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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 25, 2015 3:00am-5:01am EST

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ne, we have worked hard to hold together a complex array of partners in the sanctions. the sanctions have had a profound effect. the ruble is down 50%. russia's economy is predicted to go into recession this year. there has been a capital flight of $151 billion. you know, they may be able to pursue this short term goal of stirring the waters of ukraine but in the long run, they are writing themselves out of the future. they are falling behind in technology and production and other things. the fact is, on iran, sure, it is controversial. it may have risks. but we are dairy to believe that diplomacy may be able to provide a better alternative to ridding iran of the possibility of a
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nuclear weapon than a war. or then going first to the threats that lead you to confrontation. so, we are trying. i can't make a prediction what the outcome will be. but we are leading the effort to make that happen, together with p5 plus one partners. in korea, we are working with the chinese. we are trying to make certain changes it that i would rather talk about that in a classified section. in afghanistan, we rescued a very complicated election process, negotiated a --, got a unified government and now we are working on a transition with the potential of talks taking place with the taliban. global trade, we are pursuing two of the biggest mobile agreements in memory.
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and the asia rebalance, in africa we hosted the summit of african leaders. aids, we have ramped up a deeper commitment. the result is that we are on the cusp of having the first aids free generation in history in africa. and in china, we came through with a historic climate agreement by which both of us can agree to try and do within our executive powers, to lower emissions and begin to prepare an agreement and paris -- in paris, this december, and that is leadership. because by getting the two of us together and leading in that effort, we have about 45% of the world admissions at the table agree -- agreed to reduce in a way that leads others to the table. so i had a more prepared, in
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these are not the prepared comments and i will commit them for the record, mr. chairman but there are other policies we need to talk about and i am prepared to do so. by want to just make the point to all of you, sequestration, i was here when it happened, i didn't like it. i do not like it now. it is depriving the united states the most powerful nation, and to the world's riches nation, it is institutionalizing the notion that congress is unwilling or incapable of making a decision and choices it is winding up doing things a to our gdp down and lost jobs. not to mention that it deprives us of not making the decisions that we are going to do to make that 1%, hopefully more, have a greater impact on providing for the security and protecting the interest of our country.
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i plead with you to think about how we will meet this moment of challenge. i will end on this. we had a counterterrorism summit this past week, which really underscored how big a challenge this is. it is a generational challenge. my parents, our parents, many of you generation rose up to the challenge of world war ii. we spent the then equivalent of about $3.9 trillion. today, may be about $30 trillion. we rose to the occasion. we did what we had to do to beat back fascism. i think it's a legitimate question to ask whether or not the rule of law, the norms of behavior we fought for for all those years since world war ii that we're going to do our part to uphold them.
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and to make it possible for other countries to not be subjected to the fascism and dictatorship and tyranny of a group like isil that rapes young girls and imprisons people women, burns books and destroys schools and deprives people of their liberty, burns pilots, cuts off the heads of journalists and basically declares a caliphate that challenges all of the nations in the middle east and elsewhere and threatens all of us with violence. so, we face a challenge. i hope everybody here will stop and think about all the components of how we respond to that. it's not just kinetic. the new president will be asking you to deal with somebody somewhere. unless we start to think about how the world joins together to drain the pool of recruits that
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are readily accessible to people with such a warped and dangerous sense of what life ought to be life. so, it's up to us and that's my message for my opening statement. i look forward to the hearing. i assume if we only spent 1% on our budget on foreign aid and foreign operations, you would
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think we need to do that in the most efficient way possible. do you agree with that? >> of course, obviously. >> i think you would support then, an authorization being put in place. we haven't done one since 2003 actually didn't do one for the entire time you were chairman. you do support that now as head of the state department, is that correct? >> we actually made a run at authorization bill, mr. chairman. i would have loved to have passed one. in fact, the last authorization bill, i think, was passed, i did it. when senator pell waschairman. and he deputy tiesized me to get an authorization bill through and we did. i'm delighted to see you take
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this bull by the horn. we have not seen it since 2002. it elapsed in 2004. and there are -- the reasons of the way the senate came to work that literally made it impossible to do. so, i would love it if you can do it. >> well, let's -- i hear that. and i think that probably we'll spend a lot more quality time, if you will, with heather and others in the department. i know you're dealing with a lot of other issues. we had a very good meeting yesterday. i do sense you support that. we appreciate that very much. and i am aware of the history regarding some of the complications. certainly that was not meant as a criticism. let's move on to -- i spent the last week in baghdad and inner irbill, talking with turkish officials along with ours. you sent request for authorization for use of military force, the president has. but it's your belief today that
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the administration has the legal authority to conduct operations against isis with existing authorities, is that correct? >> yes. >> that is correct? >> that we -- we're looking fora separate authority under the ama. >> you believe -- >> we believe we have the testimony under2001. that's the testimony i gave you indecember. and we do believe that. >> one thing peopleare going to be looking for f you're asking for a separate authorization, i know there's some debate among the committee here as to whether you do or do not have the legal authority, you believeyou do but one of the things that people are going to be looking to is, is there a real commitment by this administration to deal with isis. and i have to tell you, as i look at the authorization and i visit turkey and understand what's happening in syria, i have to ask this question -- do you believe that it is
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moeshlral, do you belief it's pragmatic to spend a lot of money training and equipping people in far off places to come back into the fight in syria and not protect them from the barrel bombs that assad will be dropping against them? do you believe that's a moral place for us to be in the country and a pragmatic place for us to spend money, training people and yet not protect them from the barrel bombs that assad will be dropping on them? >> i think it goes beyond morality, senator. i think it's a matter of practicality, if we're training people. and they have a goal and we're committed to thegoal. i think it's important for them to be successful. and i think it's important since the title 10 program we've now joined into together which is
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going to train folks partly to go after isil, particularly, it seems to me that if assad were to attack them or somebody attacks them in the course of the time that they're going after isil, that's part of the fight. and so we need to provide that. that -- >> so, our authorization should actually authorize the administration to go against assad when they're doing things that take on thefree syrian opposition we're training. >> that's not what i said. assad is an entirely different component of this, which then raises all kinds of challenges with respect to the management of the coalitionitself. what i said was, they have to be authorized -- the authorization is such that defending those who are engaged in the fight of isil is an important part of defeating isil. that's a debate as to how that's
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implemented that's taking place in the administration right now. the president hasn't made a final decision on that. i think we need to be constitutesing that as the amuf come together. it's important the president has as much leeway as possible within the three years he's asked for to get the job done. now, he's asked for three years. >> on the ground, dealing with those we wanted to bring into the coalition in a more serious way, the fact that we arenot willing to talk about an air exclusion zone above aleppo or we're not willing to provide air support for free syrian folks that we are training against isil, by the way. this is what this title 10 program is about, makes it appear that we are not serious
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in this effort. and it makes many of us on this committee concerned about the administration's commitment to this effort. you can understand why that's the case. and i know they're holding back, and you know this, they're holding back what they're doing until they find out whether we are committed to doing those things that would actually allow these people to be successful on the ground. and if we're not willing at this front end to say that we're going to protect them, after their trained, coming in especially around the aleppo area, which is likely where they will enter, if we're not willing to protect them, it speaks to the fact that the administration really doesn't seem serious about taking isis on as it relates to syria. >> let me make it as clear as i possibly can.
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this president is absolutely determined to accomplish the goal that he set out, which is to degrade and destroy isis. now, he has begun with a particular focus on iraq because of the fragility of iraq originally, because there is an army that is significantly trained and available, that needs more training. and because there is an urgency, an immediate urgency to try to restore iraq in anbar and in the sunni province because of the impact on holding the integrity of the country together and ultimately driving isis out. that's what we believe we'll do. at this point in time, we've flown some 2500 strikes. about half and half, syria and iraq. at least huge numbers of isil top leaders have been taking off the battlefield. almost 1000 isil fighters were
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killed in the course of the kobani fight, which you may recall everybody heralded as the test of america's commitment the test of the war. it was about to fall. and we, on the other hand, upped our strikes and negotiated diplomatically to be able to create a corridor to get the peshmerga to come in and ultimately reinforce the people there and won. and isis had to admit it lost. and it admitted so publicly. so, i think we've demonstrated a powerful commitment. we've already reclaimed -- we is wrong. the iraqis and their coalition folks on the ground have already reclaimed about 30% of the territory that had been held by isil. and isil can no longer move as easily. they can't drive in convoys. they can't communicate the way they were. we've gone after their financing. we had more than 60 countries here for the counterviolent extremism meeting. we have major initiatives under way to deal with the foreign
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fighters, the counterfinance, so on, so forth. so, all i can say to you, every one of those things is a manifestation of the administration's commitment to defeat and destroy isil. now, as you move out of iraq then there's more to do in syria. we understand, senator, that it's going to take more on the ground and more capacity to do that. as you've seen, there's been some discussion of an arab force in the region. there's also discussion going on about how fast we can train up some of our opposition to be on the force. on the ground. and there are additional efforts going on with respect to what weapons, what methodologies may be undertaken. and those are the -- those are the per view of a classified briefing. i can guarantee you no one in the region will have any doubt about our commitment to defeating isil. >> well, i can guarantee you and i'm sorry this is taking so long, but i appreciate your full
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answer, but i can guarantee you that today there are concerns. there are concerns about those most majorly needed in this coalition because of the very point that i just mentioned. i think you know that. i know the white house knows that. and i just hope that very soon the white house will not only make statements but make agreements relative to the -- to what i just discussed so that those who are going to be working with us in this fight understand that there is a real commitment and that negotiations about the iraq nuclear deal and other issues are not in some way holding us back from making those commitments. but i thank you for being here and i'll turn it over to senator mendez. >> ten seconds, senator. i really think if we get into a classified session, we can go through more of this. i think you'll have a sense of theupgrading taking place and the pressure that will answer a lot of those questions.
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i'll be attending a gcc meeting this friday. i think it's friday in london. and we will be discussing all of this with our friends. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, based on some recent press reports, which i have found on more than one occasion on this issue seems to have more meat than not, i often learn more about it through them, i want to share my deep concerns about where we appear to be headed in our negotiations with iran, if those reports are true. the essence that i gleaned from reading various of them is that one variation being discussed with the a irans would place a ten-year regime of strict controls on iran's uranium enrichment, but if iran complied, the restrictions would be gradually lifted over the final five years.
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the core idea would be to reward iran for good behavior over the last years of any agreement, gradually lifting constraints on both uranium enrichment and easing more economic sanctions which in essence in my mind doesn't make it a ten-year deal. really makes it a five-year deal if you're going to ease up on the ability of them to pursue enrichment capabilities. can you give us a sense, are those reports accurate? >> mr. chairman, i'm absolutely going to answer your question, but i want to -- >> and you're not going to take all my time to do it. >> i promise you, unless the chairman might give you an extra minute here. you raised the issue or -- strike that. it was raised by the chairman. i'll come back and won't chew up your time. the answer is the proverbial don't believe what you read and i'm not going to go into the details of where we are, what we're doing. >> ok.
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since you're not going to go into the details, would you phantom doing something like that? >> let me make it clear to you there's -- we're looking for a deal that will prove over the long term that each pathway to a bomb is closed off. there are four pathways. one is through natanz through enrichment. one is through iraq through plutonium production. one is through fordau through enrichment that is now partly underground. finally, the last is covert. you need inspection to find covert. president obama has made the pledge that iran will not get a nuclear -- >> i've heard that pledge. i believe that's what he means. the question is, for how long, under what set of circumstances
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when you let iran ratchet back up and, in essence, give some future president maybe no choices but to pursue a military action and very hard to try to get a global community together again once the sanctions have been released. i get you're not going to give us a specific but i want to raise my sabre with you that i thought, and every time we've talked, we were talking about 20-year time frame. now we're talking about a 10-year time frame, if it's true. and with relief in the five latter years of the ten years. if that happens to be in the universe, that's problematic. i just want you to take that back with you because i think -- >> i completely -- >> -- it's really a great problem. >> the only thing i would say to you, senator, first of all, i've told you, it's not true. >> ok. >> secondly, i'm not going to go into what is or isn't the situation. >> fine. >> the one thing i would sayto everybody on this committee, the
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bush administration, george w. bush administration, had a policy of no enrichment. and iran in 2003 had 164 centrifuges, with a policy of no enrichment, that would have been for five years, six years, they moved up to a place where they now have, perhaps, 20,000 centrifuges, 19,000 installed and you know the numbers that may be running. what happened? who did what? where was that administration with respect to the enforcement of the no enrichment policy? so, guess what, they learned how to enrich. they're now enriching. and the question is whether or not one can now create a system where they have a peaceful nuclear program like other people who enrich that is manageable, controllable verifiable, accountable,
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sufficient they're living under -- >> well, i'm certainly not an advocate of what the bush administration did. i criticized it during its period of time, that iran was pursuing this program and that, in fact, the world was not responding in the aggressive way that we needed to, which is now -- >> that's where we are. >> at this threshold position. >> i know. >> but i just want to leave with you, because i want to move on to another subject,if the are out there, you said are not true, that's fine. could be elements that are not true, could be elements that are. if those are the parameters, that's problematic. let's move to ukraine. putin took crimea, donetsk while he's paid somewhat of a price and you mentioned it in terms of sanctions, the price has not changed his behavior. the question is under the ukrainian freedom support act, we gave the president significant powers.
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we supported an effort of, yes sanctions but also helping the ukrainians be able to defensively protect themselves. and i would argue change putin's equation where there are consequences beyond economic sanctions to his continuous engagement. he is on a process that he's going to have a land bridge to crimea. when that happens, for all our talk of not forgetting crimea, it will be gone. so, the question is, is the administration ready to assist the ukrainians in providing them with the wherewithal to defend themselves as the ukrainian freedom support act, passed by a broad bipartisan vote in the congress provides for? >> well, senator, that is under active consideration. i think you know that. >> i don't know that, but i'm glad to hear that. >> well, it's under active -- it's been written in "the new york times" and elsewhere that
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this discussion is going on. we were in the munich -- >> you just told me notto believe everything i read. so, i don't know when it's good and when it's bad. can you cipher -- >> well, of course, it is "the new york times," right? >> well, that's a whole other thing, but in any event. what i wanted to say is the -- i just talked over lunch with the german foreign minister who had just finished meeting in paris with the russian foreign minister, ukrainian foreign minister and french foreign minister. they had a discussion of where they are in the implementation of minsk. whether or not they very aggressive breaches of the minsk agreements are now going to be shifted into compliance mode is critical to any decisions made by anybody as to what the next step is. the separatist movement is in our judgment a de facto
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extension of the russian military. and that has been exercised in the ways we obviously have objected to. what we have done in our sanctions have had a profound impact. the ruble is down 50%. capital flight is in the total of about $151 billion. the predictions are that russian economy will be in recession this year. there is a significant -- i think they're down 375 -- >> i don't disagree with you. i would also say -- >> the point is -- >> -- continuing to sendtroops armaments, heavy significant and people across the border. at some point you have to give the ukrainians the wherewithal to defend themselves. >> there are pros and cons on both sides of that argument, obviously. it's under consideration. and we'll see where we wind up
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in the next -- in short term. >> one final follow-up on ukraine. i know there's a list of individuals, including individuals on the eu and canadian targeted sanctions list as relates to ukraine that do not appear on the american list. the most egregious example in my mind is alexander, head of the russian fsb. he is not on the u.s. list in relation to either ukraine or magnitski but on the eu and canadian list. he was here, as a matter of fact, in the u.s. last week during president obama's cve conference. so, i'm puzzled. could you shed any light on that? >> yeah. we each had different choices about who we thought might be more effective to have a sanction on and what entity and individuals. so, we both agreed that each
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would take their steps and that would place pressure on all. and the next step, i think, if we take one in the next days which is under consideration depending on what unfolds, will bring us into sync. not only will we come into sync, there will probably be additional sanctions to boot. >> thank you. senator johnson. >> secretary, welcome again. i want to go back to isil. i just want to ask a pretty simple question. what does defeat look like? what does destroy mean specifically? >> destroy means eliminate their presence on the field of battle and their ability to threaten the united states and other people. >> over what period of time? >> as fast as possible. can't tell what you thatwill be. -- that will be. most people have predicted it will take a fair amount of time. >> in iraq or syria -- >> wherever they are. that's what the president has
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said and that's what his policy is and that's why he asked for no geographical limitation. >> everybody, i think, has read "the atlantic" article by graham wood talking about really what isil is all about. does defeat mean denial of they territory? >> ultimate -- of course it does. >> so, what number would be left? i'm trying to get some sort of sense here. >> i can't tell you. were there fewer nazis left after world war ii? sure. was the war end and unconditional surrender? yes. but, were there nazis around? you bet. will there be members lingering around? probably but they'll suffer the same fate. the point is -- >> but the -- >> the point is as an organization, as an entity, as a viable sort of conglomerated
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threat to the united states and the west and the rest of the world, it will be destroyed. >> pretty well decimated. do you agree i think most military experts that in order to achieve that decimation, that defeat, that destruction, is going to require groundforces? of some type. >> i believe it will require some type of forces on the ground. >> now, if it's not -- >> not ours, but some type. >> so, you've got 30,000, 40,000 members of isil right now. kind of reports we're hearing is their numbers are growing faster than we're destroying them. they're not being degraded. they may be degraded in some places but growing in others spreading in other places. how many ground troops do you think it's going to take, realistically, to decimate them, to defeat them? >> well, it's not up to me to prognosticate on the number of ground troops. that's something that general dempsey and sandy -- >> fair enough.
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it would be -- >> but one thing i know is, it's doable. and there are a number of different ways to do it. and we're looking at exactly what that structure and format may be. there are a number of ways to come at it, by the way, some of which mix kinetic with diplomatic. and, you know, we have to see what happens in the course of the decisions that are made over the course of the next weeks and months as to what shape that approach takes. >> so we have arab states participating in air strikes. have you got commitments of other arab states other than the iraqi security forcesand kurdish peshmerga, do you have commitments from any other states in terms of ground troops to join that coalition? >> i have personally personally listened to affirmations of a
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willingness to do it under the right circumstances or under certain circumstances. i'm not going to call them commitments until they are in a context, but it clearly is a potential under certain circumstances. >> who would lead that ground effort? >> well, these are all the details that have to be worked out. and in order of battle and structure -- >> i understand they're details, but is there really --somebody targeted in terms of the arab states, somebody capable of doing it? >> absolutely. >> ok. let me go on to ukraine. president poroshenko can give a impassioned speech here in front of a joint session of congress where he did say, we don't need to provide the ground troops. they'll take care of defeating the rebels, but they have to have more than blankets.
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i know in discussions with a number of people that one of the reluctance of providing those defensive weaponry is that calculation is if we provide defensive lethal weaponry, they'll just up the ante, is that one of the cons, one the things the administration is concerned about? >> i'm not going to speak to -- i'm not going to articulate the parameters of the debate in terms of what they're concerned or not concerned about, but an argument is certainly made by people that whatever you put in -- nobody -- not even poroshenko who i met with a couple weeks ago, not even he believes they can get enough material that they can win. he believes they might be able to raise the cost and do more damage, but there isn't anybody who believes that ukraine with its size of its military and current structure is going to have the ability on its own to win a war against russia. so, there's an imbalance to start with here.
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and you have to sort of try to pin that in. it doesn't mean it isn't worth raising the cost. there are plenty of people advocates you want to raise the cost no matter what. >> nothing concern i've heard voiced, and i agree with this, the weaker russia becomes, the moral dangerous they are. is that a calculation you agree with as well? >> not necessarily. it's certainly one of the theories put on the table. it's a calculation you have to analyze and weigh. but it doesn't necessarily have to be true, no. there are elements internally within russia that ultimately could come into play, who knows when and how. an economy by the summer that is still hurting.
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could be an economy that some people predict could create internal dissension and problems. there is chatter today about a very isolated putin, with an isolated group of people advocating this and people scared to, you know -- i mean, there are different parameters to this. i'm not going to sit here and analyze it, you know, at this moment except to say there are lots of different considerations. >> a quick budget-related question. i think everybody that has gone to ukraine, eastern europe, is dismayed at how effective russian propaganda is. there really is no push back. it's -- we feel disarmed in terms of propaganda war. is that something within your state department budget you're looking to -- >> it is, but -- >> you bet it is, but i have to tell you, it is within the
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constraints that we're operating in. and it is nowhere near what it ought to be. we are engaged in a major initiative. we're working with the amerotis is paying for and this will be useful for social media to counter some of the propaganda put out by isil itself. but russia has resorted to a level -- you all see it -- it floods the baltic states. it floods poland. it floods the front line states, bulgaria, et cetera, et cetera. it has a major impact. we just frankly are not allocating the money to counter the way we ought to be. and we're fully prepared to go out there and undertake this. senator, you members of the juried at the beginning why we use oko, this is one of the reasons.
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we rely on oko, frankly, because appropriations aren't on time. so, we need multi-year authority to do multi-year tasks. and we need to get the resources to respond to this kind of thing. about $7 billion in oko and we're putting a fair amount of that into afghanistan, iraq, pakistan and syria, humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism partnership, countering russian pressure. we have $350 million. so, that's how we're bolsterring ukraine, moldova, georgia, to actually go after this. it's not enough. i'm just telling you bluntly. it's not enough. and they're spending hugely on this vast propaganda machine which people believe in the places they get them because there's nothing countering it. according to people in many of those states, we're the problem. russia is there defending russian-speaking people. there's no sense of russian transgression across the border.
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the people in russia don't even know how many soldiers are dying. this completely hidden from them. we need to be able to counter this and tell the story. >> my point exactly. thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you. senator cardin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, always a pleasure to have you before our committee. just on ukraine, one point. some of us have been there we've seen the problems in the country. they've been asking for capacity to defend their own borders. they know that they cannot stand up to the russian military, but they do need the capacity in order to protect their borders from russian incursion. that's why we pass the authorization in this congress. and i would just urge the administration with some urgency to look at an aid package that will allow the ukrainians greater to -- we cannot believe anything president putin says about his intentions.
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he's shown by his actions a willingness to counter all the agreements he's entered into. i would urge the administration to be more aggressive in providing the help to the ukrainian people. second point i want to make is that we had a hearing here on trafficking and persons. we'll have a mark up later this week. during that hearing, we had assistant secretary seoul who offered to help us regarding leverage we have in trade negotiations on the tpp to deal with improved labor conditions particularly in countries we're negotiating with that have less than acceptable rights. i mentioned malaysia, which is a tier 3 country under the
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t.i.p.p. report and i would urge your personal attention as we get close to niece negotiations, to use that leverage to improve labor conditions on trafficking and also issues on trafficking in the countries we're negotiating with the tpp. the question i want to ask you about is the summit of americas that will be taking place in april. president obama, i understand, intends to participate in it. and there's a lot happening in our hemisphere. one of the initiatives included in the president's budget is aid to three central american countries to try to deal with the crisis we experienced last year with the unaccompanied children. we've seen a law, but i think most of us know the conditions are still there and we're likely to see a rise of matters on our border as to whether it gets changes. my question to you is, we can't
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just continue to layer aid programs. we need to make sure aid programs really are effective. in conversations with some of the leaders in our hemisphere, they hope to use summit of americas to deal with the opportunity challenges in the region so that the people of our hemisphere have hope in their own countries for economic growth. can you just share with us the role the united states plans to take in summit of americas and how we can help try to provide real opportunities within not just the three central american countries that are targets for immigration, but also dealing with the security issues and dealing with the areas that have been at the root cause of so many children leaving honduras and el salvador. >> absolutely. >> and guatemala. >> thank you, senator cardin very, very much and thank you for your constant vigilance on
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these kind of critical issues of rights, human rights, and of security and opportunity. we are very focused on the summit of americas. i went down to the panamanian president's inauguration. we talked then about the lead-in. we've had any number of conversations since then. the vice president has been engaged in this. we want to make sure there's a civil society component to the discussion there and human rights and we've pushed that. that is has been seniquinon to our willingness to have a presence of cuba or any others there. it's got to be an up-front discussion of these issues. that's number one. number two, when i was in mexico last year, i took advantage of that to have a meeting with the three presidents personally, honduras, guatemala and el salvador and it was at the height of the unaccompanied children problem.
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we had a very frank discussion in which we talked about the need for enforcement, frankly, for their help to close borders, to prevent people from movering. also in exchange we also had to talk about reducing the incentives for people to want to do that. and they were very frank about that part of it. one of the principle reasons for those departures was the circumstances within which those folks were living. the violence, the fear, the narco trafficking, the criminality, the bad governance, the corruption, all of those pieces. that's why we put this $1 billion request together for you. we're doing it, i think, by a healthy dose of humility and wisdom acquired through mistakes in the past.
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in other words, how you manage that money, where it goes, what the support system is underneath it, what the transparency and accountability is with respect to how and where it's spent. we targeted three key areas. security, so we will work with police, we'll work with the judicial system, we'll work with the parental and education, and other components of trying to make sure we're reaching the kids in creating the security structure necessary. the second piece is governance itself. >> i would urge on the governance piece, which i think it's going to be the most challenging considering the history of corruption, et cetera, that there beways that we can evaluate whether progress is, in fact, being made. i think we all support safer country and opportunities in the country and governance but we have to have accountability in
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these programs. we've had many programs in central america and the results have been less than consequential. >> right. you're absolutely correct. i don't disagree with that at all. one of the first conversations i had with rashaw when i came in is how do we improve our development delivery system, how do we sort of blend millennium challenge corporation kind of goals without defeating the notion that sometimes you're going to have to do assistance that is not as economic based but it's more -- it's more humanitarian. it has another type of purpose. there will be assistance like that, but what we decided is to put about $250 million in to reinforcing the democratic institutions, to increasing transparency and accountability. for instance, like making information available to people
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through internet where it's available or publication or otherwise otherwise, holding -- targeting corruption, which we can be helpful with given our knowledge and law enforcement community input. we can strengthen efficiency accountability of the judicial institutions. we know we can help them with improvement of the management of their funds by creating tracking systems, accounting systems, computerized systems accountability and so forth. and all of that is part of our goal. the key is who's doing it underneath. you're not just giving them money and saying, go do it. you implementing, implementers experienced people coming in and working side by side to make it happen. it's labor intensive but it's probably the only way to have the accountability, i think, everybody wants. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to secretary kerry. you quoted in your testimony dean atchison from decades ago. i thought it was an apt quote, saying that these problems we have in foreign policy will stay with us until death. it's hardly a surprise or should be a surprise when contingencies come up. you said his words remind us we entered into an era of virtually nonstop danger, regarding one type of challenge or another so that tells us we have a lot of issues and we'll continue to have, yet we're requesting oco funds as if these are unforeseen. that if we -- that pulling out of afghanistan or out of iraq or new problems in syria or iraq are somehow unforeseen and we can't plan for them.
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if we've been in this kind of period since world war ii, why is it that only now since 2012 has the state department started requesting oco funds? now, prior to that, i understand there were supplemental appropriations that went to state for various contingencies. but it's only since 2012 these oco funds have been requested. in my view, and i think the view all of us have is that the state department is becoming overly reliant on oco funding. you described these as temporary, as unforeseen and something we need to move away from, yet who seem to be overly reliant on them. do you want to comment on that? >> you're right. we are and it's because we can't get the budget increase we need to institutionalize it. put it in the budget. we are already asking for what i think is tantamount to -- if you
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take all of our foreign assistance because of the oco, it's about a 14% increase. if you take our -- or an 8% increase. if you take the -- just the parts of the usdai and state department which is about, you know, 50.3 billion, that represents a 6% increase, i guess. the point i'm making is, are you prepared to give us what would then amount, if we institutionalized oco, the larger increase? that's how simple it is. you want to institutionalize it, please do. while you're at it, up it to the amounts we need to do the other things i've talked about. >> if we were to do that, then no more oco funds would be requested, is that -- >> no. look, you're always going to have an emergency. senator, no way for me to come in front of you and tell you -- >> i understand that. >> and that's going to require a kind of oco. >> those have been dealt with. >> i think it's important to have -- i don't want to be
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flippant about this, i do think it's important to have anoverseas contingency fund. >> we have always dealt with issues like that with the supplemental. >> but should it -- >> the problem with oco, i think all of us recognize, it's kind of just an offline, you know budgetary amount that we deal with and just increase oco funds. so, it's a layer we shouldn't have -- >> no argument from me. you know the way to deal with it, pass the authorization pell we'll work with you to do it. then we have to get the appropriations people to fill it out otherwise we'll be right back here with other oco requests. by the way, it would help if we had an actual budget rather than a continuing resolution, i think. >> thank you. moving on. with regard to cuba, i've been very supportive of what the administration has done and pleased we're going to establish diplomatic relations. you mentioned thatis accounted for in the budget. it's not an increased budgetary amount, is it, to establish an embassy in havana? >> no, no, it's not.
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>> good. a lot of people don't realize -- >> we have to find a prepainted sign in the basement of the current intersection and just put it up. >> i say that only because some people don't realize we have quite a vibrant mission there now that's been operating for quite a while. >> by the way, senator, thank you for your thoughtfulness on this and your support for it. we appreciate it. we appreciate senator udall, likewise, being involved on in. >> i appreciate that. and i do think there are severe problems in cuba, obviously, and human rights issues, but i think that they can most effectively be pursued if we have diplomatic relations. so, i agree with the administration there. now, with regard to iran for a minute, i've been also supportive of the administration pursuing negotiations and i've
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withheld support for increased sanctions during that time because i think the administration needs and deserves the space to pursue every opportunity for an agreement. i'm still hopeful a good agreement will come. having said that, as one who served in the senate for nearly 30 years, do you feel that the senate and the house, the congress should have a vote on that agreement in the end or some kind of approval or disapproval as the chairman has suggested with legislation? >> well, i have no doubt that congress will find plenty of ways to approve or disapprove. you have a vote because ultimately the sanctions that congress has put in place will not be lifted unless congress lifts them. >> but they can be provision alley lifted or waved for a significant -- >> well, you ultimately are the ones who have to terminate them. at some point in time, have you have to make a decision whether that has to happen or not. let me go one step further philosophically and practically.
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this is much like a sort of labor agreement and tpa and things like that. if you're hanging out there as sort of approval people, that's another layer of negotiation. and fundamentally, it's -- it complicates it. hardens positions, makes negotiating more difficult. there's this looming other entity out there. i think the president feels very strongly that you'll have a sense of whether it's a good agreement or a bad agreement. there are plenty of ways that congress can weigh in on that, but we don't think it needs to be formalized in some prearranged way that makes the negotiation more difficult. >> thank you. >> by the way, when we finish this, if we finish this, i'm telling you, we have tough issues in front of us. no guarantees here, very tough issues. and we're adamant about not doing a deal that can't
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withstand scrutiny. it's not just going to be your scrutiny. every other country in this. we have france, germany, britain, china, russia, all at the table, all with powerful feelings about nonproliferation and what ought to be done here. that's sort of a first barrier. in addition, we have scientists all over the world, our nuclear scientists community is going to have to look at this and say does it make sense? if they are clobbering this then we have a problem. so, we're being very thoughtful and careful about running things by people, we're talking to them, what works, what doesn't, we're taking advice. we've had exchanges with all of you through this process. we're well warned as to sort of where the thresholds are and what's difficult. in the end, the president will have to make a tough judgment f we get an agreement. but it is not certain yet that
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you know, they're prepared to meet whatever important standard we think they should meet for these judgments and conclude. but i'm not going to go into all the pluses and minuses of this right now. and there are powerful reasons for how this winds up being the better way to prevent them from getting a bomb than some other way. and when we get into that discussion, i look forward to it. this is not the moment for it nor the place for it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i would just say that as you've said in the past, it does have to pass muster with congress. you've been on the record in that way. i doubt there's any body of any of these other countries that has actually passed through
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their parliament -- we pass through congress. it's a very unique situation. and i hope we will figure out a way to have a role and say grace over this before the regime is -- totally dissipates. senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you to secretary kerry for all the great work you've been doing and for being here today. i want to start first with about asking about our humanitarian efforts to assist syria in particular and jordan, and also lebanon as we look at the threat from isis and the support we've gotten, particularly from partners like jordan and lebanon, who are really struggling under the refuse geese in their countries and ask
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if you could talk a little bit about what we're requesting in the budget to address that and what we hope that will do. >> sure. well, senator, let me -- i'm really glad you asked that because i think this is one of the reasons i think we all have to buckle down and figure out how we're going to come together around the next -- around the syria component of this because the truth of the matter is, as syria is disintegrating under the pressure of the sectarian struggle, three-quarters of the people of syria are now displaced. and about half of those three-quarters are displaced in jordan, lebanon and turkey. turkey can assimilate more effectively.
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lebanon is a problem. jordan is an even bigger problem. and this has a major impact on jordan's economy, on its social structure, its politics. you know, you have these vast number, many of whom are in the camps but many of whom are not in the camps. their permeating jordanian society. they get a job. they work for heck of a lot less. that puts pressure on the labor market, creates a lot of dissent. they come in, tend to an apartment and throw in whatever they have an rent and apartment but they rent it for more than would have been rented to a normal person or family. so, all these distortions are taking place, not to mention that with them can come some dangerous politics in these places. so, i believe, we believe, that this pressure on jordan is a reason to really try to work harder to find the way forward to get some kind of political resolution out of syria. now, we continue to believe that there -- and adamantly,
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there's no military solution here. you pursue some scatter brain military solution, you could have a total scatterbrained military sloogs military solution, isil could end up with syria. you could have any number of outcomes that are very dangerous. what we're trying to figure out is, you know, what's the road to that diplomatic outcome and we're pursuing that. i will tell you, i won't go into the details with you, but we're actively talking with the players in the region. it's one of the topics that we'll have at the gcc meeting this friday is sort of, how do we get there. and beating isil is a key part of that. >> i appreciate that and certainly agree with what you're saying. my question really is more about what our humanitarian efforts look like. for example, just recently the state department announced an additional $125 million in
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assistance to the u.n. world food program which we know ran out of funding at the end of last year at a time when the funding was particularly critical to some of the humanitarian efforts. >> right. >> in places like jordan and lebanon. how can we avoid having that kind of situationhappen again. and what kind of negotiations,pressure, whatever we want to call it, are we entering into with the u.n. so that that does not happen again? >> well, the shortfall itself to the u.n. world food program? >> right. >> unfortunately, people have made pledges aren't stepping up. andthe demand isincreasing. and this has reached. is the largest humanitarian crisis on the planet today and it's going to get worse.
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sitting here, this is part of the frustration. it's going to get worse. now we are the largest single donor in the world and we should be proud of that. more that $3 billion we've put on the table since 2011, more than any other donor. and we have got $2 million that just recently went into the red crescent to provide hot meals. we put $133 million into the world food program and other partners because of the emergency needs. it's not sustainable. and it's one of the reasons why we are looking at this question of the syria and other things with great urgency right now as to what other alternatives may be available. >> the 2016 budget request $2.2 billion for work at our embassies and i understand that that's in response to the recommendations of thearb -- the arb following the benghazi attack. embassies and i understand that
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can you talk about how that will get prioritized if sequestration goes into effect? where does that happen on the -- or fall out on the list of priorities? >> it's a highest priority in the state department is protecting our people. and we've closed on 25 of the 29. our recommendations. there are four benghazi will get prioritized if recommendations that remain we're actively working to close them. there are things that take longer to implement. it's not that they haven't been atended to, it's just that they don't close because it takes a lot longer to do them. we have a major number of high threat locations that have undergoing renovation in various places, huge expenditures in kabul right now to harden down that place, particularly given the drawdown. and you know, you can run the list of places easily in your
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heads as to where, you know, most of this work is going. but i made the decision with president's consent to do the drawdown in yemen because we weren't able to do diplomacy. most of the people we had there were protecting the few people trying to do diplomacy. it didn't make sense. we're doing it from a distance. we're not going away. by the way, our facilities aring with being used by the open. u.n. and protected. our computers are not accessible. you know, we destroyed all of the classified information. it was done in a very orderly way in a period of four or five days with a very well-managed exit that was done through commercial air, not in some panic. i'm really proud of the people who pulled that off.
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but we're not going to leave people at risk in these chaotic kind of situations, which is the same thing we did in triply. but in many of these stages before you get to that stage we've got to take steps to increase perimeters, harden buildings, do things so that there is no risk of negligence with respect to anything that might flow. and that's where those priorities are going. i would rather not talk about specific places in public because it begins to flag things. >> sure, i understand that. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator perdue. mr. secretary thank you for being here and thank you for your service for 30 years. xxx thank you for your illustrious service. it puts you in a unique position to talk to us. i believe we are in a moment of challenge. i see this as a very dangerous world. i respect so much about what you are doing to deal with that. you mentioned we need to
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lead. i can't agree more. but i see two things you've also mentioned as well that really create challenges and i sense the frustration in your testimony today relating to one of these. first of all, this national security crisis relative to the threats not just abroad but even here at home, relative to the threats abroad between a nuclear iran, an isil that is really running rampant among the middle east and threatening even our homeland, and of course what's going on in the ukraine and russia. but you mention also our fiscal irresponsibility and the questions that raises around the world relative to our ability to back up our our military and our ability to really live up to the leadership role that has been thrust upon us. you mentioned budget constraints. listen, i recognize that frustration. as an outsider i see this fairly uniquely as someone new to the process. but i would like to get your
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sense of priorities. particularly, just one example of how you see on this budgeting process relative to all that we mentioned and all that you've talked about. how do you determine priorities and our ability to really do what we've got to do against your objectives. and the one is a specific. i spent last week in israel and i stood on the heights and i looked across into syria and i of how you see on this saw the three villages where the fighting is going on. it's a very confused space. but then i went to the west bank and i saw both sides of the equation. in the 2016 budget, the administration is requesting the -- almost $500 million in aid to the palestinian territories, gaza and the west bank. the palestinian authority was allowed access this year to the international criminal court. this is a troubling situation they'll attempt to use to bring charges against israel. but independently yesterday, this leads to my question. a federal district court in
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manhattan rules that the palestinian authority independently and the palestinian liberation organization were both liable for their role in supporting six terrorists attacks in israel between 2004 and 2006, in which americans were administration is requesting killed. that half a billion dollars that's being requested there could that be used in different ways to deal with some of the things that you're talking about certainly on some of the social media counter balance with isil and some of the cybersecurity issues you've talked about. it's a small number but it's the principle of the thing. and my question is, how do you see that very complex priority set as you try to develop the highest and best use for your budget? >> great question, senator. i want to tackle both parts of that. with respect to the $450 million that you talked about to the palestinians, you asked bluntly could it better go to something else, and the answer is no. set as you try to develop the
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highest and best use for your of the $450 million budget authority, $425 million goes to support for the palestinian
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why is that important? it's critical. if the palestinian authority were to fail -- and i warned about this in london. because they're not getting the transfer of the tax revenues because they are going to the icc.. but if they were to fail, what takes their place? hamas? jihad? i don't know. i just know that as troublesome as they have been in certain respects at many times, that president abbas remains committed to a nonviolent, peaceful approach to a two state solution. he remains committed to a two-state solution. that has to be put to the test at some point in time. and i understand the difficulty israel had with them, and him and so forth, taking part in this negotiation for a long period of time. we objected -- we do not believe palestinians have the right to a seat to the icc because we do not believe they are a state? -- a state in standing to be able to go to the icc, and we made that argument. as did other countries, by the way, a number of other countries made that argument. but we lost. and we also forcefully advocated to the palestinian leadership, don't do this. it's a mistake. you're going to breach, you're going to create all kinds of
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hurdles for the possibilities in the future. this is a mistake. but they're out of patience. and we couldn't contain that. and as you know, they went to the u.n. and i spent three weeks over christmas holiday working to keep people that we would like to be working with constructively from doing something negative. and in the end, by a vote where they didn't get the nine votes at the u.n., so now we never had to exercise a veto. but there's a great deal of frustration building. and this is not the moment to go into it in any depths. you know, we're very anxious something negative. not to get dragged into the election process. we're not going to. we're not going to. israel has the this important election coming up and they need to do it without us commenting from the sidelines. i'm not going to go further on this. i just say to you we wish the palestinians had behaved differently. and that's why they're not getting aid right now. and therefore maybe some other people -- we think others are going to step up and try to help bridge the gap in order to
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get them over the hurdle. but when the israeli elections are over, there's going to be a need to quickly begin to try to decide where everybody is going thereafter so that there is not an irretrievable clash that takes place with respect to the icc or otherwise that prevents any further activity. on the first part of your question, a very important part any further activity. of the question, the heights you sort of talked about the budget as a whole and where we need to go. the need for the united states to step -- i went through that list of things in the beginning, ebola, isil afghanistan, somalia, mali, boko haram, yemen, houthis, the region, still al qaeda in the western part of pakistan.
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you can run through the gamut of these challenges and you got to recognize that it is the united states who usually helps to convene or becomes the central part of convening working with our key allies. britain, france germany. other members of the p-five. but we need to be able to make a difference to some of these countries. there is a different world we're living in now. after world war ii most of the world's economies were destroyed. and we were in great debt. but we came out of the recession by virtue of the war budget as a whole and where we machine that was built up. and for 50 years or so there was a pretty polarized east/west, you know, bipolar decision-making process. and it was a lot easier. ever since the berlin wall fell and nation strong up
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reclaiming their individuality and their personal aspirations and defining themselves differently and free and democratic, the economies of the world have changed. and now you have the "brics" with, you have a china, india, brazil, mexico, others, south korea, people all playing a different role, different impact. and many of them are donor countries. so others are playing a more mercantilistic, voracious game in the marketplace of ideas and products than we are. and we have been hamstrung by this budgeting process in washington that is not allowing us to actually meet our own priorities and serve our other interests. and i can make a much longer -- and i won't do it now --
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argument of how it specifically affects us in instance after instance. i'll give you just one example. recently, you know, the prime minister of a great country was here, i'm not going to go into the details of who. the most we were able to do is provide a loan guarantee when what they really needed were billions of dollars to help them move forward and make a difference. if they get them from other places, other places will wind up having greater impact and influence than we do. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator murphy. >> thank you, very much, mr. chairman. i know it's been a long day of testimony. some of us are getting our second shot at you today, those of us on the appropriations committee. >> more than any senator should go through. >> we had the chance to have a good dialogue this morning about my belief we need to have a more holistic conversation about the way in which your lack of capacity to fight
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corruption and build the rule of law in and around the russian sphere of influence is preventing us from doing the real work to combat the march across their periphery, and i hope the committee will focus on that. this may be the only chance that we get to talk to you before we have a full debate about the authorization of military force that's pending before congress. so i wanted to just ask you a question or two to try to help us understand some of the terminology in the proposed draft. i think we're having trouble getting our hands wrapped around. you know, secretary gates, i believe, shortly after he left the department of defense said that if any future secretary of defense advised a president to deploy major numbers of combat troops back to the middle east that they should have their head examined. there's a number of reasons for
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that. the lessons we learned from the iraq war. when hundreds of thousands of american troops are there, we let our allies in the region off the hook. we kill a lot of bad guys, but allow our enemies to recruit more than we kill into the fight because of the presence of american troops. and it's why many of us really believe in the prohibition or restriction within this amuf on -- aumf on another major deployment of ground troops to the middle east. i know you agree and the president agrees and the new secretary of defense agrees, it's why the authorization draft that you gave us has that restriction in it. but we're struggling to understand these two words in it, enduring and offensive, trying to get a better understanding of when the next president -- i don't think this president will make the mistake of deploying new ground troops to the middle east -- crosses that line. so can you give us a little bit
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more color on what your understanding of those two words mean? what's the number of ground troops that trips the enduring limitation? what are the kind of actions that would trip the defensive versus offensive juxtaposition? i know you're not the secretary of defense but you're ultimately involved in the discussions and the ramifications. help us just understand a little bit more about what those words mean, and if they are true limitations. many of us believe that those words are so malleable to actually be no limitations at all. and i trust that you believe something different. >> i'm not going to suggest to you that there is, in any -- and i trust that you believe something different. >> i'm not going to suggest to you that there is, in any -- that there isn't, in any terminology, latitude for interpretation, because there always is. unless there's an absolute horrendously prescriptive broad
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prohibition, which everybody would counsel against. we are seeking to destroy this entity. and it is not a good message nor a good policy to place such constraints on yourself that you can't do that. at the same time the president wants to make certain that those who feel burned by prior votes or by prior experiences are not fearful that he is somehow opening up pandora's box to that possibility again. so our feeling is -- and we give kudos to you on this committee. i think senator menendez, as chair, is this one who produced this concept from your deliberations. and we -- i would have hoped
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you would have said, god, they listened to us. i mean we came up here, i are true limitations. many of us believe that those words are so malleable to actually be no limitations at testified in december, we did listen to you. and i think the president tried to come back to you with something that he felt didn't constrain his ability to exercise his constitutional authority as president, but at the same time respected congress's role and right to shape this. and that's what you've done and what you're doing. now enduring in our mind means no long term offensive combat of a large scale, which is what and that's what you've done and the president has defined. in other words this is not -- we're not asking you for authorization to give us the ability to build up to a new iraq or a new afghanistan. that's not what we're doing. what we're asking for -- offense versus defense. i mean, when massive -- when a large number of, you know, a battalion or whatever, forces are directed to go have a
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firefight with isil in a proactive way, that's offense. and that's prohibited. and that's not what we're seeking to do. but it doesn't mean that there might not be instances where you have advisers who are helping people understand how to properly do fire control or properly call in air support, or something else. there's special force operation might not be instances where you have advisers who are helping people understand how to properly do fire control or properly call in air support, or something else. there's special force operation that might be necessary for one thing or another to try to rescue somebody or close something off. there are things that are not part of the larger offensive operation where you may well have reasons to have some people there. i would not consider that --even though they may be a hostile area and on some occasion conceivably
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inadvertently take fire or something, they're not in proactive offensive actions, and certainly not enduring. what we don't want to do is get into a ground war. gates, i think -- i think you said it was gates who said that. and you know, the president is trying to make sure he doesn't have to have his head examined. this is a pretty straightforward prohibition, without curtailing contingencies and leaving that sufficient level of fuzz that the other side can't decide, oh, we got a safe haven here we can do whatever we want, or they're not going to be able to whack us if we go do this or that or the other thing. there has to be a little bit of leeway there. but rest assured, there is, in our judgment, no way possible for this language to be misinterpreted and allow a kind of mission creep that takes us
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into a long term war. >> and speaking for myself, i don't have any doubt that you will live within the confines that you and the president believe to have limited yourself publicly, and licking your interpretation of these words. i think that we are just going to be debating the amount of fuzz that's created here. and if there is so much so that the next president, who may not believe in the same strategic limitations that this president believes in, has an interpretation that is much more expansive than yours is, i think that's why we want to entertain further discussion. >> let me just say, senator, that, you know, the president -- i mean there have been
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authorizations previously which have had restraints in them. some more limiting than this. obviously there's a constitutional argument which is powerful and important to the effect that there shouldn't be any. and the president set limits and you can deal with with the funding. you cut off the funding, you're managing what's going on. and you have the power of the purse. but it seems to me that what's important here also is for the world to see that the united states congress is uniting in a significant vote to make it clear we're committed to degrade and destroy isil. that's critical. whatever you do -- everybody is going to have to compromise a little bit. i went through all of your various positions and there are little nuances of differences between everybody. so it does require people finding the common ground and coming together here. and we hope we can get the strongest vote possible that indicates that the united states of america is committed to this policy. >> senator gardner. >> thank you mr. chair and thank you secretary for being here today. your service to our country as secretary of state and in this
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body. i wanted to follow up quickly on my colleague's question. hugh mentioned that there had been other authorizations with restrains. which ones for you referring to and what were the restraints? >> there was -- on the chemical weapons recently passed authorization, there were restraints put into that -- >> what were those restraints? >> let me check. there was a restraint of time, limit of months and a limitation the certain use of force on the -- >> what was the other example? i think you said there may have been -- >> there was multi-national force in lebanon, 1983, when there was a time limit limitations on force, et cetera. so i think what the president has tried to do here is tailor something based on the aumf hearing in december that reflected the sensitivities of the committee. and obviously you guys have to tackle that now and the administration is prepared to sit and work with you and work it through.
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>> i wanted to follow up with questions that senator flake asked. when you talk about the former role of congress in approval of any agreement, i believe you said there was another looming entity out there that you were concerned about a possible approval by this other looming entity. well to me that other looming entity is article 1, the united states congress. so two questions. do you believe there should be a formal approval role by the united states congress for the agreement and two, will you be coming back to the united states congress and asking for us to lift sanctions against the regime? >> no, i don't think there ought to be a formal process. there is a formal process of consulting and input. ultimately you have to vote to lift the sanctions. >> will you be making that request to us? >> not immediately in our current notion of what we would be doing.
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there would have to be some period, i would think, of compliance and other things. and this is yet to be determined. >> and the reports i believe i came in from a commerce committee hearing right as you were telling senator menendez that you can't believe everything that you read. so the reports in the ap and other places that this would be a ten-year agreement to fight a rampdown is simply not true? >> i've already said that is not our view of it but we haven't made an agreement yet. >> is that the consideration you're making -- a 10-year timeframe? >> i don't what to get into what we are or aren't. i'm just on you, that's not where it is that today. >> have you had conversations perhaps with speaker boehner or majority leader mcconnell with the terms of the agreement? >> i have not. >> do you think that's appropriate to speak with -- >> we're having regular consultations. wendy sherman and the team have been up here in classified session with many of you. that has been going on for almost two years now. we have been consulting on a regular basis in classified
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form. i've personally telephoned the chairs and ranking members at the conclusion of negotiations given them some indication of what we're doing, where we are. there's a regular consultation taking place. under the normal order of the u.s. senate. and when the briefings take place down in the classified room, if the practice is continued when i was here, the leaders are usually there and part of those briefings. >> do you believe that consultation is what will fulfill the role that congress plays in this agreement? were telling senator menendez >> i do. i think that -- >> just the hearings downstairs in the basement, that's basically our role? >> in terms of the ongoing negotiation portion, yes. you certainly have a right to have whatever hearings and whatever further examinations you want to have, if a deal is struck. that's your prerogative at any point in time, and ours is to respond to you, and to, you know --
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>> but no other role in feedback on this other than straight congressional hearings? >> i believe this fall squarely within the executive power of the president of the united states and the execution of american foreign policy. and he is executing thoroughly all his responsibilities of consultation. but in the end this is the president's prerogative. you can always decide to oppose it one way or the other, as you might. our hope is that we will consult, work together, not set up predetermined barriers that make it difficult to get to an agreement. i mean, every nuance of what we do here, folks, i'm telling you, gets interpreted, and usually in ways that make our negotiating life harder. i'm serious. >> will you commit to us that you will not be asking us to lift sanctions? >> beg your pardon? >> is there any commitment that
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you could make that you would not be asking congress to lift sanctions? >> i don't want to bind that at this moment. i know of nothing at this moment in time, but i'm not going to bind myself. i don't know how this proceeds. i don't know where we wind up and i'm not going to take away depending on what we got, some option. but that's not our current -- >> i'm running out of time. i want to switch to the asia rebalance. one of the signature initiatives was the pivot of the rebalance in asia. announced november 2011 in australia. the president said that our new focus reflects a fundamental truth that the united states has been and always will be a pacific nation. i agree and look forward to working with you. to ensure that the policies reflect the growing strategic importance of this region. covering nearly two thirds of the earth's population. but i'm concerned that the administration's effort to apply this whole of government approach to the asia pacific region are faltering. last year this committee issued a report noting the
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shortcomings. noting that the administration can improve the effectiveness and the sustainability by increasing civilian engagement and empowering u.s. businesses. i understand that the fiscal year 2016 request for diplomatic engagement in the east asian and pacific bureau is up 6% this year but still 11% below 2014 fiscal year levels. how do you explain the disparity and the discrepancy in the budget request? >> i'm not sure i followed you completely. what is up? >> east asian and pacific affairs bureau is up 6%, but still 11% below fiscal year 2014 funding levels. despite the efforts of the asian pivot, the rhetoric of asia pivot -- an asian pivot are we reaching that, and does that remain a top priority for
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the administration? >> senator, i'm not sure what figure you're balancing against to come up with that. because our -- the fiscal -- the 2016 budget has a $1.4 billion increase, and that includes a 6% increase over 2014. and we are pursuing the transpacific partnership voraciously. we have a major effort going with respect to the region. we just had undersecretary wendy sherman was over there a month ago. deputy secretary toni blinken was over there two weeks ago. i'm going over in about a month to follow up on that visit. we have president xi coming here for a visit in the
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fall. we have major presence with our negotiations right now with vietnam, malaysia. i've been talking personally with the prime ministers and foreign ministers of these countries. we're deeply, deeply engaged in this rebalance. we've never had that many high-level visits taking place. we've had a revamping of the defense policy with with japan, with south korea. we are engaged. the president was there for his fifth trip. i think i've made seven since i've been secretary. so we're -- i think that every step -- every step the east asia pacific bureau is taking and every step the higher level of the state department is taking and the administration is following up on this notion of the rebalance and of its importance. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator i would say on the
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consultation, i hate to jump in here, but at every one of these meetings where the numbers of centrifuges are laid out and we express concern, the next report, the number of centrifuges increases. and i would say every time we get concerned about the length of time of the agreement being too short, at every report the length of the agreement shortens. i do hope we'll have an opportunity to weigh in on the totality of the deal prior to sanctions being lifted. too short, at every report the i don't think that's an undue burden when congress put those in place in the first place. with that, senator markey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, mr. secretary, i want to congratulate you on your naming of a special envoy on lgbt rights. i think it's an historic moment. i'm just wondering what response you may have received you know, the past few days from other countries in your announcement. >> well, to be honest with you
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i've been wrapped up in the negotiations. i just got back late last night. i have not had personally any response. i'm told very, very positive response. i read one article in the paper this morning which was very positive about it. but i haven't seen -- >> i think it's an important step forward. al-shabaab has threatened the mall of america. and that's clearly, you know linking foreign policy to domestic homeland security. the president is talking constantly about countering violent extremism. so i'm just wondering if you can give us a little bit of insight into what actions your department, the obama administration generally is taking to counter the threat coming out of somalia in terms of its potential threat to the
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homeland. >> well, senator, we're engaged in the most massive day-to-day counterterrorism efforts that one could imagine. it is consuming every aspect of government. the president regularly convenes a national security meeting to get updates on where we are and what we are doing. and particularly when we're in the moment of a particular threat or challenge. i think what the department of homeland security was really talking about is sort of a generic set of threats and challenges that are out there that we're working to respond to. we have an unprecedented level of communication and
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information sharing, intelligence sharing taking place. with other countries. we have the counter terrorism partnership fund which we're requesting money from all of you to implement. and that's $390 million which will be used to enhance border security among our foreign partners. we're working with europeans to move them now to sharing lists on passengers which they hadn't been doing. we're trying to increase the scrutiny of people moving in between countries. and share more information about it. we're trying to stem the financial flow to these groups through nations and increased scrutiny of who's giving money how and how it flows. there's a center for strategic counterterrorism communications which has been set up, and that is playing -- at the state department, it's playing a key role in our efforts to counter violent extremism. and it's coordinating and informing a whole of government public communication structure that is able to pass on information and counter rumors and deal with social media in arabic, in urdu, in somali, and more recently english because of english-speaking countries at risk.
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there is a whole of government effort going on that's taking shape. it's growing almost by the day and week. the counterterrorism counter-extremism session that we just had in the last two or three days, the first day of it at the white house was almost exclusively civil society, law enforcement, ngos, people who are engaged in grass roots efforts to see how they can be augmented to this. one thing i don't want to have come out of this, this is a challenge and it's legitimate threat and indeed there are risks in certain places at certain times.
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but no one should doubt that notwithstanding that we are actually living in the least loss of life violent period in our history. there's an anomaly here. and so i don't think -- i think what people need to do is be vigilant but not scared. people need to be always attentive but never fearful of doing something or going somewhere. and i think travel today is safer than it's ever been. i think people's ability to move, our s.w.a.t. teams are better, sharing of information the fbi, all of our units.
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people have really gotten pretty good. doesn't mean a lone wolf can't come along and do something. if somebody wants to die, you can hurt people. i think it's important for people to recognize this is not a moment of, you know, turning inwards and getting frightened. >> thank you, mr. secretary. the u.s.-china climate agreement was historic, not universally well received. can you tell the committee why this agreement serves america's interest? and what you believe it contributes towards reaching a positive result in paris later on this year. >> well, you're absolutely correct. of course it's not 01:55:07 -- not universally well-received. on one side you have people
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that don't receive it well because there are still people that don't think we have to do anything. on the other side you have people who believe we ought to be doing more. i happen to be one of those and i helped negotiate this deal. i would have loved to have seen it do more. but this is the most we could get. and we took a country -- most people thought it was foolish. how could you possibly try to get china. up until last year, you know this better than anybody, china was on the opposite side of the table and stopping us from doing anything. and we turned that around in a year to have a china that has publicly committed to set a standard for reduction of dependency on fossil fuel by 2030 and begin to have a 20% commitment internally to alternative renewable energy, clean energy. that's huge. and in our case we set a goal of somewhere between 26 and 28% reduction in our emissions by 2025 with the hope that we are actually going to do better and hit the 28 and do it sooner. china likewise committed to try to do it sooner if
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possible. we believe the technology is going to help us do it sooner. if we get moving down that road, the technology curve always winds up producing faster and spinning out new ways of doing things cheaper and you get to the goal faster. that is that -- our bet. but we're still behind the curve of where we need to be to deal with climate change and keep the rise of temperature on planet earth to 2 degrees centigrade. we're not going to make ith right now. that's why a lot of people are talking about mitigation and dealing with effects. i run into the effects of climate change in various parts of the world all of the time. there are tribes fighting people over water in places where there used to be water and there isn't anymore. there are record level droughts. 500-your droughts. by the way, in california, not just in deserts and other parts of the world, we have had record levels of storm damage, of fires, the hottest year. each year now is the hottest year since the last year for the last 10, 12, whatever
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number of years. you know this better than anybody in the senate, senator markey. so we're behind the curve but we're trying to create a critical mass of countries out of the major emitting nations that will then have an impact on everybody gathering in paris. and when they see that the major countries are doing it -- the reasons others have to do it is less developed countries now equal 50% of all emissions. they have to start coming on board because no one country can reduce completely. if everybody rode a bicycle tomorrow and nobody drove to work and public transportation and we didn't have emissions, we would still be in deep trouble because of the rate of promulgation of coal-fired power plants in various countries around the world.
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so we have a huge distance to travel. and the great benefit. you asked about the benefit. the market we're looking at for clean renewable efficient energy is a $6 trillion market with four to five billion users. and that will rise to nine billion users as the population grows up to 2050. the market that created the great wealth of our nation when every quintile saw income go up in the 1990's, was a $1 trillion market with one billion users. that's what we've got $6 trillion very was $1 trillion, one billion users versus four to five and more growing. this is the biggest market in all of human history. countless people can be put to work, countless technologies put in place, new grids, smart energy, all of these things. and the sooner we move it to, the sooner a lot of economies start to move and the sooner we
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deal with the crisis. >> thank you. >> senator boxer. >> thanks so much, mr. chairman and ranking member for this. thank you, secretary kerry. you are serving in very challenging times, and you are doing it so well, making us proud whether we agree with or deal with the crisis. disagree with you. i think a lot of us agree with you sometimes and disagree with you sometimes. and i have to say, you're a great diplomat and those skills are on display today. so i'm very pleased to see you. you know, in light of the threats that you've laid out i'm not going to ask you about the four days looming shutdown of homeland security because that's not your bailiwick, that is secretary johnson's. but i think i ought to be another message to everybody, that's a ridiculous way to run a country at this difficult time. i also want to say i agree with your overarching comments at the beginning that, you know there's not enough of a priority placed on the work of the state department. and the very brave men and women out there representing our great nation and how
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important it is. and that's why i so strongly supported what the president did on cuba. because i find that when people meet americans, they fall in love with america. and that's the way we're going to influence people. to have contact. i know there's a lot of issues that divide us on this, even within our own party and on the other side which is okay. it's fine. but from my perspective, when i went there years ago, what i recognize is the cubans were so afraid to be seen with us, they ran away. ordinary folks. it had to be all straightened out with top people there because they were afraid that they would get harassed by even talking to us. so i just want you to know that i back what you did there. on iran, this is a chance of a lifetime to do something so important. and i know how difficult it is and i know, you've said, and so has wendy sherman in many of
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our meetings that this is a difficult thing. it may not work. maybe it's 50/50. i don't know if today you would stay say it's 50/50. but i think trying to get a deal here is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. and we've done it with other countries. and the most important thing to me -- and i spoke with senator rich about this once -- is the verifyability. we cannot trust these people for one second. that government. we can trust the people, but the government we can't. and so it must be verifiable. and for me, that's what i'm looking for, the inspections the unfettered ability to see if this is real and also, i would demand that there be constant reports to the congress as to whether they're living within the
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agreement. now i am working on something. i just want to know if you could make time for me in your busy life -- that takes us somewhere between where some want to go, where i think congress gets overinvolved and where some others want to go where they want congress to be underinvolved. i think there is a sweet spot that does deal with our getting involved in the sanctions that we put in place. and also on demanding reporting requirements. and i hope -- would you make time for me or your staff make time for me so i can go over some legislation i've been working on with senator paul? >> of course, you know that. sure. >> okay. >> by the way, senator, thank you for flying back especially to do the hearing on cuba with senator rubio. we really appreciate it. >> listen, i was very happy to be a part of that. let me just close with this argument. and it gets to the aumf. you and i are very close friends and allies most of the
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time. the one time we had a real difference was on the war in iraq. and you and i -- you remember that. and it had to do with wording and it had to do with approaches to an issue. and you were working on wording with senator biden and senator luger and it was a difficult meeting and we did not reach agreement on wording on the iraq war. i asked the crs if they could analyze this word "enduring," and i want to say, i asked my ranking member here, when he put forward the idea of enduring, he had a list of what it meant. the way you have approached this, mr. secretary, i'm telling you, you don't have any definition. and the crs -- and i ask unanimous consent to put this in the record if i can.
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>> without objection. >> here's what they say. this is incredibly important for you to hear. "it seems doubtful that a limitation on "enduring offensive ground combat operations" would present sufficient manageable standards by which a court could resolve any conflicts that might arise between congress and the executive branch over the interpretation of the phrase or its application to u.s. involvement in hostilities." this is the crs. they don't have a dog in the fight. and this is really very important because i'm not going to support this. it is as open-ended as you can imagine. it's ridiculous. no one can define what it means. you said it's extended -- crs says it can't be. i say it can't be. just common sense wise it can't be because what's an enduring relationship to one person is not an enduring relationship to another. enduring is a subjective term and it is not tested.
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so i am saying to you, someone who agrees with you and the president, when you and he have said in the most beautiful unequivocal terms, and i quote the president from june 19th 2014, american combat troops are not going to be fighting again in iraq. these american forces will not have a combat mission. we will not get drag into another ground war in iraq. nor do we intend to send u.s. troops to occupy foreign lands. 2015, instead of getting drag into another ground war we are leading a broad coalition. and mr. secretary, you said the same thing. it's a redline for everyone here. there are no boots on the ground. you said that september 2014. and then you said the president
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has said repeatedly u.s. ground troops will not engage in combat roles. and you said in 2014 the president has been crystal clear that the policy that u.s. military forces will not be deployed to conduct ground combat operations against isil. that will be the responsibility of local forces. this is your clear statement of policy. today you affirm that this is the current policy. i would ask to put these statements in the record. >> without objection. >> and yet you stand up here and amuf with this giant loophole you could drive a combat truck through. it is not going to get a lot of support among the democrats on this committee. i don't speak for every one of them, but we have had many discussions. i am hopeful that you can take back to the president some of the comments. now on the other side of the aisle, you're facing a whole other problem, i think. i cannot speak for them. they want very few limitations. and i know this puts you in a bind. but the most important thing to
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me, when you send up an aumf is to have it reflect your own strategy. and i don't think this reflects your strategy. i think it reflects an attempt to bring people together to get something, but at the end of the day, i don't know what a future president is going to do. i know what this president is going to do and i support that strategy strongly. i voted for an aumf that was put together by our then chairman, every democrat supported it from center to left to far left supported it. and then you come in with this one. i'm just saying i hope you will take back to the president the fact that the crs says it can't be -- it's not a term that's definable and that many of us feel it is an open-ended commitment. will you take that back to him and tell him some of us feel that way? >> sure. i think he's well aware of that
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position among some people here, senator. you are articulate and clear about it, as always. but i would just, just say to you that i think the policy that the president has defined and all of the statements that you just articulated are contained within the language that senator menendez and the committee produced previously. we believe that. now, you know, i think that when you get into this process -- and i'm consistent with what i said here in december -- of trying to list things, it gets difficult because of something that gets left out or something that was meant -- you know, it just gets more complicated. but that's why there's a -- >> my time is running out. >> let me just finish. >> nothing gets more complicated than the use of a word that no one can define. it's a disaster. the president isn't going to be
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here after a year and a half. >> the president will be here for another year and three quarters. >> this would go for three years. you're not talking about just this president. >> but i think that the language is such and the process is such with the sunset that the sunset could be executed in a way that you protect minority rights so there has to be a coming together and conclusion on it with respect to have that vote takes place so that a future president really can't abuse it per se. they're going to have to deal with it. and i think in my judgment that is a strong protection. because if you can't get it renewed because there is not a willing majority to be able to do that, you effectively asserted your rights and your position. >> well we just disagree. thank you, though. >> thank you. senator udall.
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>> thank you. >> let me finish one other thought. as we said to you, this is an open process. this is now in the legislative arena. i think the goal is to get as many votes as you can, senator boxer. if you think you can bring 45, 50 republicans on board with language that is prohibitory or more declarative, as long as it isn't restrictive of things the president thinks he needs to guard, that's the give and take here. i doubt you can get there. but if you can, more power to you. >> you're not going to get there with this one. >> senator -- clicks if we could, i think you have had a chance to discuss it fully, and i appreciate the views of both of you. i think senator udall would like to weigh in. >> thank you. and not to beat a dead horse here, but on this specific subject that senator boxer brought up, i want to tell you how much i appreciate you coming in december and
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outlining what it is that you felt the administration needed. as you saw with senator menendez and the chair, we did some serious work and came up with a lot, what was very close to what you talked about. i think we really in the end on my part, i wanted to be more limiting that i voted for the final product. chairman corker, i don't know the dynamic because we were in the majority at the time. but we all worked seriously. there were republicans that wanted to be more limiting. there's a lot of room to take that product and move forward. >> that's what we're looking for. this is not a closed-out -- this is not a take it or leave it, obviously. so we look forward to you work on it. and ask you simply to work with
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us, to make sure we are not put in a place that doesn't allow us to pursue the policy per se. >> speaking -- you've spoken several times about cuba and what's happened in cuba. i just want to applaud the administration for normalizing relations, and senator flake and i were down there together just before, within about six weeks of when alan gross was released. and then when the big announcements were made. and what i'm wondering is what do you think -- we know that there are serious problems with this authoritarian government and all the things that they do. but what is your recommendation of the best steps forward to normalize and how we move down a path. you know, all sorts of things
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are being explored. what is your -- >> well, the normalization process is effectively announced and now needs to be implemented. and that should not be -- you know, the theory of the normalization is that it is getting it in place that in fact begins to put us in a different position to be able to advance our interests. i mean, senator menendez and others are absolutely correct about what the problems are there. we all agree. there may be a slight difference about how are you going to get them to change. our theory of the case is that the best change is going to come through families, through people, through travel information and access. and that normalization in fact leverages our ability to do what 50 years of isolation has not achieved. now obviously the proof will be in the pudding. but we've seen what hasn't happened for this long period of time.
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so effectively we thought we ought to try this difference. we will have a meeting this friday in washington negotiating the normal pieces of negotiating the entry into normal diplomatic relations, how do your diplomats react. what are their rights of movement. the visa situations, the travel, the access to equipment goods, all those kind of things have to be negotiated. and the components of the agreement, which we understood were critical, like the internet and the business and so forth, has to be articulated. that is being done now, at which point we hopefully are in that is being done now. at which point, we hopefully are in a position to actually sign
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memorandums and exchanged diplomatic notes and engage in the process. >> shifted over to iran appeared you talked about the execution of american foreign policy. i cannot think of a more dramatic area. the collision between the executive branch and the legislative branch than when a foreign leader, the constitution talks about who deals with foreign leaders. the speech on march 4 by prime minister netanyahu. i've said publicly that i believe he should postpone that speech. to me -- could you describe what is the issue here? you are secretary of state. do you think this is a wise move on the part of the prime minister to come here


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