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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 17, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EST

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where we wind up getting things wrong in the end. tyler: here is nate's book. read nate's site. thank you for a great chat. [applause] announcer: south carolina republicans are not the only ones going to the polls on saturday. in nevada, the democratic caucuses will be taking place. david weigel writes for the "washington post" and is joining us. this has often been called hillary clinton's firewall. what can we expect when the results come in saturday evening from nevada? david: expect something closer than they would have liked a month ago. perhaps better than they are anticipating now. the clinton campaign first organized in nevada. in 2008, this was a state that
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broke late that hillary clinton narrowly won thanks to support from white voters and latino but where barack obama won by organizing rural areas. her campaign manager was the winner of that nevada process. they have a better organization, a better understanding of how to organize the state. i understand sanders has caught up with clinton. host: there have not been a lot of accurate polls because the process is so different in nevada, taking place saturday afternoon. also as you point out, a big push by the bernie sanders campaign on the ground in the state. what did you see? david: i saw a lot of activity from the sanders campaign. it looked outmatched by activity from the clinton campaign. the sanders campaign has 12
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offices around nevada. clinton has seven. clinton had seven before sanders had seven. the campaign offices are basically the same. a lot of younger people. they are happy to tell you why they are passionate about the candidate. there is not an enthusiasm gap like in other states. the difference in who is doing the organizing is the national nurses union is out there for bernie. the cornucopia of other unions are there for hillary. i talked to a lot of folks who had come in from california for both campaigns, with the preponderance for clinton. the unions endorsed her. they were going to come out and work for her. host: with the hospitality industry such a huge factor in nevada, clark county accounts for most of the democratic votes.
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there are about 57,000 members of the culinary union, and so far no endorsement. why? david: that is a good question. from my conversations this last week, because the culinary union felt burned from 2008 in a couple of ways. it did not appreciate the campaigns campaigned in casinos. even though the union endorsed obama, they watched a lot of members go for hillary. they were a little skittish about this year even before it got hot. when it did get hot, they were alienated by the sanders' campaign aggressive approach. this culminated in a truly bizarre fight that i don't think enough attention. some sanders supporters snuck into the dining halls open only to culinary workers in some casinos trying to lobby them and turn them to supporting sanders.
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it was kind of amateurish. it was called out. it was then called out in the media. the culinary union threw up its hands at that point. host: are the campaigns doing internal polling? how do they guarantee people come out on a saturday caucus in nevada? david: if you were going to design something to maximize the turnout of more working-class people, this would not exactly be it. but it is better than a rush hour caucus like iowa. there is internal polling. the clinton campaign is talking about it less than they used to. the sanders campaign is within striking distance if everything goes the way. that is why you have seen hillary clinton change her schedule to doing four stops in nevada. she will be back here. sanders will be back here. it is competitive. i don't want to say the delegates don't matter. i think they matter less than the entrance polls we are going
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to see saturday morning that tell us whether sanders has broken through with latino voters and people who supported hillary last time in a state where she was supposed to have organization and ties. the clinton campaign has traded happily off the idea that sanders support is fairly elite, white, very little at stake in the election compared to black and latino voters. if they break through, if it turns out latino voters in nevada can be converted as much as white working-class in new hampshire, that will be the story of the caucus even if hillary wins. host: a tightening race threatens clinton firewall. the reporting of david weigel, his work available online at
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announcer: the south carolina primary and nevada caucuses are saturday. we have live coverage here on c-span. here are some of the political ads airing in those states. >> my father was a postman that told me you stand on your own two feet. you go out and change the world. my parents were killed by a drunk driver. but my parents did not die in vain. i was transformed. i discovered my purpose by discovering the lord. i believe the lord put us on this earth to use the gifts we have been given to bring about healing. that is the motivation for me. i am john kasich and i approve this message. >> who is jeb bush relative to all the others? jeb bush: i'm the most proven conservative with the most proven record. i do believe life begins at conception. my faith makes me believe that. as an n.r.a. number for the past
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15 years, the sound of our guns is the sound of freedom. i am the most pro-life governor on this stage. i had six pro-gun hunting bills, a record for florida. >> no one has the consistent, proven record. >> it is morning again in america. today, more men and women are out of work than ever before in our nation's history. people are paying more in taxes than they will for food, housing, and clothing combined. nearly $20 trillion national debt for the next generation, double what it was just eight years ago. this afternoon, almost 6000 men and women will be married. with growing threats and growing government, they will look forward with worry to the future. it is morning again in america. and under the leadership of barack obama and hillary clinton, our country is more vulnerable, divided, and
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diminished than ever before. why would we ever want four more years again of that? ted cruz: i am ted cruz and i approve this message. >> i'm capable to changing to anything i want to change to. >> would trump and partial-birth abortion? >> no. >> planned parenthood serves a good function. >> hillary clinton? >> i think she does a good job and i like her. >> south carolina cannot trust donald trump. >> i'm capable of changing to anything i want to change to. >> don't give him that chance. >> i am donald trump and i approve this message. >> he was a 17-year-old football star gunned down outside his home. his killer, an illegal immigrant thing member who just got out of prison.
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his dad is supporting donald trump for president because he knows he will end illegal immigration. >> trump is the only one saying you will be dealt with. we will enforce that. that is a beautiful thing. i believe donald trump wants to make us great again and he loves america. ♪ >> ♪ it feels good to be a clinton a politician that always plays her cards right got a crew for the fight on the airwaves if clinton it ever needs to explain a real clinton knows they are entitled and you don't get to know what they do a clinton plays the victim for promotion a clinton killed them off with a smile it feels good to be a clinton
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it feels good to be a clinton nothing ever hits with a sting ♪ ♪ >> i am adamantly against illegal immigration. i voted numerous times to build a barrier. >> we need to build a wall. >> a chance to do whatever they want to. >> killings, murders, crime. >> people have to stop employing illegal immigrants. >> we need to keep illegals out. >> we will make america great again. >> yes, we will! announcer: the republican south carolina primary is on saturday. we will have more coverage tomorrow on c-span. donald trump campaigns in waterbury, south carolina, that is live at 5:00 eastern.
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marco rubio holds a town hall meeting. afterwards, we take your phone calls. that begins at 6:00 eastern. next, former u.s. ambassador ryan crocker takes part in a conversation on the future of iraq. >> american history tv features programs that tells the american story. we will hear a special consultant of president johnson, general maxwell taylor, followed by committee member questions. >> in his baltimore speech of april 7, 1965, president johnson did so in the following terms. our objective is the
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independence of south vietnam veterans freedom from attack. we want nothing for ourselves, only that the people be allowed to guide their own country in their own way. this has been our basic objective since 1954. it has been pursued three successive administrations. >> next saturday, dean rusk gives his testimony. for the complete weekend schedule, go to [applause] cycle, we areion reminded how important it is for citizens to be informed. >> i think it is a great way for us to stay informed. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. >> there's so much more that c-span does to make sure that people outside the beltway know
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what is going on inside it. >> on today's "washington journal," we talked to supreme court reporter david savage about the death of justice scalia over the weekend and vacancy on the court. then, aaron klein of the bipartisan policy center on the federal reserve and possible changes to interest rates in the coming weeks. you can join the conversation by phone or on facebook and twitter. now, a discussion on the future of iraq. joining the conversation, former u.s. ambassador's to iraq, ryan crocker and james jeffrey. we will also hear from jon huntsman. from the atlantic council, this is two hours.
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welcomeld like to everyone on behalf of the atlantic council family. it is a great honor to welcome you to this afternoon's launch event of the task force on the future of iraq. right off the top, let me say the number of our executive committee is here. we thank you for what you have done to make the center a reality and its work so recognized. i would like to offer thanks to our conrad and the university of iraq for the generous support of the iraq task force. let me note our event is on the record and is being live youamed online for those of on twitter, i encourage you to #futureiraq i am delighted to welcome our
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distinct group of speakers could we have two former ambassadors to iraq. ryan crocker and jim jeffrey. a former commander of iraq and nato training mission, general michael barbero. thank you for joining us today. with four civil wars in 2015 and isis' rapid growth over the past 18 months, the middle east continues to be fraught with conflict and instability. that has exacerbated security concerns around the world. we are here today to do a deeper dive on one particular state, iraq, that holds strategic importance in the middle east and across global communities. as defeating isis dominates the agenda for many countries in the middle east including iraq, it is crucial we also take into account the deep-seated dynamics pre-existing in each of these
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countries that will need to be addressed when crafting sustainable solutions for peace. inspired by the ongoing work of the atlantic council's middle east strategy task force that is chaired by the executive vice chair of the atlantic council and the honorary board director, madeleine albright, iraq task force seeks to go beyond the defeat of isis and conduct substantial research into the iraqi case. the task force will bring together a broad array of regional stakeholders and international experts to collaborate in identifying ways to stabilize the iraqi state, reconcile its warring communities, and build a basis for long-term stability in the country. the group will think through the demobilization of iraq's militias, the future of iraq's sunni community, the prospects for kurdish independence, paths to improving economic
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performance, and plans for reintegration of internally displaced people. we have gathered a team of 25 of the world's leading experts on iraqi politics chaired by ambassador ryan crocker, who we will hear from shortly. the worst of the task force will culminate with a book and series of policy oriented papers complete with recommendations for governments and the international community. but the middle east strategy task force and iraq task force are part of a broader atlantic council effort to inject strategic thinking on u.s. foreign-policy. with the specific aim to empower the international community and regional players with long-term approaches to respond to the challenges within the middle east. we hope to develop a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for the long-term support of iraq's stabilization in time for the transition to a new administration in the united states.
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without further a do, i would like to turn it over to executive director of the iraq task force, beside the younis -- nussaibah younis, who will introduce the panelists. >> thank you for joining us on the future of iraq. passion project of mine for a long time. a lot of you have given me advice and guidance on how to put it together and which questions to focus on and how to move forward with this so that it is the most useful it can be to the u.s. government in terms of devising a long-term strategy for the stabilization of iraq beyond the defeat of isis, but also to develop useful policy tools to share with the kurdish regional government and iraqi government in baghdad. we really aim to bring policy
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measures to the forefront, learning from the mistakes we have made and also from the lessons we have learned from over a decade of u.s. involvement in iraq. i have with me a distinguished panel who have years of experience in iraq and who i'm going to ask difficult, reflective questions to try and draw out how we can bring lessons learned to bear on our future engagement with a rock -- iraq. tried tos we have turn away from it, it is a country in which we need to have long-term strategic engagement. the more foresight and strategic thinking we can bring to bear on that, the better for us all. i'm going to start with ambassador crocker. you were ambassador
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to iraq between 2007 and 2009, which was a time of quite dramatic stabilization in the country. when you reflect on that time, how do you account for the shift from violence to stabilization part of thet from population being very alienated from the political process towards their willingness to take part and get back of a chance? ambassador crocker: thanks. it is a pleasure to be here. let me say a word about our larger purpose. the future of iraq task force. iraq will have a future. the question is whether the u.s. is going to be part of that shape, seeking to channel, guide processes to a
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better place than what we are seeing now. this with the 25 experts assembled, all of whom know more about iraq than i do. as we go into the task force, it is with a very open mind to take , make a series of assessments, to challenge each other as we do it, and then try to provide something useful to a new administration. arguably over the last dozen , we did too much as a government and now are doing far too little. nestledl be our effort steve the fantastic work hadley and madeleine albright did on the middle east to try to
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provide a way forward for a new administration, which is going to need it. of course, everything good that happened in 2007-2009 was entirely due to meet. -- to me. there is nothing like being in the right place at the right time. i think jim and mike would agree with that. i think there were a number of factors that led to the achievement of relative stability and relative inclusivity on a political level. the search really can -- the surge really counted. i got there in the early days of the surge in 2007 and could watch it work. dora as week, i went to the surge troops were moving in.
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a completely devastated neighborhood where the only protection the largely sunni inhabitants thought they would ever have from marauding militias was al qaeda. with the surge troops, not just the number, but the changing mission, protection of the population, you could see how had aame back because we small operating base there. the surge and the sense of security it brought to populations primarily in baghdad but really around the country made a huge difference. with that, politics could be workable again.
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i worked closely with maliki and others. prime minister maliki came from a certain background and had a called highlyiew sectarian. but he knew what he needed to do for the country. i mentioned to jump over lunch -- to jim over lunch that we taught the iraqis a lot of bad things. maybe the worst was the budget supplemental process. iraq's first budget supplemental in september of 2007, $250 million, went to the sunni province of anbar. it took a fair amount of lifting with the prime minister to get them there, but he could see how important that was to pull iraq out of the chaos of civil war and provide at least the hope of
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a unified country. security, security, security. security to trigger a political process. we saw that in the course of , how deals could be done in parliament bringing kurds, sunnis, and shia together. for compromises. compromises they could not quite fashion on their own. but if the u.s. was in the middle of it giving something here and there, we can help them put it together. i certainly start with that bias, if you will, and would be interested in what jim thinks about it. we were the essential middlemen when i was there. for lots of reasons, the horrors of the saddam years, the s
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beagle -- unspeakable tragedy of the conflicts. compromise was just not something the iraqis were going to do. but we could get in the middle of it and make those things happen. i would haves, interesting conversations with the kurdish leaders at that time. got way too , reminding, i would say me, what were the very worst of iraqi-kurdistan? there would be some debate because there were a lot of bad times. almost always, they would come awfulo the
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>> never been so good. don't blow it. don't overreach. recognize that future within unitarian iraqi state. provide solid economic basis for budget. beginning in early 2007. no guarantee search would work. i remember watching casualty count go up. 120 dead. june, 2007. everybody was a person. american.
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that june 2007 that sacrifice would turn time. it did. brought basic security. various then build structures. >> thank you. ambassador jeffrey, you are there later under obama. reflect a little on what ambassador crocker said. was u.s. prepared to act as middleman? bring in components of iraqi society together. as u.s. mission changed by time you were ambassador? all-star with a story.
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it involves writing. he visited us. he walked into my office. i said, only you could say the rack. embarrass his and answer, but many of you can imagine how he responded. we laughed. ryan, dave petraeus, bush, most important way, iraqi people save direct. -- safety rock. -- iraq. looking better. constitutional system care democracy. people who don't do well are driven out. managed to stem tide of isis. changed.
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in the world since that time. after 1987-1989, we do not face real existential major global challenges. be an't each problem taiwan or taiwan or columbia or iraq as a specific problem. in a generally positive world. things are shifting. not in our direction. particularly, not in the middle iraq was getting caught up in that when i was there. he came in and, oppositiony on a
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dealer clinton vote in 2009 -- 2002. he voted against it. he was going to withdraw troops. actually, he did not have to because u.s. government agreed in 2008 and security agreement we would withdraw by 2011. obama came in with a double success story. iraq was relatively stable. casualties were down. on a glide to withdraw. he gave a speech in february, 2009, where he endorsed the
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entire bush administration program for iraq. calling for a country that would and ally andable, friend of the united states. and partner in struggle against terrorism. caveat is that a little bit by saying cannot be on every street corner. cannot solve all problems. iraqis have to step up. optimistic about it. through 2010.ned he's iraq is a success. he saw something fixed. focus was on afghanistan. iraq was on automatic pilot. business of experience previously were concerned that things might shift and a bad direction given the clouds looming in the region. from iran.
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recommended at the end of 2010 after government formed that we try to keep troops on. and of january, beginning february, obama took the decision to do that. we announced at beginning of june publicly to american people that we were going to try to keep some troops on. ending america's war in iraq and bringing troops on. stopped being the policy. it was to keep troops on. obama was a good sport and willing to try. we can argue. obama's heart was in it. i had instructions to negotiate. iraqi parties agreed that we
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could keep military personnel on send adid not want to status of forces agreement granting american truby's immunity to iraqi parliament. they thought it would blow up. and when i get past. and appended assessment, was that probably right. secondly, and a nonemergency time when iraqis did not feel a major security threat, getting that these of paper from the possibly notr was smart. regretfully, we wound up executing 2008 plan and got overtures out at the end of 2000 -- 2011. obama administration did not walk away from iraq. plan to use embassy
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as platform. ironically, before mozilla fell, model toed it as the withdraw from afghanistan of how to do things after 2016. thin model fell and afghanistan got in trouble. model did not work. could go into details about special forces. well thought out, problem, do not have boots on grounds, do not have american military presence, potentially dangerous and difficult place, washington's ability to do hard things and focus on a very important, but from washington , indpoint peripheral issue the green, drops and drops.
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some of that is my fault. some of it is washington's fall. some of it is maliki's fall. point is, could've done better after 2012. we did not. i want to move on to talk about popular mobilization forces. 60,000e possibly possibly 80,000 shiite militia men under arms in iraq. helped infighting in some areas. other areas, u.s. tries hard to keep them out of the fighting. role, all parties in iraq are very worried about what the future is going to be. how can they be demobilized and disarmed or properly integrated into state military structure? we experience with shiite
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militia previously. general.urn to the we talked about this before. he refers to the march madness which is march 2008 when promised her maliki decided unilaterally time was now to go after -- and lunch military campaign that could have failed if we did not back them up. reflecting on iraqi government experience in dealing with militias and bring them back under control, integrating them into iraqi security forces and into interior ministry, police forces other structures. what is the lesson that we could learn as we prepare to confront
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large challenge trying to deal with this? >> thanks. comment, looking back, a lesson learned we should take forward to new strategy. perfect, which is for strategist is essence. understood into a very clear. stop violence. sakura population. allow institutions to mature. allow security forces to move. 40,000 additional troops. among population, don't try to work to work.
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separate reconcilable from irreconcilable. destroy reconcilable's. that, understand it is about population. hence, ways, means always standard by which to test strategy. an alignment during that time. we make mistakenly lumped together pms and militias. there are nationalists and iraqi friend of baghdad describe this to me. a ronnie's circuit militias. that nationalst militias who answered the call could be brought back into the fold in some measure. they were reconcilable.
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they could be brought in and made part of the institution. question, hadnd to put this back in the bottle? sponsored circuit militias? similar to pass. that's the question. daesh is being granted away at. you could see a way forward. internal problems in iraq are deep and have been deepened during time. you could still see a way forward there. militias aligned with iran more than iraq, have you contained them and get them back into the bottle? greatest threat to iraqi stability and security moving forward. an open question. >> thank you. ambassador crocker, continue
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talking about reining in militias. you have extensive experience. afghanistan, pakistan. and lebanon. can you reflect on lessons that come to mind in terms of trying down militia forces, particularly in the context of weak central government? prime minister maliki launching military action against -- doing so on basis of strong electoral support. unequivocally backing of significant proportion of iraqi people. intentions, cannot say same about prime minister abadi. how does a weak central government to really go about
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beginning to confront armed actors, many of whom have quite clearly got political ambitions echoed reflecting on that time, 2008, march and april, thinking about an event in basra, much deploy iraqiort to forces into basra to bring order. prime minister had to withdraw. pretty stark contrast between 2008 and now. thing, what we tried to do, don't get trapped by experience. this and that happens, therefore it would
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apply everywhere else. really hard. lebanon. years in two tours. second as ambassador. i see parallels. lebanon andlace in what is going on in iraq. weak central governments. iran playing a very significant role. anyone who thought that iran nuclear deal was going to bring a new era of a gentle iran in the region is nuts. what you are saying in iraq or syria is indication of that. iraq, isare seeing in old iranian playbook.
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written in the early 80's and the wake of israeli invasion. working with syria, they created what became hezbollah. i mentioned avoiding getting captured by experience, mine was a survivor of 1983 bombing of embassy. and beirut. i was there when the barracks when it. brought by combination of iran and syria and a local proxy. hezbollah. p.m. you is not monochromatic. nationalist elements. individualsand taking instructions from iran.
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this will be really hard. for iraqi government. if you cannot deploy military unit into basra, maintain it. establish order. maliki could do that in 2008 with our help. you are in trouble. a way forward might come through acceptance of militias. accounts, basra not a very fun place to live. no rule of law. militia role. same as beirut. people get sick of that. to start opportunity
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to gain ground back. this will be hard. as we withdrew, politically and militarily, did not end a war. simply left battlefield to adversaries. in this case iran and their proxies. and to isil. will be a hugely difficult lift. job as task force, define problem. various dynamics. in methodical way. set out possible courses of action. this will be externally difficult. >> ambassador jeffrey, reflect a iran's endgame in
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iraq. betweenrelationship maliki and iranians and how it --changed between a body premise or a body and iranians. where does iran get its power and influence from? what is their medium term goals? >> take a step back. given we are in a different world than a few years ago. we could look at iran and iraq as separate. problem andran syria and russia problem in middle east. number one problem in region. and also isis.
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first, what is he ran trying to do? all, observers believe it is try to establish something like a regional power position. unite the shia with a early sovietf union and 1920's which both had official diplomatic relations as a state and political ideological movement as a party. iran has toinger, decide whether it is a country or a cause. as a cause, borders are important. they all melted together. what is important is iran's advancing is interests in the region all the way to the
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mediterranean. fromboth drawing support and then coming to the rescue of local allies. typically but not entirely shia arabs. if that is framework, you have to deduce from that how that applies to iraq. iraq particularly important for iran neighboring state. of a rant-iraq war. competing center of shia islam. but, in the state system, an independent state. in the world of the middle east, an arab state. in a region that take that seriously. iran has no totally free hands. phenomenon not all that
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different from beirut. governments, weak major forces able to bear arms and serve as militia. and more loyal to their and or iranian surrogates than government they are able to exercise tremendous influence. we see it every day. i rate iran's influence as higher than that of u.s., a rant influence in iraq and ours are not higher than iraqi people themselves. push and pull. body, to maliki in a thati had a lot of traits contributed to rise of isis and alienation of sunni-arabs and the kurds.
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leader, he would stand up to the iranians. feeling -- a good feeling -- he was trying to play americans and irradiance off and balance each other. body is a man a sympathetic to u.s. and west. also, iraqi patriot. has to be aware of what is happening. in shia coalition and his country. and a different position the maliki was five years ago. to be provocative here, jim touched on iran-iraq war. something little remembered in this country, but never to be forgotten there.
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look at key figures in iran today likes omani, commissioned before war started and went through hole eight years. seven of the near the front. if getting blown up once affects her worldview, think about seven years on a western front will do. looking at players and iran doing in iraq. pushing them into sin he areas along with revolutionary guard. hypothesis: salon he and others in hierarchy in iran seeking to innow what cannot be done
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1988, gain definitive total victory over a rock. by fragmenting it. way to bring that about. islamic state does not run iran. a good foil for iranians. and vice versa. use that. mobilize population. country mobilization. chalice in 1988 may turn into victory cut. others. understand why iran is pursuing line of action to further national security interest in iraq, but iraqis
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-- iraqis were with iranians and those interests. you spoke with petraeus , really fascinating opportunity charactersights into now very influential. potentially as conduits for iranian influence. actors,insight into what do they get out of the relationship? how are they potentially manipulating relationship? i had to meet with -- head of the court and very active and aligns.
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you see them on tv. it was obvious back then where he received marching orders and support. on open display today. continuation of trends we saw been. i would say, looking at toward strategy in iran in iraq. strategy -- deal with iran. major player. notion of interest aligns with ours, they are aligned in opposite directions. to think we could work with them and merge our interest is totally false. we must understand that. we saw that throughout our time
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in iraq in the past and must account for that in future. >> ambassador jeffreys, moving to turkey, you were ambassador before moving to iraq. 'sat do you think turkey strategic goals are in iraq? -- ss deployment ssess that. what are they trying to get at? them to get out. get out of iraq. no great success.
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explain. i'd enough anyone can explain day today. all actors in region acting through different prism than 6-8 years ago. turkey had interest and made apparent. comfortable and uncomfortable ways. looking at specific problem. turkey more than anybody except saudi arabia believer in reality of russian-iranian and others. actions informed by conceptions and misconceptions and
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experiences interact. in context of dealing with threat. degree, think they are doing this to provoke us to change policy. play more active role dealing with that. i think, other days, signed allies to his cause. friends in kurdistan. whole controversial great areas now isis creates a mixed areas. an iraqi army melted away when isis came in. peshmerga moved in. these areas show a split among
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arabs. partially, strong turkish effort play kurdish card and sunni-era card. strategic focus. more existential. refusal to fold under pressure. internal political dynamics in iraq. saidsador crocker, general strong effort in 2007 two separate reconcilable's from a reconcilable's and sunni community. do you think that effort has really happens this time around in our effort to defeat the
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latest, worst reincarnation of al qaeda in iraq? glad you turned back to isis. fors the opportunity to say record what task force is about. islamic state is symptom. not a cause. we focus on immediate. they are pretty immediate. let's make that the ultimate objective of everything we are trying to do. that way lies madness. get out the fundamental political issues in iraq. failure of governance. we'll look at that. i said and politics, alienating sunni community.
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islamic state takes advantage. what we were doing was full-court press against what was al qaeda in iraq. 95% of the way there. could never quite get rid of and in parts of muzzle euphrates river valley. why? thereof the residents at kurdish region and baghdad and that gave them just enough of a crevice to hang on. those services now canyons.
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iraqis with help from outside could fill in canyons, are not going to get rid of islamic state. time, mike more directly involved than i was. effort to reach out to really nasty people. as david trias said, you don't make peace with friends. so, we talked to a lot of bad thems to cf we could shift and we did this in conjunction with iraqis. also, to mess with their minds. some things he would tell them is coming in out of the cold.
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you should be like him. and if we were lucky, he would go kill that person. a somewhat rough game. at the end of the day, certain number of people who have to be killed. a reconcilable's. youryou have to do is know landscape well enough so that you are killing absolute minimum number of people and not creating a whole new set of enemies. frankly, i think you can only do that if you are very deeply engaged. on the ground, where people are taking it seriously. sadly, not the case in iran. >> ambassador jeffreys, given where we are, no troop levels in
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iraq, nothing like it that we had back in 2007. iraqi governments does not have -- arguably does not have political capacity to reach out citiesreconcilable's, and certainly, not able to push through legislative agenda to show government very serious about re-engaging in political process. short of carpet bombing approach by ted cruz, generating new generation of radical actors, how do we encourage from outside reengage men of sunnis? if we could ever secure areas? >> that is going on to a degree.
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we have semi-in whole isis 2014, much of province did not fall after falluja. fall of ramadi a year ago, defended primarily by city-era and police, and tribespeople. and iraqi army. up militarily. city has been retaken. other place is held by sunnis. amount back and forth between government and city groups. many in exile now. provincial councils flat. don't think they are playing same role we saw before.
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last most of territory. 2007-2008,nce, essentially everywhere we had control of population. therefore, you could carry this out. incessantlyy talked about this in 2005. cannot carry out policy because we were not embedded on the grounds and could actually discover the difference and get intelligence. without that, difficult. isis is such a uniquely evil organization and while it has many former baptist officers, also an alien force in iraq. offensiveat military
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will find a way to have some kind of preliminary resolution. in tikrit. iranianeplacing isis by baghdad, you'll be back in the same mess in the future. same question again. comments, how do we deal with this? isis problem in the context of the sunni population? tactically, it can be done. strategy. ecosystem, network. attack a network.
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starting with intelligence. questionable whether we had that. then leadership, suppliers, soldiers. then resources. putting boots on grounds. it can be done. more complex and more difficult question, how do incentivize a sunni population to reject this by in two government from baghdad? difficult. can't impose that. we can help and nurture. set conditions.
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crux of it. incentivize cities to reject and more poorly by into future in i want to turn and look at tremendous capacity building in pastu.s. invested decade? 2000 9-2011, you are senior u.s. nato commander expected -- >> were you the guy responsible for iraqi security forces -- [laughter] reflect on what did and did not work. approaching continued effort to strengthen iraqi forces, how do
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we approach? >> underestimated things. societyant divisions in that had been in pressure cooker controlled by saddam hussein. brutal regime. underestimating effects of that. we knew this a be a long, tough slog. building iraqi security forces. make them significant. noncommissioned officer cord. share intelligence. had been a weapon. now share to defeat common goal. very tough challenges. beyond the last
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couple of years. capabilitiesum would not be in place. two after last 5% of al qaeda in iraq. underestimated. 2003, we said let's build an army. we understood challenge annually take many more years to do this. we committed resources. made that decision. things on a path. you could see iraqi security forces could be capable. to take on immense challenge.
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we laughed. wrong time. -- last. >> not a criticism. environments, not turkey, russia, forward,urope, 1918 conventional armies and structures and culture have a hard time dealing with those environments. who does well? the high-end guys. golden lions. like in vietnam. lots of local militias wearing black john is out there defending hamlets.
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the focus on that. prime minister abadi, idea of recruiting city locals to popular mobilization units. he 5000. when -- 25,000. people fighting and and bar. recruited and trained by us, as well. some working out. capabilities to train. motivation. motivated people. a lot can be done. 10,000 sunnis currently under , many more without progress being made in baghdad, want to fight.
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cannot get an audience in baghdad. we'll get an audience with k argie. only supported by k argie f there absolutely not a threat. certainly, sunni militia forces in 2007, more toward 100,000. ceiling of 25, but nobody particularly motivated to pay fighters. -- ambassador crocker, we've seen progress on and off for years in iraq. since last summer, lack of electricity, problems with sanitation, water, education, health care services. build capacityo
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and oil ministry and electricity. andring transparency international standards. where we have succeeded, what has been the magic ingredient? should wewe have not, give up? or something radically different? huge problem. atething we will be looking in great detail. question of governance. and capacity. hardly a secret. is a cancer.ption
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and iraqi society. i don't pretend to know ins and outs of it. iraqi friends from all communities, pretty constant theme. wonder if there may be one tied that binds together. sunni shia and kurdish elites. that's good. that is, they are all making a whole lot of fuss. out of current system. that makes it very hard to reform. are making at be whole lot of money out of current system, incentives for
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changing system are few and far between. actors like at, ron and proxies. not that interested in seeing good governance. particularly not inconsistent rule of law. that works against interests. this plays into huge part of challenges currently facing iraq. does that mean say nothing can be done? no, of course not. i think one has to be modest and expectations one has to probably at the top of the list of things that united states or any other outside power is not going to fix is quality of internal governance. committed toraqis
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a better future, identify problems, and then, look at localized solutions. particular, oil sector. engine of economy. iraqis have long history of running own oil industry. have a memory of how to do this. something we are doing at texas a&m. a lot of iraqis in engineering department. back with skills, necessary to run successful oil business, also absorbed something of the way governments and societies interact, which we hope will be long-term good. looking like identifying the problem and a
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team of american experts is not going to do that. and means working with the iraqis. outthen start figuring where you can move and where you cannot. there will be no across-the-board fix to this. that i can predict. i think there can be incremented progress. if i could just add to this, the new challenge of the utter devastation of occupied areas, the situation in anbar is underreported. security forces are decimated, infrastructure destroyed. 75 schools destroyed. 250 damage to the point of not being able to be used. on and on. fork of what that portends mosul. where they will fight to the end.
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it will be tougher as liberating these areas as we continue to grind away at them and what we find there, is just going to exacerbate this lack of basic services and infrastructure, especially areas that need it worse. sunni areas. the ones you're trying to convince to align themselves with government in baghdad. immense challenge. we must face. and take on. >> devastation we have seen an that we can imagine will take place poses huge challenge at time when iraqi governments is struggling with a collapse in oil prices. and with cost of running war against islamic state. can we use financial
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contributions and infusions of weapons and training to the iraqi government and to the krg? leverage? them as part of the effort to make a dent in the corruption that we greaterto incentivize a push toward focus of rectifying governance programs. i was hoping for a chance to jump in on this. we can rebuild things. we did in falluja after we took the place apart. something united states can do, or the iraqis can do. requires money. as long as somebody is not turned to blow it up, assuming you have security situation, which is first parity under control, you can do that. comes will also be able to
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to us for expertise to augment and reinforce what they are doing. huge success. things, we are horrified because it undercut electricity program. neighborhood generators. this issons why it uneconomical and stupid. how baghdad was lit up. always talking about encouraging entrepreneurial activity. we cannot do that. it won't work. first of all, if we can generate enough support in this place, washington, to provide weapons or economic redevelopment and relief, huge strategic reason for that. tonot make that hostage pressuring them.
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people do not like to be told what to do. badraqis want corruption is that they will indent and they need advice. they know our telephone number. with everyn there single american institution clone, ngo, pressure group, here individualon, and actors like newt gingrich coming in with their 20 good ideas on how to fix iraq and try to deploy that, it does not have intended effect. i'll leave it at that. >> how true that is. >> general, you said you no longer believe that the forces pulling iraq together are greater than the forces pushing them apart. where yourxplain shift in thinking has come from?
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>> just returned from baghdad. i'd like to modify. of 2007, month of february, 34 car bombs in baghdad alone. and norma's iraqi casualties. investment in u.s. casualties. always felt that forces pulling iraq together were stronger than the ones pulling it apart. that there was a sense of iraqi nationalism which would prevail. not an optimist, just take a look at it and hopefully being a realist. in the last few years, sectarian faultlines,lled where we would impose ourselves to try to hold rings together or set conditions for it to be reconciled, i think has become so deep, i've heard -- and
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kurdistan after isis advances, heard comments, why should we fight for sunnis when they would not fight for themselves? christians are not going ba shia, sunni's will tell you the ethnic cleansing and some of these areas were militias are moving into. my concern is that divisions have become so deep that it is questionable. -- ifcan hold entity iraqis can hold this entity called iraq together. >> and master crocker, you said publicly you think fragmentation of state system and middle east would be catastrophic. what you include in that, kurdish independence? >> the lines that were drawn on
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, notap about 100 years ago by the people whose lives they proceeded to define, but by european statesmen and versailles, have had an amazing durability and i think if one tries to redraw them at great certainly that was what the islamic state is trying to do, literally. ,n their sweep through iraq other mosul and a lot of real estate. they took time out to eliminate border posts. just to the race, literally, the notion of these hundred euro borders. old
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i do not see anything good coming from the process. this is part of the conversation i used to have with my kurdish. i understand kurdish aspirations to italy after what they've been through. -- particularly after what they've been through. these of the best of times, to move towards independence in nor thern iraq or to make it even extreme, across the northern syria. that can trigger a whole new wave of violence in the area. we already see what the turks are saying, and doing, as the kurds moved towards northern syria. thing turks,
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iranians agree on and that is no independent kurdistan. this is the next year i learned a long time ago, has better things are today they can always get worse. as bad as things are today they can always get worse. >> it seems like the relationship between the krg and the kdp and the government is stronger than ever. do you think that turkey would risk the economic ties to the kdp by blocking a move to independence? practically speaking, if the kurds were to have their independence, what would be the catastrophic result that you would foresee? this.efer to jim on
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your name is something i always associated with catastrophe. [laughter] indeed, it is precisely those business ties, if you will, mayeen the kdp and that be the best bulwark against steps being taken. certain elements of the turkish ascendancy may be making good money out of oil dealings with the kurds, i would find it hard to believe that it would translate into a passive turkish stands at the kurds -- if the kurds formally declared independence. the right of is self-determination. he always have to keep that in this very broad mix. secondly, the relationship between kurdistan and the rest of iraq is something the kurds
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have their own army and borders, their own economy -- they will be major players. given all that we have talked about today, and the kurdish leader that doesn't consider the reserve parachute of declaring independence as things turn even more chaotic is not doing his or her job. i'll get to your question after all of those caveats. a number of difficult things can happen. one is, with the blink of an eye, kurdistan is exporting security thousand barrels a day -- 600,000 barrels a day. for many very complicated reasons, baghdad, while pushing an alternative scheme, is kind of ok with that.
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-- i'mpendent kurdistan not sure sure -- so sure. that goes out of international market and can be and has been challenged. secondly, we had an incident two months ago where the russians decided they wanted to fire some cruise missiles from one of their lakes into syria. they had a baghdad closed down in the airspace over kurdistan. this had a huge impact on international air travel. that is a problem. curtis stands -- k urdistan's semi-international status is dependent on them having some legal tolerance. if you pull the plug on that you although the series attribute of a state and
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figure out how you deal with that. the first and most obvious thing is you need the absolute cooperation of turkey. that might not be enough. all the turks in the world couldn't change the airspace closure. and they can't get people to lift oil. open tol throw this questions now. you've covered a huge range of topics. i will start here. could you introduce yourself? >> the airspace is dropping lower and lower. said that the insider game plan for iraq to fracture the state and to divided. questions, how do you know if that is the case? does the behavior points that way? and what is the advantage of the
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iranians who break up the state minutes ago, you said the wanting everybody agrees on is no independent kurdistan. thatrst, i did not state as irrefutable fact. i think i call that a provocative hypothesis. i do think it is something to look at. what would be the rationale for it? to absolutely ensure that iraq never again is a threat to iran. would atgmented iraq least, and a conventional sense, never be a threat to iran. au would have, again, jihadistan, as i suggested for stuff i don't think iran feel threatened by the islamic state. thatould have a shiastan
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would include most of iraq's oil. iran could find ways to profit from the. and a somewhat problematic kurdistan. what we have seen, of course, is the iranian influence in kurdistan in that scenario. -- a long-term fragmentation. you would see even more influence in the kurdish region. just a they would ensure that nothing would come out of there that is really dangerous. i imagine this is a subject to debate in tehran. anon't set this out as absolute fact. worth thinking about, giving her some of the iranian players are. while you cannot deduce motive purely from what is happening on the ground, it is still worth
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thinking about. >> thank you. professor davis, and the back? i'm taking names down. i already have barbara. if we can send the mic that way. iranrun the future of initiative. at the lead to counsel, i thought i should come and see what the future of iraq was going to be. advantageed iran took of the united states toppling a suni government. the reality and truth here, own domestic, our situations -- how can you project that a future american administration has ever going to troops or to engage treasure in the way that we did over the past decade?
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to reverse what looks like a pretty solid again on the part of the iranians in iraq? any more than we would go to lebanon again to try to do it hezbollah. >> i will start. just summarize the obama administration argument to -- what do we call them? target attacks? if you guys out there with radios. this is an of the going in with 100,000 troops. how many airplanes does putin have in the middle east? they are doing a lot of really good work from putin's standpoint.
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how many people as he lost? i think we're looking up to two. that is the kind of deployment ends, that strategic i admire. i admire the trade, and i sense that most of the people making recommendations are talking about that. plenty of people in an 85% sunni middle east are willing to stand up and fight against this iranian offensive. they did a systems, they need air cover. that is what we are therefore, potentially. add to that, whatever we have this discussion, it continues what we are doing now. it will be thousands of troops. it is a false choice. there is a good way to do it. it starts with what are our national interests in the
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region? and how does iraq fit into that? then devise a strategy at the onset that matches ways and means. when you say you will destroy isis, destroy isis. when you hitting them at six or seven target today with a small cadre of advisors that is not going to destroy isis. hear thestrating to discourse on this. i think it is -- well, it is in our interest to do that. then devise a strategy to do it. it has to start with u.s. interests. , not as we wish it to be but the situation on the ground that we find. >> some of us would distinguish between shia power and a rainy
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and power. -- iranian power. that is the point that i would press. unlike what some of our arab friends believe, shia does not equal iranian. those of us living out there passionate arab nationalists many iraqi shia are. about troopslk not and treasure, i would talk about politics and diplomacy. argued with his administration with a singular lack of success. don't send 101st airborne to baghdad, said the secretary of state. -- send it the secretary of state.
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influence -- what deals can be done? inactioneen missing politically, and diplomatically. that is where i would like to see the thrust in the renewed effort come. iranians may actually help. hypothesis,ocative that is war and another form. at a certain point you will probably get -- you see it in some areas already -- an iraqi arab reaction to that. we saw al qaeda's accesses surging to the awakening. they were their own worst enemy. and iranian overreach can potentially deliver the same results. we need to be giving some alternative to tehran, because
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right now that isn't. that needs to be political, and diplomatic. >> we are not talking about rolling back shia power in baghdad. the point is just for those militias that have sprung up during this time of instability to be properly integrated into the country's armed forces. and for iraq and the new communities to have enough of a seat at the table that they can go back to their constituencies and be able to deliver something. >> in the document i received from you, editor exciting to see all the dimensions of this task you're emphasizing the future. he noticed one category not there, that is the category of youth. 70% of the population is under the age of 30, 40% under the age
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of 15. we know most of the violence comes from the activities of youth. we also know if we look at the civil society, organizations we see the main drivers are youths. how do we integrate youth, not just give them a kind of off-the-cuff importance. think of how they'll take over the new iraq. the education they receive his or a wanting because the school textbooks have been denuded of and eventually to any iraqi group that they don't like. i want you to see what our panelists would say about this very important demographic. >> that is a great point. let me just say, generally, that an illustrative menu, not a company has a checklist. there certainly expecting
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everyone who is associated with this effort it has that kind of input. that is what we came up with as an initial draft. what else should be on that? please give us that kind of feedback. we tried to get at that -- there is an education reference in there. thatouth bulge and the way curriculum are being modified and altered. so that certainly is our intention that that be a part of it. sterling work flushing that out a bit. i am on the board of mercy corps international. that is something we -- or mercy corps does everywhere we are involved. drill down on youth and education, because we learned how absolutely central that is
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to long-term security and stability. massive challenge. all of that said, and my friend knows this so well, there was a lot of speculation at the end of the active phase of the lebanese civil war in 1990. 15 years of vicious conflict had produced an entire generation of no formalho had education, really only knew how to operate a weapon. that would be a recipe for long-term murder mayhem pillage and plunder. lebanon still has its share of problems, but that did not materialize -- that apocalyptic production did not pan out. the young lebanese who have grown up in militias once they had an alternative option to do something else drop that gun and
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took that option. of, this is deserving serious concerns. but also i dont think we should sell a young generation coming of horrific conditions to short. give them some alternatives, i bet you they will take them. >> thank you very much for an excellent discussion. the panelists bring a huge amount of experience, insight, and wisdom. i am an admirer of each of them. there is a discussion in a whole -- some central and important -- and some of them are better discussed in a
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smaller circle. to pick one strategic issue. that was touched upon, that is that there is an alliance of iran, russia, and syria. making actually tremendous gains. way they are,he they are heading towards victory. the iranians and russians are good chess players. i'm not sure that as a political is in the american system that league in terms of chess. seeing so many moves ahead.
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the question i have is -- will in thistical system country, nevermind the middle will produce the political that will stop this advance. to put downily shia, this is not really a solution. this is just suggesting the polarity of sectarianism does not solve anything. and this distinction is necessary. if anyone in this country, with power a decision, going to stand thusd say to the russians
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far, and no further. stand up to the iranians and say thus far, and no further. othersow the sunnis and solve theirn to problems, which are many, and they have so many challenges as we know. one?o wants to tackle that [laughter] >> well, it is a great point. it is both heartwarming -- to see all of you in this room, so many of you i know. to think of the knowledge and expertise on iraq and the region that you represent, the kind of unsettling follow along thought is all of you in this room
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2/3 of theepresent americans in this country who really care about iraq. you know very well, americans have tremendous qualities. we also have a few challenges. one of them is what i call strategic patience. we didn't build our great country on patience. done, let's get on with it, and that it gets messy and costly and difficult. let's go on to something else and get that done instead. forre genetically wired let's fix it now. the middle east is not a region that lends itself to easy quick fixes. a challenge for us. and of course, our political system is also not the geared
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towards long-term policies. our policies change as the white house changes hands and the balance shifts in congress. .he example again in iraq the american people to the representatives in congress basically voted to have a big war in iraq. 2006 the american people through their elected representatives in congress voted not to have a big war in iraq. you can't rewind the film. you put your finger on a real challenge for the american public, and american policy. in terms of the specific incident you cite, clearly there were other policy alternatives open to this administration. in syria, and iraq, vis-a-vis
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iran. i suggested some of them. the administration has elected sit pretty tight. there is nothing in our system that would have prevented more robust actions. the policy decisions, policies made at one end of pennsylvania avenue and the resources of the other, we diplomats and soldiers don't make policy. we just kind of carrying out. i think that i was recently out in the middle east, not in iraq. perception i found among people i had known for years -- the benign interpretation is tehran,re is a damascus, moscow axis.
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in the face of which we are just passive. that is the terrible interpretation. the less terrible interpretation is that it is actually a tehran, damascus, moscow, washington axis. that by our in action we are in effect accomplices. i think it is quite dangerous. there is not going to be any kind of american intervention in the middle east on the scale even remotely like that of the first 10 years of the century. is pretty apparent. we barely got enough political support for the first gulf war even that didn't involve all the downsides of vietnam. to do the long time same mistake again.
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not as i said, we are talking about that level of effort to make a difference. we're talking about, again, a putin-esque 1500 man expedition. -- expeditionary element. we have a body of 50,000 troops, and 10,000 afghanistan alone. i could go on and on, we have --numbered about 20-the one 20-1, which is not using them. i could see a different administration, almost any of them from 1945 until either 2000 or 2008, using those forces and providing a counterbalancing
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force. whether we will arrive -- we've had to it administrations try different forces to work slowly. i don't think the american people are happy with the result of either of them. campaign, there aren't a whole lot of -- there's nobody really endorsing this administration's foreign policy. lot of them a whole endorsing ronald reagan's, or even bill clinton's. you have to wait and see. >> i think what you bring up is we are not very good at conflict resolution. , if there are the terms unconditional surrender, we are good with that. anything short of that, which most and up that way, where never good enough. from the past decade, in our i would sign up for
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some open-ended turning back of some axis of evil. success, we just recalibrated our commitment to afghanistan. we haven't done that adequately. just from the sacrifice we have -- we can turn back this axis -- we need a very clear strategy. >> thank you very much. thank you for this panel. no one can assemble better experience. let me ask about methodology, approach, and maybe the philosophy of the task force. thans been more about iraq
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what this task force is going to do. this experience, which is great ad coveted, i think it casts very heavy shadow on the work of the task force. it could turn easily into a hindrance. i think there is a lot of that experience in dictating what has been said on the panel today. no criticism, this is annoying about people like me. you have to take it, both of you. but it basically, i think that is very important. what will be new from the iraq study group, i had the honor to talk to them. are you looking at your experience valuable as it is. it is right now probably part of what we historians versus what
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happened after june. that is very important. what will be new here. when we talk about, let me take one quick example. talking about, we hear the word militia. even the iraqi government says they are not militia. the pastor general that u -- past general that used elements of that were not supported by many iraqis because their job was to terrorize many segments of iraqi society. nowadays, their popularity is through the roof. i can tell you with the declining popularity of the , since it doesn't
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rate, there is a lot of change. just support rather than let it overcome or overshadow, or overwork. i think this is going to be successe event aware could be created. i would love to talk to you about it another time. thank you for this excellent panel. i'm wishing you all the success, and luck. >> i will collect all of the remaining questions i have. >> thank you. i am with the kurdistan regional governments representative to the u.s..
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being kurdish, i will inevitable he talked about a borders. cost?t genocide,been chemical bombardment, bloodshed repeatedly. we are seeing it today in iraq yet again. i think we should stop thinking about 19th century men. 21st, the in the president has declared a referendum. he hasn't declared independence. i would like to make that point. my question is regarding saudi arabia and the other gulf countries. we heard a little bit about turkey come we haven't really heard about the sunni arab countries and what role you see for them in the future of iraq.
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>> can you see him? towards the middle. >> ambassador, and it's been a long time since i have seen you. >> can you make sure the microphone is on? >> ok. i was part of the iraqi an iraqin, then i was parliamentarian. now i am very active in the cause. listened to the excellent panel you have gathered. i have listened to the general saying that in the past two or three years the forces taking iraq


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