacy of liberty continues. for the past 11 years the men and women of our armed forces have stood watch in iraq and afghanistan but also europe and korea and more than 150 other countries around the globe. more than 1.5 million veterans have served in combat in the combat theaters of iraq and afghanistan and the horn of africa. since 9/11 nearly 3 million veterans have departed the military having full filled their duty to the nation. nearly four years ago the president asked me to do two things. first, make things better for veterans now.
and then transform the department of veterans affairs to better serve veterans well into the 21st century. understand doing so he also provided leadership and support that resulted in increases to the v.a.'s budgets by nearly 40% between 2009 and this year 201. these are the resources which have greatly enhanced the care and services we're able to provide to millions of veterans. well over 800,000 of them have been added to v.a. healthcare role since 2009. compensation for 3.3 million veterans including more than 359 who are 100% disabled. over $10 billion in education benefits to more than veterans and eligible family members. finally, the country's largest cemetery system, 131 cemeteries
where veterans are laid to rest and national shrines befitting their service and sacrifice. and finally one last time let me acknowledge the wonders accomplished by the first lady and dr. biden. i want to thank them both for the genuine care and concern they have for service members, for veterans and their families. veterans couldn't ask for stronger advocates than the president, the vice president, the first lady and dr. biden. and that is why ladies and gentlemen it's my great personal and professional honor to present to you our commander in chief, the president of the united states of america, barack obama. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much.
please everybody be seated. good morning, everyone. thank you secretary for a lifetime of service for our nation and for being such an advocate on behalf of american's veterans including your fellow vietnam veterans. to rick delaney, to vice topp vice president biden, to admiral win feled, major general, outstanding veteran organizations, men and women in uniform, active guard and reserve, and most of all to the proud veterans and family members joining us in this sacred place, it is truly a privilege and honor to be with all of you here today. each year on the 11th day of the 11th month, we pause as a nation and as a people to pay tribute
to you, to thank you, to honor you, the heroes over the generations who have served this country of ours with distinction. moments ago i laid a wreath to remember every service member who has ever worn our nation's uniform. and this day, first and foremost, belongs to them and their loved ones. to the father and mother, husband and wife, brother and sister, comrade and the friend who when we leave here today will continue to walk these quiet hills and kneel before the time resting place of those they cherish most. on behalf of the american people i say the memory of your loved ones carries on not just in your hearts but ours as well.
ands a sure you their sacrifice will never be forgotten. for it is in that sacrifice we see the enduring spirit of america. since even before our founding we have been blessed with an unbroken chain of patriots who have always come forward to serve. whenever america has come under attack, you have risen to her defense. whenever our freedoms have come under assault, you have responded with resolve. time and again, at home and abroad, you and your family has sacrificed to protect that powerful promise that all of us hold so dear. life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. today a proud nation expressions our gratitude. but we do so mindful that no
ceremony or parade, no hug or handshake is enough to truly honor that service. for that we must do more. for that we must commit this day and every day to serving you as well as you have served us. when i spoke here three years ago, i spoke about today's generation of service members. this 9/11 generation who stepped over after the towers fell and in the years since have stepped into history. writing one of the greatest chapters of military service our country has ever known. you toppled a dictator and battled insurgency in iraq. you pushed back taliban and decimated al qaeda in afghanistan. you delivered justice to osama bin laden. tour after tour, year after year, you and your families have done all that this country has
asked. you have done that and more. three years ago i promised your generation that when your tour comes to an end, when you see our flag, when you touch our soil, you will be welcomed home to an america that will forever fight for you just as hard as you fought for us. so long as i have the honor of serving as your commander in chief that is the promise we will never stop working to keep. this is the first veterans' day in a decade in which there are no american troops fighting dining in iraq. [applause] 33,000 of our troops have now returned from afghanistan and the transition there is under way. after a decade of war, our heroes are coming home.
and over the next few years more than a million service members will transition back to civilian life. take off their uniforms and take on a new and landing role. they will be veterans. as they come home, it falls to us, their fellow citizens, to be there for them and their families. not just now but always. not just for the first few years but for as long as they walk this earth. to this day we still care for a child of a civil war veteran. to this day we still care for over 100 spouses and children of the men who fought in the spanish-american war. just last year i came here to pay tribute as frank buckles, last remaining american veteran of world war i, was laid to rest.
frank stepped up and served in world war i for two years. but the united states of america kept its commitment to serve him for many decades that followed. so long after the battle ends, long after our heroes come home, we stay by their side. that's who we are. and that's who we will be for today's returning service members and their families. no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job or roof over their head and the care that they have earned when they come home. [applause] we know the most urgent task many of you face is finding a new way to serve. that's why we made it a priority to find ways to jobs worthy of your incredible skills and talents. that's why thanks to the hard work maff shell and joe biden,
some of our most patriotic businesses have hired or trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses. it's why we're transforming for the first time in decades how the military transitions, service members from the battlefield to the workplace. because you deserve to share in the opportunities that you defend, we are making sure the post- 9/11 g.i. bill stays strong so you can earn a college education and pursue your dreams. [applause] if you find yourself struggling with the wourneds of war, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, we will be there for you as well with the care and treatment that you need. no veteran should have to wait months or years for the benefits that you have earned so we will continue to attack the claims backlog. we won't let up.
we will not let up. [applause] as we mark the 50th anniversary of the vietnam war, we have secured new disability benefits for vietnam-era veterans exposed to agent orange. you needed it, you fought for it and we got it done. [applause] that's what we do in america. we take care of our own. we take care of our veterans. we take care of your families, not just by saluting you on one day, once a year but by fighting for you and your families every day of every year. that's our obligation. sacred obligation. to all of you. and it's an obligation we gladly accept for veterans like petty officer taylor morris.
six months ago taylor was serving our nation in afghanistan and as a member of an explosive ordinance disposal team, his job was one of the most dangerous there is. to lead the way through territory littered with hidden explosives, to clear the way for his brothers in arms. on may 3rd, while out on patrol, taylor stepped on an i.e.d. the blast through him into the air. and when he hit the ground, taylor realized both of his legs were gone and his left arm. and his right hand. as taylor lay there fully conscious, bleeding to death, he cautioned the medics to wait before rushing his way. he feared another i.e.d. was nearby. taylor's concern wasn't for his own life. it was for theirs.
eventually they cleared the area. they tended to taylor's wounds. they carried him off the battlefield and days later taylor was carried into walter reed, where he became only the fifth american treated there to survive the amputation of all four limbs. taylor's recovery's been long and it's been arduous and it's captivated the nation. a few months after the attack with the help of prosthetics, love and support of his family and above all his girlfriend danielle, who never left his side, taylor wasn't just walking again. in a video that went viral, the world watched he and danielle dance again. i have often said the most humbling part of my job serving as commander in chief. one of the reasons is that every day i get to meet heroes.
i met taylor at walter reed and then in july at the white house i presented him with the purple heart. and right now hanging on a wall in the west wing is a photo of that day, a photo of taylor smiling wide and standing tall. i should point out that taylor couldn't make it here today because he and danielle are out kayaking. [laughter] in taylor we see the best of america. a spirit that says when we get knocked down, we rise again. when times are tough, we come together. when one of us falters, we lift them up. in this country, we take care of our own, especially veterans who served us so bravely and
sacrificed so selflessly in our name. and we carry on knowing that our best days always lie ahead. on this day we thank all of our veterans from all of our wars, not just for your service to this country but for reminding us why america is and always will be the greatest nation on earth. god bless you, god bless our veterans. god bless our men and women in uniform and god bless these united states of america. thank you very much. [applause] >> please rise and join the
acupuncture, using meditation and using other techniques to wean him off of all of the drugs he was on. and through this program, he actually was able to walk out of walter reed on his own two feet. so i really commend the military for two things. one, for allowing us to tell this story, both the good and bad and for recognizing this problem. by recognizing that there is this problem of overmedication and that they are looking for outside the box ideas on how to fix it. that's sort of the whole thesis of the film really, the metaphor of "escape fire" is the status quo isn't working and we need to start looking for outside-the-box ideas. >> more with matthew heineman, producer of "esquape fire" to rescue america's health care tonight at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> tomorrow on "washington
journal" with will talk about immigration reform by republicans and democrats and potential areas of compromise. our get is fawn johnson with "are national journal." followed by a look at the role of money in the 2012 election whofment spent it where and what roles super pacs played. we're joined by managing editor kathy kiely. and tax rates and what tax cuts are expected to expire at the end of the year. lindy paull is our guest. "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. next former george w. bush national security adviser stephen hadley said getting america's house in order should be the country's top priority. he also spoke about the wars in iraq and afghanistan and how president obama may be forced to deal with iran. mr. hadley was part of the national security conference hosted by the world affairs council of america. it's about 35 minutes.
>> thank you so much. good morning, everyone. welcome, steve. it's a real, real pleasure to have you here this morning. we're going to dive right in. i want to begin first by giving you credit for speaking to the world affairs council, i believe it wasn't only last year but the year before, when steve hadley challenged all of us to come up for a focus, set of issues, in fact, that the councils across the united states should be honing in on. as well as you know, this year's conference is galvanized around a set of issues u.s. national
security, six topic issues for the president in 2013. and let me just recap those for you because we want to drill down in these. the council selected u.s. economic competitiveness, u.s. education competing globally. the middle east, china, afghanistan, pakistan and u.s. energy policy as the six top issues. starting with that. looking at its strategically, do you feel that those are the core issues before president obama and this administration and our country going into 2013? if not, what would you change? what would you add? >> when i was informed by lori murray about the outcome of the process by which the world affairs council went through and came up with those six issues, i
thought you had it exactly right. i think those are the big issues and congratulations to you. i think you had them just right. i think there's an overarching issue on top of all of them in some sense enables all of them. and that is if you look at the national security challenges and foreign policy challenges we face, i say the number one challenge is getting our fiscal house in order. getting a handle on the debt. getting a handle on the deficit which are critical in order to get the economy growing again and people back to work. and think that is over -- it's certainly number one domestic challenge. my point is also the number one national security challenge. why? because a healthy economy and a healthy balance sheet undergirds
everything we do internationally. funds our military, gives strength to diplomacy. allows us to be an attractive trading partner which gives us economic influence. it undergirds everything we do overseas. secondly, it also undergirds the power of the american idea. the american idea is political democracy and free markets makes for a stable situation in the long term but also makes for a prosperous society that's able to deliver on its people. that is really what america has stood for and by our failure to resolve our own problems and get our economy growing and going again, we undermine the strength of the american idea internationally. and that's why countries are flirting with this notion of well maybe china has it right, state capitalism plus keeping your people in line. and that is very destructive for
our insights and also my view not the right path for countries to take. so i think the council's got all of the issues right. i think you've got a great program this year as you did last year. i just think overarching all of this is that issue and i think the american people understand that and they've been in this campaign sent that message to both candidates and that's why it is now the subject of conversation the day after the election. >> let me pick up on that. because i think one of the issues, as you know, part of the six topics, is u.s. competitiveness. just mentioned the importance of addressing the national debt. isn't it true also perceptions abroad of us are directly impacted by how we handle the debt? when you look at what different countries are saying both friends and foe, they're homing
in on this and it affects our standing internationally. to give one example, graphic one i mentioned yesterday, ahmadinejad is quoted and made a statement that because of our $16 trillion debt, that the united states has a weakened position. now, you know, whether it's right or wrong, other countries are looking at it. how do you address that? >> i think that's exactly right and they're also looking at our democratic system. as we see europe struggling to make hard choices they need to milwaukee and america struggles to make the hard choices we make, some people are beginning to say it shows the democracies don't work. that people cannot -- they cannot make the hard decisions country needs to make. so it's not only undermining our standing but also undermining support for the principles of our government. but i want to not sound downbeat and i want to end this piece on this note. i first heard it from bob
bzdelik, who is a wonderful fella, head rled world bank and distinguished career. and then we heard it a couple weeks ago out of the foreign minister of australia. people are saying the united states is one budget deal away from a real return to insullance in standing. why they say that is, if we can get a handle on this deficit issue and debt issue, there's a lot of money on corporate balance sheets ready to come into the market and put people to work. you pick energy as a topic, absolutely right. with shale gas and shale oil, there's abundant energy coming. getting that energy out puts people to work. it might make us a net energy exporter again. it makes manufacturing more attractive because energy is cheaper so jobs, manufacturing jobs are starting to come back to the united states. we're on the threshold of very
good news for america and very good news for the world and i think that will re-evaluate our economic and political system but we've got to get past the political gridlock and we've got to deal with this deficit and debt issue and we've got to show we can get -- make that hard decision. we need to address entitlements as part of that and if we do, then these other things will kick in. >> ok. let's go to the middle east. two issues that have been a lot in the news and there's been a lot of concern about iran being one and you have written a number of op-eds and giving a view on what you think is the best approach. and then there's the issue of syria. please say some words about what you see as the next steps with regard to iran. how do we see that unfolding in the time ahead? what's the way forward with syria? >> yeah. three things. one, you know, the arab spring
turned out to be less spring and probably better term is arab awakening. we're going to go through springs and winters and summers and falls and it's going to vary country to country and it will take a long time. but look, it was iventable, unavoidable and actually a good thing that the people of the arab world should start taking some responsibility for their future. and there's just no going back and it is very much in our interest how these awakenings come out and that they result in societies that are democratic, that are producing a better life for their people and we should do everything we can in a smart way, recognizing we're not so popular in the middle east right now, to try to help get that outcome. there are a couple big threats to that. one is syria and i'm more worried about syria in terms of
the middle east then anything and that is because what we're seeing is everybody says assad is going to go. but nobody is pushing him off the stage. the longer he stays, the more sectarian the conflict has become. the more it has opened the door to al qaeda and other terrorist groups. and what you're beginning to see is a sectarian war, sunni versus shia backed by the saudis and others in iran that is making a sectarian battleground in syria and that is starting to destabilize lebanon, iraq, jordan and maybe even turkey. and that is bad news. a middle east that is -- descends into a sectarian war between sunni and shia is a disaster for all of us. so so i have been arguing for months that the united states needs to do more to haston
assad's departure. countries in the region like turkey and jordan are begging us to do more. it's not boots on the ground. it's not invading another country. it is trying to help the syria to opposition get organized, be democratic and be inclusive and to give them the wherewithal in terms of the modest number of arms to get rid of assad. it's in our interest that happens sooner rather then later. the last thing iran and we can talk about that if you want. >> please. >> but i really think it is important for groups like this to talk about iran. and it's -- why i say that has to do with our experience in iraq, a lot of people say iraq was a war of choice. some people say it was a war of prevention. i would say it was a war of last resort. then in the end of 2002, we came to the end of economic sanctions
and inspections and diplomat initiatives. we ran through all of that and really were out of options and the issue is whether you let saddam hussein get away with defying international community where you impose consequences and president obama decided in the ladder, can you discuss the wisdom -- you can discuss the wisdom of that. my point is i think about a year from now, we will be in the same place on iran. if we try, as i think the administration will, to make a proposal to the iranians to try to seek a diplomatic outcome which i think they should do, if that fails and i think we will probably know in a year's time, i think the obama administration and president obama will have a decision very much like the one president bush had in 2002 sofment what we need to be doing now is stepping back and thinking creatively, are there
other alternatives and scenarios we can work that can get a good result in iran. without leaving the president of the united states where he only has two choices. either go to war with iran or accept iran with a nuclear weapon. neither of those choices are attractive. so what i have been saying is, now is the time to try to think creatively about other scenarios that can get us to an acceptable outcome in iran and avoid the choice of those two alternatives. >> can you discuss a little bit what scenarios you would put on the table? and are you concerned about israel? >> israel's interesting because israel has a lot at stake but israel is also an independent decisionmaker. and they have their own interests in this and they have made it clear that they are not prepared to accept without some kind of military action iran with a clear path to nuclear
weapon. so in some sense it will force us to pay attention to this issue, which we should. there are a lot of options. i think what we need to think about are not options but scenarios. one scenario would be for the administration to reengage with the iranians diplomatically, with the other countries involved, so-called p-5, 5 permanent members of the security council plus germany to make a fairly robust offer to the iranians of the kinds of things available to the iranian people of the regimes to give up this nuclear program and test them and to see if there is a diplomatic outcome. it's acceptable. if there isn't i think the process will be important in order for the administration to set up whatever options might follow the failure of diplomacy, whether it is acceleration of
the sanctions and really putting more pressure on the iranian regime or potentially looking at military options i think we need to be creative about military options. i would be very much on the low end of military options. as part of the scenario over time bringing pressure or give the iranian regime to give up this nuclear weapons program. i think it's that kind of scenario development i would try to do and i think that's kind of the direction wheereding at this point. dennis ross will be speaking to you i think later this morning. he was terrific on this subject and i think you will have a discussion with him about what kind of options are available to the administration. >> let's go to afghanistan and pakistan. you certainly during the bush administration, you're very involved in the evolution of our policy in afghanistan. we're at a very critical junction chur certainly with the
draw-down of the troops. talk a bit about that in terms of what are the important next steps and how we deal with that change and at the preserve stability in afghanistan and in the region and really preserve that security and stability on the ground. what are the elements that we need to be concerned about in this time of draw-down? >> i can say a little bit but, again, you've got a wonderful panel that's following me and thus others so i will defer to them. one of the things, i would make two points. one is we need to step back and recognize that afghanistan is important and pakistan is important and we have strong interests in both places. and arguably our interests
strategically are as important and maybe even more important in pakistan because there's a much bigger with all of the rest and tensions with india. we have a real interest in trying to get afghanistan and pakistan right. second, there's a lot of discussion about american strategy in afghanistan. i think we've got a pretty sensible military strategy. john podesta and i thought we didn't have a good political strategy for getting a good electoral outcome in 2014 and get an afghanistan government that is legitimate and supported by the afghanistan people. so you have a strong government to whom to pass security responsibility for afghanistan in 2014. and we've written about that. i think that's very important, political piece between now and 2014. i think it's also very important for the administration to carry through on what it said it would
do which is to leave a substantial military force on the ground in afghanistan after 2014. i'm reluctant to do that. america has sacrificed so much blood and treasure there and it is because we sacrifice so much blood and treasure is because we have to have a presence there on the ground because this cake is not going to be cooked by 2014. dwow not spend enough time focusing on pakistan. pakistan is like a bad marriage with no prospect for divorce. we -- there's no alternative. i see nodding and giving me a thumb's up. she will talk a little more about that. it's a very difficult relationship but we need to look at it in two parts. short run we've got to get
pakistan to work with us to deal with the terrorist problem in the region that doesn't just threaten us first and foremost, it threatens pakistan itself. so we've got to work, terrorist issue. that we care about what happens to pakistan and what happens to them and put aside our own interest and counterterrorism, we want a pakistan that is democratic, that is prosperous and effective that's bringing a better life to our people. it's part of a policy that needs to be looking at the long term and try to support pakistani institutions through our economic assistance and other things. and i think we spend not enough time on the first and too much time on the second. but there's a panel coming with great experts who will tell you what the real answer is.
to try to set the stage a bit. >> i want to ask you about china and i also want to give you a chance to spill over just a little bit because if people have questions to come up with the mic. we will take a few questions. let me go to china. henry kissinger, who you worked for, was during the campaign very critical of both candidates saying he didn't like the position of either candidate governor romney or president obama. what do you think? what is the right way forward in our relations with china at this time? what's the right thing to do? >> one, i think you have to -- and you all know this, you know, what you hear from barack obama or mitt romney the candidate will be different then what you will hear from barack obama the president or would have heard with mitt romney, the president. that's the way campaigns are. and you all know that. i think you have think of china in two ways.
and one, sort of summed up i had a meeting in beijing a couple weeks ago and i met with a man named liki chong, who will be the new premier of china. he's talking in chinese. very interesting man. and he said something in chinese and the translator translated, america and china are not rivals. i thought well, that's interesting. and he stops the translator. he said no, i didn't say we weren't rivals. we are rivals. but i said we're not necessarily on the opposite sides of the table. i think he captured something very important there. i think the way you need to think about china is this way, it's a huge country. world's most populous country. it is trying to change at a rate and on a scale that the world has never seen before. and that's a very hard thing to
do. and i think we need to think about china in two ways, to the extent what they want is what most countries want, a country that is prosperous, that is respected in the world and that is providing a better life for its people. we should see we could sign up for that and we're prepared to help that outcome and that would be good for china, good for us g. for the world because the world is very dependent on the chinese economy. secondly because whatever global problem you're worried about, whether it's climate change, terrorism, proliferation, you know, competition over scarce resources, we can't solve those problems without china and the united states working together with the rest of the international community. to the except that's what china's about, we support it. to the extent china is about imposing its will on its neighbors, making other people to defer to china and compromise their interests because of big
china and to the extent china wants to defy international norms, that is not on and that is why it's so important for us to be present in the region, not just militarily but diplomatically and economically and every other way so we can reassure our friends and allies and in some sense deter china from being tempted to try to impose its will on its neighbors and that's the line we have to walk with our china policy. and it's complex but i think it's doable. >> do you see, you just said it's doable so you do see it happening even despite some of the sentiments held by our congress on the issue of china? >> well, you know, part of that is the duality and part is china has to play by the rules. they have to play by the rules in terms of the international order on these disputes they're having with japan and south
korea, on the island and they have to play by the rules in terms of trade. and, you know, governor romney was criticized for this but he's right. there's got to be a level playing field and the chinese need to understand that. so it's i think part of this tension that's going to have to be worked out in our policy. >> do we have a question or two from the audience? if so, come right up to the mic. we will take your two, both of you. >> you mentioned -- >> and introduce yourself, please. >> hank rose, worcester world affairs council. you mentioned regarding specifically syria that you are role might be to help the opposition organize and become more democratic. i imagine you might have the same prescription for other arab spring rebelance. my question is how can we help them to become more democratic? >> do you mind if we take both and then we'll go with the
concluding question. yes. and introduce yourself, please. >> good morning. my name is jack shingle from traverse city, michigan. in your interesting exchange with ambassador newman in foreign affairs about afghanistan, you make a very strong case that we need a political transition in 2014. but what i don't see in any of the writings on this subject is why we need two more years of combat operations and deaths to american soldiers and allied soldiers during that period. don't see our soldiers are making headway other than training afghans which more or less is working and i don't see that the they're actually going backwards. so why don't we stand down earlier and just continue the training and stop the combat operations. >> ok, thank you very much.
>> i wish we could but i don't think we can. i think there are three things that our military is doing that need to be done. one is, you know, you can't train an afghanistan army if you're throwing them into the front line and putting neem combat before they're ready. so it takes time to train a force and get them to the point to take responsibility for security. secondly, there's a lot of treading of the enemy that still needs to be done. what wore doing is trying to bring taliban capability down and the afghan capability are up so that they cross. and that the afghan army and security services have enough capability to deal with the taliban. that's what we're trying to do. you can shake your head on that. it is what we did successfully in iraq and that's why our troops are out of iraq. third thing politically, there needs to be time. they're not ready for an election today.
and they need a period of time to go to the process what i hope will happen and what john podesta and i wrote about and rom newman and we do not disagree on this, there needs to be a broad political settlement in afghanistan. most afghans feel hostile towards their government. they think it's corrupt and exclusive and doesn't care about them. this eethrorblinge process between now -- electoral process is an opportunity to reverse that get an government out of afghanistan that is actually supported by their people and that the army has something to fight for. so there's just no substitute for time in this case. i wish there were. we have been there a long time. but i just don't see a substitute. there's a very wise man who, some of you ought to get to come and speak to you named marwan
washer. he was here in washington. jordan's foreign minister on deputy prime minister palten knows him well. he's a wonderful guy. i was a panel men and he said something that really stayed with me. he said look, there are two great traditions in the middle east. there's arab nationalism and there's political islam. and the problem in the middle east is inclusiveness and pluralism is not part of either of those traditions and that's the problem in the middle east. a sense of inclusion of tolerance and of pluralism and that's one of the problems in getting to awe democratic outcome. the other one starts sort of democracy from the bottom up and that is helping these countries to get in a tradition of greater transparency to their people, a
greater accountability of the governments which gets at issues like corruption and greater accountability . that's if you think about it, you know, we think of democracy and we think separation of powers, three branches of congress of government, house and senate. really what democracy starts with is transparency, accountability and responsiveness. and those are the kinds of principles i think we need to be encouraging in the middle east. because of this dirth of tolerance, it's going to take a long time. this is the work of generations but it's important work for stability in the middle east and for a middle east that finally begins to deliver for its people. >> steve, a concluding question. what do you see is the role of the united states in the world today? you know there's the debate among many foreign policy experts over the issue of
american scepticism and decline of the u.s. role and desire to pull back. how do you see it? and also, you gave advice to the world affairs council before. what's their role in that? debate, world affairs councils, you are wonderful forum in local communities across this country, bringing people together from all walks of life and having a debate on these issues. you know, foreign policy debates in our presidential campaigns are, i find, quite vacuous and full of strawmen and red herrings and don't get toll real issues. in your forums, you can get to the role issues. the other thing can you do is invite politicians, your representatives and senators and hold their feet to the fire and don't accept these kind of superficial answers that we get
in campaigns. secondly, i have been in washington a long time, too long. but bhife is a washingtonian and she doesn't want to leave so we're still in washington. and every ten years you get this narrative. i mean, america is in decline, overstretched. we have to downsize objectives. every ten years we bo through this. we heard this in 1989 just before the call came down, soviet union broke up and communism was discreditted. people are writing books about american decline. we heard this before. the truth is the sad news is in some sense, there's no substitute for the energy and leadership that the united states brings to the world. there just isn't. and if you don't believe it, talk to the chinese. they would be the first ones to tell you as they tell paula and me, we have no interest in
displacing the united states. we have seen what it's like to be the global leader. it's hard, costs a lot of money, takes a lot of effort and divorces. you can have it. we're not interested and the truth is nobody else can do it. we're still the number one economy in the world. we still have biggest and most effective military. we still have wonderful intelligence services and state departments. we still have a wonderful university system, tradition of entrepreneurship and innovation. all of these things but more -- more importantly, we're kind of the world honest broker and we stand for principles of freedom and free markets and prosperity and treating people with respect that the world still admires. and i will give you a concrete
example. second clinton asked me to join three other people -- secretary clinton asked me to join three other people, rich harm taj and others to go to beijing and meet with the political leaders there about the dispute between japan and china over the islands and basically send a message of let's turn the rhetoric down. let's not let this turn into a confrontation that will destroy the economic prosperity of two decades in asia. and as we took that mission, i sort of thought, why are we having to do this? we the united states of america. the truth is like asia, like so many other places, it is ironic but the united states has so many better regions with each of the major countries in asia then any of them have with each other. and that gives us really a very unique role to be a force to
help those countries sort out their challenges. it's that way in asia. i think it's largely on issues like israeli palestinian questioned. we have the same role in the middle east. it's what we do. the other thing we do is we have this what the world views as naive. but americans have this notion, our job isn't just to manage problems. we actually try to fix problems. most of the world thinks that's a fool's errand. quite frankly, the world relies on the united states having that relentless optimism that actually we can do better in dealing with these problems if we only get organized. so is, you know, it's a burden we carry. i would say it is also a great opportunity. our own prosperity and own security increasingly depends on what happened out there in the rest of the world and we have an
enormous opportunity to shape that world in a world that will be more prosperous and more stable and more secure for our children. and that's great privilege and it's a great privilege to be the united states and it's a great privilege paul and i have had to be able to represent this great country abroad. >> stephen, it's been a great privilege to have you here this morning. thank you so much. [applause] >> a few lives on c-span tomorrow. roger daltrey and pete townshend of the english rock band the who will talk about childhood and young adult cancer and their program at ucla. our coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. eastern. and folt by prime minister cameron's speech on foreign policy at the annual lord mayor's banquet. this will be mr. cameron's third time speaking before the banquet since becoming prime minister in 2010. join us for his remarks at 3:30 p.m. eastern. and then later at georgetown university, musician and activist bono talks about social activist bono talks about social enterprise and