tv Senator Christopher Murphy Proposes Doubling Foreign Affairs Budget CSPAN April 11, 2017 2:29am-3:32am EDT
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fifth congressional district in two terms. he serves on the appropriations committee, the health commission and most appropriate for our the senate foreign relations committee where he is the ranking member on the region subcommittee. outspoken on syria and russia, that means we have plenty to talk about. please welcome senator christopher murphy. murphy: thank you for having me .ere today and precision of thursday night's military attack was asir base in syria
impressive as it was pretty to go. wasp, $4oyer, the uss billion worth of steel and weaponry. moved into position to strike planners and intelligence officers, scores were busy assigning targets. in eastern syria, 500 u.s. troops, helping plan straight the assault on the city of the cost of an million dollars per year. ordered to retreat to safety in order to avoid potential retaliation. when the missile crisis was finally ordered, 60 or launched, costing $1.5 million. it struck the intended conga within a week, a major political attack was executed with deadly precision. america at the most impressive.
no military in the world has more capacity than ours. none is more lethal, efficient, none is more nimble. when the u.s. military's given a task, capacity is never in doubt. time is a minor obstacle. no one was surprised thursday night when word came down that the attack went as planned, perfectly. friday morning no one was surprised when the attack did nothing to change the reality of the dystopia creating civil war inside syria that has killed 400,000. no one was surprised that a political solution seems a billion miles away. no one was surprised that how badly damaged the airfield was, still the national security nightmare for the united states and allies. neither the root of the crisis in syria nor the way out is the militaryblems
alone can solve. the way in and out is little, cultural, social, economic. why syria feels just as hopeless after thursday as it did before. a problem is diagnosed as military the department of defense never has to worry about money or capacity of support. when syria is diagnosed as political, economic, social, no one can even imagine a real solution because the agencies that do that work, the state department primarily, set up to fail. they are only given the funding promise and never the resources to actually win. just enough to keep doors open. happened over and over and over again across the landscape of u.s. national security. victories arer building up their militaries but without exception, the crises
have little to do with kinetic power. >> there are there is a reason there are more people from ireland in the united states. they came here for opportunity. there are a lot more people of the norwegian origin in the united states that there was in norway. north korea may be trying to build a missile to attack the united states but the only attack has been cyber and not nuclear. as political instability grows all of the world, the record number of displaced persons, states breakdown and extremist groups step into the vacuum.
more rooms for the enemies of the u.s. to grow, terrorist organizations or untreatable viruses. the nonmilitary challenges to the world order and american definey, frankly they the new threats that way at our .oorstep our enemies seem only to multiply and strengthen. the answer to me is simple. a strong american military is still vital to guard against conventional security threats but the emerging threats exert influence that cannot be checked with military balance alone.
increasingly immune to be blunt force of the american military. the world has changed, the tools that arrival sent me used to transform. service towe pay lip meet these new threats but it is marginally just just largely just lip service. think about this way, or people working in military grocery stores today than it laments in the state department. how about this? in the global competition for foreign investment, china is laughing at us because our budget for public diplomacy around the world's $650 million and their budget for creating economic and political goodwill is $10 billion. how about foreign aid?
we wonder why it is not effective anymore. we spent 2% of national assistance programs. today that number is .1%. a 94% did munition. we wonder why each of like a series about government reform. maybe it is because saudi arabia is 10 times the amount the united states is in the egyptian economy. their priorities take precedence. every u.s. president, republican or democrat, is destined to fail. the toolkit we currently give to our commander-in-chief's image matched -- chief is a mismatch. is time that we talk about our non-kinetic forces in the -- weay we think about need to give the department of defense everything it needs to succeed. peace is achieved in part through military strength.
my country to have the capacity to do what it did thursday night. if we should look at the state department and usaid with we look at the department of defense. if it is reasonable to ask for 50 billion in military funding, it should be reasonable to propose 50 billion more in nonmilitary security funding. today i am unveiling a detailed to change course. i am outlining the weight we can rebuild our country's national security toolkit so that presidents have, for the first time in memory, the option to succeed globally if they choose to. recognize theto success of the marshall plan was not a mexicans. spending money on building stability is a great national security investment of i've never been -- it has never been a greater need than today. americat secede with
exiting the economic development playing field. the best prophylactic against terrorism and the best pathway to open new markets to american goods is economic empowerment the plan sets forward specific proposals to do this. let's take the handcuffs off of u.s. development. this doesn't come at any expense to the u.s. taxpayer. why is america the global capital of capital markets letting china run circles around us when it comes to global finance? it's time to consolidate the current alphabet soup of financing agencies into one powerhouse. the u.s. international development bank. take off all the restrictions that exist on development finance so we can compete with countries like china, russia, for the good of u.s. companies.
let's really ramp up the millennium challenge corporation. it is a model that works. there is a line of countries that wants in. a reinvigorated mcc could make huge leaps forward and we should partner the mcc with a new program where money has been fronted to coincide with the implementation of reform. development aid coming from the united states reaching countries where it really matters. finally, recognize that our adversaries are using energy as a weapon and we should start fighting back. begin financing energy independence for countries on the periphery. -- on the periphery of petro dictators. put the money up to do it. have a robust policy. making ukraine energy independent is a better long-term investment in anything we could do with the military.
the second proposal envisions an america that could truly respond to security crises before the deployment of cruise missiles. there's nothing soft about the work that our diplomats do to protect and advance u.s. security. whether it is countering russian corruption in the balkans, working to stem the flow of undocumented migrants from central america, or fighting the spread of intolerant islam in the middle east, our diplomats are defenders of security all over the globe. by the way, they don't cost $1 million per year to deploy. this focuses on powering up some of the most important missions of the state department. a renewed focus on state propaganda is already underway, but it is needing more help. rapidly spreading corruption is undermining the rule of law and u.s. interest all over the world and a new cadre of foreign service offices dedicated to good governance can help to turn the tide. and no organization provides better bang for the buck than the peace corps. it pillars -- it deserves to get the funding of the kennedy era.
the third and final set of proposals would put into place the necessary funding so that the united states can finally lead on global finance crisis management prevention. eventually the slope of every international crisis flows to the united states, developing crises, whether they be military conflicts or famines, they eventually threaten us. civil wars in the middle east drive extremist recruitment, public safety crises thrive on undocumented migration. -- drive undocumented migration to america. disease epidemics can be on our door. if the united states doesn't step up to prevent these crises before they arise, no one will and we will end up paying the price for this abdication of global leadership. while this proposal calls for some immediate increases in the historical counts of that fund humanitarian assistance, there are two major ones here. first, the consolidation of the existing flexible funding accounts within the state and usaid. to respond to developing political or military crises. these funding streams as they
exist now are well-meaning, redundant, and underfunded. i always remember the undersecretary it came to my office to complain that even though the u.s. all al-shabab moving into northern kenya, we couldn't do anything about it because we didn't have the authority to move money from one account of the other, to stand up in the capacities needed to keep terrorist recruitment in kenya and today. the global crisis prevention account will give the president the ability to deploy the assets into the area before it falls into chaos. nonmilitary stabilization assets. we don't have the resources or the agility to do this now. second, a pre-funded global health account that will allow the president to stop a pandemic in its infancy rather than having to wait once it reaches adolescence. estimates are that the billions spent on ebola could have been just the millions is the obama administration had the money to spend one year earlier.
as you read through this report or the executive summary, i do hope that you will not think i've gone mad. i understand what i'm doing here. i'm arguing unapologetically for doubling of the foreign affairs budget over the course of five years at a political moment in time when the president is calling for the same budget to be cut by 30% this year alone. i understand that today this is not a realistic proposal. but it is a marker for where we should be. and a marker for the coming debate so that the terms don't start such that flat funding is on one side with a devastating 30% cut on the other. for the majority of smart thinkers on global security, that know that our foreign affairs budget is badly underfunded and we need to be on offense. president trump's medieval view of the world, in which the u.s. can protect itself of the big
army and a bigger moat is wrong and dangerous. and the fawning, frankly over the missile strike in syria will just fan the flames of his backwards views on national security. syria is just as big a mess today as it was wednesday, maybe even a bigger mess if the response is an escalation. the world is a mess, too. the cleanup cannot happen if the u.s. continues to spend money the way that we are today, ignoring the blizzard of crises. they cannot be solved by equipping the department of defense with everything they need in the homes that are left -- they need and the department of state with the crumbs left ever.
>> when you have supported the revolution you just described? >> if there was a resolution to limit the potential for the expansion of a u.s.-led ground war in syria, combined with an authorization to strike, i think that is something i would have been interested in supporting. >> take a big jerger picture of you. starting with the president started when he was inaugurated or starting right now,, what would you do? it's a mess. there's a long history of why, but what would you do?
>> we still have this leftover hubris as a nation that is still with us that we have to shake. restraint is sometimes a smart policy. i know this is unsatisfactory to those who work professionally in the field of foreign affairs, but what we have done over the past four or five years is make the situation worse. enough toven them keep the fight going but not enough to win. you need to decide if you are in or out -- i would argue we should be out, focused on defeating isis but not engaged in the ultimate fight over who controls the syrian regime.
we should be a player in the political process, use the leverage we have to come to the table, but not believe that we are going to draw the political solution. i would pull the support for the game whenwould up my it came to political pressure on the arabians and the russians and use whatever leverage at our disposal to pressure them to step up the fight, and i would dramatically expand humanitarian assistance. >> doesn't that leave syria to assad and what he currently controls, and russia to run over the rest of the country, because without our military assistance, including our airstrikes, there is nothing left for the rebels to do -- they can't stand up to
the syrians and russians. 2010uld you take syria in as a trade for syria today? assad is a terrible guy, but what you are saying is that a syria where assad is in charge for any. istime -- any period of time an unsatisfactory outcome. given what he has done, it is impossible to imagine a u.s. policy that allows him to stay, but we continue to pretend there is this political settlement in which russia and iran abandon him. feed the civil war under the belief that someday a set of circumstances will magically occur in which they agree to willingly leave and there is a pluralistic, american oriented democracy --
that is not happening. if we need to guarantee some that's andon't think unjustifiable price to pay for the end it to the carnage. if theggests that carnage would end or be abated, it would likely continue for a while, but just without our help. >> had we not propped up the rebels with training and weapons , where would seriously today? it may be that it wouldn't have continued and maybe assad would still be in power, but it would be a less violent place.
i don't spend every moment of my day thinking about this problem -- i'm not telling you i'm sure, but the middle ground we are in today, where we are propping up the civil war and waiting for the moment in which all of the things that we want a line, it to me seems a fantasy. >> let's give others to join the conversation -- raise your hand and wait for the microphone -- speak directly into it, state your name and affiliation so please keep your question to a of 15-20 questions. >> thank you. headedretary of state is
to moscow -- how would you define success in regards to his mission? >> i am pleased at the stunning change of rhetoric that has happened with respect to u.s.-russia relations in the last 48 hours -- it is hard to understand why we all of a sudden decided to take announcer: this antagonistic stand and i do think there is a way to read what happened in syria last week through the lens of softness on russia. russia has complicity in these chemical weapons attacks. you have to ask yourself, did they think that they could get away with it because the u.s. has essentially signaled that there was essentially no price to be paid if they behaved in irresponsible manners throughout the world?
you have to ask that question. but that is passed. what is prologue, what does that mean? what is success? boy, i have low expectations for this meeting. in part because the russians are going to try to make it unsuccessful in order to provide a repercussion for this genetic turn in rhetoric. -- dramatic turn in rhetoric. for me, tillerson, coming out of it talking the same way that he did going in, then coming to work with us in congress on a set of sanctions that start to continue to tighten the noose on russia so that eventually we have the leverage necessary. i got very low expectations. >> if i read between the lines, i thought i heard you saying that there's a bit sen. murphy of a positive development. sen. murphy: yeah, absolutely. this is a very different administration when it comes to the way that they talk about russia, and i think that is a positive development. we have legislation ready to go in congress, if they could work
with us. again, this is all dizzying to our allies and adversaries. the fact that we still don't have a syria policy. we had two different ones yesterday on the tv talk shows. >> nothing wrong with tv talk shows. sen. murphy: especially when they make news like they did yesterday. no, but i think it's good to we change, but i'm not excited for an administration that seems to have this kind of rapid transformation in their policy and rhetoric, that is not great news for global stability. >> right here, ma'am. the microphones right there. >> senator, thank you for coming today. francis cooke. i think all we can set your funding comments is hallelujah, i hope it comes with slots. watching congress in this town has not been edifying the last
couple of weeks during the health care debate in gorsuch fight. do you think there are enough people in the congress who would support what you are proposing today? it certainly won't come from the administration, but the congress does control the budget. sen. murphy: no, i don't think that there are enough, but there is bipartisan support for a proposal like this. as you know, lindsey graham been traveling the world, making a case for a new marshall plan. there is no bigger hawk out there than lindsey graham. he understands that if you cut the state department funding, you have got to buy some more bullets. there are some new voices on this as well. anyone who has listened to todd young, the new senator from indiana, boy, he is a strong voice when it comes to these accounts. just a few extra advocates in the senate can make a
difference. victory in the short term would be parity, but in the long-term we have definitely got a handful of people who understand the value of these nonmilitary tools countering what our adversaries and rivals are doing. >> yes, sir? right here in the middle. >> rick tillman, board member of the arms control administration. president trump apparently decided very quickly, without consulting congress or our allies on this attack. doesn't this make an argument for the legislation that would require the president, before he launches the first nuclear strike, to consult with congress? sen. murphy: i'm not as familiar with that piece of legislation as it should be, and i will get
familiar with it. i would say that notification and consultation was woefully lacking. there were a handful of discussions that happened, but there were no broad notifications. i know the top democrats were being told as the strikes were being launched. it certainly appears that many of his lieutenants had international conversations after the fact. it doesn't seem that president trump had many direct conversations. again, much of the work on this seems to have been outsourced. he was busy this weekend, conducting some pretty important diplomacy with the chinese. he did seem to leave the diplomacy conversations to others. support has been fairly robust. i don't think you can fault him for not building an international coalition if, in the end, most of our international players were supportive of the strike. yes, sir?
>> thank you. i am from the study for islam and democracy. in your plan, senator, would you support the marshall plan for a country like tunisia? making a transition to democracy , still struggling with economic security situations on the border? sen. murphy: tunisia is almost a poster child for what i'm talking about. an outlier in that it comes out of the arabs spring with an impact and norma security challenges. the per capita flow of fighters out of tunisia still alarmingly high, given the fact that this is a government that may that transition. crying out for economic investment, having an inclusive
political structure that is able to take it. just to keep a tiny flow of economic development flowing into tunisia. don't assume that it remains stable. it is just a mountain compared to the peanuts necessary to build real clinical stability there. yes, sir? over here in the front? >> abrupt change of subject, can you tell me where the budget control act plays in your plan and where you think it will be next fall and if it is still there, what are you cutting? >> the current sequestration and budget control constraints would
have to be removed in order for this kind of plan to be put into place. again, i'm imagining this in a world where we have finally decided that the insanity of sequestration should no longer apply. but the amount of money we are talking about is big. i'm not going to suggest it isn't a large number, but that's the amount of money that you save if you decide to directly negotiate the price of prescription drugs with drug companies through medicare, right? there are single policy changes that can get you $50 billion. that's a minor adjustment in tax rates for upper income earners. the policy changes are not catastrophically large, if you chose to make them to come up with this money. part of what i'm arguing is just that the administration and the folks the proposed these supplementals should be thinking
about supplemental requests in these nonmilitary accounts. when the president makes many of these proposals, often they are not paid for because they are there to treat emergencies and when they do that, they should be including nonmilitary accounts as well. right here in the middle. >> sean murphy, from george washington university. i wonder if part of your argument to be supported by observing that a large amount of what the apart -- department of defense does is not hard power. a lot of what they do or things like working on the ground in afghanistan or iraq, building tents in west africa, disaster relief in various contexts. there is certainly hard work find it and so on, but i've
always been struck at how much diplomacy our american men and women in the service do. and if you conceive of that as part of the soft power side of things, all you are talking about is augmenting that with other experts who have language skills and experience and so on to make the whole package work together sen. murphy extremely well. sen. murphy: i think it is a wonderful point. i think you have seen this kind of slow, quiet shift since 2003 in which the military has traditional military work to the covert agencies, and the state department has outsourced diplomacy to the military, and the one group is left without much to do these days. much of their work has been shipped all to somebody else and they have been battling
underfunding to do what they need to do. i think that's part of the argument. and as rosa brooks points out in her book, part of the reason we so much traditional diplomacy through the military is because they are flexible. they can stand up really fast in a way the state department cannot. the state department's funding is so compartmentalized, there is so little flexibility for a secretary to move money from one country to another and capability account specific, that when you decide you want to do something, like dramatically expand arable land in a quarter of afghanistan, the department of defense can do it much faster than the state department can do it. that is why a big part of my proposal is built around getting more flexibility within the state department, consolidating accounts so that you can move
money around. to my democratic friends, that will be a scary discretionary power, but i think that every president is destined to fail unless we give him the flexibility in the nonmilitary account as the military. >> picking up on that in just a moment, we're in a city now controlled by senate republican, senate republican house. at the end of the day, i know that the president has a bias towards a military buildup. picturing quite a number of things you believe that foreign aid and the state department should focus on and the money that we need to spend on that. at the end of the day, what does it really matter if you and the president and other like-minded members of congress work together on accomplishing what you want to accomplish, but the defense department, rather than the department of state? sen. murphy: that's a great
question. in the end, the military, even with their new capacities, they are still trained and driven to do one thing, primarily. which is that thursday night strike, right? transforming the way that military education occurs, but there is no way to create the capacity in basic training to mirror the capacity that you get in foreign service school. it would involve a revolution of the state department and the way in which people are trained into it in the defense department in order for them to do it. listen, i think in a real egg think environment, given the way the world works today, you might want to have a conversation about, about, about one superstructure, right? which sees the whole gamut of security chances -- challenges as moving it around or
underneath it. the 19th-century idea of an army and a foreign office. i will give you an example. jim jones and others put together an example that starts to tease getting to that point. suggesting -- why don't we start by consolidating the state department commands and military commands? that's one of the problems today. you have the state department carved up in a way that doesn't overlap with the way that the u.s. military command structure is set up. one person at the top of each regional command overseeing the regional response and non-regional response. that might be a start. question right here in the middle? >> hello, nathan hostetter, church of the brother d.c. office and i convened a working
group on nigeria. much of our work is around the ongoing crisis in boko haram. we have raised concerns around the accountability of the nigerian military and the need to increase humanitarian assistance. one of the pieces of that, as you mentioned, is flexibility, the need to work in on the ground places that are difficult to get to for larger organizations. sen. murphy: so, i don't know nigeria as well as others, but it strikes me as a place where our current toolkit has simply not worked, in part because we are supplying -- what we try to hang over the head of nigeria is support for the military. we have this big slush fund that allows them to move foreign military aid around very fluidly.
nigeria is always in that pot. we try to use that money to force the political change necessary to build long-term stability. back to the question of who should be doing that, the department of defense is not in the business of creating political stability. they are not able to use funding as a leverage for political change. the state department's in that business, that's what they do. because there is a slush fund and the department of defense but not state, it's the military, its generals that are sitting across from the nigerians, saying -- we would love to give you this new money to fight boko hurrah, but -- boko haram, it's really important that you do that. >> why can't you use the same
slush fund and bring over ambassador cook from the state department and get the advice and a converse the same thing or selling similar? meaning we don't want to wait for three years and nine months. the people on your side don't want to wait to do something as we know who is going to be in the white house. isn't there something that you can do to work within the current power structure in washington to accomplish what you are trying to accomplish? which is admirable, understanding it's highly unlikely that there is going to be significant funding increases at the state department. in fact, at this point, the president's budget is going to suffer significant funding decreases. >> i think today that's what you want to do, right? professional diplomats sitting at the table, helping to negotiate military funding
increases. i'm not willing to accept the way things are done today. i understand that what i'm proposing is a radical departure. i have found in this town that everything is impossible until it no longer is impossible. today we are stuck spending military dollars and using it as a means to push political reform. but if we have to capabilities am talking about, 10 years ago we could have been using the money in nigeria to build the kind of political reform that never allowed for extremism to run out of control, as it is today. i don't know if that is how it would have played out, but as i said at the beginning of this each we can't even envision real political economic solutions for places like nigeria because we simply only have the resources to envision military solutions.
>> hi, this is jessica [indiscernible] from beloit. i'm going to take us to the next level. to get to a plus up his vision, you are going to need to do that with secretary tillerson, bringing him on the journey. in addition to bringing more power back from dod to the state to reestablish their chutzpah around the world. what is your plan for you and your brethren on the committee to slip the narrative to get back to being an advocate for this? sen. murphy: you guys are so practical. [laughter] sen. murphy: and trying to lift you into the clouds here, but you are not coming. thinking about how to plot
through the tactics of this. so, i have not lost hope in secretary tillerson. in terms of flossing the -- plussimg's accounts, he didn't use that express a high level of confidence in the work that his department does. it is going to be left to the state department, friends in the senate and the house, to try to make those arguments. and we have them. i mean, we have really good. ultimately we may not have republican support for the massive increases on talking about, but we have those who are acknowledging how devastating the cut would he and i'm not losing sleep at night thinking there will be a budget with a 30% cut. or even a 10% cut for the department of state. getting support for the targeted in certain account.
>> i'm interested in that private lunch, just hearing about it. [laughter] sen. murphy: you can imagine the conversation. secretary tillerson was good to have on the foreign relations committee. you can imagine the subjects we talked about. i didn't walk away from that lunch thinking that this was a 30% or 40% cut that was deeply antithetical to the way of someone who sounded like he would defend those cuts rather than push back against them. some said they didn't support them, arguing for more money than the department.
suggesting that tillerson will be of the latter category, not the former. >> yes? >> this is another practical question down in the weeds that deals with the relationship between the pentagon and the state. they had stopped interviewing afghans that served with american forces. they just aren't any more special immigrant visas to be had. senator mccain, senator reid, senator shaheen, they have on both sides propose legislation that would increase, think, 2500, the number of special
immigrant visas. what do you think about that? how do we solve that problem? sen. murphy: it's a moral imperative and national security imperative. it's probably likely that we will and when we are in another country with big numbers, we will need them to work with us. as word gets out, we will leave you to die, we won't rescue you. why would anyone else cooperate with us overseas? it's a moral stain, but ultimately it's a practical liability. there are more of these folks in need and you can imagine. the threats come not just to the individual, but to the entire family.
i was literally on the road going from pancake breakfast of pancakes reckless, stopping to get something to drink at a convenience store, the clerk at the convenience store branford to radio stations -- store in branford he was run out of afghanistan, but his family was still there. to his great misfortune, a u.s. came into by a diet mountain dew. [laughter] again, this is a tough one, you have got the support in congress, but when you start talking about fiddling with immigration policies, dealing with the administration, that might be one of the bright lines , which would be absolutely tragic. >> right here, yes, ma'am? >> hi, senator.
my question takes us back into the clouds a bit. it would seem that it would need to be anchored in a fundamental rethinking of our national security strategy. would you agree? and if so, what are some of the key tenants? sen. murphy: well, you are clearly right. i hope i had -- i articulated that in my remarks. what i suggested is that the tools that are adversaries are using are not primarily military in nature. yet hours continue to be. you have got to build up a basket of tools overseas. we had the biggest, baddest military in the world, worn as a badge of honor.
this is the only capacity in which we are the world leader, right? why is it acceptable that we are not the world leader on information flow? why are we not the world leader on economic assistance? why are we not the world leader on energy assistance? why are we so proud to be the world leader when it comes to military power, but we ask that -- except being second, third, or fourth place in all of these other capacities that increasingly suggest the ones that are really going to matter. second, about stability. in a world in which it only takes a little bit of ungovernable space for a handful of really bad people to plot a highly deadly attack against the united states, you got to be waking up every day to reduce ungovernable space. big military hardware doesn't do
that. it often exacerbates that ungovernable space. think about the question and develop the capacity. dramatically reducing it makes it much less likely. >> senator, we and exactly where we begin. thank you for watching at home. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] announcer: a daylong conference on food policy with remarks from congressman jim mcgovern of massachusetts. topics include the role of food in foreign policy, safety, and
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