How defense cuts impacts U.S. national security, foreign policy challenges facing U.S. and Al Qaeda offers bounty for U.S. Ambassador
- Duration 29:33
- Date Jan 2, 2013
How defense cuts impacts U.S. national security, foreign policy challenges facing U.S. and Al Qaeda offers bounty for U.S. Ambassador
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Hi you're probably tuned in -- think you're gonna look at Jonathan Hunt.
You're not I've got the glasses but -- terrific -- -- KT McFarland.
Pretty -- country for this hour here in parts in -- -- live and Jonathan Hunt it's getting back with you on Monday.
But for now we're gonna talk about the national security issues facing the country in the -- to stand in 2013 we've -- -- every year where we've looked ahead.
To see what the big national security issues are.
And we've had the same people back to talk show us a way to they get a report -- so we want to look ahead -- 2013.
And take a particular look.
At what's going to happen with their purchase of the United States as we go through the fiscal cliff and sequestration cuts but before we do that we want to turn to our Jerusalem bureau -- -- better.
-- and what's the latest on the Syrian rebels have they advanced what's their progress report.
It certainly seems that way over the past couple of weeks Katie -- become better organized better armed they have real commanding control.
They -- -- has seen -- concentrated effort that they are beginning to make.
-- against the air force of the Syrian regime that's a big trump card that means.
The -- still have the ability of bomb rebel positions helicopter gunships.
For close air support and also they need these airfields in order resupply -- -- men with ammunition in those kinds of things up in the northern part.
-- Syria the rebels are now attacking.
A number of different -- fields all at once is the first real coordinated attack we have seen across an entire region.
By the rebels in of course air fields are difficult to be able to defend because the lines of fire and the fact that you also need.
A wide spacing -- area around and in order to try and hold the security -- the concerning thing go.
That we're seeing in these videos that are being posted online by the rebels themselves.
Is the rise in the al-Qaeda syndicate fighters particularly a number of these assaults are being launched by a group called the only used for -- front.
Which is a -- it is an al-Qaeda syndicate based in al-Qaeda in Iraq that's where a lot of these guys got their training.
They're the best fighters shows the hard court Islam is backing -- jihadist they're really getting behind the fighters there.
Inside the Syrian revolution -- also.
Is this civil war is becoming more fluid we are seeing more and more civilian casualties evidence today there was a bombing at a gas station.
There in this city of Damascus the capital there one of the suburbs where the rebels control and mig fighter jet -- by the Syrian air force.
Hit this gas station killed.
At least a dozen people it comes -- a day where the United Nations is now significantly increase their estimate of how many civilians had died in his also how many people died.
Overall from 45000.
To now 60000.
Is they have really done all their numbers in his jump.
Certainly calls into question how many more people.
Are going to die through this Syrian civil war the real question is how many people of the regime willing to kill in order to continue to hold on to some of the power bases they have.
Especially around Damascus and if history is anything to repeated -- in this case which often.
In the Middle East does the regime is willing to kill as many people is they have to to stay in power taking.
Thank you very much does -- that are -- Jerusalem bureau of talking about the continuing.
Tragic civil warrants area thanks Leon.
We're now gonna turn to our.
Regular friends are to herb London formerly president of the Hudson institute and now with the Manhattan institute.
In new York and we have I've gone back to look at the -- you -- exactly twelve months ago about what would happen in 2013.
And you were dead on.
You talked about an increasingly militant China.
And you talked about continuing problems in the Middle East and the Arab Spring gone wrong so let me ask you what do you think's gonna happen for the next twelve month.
Well there are some things that I think are fairly apparent that the moment -- -- is gone these days are numbered.
I don't care what how much.
He he is willing to engage in the tragedies that have occurred how many more deaths will -- in Syria.
He is gone the question is who replaces him is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood is -- going to be some form of al-Qaeda.
The poison we choose may not be so desirable.
I'm not so happy about the outcome here as much as I detest -- -- stands for what he's done I'm not so happy about what's likely to occur.
The second thing that we can pretty much count on is that Egypt will be bankrupt.
The country is gone.
Egypt is importing more than half of its food at the moment it cannot sustain itself under the present set of circumstances.
Egypt is a desperate basket case and it is the largest Arab country in the world.
And so you're asking an obvious question.
We're gonna support come from what happens in Egypt will there be riots on the street my guess is yes there will be and there's no apparent solution.
The third very obvious thing that's going to occur in 2013.
We -- see signs of it.
This further testing of the United States is may be in the Pacific.
The Chinese are increasingly assertive using a blue water navy to obviously assert themselves in both the South China Sea and even the Sea of Japan.
The question is what kind of response you get from the United States my suspicion is since the State Department says we are neutral.
The likelihood is some sort of depends condominium will be created in the in the in these stories not unlike C don't.
We're going to Japan.
And South Korea and Taiwan and Australia and the Philippines and New Zealand get together to deal with the potential adventurism of the Chinese navy.
As you know would be of great value of this program is that the listeners.
And viewers can write in their own questions set aside the fact that everyone seems to love this new format we have we have a couple of girlfriends who who have some comments.
One down from -- see who says.
With regards your whole point about Egypt.
Wouldn't she -- -- -- -- is giving too much money to people who aren't necessarily our friends.
And what we get back for a -- -- the case of Egypt is it also steps up to the planet.
Well I think that there will be an attempt on the part of the American government to bolster.
The regime in Egypt because we're not sure of what kind of enemy you'll complete chaos will exist at the United States does not do so.
My guess is there's very little that can be done to help the Egyptian government because they can't help themselves they're relying on remittances from many egyptians who -- working outside the country.
That's the currency continues to depreciate in value many of those people are reluctant to send money back into the country.
So even the remittances don't work there's nothing that works in Egypt.
So the country is at the point of almost complete despair.
What happens element here is if your dynamic basically run out of food at a world's largest importer of -- if they can't -- -- waved you have.
Starving people on -- starving people on the streets even middle class families -- reading one meal a day in Egypt today.
So you're -- seeing the signs of a country that is in complete disarray.
And this is not unlike what will happen in other places in the Middle East.
That Egypt stands as a very interesting example because one it's the largest country as you've already pointed out.
The two it represents the backbone of any kind of Arab solidarity in the area.
The Turks Turkish government is unwilling to provide any more assistance the Jordanians are very much concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood.
And so there are countries there that could provide some assistance but a very reluctant to do so.
And particularly Saudi Arabia that's right not stepping in after the play we have another question firm acquired from one -- our viewers has -- has serious and they're still gunning rape scene and imprisoning their own people.
Is this leading from behind and how we're also work I would add to that is there's some other way we the United States could -- dealt with the Syrian situation to prevent it from being what we.
Could have dealt with -- much earlier on might have been to distinguish between.
Whose democratic forces liberal forces and to the extent they exist and the al-Qaeda forces that exist in the -- rebel groups.
Again the United States I think missed the boat we do not understand what is happening in this part of the world and we are very reluctant to act.
By and large the Obama administration has not provided any leadership on what should be done.
The Russians who have very much behind us off right up unequivocal and so even the -- are not sure how things will unfold.
They're trying to play it both ways they have their largest want -- -- more report in Syria and so they want to retain some control in that area.
Where they'll be able to do so if the sun is defeated is another question it also represent a represents a potential defeat for Iran.
So from a geo strategic standpoint there are many people who would like to see -- go but keep in mind.
That what you wish for May not be so desirable.
Okay what doctor herb London thank you very much for -- about 2013.
We'll have you back well before.
This time next year to sea -- -- okay thanks very much always a pleasure thank you.
Before we leave and -- for a break I just want a part of Brian has frank hammer is saying is that whenever they're loyal.
Viewers -- these are very astute observer his sentiment point.
But I think is worth making.
He said the Arab Spring was only a pipe dream.
Where is that gone wrong.
When was it right and who said -- who've made that determination.
And he makes the point that if -- -- Washington can't fix our own country who thought we could fix everybody else.
We'll take a quick break him and -- back to talk about 2013.
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Curious -- for the first time is James Lindsay he is a senior vice president of the council on foreign relations he's joining us from the council on foreign relations.
Offices and studios in Washington DC and Jim welcome to -- country.
And -- -- and it had -- -- it's an honor.
And you have written a very -- really sustained excellent piece on your blog on the council on foreign relations dot org blog.
And you talked about the three challenges facing in the United States in 2013 -- can you elaborate.
Well KT I say there -- really -- three challenges that we're clearly going to face in 2013.
One is conflict in the Middle East the second is rising tensions in East Asia.
In the third is the rather shaky global economy.
OK now when you talk about Egypt Eric talk about the Middle East tell me about Egypt you've you've witnessed the most populous country it's a one everyone looks through.
And yet it's the it's an economy that really is on the ropes what happens with -- Well -- it's going to are very tumultuous process right now as it tries to won't make we hope is going to be as successful transition to democracy.
I've still trying to work out what it's political procedures are going to be.
If you look at that long -- of history in previous democratic transitions there often very difficult they often have -- a lot of.
Efforts to become democratic don't succeed.
One of the problems the injections have -- that -- major source of -- income in the country's tourism.
In currency is down substantially.
Precisely because of the political tumbled.
And unless -- is gonna succeed making its economy work.
It's hard to see how it's democracy truly guilty Tikrit because one of the things the public expects from.
The Arab Spring is a better life ahead in its economy can't deliver they won't see that.
It would have Jim it is true then what happens to me I make the assumption I've always thought.
That the demonstrations -- -- -- square in his words in large part because of Mel economic opportunities.
Large youth population 75% of the population under 35 no jobs no prospects.
And -- Egypt doesn't solve the problems measure of climate probably can't.
Band what happens next what -- is -- government is there chaos military coup what happens to Egypt when they start running out of food.
Why don't think we're at the point where the egyptians are running out of -- the real question is whether this revolution is going to deliver economic growth.
I think the jury's still out on.
The egyptians clearly have some time -- Stiller a vast amount of goodwill.
-- for the revolution.
Of the egyptians have some important benefactors.
Particularly in the saudis are helping to keep them afloat they'll be able probably to borrow some money internationally.
The real question though is whether the egyptians can make good use all of their car -- opportunity.
The sticking problem in Egypt is that while.
Objections came together and career squirted said he'd like Mubarak government they want something different.
They don't necessarily agree on what should replace it.
And so that's the process egyptians are going through right now.
And ultimately we'll see whether or not they're able to make the right sorts of choices make the kinds of tough economic decisions.
There will allow their economies prosper.
If you look at the United States today.
I will establish well institutionalized democracy.
It's been pretty difficult for our.
Establishes -- make tough choices so it's probably just as hard Egyptian system.
All right avid gym when you look you talked about which a lot of foreign policy people ignore the economy they ignore the American account where in the world economy you may have point.
Is certainly in the work you've done at the council and helped get the council on foreign relations to focus on economic issues.
What happens -- and the world economy going forward it doesn't look like -- any bright spots throughout the world.
And so where are we during the course of the next year on the world economy and how does that impact.
We court right -- when we look out at the national Connie what's surprising is you don't see a lot of bright spots.
In the 1990s was -- time shouldn't go go.
Tech boom in the United States the first decade of the 21 century was a time of the.
Emerging economies like China India Brazil.
Now and look around the global economy C -- Euro zone.
Which is struggling to deal with debt.
You look at the Chinese economy which is gone from having double -- -- Economic growth to growth -- around five to 6%.
Brazil which is one of -- economies of the last decade is only going in about one or 2% a year.
And then of course here in the United States.
We've had a very slow recovery.
It's a great deal of uncertainty about.
The fiscal picture in the United States notwithstanding.
The deal that we struck in the last few days we've known since -- I think -- postponed.
The issue from -- fiscal -- to a confrontation about a month and a half over the national debt.
So what's happening is that in the global economy.
A lot of slow growth -- -- stagnation.
And it's not clear where the spark is gonna get the global economy going is going to come from.
And the great concern is that.
What will happen is -- have.
A -- -- on states for downturn in Europe that could actually have a ripple effect around the global economy.
And take the entire can't global economy back into recession -- Premieres let me ask you the quick final question 2013.
Is this the year of reckoning with Iran -- It certainly looks like it.
That KT that we've been talking about what will happen when Iran reaches the -- point of the red lines that the Israelis and the United States have drawn.
And it's looking like that's going to happen.
Sooner rather than later.
The great unknown here is whether or not the Ronnie and so we'll stop short of the Red Line.
Well there's been a lot of talk about perhaps.
The Ronnie -- -- More inclined -- try to seek a negotiated.
Before getting there we don't know one of the wild cards and all this is that a -- -- election.
This summer to choose its next president.
In Iran has some very complicated politics some real divisions.
Among the various factions there.
It's not clear whether it will be able to do any kind of deal.
Before the election what will happen thereafter but obviously a -- is an issue to keep -- -- -- that's been doctor -- Lindsay James Lindsay the council on foreign relations.
You can read his blog and other things he's written.
Go to CFR.
Dot org it's a great website is so great that it was hacked -- and -- -- very.
Creative way last week but everything and they assured me is on schedule and you don't have to worry about Chinese hackers into your computers -- -- -- C -- thanks very much Richard -- -- Donnie Yen up and running and thinking how much.
Now we wanted to learn rabbi and we want to turn out to an adult friend of mine in -- raid to block -- -- -- -- Under secretary of the army veteran of a number of Republican administrations.
And his mostly he's now -- epicenter of first security international studies CSIS and Washington.
But before that he was the mayor of the Pentagon.
So -- first of all thank you for joining us.
They're happy -- my first question is what is everybody at the Pentagon doing now on this last minute scramble.
To try to figure out where to take these cuts that are coming.
Well maybe not tomorrow but are coming in two months time unless congress acts and I don't think anybody figures congress can act.
What happens when the sequestration cuts there.
Well as you probably know the Pentagon is already.
Billion dollars worth of cuts that were decided upon last year.
Now facing sequestration.
Bob -- the undersecretary of defense comptroller.
Finally got instructions from OND.
To allow the three military departments the army navy in the air force to begin planning on cuts how large they would be question mark.
But I think everyone recognized even before the UND issued its directive it's instructions.
That there would be cuts.
Would it be sequestration or sequestration light.
Question mark now it appears it's going to be something like sequestration light.
There will still be further cuts each of the three military departments where not 88% of the money is spent.
Have already begun planning on this.
Well what happens that as far as missions -- you -- everybody's gonna take a cut all the three the three services.
Are going to take haircuts does that mean we give up commissions or are we just gonna cut back a little on training and maintenance and -- pick out a few people here and there.
Well as you know the president.
Has protected if you will fenced off the military personnel accounts.
Which means that whatever level of cuts eventually flows to the -- department of defense and the three -- apartments.
It will then be primarily focused on the so called modernization accounts which is the acquisition accounts -- research and development accounts.
And the -- and -- accounts and the military construction account.
I think that.
My biggest fear he is in this notion that.
We're -- leaving.
Afghanistan we have left essentially Iraq.
That the land the forces of this country of the United States can take a greater hit.
Then shall we say the naval forces and the air strategic forces I'm very concerned if that is the notion that's being bandied about.
Both in the west wing of the White House and in the that that will have a deleterious effect on both our strategic and operational deterrent.
Well as -- is so in other words if the United States say to quote former secretary of defense Bob Casey said any president would have to him have his head examined before he got involved another land war in the Middle East.
If they can't -- come predominantly at the expense of the army and then presumably the Marine -- as well.
What does that mean firm reality to really feel the military.
In any kind of land engagement in the future.
I think that one must be nuanced in this regard.
Certainly Bob gates.
I think was correct.
Future major engagement of -- land that nature.
Anywhere in the world right now is not in the -- on the one hand on the other hand.
-- -- -- -- -- That we're going to probably put more emphasis and a greater demand on our special operators -- are so called soft forces.
And they'll try -- if you will of the 21 century that has to say the army the Marines in the special operations.
Where -- the special operations forces get there in strength that comes out 78%.
Of that I believe comes out of the armies in strength.
The other issue -- remember as I think I implied was the army is also a strategic deterrent.
Not just the air force in the navy I believe that the People's Liberation Army in Beijing there's strategic planners are watching very carefully.
How the united states army -- resources and may end.
Because they look at it as a strategic deterrent the other thing to become cognizant.
Is the issue of what's happening in Syria what's happening in Pakistan.
Not to say that we're going to enter would land forces and either place.
But there may be a requirement some point in the future.
Either pre deployment.
For a deterrent factor or deploy for protection of either of military weapons in -- Pakistan.
That is to say the nuclear weapons that they have with a chemical weapons and Syria.
The other issue to be careful about is what's happening in South America and in Africa all of these issues seems to me.
Ought to make people very careful about cutting and strength in the army in the Marines.
Well then what about the navy at the pivot to Asia is going to be predominantly.
Looking -- -- US naval forces and that western Pacific.
We're going to be having fewer ships even now we're going to be having your ships defense cuts come.
As their plan will have fewer ships and that can LeRoy carry out any kind of maritime strategy in the Pacific.
Well the navy.
A full up.
Maritime and -- two in order resource to -- America -- strategy it does require probably in excess of 300 chips.
The question is we -- can we deployed these ships.
Where should they see you know and the sect Def decide to deploy aircraft carriers and submarines.
As you know they can be moved around the world fairly.
Easily and so if you would have the so called pivot to the Pacific.
That means that you can deploy a more assets more naval assets from the Atlantic from the Mediterranean.
From the Middle East to the Pacific that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to increase the actual number.
Of aircraft carriers or submarines or.
Well thank you very much afraid to block former member of -- -- mayor of the Pentagon and now with the center for international strategic studies thanks so much for joining us.
Thanks KT OK.
We're now -- turn to our friend Catherine Herridge.
-- -- turned her right after the break Catherine Herridge has been breaking yet another story.
About terrorists in the Middle East so take a quick break and you don't want to -- the -- has got to say next.
I welcome back to -- country -- Catherine Herridge has broken yet another story about terrorists in the Middle East.
And has come across a translation.
Some information is actually a real bombshell.
What is the latest.
Well thank you lucky teen good happy -- I guess yeah -- yeah.
Intelligence sources tell Fox News they believe this threat is credible al-Qaeda in Yemen is considered the most active in lethal of the al-Qaeda affiliates.
And -- -- -- Qaeda in Yemen from the other al-Qaeda franchises.
Is this singular focus on attacking western specifically US targets including the US homeland and this morning the State Department released a statement that reads in part quote.
We have seen these reports and we take such threats very seriously we'll continue to monitor the situation.
As you know our embassy in Yemen already operates in -- highly sensitive and difficult security situation.
Another thing that separates al-Qaeda in Yemen from the other groups is the American cleric Anwar -- lucky he was the first American.
To be targeted for death by the CIA and he was killed in September of last year by September of 2011 actually now.
But on -- -- lock -- through his writings on the Internet has continued to inspire homegrown plots here in the United States.
As recently as last month so again these threats specifically targeting US soldiers who are operating.
In Yemen who -- doing training air with the Yemeni security forces and also our ambassador are being taken quite seriously case.
So cabaret as I understand that they there has actually been on the bounty put on the head of the United States ambassador to Yemen.
-- about the -- Will -- bounty is in gold and what seems unusual to analysts who track al-Qaeda in Yemen is at number one that they would draw such public attention.
21 of their targeting plans in this case against -- US interest in Yemen.
And number two this message -- -- on the Internet.
Memory as you know -- group here in Washington that tracks.
These jihadist groups says there's a section in the message.
That's missing and in that section.
There is a picture of ambassador Cris Stevens who was killed by terrorists in Ben -- -- 9/11 and then photo shopped on his image.
Is a senior member of al-Qaeda in Yemen.
And this is being read by analysts as an effort by these groups to really capitalize.
On what they see as a big victory for them on September 11 in -- Ghazi.
And critics of the administration say it's more evidence that this failure to respond -- to retaliate.
For the death of ambassador Chris Stevens has really emboldened al-Qaeda not only in North Africa but now is -- -- Yemen to.
Don't care what Catherine -- you have been on the from the very beginning that you've even written a book about this club -- I like this is such old news to your watchers I -- we started talking about this.
Over three years ago and a and you really have bent -- making it again yeah but given right on the from the beginning you've said that al-Qaeda has now -- and that these affiliates some franchises.
Are -- next wave and so I think everybody should go check our Katherine harris' book the next wave and what -- that is a shadow eerily prophetic.
Thanks -- unfortunately so now I have to thank you yeah.
Thank you -- later by.
By -- for -- country I want to point you out to the fact that over.
Two hours ago when we have a September 11 attacks and Ben Ghazi -- I had others have warned that it with -- retaliation.
Against these attacks it would only embolden al-Qaeda the same way in two and 1998 attacks against two American embassies in East Africa.
And then in the year 2000 the attack on the USS Cole.
I'm based out of Yemen by failing to respond to those even though we knew who carried out those attacks against us that embolden van.
Osama bin Laden he had a recruitment videos saying let's go kill Americans they don't retaliate they don't respond.
And then we have the 1 September 11 I feel very strongly by not retaliating against the people.
Who we know killed our own and then Ghazi in fact the man who is -- linchpin and that.
And the chief organizer of the attack and Ben Ghazi accorded the New York Times is sitting.
In that cool side and the luxury hotel -- Ben Ghazi shipping strawberry from phase.
-- in the United States to come get him well we haven't and as a result.
I think you're now seeing the story that Catherine Herridge has just broken that -- -- now bounties being put on the heads.
The US ambassadors and US soldiers with -- particular reference to the fact that the United States has failed.
To hold those responsible for the killing of our American ambassador in three other Americans.
Check out my writings and others on foxnews.com.
Where we talk about exactly that same thing.
Thanks so much for joining us on -- country.
It's that I kind of sad tours around the world for 2013.
Welcome break from the fiscal cliff.
See again next week.