tv National Security Adviser Robert O Brien on Security Challenges CSPAN October 29, 2020 12:19pm-1:26pm EDT
make sure you get out and vote. have a good night. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> just five days remain until election day and voters -- the candidates are making a pitch to voters. they are both holding events in tampa, florida. we will have live coverage of president trump's rally and joe biden's drive in event. eastern, vice president candidate kamala harris will be speaking at an event with bernie sanders. , campaign 2020 coverage. up next, a discussion with robert o'brien on global security challenges.
>> good morning. welcome to the hudson institute. we are honored and privileged to be hosting this great event, a conversation with robert o'brien, the assistant to the president on national security affairs, otherwise known as national security adviser. i want to welcome all of you here who were able to join us, and the audience watching live stream from the hudson website. but also a very special welcome , to our c-span audience who will be following this event on c-span2 today, and we're delighted to have you here, if only virtually, and delighted to have everyone who was been able to participate in this discussion. this i think is going to be one of the most interesting and significant events that we've
done here at hudson, particularly given the fact that we are less than a week away from the election when so many of these issues that we're going to be talking about today, the question of what america is going to do, where america's going to go from here, those issues are going to be decided very, very soon. and so what happens in our discussion here i think will help us to understand as a guide to what takes place, regardless of who it is who will be sitting in the oval office come january 21. i want to say a few words about our distinguished guest. robert o'brien was born in los angeles and graduated from the university of california berkeley with a law degree. from there he founded a law firm , of larson o'brien llp. and 1998 o'brien was a legal officer with the
, united nations security council compensation commission in geneva, switzerland. he served in a number of political positions for the bush and the obama and trump administrations, and was civilian observer for the pacific council on international policy at the pretrial hearings for khalid sheikh mohammed. that must've been interesting work. president george w. bush named him as the u.s. alternate representative to the 60th session united nations general assembly, and he was cochairman of united -- the u.s. department of states public-private partnership for justice reform in afghanistan, which is where he also served in the same position during obama's, term.ent obama's first
then on may 10, 2019, president trump appointed ambassador presidentialecial envoy for hostage affairs 2018, not 2019. and one year later he was given the title of ambassador. ambassador o'brien took the office of 28 united states national security adviser on september 18, 2019. so he has been in that position for just a little bit more than a year. today, then he serves as senior , advisor to the president on international affairs, chairs the national security council, and oversees the national security staff. ambassador o'brien has also done his share of writing. i do want to recommend to you his book published in 2016. the book, while america slept, is in many ways a prescient collection of essays about many of the challenges that america
in 2016 and during that period of time were ignoring which have now i think very much come home to roost in the discussion. it's really good book. i particularly section three which has the title of "to rule the ways." i'm not quite sure i got the -- he got the title for that book. anyway, it's well worth reading and a good reminder of our guest today someone with a real vision about national security, about where america's place in the world is and where it should be, and that's why we're delighted and as they say also privileged , to have him here today. ambassador o'brien. [applause] : so it's ao'brien pleasure to be with you, socially distance. i'm not sure sometimes i think a cough because the mask is on but i was one of the early adopters
of wearing a mask. unfortunately i still came down , with covid this summer and was fortunate to get through it. what an honor to be introduced by arthur herman. i have got his books sitting waves.""to rule the i didn't realize i was the title of your book when that chapter was named by the editor so i hope -- i don't want to get a letter from your counsel on that one, but he's a great writer, a great historian and great american and thank you for the generous introduction. it's wonderful to be here at hudson, and thank you to john walters for hosting today. it's a privilege. i bring you greetings from the 47th president of the united states, donald trump. trumpears ago, president had a very different view of a a
-- a peaceful prosperity in the world could be achieved -- 45th resident -- how the american people could be served in foreign policy. president trump at no higher priority than putting the needs, the rights, the safety and the value of the american people -- americanhere people first and that's where the term american first comes from. the president also believes as did ronald reagan that national security is best obtained on a piece for strength philosophy and the world, we deal with dictators and authority machines as they are. as we hope them to be in we -- hope them to be and we don't turn a blind eye to the conduct expecting somehow they will change if we ignore the conduct. he's done the hard work of strengthening our alliances and in doing so, has put substance over style and is been -- has been criticized for that but we think his actions have demonstrated that the u.s. will no longer be a party to arrangements, organizations, international conventions, treaties where our sovereignty
is not respected, but we also think that's better for of the country and world as well. as he said to the united nations, he said he put america first but he also believes that other countries put their own interests first and that's how it should be. in such a world of approach we , think is led to demonstrable results that make the american people safer. so, for example, early on in the administration we took over the white house there was a caliphate the size of great britain and stretching across come spanning across iraq in syria, the isis caliphate, and that caliphate is now destroyed. the lead of isis, al-baghdadi, the men who kept kayla mueller as a slave, the man who ultimately killed her, who cared -- killed foley and others, was removed from the battlefield and justice abroad to almost a year
ago today, i think a year ago this week. the leaders of al qaeda in north africa have been removed from the battlefield. over 50 american hostages and detainees from 22 countries around the world have been brought home. nafta, on the trade front, has been replaced by much improved usmca benefiting american workers and farmers, and it created and strengthen the most profitable for the nicest but also for foreign partners trade zone in the world. since march of this or not with any pandemic, the coast guard and the navy have run it at the drug operation in the caribbean and in eastern pacific, the california-mexico border. they have seized over $4 billion in cocaine and marijuana and denied those revenues to the traffickers. $4.7 billion. working together with leaders of el salvador on mexico president reduced trump has
illegal immigration by 85%. we strengthened the same time our relationship in the southern hemisphere. we're working closely with the hemispheres largest democracy, brazil. in fact, i was just there last week and we signed we deals, to make an investments deal and one trade deal and those will be great for brazil, great for the united states and for our manufacturing base here. president trump also confirmed major non-nato ally status on brazil in 2019. with unlike billions of dollars alone to small and midsize enterprise and of research projects in the western hemisphere. we call the growth in the americas strengthening our , neighbors and increasing our , prosperity here at home but also in our neighborhood. maximum pressure campaign has brought iran's economy to its knees and he has cut off hundreds come well over -- well over $150 billion that we -- they were
using to help their own people but to spread discord across and warp across the middle of with it was with hezbollah or hamas for the assad regime for the houthis. on the burden sharing for the president the president encourager nato our system up to $400 billion in additional defense spending through 2024. that makes not only our european allies safer but it makes the entire west safer, makes the world safer. that pledge of increased defenseman also accompanied by burden sharing in other places. today we're down to 4502 in afghanistan. there are 6100 coalition troops most of them from afghanistan, so the first time in afghan conflict with more of our partners bearing the burden of the work in afghanistan than the united states and the same things happening in iraq. after years of defense sequestration that was decimating our armed forces under the obama-biden administration we had gotten to , the point where we had the army since -- military since 1940. we have munition shortages, an urgent need to rebuild our
nuclear deterrent. after $2.5 trillion being spent over the past three years that , is being addressed. the progress is impressive. munitions are being restarted -- restocked and readiness of increased with elevated u.s. cyber command completed the joint artificial intelligence center and the saps the u.s. space command and the space force. the space force is a first new branch of the u.s. armed forces since 1947, and the service captured the imagination of our young men and women to serve and their signing up and lining up in droves to join the new space force. we accelerate and signed the 2019 missile-defense review and/or ensuring a strong missile defense will protect our homeland against rogue actors and adversarial states seeking to threat is. when modernizing the nation's
nuclear deterrent which makes foundational element of our countries national security. in 2018 we converted and appoint a low yield summary of launch warhead and conduct numerous life extension program that extension programs offer existing nuclear stockpile. we ventured our test readiness capability remains viable if needed and funded the nnsa appropriate to meet the necessary infrastructure upgrades with billions and billions of dollars in additional funding from the department of energy to make sure we have safe, secure and , ultimately deadly nuclear weapons, and that is what ensures the fact we will never have to use them. we find it longer-range standoff missiles, the columbia class of me, but the 21 which is being built in florida and other places, the ground-based strategic concerns. every aspect of our nuclear enterprise is under modernization to meet the man's feet and i will environment. -- man's face and our environment. i would fill the new capabilities in space of land and on sea and in the air with
hypersonic weapons, direct energy artificial intelligence, , autonomous platforms that will ensure american military superiority against any foe. under president trump's leadership, we have spent on defense and research that we have in 70 years and that's what's required to stay ahead of our competitors today and are -- our adversaries in this, in these critical emerging technologies at lead the way when it comes to new developments of quantum, manufacturing applications for ai machine learning. as we build these next-generation capabilities it's essential to protect our critical technology from adversary theft. we cannot spend billions on new weapon systems only have them compromised by the time they are in field. the wars of the future are likely to be radically different than the short conventional wars that we have fought since the collapse of the soviet union. that we wage not just in the air , on land, and the sea but also in space and cyberspace. dramatically increasing the
complexity as well as the speed and velocity of warfare. under president trump's leadership, we are building a military capable of dominating this era of great power competition. one that will deter adversaries by being prepared to fight and win today and in the future. president trump knows the world needs a strong respect for america in order to achieve these we believe president trump leave weakness is provocative. -- believes weakness is -- the cooperation of american treaty allies has never been better for were working with a stroke and is, philippines and thailand. our relations with the populous democracy india has never been better. were working together issues you counter mary town -- to rare earth minerals supply chains to freedom of navigation of south china sea to the east china sea in the taiwan strait. and afghanistan we signed a peace agreement in february with the taliban after 19 years of war and with the start of interest in negotiations last month we hope and expect the
afghan people on a path towards lasting peace. this will not be an easy walk for the afghans but it's a necessary one and we will be there to support them both in negotiations and afterwards. president trump is committed to american troops that he would like them to come home as soon as conditions permit. he tweeted recently like many of the past presidents sometimes a like to be home by christmas, and whether we get them on by christmas or shortly thereafter american troops are coming home. , the good is i have the peace agreement with the taliban was signed in we have not lost february, american to combat death in afghanistan during this year, since february. last month, president trump achieved a truly has toward peace agreement between the united arab emirates and israel. miracle and significant step peace and no peace in 25 years. i was fortunate to be on the first flight from the airport in tel aviv to the abu dhabi international airport and it was an emotional experience as we
passed into saudi airspace and the captain announced this was the first time an israeli plane had been invited over saudi arabia. it was on its way and we got to abu dhabi the emiratis literally laid out the red carpet for us it was in some is almost like being at a family reunion that cousins had not been sticking together, hadn't seen each other for many, many years came together. most recently sudan and israel agreed to make peace and, in fact, into the hot work. there was still a a war between sudan and israel. we now had in just over a month or month and a half we've had three countries normalize their relations and make peace with israel. this is a great many of us in foreign policy world thought might never happen and as the president stated there are more countries to come. nations in the middle east embrace a better future based on shared interest and shared values, and this development was from president trump's
leadership. he did something that was unusual for politicians. the president created political capital in israel by moving our capital our embassy from tel , aviv to jerusalem, the capital of the state of israel. that is something many presidents and presidential candidates promised to do in the past but never had. he recognized the golan heights. he pulled us out of the us atrous jcpoa and gave lot of credibility with our allies. rather than sitting around and look at his capital and maintaining it, protecting it he used it in negotiations and it was through that process is able to bring these parties together and achieve the historic peace. but it's not just those conflict in the middle east yerkes also approached republicans with a similar determination. last month summit chaired by , ambassador grenell serbia kosovo took a huge step forward in normalizing their economic relations.
this is something they have been working on for over 20 years but , to president trump's dedication and insistence on tough negotiations with both sides we were able to have a , major breakthrough. america's days of leading from nine of the days of strategic patients are over. president trump's bold leadership style is key as a build an international consensus against china. the president was a first majorly to recognize the old conventional wisdom holding it was only a matter of time before china would liberalize first economically and politically was wrong. and instead we've all watched china become more nationalistic, more authoritarian and more committed to marxist, leninism overtime. they haven't become more like us. under this administration the united states be standing up to china's aggression in all of its forms. president trump refused to accept the status quo on the trade relationship with the drc. he impose tariffs on chinese
goods to compensate apart for china's china's course technology transfer, intellectual property theft, massive subsidies instead of in price, and other mercantilist tactics that slant the -- when they trade with the united states. the president brought the prc did five january we signed the phase one trade deal that prohibits china from forcing u.s. companies to transfer the technology, opens chinese markets to ten civilians of those to the u.s. agricultural sales and financial services firms and partial addresses chinese currency manipulation and so far china seems to be abiding by the deal. the covid-19 pandemic has limited the impact and our enthusiasm for the trade deal but the exercise shows it was only by standing up to the prc that the united states could achieve a real improvement in the trade sphere. the top administration is working to prevent companies the answer the chinese communist party, intelligence apparatus and secret apparatus such as huawei and zte from stealing america's personal and private
data and our national security secrets. the administration has imposed restrictions on use semiconducting from exporting their highest technology to huawei, z te, and the administration has limited the people's liberation army from appropriating our technology and weapons related information. for a time, we believed there were more chinese military then american military officers. they are here to take our creativity. to take back to china.
they can build their offense of capability against the united states. they have threatened u.s. national security. placed restrictions on chinese entities and companies that are complicit in human rights violations. our democratic partners are now starting to take similar actions against china. carriers in other countries have
[applause] >> thank you. a nice look at where america is in terms of national security. its relative military strength. in thehinking about this last presidential debate. it was supposed to be about foreign policy and national security. i know it must've been frustrating to the president and his team because here was a chance to tout a lot of successes that you have just outlined or us. it was a measure of your success. that there were not these big outstanding problems in foreign policy.
if you were to ask americans now if they felt safer than they did four years ago, i think the answer would overwhelmingly bs. worries about who will be the next person to be kidnapped by isis. all of these things seem to have faded from our minds. a lot of it has to do with the way the trump administration has handled policy in the middle east.
iran has really become a pariah state. one of the most significant ones has to be the way in which the u.s. and israel have formed a new level of partnership. the normalization of relations with key arab states. it would be really great to give the audience a real howrstanding of just important these normalizations are for the future of peace in the middle east.
thank you for having me and sitting down and asking these questions. the president has done terrific things. ronald reagan took a peace through strength approach. that, there were no new wars started under president reagan. i think that was through the piece through strength posture. the firsttrump is president since reagan to not initiate a new war. not only that, we are ending
wars. it does not take place overnight . we have more allied participation. you have a terrific demonstration of peace through strength. deterring our adversaries. ties into what is happening in the middle east. our allies know we are going to stand behind them. because america will stand behind them.
that allows space for them to engage in peace negotiations. i think this will be a warm peace. it will not be a cold peace. we are already seeing a dramatic increase in tourism. we are seeing economic opportunities. israel is a startup nation. it's a high-tech nation, a rival of silicon valley. the uae has tremendous banking and finance. marrying up israel he attack and entrepreneurship the financial center in dubai and abu dhabi is going to be something that creates huge opportunities for young people in the middle east, young israelis, young arabs. other countries are going to see it and want to be part of what is happening.
so far, it's going well. it didn't come from nowhere. this was something that was fostered and created by president trump taking a different approach to peace in the middle east. the old conventional wisdom is you had to solve the palestinian problem first, and you couldn't have peace until you solved the palestinian problem. sometimes, you never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. we put out a great opening peace plan for the israelis and palestinians, and the palestinians ignored it. other countries said, this is a
good deal. the palestinians should come to the table and negotiate and get a better deal, but if they are not going to come to the table, we aren't going to continue to deny our young people opportunities in business and commerce and tourism. we are going to make peace with israel. the president laid the foundations getting out of the jcpoa, standing up to iran was a big part of that. the uae, the saudis felt secure under the american security pledges. israel felt secure, and we followed through on our plans. we recognized the sovereignty of the golan heights. in that unique set of circumstances, we had peace breaking out. i won't filibuster your question.
kosovo, which is a muslim majority country, and the balkans, kosovo recognized israel, normalized relationships with israel, and announced it is going to put its first embassy in jerusalem. there have been three arab muslim majority countries and a european muslim majority country that have all recognized israel in the last two months. it is astounding. >> the other big area where the trump administration and trump himself has brought a major seachange. is with regards to china. now more than ever, americans realize that china represents a real, not just an economic competitor, but a serious geopolitical threat, as well as being a serious human rights violator, intellectual property thief on a global scale, not to mention their responsibility for covering up and spreading disinformation about the covid outbreak.
all of these things add up to a change with regard to china, a need for a new approach to china in dealing with and confronting that competition. one of those areas i have been writing about a great deal is in the high-tech sector and the struggle with 5g advanced wireless technology, and one of the things i've noticed in the time you have been the national security advisor is that there has been a change in the way in which china's stalking horse, huawei, has been able to spread its network and agreements with other countries to build the networks, which have huge national security concerns. what i am sensing is that in the struggle over 5g that maybe we have turned the tide a bit, and we are going to see much more of a consolidation of resistance against china's effort to dominate the future of the digital age.
>> you hit it on the head, arthur. with the internet of things and telecommunications moving into the 21st century, 5g is critical. that's the backbone all of these things are going to be operating on. if the chinese control these have accessey will ,o every bit of personal data every email. every interaction you have, whether it is your dishwasher or refrigerator power , system, security system. the amount of personal private data that the chinese will have access to through the backdoors built into huawei is unlimited.
they will have that not just on every person in china -- they will have it every person in the world. that is something we have to be very concerned about. there was a time where it wouldn't have mattered. you have to follow these germany, the stasi had these warehouses full of files. trying to get the information and make it valuable was very hard to do. with ai, with machine learning, cloud storage, all of that data on each of us becomes accessible to the chinese if they get access to it. they have put it together for their own people, social credit scores. every chinese person has the equivalent of a credit score and we have to get a mortgage.
for travel overseas or go to university, live in a certain area, all of that depends on how high their social credit score is. how reliable are they as supporters of the communist party of china? it is something they've done internally, but they want to do that externally. "the washington post" had an article that compiled profiles of influential americans and germans and hundreds of thousands, millions of people around the world, compiling profiles on all of us. don't be mistaken, they will have a social credit scores for every one of the world. if you think, "i'm american, it doesn't matter," think of the general manager of the houston rockets, who made the mistake of criticizing the chinese over the way they were handling protesters in hong kong, people trying to protect democracy in hong kong. you saw he was basically canceled and how the houston rockets were canceled and the nba had to debase themselves before the ccp to get their games broadcast again in china.
a year in to this the rockets are going to be on tv again in china. it is a real problem. i feel like for the past year i've been on unpaid spokesman for nokia and ericsson. [laughter] not even american companies. you are 100% right, arthur, they have realized the threat not only to national security but the personal private data of their citizens as posed by china and huawei, which reports to the ccp directly. they are coming along and realizing it is not safe to have the chinese backbone in there networks. -- their networks. i think what you are seeing is a realignment geopolitically. there was a time when most of us grew up, a lot of younger people here -- when the ussr, and this movement, the group of 72
countries, and they kind of floated between the two. that has changed. now we have a group of authoritarian, totalitarian countries -- russia, iran, china, maybe others moving in that direction, and you also have a group of democracies -- the united states, eastern and western europe, the eu, the u.k., india, brazil, indonesia, malaysia. what we will start having is a divided level between democracies, countries that share our values and believe in rights of authoritarian countries that are offering a different approach to the world, which is a pseudo-democracy but is by a party or strongman where people don't have the rule of law and basic human rights and the ability to petition their government for the redress of grievances. i think you will see a new
grouping of democracies led by countries like brazil and india and the united states and others, and then a group of authoritarian countries. i think you will also see some of that divide with respect to who picks huawei and who doesn't. >> the other point is with regard to china and all the data floating through 5g from all of that data, no matter how innocuous it may seem to us, like tiktok him it is all grist to the artificial learning mills that helps to feed the larger strategic plan. this is not just a competing business plan. this is a different strategic plan. that raises the question -- >> they're doing it with genes as well. they are offering free genetic testing to countries around the
world to get gene maps of countries all over the globe. not only does it help pharmaceutical companies and give them an advantage, but it also gives them a tremendous, for more nefarious purposes, tremendous database that is something we're looking at that is very concerning. >> this raises the larger question, which is, in our china,tion with china, are weih are we now in a new cold war? is it a new cold war? is it different from the one with the soviet union or similar? >> i think it is different. i don't think it is going to be a cold war. what the president has said and what i have said is we want relations with the chinese people. hundreds of thousands have studied here.
many americans are of chinese descent. china has traditionally been an american ally. we would love to have a great relationship with china. the problem -- is not even the chinese commonest party. it is the communist party's efforts to spread their tentacles, not just across china but across the world and control is the way the way they control other people. property.intellectual the fbi said china's theft of intellectual property is the greatest wealth transfer in human history. he's 100% right. there is no analog to anywhere in history. it is just not fair. china is a great country with hard-working people, smart people, incredibly capable people. do your own inventions. do your own innovation. create your own technology. don't steal it from us without paying for it.
that is not honorable sunday any moral -- don't steal the hard work of the american people folks, europe, africa, wherever technology is being developed. competingit to create projects and send those projects back to the countries were you still technology and put the people out of business who built the technology to begin with. it is a horrible cycle. twicee getting clobbered if you're an inventor. your adventure -- invention is stolen with no compensation. then your market is undercut by a state subsidized product that comes back using your own technology. either you or your licensees are put out of business. that is the terrible thing. that is the sort of thing that has to stop for china to become a great power. great countries don't build themselves on theft. we have to put an end to that.
>> do you think american businesses are more realizing this? the idea that doing business in china isn't going to produce ?hat marvelous wide open market you are basically going to be looted in order to support and bolster your chinese domestic competitors? >> they are standing up to the chinese and not doing business in china. if i tell everybody a hamburger once a week, that's a lot of hamburgers. it seems a great business opportunity but you realize it is not a great business opportunity. skills andhem the then it is taken from you. i'm not speaking about any specifics. that is the idea.
it is too big of a market not to be involved with. the president and this administration stood up for american businesses. i think american business appreciates it and american workers appreciate it. manufacturing is returning to this country. it was impossible. that was a thing of the past. andle had to learn to code farm arugula instead of corn. there was no way we could compete with the chinese. americans are every bit as competitive as the chinese are. >> [crowd talking] for those of you in the audience watch ing, if you would like to submit a question to the ambassador, go to our website. the mail address is email@example.com. we look forward to getting questions you might have. areas ask you about two where critics of the trump
administration have sometimes been pointed to as weaknesses and problems. one is north korea. there was a lot of expectation with -- after president trump's meeting with kim jong-un that maybe we were going to see some real breakthroughs. there were pledges made by kim about denuclearizing or starting the process. we seem to have stalled out. does not seem to be really going. what is your view on what will happen next? had a difficult situation with north korea that spanned many administrations. a goes back to the clinton administration when the north koreans made a break in the effort to develop nuclear weapons. the means to deliver them. it was not just the nuclear weapons. the warheads and the fact that could potentially deliver them
against south korea, u.s. bases and allies in the region, and ultimately to the continental u.s. this has been a problem that has bedeviled american foreign policy professionals for almost 30 years. when the president took office, president obama took of the number one threat you have is north korea. there were a number of people who thought we were going to war with north korea. there was no other option. the president did two things. he put on a maximum pressure campaign. as much as we talked about sanctioning north korea in the past, and there were some sanctions in prior administrations, maximum pressure had not been put on north korea. the president put on maximum pressure. it rallied our allies and encouraged china to respect the sanctions regime. he other thing he did his
put american military assets in the region. it was a peace through strength approach to show we have aircraft carriers operating in the yellow sea. if you take action, we have the fight if weish the end up in a fight. there was some strong rhetoric on both sides. there was the rocket man in the sort of things. that was derided by the foreign policy establishment. it brought the north koreans to the table for the first time. the president met with kim jong-un, chairman kim. as he doesnt, with all leaders, was very cordial with him. said it isnger
asking for the hardest things in the nicest possible way. was you have to denuclearize and in the ballistic missile program. that was something chairman kim agreed to at singapore. there is a long way and we would the president believes as reagan did. unfortunately we had a tough and makingsingapore progress on the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. there is concerned the north koreans, if the kim family gives up their nuclear weapons, that could be the end of their regime. when you are asking a counterpart to do something that could result in their demise, that's a difficult negotiation. what the president tried to paint for chairman kim and the north korean people is an alternative vision. we were talking about the middle east.
the nuclear weapons are not going to make you -- bring you prosperity or security. if you get rid of your weapons, the potential for north korea is limitless. look at south korea and the amazing economy they have had. there is no reason the north able to saying people create this weapons program under sanctions with little money and little trade goes to the fact they are smart and hard-working and creative. if they channeled that into a real economy, the north koreans could be rich and prosperous. chairman kim could be viewed as someone who has brought peace and prosperity. that is the vision we attempted to lay out. the results of the meetings in singapore and hanoi were walked away, but reagan at reykjavik. the brief meeting at the dmz.
we have not had a test of a long rate intercontinental ballistic missile by north korea since singapore. we have not had a nuclear test since singapore. both would have been viewed as wildly successful in the past administrations. the media would have touted that. nobel prizes all around. it would have been a great outcome. instead, the standard the president is healthy with he did not get rid of all nuclear weapons. chairman kim did not live up his commitment to denuclearize. that had not happened for 30 years. w., presidentton, obama. it did not happen under any of them. yet the president is being held to the standard. even though he accomplished more with sanctions and deterrence, with stopping the nuclear tests, long-range ballistic missile
tests, he is not being given credit for that. that is not surprising. can you imagine any other president achieved with the president achieved in the middle east with the balkans? nobel prize nominations would have been flooding his way. it is not complaining. we live, in a very polarized political world. isn the next generation writing about this administration, they will look at some of these accomplishments with a more distanced view and say this was a very credible time in american foreign-policy -- incredible time in american foreign-policy. >> my colleague has a question. >> thank you so much. thank you for giving me the chance. can you talk about the importance of president trump's decision to pull out of the imf treaty and how we are exploiting
that to produce the kinds of weapon systems in the end of pacific theater to deter china? we are now with the russians on new start? can you give a sitting in -- can you give us any insight? the russians are interested in some kind of deal. can you give us an insight on that? >> let me address inf. treaty that limited our building to produce and deploy weapons systems, missiles that will travel in an intermediate range. miles, over 500 nautical four kilometers. -- or kilometers. we stuck to that. the russians didn't and the russians continued to test and deploy missiles that violated the treaty. we have a violation on the russian side. the chinese used the fact we were not building these missiles to build thousands of missiles
in china and our allies, at our ships in the end of pacific denialto create an area anti-access strategy to keep our ships and navy away from our allies in the region and out of the sphere of influence china would like to have. they did that, rebecca, taking advantage of the fact we were constrained by the treaty with russia. that china was not constrained by it. china was not a part of the treaty. the president decided we cannot economize our national security any longer with respect to the inf treaty. either the end of pacific region -- indo-pacific region. we will not be a part of treaties any longer where we abide by the treaties and the other side doesn't. it does not make any sense. amongst a consistence -- consensus among some elites
because it shows our commitment to arms-control. it is a most mind-boggling that people tell you that with a straight face. clear developing hypersonic weapons, developing ballistic missile delivery systems that will keep people safe. our soldiers deployed. it will defend our allies. it will deter china. it will -- we will deploy the same missiles if necessary in europe to deter the russians, the russian federation. it is classic peace through strength. we think by deploying these weapons not only fully determine attack but it will put us in the posture to have real arms-control in the future. just like we had to deploy the pershing missiles and cruise missiles in the 80's to your ticket the soviets -- to europe to have the soviets agreed to the zero option, the precursor to the inf treaty.
we are just not going to be party to treaties where we abide by them and the other side doesn't. that is the message everyone in the world should understand. number two, we will put america's defense first. does with respect to new start is sets a new baseline and a reorientation. the talks with the chinese, they are stiff arming any attempts to do arms-control. we want to get a good deal with the russians. the treaty is not a great deal. it was a treaty that president trump would have never negotiated. while it limits u.s. and russian strategic delivery systems and warheads, which is good everyone that -- and we want that, there is no limit to other missile systems or warheads. massiveians maintain a
advantage of nuclear warheads over the u.s. outside of the strategic category. if you are in paris and you get blown up by a warhead, you will not say i'm glad that was a tactical nuke that took at our city as opposed to a strategic note. i feel much about that nuclear blast. >> thank god for the inf treaty. >> we are attempting to show resolve. we made an offer to the russians, and i think there has been progress on this front. i met with my counterpart. had a very businesslike meeting with him. we suggested we would renew or extend start for a year. -- new start for a year. the u.s. and russia agreed to cap their reduction and see if that gives us time to negotiate a terrific long-term launch
control deal with the russians. i think we are getting close. we need to work on the verification procedure for that. if we can get through the verification issues, we will be able to get to a deal. we will see how serious the russians are about arms-control. we would like to get a great deal. we will see how that plays out over the next couple of days and weeks. >> only a. couple of minutes left -- only a couple of minutes left. should we talk about africa? i have an online question about the spread of islamic extremism in various places of west africa. particularly nigeria. isis and al qaeda. thata figures into geopolitical competition with china, doesn't it? i have written about this. china has been working to establish a neocolonial regime in african countries to extract
resources and extract wealth from those countries. where is the trump administration and you now with building that strong u.s.-africa relationship going forward? both are dealing with the terrorist issue and for counterbalancing what china has been doing and trying to get done? >> i think africa -- i am bullish on africa. i think it has a massive population, a young population. you have tremendous energy coming from africa. you have a lot of entrepreneurs. just across the whole continent. i think it will be an exciting place to do business. in many ways africa will be the future based on the age of the youth in the population. we are taking a different approach than the chinese. we are encouraging american businesses to be in africa. we are guaranteeing loans to the
xm bank. i had the privilege of announcing recently a new pandemic response program. we will build a center of excellence in cape town, south africa, to respond to global pandemics. we will put some of the money we were spending on programs that were inefficient, we will redirect the money to africa. hundreds of millions of dollars. the center we will build with historically black colleges and universities, their met schools. six historically black colleges have met schools. we will pair those med schools with the center in south africa and take u.s. expertise from these great universities and give their students opportunities, residents, doctors, scientists the ability to work abroad. we will have a tremendous impact. we spent $10 billion on
aids drugs. we have laboratories all over africa. we have to great things there. we have wonderful friends in africa but we don't get the saint publicity that the chinese do they go up and overtaken enterprise in africa. we are working with the private sector. we are trying to develop more trade investment. we think there is a really strong future in africa. we will compete with the chinese differently. we will use the best of the american private sector to be there. i spent some time in niger and regina faso -- burkina faso. we have an american hostage held odky bejeffrey wo held in mali by an offshoot of al qaeda. the french of about 5000 troops.
we have about 900 troops supporting them with some unique intelligence capabilities we have. we are working hand in glove with the french. they rescued a south korean, and american and two french hostages about a year and half ago. two french marines were killed. they saved the hostages but they were sadly killed and that raid. i was able to be with her unit and thank them on behalf of the president and the american people for saving our hostages in addition to the other nationalities they recovered. we are working hard to thwart the al qaeda affiliate. isis affiliate is in the region. the africans will have to fight this fight themselves. -- we will beto b there to support them and help them. you have extremism down the coast of east africa and tanzania. we are seeing an outbreak of
isis activity in northern mozambique. we have to come together for their african partners and friends and allies. this is an area of burden sharing where we think our european allies can come to the fight in a big way and we can support them. they can't just be a u.s. response. it will have to be in african-european response supported by the u.s. we are bullish on africa and doing a lot, spending a lot of money there. we think we are giving it the right way, unlike the chinese who are seeking to dominate countries for things they don't need. >> and sacking them with enormous debt. >> they bribe corrupt leaders. that money goes to europe or the swiss bank accounts. it is never seen by the people in that country. the chinese then builda boondoggle, a sports stadium using chinese workers, no local workers. not improving the skill set of
the indigenous people of that particular country. it is built by a chinese enterprise. the money never leaves china. it stays in china to pay chinese enterprises and pay workers. that the country is saddled with all kinds of shoddy infrastructure projects that fall apart almost as soon as it is built. they have a huge built with a massive interest payment. we had several african countries come to us and say will you please pay off our chinese debt. we will never do anything with them in the future. we can't do that. that is not the president's style. we cannot bail these people out because of bad deals with china. african countries realize what has happened to them. in some places it is a state of colonialism. the chinese take collateral for their loans. this is not like western development where you give grants. the chinese collateralize their loans with mines, railroads and
ports. they come in and collect. they take the collateral. it is a nasty business. >> mr. ambassador, our time is up. thank you so much trace usually instructive and very interesting discussion. thank you again. hope you will come again. >> wonderful to be with you. >> thank you to everyone here into our audiences live streaming and that c-span. thank you very much for attending. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] that was great. thank you very much. [crowd talking]
[crowd talking] >> thank you. >> thank you all very much. take care. >> just five days remain until election day and candidates are making their final pitches to voters in key battleground states today. president trump and democratic presidential candidate joe biden are both hosting events today in tampa, florida. 1:30 p.m. eastern, live coverage of president trump's rally. 6:30 p.m., joe biden and his driving campaign event. coming up today at 8:00 p.m. harris willala speak with senator bernie sanders. watch c-span for live campaign 2020 coverage.
all this week, the washington journal has been focusing on key battleground states this election year with political reporters and analysts from on the ground. we will examine what's changed since 2016. what public see -- policy issues are motivated reporters here, and what clues to expect in a few days. today we will look