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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 1, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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how can attorneys investigate important details on behalf of their clients? pocket informant talk to human rights organizations and to do so with the security that they won't be exposed? it has extreme publications for rall range of core liberties, including the ones that americans -- it is important to our political freedom. i think that is critical. encryption is vital but it doesn't shield metadata. it shields content. you can seeols, some forms of metadata. people warned that investigating -- investigative journalism is coming to a standstill in the country because of what the government is doing. they mean that is become unnecessary to do that because now because of this
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you biggest surveillance makes it almost impossible to be an investigative journalist because it makes it impossible for people to communicate with one another. >> edward snowden has praised russia for standing against human rights violations by the powerful. president putin has just invaded and then annexed crimea. the relationship between the united states and russia is increasingly hostile. there is even talk of a new cold war. how worried should we be that mr. snowden is old herbal -- is vulnerable to the russian intelligence services to in this increasingly tense situation? >> i need to back up a little
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bit. be in russia? he was on his way to latin america where he was going to transit from russia. united government canceled his passport. he was in the transit area of the airport. president putin blakeney made fun of u.s. intelligence services. the one place that you can operate and go get? go get him there. it is asking a lot for edward snowden who is under international asylum.
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it is clear that russia was not his destination. he deliberately did not break any of the documents -- you didn't bring any of the documents with them to russia for the purpose that he wanted to make sure he could not be compelled to disclose them. means of bring any obtaining those documents. his intention, which was quite effective, was to make sure that he could not be forced to disclose. even under torture, he can't give the russian that information. he didn't mean he was superman. he literally can't produce it. >> sure. >> that one thing that you referenced has been distorted by so many people for so long now -- the idea that --
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>> how can distort a statement like that? >> i will explain. >> i just read it. things'm sure you know, can be taken out of context and meaning could be distorted. he was not standing up and praising russia in general as a defender and human rights. anytime someone is granted when someone is granted asylum in the united states. he was simply saying in this case thank you for granting me asylum from persecution. for defending my particular human rights. >> do you think he feels uncomfortable in russia right now? >> i'm going to let him speak
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for himself, but i think for us as journalists, your halfway read about your recounting of events -- halfway right about your recounting of events. it could be a benefit for the u.s. government because they get to demonize him and say he is in russia. why is somebody who comes forward with information saying it is illegal or need to leave?l that is the substantive question than trying to figure out the details of whether we should be holding a press conference on something we know nothing about such as crimea. does he needis why
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to flee after watching the parade of whistleblowers for blowing the whistle on improper government conduct? >> people can judge for themselves what they think of snowden. it's a legitimate question. i was baffled when people only want to talk about snowden and whether he is right or wrong and his personality rather than the big issue we need to be talking about. >> do you worry sometimes in your determination to be adversarial to the u.s. government your insufficiently adversarial to some other governments around the world? >> i don't ever worry about that. i use my citizenship of the united states to hold my
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government accountable for the bad actions it does. the reason we have a first amendment and a free press is not because we need american journalists to criticize .overnments across the world it's to make sure people are not abusing their power. that at least as much as we need people reporting around the world. >> i am sitting at the new york times building, bastian of the mainstream media. of have been pretty critical establishment journalist. what you have against us? >> i have actually published a number of things for the new york times.
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i published a short documentary, one about nsa surveillance. i am happy they published that. let's face it. there are people who do great work. there are people who towed the line. we have seen that. justify andrd to not use the word torture when we were torturing people for many years. why don't they use the word torture? i didn't think it's a proud moment for journalism, and i don't think the invasion of iraq was a great moment for journalism. there was great journalism done about the war in iraq area there was great journalism done about torture. there are always going to be journalists who are going to try to get to the truth, but there
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that are goings to be persuaded by what the government things can and should be public. i obviously fundamentally disagree. the fact that the nsa is now spying on congress and not releasing a report on torture, we should be ashamed. this is not a proud moment. i don't think it's particularly radical to find these things objectionable. what i think his radical is we are torturing people and spying on congress or spying on entire countries. we are doing all this in secret. think should be part of the public discourse. i can tell what our obligation sets to have the skill
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introduce a greater understanding. that's our job. >> more than radical. it's unconscionable. do you think of your extraordinary work -- do you feel the tide is turning in some post-9/11this disorientation, this abuse of power and technology, do you think the awareness is growing of what went wrong? is great power of society its ability to correct course, to change. the you think that is happening? the you think that is happening? i think it has been a long time it has been moving in one direction.
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further astray from what would and -- what one would consider rule of law. in guantanamo we had a prison without anyone being charged for a crime. i felt hopeful they would be corrected when the obama administration came in, but that has not happened. the thing that has been positive is that it has reawakened an adversarial press. thate have been shocked these decisions have been made completely in secret without public debate, and there does seem to be some sort of a link. wouldn't call it a shift of the pendulum.
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>> the crucial thing that has happened here is an increase in transparency. obviously, information is power, conducted with transparent. because of this transparency you have seen not only journalism building upon itself but all sorts of things happening. you have a real marketplace for privacy. outposts, butll they were boutique. you now have large companies competing to demonstrate to consumers the cousin of these revelations. google has encrypted all the
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traffic between its data centers. promised on the day they will encrypt all of by last january, so they have done so. lawsuits that try to challenge programs that violate statues with the constitution which were thrown out before on the ground the plaintiff could not prove they were effective. now they can prove they are effective. we will find out which of these programs are constitutional and which are not. you have members of congress who happily went along with these who are changing their and all the mechanisms of
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accountability that exist in political and civil society are collectively, where do we draw the line? that, but iith all also think the aspect of what has changed and the way people think about all of these issues not just in the united states but around the world. what is interesting is just how global it was. if you look at the nsa scandal of 2000 five, those were american companies. if you start talking about google and yahoo!, not only are you talking about principal means of communication but in all these countries all over the world, i think it alters politics and political discourse
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about how the united states is , about the dangers of allowing the states to exercise secrecy, and i think once you , irt affecting consciousness don't think the primary change is going to come from legislation the u.s. government introduces. fromnk it's going to come profound shifts in how people start thinking about all these issues and these revelations a lot of people around the world have found genuinely shocking. >> that's encouraging. maybe american intervention is alive and well. end of ouring to the time. i think i would like to ask all three of you to try to leap forward in your mind a decade or two and say how you think mr.
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snowden will be remembered in american and global history. perhaps laura,ou how will he be recalled? >> i think we are at a in terms of how we decide to treat communications , and if we find ourselves in more orwellian universe in a decade i think everyone will look back to this moment and see that he at least gave us the option to make these choices. >> glenn? >> i think it is the most instructive example, because these are perhaps not universally but widely considered to be irrelevant.
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attack all bloomberg -- daniel l berg, but if you go and look at how he was talked americans, he was talked about in exactly the same terms as edward snowden. he got vindicated, and i think history appreciated the information he let us know about what the government was doing, and we realize he engaged in a heroic emma self-sacrificing act to convince the public. edward snowden already is viewed in those terms, and the next decade he will be viewed even more in those terms around the world and in the united states as well. >> i don't love the term whistleblower, because i think people understand it much too narrowly.
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au only get to be whistleblower if you use certain .ethods the public interest in knowing things go way beyond what is illegal. the question is what the law should be and where we want to draw the line as a society. i would say, a lantern holder or something like that and what it has done is enable us to tell where the balance is. to mastermind. there is a fundamental conflict sometimes between security and accountability between self-defense and self government. at the work in secret the nsa has done, out of perfectly good motive of defending the country, you are going to use every tool available, but doing so in
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secret you are proving the possibility that people you represent are going to be able to set your boundaries, so what snowden does is allow us to make that decision. >> thank you very much. we seem to have lost glenn at the last minute. nothing sinister, but thank you very much. wax we look at potential 2016 u.s. presidential candidates.
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tuesday, world bank president jim yong kim discusses bank policy. this is at 8:30 am eastern on c-span2. an examination of caterpillars tax strategies. the senate homeland security subcommittee on investigations is investigating offshore shelters. you can see this on tuesday live at 9:30 a.m. on c-span3. >> c-span, for 35 years bringing public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences. offering complete gavel-to-gavel overage of the u.s. house, all at the service of private industry. we are created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought to as a public service
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by your local cable or satellite provider. >> monday, defense secretary chuck hagel had a briefing with reporters at the pentagon. his 20 minute remarks also included issues about ukraine. >> afternoon. happy spring. you are laughing. it is here. many of you know that i'm going to leave tomorrow morning for a 10-day trip to the asia-pacific. some of you will be accompanying me on a trip. i think you have seen the itinerary of where we are going.
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some of the focus, starting with the defense minister meeting in hawaii for two days and onto japan and china and mongolia. it is to emphasize and rebalance strategic interests of our country, to reassure our allies to again very clear to make our commitment to our allies in the asia-pacific. this will be my fourth trip since becoming secretary of defense. the meeting in why in the full agenda of the trip underscores the importance of this rebalance and it will give us an
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opportunity to talk specifically about the issues that we're dealing with in the asia-pacific. all of our partners have security challenges, issues that are of concern to peace, prosperity, the future of that region. as you all know, we have been a pacific power for many years. we look forward to continuation of building those relationships and partnerships. security and stability are key anchors for prosperity, for economic development, and we rebalance in the asia-pacific with all of those balance of those different
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responsibilities with our focus. it is clear that there is tremendous progress that has been made in the asia-pacific in the last years and it has been result of a secure area, an area that has worked through many of its differences peacefully. there are still issues and questions. it is a region that has prospered because they have worked through many of these differences. the ossian institution is critically important of that. to have 10 defense ministers in hawaii on united states soil is important. i'm looking forward to that meeting. let me turn to another matter before taking your questions. that is the finding and recovering in identifying the remains of americans missing from past conflicts.
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this effort is not just a a top priority for the department of defense, it is our responsibility and obligation. in february, i directed the acting undersecretary for defensive policy so that the dod could more effectively count for missing personnel and ensure their families receive timely and accurate information. based on his recommendations, i have directed the department to undertake the following steps to reorganize this effort into a single, accountable organization that has complete oversight of personal accounting resources, research, and operations. first, we will establish a new defense agency that combines these defense prisoners of war missing personnel office, the jpac office, and select forces of the life science equipment laboratory. by consolidating functions, we will resolve issues of duplication and inefficiency and build a stronger, more transparent, and more responsive organization. all communications with family members of the missing from past conflicts will be managed and organized by this new agency.
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by consolidating functions, we will resolve issues of duplication and inefficiency and build a stronger, more transparent, and more responsive organization. all communications with family members of the missing from past conflicts will be managed and organized by this new agency. second, to streamline the identification process, a medical examiner working for the new agency will be the single dod identification authority. they will oversee the scientific operations of the central identification laboratory in hawaii and other laboratories.
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third, centralize budgetary resources for this mission. we will work with congress to realize its appropriations into a single budget. fourth, to improve the search, recovery, and identification process. we will have a system containing all missing service members' information. i have directed the department to develop proposals for extending public-private partnerships in identifying are missing. the goal is to leverage the capabilities and the efforts of organizations outside of government that responsibly work to account for missing. these steps will help improve the accounting mission, increase the number of identifications for our missing, and include case files to include all
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personnel. we will continue to do everything we can to account for and bring as many of our missing and fallen service personnel as possible home to the united states. we have been listening to and consulting with veteran service organizations about how to improve operations. we all appreciate their input and their support to ensure the full accounting of all of our country's missing service members and we will continue to work closely together as we go forward. i want to thank mike lumpkin and his team and i want to thank the veterans organizations who have been so important over so many years to this effort. in particular, i want to thank anne mills griffin from the national league of families for her many years of service on the project. i have known her and worked with her for over 30 years on many projects.
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she presented to me a five page, single-spaced, well thought through first identification of the issues, a framing of the problems, and i got some very solid recommendations on how to go forward. she deserves a lot of credit. her organization deserves credit as well as the institutions and veterans organizations that have been key to this effort for many years. thank you.
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>> on that last issue, how to resolve this address with the basic demand of the families of the missing that you provide faster and more reliable accounting? and a second question, can you confirm the reports that russians have begun the point forces back from the border in ukraine? >> on the first question, if you really break this down as to what we have done here, as to how it relates to the families, we are streamlining everything. we are streamlining the organization, the process, and the resources. what that means to families -- first, they will be communicated with clearly, directly, and it will be communications from one central location. that has not been the case. they will have a place to go to to identify updates, questions, concerns. it will not be a one-way street. it will be a two-way street. we will communicate with them. i think another reason the families will strongly support what we're doing is that it helps us do the job.
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it helps us get the mission accomplished. we have tens of thousands of missing all over the world. it is a difficult, very difficult mission. if we put together a better institution, organization, better management, structure, use of our resources, then i hope we will be far more effective in being able to accomplish the mission of identifying these missing remains and getting these missing remains run home to the families. i am encouraged and i again want to say how much we all appreciate the good work that has been done here. there is not a more poignant, emotional, more important issue in our society today and you know that. you take care of the people who gave their lives to this country and you take care of their families. it has been a critical component of who we are as americans from the beginning of this republic.
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your second question. i cannot confirm, bob, one-way or the other whether the russians are pulling troops back from the ukrainian-russian border. president obama made it very clear to president putin that it will be required and necessary for us to have any further, meaningful conversation about how we resolve and de-escalate this crisis. it was also made clear by secretary kerry yesterday in his conversations with the minister lavrov. >> if i could follow-up, is it your understanding that there was an agreement to pull back
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the troops? >> no, i did not say that. i said that the president told president putin and secretary kerry told minister lavrov. i was assured that troops were there for exercise. he assured me that they were not going to cross the border and i think mr. lavrov has said the same thing as president putin. that said, there is still a tremendous buildup of russian forces on that border. >> can you give us a sense of how many troops? >> tens of thousands. >> why do you think president putin amassed those troops on the border? do you think there was really any intent to actually enter ukraine with those forces, or that he simply did that as a bargaining chip so that the rest
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of the world would forget both the fact that they took over crimea and think, well, as long as they're not going into ukraine, they can keep crimea. >> you're not going to like the answer, but i do not know what his intentions were. >> could i ask you about north korea? the artillery firing by the north koreans into the western sea earlier today, less the medium-range missile firing and their fitness on a nuclear test? do you worry about what evidence we have that we may be entering a new provocation cycle with north korea. and also, a malaysian minister talked about traveling to meet you and said he would be asking you to additional capabilities or equipment to help search for the plane. he was not specific in our was
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-- and i was wondering if there is any additional assistance that the u.s. might be able to practically give to the effort. north korea first. >> on north korea, i am in touch with our commander there, the u.n. commander, the supreme commander general. he had a report two hours ago this morning. i think you have the latest. there has been that artillery exchange. the fishing vessel was released. the provocation that the north koreans have once again engaged in is dangerous and needs to stop. as to the malaysian acting
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transportation minister, i have spoken with him twice in the last week. in both instances, when he is -- when he has requested assistance we have provided that assistance. some of the latest equipment being the pinger locator, which has left australia on an australian ship headed towards this vast area where we all think we may have identified something. just a reminder, that area is the size of new mexico. this very sophisticated equipment that we have provided, as far as i know, everything the malaysian government has requested of us is really reliant totally on a defined search area. it has tremendous capability, but we are going to have to narrow the search area. i don't know what additional requests you make of me.
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-- requests he will make of me. i certainly will listen carefully to whatever those are. i think the australians now or in the lead on this. they have been doing a tremendous job. we have provided everything we can, but the australians have this now and they are doing a good job with it. >> the foreign minister announced yesterday that north korea was going to run a nuclear test soon. how did you respond to that statement? >> the north koreans have to stop these provocative actions. we have been very clear on that. obviously, when i am in china that will be a subject that i
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will discuss with my counterpart in china. >> ukraine has asked the united states for weapons and for other military supplies as they feel vulnerable in light of what has happened in recent weeks. can you bring us up to speed on how those deliberations are working through the u.s. government, whether there is any new thinking about what type of aid would be a good idea to render? >> the ukrainians have asked for different kinds of materials and the request for assistance. you also know that the m.r.e.'s have been delivered. they're going through the last cuts of decision-making on what assistance the united states will provide.
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secretary kerry is in brussels today. he will be there for nato meetings for the next two days. i suspect that these are issues that our nato partners and the united states will be discussing as well. >> in general was scheduled to specify in front of the armed services committee this week but he was recall. is there any thought to having another general stay there instead of testifying as he is supposed to do? >> the kind of world do we live in is not a prescribed, weeklong schedule kind of world. depending on issues and challenges that occur, we have the flexibility avoids adjusting our military commanders, depending on where they are required. in the general's case, i think he a smart thing for him to do
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to have them go back in light of his importance to nato. there was the nato's foreign minister meeting next few days. the supreme allied commander is going to be an integral part of that over the next two days. we're flexible in depending on where we need our commanders. >> i would like to get your thoughts on this march 14 memo from your department about the banning of tobacco sales on military bases and in the navy in particular. you were in vietnam. you know how cigarettes are often used by forces in combat. it is a morale issue. where do you stand on the issue of banning tobacco sales? >> the navy already has taken some action on this over the years. i think you start, like any of
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these issues, you look at the health of your force. i don't know if there is anyone in america who still thinks that tobacco is good for you. maybe there are some. the surgeon general 50 years ago made that statement pretty clear. we do not allow smoking in any of our government holdings, restaurants. states and municipalities have clear regulations on this. i think that in reviewing any options that we have as to whether through commissaries sell or continue to sell tobacco is something we need to look at and we are looking at it. i think we owe it to our people. the health care costs are stunning, well over $1 billion just in the department of defense on tobacco-related illness. but dollars are one thing. the health of your people, i don't know if you put a price tag on that. i think it needs to be looked
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at. >> mexico and u.s. military forces have developed a very close relationship recently and they have agreements to support each other in case of natural disasters or other common threats. recently, there have not been any meetings between the secretaries. do you plan to go to mexico or will the secretary come over here, and what is the current level of cooperation? our mexican troops participating are mexican troops participating in military
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exercises with the u.s.? >> i think that you probably know that our secretary of homeland security johnson was just in mexico and met with all the senior leaders, including the president. i will be going to mexico. i am not sure we're ready to announce that today. i get nervous when kirby gets too close to me here and tells me not to say something. i will be going to mexico. mexico is a very important partner. we will continue to strengthen that relationship. i will see you on the plane. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> tuesday, an examination of caterpillars tax strategies. homeland security subcommittee on investigations is looking into how u.s. companies avoid taxes through offshore shelters. at can see this hearing live 3. 0 a.m. on c-span
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before see her testimony a house energy and commerce subcommittee live at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> the issue is no longer whether to trade, its how to trade. the old issue between protectionism and free trade is over. it is history. the argument over the rules of fair trade and how to get our workers and businesses on a level playing field is the thete of the present and future. our goal must be over time to betweencompatibility all countries that are trading, just as we have compatibility between all of the states of the united states. this debate started before the cold war ended and before the
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wall fell in berlin. in most of the cold war. , our standard of living is rising and we were locked in a battle with communism. we didn't care too much about trade treaties. we never had a debate on this floor that i can remember about a trade treaty like this. we just assumed economic growth. we always put trade treaties to be subservient to defense or foreign policy it just wasn't that important. legs and gentlemen, this nafta tonight is the last of the old world trade treaties. realize that our standard of living has been declining for over 15 years. they realize that our most important national goal must be a rising standard of living. naftaents of this represent the past, represent the status quo and fear of real change.
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>> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you today as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> presidential elections in afghanistan, experts on the country discussed the candidates. this is 90 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to brookings. thank you for coming to discuss afghanistan. i am michael o'hanlon, we have a very distinguished group of american and afghan individuals and officials to talk with us -- former officials and continued scholars and experts on
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afghanistan to talk about the transitions underway. this upcoming saturday is afghanistan's presidential election. it will probably not be a conclusive first round, there will more likely than not be a runoff. one will ultimately get a majority in the late spring or even sooner. we will talk more about those details in a second. we have -- seated from your left to right, former ambassador ron neumann, career foreign service officer and ambassador also in bahrain and algeria. he and his father were both ambassadors to afghanistan, making them along with the adams the only father-son team to be ambassador to the same country. it indicates the depth of commitment by this family to this important country.
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ron continues to be very active in his interests in afghanistan. he and i were there recently on a research trip and he has been many times since being ambassador. general john allen was the commander of international security assistance force units of all countries through last year at about this time. he retired a year ago today. we thank him and congratulate him for his service. in february 2013 he passed the reigns to general dunford. general allen continues to serve this country actively and supports the israeli-palestinian peace effort. he is a distinguished fellow at brookings. we are delighted to see him whenever his journeys allow such time. he is one of the most experienced commanders. his 19 months make him one of
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the longest-serving and most experienced experts on the subject. he was also deputy commander at central command. he was a deputy commanding general for the marines in iraq. he was a leading u.s. voice at the pentagon on asia-pacific policy prior to that. we are thrilled to have him here. i think he is still the only marine in history who was the superintendent at annapolis. for the navy to trust their midshipmen to a marine tells you even more about general allen. again, we are thrilled to have him. >> it was called the great experiment. >> najib sharifi is an accomplished afghan who has been a journalist throughout his career. like one of the three presidential candidates, abdullah abdullah, he was trained as a medical doctor. he is also interested in afghanistan's future. he has been an analyst for
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afghanistan awareness and analysis, the place he now works. we will talk about websites in a moment so you all can learn more from these distinguished gentlemen. he has also worked for the afghanistan research and evaluation unit uncovered afghanistan for a number of media outlets. we would like to cover the elections and also everything that surrounds them and everything going on by way of transition and 2014. this is also the year when isaf will end its mission with uncertainty at present over what will follow. that will be a key issue. security will be front and center thinking about the elections, the violence the taliban has been trying to
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employ to influence the coverage of election. also as we look forward and think about afghanistan's stability. everyone will be thinking about security. the more immediate question is to think about what is going on this week in afghanistan. the first round of elections for president on saturday. there will also be elections at the provincial level saturday. we will talk amongst ourselves and then go to your questions and answers about halfway through. i would like to begin with ambassador ron nuemann, ambassador from 2005 2007 in afghanistan. whose book "the other war: winning and losing in afghanistan" is one of the best books i can recommend. i want to discuss how he sees
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the situation today. the stakes and american policy choices. >> mike, thank you very much. i have been heavily involved in afghanistan for seven years. at least six of those, if not all seven, has been referred to as "the decisive year" in afghanistan. it occurred to me that there is some truth in that. it is a bit like a really difficult graduate program or military training program where you have one test after another. if you fail, you are out. if you pass, you get to take another test. the elections are that kind of test for afghanistan. perhaps even more so than for us. if they fail it, it is difficult. if they succeed, they get another chance. as we will be going down the line, we have military expertise and afghan expertise.
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i wanted to talk, since i am the x diplomat, about what the u.s. needs to think about in its own policy as we start off talking about afghanistan. we know this will be an election that is disputed. there will be a measure of fraud and certainly violence. if not between candidates, certainly from the taliban. it is very important to understand that we really have -- we the u.s. have two goals. they are related and interlocking but separate. one is an acceptable passage of power to a new president with a broadly recognized acceptability by afghans. the second is a reasonably better election. the two are related.
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polls and conversations show that afghans care about the transparency of the election. they are excited, despite all the violence. i will do something that is very dangerous for diplomats -- i will make a prediction close enough to the event that anyone might remember what you said. a pundit is someone who is frequently wrong but never uncertain. [laughter] on that basis, i am going to predict that the turnout is going to be heavy in this election, notwithstanding the violence. afghans want it. they have a potential to react if they are denied a fair election. there will be a high level of tolerance for what you might call equal opportunity fraud.
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candidates and their backers. the second goal is progress in democracy. obviously, the two are related. i say the passage of power in a without is reasonable too much violence between , whiching parties afghans except as a higher priority. if you have that, you go forward with building and you have a chance for more elections and more progress. dispute, you are just going down a road of chaos. because thehis difference is a difference of about how america relates to the early results. an academic distinction alone. one that controls policy. our firstelieve,
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fairly smoothis transfer of power, we should not be instantly reacting to all the cries and yells of fraud and misbehavior. they will immediately break out after the first vote. afghanistan -- afghan culture is also a shame culture, losing is a shame. even if you lost fairly you will call a fraud because it retains your honor. that is on top of the actual fraud i expect to occur. fact is what we need to be doing is not putting ourselves in a corner and taking rapid positions on fraud. our initial effort ought to be push the afghans out in front, support the election machinery and the electoral bodies as long as they even partially deserve it. council afghan candidates to
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look to their longer-term interest in their country and not bet everything on winning or death. scenes without being responsible as the great superpower for the result, to encourage afghans to pull themselves together. this election is not going to be over after the first round. this election is going to be disputed. secondly, it is very unlikely that one candidate makes 50% which is required. there will be two candidates in a runoff. the dispute between number two and number three is likely to take some months or weeks to work out. florida, except with kalashnikovs. [applause] --[laughter] this process will go on for a while and then you have a second round. it is you are not locked into an early view.
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you need to work with candidates. it could go on for five months or six months, violence is going to intensify with and as it does. the taliban have declared they are going to make every effort to sabotage the election and prevent it from happening. and to prevent it from being successful. we need to make up our mind of that. i am talking about security, that is someone else's job. >> you are good at it, i will come back for that. thank you for a framing of that. before we talk to general allen, i will go to najib. tell us about what the election is shaping up to be, a little bit about the candidates if you wish or the media coverage -- the role of independent civil society in overseeing this. your confidence the process is going to be reasonably constructive and helpful to the future of the country. whatever we need to understand
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what has been going on in afghanistan and the choices afghans are poised to make saturday. >> thank you. good morning, i am glad to be here. let me start from here. talk about the general politics of elections in afghanistan. i will go into some details. thehe current elections, first thing we have to keep in mind is that president karzai will play an integral role in success and failure of elections. he will also play an integral role in who will win the results of the elections. if he puts his weight behind a particular candidate. the second thing is that this election is not about a person. because we do not have an outright favorite. it is mainly about the teams.
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in afghanistan, evan the same -- in afghanistan, ethnicity plays a role in politics and elections. -- according to the constitution, we have a president and the president has two vice presidents. the first vice president, second vice president. the teams have shaped up in a way that covers, to a large , the major ethnic groups. but because we have four major ethnic groups, every team cannot be complete it will leave out at least one. rolecity plays a prominent in the elections.
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continuing on the role of ethnicity, the votes of the three big ethnic groups -- hazaras --ajiks, and will be divided. many candidates represent the ethnic groups on different tickets. the only ethnic group that has is the best solidity uzbeks. dr. ghani'sum is on ticket. we have 11 candidates that were in the vetting process by the electoral commission. only eightwe have
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candidates because three of them dropped out in favor of other candidates. one of them abandoned the elections. is toason they do this secure political concessions from the candidates who have the best chance of winning. and administrative positions. we have these candidates that we expect to have more withdrawals. in the coming week in favor of the front runners. ,ainly, dr. zalmai rassoul believed to be a favorite candidate. i have got some other facts about the election. they are extremely striking.
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biggest election ,onitoring organization issued the glare the results of a survey they carried out a couple months ago. afghansurvey, 92% of support elections. 92% of afghans. only 5% are against the idea of elections. public, the survey covers all parts of the country. 50% of them are women, 50% are men. have said they will take part in the elections. again, that is striking. in previous presidential elections the turnout was below 30%. around 29% or something.
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is -- another important fact , taliban attacks have intensified in afghanistan. with the intensification of th desire --s, people people's desire has increased to vote and express themselves, mainly in opposition. mainstreamt that the media and social media have made this significant role in enhancing the civic role of afghan citizens. which is a huge change in afghanistan. have -- a going to of national observers.
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unfortunately, we will not have a lot of international observers because of security concerns. about 65,000 national observers across the country. among 6,775 voting centers 8ecause of security centers, 7 8 voting centers will not be operational. places where there is insecurity and observers cannot take part. -- there the parts voting stations that are the most vulnerable to fraud. this is the experience we had in 2009. for thatyou very much
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overview. as we get into a second round after we hear from general allen, we will talk more about the major candidates and what they stand for and who they are. i will make sure i mentioned their names. we have heard them in passing. we have former foreign minister rassoul, thought to be president preference. president karzai has avoided making any public endorsements so far. we have former foreign minister the runner-up in the 2009 race to karzai. he also has a mixed tajik-p ashtun background. withlosest association afghanistan during the difficult years, he stayed in the area during the difficult years of the 1980's and 1990's, partially as a physician and partially as a leader in the northern
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alliance. and then we have dr. ashraf g and aa friend to many ndc former world bank economist. he has been finance minister in afghanistan and has helped in various advisory roles. he was also a candidate in 2009. he has done quite well in polling so far. we have these three candidates who look to be the strongest. everyone will want to talk more about them. first, general allen, a lot to talk about with security. of the casual american consumer of news media is deteriorating security, especially with the tragic attacks of the last couple weeks. help us understand this in context. including the question of what the afghan security forces, what they are now doing in the country as we downsize. >> thanks a lot, great to be with you all this morning. i am a bit reflective, it is a retire. a day that i
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you can depart afghanistan but you can never leave afghanistan. there is not a day that goes by that i do not think about the wonderful afghans with whom i served and with whom i felt such great affection. of reflection today for me, i see a german uniform and audience. probably many folks from diplomatic missions here to represent many of the 50 countries that served in that coalition. i just want to remind his audience as i remind every troops have0,000 served at the height of this war. they performed magnificently. seldom have we seen so large and so capable a field force do so much for the good of the country when it has such capacity for destruction. it is a great example of how one countries to come together with
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a common set of values, they can make a contribution in a difficult environment. for the u.s. and the coalition, we are exceptionally fortunate to have a fellow by the name of joe dunford commanding in afghanistan. it has been -- beyond his many personal and professional characteristics which recommend him for this very difficult job -- it has been a long time since we have handed an american or nato commander a more challenging set of missions than joe dunford is attempting to undertake. with some significant success. there is a saying that the farther away from afghanistan you become, you are far more remote from the circumstances. when you get closer it looks better than from the distance. joe has done a magnificent job
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in handling what i would say are five major tasks right now. they could have been done in a resident's order at one point. tomorrow, we will be insi de 8 months remaining on the isaf mission. these are tasks he is executing concurrently. it requires leadership and skill in planning operationally and logistically. the first is to maintain the very delicate advisory and support balance isaf the -- the isaf forces continue to have with the ansf, the afghan national security forces. the afghans are leaving most of the operations. while the last fighting season was the first fighting season where they have full operational control across the board, this will be the first fighting season with that kind of experience under their belt. equilibriumdelicate
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is advising and assisting as the afghans continue to move to the front and continue their operations in terms of securing the local population and also in dealing with the taliban is extraordinarily important. the second thing joe is doing, i am going down one through five. i want to make sure everyone understands that some of these occurring are concurrently. as the pressures of the campaign continue to increase, the clock ticks down to december 2014, you can get a sense of the enormity of what we are undertaking and requiring of our military. ofntain equilibrium advising, assisting, and supporting. the second is the retrograde enterprise. over the last year, general dunford and his team have had to close down several hundred basis. we started with 800 when i took a man. bases in a closed long time.
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we closed 500 in the first year. we needed to get down to a platform of 10 bases to 12 basis by the end of this calendar year. when you have bases with as many as 30,000 people, bagram and kandahar, the two largest. is as muchse bases an operational commitment to keep the logistics platform relevant to the campaign as it is simply closing the base itself. he is roger grading the excess is retrograde and the excess material that has been accumulating for over a decade. when i took control, we found we had 60,000 excess armored vehicles and 100,000 shipping containers will spare parts. he has been working to move that out of the theater as quickly as he can.
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the third part is sending home the troops and their organizational equipment. advise, assist, and support. the retrograde enterprise. the third area is a transfer of tasks. on any given day, the isdquarters of isaf undertaking several hundred different tasks in the execution and accomplishment of the mission of this campaign. as time goes on and as isaf continues the process of moving towards the completion of its mission, those tasks will have to go somewhere. many will be completed and that will be the end of that. a number will transfer directly to the follow-on mission. at this point, nato's follow-on mission will be called operation resolute support. a number of the tasks will to higher headquarters in europe or central command.
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some of those tasks will go to civilian agencies, both on the u.s. side and within the coalition. some will transfer directly to the afghans. right now, as we transfer these tasks, we will have to be careful we do not overburdened the afghans at this critical as they continue to get their legs under them operationally and militarily. the fourth task is providing support to the afghans who have the responsibility for the security of the election. this obviously is extraordinarily important. the planning that was done, the intent was that the afghan national security forces would have the lead for the security of the election. and the police close army providing outer court in support -- the army providing outer cordon support.
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trying to disrupt the elegant formations as much as they can. -- trying to disrupt the taliban formations as much as they can. you enter send the troubles we have had recently in kabul. have the attacks in kabul received a lot of attention, they did not have a widespread effect. they did achieve attention and cause concerns about the security of the city. at the same time, those attacks -- what is not necessarily understood or receiving very much attention is the activities specifically targeted against the taliban to keep them off balance and disrupt their support areas. generale final task dunford is undertaking is the task associated with receiving the force that will be coming in, supposing that the bilateral
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security agreement will be signed. and employee that force to the end of his mission. then begin the resolute support on january 1, 2015. remember thist to activity is occurring in an environment where the taliban is on the attack. the taliban are right now heavily invested in both attempting to disrupt the election, the preparations for the election, and appearing to have the kind of omnipotent across the country that can shake the confidence of the population. it is a really good point and an important point that the afghan people are extraordinarily proud of their police and military. themfghan people have seen fight a very hard fighting season in 2013. a lot of casualties and they gave as good as they took. there was some ground lost but much of that ground was recovered,
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only redoubled the determination that the selection is all about their future. me as i surprise to have watched this process unfold over the last year and i have been in touch with afghans that this election and the outcome and the peaceful transition of power from president karzai to whomever will follow is very important to the average afghan. process is whole underway with the taliban attempting to disrupt it as much as they possibly can. it is worth reminding everyone that the afghan theater is 400 miles inland, this is a landlocked theater in which we have been conducting hostilities and combat operations now going on 13 years. for general dunford, his team, for our civilian to my partners and the interagency, the pressures are increasing every day to juggle the many different
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balls associated with security. equilibrium so we deliver the afghan national security forces to the point where we want them and we have mission.e of the isaf bringing the resolute support mission in. so we have a clear transition in the post by 14 period. will talk more about the election and the candidates. coupleamplify and at a clicks sacked before going to run again. -- i will amplify and add a couple quick facts before going on to ron. more than 85% of all total arm strength in afghanistan is afghan. the nato coalition is down to below 50,000 troops. when general allen, he had
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150,000 troops. he began downsizing, about 1/3 down. now we are down 2/3. more than 85% of fighting forces are now afghan. last year, they carried out 95% of all the operations. they either let them or carry them out themselves. this is an important point that is both sobering and tragic. took 4000 700 fatalities. the afghan army and police. 2013, twiceies in the number we suffered through the war. i know we deeply regret the sacrifice of our own men and women. it is worth noting the afghans suffered 4700 fatalities last .ear
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it is those lives that have been lost. it shows that the taliban is still strong. five years ago, i would have predicted it would not have been this strong. i hoped and thought we would have been in a better place in terms of having weakened the taliban. the good news is they are still fighting. they have taken those casualties and held together. they have continued to be able to recruit and take the fight to the enemy. last point, they have been able to continue to recruit . you had not imagined five years ago that the taliban would be strong, none of us could imagine could be this strong and able to conduct core level operations. this is a reason that the afghan people are so proud of the army. , you know all the candidates. i was honored to meet with several of them with you a couple weeks ago.
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could you please help us understand the choice that is now before the afghan better on voter on-- the afghan saturday. and what the choice might signify in terms of who the afghans would like to see replace president karzai after his 12 years in leadership. >> thank you. that is quite a big task. i suppose one can drown people in detail without necessarily raising their understanding too much. that important to say there are no huge ideological big dramaticr differences. ais is not analogous to liberal and conservative campaign. what you have are personalities. you have a little more detail
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from saun then from others. but no necessarily assurance that the detail indicates where they would go. dr. abdullah -- the other thing to say, you have got three that look like they have a chance at being in the top two. you have got a couple behind them who are going to be important in making deals. you are going to have a lot of politics in this election after the first round of the election as people pick sides. particularly some of the second string candidates like sayyaf. as some of those people coalesce around one candidate or another, that is also going to tip the balance. and then to make life really complicated, comparatively few vote on anns will
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individual preference basis. they will tend to vote on the basis of community leaders, tribal affiliations. there was scholarly work done a year or two ago. comparatively few people would agree with the idea that if they disagreed with their tribal leaders they should vote for their own preference. that was not a majority view. then you had powerbrokers who deliver votes and not voters. you have the complexity. of the big three, dr. abdullah is seen largely as the northern-western tajik candidate. that is not completely true, he has support in the east and the south. he has negatives as well because of being seen as the non-p
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ashtun. there is a strong belief in pashtuns, they are at least the plurality of afghanistan. they believe they are the majority, but if i excepted all the figures i have been told the country would be at least as twice as large as it is. s think they ought to roll. dr. abdullah's father is a pashtun but he is seen as a tajik candidate. ashraf ghani is very popular in the rwest. his selection of general dostum as vice president of canada has touched raw nerves in people who -- his selection of general rashid dostum as vice
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presidential candidate has touched raw nerves. ghani is known to have a fiery temper. dostum. people worry about putting the two worst tempers in afghanistan -- some people consider ashraf ghani a communist. this is a big issue in a country that was dominated by a communist government. charge may or may not be fair, it exists. has big positives, he has touched off a lot of popular enthusiasm among younger people. he also has some big negatives. he is seen as a pashtun nationalist. for tajiks will not vote him for that reason. dr. rassoul is a member of the former ruling family of the
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king's generation. he is a pashtun, although he hardly speaks pashtun. he was a supporter of the cane. in many ways, he is the candidate of continuity -- most clearly seen as the candidate of continuity. that is both continuity for powerbrokers, drug lords, and criminals. it is also reassuring to afghans who are really tired of being buffeted by massive social change. constant themey through the last 100 plus years of afghan history -- resistance to too rapid change. it cause the overthrow of two monarchs and was largely responsible for the early blowback against the domestic afghan communists. it was not about them being communists, it was about them changing too much. the sentiment of not wanting a lot of change is not just about
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criminality. rassoul is looked at by most as karzai's covert candidate. partially because one of out ofs brothers backed the race and now backs dr. rassoul. he is also seen as a weak personality. not quite tough enough to take on the problems of the country. every one of the three has some negatives. i guess the person i would put , a formeris sayyaf islamic leader who has performed quite responsibly in the last 15 or 20 years in parliament. hands that might not be completely lily white. it will be interesting to see how these people shift. there will be a lot of dealmaking going on.
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there's already a lot of negotiating. there will be more, particularly after the first round. that is probably more than enough with which to saturate people for the moment. >> let me ask one quick follow-up. three, if i'm all hearing you right, are people we should keep an open mind about being able to work well with. the u.s. has no declared candidate or preferred canada. i assume you recommend that we not officially or publicly support anyone and stay hopeful about being able to work with any of the three. >> absolutely, there is no reason for us to be against any of the three. they are all reasonable people. they are all people with whom, relations will be much better than they are with president karzai. we should not pick a candidate ticause he has a hubris
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notion of which we know, but we are clumsy about when we do those things. we should stay out. and will turn to najib general allen on the same question. whatever they want to say about candidates and elections. to you ande subsequent discussion about the issue of things like the bilateral security accord. planning for u.s. forces. keep the focus now on the elections, the choices before afghans at the polls. najib, anything you want to add to what ron said? thing i wasone really struck by. the fact that was reflected in the survey by the biggest election monitoring organization in afghanistan. 80% of thethat
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public have declared that they will vote independently. consultations with their tribal leaders or elders or family. it was a bit striking. ethnic, tribal, and family have a big role to play in who to vote for for individuals. other than that, i pretty much agree with what ambassador nuemann said. -- we haveere is these three candidates. dr. zalmai rassoul , and dr. ashraf ghani. has a potential to create a problem in the first and second rounds is the big margins between dr. zalmai rassoul and the two front
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runners. thetwo front-runners, margin of difference between them is almost by 1/3. is way lower than the two front running. the difference between dr. israf ghani and dr. abdullah one percent. >> 20 presenting, 19% -- >> 27% versus 8%. this is a fear a lot of people in afghanistan have. if zalmai rassoul is somehow hehed to the second round or becomes the candidate that gets the second highest number of that in the first round, will raise a lot of questions. the polls have constantly shown
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his low level of support. and it is highly likely the elections will go to a second round. considering the composition of the teams that we have. , there are some accusations among pashtuns because he sided with dostum, considered to have war crimes -- to have committed a war crime atrocities. on his team, he managed to vastly increase his constituency. in the 2009 presidential elections, ashraf ghani managed of votes.around 3% this time, it is mainly because
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of dostum he has risen up. mainly because of dostum. nd dr. abdullah, as ambassador nuemann said, he has a lot of support among tajiks in the northern and western part of afghanistan. but because he was very -- a the latee confidant of massoud, he is seen as a radical by a lot of pashtuns. though yesterday you had a campaign rally in kandahar. from all the candidates, he had the biggest turnout. which means that he has the biggest rally in kandahar.
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which is a bit surprising for everybody. to zalmai rassoul, he is considered a very weak person, not only him but the vice president he has. his second vice president used to be a governor. it will help him to secure some votes of women. as entire team is seen as, we say in afghanistan, a just saying team. whatever karzai says. >> i just want to follow up on
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something general allen set. this is an excellent analysis. i went to tee up one issue. president karzai is still 70% popular in afghanistan. he is not 70% popular in washington, but he is 70% popular in afghanistan. i'm trying to think through this question ron and i were focusing on. what are rassoul's real prospects? there is a certain undercurrent that if rassoul wins, it must mean something was fraudulent. i want to push back a little and ask you the following. isn't it possible that because afghans doi's guy, not mind that. he is a candidate of continuity and will not rock the boat too much. d, some might prefer stability. because he does not have the negatives of the other two, either dostum or a strong tajik
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association of dr. abdullah. ir all these reasons, and have seen some polls lately that put him closer to the front runners then you mentioned. he may actually be a viable candidate, even though much of the narrative suggests he could not be. disagree with the question, but i want to put it to a point. what ise elections, equally important to the actual process is the perception of the public. people currently see him as a candidate, a team on the low margins. them being elevated to the level of dr. abdullah and ashraf ghani or even above them will raise serious questions. >> i would pause. that is very true of the
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educated elite and of kabul. is equally true across the south and east. it could be, i am not saying it is not. i think there will be questions. i would also point out that dr. abdullah and ashraf ghani are making an effort to say that if dr. rassoul gets into the second round, it is automatically evidence of fraud. i think we as americans should not accept that which is a campaign ploy in advance. of note that not everyone is of this view. i was having breakfast with a a pretty liberal and
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educated audience. the were quite angry that election foundation had made a could notthat rassoul get in. there are divisions in views and then there are political agendas. >> i was going to come to that, actually. there are some justifications if he gets to that position. ve a significant number of undecided voters. itany stage you could say was the undecided voters who finally decided to vote for zalmai rassoul. that is one issue. the other issue, to be honest, even now it is a huge frustration on the part of the afghan people. of certainty lack -- what is going to happen in
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their elections. we have expectations that there should not be fraud in the process should produce legitimate government. it will not be a serious question or concern among afghans. for the record, despite the fact that we desire transparency and clean processes. elections have had a significant impact in the lack ife of average afghans. the business people have stopped investing in afghanistan because of these issues. they are not sure what is going to happen in the future. the uncertainty has caused a lot theoung people to flee
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country. saying afghanistan is not going to work. but we have a vibrant and huge community of young adults and civil society workers who are helping theged in process and ensuring that the process is clean and transparent. for example, one of the colleagues my started last week was to prepare a resolution and get the signature of every single candidate. the mostution says -- common article is that if the independent international and national election monitoring organizations endorses the , i knowledge i will not challenge or dispute the outcome of the elections. politicaln's
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stability is very fragile. if any candidate disputes the result of the elections, it will obviously create problems. further instability. in general, what i would like to is, people in afghanistan under there is huge instability. it is a country that lacks strong political institutions. the analogy i usually make is the country is a plane is being flown while it is being constructed. have strong political institutions. we do not have enough experience with regards to holding elections. the geography is extremely tough. security is extremely tough. the taliban and other insurgent toups will spare no efforts
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disrupt the elections. if we have a successful election that could reduce legitimacy it would be a huge blow to the taliban. they will show that a people of afghanistan said no to don and itse to go and vote -- would show that the people of afghanistan said no to them and chose to go vote. that is why they will do everything from attacking to cards tog fake voting undermine the legitimacy of the elections. >> turning to general allen for impressions about the candidates. nothave worked with most if all of them. also, your sense of security thenthe saturday vote and the new fighting season as the snows melt in afghanistan and the taliban return. >> the taliban, as we just heard, have a great stake in
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ge ofg to portray the ima insecurity right now and to shake the confidence of the population in terms of the future of afghanistan. first, with regard to the candidates, i have worked mostly rassoul.af ghani and well, i alsodullah know sayyaf well. for me, the security is not just about the election on the fifth. security is important with respect to the transition from the karzai administration to the next administration. ensuring we have a secure for thatto provide political transition. the first time there will have been a peaceful transition from one elected leader in afghanistan to another. theeful is in the eyes of
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beholder. in the context of a constitutional process that is recognizable, this is important. months withng respect to a runoff and with respect to the time necessary to the the government after runoff, we have some big political events >> right now, i think very clearly and correctly there is enormous uncertainty about the future of afghanistan. one of the reasons for that uncertainty has been that we have been unable to announce a specific commitment in terms of the pursed .14. ost 2014 period.
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the idea is creating an upward spiral of professional capability. it is been essential. that would take the form of both in terms of the resources necessary for that commitment, peoplef course and the equipment and funding, but also the time. that ensures that the post tony 14 mission is resourced in terms the amount of time necessary to truly give the afghan security forces what they need. again, the key point is if we are going to have an election or
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the afghans are in the lead for security, we will surprise -- provide support and special operations to destabilize the taliban's ability to disrupt this. there will be disruption. there will be areas where the taliban seeks to create the illusion of an unstable environment. forcesch of the security are well advised and tactically mobile and they will have a reach we have not seen before in an election. it will not be perfect area there will be substantial disruption of. as we have heard, there is great enthusiasm to get out and vote. instead been heartened of being compromised. we will have the election. we will have a potential runoff.
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we will have the formation of the government. the will occur between accomplishment of the mission and the establishment of the post tony 14 -- 2014 mission. this will be put into place ultimately for an advisory. with those major political transitions, it is essential in the first year after the election is to provide as much support as we can to the afghans. in the resource base and not just in the longevity of the mission, but a clear western enunciation of support to the afghan government and the a in sf. f.ans in the absence of that clarity,
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we have seen a digging in strategy. people will not support investment. people are unwilling to commit to a peace process. it is not just a hedging strategy in the countryside, it is in the cities and regionally. clarity, this kind of obvious and open enunciated commitment is really important right now to give the afghan citizenry and elite and the region the sense that the west is going to be there for some. of time. we learned three lessons from the end of the soviet era. produced a military that was pretty since effective. -- effective. the intent had been that the soviets would remain for some.
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of time heading the mushu dean. the first thing to go were the advisers. even when they went, the afghan forces still acquitted themselves relatively well until the soviet union completely collapsed. that is when the resources and funded that were necessary when away. the is when we saw first collapse. we and so the civil war emerge. the chaos that emerged was the general departure of the west and the instability that we created. those were lessons from which we studied significantly and made recommendations to influence the outcome of the end of this year and the post 2014.
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that is the taliban and narrative, that they will be abandoned. we will provide for the development of the security forces. we will accomplish that mission. right now, in the final throes will fly inion, it the face of the taliban and .arrative which is abandonment as long as we are able to maintain the equilibrium of those five areas, i think we can provide the amount of time necessary and the stability necessary for that first peaceful transition from the selection and let it get up on its feet. we will permit that to be complete.
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>> klees wait for a microphone. we will take to questions at a time. questionke your specific and who you would like to begin the answer and we will start here in the front row. >> thank you very much. and iarrett mitchell write the mitchell report. i want to question about the telegram. you have told us that it is clear that they will hope to be as disruptive as possible in the election process itself. the question i have goes beyond that. thatey make the assumption no matter how disruptive they therebe at some point,
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will be a new president and a new government? oh do they think they can model it enough that that does not happen? what would be the most likely post government formation strategy that the taliban could engage in that would help them achieve their destabilization and reinjuring the government in afghanistan? >> let's go to the second question. >> thank you. said in your op-ed last we risk if we try to hold afghanistan to a swiss level standard in elections.
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you made an interesting argument effectivelyarzai tied the country together. affect how going to the election plays out? those are good questions. government is going to have a tough operation. president, he is going to have to put together a government with a lot of very hungry supporters. none of the three leading candidates have such a strong base that they can push people aside and take other people. us af the three said to couple of weeks ago that they
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will have to reach out beyond their own coalition of supporters and put together a broader government in order for stability to take place. corruption, that doesn't tell you that you're going to have rapid change the matter who is elected and what they say now. to be putting in place a network of supporters over whom they have loose control. they have to do a lot of balancing. it is not likely you will see a lot of balancing and keeping that balance by whacking people for direction at the same time. if the leader is more skillful, he might ask people over time. i don't think we should expect rapid change in government. all three know they have to have a better governance. with what tension
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they have to do. we don't know how that is going to work. in policy terms, it will be important that we are close to have that -- who that person is. we need to help them manage that difficult tension so that proves governance rather than standing miracles of american we think should be immediately enacted. know't think any of us what to tell a man is thinking. their main issue is to discredit the new government. their approach has been hamid karzai is a foreign puppet. he has no legitimacy.
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we are legitimate. their goal is to maintain that situation. an election which has few adherents and a few people who vote and is badly contested by fraud. the more the next government is legitimated by the election and by how accept it, the more the taliban is in a position of having a difficult discussion. i have no idea how they will come out on that discussion. there is long history of our growing out of a gun in afghanistan. it does not mean people will be instantly saying that is the rule people. >> i don't know what any
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particular taliban is thinking. they need to be disruptive. they don't believe they can stop the selection from being undertaken. they can't stop the government from being formed. in terms of the outcome of the election, an early endorsement and theandidate formation of the government and a long-term commitment to afghanistan is essential. they been able to stay in the field and recruit based on the sense that the west was going to depart. they would ultimately be successful after our departure and the collapse of the corrupt government in kabul. the candidateho will be that is elected. signs the bsa,
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that would be a blow to the taliban. that president is intent on maintaining the relationship necessary not just for the ansf but to create a stable platform for the long term that is necessary. it is important that that candidate right now be thinking about the first actions they will take to repair the damage that has been done with the rhetoric from the palace over the last several months. important things that could happen would be to sign the security agreement. that would be reciprocated by the unambiguous declaration of support by the west for that president and that government
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and afghanistan over the long term. doubled with the taliban narrative in trouble. we will see where that goes. agree with what the ambassador has said. i want to keep it simple. government after will weaken the position of the taliban. it will damage their entire existence. it will prove that people want this system and want to vote their own leaders into office. create a huge trouble for the taliban. that, as long as the alabama remains hopeful for
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victory, they will not make peace. why would they make peace? a need for the treaty to be signed. there needs to be a strong and clear and consistent commitment from the international community. reduce the hope of the taliban for any potential victory. the future government has to be a broad-based coalition government. again, what we need to do is we need to get peace and negotiations. from a position to make as, we have lot of concessions. considering the amount of sacrifice that we have

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