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Hi welcome to -- country and came to my front to start right off -- -- story that's been good.
-- -- in the world for the last 3000 years the Israeli Palestinian peace talks and we have David Aaron -- -- joining us.
From the Wilson Center in Washington DC thank you so much for joining us.
-- advised five patents on this topic so telling what's -- about this one secretary carries invested a lot of his personal time and effort.
He has gotten the Israelis and the Palestinians to at least sit down at the same table -- any prospect that this leads to -- -- You know I think the odds are still pretty long certainly -- conflict ending agreement between Israelis and Palestinians on all the core issues.
But I think that there are couple new factors here first is Kerry himself for -- -- work for half a dozen secretaries of state.
This one is pretty relentless and willful.
In terms of -- -- units issue a priority second.
The reality is that neither Benyamin Netanyahu -- no Mahmoud Abbas want to be blamed and take it or take the hit for the collapse of the American efforts so.
I think he's Carey's got that going form and and also there's this.
As the Middle East and explodes just about everywhere else Syrian civil war -- perpetual state of of chronic deep dysfunction the warning area and it's counter intuitive that appears to be strangely quiet.
Is the Israeli Palestinian arena and I think both Abbas and Netanyahu if they can.
Want to keep it that way so those are the three things I think we know what we do not now.
Because there's a degree of radio silence about this process that I've been around negotiations for a long time never have I seen this kind of discipline.
Unwillingness to communicate.
Anything publicly about this process and the reality is it may well reflect.
The fact that Kerry has heard something new and quite different.
In one here.
And Mahmoud Abbas on the other so you don't -- it you know nobody ever lost money I've said this repeatedly.
Betting against Arab Israeli peace.
But at the same time to fix I wouldn't discount to carry effort.
And it's a reasonable bet.
At least it's a -- worth making.
Well -- ask you Bennett if you think that this indicates this silence.
That you're hearing that you're not hearing anything from either side there's not the usual leaking that you have going on.
You think in fact this might be an indication that there is some kind of a grand -- Graham and and real purpose in seriousness of this conversation.
Well no grand bargain no.
Give that look when there's radio silence in either means one of do things that there's something they -- there to protect.
All -- or alternatively there's nothing to protect -- and you know John Kerry didn't put himself in the middle of this.
Nasty mix called the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
On a wing and a prayer I mean.
This guy wants.
Not only does he think it's in the national interest but he wants also to get into the secretary -- -- fame and the way you do that.
Is by owning an issue that normal human being urged would say like you and me.
Only an issue that's considered to be really tough and making it better so.
I I think on this one I don't mean John Kerry.
But believes that.
This is gonna end up being the key to an empty room it's a lot it's very risky and right now it's his great history it's not president Obama's -- -- He think he thinks it's worth a shot and all I'm suggesting in my own analysis has been -- knowingly negative on this subject ever since -- -- government.
I think there's enough that may be new.
Not to pre -- the effort that's on.
I haven't done let me ask you about the fact that there's not just one Palestinian group the Israelis are under and then secretary carries negotiating with the West Bank Palestinians.
Let's say that it does happen that there is some kind of an agreement between the Israelis -- the West Bank Palestinians where does that leave Gaza and the more radical.
Palestinians that are on the Gaza Strip.
Do they go along with some.
-- -- You've identified.
One of the many obstacles.
To any implementation and agreement and you've been quite kind in describing the state of the Palestinian national movement I I've described his -- was -- basically.
There are two of everything.
Two sets of security services to constitutions.
Under the control Hamas in Gaza and Abbas and in in the West Bank two sets of -- so.
No I mean you cannot implement this agreement look.
You know I'll speak as an American here.
But if -- -- Israeli prime minister.
I mean your packet -- and you're not gonna -- concessions on the West Bank.
In return for anything less than all of the guns of Palestine.
Becoming -- And and right now.
Abbas cannot deliver that so that is one huge problem and nobody I guarantee you got John Kerry.
Not Benjamin Netanyahu certainly -- Mahmoud Abbas.
Has a way out of that one right now.
If I know that you have advised five American presidents on Middle East conflict let's switch quickly to -- it five or six.
You know I'm tool I think -- you know it's 64 I think 55 American presidents that takes me back.
You know I think -- always further than I'd like to know I've worked for and providing advice to a half.
Half a dozen secretaries and stay out Iowa and adolescent to look at Egypt for a fact and I'm sure that cannot bring your conversations -- firmer.
Cabinet level officers.
Any -- what is your quick assessment of where this Egyptian revolution 2.0 grows.
The Roman historian -- that is said that the best day after the death of a bad -- is the first day yeah.
And I think you get a sense of what's happening here mean Egypt it has been in the hands of the two least democratic forces in the country.
The islamists particularly the Muslim Brotherhood on one hand in the military on the other.
This is gonna get worse before it gets worse.
And it's it's you know we're not on the verge of serious democratic reform or good governance frankly.
Well that doesn't sound like a good prognosis for.
Anywhere in the Natalie thank you so much for joining us Aaron David now are from the -- and center.
And I think it goes back at least system of the administration's -- served because I have that they find were about the same it right thank you so much for yeah I -- hectic -- I go back to Calvin cool yeah of pleasure -- -- that.
-- so much for journey and -- And my pleasure and ever gonna take a quick break and come back into our to our own as -- friend how about what's going on the capital now.
Well -- -- explosive issues on Capitol Hill right now is the NSA who are they listening to why are they listening to them and why should we do about it.
Steve Centanni has been following the issue last weekend this weekend -- -- -- -- more explosive hearings today and the Senate Judiciary Committee what happened.
Well that's right they convened in hashed out this issue and -- -- held some Obama administration officials to task.
Over this over this NSA's secret surveillance.
They they have some programs in place there are they have some ideas to try to rein in the intelligence community visibility been proposed by the -- Patrick Leahy is chairman of this committee.
That would rein in the intelligence community.
And suddenly at the same time there -- some new light shed on the NSA surveillance program congress and the public have been demanding transparency.
And today just -- this hearing was about to begin the director of the national intelligence.
Released documents related to the NSA spying including updates for congress.
And an official order for the data gathering now the declassified documents mostly emphasize that a reasonable suspicion.
Must exist before any of this data is used -- -- today's hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A question about the timing of the release of those documents.
I don't want a situation where the government is transparent only when it's convenient for the government.
About an hour ago -- -- -- 250 again.
It's a step forward but you get the -- -- this ad hoc transparency.
That's that doesn't engender trust I don't.
All of this coming of course after Edwards -- released details of the secret NSA spying which gathers vast amounts of data about americans' phone calls and Internet usage.
Some say the government has gone overboard and -- new controls need to be imposed but defenders of the program pointed out the data gathered by the NSA.
Only supplies the government with the limited capability.
This high stack up -- phone numbers.
There's no ability to -- to go back and -- in those conversations that occurred at a previous time.
Is there no -- we don't even capture through this any conversation so there's no ability no possibility.
I was listening to conversations through what we get in this program.
And there was talk today of hearing.
Today's hearing about revealing more information the NSA could do that they're considering it.
At the same time of having the phone companies keep the electronic data instead of having the government do that KT.
We're not anywhere near the end of this story do you anticipate more hearings on Capitol Hill I'm Natalie and -- -- It very well be more hearings and of course the fate of -- -- still up there up in the air and a lot of momentum.
Against the NSA and this secret program so we're bound to hear more of this.
OK well thank you very much for the latest update to -- sent -- that Senate Judiciary Committee hearings thank you.
And now we're gonna turn -- a congressman who's on the show before -- represented Brad.
-- is a Republican from Ohio and he's on that famous house armed services committee that.
Is getting -- headlines every single day on everything from.
Russian noncompliance with nuclear weapons treaties to the defense budget to now Iraq now you've been.
Involved -- some hearings.
On Iraq Afghanistan al-Qaeda we thought al-Qaeda was gone but now it's like -- back what's going on congressman.
Well -- Qaeda is still very much alive and president we're seeing that -- you.
Just look at the example what just happened -- -- grew up prison unfortunately.
We have a lot of al-Qaeda members that just escaped.
Yeah as you may know I spent a year in Iraq and I was stationed in Abu -- prison where I served as chief of surgery the combat support hospital there.
And I can very readily picture how this could take place at Abu -- especially if you don't provide enough defense.
In April of 2005 there was an orchestrated attack on Abu -- prison what we have it under our control and and fortunately we were able to retard the mission.
If they had set forth and we were able to stop the attack before the suicide bomber could get to the gate we've got a lot of issues to address.
As far as al-Qaeda and there were blue -- -- just another example the threat that exists force today.
You know as someone who's been in the military you've been married CNN you've had friends -- colleagues who have.
Given their all whose lives will never read the same again that make you feel on a personal level to see it it's it's almost like it's been thrown away what have we gotten for ten years.
And all those Americans -- the prices.
Well in Iraq directly that that is exactly how I feel that a lot of it has been thrown away.
You know we made great gains why we were there I was there 0506 after that we went through the -- where we changed our strategy we really earn the trust a lot of the Iraqi People.
And what we're seeing here today is all that is gone and I can tell you.
That I think the Kurds in Iraq would have been more than happy for -- United States president as I think most of the population would have.
And certainly we would have something to gain from that long term.
Build an ally it takes a generation -- sometimes we've seen that after World War II.
That our presence and who we are as people begins to grow on people reform that allied relationship.
We can use all the allies we can get the Middle East in Iraq was an opportunity for that and we've walked away from it.
The congress and you think about -- pretend that opportunity is now gone at that window is over is there anything this administration can do having walked away from.
Iraq is there anything to do now.
To kind of undo the mistakes -- made and to somehow get more involved in the situation helps stabilize letters and lost.
Well I hope it's not -- but those decisions have to be made by the administration.
And which seemed to walk away from the situation as it was.
I would hope that we could continue to be up presence of some type in Iraq.
And build on the relationships that we developed after the years of war there but it's difficult right now because it doesn't seem to be the course that this administration wants to take.
Do you think that -- the talk on Capitol Hill maybe not on your committee but I'm in some of the Senate Committees.
Senate Armed Services Committee about the United States should get involved in Syria army -- Syrian rebels giving some kind of relief humanitarian relief no fly zone.
What's your sense of the situation in Syria.
Well -- you know there's -- old expression the enemy of my enemy is my friend right now but sometimes the enemy of my enemy is a greater enemy.
And I think that's what we have to be very careful -- I am in favor of humanitarian relief for those that are fleeing the country and going into places where we.
Are welcome and we can help the people that have had to flee the country.
And so you wind band stopped short of I have arming -- rebels training unravels putting US.
Troops and -- situation where they might.
Potentially be involving conflict like -- no -- -- You know on a personal note I wouldn't want to be entering into Syria right now as a soldier.
Yeah union because they didn't that I mean I was struck frankly when the chairman of the joint chiefs didn't come before your committee -- it became referring other committee.
Last week and said basically there are five options and all of them.
Are bad and very few of them look like they would lead to a success so I think hearing in your echoing the same thing that the chairman of the joint chiefs.
-- is articulate and.
Well exactly in any mission that we go on definitively we should know what we want the result of the what it takes to accomplish the mission.
And then provide everything that we can't to accomplish that I mean in my lifetime the only time I really saw that happen specifically was the first gulf war -- which only took us about a week but we defined our mission.
We got everything together we did it so I think.
I think he's right on that note that it's going to be very difficult to accomplish any of those missions and should we.
You know congressman I've -- be remiss if I didn't ask you about Ben Ghazi -- you've got more hearings today on Ben Ghazi.
-- been calls from several groups including former special ops.
This guy is some veterans and come out this week to talk about we're having some kind of a further investigation our commission time line.
Something what this year what happened and -- hearings today if you can talk about them and where do you think it goes from here.
Well earlier today was classified and we'll find out what they declassify and and let -- talk about -- let me just talking about my concerns first of all.
When you have the loss of four American lives there's nothing phony about that.
It was my job -- to tell soldiers and Marines what we lost one of their bodies.
And that is not an easy thing to do and can only imagine what the families of those four men are thinking today.
When we hear something such as this is a phony thing that's taking place it's anything but phoney and it's very real.
So the things that we want to be taking a look at are the immediate after action reports that maybe took place.
And then what we've done since that time.
And and I have a concern -- very much so as someone on the armed services committee and somebody from the military.
As to who was advising anyone that this was a demonstration gone out of control.
I want to know if there is any military personnel that.
Told the administration that that's what they thought was taking place or did they think it was an attack from the beginning.
And did they call an attack from the beginning and who decided that.
You know I can tell you it doesn't take someone very long to serve in the military especially if they've gone to -- to tell the difference between a demonstration.
In an orchestrated attack.
You can watch those videos from afar and you can make that determination -- that.
And it concerns me greatly that administration could come out and say that this was a demonstration.
For nine days or so after what we know was an attack.
And they continue to call that.
I don't think that's fair to the American people.
And I don't think it's fair to the families that are involved that are suffering with that the trauma the loss of a loved one to be given information that isn't doesn't seem to be true.
And one -- the other questions but I think others have asked I certainly address is why I was during our response in retaliation.
You know we know who did this attack her brother people and and Ghazi bragging about having orchestrated -- -- kingpins of this attack is there ever conversation about G -- week.
Rescue them but why we not gone after the people who killed our own and and how.
Them I get it's I can assure you that conversation is taking place.
What I can't tell you right now are some of the answers to some of those questions.
All right well I think we're gonna have to have you back when some of these answers have been declassified and you can explain what.
The administration thinking was I'm always thank you so much it was a great opportunity to nature I've heard a lot of -- of thank you for your service and I hope -- come back and join us again.
Think he's illustrate thank you Chad Anderson thank you -- we're gonna break -- and come back and talked about the saga of the transit zone at the Moscow airport and -- how our friend mr.
Snowden is doing.
That reset with Russia that we were going to improve the relations between the United States and Russia.
Some five years ago -- hasn't worked out -- well.
And we've got the former US ambassador to the Ukraine Stephen -- joining us he's our senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and we're thrilled to have you with us Russian expert.
Former Soviet Union man obviously has been.
Is really about a what's going on in the Ukraine can please tell us what has happened to the United States Russian relationship.
And particularly through the prism of Edwards Snowden.
A couple of things about Edwards -- and certainly that is the distraction that has commanded mercy attention on US Russia relations for the past month.
But I think there -- couple of things to bear in mind.
First of all the chances -- the Russians are going to send him back the United States are zero it's just not the way they're gonna play the game.
And second -- the United States and Russia Washington and Moscow know how to contain these kinds of issues and if they want to keep those issues from.
For -- over and African broader relationship they know how to do that they've been doing it for decades.
So why is simple while -- -- -- if if both countries now how to diffuse this wire -- that.
Well I think so far again you know there's a question you know how much has it affected the real relationship.
But I just a couple examples from the past three years ago the FBI arrested and expelled ten Russian sleeper agents -- that was not a bump in the relationship and I go back to a time when are distributed embassy in Moscow backed the late 1980s.
In 1986 at a time when.
The relationship between President Reagan.
And Soviet general secretary of the -- to review take -- very positive way.
We expelled no fewer than eighty Soviet diplomats and again it wasn't about to the sites -- containers I think most of the attention is really coming.
From outside the government in the media congress and places.
He talked -- -- because you have been in those meetings where presidents and prime ministers of sat down.
You know that sometimes the personality matters -- -- -- lot of sometimes it matters very little.
What -- you have a dynamic between president Goodman President Obama can read in the media that that they -- standing in the same room with each other.
Is that true and if so is that that having an effect on the US Russian relationship.
Well -- just all I've never been in a meeting between President Obama and President Putin.
Certainly the accounts you've seen suggests that there there's a certain coolness between them.
But I think it's important to remember that what's gonna drive both Obama and -- in terms of how they approach this.
Is their perception of national interest payment of the interest of the united states of interest from Russia.
Now sometimes a good relationship can help keep -- get things going.
But again if if the interest aren't there it's going to be hard to sustain it and I would point out to the example of president George W.
Bush and Broderick who wouldn't.
The -- seem to have a very good personal chemistry.
But it did not keep the US Russia relationship from deteriorating significantly from 2003 down to 2008.
What are the interest that are so different.
Can you name it -- says Syria is said and Europe is that the economic situation.
What are they get what are the places where the United States or Russia -- -- very different direction.
Yeah well this is -- -- -- -- these two things I think when you look at the big issues.
In many cases are non proliferation.
Trying to promote bilateral commercial relations between the two countries.
The interest of the two countries Iran certainly there are areas of difference this one -- Syria.
Where I think the Russians on the one hand there's there's a couple of reasons behind Russia's position one when you don't have a lot of international allies you reluctant to cast -- aside.
But I think even more -- the other reason and when I'm actually bit sympathetic to is the Russians asked the question.
If Assad goes what comes in behind him and I don't think we in the west have a good answer that question and the Russians can imagine a lot of possibilities that are worse -- aside.
So there's that difference there's differences over human rights issues with in Russia.
And the political repression but we -- -- big questions Iran and north create controlling proliferation.
There are a lot of areas where the United States measures should be working together.
And the -- -- earlier this month gave a speeder in July gave a speech at Saint Petersburg tour.
Our conference of international investors saying -- opened for business we're investing in our infrastructure we want to invite you to -- to invest.
Foreign currencies in Russia had come and help us and our energy.
He said the door is wide open most news accounts said that the international restaurant community.
Said -- critics that they're not very interested and certainly Russia in the last decade has not have the kind of foreign investment it means.
To expand and -- diversify its economy.
-- talk about the financial and economic and business.
Situation Russia it is is it really opened for business is it -- friendly and if so why isn't anybody rushing through the door.
Yeah well I think I think there are some investors have been in Russia for a long time and have learned how to work the system and -- doing well.
But for a lot of other investors particularly -- medium size companies when they look at Russia what they see is red tape.
Complex tax and customs rules.
A huge bureaucracy.
They -- -- legal system that you can't have confidence and I mean it was in Pristina.
Two weeks ago when the Russian courts pronounced.
Anatoly and -- -- -- guilty on which looked to be very much a trumped up charge.
The Russian stock market tanked.
Because you can't separate the question of manipulation of the court from political purposes for manipulation of the court system for economic persons.
So there's a lot of issues with regards to the investment climate in Russia that make companies reluctant to come -- But also -- -- last couple of years you've seen huge capital outflow out of Russia that suggests that Russians also.
Are reluctant to keep their money there they -- to go to other places including as we saw a few months ago Cyprus.
I was interested to see this week that are leading the Saudi businessman has come and says Saudi Arabia watch out America's energy is going to be developed America to be energy independent.
The world may not need Saudi oil now if you're putting in Russia and you're looking at the western Siberian oil fails and you realize that Russia's.
Main export and main way of making money as oil and natural gas experts are -- a little nervous too.
You should be particularly when the Russian budget is so dependent on oil and gas prices in -- the Russians they.
Paid their budget each year to the price of a barrel of oil.
And -- had a huge impact over the last six or seven years.
Is the increase production in the united states of unconventional gas and unconventional oil to the point where in 20/20 you know we may not need any imports.
And that's had an impact for example on gas -- I gas -- -- market value is probably about 30% of what it was in 2008.
And that's because.
Ten years ago in the Persian gulf they build a huge volumes are huge capacities export liquefied national gas to the United States.
We don't need it that gas is now going to -- -- displaying imports of gas and gas from having a very.
Big impact on gas palm's future production picture.
Mean OK so -- As usual and as much more complicated than just something over Edwards now I'm sitting in the transit lounge of Moscow airport.
Hey thanks so -- is as sure -- thank you so much ambassador Stephen Pfeiffer of the Brookings institute thank you so much for joining us.
Thanks for having me thank you and you want to get my take on the US Russian relationship.
Go to fox news -- -- and I've got an article on five ways that Obama Ken may and up and -- back against certain.
It may sound like something out of the first wives club but it may sound petty.
But I think that the United States and and Russia have been on a very rocky course for the last several years part of it is personal between Obama and couldn't.
And heard of it frankly is that.
When -- country doesn't respect you want a leader doesn't respect your leader he's gonna take advantage at every turn so I think it's important for our president to get inside that he had.
The president of Russia and start punching back.
Thanks very much for joining us that's -- country for this week.
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