tv [untitled] CSPAN April 5, 2010 11:00am-11:30am EDT
getting closer to a meeting of the minds with the russians and also with the chinese. i would point to the fact that the chinese leader decided to come to the summit next week as -- you cannot tie the correlation between in the start 1 treaty and that. he is coming here bolsters that image of the president looking more successful. how successful they will be with sanctions on iran? i do not think anyone in the administration illusions that this will solve the problem. but we will have to wait and see. maybe my colleagues have some other comments on that. . .
>> all the while knowing that the kinds of things that would really get the runyon's attention are the kinds of things that hurt. -- the iranian's attention are the kinds of things that hurt. restrictions were on petroleum products in to rerun. they not only hurt the iranian people, but they're trading are -- they're -- but with
their trading partners. the u.s. does not have much of a trading partnership with them. it affected particularly russia and china. the talks have focused on an olive branch offering in the fall to get back to the negotiating table. these were engaged in another effort of getting another round of u.n. security resolutions. a not so bad outcome would be if they just abstained. and how much will russia support a new round of sanctions? there are a lot of things that can be done outside the u.n. security careful. a lot of those measures that deal with transactions at banks, etc. have been helpful, but iran
and shows no sign of either negotiating to the earth -- returning to the of negotiating table or halting is the enrichment program. off the chinese have shown a little bit more flexibility. up to now, they have taken eighth principled stand against sanctions, but we will have to see. if the security summit next week really does offer an opportunity to talk on the margins. this is what happens at major summits. i think the hope is had in prague we can bring russia and then china along. >> i do not think that we will see the sanctions on the energy
sector and the oil and gas sector. by the the chinese and russians will not sign up for different reasons. it looks like we may have hope of restrictions in the banking sector. one of the positive things that i took note of about two weeks ago was the report that actually, the russians and chinese have made a marshal -- a demarhce with these iranians about their nuclear arms program. that was a little bit lost because in the same week it was announced that the arms treaty was basically agreed to. there was a debriefing to the u.n. security council appointed to that as quite a positive sign. they were not able to say --
they expected that it was a russian initiative to the chinese, but nobody was quiñe sure how about that. sure how about that. no carrierringconnect 1200 terms of russian policy toward iran, on the one hand, they do not want iran to develop nuclear capability. on the other hand, they do not want them to develop the other direction. that could mean less russian influence in the direct -- in that region. in a way, it it sued some -- it suits their purposes for them to have some facilities.
it is this mvet -- ambiguous position and we see the same thing in afghanistan. they do not want to help us and they do not want us to lose, but they do not want us to win either. this tying down reece -- american resources, restricting american influence and using themselves of the potential mediator and problem solver, that is part of the strategy. >> margaret? >> it sounds like you should all say we should look at the prague trip in the larger context to be saying that all of these things will be happening over the next month. two questions, we're looking at the release of the npr tomorrow. i want to ask how this all fits in with this. india, pakistan, they will be participating in the summit.
and curious what kind of interplay between those two countries you'll be watching over the next month, and also, how karzai's recent comments in afghanistan will factor in the news in prague and expectations. >> i will start on the npr. the nuclear posture review, not national public radio. the long awaited nuclear posture review, what this has done in the past -- is a congressionally mandated document. it sets out the role of nuclear weapons in u.s. national security strategy. it is no coincidence that the bush administration's nuclear posture review basically said, well, we can go down to -- i guess it was 2000 war had sought and that is what you saw -- warheads and that is what you saw in the treaty.
this time around, if will talk about what are the primary uses in nuclear weapons, what are the levels that we can live with -- i do not think there will be a lot that will be very surprising, but it should support what the obama administration is doing with those -- with both new start and following on with negotiations there. when india and pakistan, pakistan is probably -- even though their nuclear summit is probably not designed and hopes to avoid actually pointing fingers at any single country, but obviously the issue of nuclear security is a big one in pakistan. both the -- both the security of nuclear material and nuclear weapons. i cannot imagine we will see too tá3ñmuch progress between r'diad pakistan at the summit, but i think it is a good thing that both are at least attending.
administration's going to 0 agenda, which as the secretary of defense gates said last week is not anything that will happen soon, but one of the fundamental problems about that agenda is enlisting the support of other countries with it, beginning with the russians. and then the chinese and indians and pakistanis and so worn down the line. no other nation states in the world, which is officially or unofficially recognized as a nuclear weapons state is particularly enthusiastic about it because the u.s. enjoys -- particularly for the russians. here's the rub. for the russians, they are concerned that the combination
of the erosion of the traditional weapons force plus the deteriorating numbers of offensive forces, plus the u.s. conventional weapons development in which are close to nuclear capability, plus the development of missile defenses, all of this -- and the russians are not alone in this -- is seen as making america save for world military intervention whenever we want. that is a core attention and challenge for the agenda. -- tension and challenge for the agenda. it is pretty easy to understand when we are spending 55% of world expenditures on a global arms and telling the rest of the world that we should be moving aggressively down in its nuclear weapons, which is asymmetric -- which is an asymmetric sponsor.
it is a pretty tough nut to crack. on the karzai comments, wow, sometimes with friends like that, who needs enemies? sorry, we are in tv. -- on tv. [laughter] this is the crux of the problem in afghanistan. if it is true that mr. karzai will be at the nuclear summit in washington next week -- >> [inaudible] >> i'm sorry? >> [inaudible] >> that was reference to the may 12 separate meeting. which is still on as of today. obviously, one of the core problems that we face in afghanistan is the competitive
instincts of pakistan and india. i would have to think that with both of the leaders here next week that it may be a point of discussion, hopefully. with the upcoming plan the offensive in kendrkandahar, you know, ambassador eikenberry was here recently and he said it was going to be one part of military and five parts political. the one part military, the afghan leadership is likely to ksupport. the five parts political, a big portion. ñ-- a big question. >> and from the christian science monitor. i would like to go back to the reset with russia subject. could you talk a bit about the political aspect of it and where
you see any relationship developing between obama and medvedev, whether that could cause a split between medvedev and putin in terms of the direction and -- of the countries? where you see the politics going and obama may be finding a better friend in medvedev then he may find in putin? >> i think there's no question that president obama finds it easier casa and more pleasant to -- easier and more pleasant to interact with mr. medvedev then he does mr. putin. -- then he does mr. putin. it is a tricky -- than he does mr. putin. is po a tricky ...int. in my discussions with administration officials i have confirmed that there is not
really much space between them on foreign policy and security issues that is seen as significant. and what is significant is -- i have observed this myself simply in a meeting of the two of them separately -- you know, they really do have different of books on the development of russia. they talk about it very differently. medvedev -- the fact that mcvet is a lot younger and he does have -- medvedev is a lot younger and he does have experience in the private sector. he does have what we would call a more liberal outlook on things then does mr. putin. it is impossible to miss that. -- thean does mr. gruden. it is impossible to miss that. and what is going to happen with russia is impossible to predict. i would be very wary to make any bets against vladimir putin and
i would be very wary about being viewed overtly as trying to support mr. medvedev domestically at the expense of mr. putin. we may have more potential to endanger mr. medvedev then we actually have to help. most other countries do not have a particularly good track record in trying to intervene in other countries' domestic politics and in the case of russia, where the issue of sovereignty is so sensitive, it has to be handled with the a + care. -- the utmost care. but i was wondering if you could talk about the role of congress -- >> i was wondering if you talk about the role of congress, particularly on the start treaty ratification and how it can be an obstacle to what the white house is trying to do when it comes to sanctions with iran and other issues high on the agenda. >> that is a great question, thank you.
congress can obviously be a big obstacle when it comes to nuclear arms control, and that is because on the start treaty, the senate has to consent to ratification. on the comprehensive test ban treaty, which is something else that this administration supports, they can also be an obstacle there. i think that we have not yet -- i mean, we have seen some things from the hills dot for particular senators -- from the hill for particular senators expressing their views on certain issues related to his own verification, missile defenses, and several of those things -- related to the zone fare vacation, missile defenses, and several of those things. i then mr. bush had tried to head them off at the past -- i think mr. bush had tried to head
them off at the pass. many of these things were seen as a prerequisite for approval and nuclear arms control areas. we will see what happens in the debate. correct me if i'm wrong, this new start treaty is on the face of it incremental. there is nothing in there on missile defense. it does not seem from irrational, a technical perspective -- a rational, a technical perspective that there are too many leaves here. but politics is politics and there can be a -- any number of different organs that can be asked for. i particularly -- different bargains that can be asked for. bayh particularly hoping that
mr. obama would be asking for unilateral movement, which would not depend too much on congressional approval. in the next two weeks, i think we will see some more views emerging from congress, not just on start but on the nuclear posture review. >> do you anticipate that when president obama meets with president medvedev that it will be a meeting to get the russians to sign off on the sanctions? subsequently, the meetings here next week. it should we look at those meetings as potentially face to face a runoff on iran? i know it is hard to know for sure -- a face to face sign off on in iran? i know it is hard to know for sure. secondly, what ever happens to the security council, you think
it would be likely end advisable for the you or some other organization to do -- for the e.u. or some other organization to do some other sanctions? and lastly, almost every treaty of this nation -- of this nature has been a combination of numbers. we have not talked about that at all. is that because the numbers are not impressive, or because it is about something else? >> on the round question -- the iran question, and operating under the assumption that the meeting in prague is very important to get signed off with mr. medvedev, or to get that much closer to it, and that the following week, the meeting with hu jintao and the chinese.
that may be overly ambitious, but that seems to be the game plan from my standpoint. the russians are closer on this. the hope is that you can get the russians and that will help to bring the chinese alone. i have always been intrigued by the idea of -- because the chinese traditionally have been quite happy to hide behind the russian opposition to sanctions and russian vocal opposition on a lot of issues, be it missile defense or nato expense and a lot of other ideas that the attorneys are not particularly enthusiastic about either. on the iran sanctions, it has been interesting because the obama administration has been pretty explicit in talking about this as on the reset, giving the russians to come on board.
that is the litmus test. if you ask them whether it is the litmus test to getting the chinese on board, no. it is a pretty interesting and telling a change of affairs from just a few years ago. the russians support was viewed as, you get that and then you've got the chinese. i think the point -- the whole paradigm, if it ever existed, it is broken. the chinese have shown themselves on number of issues discussed year to be willing to be more in front in opposition to u.s. interests. i'm sorry, the question on the nuclear treaty? >> the numbers. >> the numbers, well, sharon, do you want to talk about the numbers?
>> sure, but i was going to refer to -- i think there is less of an obsession with numbers because of the reason that anti- gave earlier -- that andy gave earlier, that many of us do not fear russia as a strategic competitor. there are a number of things. spurs, the numbers are not so low compared to what they were previously -- first, the numbers are not so low compared to what they were previously. entire county. is it the original start agreement, the moscow sort treaty? in the end, do you really care? when the warhead start to get -- now we are at 1550. but when they start to get to
the 1000 level or below, then you will really start about -- start to care about numbers because then you are talking about, do we continue to have a strategic triad? are we still going to have missiles and bombers and submarines? and who else do you need to bring into the benefit -- the negotiations? it becomes a multilateral arms control negotiation. previous administrations were always focused on the bilateral, u.s.-soviet. the obama administration has said, yes, we are going to pursue the multilateral arms control. of what point can you bring in those other players will be the question -- at what point can you bring in those other players will be the question. >> but the meeting in december, maybe will lose the entire modification regime that went
along with that. for the obama folks to be able to replace the treaty and maintain a significant degree of the verification of the regime is probably the most important achievement from the standpoint of u.s. national security with the treaty. for the russians, the numbers aren' -- the russians talk over the last decade or so in nuclear circles with russians, they can talk about getting down to 1001 weapons. that is a reasonable proposition for them. -- getting down to 1000 weapons. that is a reasonable proposition for them. it is interesting because it's getting to where we are with this treaty was harder than some expected and i think again, getting to the next step is going to be harder if we --
unless we are really willing to address the strategic stability relationship and talk about the role of missile defenses. tucana be finessed in the next round, i do not think -- you cannot be finessed in the next round, i do not think. certainly, from a russian standpoint. also, the role of long range, precision-guided conventional munitions. that is really the concern about russian military and strategic planners and where this is going. >> [inaudible] >> i think we're going to have to consider -- well, if there is no discernible progress on u.n.
security council resolution, we will, of course, consider other options. the question is, which of the european allies will be most helpful there? -- will be most helpful there. the french are espousing their health, but probably it will be -- but the germans will probably in the end be a little more helpful. i think we continue on the same path that we have been going down, which is to look at this at every single level, not just the top level, highly political, highly visible ones. >> did you want to add to that? >> going back to the reset, could you elaborate on what the recent suicide bombings and to that effort? -- mean to that effort?
>> for me, the suicide bombings, especially the bombings that took place in moscow last monday on the metro, is a reminder that, you know, russia is -- if you look at the united states, europe, and russia, russia is probably the most vulnerable of those three regions to terrorist attack and to the possibility of catastrophic terrorist attack. whoever carried out these bombings, it was a very powerful statement to undertake them underneath, or being very close to underneath the for the kgb building, the institution which has primary responsibility for
their protection of the russian people. it is a little bit analogous to the symbolic importance of taking up the world trade center, the pentagon, and with the aspiration of taking out the capital as well. how is going to play out -- how it is going to play out is hard to tell. on the domestic political front in the past decade, there is no question that terrorist attacks have played to the favor of mr. tooteputin and as a justificatir further centralization of political power, etc. we have seen in response to this attack, i think, a considerable
difference between mr. putin and mr. medvedev. mr. putin went through his usual playbook of, pulling them all out of the sewer, you know, taking them out of the our house and that very tough talk. and we have seen that tough talk from medvedev as well. but we have also seen a reminder that the core problem is the terrible socioeconomic conditions in the north caucasus, which are the driver for the groups to attack, which is not something we hear from mr. putin. >> how could the u.s. administration and a sister restaurant -- assist russia at all in the anti-terrorism fight? the obama administration's that we stand ready to fight last week. how could he do that and would russia even be open to that? >> could i