New concerns developing from conflict in the Middle East
Joe Sestak & Robert C. O'Brien on whether resolution was effective or just kicked ball down the road
- Duration 11:43
- Date Nov 26, 2012
Joe Sestak & Robert C. O'Brien on whether resolution was effective or just kicked ball down the road
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Disturbing development to talk about this we -- Joseph stack former congressman former admiral with the US navy.
We also have -- with us Robert O'Brien a political observer of -- great notes and also former.
Former advisor to the Romney campaign on foreign policy let's start off -- -- well congressman suspect.
If we have weapons coming in from Iran through Iraqi airspace into Syria.
And that just sounds like the situation is gone from bad to worse out there what's your assessment.
Well I think this is part of the problem of this fairly skimpy agreement this truce that was the that was that was done -- that -- the president Egypt kind of let.
Now all the sudden he's focused on domestic problems.
And they had all said we're gonna deal with the issue of how we ensure that arms no longer flow into Gaza.
We haven't -- bringing allegedly from my ran some weapons up the Red Sea so I think -- is going to be a test.
Are we really got to deal with this issue -- -- we just kick the ball down the road.
I think overall though let's step back I'm hoping that out of this crisis that this cycle of revenge and retaliation.
That the United States more than anyone steps forward and begins to say look.
Israel and the United States or less secure.
If every four years Israel has to go back into the Gaza strips and would it take out what it become even longer range and more numerous rockets and missiles.
Is there a way to move us towards the potential of a two state solution.
That has to be what we focus our our our ourselves upon I'm not gonna say it's going to be easy but this isn't -- and until we get to that goal.
Robert O'Brien it seems like you moving arms in the Middle East is.
The biggest and -- growing business out there these days and if you don't stop the military armaments moving around.
Either through Egypt into Gaza or from Iran.
Into Syria I mean there's not a possibility of peace is there.
They're there really isn't I was in Israel earlier this summer what folks don't realize here and in the United States -- that this is the distances involved I mean you stand at one of the can build the conclude some right across the on the border from Gaza.
And all of these school children now are subject to these flying IED's.
The unguided rockets that are our civilian terror weapons.
We have to stop it.
This ship coming from Iran is very troubling.
It's got two routes to get to Gaza to resupply Hamas won is up through the Red Sea is the admiral noted.
And then through the Sinai Peninsula into the tunnels and into Gaza.
Or the other way is to come through the -- canal the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean.
And there was another troubling development this morning there were reports that Russia had sent warships.
To anchor them off the coast of Gaza itself.
The situation is tense it requires American leadership.
It requires getting the sixth laid out there to keep an eye out our Russian friends and make sure that they don't have any.
Ideas about how post election flexibility might affect their relationship with Hamas and -- Iran and allow those.
Our resupply routes to remain open for Hamas we have to shut that down.
We have to allow Israeli civilians the live in peace and and and not in fear of rocket attacks from Hamas and that's gonna take American leadership -- I hope the president.
Is gonna get involved this is one where we have to be out front we can't leave from behind here where Israel's involved.
You know if I come back to that of them certainly Joseph.
Well -- I think it's a very important point is we need to stand with Israel who is our strongest ally in that region.
But I after 31 years in the military kinda came away with an understanding and militaries may stop -- problem at least temporarily.
But he never fixes a problem much like Israel had to go back into the Gaza strips strip where it had to go back in four years ago this time.
As compared to four years ago when -- -- 700 rockets in three weeks this time they did almost that number.
In seven days and this time the rockets -- easy for longer.
They actually hit Tel Aviv with 40% of the population of the is really is that it's cultural and its historical center is.
My mind is.
This cycle and I really -- on the side.
Has to be as was -- -- as he was saying.
We have to lead in this one but we have to lead with a night which trying to resolve this conflict -- let's say it again it's going to be Israel BC we -- -- NORTHERN IRELAND.
And so we have to be about bringing these parties -- -- it's just gonna continue this cycle making it worse for Israel each time.
In regards to this the information we're getting now that Iran is using Iraqi airspace -- -- going to be awful lot of folks.
Around the country or we're gonna -- Will he wait a second I thought Iraq was our friend we committed blood and treasure -- is to overthrow a bad dictator in that country.
And we help them get up back up on their feet we poll our military operations out there although we still have a military presence there and all of a sudden.
We've got this problem of them.
Allowing Iraq to -- urge Iran to use our airspace to ship weapons over into Syria something that they had to know the US would not approve up.
-- it goes to the question okay if we went to all this trouble.
Overthrowing a government in Iraq then why did we do it if this is the end result.
Well we we need some some tough nosed hard -- diplomacy here we've got to get tough with the Iraqis and their there's still a lot that Iraq needs from the United States.
Most of their military equipment is going to be coming from us over future years they want the F sixteen's they want continued American advice.
It one of the problems with us leaving Iraq without having -- status of forces agreement.
Is that allow this sort of vacuum to exist but we need to get -- explain.
To the Iraqis that it's just not tolerant all.
To allow -- rainy and weapons to be shipped to Assad in Syria so that he can in turn.
Kill thousands and thousands of his own people -- -- we have a burgeoning genocide taking place in Syria every day there are hundreds of people being slaughtered.
There are thousands and thousands of people seeking refuge in Turkey and Lebanon.
And the situation has the potential to -- and -- -- -- and and and rekindle that civil war so the Iraqis need to understand that although.
-- -- has taken a lead role in Iraq what -- she allies there.
That if we just can't stand by and allow this to happen we've got to isolate Syria we've got to get -- of the Asad regime and again.
The election's over it's now time for American leadership.
We've got to an opportunity to isolate Iran.
From there at their strongest ally in the Middle East Syria and get a democratic government in place in -- we need to move.
The -- very strongly to do so on the diplomatic front and in concert with our allies and and Iraq cast understand.
That there will be consequences.
If they continue to allow the bloodbath in Syria.
To take place at the hands -- there at the Iranian -- Stars who -- or -- -- You know does seem though that I'm Sergio -- will be -- -- not Korea.
That I think you're you're gonna wanna applying -- Diplomacy works best it seems when there is some sort of military leverage.
We are heading into.
Unchartered waters in regards to what the future military is going to look like and there are a lot of voices Robert you're one of them.
Who don't want to see the US navy compromised at this particular point in time let's recap quickly over the course of the last just couple of years.
The what's been happening in relationships situation and in Libya.
The revolution that happened there and the attack on our consulate in Ben Ghazi.
You've got a deteriorating situation in the Sudan you've got pirating on going on actively on the East Coast of Africa.
You've got the situation in Syria -- open fighting in the street a government seemingly fighting against its own people.
You've got Iraq which we invested a lot of blood and treasury and you've got Pakistan which we've had military operations including the killing of bin Laden.
And an act of war winding down in Afghanistan.
In this context we are supposed to cut the military it doesn't seem like we're going to be able that pull that trick out instantly -- in point shall in their region at Saint John gambling.
Well there's nobody wants a stronger US navy -- US military -- I do.
We have to send -- women and women overseas to defend our interest with the tools that they need.
But if you step back and look at an aircraft -- today the one that I commanded the George Washington and the George Washington the carrier battle group I had.
He can strike nine times the targets today.
In 24 hours that could do just fifteen years ago that means we have ninety aircraft carrier equivalents.
Says a fifteen years ago.
Do we need another aircraft carrier and all those challenges you mentioned -- -- -- bin Laden.
Is what we need is to dominate cyberspace.
In other words I would always take.
If I were out there not another ship.
But the ability to know what bin Laden was ability to know what really went down ending Ghazi and have the Agile force -- -- to respond to it.
Imagine how we took down -- for a while those centrifuges.
Of I ran two we stopped in for a couple years just delayed them.
By a virus in short as the navy has been shifted by this president to 60% of its forces to the western Pacific right thing.
Because of the emerging superpower of China.
Where is already -- east and the South China Sea as inland waterways because of the natural resources that are down there.
Having conflicts naval one's already with Vietnam in the Philippines Japan and Korea.
Do we want to try -- by another two billion dollar submarine when we have fifty and they had eighty.
Two million dollars a pop what do we want a similar sensor system that we once had.
Up near the Greenland Iceland gap that -- track every Soviet Union submarine.
And in solid five with a sense assist the entire south and East China Sea so that -- One of the submarine moves it sends up the -- to a satellite.
And not many of you comes over and takes it out.
It's how we spend our money is what I'm most concerned about it's not -- sales -- that I need to get out there and before we go to break robber on this I know you're here very much against the proposed cuts here I've only got a little bit of time if you could please.
At -- quantity has equality all that's on an -- while controlling cyberspace is important I agree with that.
You still have to have destroyers and frigates and an aircraft carriers.
In the region when trouble arises and and that was sequestration coming.
We're looking at 250 -- the United States navy highly I highly capable ships no doubt highly motivated -- -- sailors and Marines Manning -- But we have to have ships the president has options.
At the end of the day it's not going to be just -- computer -- Hackers and and and cyber warriors.
That this solves some of these problems when the Iranians are.
Are physically moving out missiles and the -- the Gaza.
Or physically moving missiles in the southern Lebanon we've got to have.
Boots on the ground where necessary we have to have the ships do -- support him and get him ourself.
While I want to spend our money wisely we can't watch the United States navy.
Disappear especially with that with the -- problems we're facing as the admiral pointed out in the South China -- the East China Sea.
He was on the Washington it was the only forward deployed that carrier.
In Asia it'd be nice to have to forward -- carriers there so -- we gotta have the right the quantity an -- with high tech.
Arms are -- we got to go but we re hearing this debate again thank you over and over again in Washington into number O'Brien Joseph stack.