National Defense University Hosts "Clinton-Panetta Conversation"

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 16, 2011

On Tuesday, August 16, the National Defense University hosted a conversation with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta moderated by Frank Sesno, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. During the conversation, Secretary Clinton said:

"...I think there is a lot of both misunderstanding and rejection of the work that is done by the State Department and USAID. We comprise, if you round it off, one percent of the discretionary budget. And what we have done over the last two and a half years, I think was long overdue, because basically we said we are a national security team, we're all on the American team. And by that I mean that we have civilians who are in the field with our military forces in areas of conflict, we have civilians who are in the field on their own in other very dangerous settings without our military with boots on the ground, but we are trying to enhance the coordination to achieve our national security objectives.

"So one of the goals that Secretary Gates and now Secretary Panetta and I have is to make the case as to what national security in the 21st century actually is. It is, of course, the strongest military in the world that has to be given the tools to do the jobs we send it out to do. It is our diplomatic corps, which is out there on the front lines all the time, trying to deal with very difficult situations to the betterment of America's national interest and security. And it is our development experts who put another face on American power, who are trying to deliver, as we speak, aid to 12 million people in the Horn of Africa who are facing famine and starvation, in some measure because of al-Shabaab, which makes our challenge even more difficult."

Secretary Clinton continued, "...I happened to be in Hong Kong a few weeks ago, and I said confidently that we were...not going to default; we would make some kind of political compromise.

"But I have to tell you, it does cast a pall over our ability to project the kind of security interests that are in America's interest. This is not about the Defense Department or the State Department or USAID. This is about the United States of America. And we need to have a responsible conversation about how we are going to prepare ourselves for the future. And there are a lot of issues that are not in the headlines but are in the trendlines. We are reasserting our presence in the Pacific. We are a Pacific power. That means all elements of our national security team have to be present, and we can't be abruptly pulling back or pulling out when we know we face some long-term challenges about how we're going cope with what the rise of China means.

"We have so many issues that Leon and I deal with every day that are not going to be getting the screaming headline coverage but which we know, looking over the horizon, are going to affect the economic well-being of our country and the security of American citizens."

You can read a full transcript of the conversation here.

Comments

Comments

working66
August 16, 2011

W.W. writes:

Stucked

Cooperation between Moscow and Tehran is not aimed against any other side, rather it is set to provide for the national security of the two states, the Russian Security Council chief, Nikolay Patrushev has told journalists.
Patrushev is on a two-day visit to the Islamic Republic to meet with senior Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Following his talks on Tuesday with the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, Patrushev said that along with other issues, the sides had discussed the Iranian nuclear problem – an issue that has long been a headache for the international community.

In particular, the Russian and Iranian senior officials talked about cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the 5+1 group (the UN Security Council's five permanent members and Germany).
“The Iranian side welcomes Russia’s proposals,” Patrushev noted, as cited by RIA Novosti.

According to Saeed Jalili, “our Russian friends’ proposals can be the basis for the beginning of talks on regional and international cooperation, particularly, in the area of peaceful nuclear activities”.
He added that Patrushev’s visit to Tehran and the visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi to Moscow – which is scheduled for August 16-17 – open a new stage in Russian-Iranian relations, which have quite a lot of potential for development.

Patrushev and Jallili discussed perspectives for cooperation between the two states in the peaceful use of atomic energy, including scientific exchange, and the construction of nuclear power stations and research reactors.
On July 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested a “step-by-step” approach, under which Iran could be rewarded with the gradual lifting of sanctions in the event that the republic addresses unanswered questions about its nuclear program.

"We have proposed to draw up a kind of roadmap on each of the IAEA requirements which Iran must fulfill," the Russian top diplomat said at the time. "We deem it possible, in response to each concrete, non-declarative step taken by Iran, to take a reciprocal step, freezing and cutting the volume of sanctions as progress continues."

The announcement was made during a media conference in Washington following Lavrov’s talks with US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, Tehran has not yet officially received the “step-by-step” plan, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, as cited by ISNA agency.

Speaking at his weekly media briefing, he commented on the link between Patrushev’s visit to Tehran and the country’s nuclear program. It is “in line with cultivating long-term cooperation and is also due to the significance of the two sides," he said.

Mehmanparast also stressed the importance of holding “constant” consultations with Russia on leading bilateral and international issues. Such talks can lead to important cooperation bilaterally, as well as on the regional and international level he said, reports PressTV.

Later on Tuesday, Patrushev will hold talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Marisa C.
|
Italy
August 16, 2011

Marisa C. in Italy writes:

I would like to ask Secretary Mrs. Clinton why USA never condemn raids that Israel is carrying out over Gaza Strip, terrorizing civilians?

If the escuse are the rockets launched from there, why does Israel not rail against those who launch them?

If USA, UN and EU continue in supporting anything Israel does against human rights, Israel will go on up to the end of an entire Population.

Thank you.
Marisa C.

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
August 16, 2011

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

Languages:

Does the State Dept. use the JHU self paced online language courses currently offered in Arabic for example?

John C.
|
Canada
August 16, 2011

John C. in Canada writes:

Have posted to my wall message "stay the course"&"soldier on"....have never heard our National Security issues explained so well...their credentials are impeccable! Every American and ally should watch this. Truly "public servants"!!

Lara M.
|
Italy
August 16, 2011

Lara M. in Italy writes:

Mrs. Clinton does not understand the behavior of the U.S. who say they want to export democracy to countries in difficulty and are unaware that missing peace in Palestine. Israel is violating all international laws and those concerning human rights ... where is your solidarity with those oppressed? Your much vaunted civilization of generous people? Your silence allows the Zionists to massacre a people who were taken away all rights. Israel kills children and adults ... ... forgetting what has been its history

Think about it, Mrs. Clinton, thank you.

Lara M.

Fred m.
|
Arizona, USA
August 16, 2011

Fred M. in Arizona writes:

911 HAS BECOME THE SYMBOL OF THIS COUNTRIES FAILURE. Politicians have take America in a wrong and declining direction.

In the last seven years Dubai and China have built 7,000 new office buildings. We still have a hole in the ground.

China has built the equivalent of seven new Manhattan cities, while we have a housing crises and a meltdown of our financial system.

Our economy is failing with a shift of wealth outside this country while we spend $825 Billion on a Military to fight terrorists with box cutters and BILLIONS more a year for the VA and other related military costs. Over a TRILLION DOLLARS of non-value added expense.

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
August 16, 2011

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

The public could benefit from more direct "Clinton-Panetta conversations" like this one to gain a better understanding of how budgets at our national level are directly linked to our security.

We must be able to see that threats to other nations including food security will impact our security at home. "Smart Power" and diplomacy are the ticket to stability at home. Thank you for such an interesting conversation Secretaries Clinton and Panetta.

Mirna T.
|
Italy
August 16, 2011

Mirna Carolina T. in Italy writes:

Dear Mrs. Clinton

I am a medical student and I should like nto make the follow question. In Palestine since 2009 have increased significantly post-traumatic depression cases, PTSD, among children ages 3 to 15 years. The constant air raids by the ongoing Israeli military, worse mental health status of these children who will be the "Tomorrow's Men". I think you underestimate the man's childhood, is a very serious lack. Do you have a project in support of this discomfort? You know that we are risking to lose a Nation?? Thank you for your kind repley Best Regards Mirna Carolina

Kevin S.
|
Pennsylvania, USA
August 16, 2011

Kevin S. in Pennsylvania writes:

Mrs. Clinton,

Please look at the USN. They can help your budget concerns. NAVSUP is reorganizing & the future looks bright!

mdafran
August 17, 2011

Mdafran writes:

It is undeniable a lot of things have happened to the entire world, ranging from the rise of China, natural disasters to economic crash.United States has always played na prominent role up until now, but can the country ever stay up front for decades to come? Secretary Clinton also at times seem to be indecisive, especially when it comes to Palestinian - Israel conflicts. These uncertainties when combined together has resulted quite a disastrous consequnces to the United States itself.Hopefully the country will remain prominent as ever despite political climate glitches.

GCL
|
Texas, USA
August 17, 2011

GCL in Texas writes:

More power to Israel!!!

If Israel ever shows any sign of weakness the radical part of the arab world would eliminate them immediately. When will you people understand that in the world of the radical muslim there is no room for any other religion. We also have to stop giving billions to other countries untill our problems at home are resolved.

palgye
|
South Korea
August 17, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

In order to solve the economic crisis of Europe, Germany and France believe that the intervention is absolutely necessary. However, the Germans in the past to solve Europe's economic crisis was passive, and France in the next presidential election victory by uncertainty, a lot of pressure is very suspect. Personally, no, reality and fact.

So, as promised adequate compensation to the two countries, to intervene actively in solving the economic crisis what about that?

Germany, perhaps in Syria is interested in setting the hypothesis that left a positively involved in the Syrian issue, and Germany also promised a significant amount of equity, you're beginning to act more aggressively to expect.

The French presidential election, that actively support the current president of the present milyak if you were going to act aggressively to expect.

Secretary of Defense to have a responsible, Syrian forces to the interior of the complaint, the current policy to the power of the assassination attempt what about that? Yimyeonseo for testing purposes, the inaugural gift.

give me a 1% share at Libya`s developing.

John
|
Canada
August 17, 2011

John in Canada writes:

No doubt America is in difficult times.

The financial troubles of the government and the divisions within the government are a very clear indication of the problems with in American society as whole. At least the state department and DoD is showing some unity.(smile)

Budget cuts and tax manipulation are not the way to achieve success. Initially from a simple perspective this way of action seems logical, but its not.

It is pleasing to hear Mr.Panetta acknowledge the difficulties of budget cuts or constraints as it pertains to national security.

I am personally of the view that the debt problem itself is Americas greatest threat to its peace and security. A problem many countries are facing. We need only look at the discontent that has fueled the arab spring.

In Europe we see. Discontentment playing out. The natural response by governments is to crack down, but this will only serve to fuel future unrest and divisions. Austerity measures are nothing more than fuel for this fire.

What a strange quandary, run greater debt and destabilize security, cut the debt and fiddle with taxes and still the threat remains - perhaps an even greater threat. So what to do?

I would have appreciated hearing about some clear solutions to this dilemma from both speakers.

Secretary Clinton has also raised some important views on USAID. How can this work continue under the current fiscal crisis?

It is a difficult argument to make with many Americans feeling financially squeezed.

This in my view is reasonable of the people but no less a difficult situation for the state departments and DoD programs.

Poverty in the third world and poverty in America take on a different appearance. It is not right to compare the poor of India or Africa with American poor.Some say that Americans are not starving the way those in Somalia are. Which is true but poor Americans are starving American style. It is cheap way of not dealing with issues drawing such comparisons. Unless the goal is to reduce America to a state like a third world country. I mention this because poverty is a threat to every nation. Poverty provides some fertile ground for serious instability. Debt creates poverty.

The debt crisis as a security threat is not that hard to understand. When mouths are not fed and people become squeezed financially out of existence or a future- we end up with problems - big problems. It wont be AQ we have to worry about. It will be the mom or pop that cant provide a future or food for their family that becomes the problem.

President Obama's ideals and goals,I humbly must say while i agree with them, his chosen solutions will not work.(despite what Mr Buffet says these days -nothing is or has been stopping him from paying more tax if he wanted to - but he has not and has benefited from the tax advantages he speaks out against now)

Most of the talk these days are of the typical solutions mired in an outdated, redundant financial model. Some argue otherwise and i can appreciate this but past, current and future performance I believe will prove those people wrong.

How do you grow when you cut? Look at this way - in order to achieve the debt reduction across the board (personal, business and government)you need massive growth.

Then to fuel positive growth beyond the debt(broad based wealth creation), even greater growth is needed. This is impossible under the current structures we have to work with today.

The group of 12 in congress would have an easier time walking on water.The problems they are meant to fix are not beyond reach however if they can apply some innovation towards the solutions.

A lot of the growth for at least three decades has been fueled by the creation of debt. Many rich have earned their money of of this debt. Debt that now threatens their own wealth.

There is something sadistically humorous with this if it didn't have such dire consequences to real people both rich and poor.

If we cut this debt fueled growth, we must have something to replace the growth with or no matter which way you spin it we are in very serious trouble. Would you like your future screwed or screwed.

I don't hear any REAL innovative solutions or ideas - I don't hear anyone speaking of the BIG ideas for an even BIGGER future. I don't see or hear of the CHANGE that will lead to massive success.

If IDEAS is the new money, show me the money because around the world we look bankrupt or out of ideas.Our shared security as people and nations in all facets are at stake.

Those that hold the power to effect change in government and in business need to do something - something different than what has already been done.

After all it is better to shape our own future than to have our future shape us - that's one of the advantages of being a human not a dog.

Good luck to both Secretary Clinton and Mr Panetta in achieving your future goals, I only hope that those you depend on for support provide it when you need it most.

John P.
|
Greece
August 17, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

Germany and France cannot save or lead Europe. What you see is the last REM of an already expired socio-economical political experiment.

And now that they understand their financial and theoretical disability, they are playing their last bet, attempting to create a new axon: Germany, France and Russia; a new unsuccessful economic-political experiment. Besides, they are trying to create a 2gear “fed vehicle”. They can’t see that nothing’s better than a 4X4.

Unfortunately for my continent, Europe lacks of spiritual, inspiring, intelligent politicians like Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Panetta. You guys are very lucky to have them! They are great personalities, who can keep America in the No1 position of the world. And you know me after so many years, I am not a partisan. U.S.A. has GREAT politicians from both parties. Great brains!

Germany and France-especially Germany- should sometime understand that if they are still “alive” after WW2 is due to the big heart of the United States of America, which instead of giving them the last “kick” back then, they helped them rebirth from scratch.

However, they have their own DNA theory: they do not RESPECT!

Sometimes they also remind me of an old Greek saying I will attempt to interpret for you. We use to say in my village: You eat HERE. You drink HERE. But, when the check time comes you go and pay ANOTHER tavern.

P.S.: I think it’s about time to start believing in U.S. with our hearts. It’s time for us –simple civilians- to start think a little bit more positive. Germany and France –WHICH BOTH TOGETER ARE ONLY THE SIZE OF FLORIDA- owe $5 trillion. And they want to lead the world.

Do you still believe that U.S.A. debt is big?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 18, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John P in Greece,

In theory we got a pretty good return on our investment when you consider the Nazi alternative as a close run thing, as one vote in Congress in the thirties determined whether our military budget would allow a draft to build up our armed forces to the point where we we woefully unprepared rather than totally and quite fataly unprepared, to safeguard our continued democratic experiment's existance.

Basicly one vote determined whether WW2 would be won long before Pearl Harbor ever happened.

Back then the isolationists almost carried the day, so let that be a lesson to draw upon in the present day.

I find either a fundemental shift in policy or an inconsistancy in the current one that multiple presidents can be quoted on in saying;

"We're not into nation building."

When Madam Secretary expouses on the benefits wrought from doing just that.

Now either we are or we're not.

Back in the day a lot of Europeans would have starved had not the US rebuilt the infrastructure and local economies to get food to the cities' markets.

Today ...the Horn of Africa, still cluthed in the arms of totalitarian fanatics becomes a 20 year old repeat of similar misery and about the last place on Earth any peace loving nation would want to put "boots on the ground" to resolve it.

"Without security, nothing can be built."-Hamid Karzai

A "Marshal plan for Afghanistan" as then senator Joe Biden (VP) called for in the fall of 2001.

Just because people build nations for themselves with a lot of help from us doesn't mean we're not doing the nation building thing....it's like providing the erector set and blueprints of democratic systems of governance, and not all forms will function in any given social environment and be compatible with cultural values.

You couldn't think of having a constitutional monarchy in the US for instance, but Zahir Shah thought a different blueprint was fit for the Afghan people and trusted Karzai and the loya jirga to achieve that as a path to a new beginning for the Afghan people.

They own the future because we are a nation of nation builders on many levels, and that incudes the nuts and bolt to help folks arrive as one on the world stage.

It's tradition with us...maybe that's the difference.

Despite any statements to the contrary for political purposes.

EJ

P.S. I've oft noted the distinct lack of terrorists eminating from the prodigies of nation building under the Marshal plan, and there's a reason for that.

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
August 19, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

World Trade Center 9/11 questions

1. How is the owners of the World Trade Center cashed in a 7 Billion dollar insurance policy? Placed terrorism insurance on the towers.

2. What happened to the Gold in the basement of the Trade Center because not everything was recovered?

3. What happened to the Gold in Iraq that went missing?

My own theory is simple:

A heist occured at the World Trade Center, countries like Kuwait and Pakistan were involved. A kuwait investor contributed to the New York businessman who purchased the towers six months prior to the destruction.

I think investigators should of reviewed the stock market before and after the attack on September 11th, 2001.

They should of also checked out the Kuwait financial backer?

Then if you remember Osama bin laden was in Pakistan for ten years, so there had been a connection with the Prime Minister of Pakistan back in 2001.

Who had access to the blueprints and head of security of those towers?

Summary: I think the World Trade Center was a disaster caused by terrorist who were hired by those investors in Kuwait. If you tie in Pakistan with Osama bin laden, which conducted the operations, how did they know how to take down those buildings? They had to have secuirty access. Who gave it to them? Kuwait seems to be the place logically everything went in or out from Iraq. Seems logically to me that the missing gold from Iraq, went to Kuwait. The question remains, what happened to the missing gold in the basement of the towers? Thinking Kuwait again...which would be involved with Pakistan.

Good day everyone!

self94
August 19, 2011

W.W. writes:

@john @eric

The all seeing eye @un is watching you
-------------------------------------------
Is Frodo almost there Mrs Secretary ?

Is the ring among you perahaps?

No cos here it is forecasted a real hot september the closer we get to the Volcano !

Put an hand on yr heart and do not stand for them

John P.
|
Greece
August 19, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Donald M. in Virginia

With all the respect Donald, just asking…

I have 2 queries.

1. Was really any gold in the basement of the World Trade Center, or is just a myth, or consipracy theory?

2. How do we know that there is a missing “Gold theory” from Iraq, when we had to deal with a regime, prior to the military operations? I mean Saddam’s gang may have move it to let’s say Switzerland.

Best Regards! Just asking…

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
August 19, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@J ohn P in Greece

It was more then just gold, currency from around the world was located in vaults under the world trade center. Even the Mayor of New York reported not all the gold was recovered from the basement. Media has covered this story if you do a google search John.

The second answer well Saddam Hussains network ranged about 22 Billion dollars. There was a report on the news how a tractor trailer filled with gold bars was reported, then a minute later they retracted the news report by saying the bars were lead bars covered in gold paint. Well I seriously doubt that happened. One tractor trailer filled with gold bars would of been valued at over 90 Billion US dollars. My question was simple, what happened to all of it? They found Saddam Hussain with just around a million dollars, something doesn't quite add up does it? Your worth 22 billion but find only less than a million in possession.

It just has to make you wonder that Osama bin laden was paid by who and with how much gold? Something has had to happen to afford the Taliban the weapons they use to fight our forces in Afghanistan. We all know that you can't fight a war unless you have a treasury of money to buy weapons and train forces. So my real question is, who was paying Osama bin laden?

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
August 19, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

In 1999 Mushraf took the country of Pakistan by force, what I find a little ironic is how the Kenya attacks were a year earlier. I hope people can open their eyes and finally see what really happened. If you start piecing the pieces together, I think you will find that Pakistan has been behind alot things. Shall I say the Taliban in Pakistan but how could they be organized like they are today? It would of taken leadership and money and by whom? I think it all leads back to Pakistan Intelligence or the Taliban, the question really remains was Mushraf part of what was going on back in the late 90s with the terrorist attacks. Osama bin laden is in your country of Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan denies his existence for ten years, then how many Taliban strikes in Pakistan which lead to the death of Bhutto? So in my theory someone in Pakistan knew all along Osama bin laden was there, and those terror strikes coming from the Taliban. The focus of the investigation should of been done with Mushraf because he was the Prime Minister of Pakistan when Osama bin laden arrived in his country. They always see the truth will come out eventually, may take years. I think there could be alot truth to this, with all the Osama bin laden strikes, and him being in Pakistan all that time. Which lead me to the point that the Pakistan Intelligence had to know what was really going on. Who was feeding the Taliban? I also think there could be a link to Kuwait.

If I recall the reason G.W. Bush sent us to war in Iraq was because of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks along with WMDs. They found no WMDs but how could it be linked to those attacks if terrorist were from Saudi Arabia? I honestly think our intelligence people need to formally question Mushraf and get to the truth.

John
|
Canada
August 20, 2011

John in Canada writes:

@ John P in Greece - "Do you still believe that U.S.A. debt is big?"

Its not just the trillions in government debt that are a problem - it all the other debt business and personal that lay under this as well.

You have mentioned a sum of European debt - how much American money is funding that debt and other indebted nations?
This money(potentially bad loans is not figured into the American trillions of debt) - if it was how many more trillions would Americans have to stump up for?

When you factor in the exposure to loss in bad debt in addition to the huge debt America is running - you can now begin to see how bad things are.

Several large American banks are heavily exposed to European debt. The IMF is heavily supported by $US.

This however is not just an American problem, many, many nations are in the same fix as the USA. This is why when one fails - lots of others do to.

When a nation runs huge debt across the board, has potentially toxic loans with other nations - the problem is much bigger than most people see it.

@ Donald in Virginia - I like your story - you should write a book - Myself I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories - most crap is just one form of corruption or another.

To add a chapter to your story, should you decide to write it- you should include the Saudi link - didn't one of their diplomats get gunned down in Pakistan after the OBL raid (within a week) - was he not from the Saudi intelligence section of the Saudi embassy in Pakistan? Dead men tell no tales (most of the time) (laugh)

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 20, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald & WW,

Any theory that ingnores the facts is not worth the time to entertain a response, so do you guy's want to start making sense yet, or continue to dwell on fantasy and inuendo?

EJ

HH
|
India
August 21, 2011

H.H. in India writes:

This is the nice post..well thinking to post here..thanks for sharing here with us.

RANDRIAMAMPIONONA S.
|
Madagascar
August 23, 2011

Solomon in Madagascar writes:

Mm H. Secretary of US.Department state

Thank your effort , and thank your strong on all moment of our desire for to deliver serious security peace and to settled development progress for the world generation people in the World.

Thank !

The God us Protege,
R. Solomon

.

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