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tv   Defense and National Security Part 3  CSPAN  February 13, 2018 3:39am-4:28am EST

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we can never tell when the next crisis is going to exist. we have a bit of a challenge having the right expertise when the next crisis emerges. i think you make a valid point and we're working forward that. i'm fortunate at south com that i have officers that not only work in 23 different corrupts, but i have a whole cell within my plan shot to provide us that kind of advice to help us commanders in all of its engagements. it needs tweaking, but we're on the right path. we have a good team out there. we're looking how to make it better. >> great. i want to thank all of you for your thoughtful remarks today and for your contributions you're making at each of your posts working together to move this enterprise forward. join me in thanking our panel. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, we're going to take a short break before reconvening our next panel and be back in about five
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minutes. thank you so much. all right, ladies and gentlemen, we are ready to get started with our third and final installment of today's event on oversight and accountability and security sector assistance. again, i am melissa dalton, director of the sbashl security program here at csis. i am delighted to welcome to this panel a selection of colleagues and fellow travelers on the road of ssa reform who either currently serve in government, or have very recently departed government service at various nodes of the community. starting on my far left is mr.
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adam barker who is a professional staff member on the senate committee on armed services. where he provides budgetary and policy oversight of department and defense programs, including security cooperation. to his right is dr. dafna rand. she previously served as deputy assistant secretary in the bureau of democracy and human rights and labor, also served in other positions at the department of state and the national security council. to her right is mr. tommy ross who is currently a senior associate with our program here at csis and was the inaugural deputy assistant secretary of defense for security cooperation and previously spent 12 years as a congressional staffer. and to my left is my dear friend dr. myra kiren, she's at johns
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hopkins. she served -- a number of other important positions at the department of defense. and has recently published a book building militaries in fragile states, challenges for the united states. so i'm looking forward to having colleagues here dig into some of the vexing questions of security sector assistance reform as they have thought deeply about this issue from their various posts and would really like to engage all of them in a conversation along those lines. starting with, i think, you know, some clear signals from this administration in terms of their national security defense priorities, the return of near peer competition, while at the same time needing to be cognizant of counterterrorism priorities going forward, what
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does that pretend for security sector assistance and challenges faced by the enterprise. if anybody wants to jump in on that. adam? >> i guess i'll go first. i think the short answer is it's tbd. i think the nss and the nds in particular have kept that long tradition of emphasizing partnerships, strengthening alliances and kind of a buy-through approach with a lot of vexing challenges. what's less clear is how the department is going to decide to balance that allocation of resource and attention between this new shift towards great power competition, china and russia, while also making sure that those investments in the counterterrorism and irregular w warfare activities don't atrophy. the challenges you'll run into is, you know, the way the nds lays out kind of a renewed emphasis in prioritization of
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china, russia, you're seeing a decline in resourcing towards those kind of traditional and varying presence in middle east and africa in particular. the question becomes, do they use money to buy down risk where we de-emphasize u.s. presence, particularly in the most and africa, or reemphasize, using that to bolster capabilities in eastern europe, southeast asia. those sorts of things. we'll see how those proposals to congress come across. >> opportunities to come. >> exactly. does anybody else want to jump in? >> i'll jump in, sure. i think the traditional answer from what i've seen, to adam's well posed question about whether the investments will come, and in places like the most where we're trying to buy down risk versus eastern europe and asia, we'll apply resources
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to both, won't make those hard choices. i think -- so i think it's not just a question of where we focus the resources, it's a question of how we spend them in alignment with strategy. and so if we're applying resources in places where we have less of a steady presence or posture to buy down risk, that's doing that in alignment with strategy is great if we're applying those resources simply to, you know, try to maintain relationships with ambiguous purposes or ambiguous objectives, then that's not so good. i do think the emphasis on preparing to confront near peer competitors, and potential adversaries does present an opportunity for the interjection of more strategic thinking in the security cooperation. i think there's a tendency when you're faced with counterterrorism objectives to
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focus on very discreet capabilities to allow a country to go after bad guys without a lot of consideration for long-term, extraterritorial regional consequences. and when we're confronting near peer competitors, there's no choice but to introduce strategic thinking around how specific actions can be calibrated to achieve desired regional effects and long-term effects, you know, there's no choice but to do it that way. that's very much what the security cooperation enterprise needs. >> i would just add, thank you melissa, to my fellow panelists who i've worked the past couple years on this issue, i would add on that point there is time on the side of this community in analyzing this question of how well it works and whether it's working. i would step back from this question to the primary question, what is the purpose of security cooperation in the
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first place? it's been around 17 years, since 2001, since d.o.d. entered the zone of security assistance, in this kind of elevated way. there's a lot of learning that's gone on. really, the benefits of that learning is people are beginning to ask longitudinal questions. how much is that capacity or that investment in that capacity worked over time? how much have we bought or purchased influenced access in that country? it's strategic thinking and more resources would help. bottom line here, for every new investment it's critical that the first question that's asked is what is the capacity goal, what is the influence goal and what is the access goal? and delineating between those three has traditionally been a huge challenge for state d.o.d. often there's disagreement later down the road. so the importance with new resources is to have that discussion up front and really acknowledge to disagree or agree on what are the different
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purposes. it doesn't have to be all three of those goals, but it's often not one or two. knowingly deciding what the goals are is critical. >> sure, absolutely. you know, the challenge with the late afternoon panel is everyone can be half asleep. so i'll try to be provocative to make you all up. i hope dafna is right. i don't see a ton of evidence that's up. we've also be doing things like security communication. now at least we in washington don't get ourselves on the same page, and we're often very focused on these tangible metrics. what's the training we've given them, what's the equipment we've give enthem and a real inclination to realize. >> it's okay. there are influence and access
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goal but they have to be acknowledged as much. but the problems come in at the very end of the investment that people came maybe they haven't built capacity, but at least we have a good relationship, right? so that's often the final defense for a huge amount of investment that over time doesn't work out. so i'm equally cynical. i would say of the three capacity, influence and access, it's usually access that's purchased the most credibly. and it opens doors from a state diplomatic perspective even as its purchased access other ways. i think the key challenge has been sort of the going in to really analyze and be honest about what we're trying to do. >> pulling back on this thread of the new york pier competition and a comment that
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representative smith made earlier in terms of forecasting out the future of the law in this environment. that when our competitors are not playing by the same rules it raises the imperative for the united states, as we still place our values as central to our foreign policy, to build some resilience around mechanisms likely in order to hold true to those principles. could you talk about as we look ahead to this overlay of competition, what are the ways that you think we should be tightening mechanisms, likely or other potential mechanisms that might be out there that seek to implement and manifest the value based proposition of reform policy, if you agree with the premise to begin with. >> i'm happy to take the first step. i think one thing when we were working together in the administration is that, you know, we need to be able to do a
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better job of being able to present investments and human rights training in not just sort of punitive and scolding measures but in ways of helping partnering militaries achieving their goals more effectively. because in many cases the kinds of concerns that relate to the law are actually engaging personnel in activities that make it more difficult for them to achieve their objectives. and so i think one of the things we need to do internally is to be able to do a better job of i'ving where there are opportunities for interventions for human rights, corruption and similar concerns but are also in the shared interests of the partners that we're working with. there's still going to be cases where our partners are or our potential partners are engaged in human rights abuses or other kinds of activities that they
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don't want to move away from, and we'll have to have other strategies in those cases. but i don't think we should do every partnership and aspect related to our human rights application through that lens because that's not generally the case. >> i think tommy makes a good point, that oftentimes the decision times is human rights is a condition to initiate a relationship. and i think that congress is pretty clear that human rights and basic laws of armed conflict is going to be a nonnegotiable component of providing security systems. but i think what we have not done well so far is making human rights and those institution capacity building efforts in whatever effort we decide to undertake. how many times have we seen where we focused on providing a tactical capability to a partner based on a near term assess threat at the expense of a
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long-term, arguably more difficult line of effort of building institutions, helping to mitigate the likelihood of casualties or even just basic adherence to human rights as a planning construct. when i think about plan of operations or series of operations, hey, that should be a condition of the way you think about this planning construct. i'm hoping with the addition of certain new requirements and also certain authorities that hopefully emphasize and really leverage the department of defense in particular, but it's not just you've got to check the box or do the program. there's a mission component of that program. >> the really controversial point that often will be raised in these interagency discussions is if you go overboard in conditions the human rights requirements or push the human
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rights too much our partners will go to china or russia. is that the question? i heard that in your question. i think where it's elevating that because it comes out every day when you're in the state department or dod and you're in those debates about interests versus values. and i think it's a very counter argument to some of these questions. and i think adam is exactly right. if you organize the human rights and governance and human casualties infrastructure into how the u.s. does business, that's one solution. it doesn't get you all the way up to the solutions, but it makes it a diplomatic application. our officers in the field, our military offices are really carrying on these conversations. and it's a little bit unfair. so if you normalize then everyone's talking about civil rights and institution building and correction, and that's part of what we could do.
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and i think it's a fair question about whether or not that will scare away some of our allies and they'll begin purchasing from some of our comp petitors. our partners have become really good at doing what's called reverse leverage. so we get very scared by that reverse language for sure. so that's certainly true that some of our recipient countries have learned that trick. but i think the evidence, there's still not sufficient evidence that time and time again or something really tactical in that front is turning units away. if you're giving assistance that's a very different system than purchasing. and i think often in the debate
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about whether or beneficiaries and allies will turn to other clients in this debate. >> what i find interesting here is we now have a couple of case studies where the u.s. military hasn't necessarily operated in ways that might be in line with the leahy law. and i wonder to the extent those cases have been used as case studies to show to our partners, hey, these are direct examples why you should also not follow them. and no one works with the u.s. military because it's the fastest. it never will be. that's just not how our system is designed. the iranians will always beat us, the russians will beat us, and chinese will always beat us. i don't think at the end of the day it'll be, hey, we pushed
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your people to do it right or not that will actually be the final decision. >> i think one of the meta themes coming out of this are the tradeoffs and thinking about oversight in the way you can be defensive and adaptive but also to remain competitive arguably in this case. so based on your practical experience, your policy experience, what is that that right balance between striking good oversight accountability mechanisms in the sweet spot that also allows for innovation and adaptation? and if you have specific examples to draw upon. >> i think we should talk about first on this one, if you look at the reforms i think what congress intended to get across is they're comfortable in providing increased flexibility, a much broader set of
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authorities, multiyear money and those sorts of things with the understanding there'd be greater transparency, greater accountability. whether it's through the first ever consolidated annual budget request for security cooperation, to kind of give the congress an idea how their department decides allocating resources against big problems. beyond that i think the folks assessing i think there hasn't been a sufficient focus to date on, a, developing quality assessments on a front end, deciding where capability gaps exist, and then through the life of that program monitoring the implementation, evaluating the effectiveness. did we actually achieve the objectives we laid out? and i think on the front edges developing clear concise objectives, i think that's something my colleagues up here have touched on already is i'm not so sure we've done that to
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date. there are other things in there. quarterly requirements for obligation expenditures. so i think if the department can utilize these tools, they can give them in a way that makes sense and they can articulate why they're doing what they're doing with clear requirements. they have the assumptions of why they're doing and what's actually achievable, i think that's something i think we could use a little more work on. what are our assumptions on what we can achieve in a realistic time line? and our track record isn't the best in saying we're going to create a brand new and capable security force in a country that has a shared security interest with the united states, and trying to find ways we can align that in a much more realistic way i think would be good. but we all know there's processes in place. it actually takes a long time from proposal to delivering
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capability. i'm not sure i know the right answer to make that more agile, but that's why there are a lot of smart folks at the department to look for ways. and i think it provided broad guidance but not a lot of specific direction in very tactical and minute details. if we had to re-create these organization and responsibilities, can we overtake it organically in 17 years, what would it look like? and how do we shorten flash to bang from requirements to deliverability. >> congress would be great, but helping the executive branch would be a first step, but getting on the same page internally. why are we working with this military, who is doing it on the ground, and under what
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circumstanc circumstances is the united states willing to become a co-combatant. if we send someone who as we saw in the case of lebanon a couple of decades ago, someone who ends up trying to convince the head of the military to conduct a coupe or someone else who offers the head of millary tasecret slush fund, we actually shouldn't be surprised when these things don't work. a lot of it comes down to people and a lot of it comes down to the mission. and how do we make sure we don't dilute ourselves when that shift is happening? there's this great line in president reagan's diary from the night he's authorized the uss new jersey to start firing on the militaries and militia,
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and he says this still falls under the heading of self-defense. clearly in retrospect that's not accurate. i think fast forward to syria and you could see a similar comment being made of the circumstances. >> i want to relate back to adam, he is spot on. general fletcher made be the happiest person in the room on the last panel when he talked about how the reforms in the mda have forced them to think on a longer time horizon, to think about multiple years. the reason that's important is if you're on a one-year planning cycle as the dod has been in this base since the inception, you don't have the ability to build in institutional considerations. considerations about sustainability, even really how, you know, your one-year plan aligns with a long-term
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strategy. and that's been very much to the detrument. i think that lack of connection to a bigger picture, understanding what you're trying to achieve and what the necessary inputs, not just with one particular unit but in terms hof how that particular unit are woven in broader institutions across a society, that has been the downfall of so many security cooperations over the last, what'd you say 50 years? >> since 1945. >> so i think that's really important. and i think the balance that adam was talking about in the mdaa really captures it. so the congressional staff who drafted this language in their wisdom allowed the department to have the flexibility to spend the money across multiple years, spend it across flexibility
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authorities, and that kind of thick. but the expectation clearly stated in that legislation is every capacity building program undertake wn t undertaken with the broader authorities have the constitution components to it, human rights to it and be held accountable for setting a higher bar for transparency and assessment in the end. the one thing i would add we really could do better, i think security cooperation programs are often not inattentive to some of the things we're talking about because of bad intent, but often because there's not information available to make smart decisions. we don't get a lot of support from the intelligence community, for example, in looking at green force capability analysis or, you know, who is a corrupt actor. who should we stay away from in a particular country? that really needs to change for
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this to get significantly better. we don't keep a lot of data certainly not in a consolidated way tracking our success in the lifetime of the engagement with military personnel from our partners. i think there's so much we can do to improve putting the right infers in the hands of the planners and decision makers that would make a big difference. >> that is really good point. but to go back to the conditionality question of when it works and to be a little positive for a second maybe, and, you know, there's conditionality big c and conditionality little c, i think your report combines them. the conditionally of the little c is the standard way the u.s. government does business, and then conditionality big c, i would argue, are the moments when as a tool of state craft, the white house essentially and very senior leaderships of state and dod has decided that withholding security assistance
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or providing security assistance, either way will condition towards access in a very different way. we have recent examples in recent months and of course the eight years i served in the obama administration, really high profile debates. but across all that what's consistent and unifying is when the chief omission, when the chief u.s. diplomat in the room saw and understood how it was offered as a tool, some some of these negative or positive conditions. and then could we weave this tool into his or her strategy, and then it worked. so they really deserve a great amount of credit for economic in there using the leahy law and conditionality that congress put in. and they will admit it was the lehy law and security measures
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that helped them cleanup. i would add that leahy in the fiscal year 17 and 18 the legislative department is already only satisfied with one part of the congressional requirement, so that's just a point. so when people think that vetting is too taft, it's undervetting in a way. the 800,000 to 900,000 way 1 to 2% were actually rejected. i wanted to make sure what a tiny percentage of the cases causes so much controversy. but in this case of when it was used effectively and then kmu d
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communicated, but the reasons why the assistance would not go through there was -- we have cases where the local partners did change some practices, and there are many cases -- yeah, there were around five cases in the past two years where there was some kind of credibility classes went through. so to me the lesson from all of that is when the diplomat can effect 11 combine it and use it and take it under their belt and deploy it then security assistance can be used in an effective way. and i personally worry about the migration of authorities to dod. because i don't know how that will affect inchief omissions authority to take accountability and use it as part of its strategy, the environment of the host government i noted capacity and influence. i worry about that.
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>> thank you so much. and in the report we do address both big c and little c conditions. thank you for making that distinction. at that point i do want to turn to the audience for it opportunity to and our expert panel any questions you have. and i will bundle them in the interest of time. the gentlemen here in the purple tie, the gentlemen here in the jacket and the lady in the front. >> thank you all for great presentations. maybe you want to talk about it now, but the role of amne in both creating returning on investment or showing return on investment and also showing how various programs fit an actual strategy. thank you. >> the gentlemen over here. >> it seems like we spent an afternoon discussing about the security sector assistance, but with very little fact, and put a
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lot of emphasis on norms. do we know how much money the u.s. has spent in the past decade on this or even more, how much of that is training equipped or how much is governance? and secondly if you have time, it's curious none of you addressed the work of the u.n. in the security sector form, which seems to be very compatible. so i'm wondering if you have any thoughts on that. thanks. >> thanks. laura from the open society foundations. thank you for a terrific panel. mary, i want to come back to the point you just raised about how important it is to know why we're doing it, who we're doing it and under which circumstances we're willing to become co-combatants. section 1208 assistance be moved
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into the 333, that is what we saw in niger, sort of the train, advise and assist mission. since i have to and a question rather than make a comment, the question would be where do you guys come down on that? >> great. >> on monitoring evaluation i think there are a number of difference purposes there. i think one of the most important things is it's not really much all about assessment monitoring or evaluation. it's about planning and identifying up front the objectives that a program is intending to take on and integrating various authorities and funding streams and activities towards a common objective. you know, that has not really been the case with a lot of -- a lot of dod planning. at least as it comes to the
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pentagon and comes to the congress for approval. so, you know, there may be very smart people at the combatant commands that has objectives over time and smart objectives format laid out in their heads, but it doesn't reach the people who are responsible for making resource allocation decisions and that kind of thing. and more than that, it doesn't give you any basis for coming back and looking at whether the program's achieved what they setout to achieve later on, because you don't really have a good record of what they setout to achieve. so i think that planning piece has been really important, and that's -- you know, the focus on multiyear holistic approaches is very much by design, and hopefully that's starting to have an impact. i'd like to say really quickly to paul, my answer at least in part to tomorrow's sort of critique about why security
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operations security assistance has failed is i was alluded to a little bit there has not been adequate attention to institutional components, the sort of alignment with long-term strategic thinking. but also more broadly, you know, i think security assistance particularly when it comes to capacity building really isn't all that different in some ways from development assistance and other forms of foreign assistance which has really benefitted in 10 or 20 years from a lot of vie brnt discussion of best practices that has reshaped how they take on development assistance. and dod was maybe not awake or present for those discussions. and so it's only now they're starting to integrate a lot of these lessons learned. and i think that is really important, and hope it's going to change. i hope when moira writes her next book, or several years from
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now when she does an assessment hopefully she'll be able to report some progress. and quickly on 1208 i'd say i've had some conversations about this in the wake of the niger press. i don't think you can tell me that you know what happened in niger was going on under 1208 authorities. i don't think many people including the people who work at dod can tell me. because the truth is dod often use -- they have a number of different authorities that range from security cooperation to joint training and exercises to the 1208 kind of authority that all occupies this kind of space with fuzzy lines. and often those authorities are used in conjunction, and you don't really know what activity is being done under what authority. and that's not really good for transparency. so i think we've got to figure that out. we've got to figure out how to be clear with both the partner nation where we're working and with the american taxpayer, you
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know, what monies we're spending on what activities and how they relate. so i don't know putting 1208 into 333 is the act answer, but i think that general discussion needs to be had. >> absolutely. as usual i can't agree more with my former colleague tommy, except with the notion of writing another book. otherwise i agree with him on everything. so some quick points on your last point, laura, i think that's spot on. you know, best case scenario is not only that washington gets on the same page with itself but also with a partner. that would really be fantastic. i have all sorts of thoughts i could walk through in nor forum if you wanted. and paul jumping to your point, if you haven't played on the security assistance monitor website, it's fantastic. i strongly recommend it.
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i would also say crs does a magnificent job. and for any of us have ever been country relation officers, the easiest thing for us to figure out what was going on through our country was to go to crs and do that. they have a holistic view that i don't think anyone really does. >> i think that's why you're seeing a renewed emphasis on that. i think there's two important components to that. the first one is people actually deal with it, right? so i think what we've kind of seen over the years is by virtue of dod kind of organically taking this mission on by necessity, not out of the conscious decision by dod to say, hey, let me get into this game p gam
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game. i think the way the department has developed is something that needs work. and i think the department is onboard as well, trying to find a way to develop a more capable, competent security cooperation work force. and i'm not saying those doing it today are not patriotic and giving it their all, but the way professional development works is they'll go do a short-term and usually voluntary education program to teach them how this process works. and a lot of that's focused on how do you develop a packet or proposal for a program. and i think what's missing is an enduring career track where these security proechls cfession work through that and learn through cap stone events or any number of ways to build that core competence and capability. and that's expertise within the services.
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so when you're sending them out to work these programs and develop the ame frameworks and look at it critically what we're doing and why we're doing it, i think that's a way we can invest and really start building that capability. i think on amne more broadly i think the department hasn't been forced to think about it this way to date. the holistic way of doing it, what we're doing, have we achieved what we wanted to achieve. and i think the short way of dealing with it is these are officers doing two or three-year tours. so oftentimes when they come in whether in a team or combatant command very likely they won't see a program they worked onto fruition. they'll have someone come in saying what are we doing, where are we doing it?
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hopefully the more you build this professional cadre and work force, you'll have a much more evolutionary and learning organization when they come into a country team, they can say, hey, based on my experience here and there i've got a baseline framework to build off of. rather than this discovery learning every two or three years someone comes in. >> i agree with this plan. it's really hard to encourage them to do the kind of institution building for your great idea that at the front end you do the human rights training, because that training is never really going to see any real dividend on institution building and security governance in thane one to two year tour
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but they could see them improve. on the point about the u.n., i think that gets back to this question of how do we define security assistance. and this panel is really talking about what's happening in washington and the sort of codification of dod authorities. there used to be 120 and now thanks to these guys there's much more. stream lined efificiency. but the point is it is a new trend in u.s. government to have so many dod authorities. that is what's new in the past 15 years. and the reason that's a concern to some including people who worked at the state department and other civilians is there's so many other types of security assistance that are being provided. including all the inl bureau going to the very same governments to work on the courts and judges and police. and i would say that in many of
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the countries that really matter for fragile states, the police and dod equities do not match or internal and external ministry. so that really matters, the coordination between those assistance and theories and strategies where those expertise reside in the state department and dod. for the peacekeeping there's been a lot of good ones at dod and other good ones to learn about what we know about peacekeeping because they're tested before they're deployed to connect back the dots what kind of training they need. you can see where the glitches are for professional and human rights but also for capacities. so connecting the dots between that information, for example, that the u.n. transimates to state pm, to state io capacities back to the training is kind of
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bureaucratic connect the dot which is boring when you talk about it in these meetings, but it's important. making sure someone knows all this information and can piece together. that just currently does not exist and that's to the detriment of the strategic model. >> i think that was the main deliverable we hoped to put forward in our report is holistic framework for approaching oversight, the accountability that begins to net together the various notes of the community. thank you very much for illuminating these opportunities and challenges before the community today. and thank you to you all for your brilliant questions. please join me in thanking our panel. [ applause ]
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here's a look at our live coverage tuesday on c-span white house budget director nick mulvaney out line's the president's 2019 budget request before the senate budget committee. and the house gathers at noon for jen sl speeches and legislative business at 2:00. and the senate meet to continue to work on legislation. and looking at global security threats with cia director mike pompeo, nsa director and director of national intelligence dan coates. the c-span bus is traveling across the country our our 50 capitols tour. we recently stopped in
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montgomery, alabama, asking folks what's the most important issue in their state. >> being here in the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement, montgomery, alabama, the most important tissues to me are equality, freedom and equal justice for all people. we can't just talk about this every february and black history month, but we have to live it every day of the year. so we have to do more to build bridges. a famous educator in alabama, booker t. washington once wrote there are two ways to exert one's power. one is pushing down and one is pulling up. let's start pulling people up. >> i think one issue is the lack of jobs here well, in alabama but especially in montgomery. people are graduating from different colleges whether it be in montgomery or the surrounding areas and they're coming maybe home looking for a job, and there's no jobs here.
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everybody, you need more than just a college degree to get a job and i think that is hindering a lot of people because a lot of people don't have the financial aid to keep going to dock toral school or higher education or something like that. and they can't find a job with just the average college degree. >> wave been finding the common core for seven, eight years now and we still have it here in alabama. with and we fight that every single year with a new bill, and we want to get rid of it. >> in the state of alabama i believe is racial inequalities and justice reform. i think that here in the state we still have rhetoric in our constitution that is representative of a time that has long past. and i think that having discriminatory language in a document that governs a diverse group of people is -- is very outdated, and it limits people's powers, the disenfranchisement, the way that law enforcement
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interacts with the citizens across the state. i think that those things need to be addressed so that we can have the gap within the disparities and the inequalities within the justice system here in alabama, those can kind of close and eventually not even exist. >> the important issue for me is the cost of college education. i feel as if everyone should have equal opportunity to go to college, get the same amount of money to go to college and support themselves. because some people may be first-time comers to go to college, maybe the first people in their family. and i feel as if the government should really take on responsibility in giving us more money than the lack of money they have been giving us for years. so i feel like that an important issue in alabama. >> voices from the states on c-span. c-span, where history
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unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. now a look at the impact of trade agreements on the agriculture industry. this discussion included a legislative assistant to oklahoma senator james lankford and representatives from the american farm bureau federation and the national cattleman's beef association. from the school of public policy of georgetown university, this is an hour and 20 minutes.

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