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Archive for the ‘U. S. Department of Defense’ Category

Without the “early-warning system” that we enjoyed while she was at the State Department, we were surprised rather than anticipatory when we saw Mme. Secretary at the Pentagon this morning to accept this prestigious award.  Dressed in one of her lovely red jackets to mark the day, she spoke of her friendship with outgoing Secretary of Defense Panetta and her dedication to “the American Team.”

Once again it is clear, she needs that Hillary Rodham Clinton Museum/Library in Seneca Falls!  Happy Valentine’s Day to Mme. Secretary and to all!

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Remarks at Joint Civilian Service Award Presentation

February 14, 2013

GENERAL MARTIN E. DEMPSEY: Secretaries, fellow general and flag officers, dedicated military and civilian servants here in the Pentagon, and our guests today from the Department of State, happy Valentine’s Day. (Laughter.) You know, the lore of martyrdom says that St. Valentine was actually martyred because he was marrying soldiers who were forbidden to marry by the Roman law of the day. So he was a man who loved soldiers and servicemen and women. And it’s fitting in that regard that we’re here to honor our recent and great secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who herself, by the way, has been an enormous champion of military servicemen and women and their families. So it is a privilege to honor one of our nation’s most dedicated public servants.

This is the highest award that I can present to a civilian. And the secretary is no stranger to awards. We know that you’ve got eight honorary degrees, a George C. Marshall Foundation award, a Woodrow Wilson award for public service, an airport named after you — (Laughter) — 11 straight years as the most admired woman in the world, and a Grammy. I didn’t know about the Grammy, but she actually has a Grammy. I’m jealous of that, by the way. (Laughter.) She has a Grammy for the spoken word of her book, “It Takes a Village.” And she was also named in 2007 as the Irish-American of the year. Now I’m really jealous. (Laughter.)

Your favorite secretary of state, William Seward, didn’t earn quite as much recognition, although he did have that rather clever purchase up in Alaska, but you do have similar backgrounds — effective politicians with roots in New York and New York state, faithfully serving presidents that were once your rivals. Of course, Seward went on a trip around the world after he retired and, as you know, our secretary has flown enough miles to circle the globe 36 times. In fact, you’ve been airborne for the equivalent of 87 days during your tenure as secretary of state. That’s a lot of airplane food. (Laughter.) Along the way, you’ve been an exceptional representative of the men and women of the Department of State, working tirelessly in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and to ensure we had a strong coalition in Libya, building consensus for unprecedented sanctions against Iran, and which for those of us in uniform, we were very much appreciative of so that we can avoid the use of force, although remaining ready to do so, if necessary.

And at home, you’ve strengthened your own institution, the Department of State. You’ve moved diplomacy into the 21st century. You’ve recognized that there are limits to hard power and that we need both hard power and soft power. You’ve harnessed innovative ways to accomplish engagement, including social media and global town halls, all the while remembering that it’s the investment of your personal time that builds relationships. And you’ve been one of the — as I said at the beginning, one of the staunchest supporters of the military, in my personal experience, more than any secretary of state in my career.

Now, I expect you’ll slow down a bit. Maybe you can add a Tony or an Oscar to your Grammy award. (Laughter.) But before you go, I’d be honored if you would allow me to add to the list of your distinctions with the award of this Joint Staff Medal. Would you join me here, Madam Secretary?

ANNOUNCER: General Dempsey will now present Secretary Clinton with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award. Attention to orders. Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton distinguished herself by exceptionally superior service while serving as the secretary of state from 21 January 2009 to 1 February 2013.

Throughout her tenure, Secretary Clinton has significantly provided outstanding support of all operational efforts of the joint military forces worldwide. Executing her smart power strategy of combining military strength with United States capacities in global economics, developmental aid, and technology, she enhanced the coordinated role of diplomatic and defense initiatives in the international arena.

Capitalizing on this effort, she instituted the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Developmental Review for her department that mirrored the military’s Quadrennial Defense Review, resulting in a consolidated interagency approach to all foreign endeavors.

Secretary Clinton’s success in cultivating a more powerful Department of State, a larger international affairs budget, and expanded role in global economic issues greatly facilitated the role of our combatant commanders and the respect of our military troops on every continent. Visiting more than 100 countries and logging more than 500,000 miles of travel, she has been an exceptional example of our nation’s commitment to fostering better relations abroad and to directly supporting our developed troops in those areas.

Most noteworthy, as evidenced in all her years of federal service, she has consistently been a staunch advocate of all personnel programs and initiatives that have enhanced the lives of our military personnel and their families. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton reflect great credit upon herself, the Joint Staff, and the Department of Defense. (Applause.)

Please be seated.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 23rd secretary of defense, Leon Panetta.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON E. PANETTA: Thank you very much. What a great honor to be able to recognize this very special person.

All the leaders of the department, friends, colleagues, distinguished guests, we are truly delighted to welcome and to recognize someone who’s a dear friend to me and Sylvia, someone that I’ve been working with and working for over the last 20 years, a strong and dedicated partner of the Department of Defense, and I believe without question one of the finest public servants of our time.

This is, as Marty raised, probably a great Valentine’s Day present for all of us here at the department. The second best Valentine’s present would be to allow Sylvia and I to get the hell out of town at the end of the day. (Laughter.) (Applause.)

I feel like it’s Groundhog Day around here. (Laughter.) As first lady, as United States senator from New York, and as the 67th secretary of state, Hillary Clinton has been a stalwart advocate for the U.S. military. And that’s really why we honor her today. She’s been a champion of our servicemembers, our veterans, and she has been a forceful voice for American leadership in the world.

This morning, we’re all honored to be able to honor her with the highest awards of this department, the highest awards that we can bestow. As I said, I’m extremely proud of my association with Hillary over these last two decades. It was about 20 years ago last month when I first joined the Clinton administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget. It was a different world then. Think about the key political challenges that we had back then, health care issues, gun control issues, partisan gridlock, budget deficits. On second thought — (Laughter.)

On second thought, the only thing that has changed is that Hillary and I are a little older, perhaps a little wiser, a little less patient, particularly with political dysfunction, a little bit less tolerant of B.S. in general, and it is probably a good thing at this point in time that we have a chance to get some damn rest.

She’s made it. (Laughter.) She’s made it. And, you know, I’m — I’m going to have as broad a smile as she does, hopefully, in a few days. (Laughter.) I have a hard time — (Laughter.) You know? I’ve got — my office is packed up. Sylvia is packing at home. I’m ready to go. It’s like, “All right.” (Applause.)

For four years that I had the honor of serving in the Clinton administration, both as director of OMB and as chief of staff, I really had the opportunity to work with her in a very close, close way, because she was interested in the issues, she was involved in the important issues, obviously, particularly health care, women’s rights, children’s rights, all of the issues that she really fought for and pioneered, not only during that period, but for most of her life.

And I saw firsthand her knowledge and her passion for the issues that we deal with. The issues that we confront in this country — I mean, obviously, you know, you can — you can study these issues, you can read about these issues, but the only way you really deal with the problems in our society is to have a passion for the problems that people face and try to find some way to help people achieve that better life. And that’s what I saw in her, was that passion to want to do that to try to help her fellow citizens.

For all these reasons, I was truly delighted to have the opportunity when I was asked to join the Obama administration to come back and be alongside of her again as part of his national security team. As part of that team, I witnessed early on how hard she works, how dedicated she is, and how she truly developed, I think, one of the best diplomatic skills as a secretary of state of anyone that I’ve known in that capacity. She had the problem — she had the understanding to see the problems that people are facing. She had the ability to connect with the leaders of the world, to understand their challenges, to understand the issues that they had to confront.

And it takes that. You’ve got to be — you’ve got to be a human being in these jobs. You can’t be a robot. You can’t just go through the act. You can’t just read the talking points. You’ve got to have a sense of what others are facing and who they are and what they’re about and what worries them.

I think, having worked with President Clinton, one of the great capabilities he had was to always make other world leaders understand what is in their national interest, not what’s in the United States’ interests, but what’s in their interest. And Hillary had that same capability to make others understand what is in their interests, and that’s what made her so effective.

In my past role as CIA director, she was someone who understood the importance of intelligence, understood the importance of intelligence operations, understood the importance of doing everything we could do to be able to go after those who attacked our country on 9/11.

As a senator, she saw the terror of that moment firsthand. And I — she never lost sight of the fact that we had to go after those who attacked us on 9/11 and use every capability we have. And she was always there supporting our missions and supporting our operations, and I appreciate that — that support.

Particularly during the bin Laden, which, you know, there is a movie out on this. (Laughter.) And, you know, the guy who plays me isn’t quite — quite right. (Laughter.) I mean, I was — my preference probably would have been Pacino. (Laughter.) But, you know, the truth — I — I’ve been asked — I’ve been asked about that, and, you know, the fact is, I lived — I lived through that operation. And there’s no way you can take 10 years of all of the work that was done, even in the last four years or the last two years up to that operation, that I was involved with. There’s no way you can take that and put it into a two-hour movie. The fact is that there was a tremendous amount of teamwork involved in that, both by our intelligence and our military officials, did a tremendous job working through all of those issues.

But ultimately, it came down to a tough decision that the president had to make. And, God bless him, he made a very tough decision. But I can tell you that Hillary Clinton, sitting in that room, sitting with the National Security Council and trying to work through all these issues, a lot of different views, a lot of different opinions, but she was always there. And I deeply appreciated her support for that effort.

It’s been even more rewarding to have become secretary of defense and developed a very close partnership with the State Department. Actually, this partnership, I think, developed with my predecessor, Bob Gates, but as someone who’s been in and out of Washington for the last almost 50 years, I know from personal experience that rivalry can hurt the relationship between the Department of State and the Department of Defense. That kind of rivalry is very bad for both departments and the country, because you really do need a strong partnership between the State Department and the Defense Department. There’s too much at stake. You’ve got to work together. You’ve got to put your egos aside and work together on the issues that you have to confront. To do that is indispensable to America’s national security.

Because of that, during the time that we worked together as secretaries, Hillary and I did all we could to sustain the tightest possible bonds between ourselves and our departments. Together, we have dealt with some very tough issues. We’ve dealt with a lot of the threats that confront this country across the world. We’ve taken part in some very tough debates and some very tough policy discussions on the Hill, at the White House, involving Afghanistan and Syria and terrorist attacks, and even on our own defense strategy, including the whole issue of Asia Pacific rebalance.

We’ve also traveled to some of the same meetings with foreign counterparts, here, overseas, NATO summits, the Australia-U.S. ministerial, heads of state visits. I don’t think too many people recognize how long meetings and sleepless travel and endless conferences and tough questioning can bring two people together, because most of the time you’re trying to figure out where the hell you’re at. You’re walking in circles. And you’ve got to look at each other and say, we now have to face up to what we have to do to try to deal with the situation that confronted us.

In all of those discussions, Hillary has always brought us back to Earth, with the right argument at the right time. Her ability in the end to be very pragmatic about what it takes to get something done is, I think, part of her genius as — as a leader, the ability to cut through it, the ability to listen to all the arguments, but in the end, to cut through it and make the decision that has to be made. She is honest. She is forceful. She’s a persuasive voice for doing what’s right for the American people.

We have fought on opposite sides of the issues. I’d sure as hell rather have her on my side than be against me, because she is so good in making her arguments.

More often than not, she and I have stood side by side in making our recommendations when the president has faced difficult choices in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and the Middle East. And because of her leadership, our nation’s diplomats and our development experts are working toward a common mission with the men and women of the Department of Defense, and I’m confident that our successes will sustain the bonds that we have built between the Department of Defense and the State Department.

Our personnel are putting themselves at risk from Afghanistan to North Africa, from the Middle East to Asia Pacific, and making great personal sacrifices in order to prevent conflict, to advance the cause of peace and security, and to help achieve the American dream of giving our children a better life.

That dream has been Hillary Clinton’s dream. And today, the Department of Defense recognizes her for her great work in helping all of us better defend this nation and to provide that better life.

In my time in and out of government, Hillary Clinton is one of the most informed, most passionate, and most dedicated public servants that I’ve had the privilege to serve alongside. She has devoted her life to expanding opportunities for everyone, to build a better future for this country and the world, because she believes everyone deserves the chance to fulfill their dreams and their aspirations.

And in many ways, I have to tell you, it was her inspiration that encouraged me to move forward to be able to bring down the last barriers for women in the Department of Defense and to give them the ability to have a chance to engage in combat. I thank you for that inspiration.

Seventy years ago, the only person to serve as secretary of state and secretary of defense, George Marshall, was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. When he accepted the award, only months after the armistice on the Korean peninsula, Marshall reflected that — and I quote — “A very strong military posture is vitally necessary today, but it is too narrow a basis on which to build a dependable and long-enduring peace,” unquote.

Marshall went on to say that, “Perhaps the most important single factor will be a spiritual regeneration to develop goodwill, faith, and understanding among nations. There must be wisdom and the will to act on that wisdom,” unquote.

Today, just 70 years ago, it is now clear that we need to maintain a strong military force to deal with the unstable and unpredictable and undeniably dangerous world that we live in. But it is equally clear that we must enhance our other key levers of power, our economic and diplomatic power, if we are to truly achieve peace in the 21st century.

Delivering on that vision will require wisdom, and it will require a will to act, qualities that Hillary Clinton exemplified throughout her career and as secretary of state. Her legacy is the inspiration, the wisdom, and the will to fight for the American dream, and that, very simply, is why we honor her today.

Ladies and gentlemen, Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)

ANNOUNCER: Secretary Panetta will now present Secretary Clinton with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Attention to orders. The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton is recognized for distinguished public service as United States secretary of state from January 2009 to February 2013. Secretary Clinton played an indispensable role in formulating and, with great success, implementing the president’s United States national security, foreign and development policies in an era of dynamic shifts in global affairs. Applying an innovative, smart power approach, Secretary Clinton led efforts to invigorate traditional alliances, engage emerging powers, and develop new partnerships to advance American interests, security, and values.

Her sound counsel, strategic vision, and steady hand guided the United States response to the global economic crisis, political changes in North Africa and the Arab world, and new opportunities and challenges in Asia. She provided invaluable leadership to United States efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan during the security transitions in those countries.

Secretary Clinton’s transformative leadership elevated America’s diplomatic and development corps’ role as able partners for addressing the growing spectrum of security challenges and forged a strong relationship with the Department of Defense. The distinctive accomplishments of Secretary Clinton reflect great credit upon herself, the Department of State, and the United States government. (Applause.)

Thank you, Secretary Panetta.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 67th secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Thank you. (Applause.)

Thank you. Well, this is certainly a memorable Valentine’s Day, I have to tell you. It is such an honor and personal privilege for me to be here with people whom I admire, respect, and just like so much.

Secretary Panetta, Chairman Dempsey, all of you military and civilian leaders alike, thank you for what you do every day to keep our nation safe and strong.

It has been a real pleasure for me to work with all of you, starting out with Secretary Gates and Chairman Mullen, now working with Secretary Panetta, Chairman Dempsey, and let me also thank Vice Chairman Sandy Winnefeld. You have been great partners and colleagues. It has been a singular honor of my life to be able to work with all of you and to try to do what we can in a time of such momentous change and even turbulence to chart a steady course for the nation that we serve and love.

I also want to thank my traveling companions, General Paul Selva and Admiral Harry Harris. Some of you may not know that Paul and Harry had to fly all over the world with me, representing, first, Secretary Gates and, then, Secretary Panetta. I’m still trying to figure out why they got to get off the road halfway through my four-year tenure and switch places, but whenever there was a problem with the plane or any other issue that arose, I would always turn to them to help us fix it.

Harry, as you know, is Navy, but he came through time and time again to get us — (Laughter) — back in the air. And I’m grateful to you.

I also want to say a special word of thanks and greetings to my former colleagues from the State Department who are here. It is bittersweet, as I’ve said to them before. The senior leadership at the State Department over the last four years is really responsible for all the very kind and gracious words that were said about me.

And they worked seamlessly, not always in agreement, but always getting up every day to work toward our common objectives with the DOD senior leadership here today. So I want to thank my friends and colleagues with whom I served over the last four years.

This is a tremendous honor for me. Some of you know that I have had the great privilege of knowing Leon for what he said was 20 years. I think Al Pacino would have been more appropriate, also, but on every step along the way, from his service in the Congress to the White House to the CIA to the Pentagon, he has demonstrated the highest caliber of integrity, wisdom, and patriotism, and he’s been not only a great partner, but a great friend.

I think you can now — you’ll have to postpone for a little while removing the eight-second delay for the censors until he actually does leave the building. (Laughter.) But what he said about humanity, about being a human being in these roles is worth repeating. It is easy to get so caught up in the work and the intensity, the drive necessary to work those long days and short nights, that it is sometimes too easy to forget why we do what we do, both military and civilian. For many of you, it has been a career choice, both my colleagues from the Defense Department and from State.

For others of us, you know, it is something that we came to later and were involved in, luckily, that gave us a chance to serve. But for all of us, remembering, you know, why we do this work and how important it is to the future, especially future generations, is something Leon Panetta has never forgotten. And I know that as Leon does eventually head back to California, he will, along with his absolutely wonderful wife, Sylvia, continue to use the Panetta Institute to help train up the next generation of leaders.

I also want to say a special word of thanks to Chairman Dempsey. I’ve really enjoyed working with Marty Dempsey. Our men and women in uniform have no greater champion, and it has been for me a great treat getting to see him in action and also to meet you, Deanie, and to — as I said to you out in the hall, to see you with some of your grandchildren coming out of Easter Egg roll a year or two ago.

Now, it is no secret — or if it had been, Leon spilled the beans — that historically the Departments of State and Defense have not always had the best working relationship. In fact, I have been quite surprised and even amused in talking to some of my former predecessors who are bewildered that we get along and who say things like, you know, that’s odd, as if I’m somehow letting down my side that I — I am not, you know, causing you as many problems as I can, trying to push you offstage, as if that were possible.

But I have been around this town, certainly, for long enough to know that it is an unfortunate historical precedent. And so when I became secretary four years ago, I was determined to do my part to change that. You know, I like being on the American team, not the State Department team, not the Defense Department team, not the partisan team. I like being on the American team. And I think when we take these positions and take that oath of office, we really pledge to be part of the American team.

Now, we will have different perspectives, different experiences that we bring to the tables that we sit at. But we should walk out of those rooms determined to be on that team for our country and for the president we serve. So from day one, we have formed the strongest partnership in most living memories. And I do hope that continues.

Now, Secretary Gates and Chairman Mullen set the tone by emphasizing the importance of fully funding the State Department and USAID, quite a remarkable position for a secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs to take. And Secretary Gates, even before I was secretary, made quite an important speech talking about how there were more members in military bands than there were diplomats and that we had to increase the strength of our diplomatic corps and our development experts in order to do our part.

Now, Secretary Panetta and Chairman Dempsey have continued to build our partnership even further. They have been steadfast advocates for integrating the 3 D’s of our national security, defense, diplomacy and development, into a unified smart power approach.

And because of these efforts, our diplomats and development experts all over the world are working more closely than ever with all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Whether it’s advancing the transition in Afghanistan or responding to the triple disaster in Japan or pursuing terrorists in North Africa, we have seen that America is stronger and more effective when we work together.

And I think we have gone a long way to restore America’s global leadership and to make progress on some of the great challenges we face, from taking the fight to the leadership of Al Qaeda to reasserting the United States as a Pacific power. And we have pioneered a nimbler, more innovative, more effective approach to foreign policy, so I am enormously proud of what we have achieved, and I’m confident about the future, having left the State Department in the capable hands of Secretary John Kerry, himself an accomplished diplomat and decorated Navy veteran.

So I believe that we’ve established a strong base for this kind of collaboration, which I think is essential in going forward against the challenges and threats that we face.

Now, I happen to have grown up in a Navy household. During World War II, my father was a chief petty officer, training sailors at Great Lakes Naval Base before they were shipped off to the Pacific. And he never forgot — and used to tell my brothers and me — how it felt watching those young men get loaded onto troop trains, knowing that many would never return home.

After he died many years later, I received an outpouring of letters and photographs from some of the men he had trained who had served and returned home and built lives and families of their own. I just couldn’t believe that that experience, being yelled at by my father — (Laughter) — was so formative for them. And I was glad to hear it, frankly.

I saw this same sense of dedication and duty when, as first lady and then senator from New York, I visited with servicemembers and their families all over the world. Then I was honored to serve on the Armed Services Committee and to work closely with men and women throughout this building, and in particular with Secretary McHugh, who had become a great partner with me on behalf of our military bases and personnel in New York and what we did to try to keep moving forward in improving readiness and modernizing capabilities.

I was so impressed by the Quadrennial Defense Review that I did launch a similar effort at State called the QDDR, or the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. And now four years as secretary of state has ended, but my appreciation for everything you do is deeper than ever.

I’ve had the chance to visit with many of our forces overseas, sometimes in the company of some of you in the audience today, especially, of course, in Afghanistan, but also here at home, from Hawaii to Norfolk to Annapolis.

This past May, I had the chance to go down to Tampa and speak to a special operations conference sponsored by Admiral McRaven. And I had the chance then, too, to thank them for their remarkable service and to talk about the complex and cross-cutting threats that we face.

So we do have to keep innovating and integrating. We have to get our house here at home in order. We have to avoid devastating self-inflicted wounds. We have to remain committed to upholding America’s global leadership and our core values of freedom and opportunity.

Now, Leon and I have both seen this as we travel the world. American leadership remains respected and required. There is no real precedent in history for the role we play or the responsibility we have shouldered. There is also no alternative.

But I often remind myself that our global leadership is not our birthright. It has to be earned by each successive generation, staying true to our values and living up to the best traditions of our nation. Secretaries and presidents come and go, but this responsibility remains constant. It truly must be our North Star.

So in the years ahead, we will be looking to all of you and to your successors to carry this mission of American leadership forwards, to keep our nation strong, free and exceptional.

So thank you for this tremendous honor that has been bestowed on me by the chairman and also the honor by the secretary. I thank you all for your service, and I thank both of you and others of you here today for your friendship. Let’s wish our country godspeed. And please extend to all with whom you serve my deepest gratitude, not as a retired public official, but as an American citizen.

Thank you all. (Applause.)

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12-12-12-Y-03If you look to Philippe Reines for your information, you get short and sometimes not so sweet.  His concise press release yesterday provided no details and had Mme. Secretary working from home over the coming week.  We know Philippe would walk through fire to protect her,  but the truth is that there are readers out here who love her just as fiercely as he does and are hungry for details and reassurances that our “prized political buttercup,”  as Perez Hilton calls her, is recovering and doing just fine.   So the updates today emanate from several sources.

We found the following details in today’s New York Times.

The fainting episode occurred after Mrs. Clinton, who is being widely discussed as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, became dehydrated because of a stomach virus she contracted during a trip to Europe, according to statements released by a close adviser and her doctors.

One State Department official said Mrs. Clinton fainted when she was alone at her home in Washington but added that the concussion was not diagnosed until Thursday. He said the concussion was not severe.

SNIP

Acting on the advice of her doctors, Mrs. Clinton will not go to the State Department this week but will work from home, the State Department said.

“Secretary Clinton developed a stomach virus, leading to extreme dehydration, and subsequently fainted,” her doctors, Dr. Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University, said on Saturday.

In contrast to this, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported last night on CNN that the SOS has been forbidden to work in the coming week and has been ordered on “brain rest.”   He elaborated that this means no work and no newspapers.  No one, hearing this, can actually imagine Hillary Clinton able to follow that particular order.

We all hope Mme. Secretary is resting  and  are sure she is receiving the best of care.  We wish her a speedy and complete recovery and see no reason why she should be returning to work until after the first of the year.

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Mme. Secretary and the President flew out of Bangkok on their way to Burma on Air Force One.

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Remarks at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Andrews Air Force Base
Joint Base Andrews, MD
September 14, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Chaplain. Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Secretary Panetta, Ambassador Rice, Secretary Powell and Mrs. Powell, family members of the four patriots and heroes we bring home, members of the State Department family, ladies and gentlemen, today we bring home four Americans who gave their lives for our country and our values. To the families of our fallen colleagues, I offer our most heartfelt condolences and deepest gratitude.

Sean Smith joined the State Department after six years in the Air Force. He was respected as an expert on technology by colleagues in Pretoria, Baghdad, Montreal, and The Hague. He enrolled in correspondence courses at Penn State and had high hopes for the future. Sean leaves behind a loving wife Heather, two young children, Samantha and Nathan, and scores of grieving family, friends, and colleagues. And that’s just in this world. Because online in the virtual worlds that Sean helped create, he is also being mourned by countless competitors, collaborators, and gamers who shared his passion.

Tyrone Woods, known to most as Rone, spent two decades as a Navy SEAL, serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2010, he protected American diplomatic personnel in dangerous posts from Central America to the Middle East. He had the hands of a healer as well as the arms of a warrior, earning distinction as a registered nurse and certified paramedic. Our hearts go out to Tyrone’s wife Dorothy, and his three sons Tyrone, Jr., Hunter, and Kai, born just a few months ago, along with his grieving family, friends, and colleagues.

Glen Doherty, who went by Bub, was also a former SEAL and an experienced paramedic. He too died as he lived, serving his country and protecting his colleagues. Glen deployed to some of the most dangerous places on Earth, including Iraq and Afghanistan, always putting his life on the line to safeguard other Americans. Our thoughts and prayers are with Glen’s father Bernard, his mother Barbara, his brother Gregory, his sister Kathleen, and their grieving families, friends, and colleagues.

I was honored to know Ambassador Chris Stevens. I want to thank his parents and siblings, who are here today, for sharing Chris with us and with our country. What a wonderful gift you gave us. Over his distinguished career in the Foreign Service, Chris won friends for the United States in far-flung places. He made those people’s hopes his own. During the revolution in Libya, he risked his life to help protect the Libyan people from a tyrant, and he gave his life helping them build a better country.

People loved to work with Chris. And as he rose through the ranks, they loved to work for Chris. He was known not only for his courage but for his smile – goofy but contagious – for his sense of fun and that California cool.

In the days since the attack, so many Libyans – including the Ambassador from Libya to the United States, who is with us today – have expressed their sorrow and solidarity. One young woman, her head covered and her eyes haunted with sadness, held up a handwritten sign that said “Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi nor Islam.” The President of the Palestinian Authority, who worked closely with Chris when he served in Jerusalem, sent me a letter remembering his energy and integrity, and deploring – and I quote – “an act of ugly terror.” Many others from across the Middle East and North Africa have offered similar sentiments.

This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.

The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts. And we will, under the President’s leadership, keep taking steps to protect our personnel around the world.

There will be more difficult days ahead, but it is important that we don’t lose sight of the fundamental fact that America must keep leading the world. We owe it to those four men to continue the long, hard work of diplomacy. I am enormously proud of the men and women of the State Department. I’m proud of all those across our government, civilian and military alike, who represent America abroad. They help make the United States the greatest force for peace, progress, and human dignity the world has ever known. If the last few days teach us anything, let it be this: That this work and the men and women who risk their lives to do it are at the heart of what makes America great and good.

So we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines, and face the future undaunted. And we will do it together, protecting and helping one another, just like Sean, Tyrone, Glen, and Chris always did. May God bless them and grant their families peace and solace, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

And now, let me have the great honor of introducing someone who came to the State Department earlier this week to grieve with us. He well understands and values the work that these men were doing for our country. The President of the United States.

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Remarks With Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan and Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Korea Kim Kwan-Jin
Thomas Jefferson Room
Washington, DC
June 14, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me welcome all of you, particularly our Korean friends, to the Thomas Jefferson Room here in the State Department. Today, Secretary Panetta and I hosted the second session of the U.S.-Republic of Korea Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultation, what we call our 2+2 meeting. And it is a great pleasure to welcome Foreign Minister Kim and Defense Minister Kim to Washington as we continue to find ways to strengthen the global alliance and cooperation between our countries.

Today we discussed how our partnership has advanced in the three years since our two presidents set forth their joint vision for the alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States. We are combating piracy together in the Indian Ocean, investing in sustainable development in Africa, promoting democracy and the rule of law and human rights around the world. It would be difficult to list all the ways we are working together.

We touched on how we are deepening our economic cooperation. Just a few months ago, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement officially entered into force, and it is already creating jobs and opportunities on both sides of the Pacific.

It is fitting that today is the Global Economic Statecraft Day at the State Department, because around the world in all of our embassies we are highlighting economic cooperation. And our relationship with the Republic of Korea is a textbook example of how our economic statecraft agenda can boost growth and create jobs.

As Korea has developed into an economic powerhouse, it has also steadily assumed greater responsibilities as a global leader. Today, it is an anchor of stability in the Asia Pacific and a go-to partner for the United States.

On the security side of our dialogue, we reaffirmed our commitment to the strategic alliance between our countries. Secretary Panetta will speak to our military cooperation, but I want to emphasize that the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with the Republic of Korea, and we will meet all of our security commitments. As part of this, we discussed further enhancements of our missile defense and ways to improve the interoperability of our systems.

Today we also agreed to expand our security cooperation to cover the increasing number of threats from cyberspace. I am pleased to announce that the United States and Korea will launch a bilateral dialogue on cyber issues. Working together, we can improve the security of our government, military, and commercial infrastructure, and better protect against cyber attacks.

With regard to North Korea, our message remains unchanged. North Korea must comply with its international obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874. It must abandon its nuclear weapons and all existing nuclear programs, including programs for uranium enrichment. And it must finally put the welfare of its own people first and respect the rights of its own citizens. Only under these circumstances will North Korea be able to end its isolation from the international community and alleviate the suffering of its people.

So again let me thank the ministers for our excellent discussions. And let me thank the Korean people for the friendship between our countries that continues to grow.

And now let me turn it over to Foreign Minister Kim.

FOREIGN MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Let me first thank Secretary Clinton and Secretary Panetta for inviting Minister Kim and I to the ROK-U.S. 2+2 ministerial meeting. This meeting was first held for the first time in 2000 in Seoul. That was 60 years since the Korean War. And I am pleased that we held today the second 2+2 ministerial meeting this time in Washington. We took note that a number of alliance issues are proceeding as planned, and we had our agreement in that this will contribute to a greater combined defense system.

And we also agreed that should North Korea provoke again, then that we will show a very decisive response to such provocation. But we also shared our view that the road to dialogue and cooperation is open should North Korea stop its provocation and show a genuine change in its attitude by taking concrete measures.

Also, in order to enhance deterrence against North Korea’s potential provocation using nuclear and conventional forces, we decided to develop more effective and concrete (inaudible) policies. We also agreed to promote bilateral cooperation regarding North Korea, just as Secretary Clinton just mentioned, against cyber security threats, and will in this regard launch a whole-of-government consultative body.

We are concerned the human rights situation, the quality of life of the North Korean people, have reached a serious level and urge the North Korean Government to respect the human rights of its people and to improve their living condition.

The Republic of Korea welcomes the U.S. policy that places emphasis on the Asia Pacific. We agree that the increased U.S. role within the Asia Pacific region will greatly contribute to peace and stability in this region. We welcome the efforts of the Government of Myanmar to advance democracy and improve human rights and continue supporting such efforts.

Today’s meeting was very productive and meaningful in that it allowed us to review the current status of the alliance. And we also agreed to discuss a way forward for our strategic cooperation. We’ll continue to hold this 2+2 ministerial meeting in the future.

SECRETARY PANETTA: Secretary Clinton, Ministers, I was very pleased to be able to participate in this very important 2+2 meeting. I want to commend Secretary Clinton for her leadership in guiding us through this discussion, and also thank both ministers for their participation.

I’ve been very fortunate over the past year, since becoming Secretary of Defense, to have developed a very strong working relationship with my Korean counterparts. I’ve been – I made a visit to Korea last fall, and we have had a series of consultations such as this 2+2. I just returned, as many of you know, from a two-week trip to the Asia Pacific region, where I met with Minister Kim at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. And at the time, I made clear that the United States has made an enduring commitment to the security and prosperity of the Asia Pacific region, including the Korean Peninsula.

I also made clear that our military will rebalance towards the Asia Pacific region as part of our new defense strategy. As part of that strategy, even though the U.S. military will be smaller in the future, we will maintain a strong force presence in Korea which reflects the importance that we attach to that relationship and to the security mission that we are both involved with.

The United States and the Republic of Korea face many common security challenges in the Asia Pacific region and around the world, and today, we affirmed our commitment to forging a common strategic approach to addressing those challenges. I’m very pleased that we are progressing on our schedule to achieve the goals that we outlined in our Strategic Alliance 2015 base plan. We remain on track to transition operational control by December 2015 in accordance with the base plan timeline.

As the Strategic Alliance 2015 initiative proceeds, we will continue to consult closely with the Republic of Korea in order to ensure that the steps that we are taking are mutually beneficial and strengthen our alliance. During our meeting, we also discussed ways that we can further strengthen our alliance, including greater cooperation in the area of cyber security. To that end, we are making our bilateral military exercises more realistic through the introduction of cyber and network elements.

Another way to strengthen and modernize our alliance is by expanding our ongoing trilateral collaboration with Japan. On my trip to Asia, I was pleased to participate in a trilateral discussion that included the Republic of Korea and Japan, because this kind of security cooperation helps strengthen regional security and provides the additional deterrent with respect to North Korea. I’d like to thank the ministers again for their commitment to this alliance, and I look forward to hosting Minister Kim in Washington for the 44th Security Consultative Meeting in October. This alliance has stood the test of time, and today, we affirmed that it will remain an essential force for security and for prosperity in the 21st century.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Defense Minister.

DEFENSE MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Today’s 2+2 ministerial meeting was held at a strategically critical moment amid continuing provocation threats from North Korea and volatile security environment in North Korea, a time which calls for a proactive alliance response.

Through today’s meeting, the two countries confirmed once again that the ROK-U.S. alliance is more solid than ever, and made it very clear that the alliance will strongly and consistently respond to any North Korean provocation, in particular regarding North Korean nuclear and missile threat. The ROK and the U.S. agreed to strengthen policy coordination to reaffirm the strong U.S. commitment to provide extended deterrents and to develop extended deterrent policies in an effective and substantial way. We also agreed to strengthen alliance capability against North Korea’s increasing asymmetric threats such as cyber threats like the DDoS attack and GPS jammings.

Furthermore, the two countries confirmed that the 2015 transition of operational control and the building of a new combined defense system are progressing as planned. We also confirmed that they were – ROK military will acquire the critical – military capabilities needed to lead the combined defense, and the U.S. military will provide bridging and engineering capabilities.

The two countries also confirmed that USFK bases relocation projects such as YRP and LPP are well underway and agreed to work to ensure that these projects are completed in time. We assess that combined exercises in the West Sea and Northwest Islands deter North Korean provocation and greatly contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. We agreed to continue these exercises under close bilateral coordination.

Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. alliance which was born in 1953 with the signing of the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. In the past six decades, the two countries worked to ensure a perfect security of the peninsula and have developed the alliance into the most successful alliance in history. In the future, the two countries will expand and deepen the scope and level of defense cooperation from the Korean Peninsula, and to the regional and global security issues, will continue evolving the alliance into the best alliance in the world for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, and of the world. Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Scott starts.

QUESTION: Can we do it the reverse? I’m sorry. Scott and I always do this, get it a little confused. But in any case, thank you, Madam Secretary. I’d like to start out with Egypt, please. What is your reaction to dissolving parliament? Is this a step backwards?

And then also on Syria: For the second day in the media and the news, we’re talking about the weapons and the helicopters. By making this such a high-profile issue – and by pinning your strategy of shaming the Russians, are you running the risk of allowing Moscow to define what happens or doesn’t happen in Syria? In other words, I guess, where is the American strategy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, with regard to Egypt, we are obviously monitoring the situation. We are engaged with Cairo about the implications of today’s court decision. So I won’t comment on the specifics until we know more.

But that said, throughout this process, the United States has stood in support of the aspirations of the Egyptian people for a peaceful, credible, and permanent democratic transition. Now ultimately, it is up to the Egyptian people to determine their own future. And we expect that this weekend’s presidential election will be held in an atmosphere that is conducive to it being peaceful, fair, and free. And in keeping with the commitments that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces made to the Egyptian people, we expect to see a full transfer of power to a democratically elected, civilian government.

There can be no going back on the democratic transition called for by the Egyptian people. The decisions on specific issues, of course, belong to the Egyptian people and their elected leaders. And they’ve made it clear that they want a president, a parliament, and a constitutional order that will reflect their will and advance their aspirations for political and economic reform. And that is exactly what they deserve to have.

Let me also note that we are concerned about recent decrees issued by the SCAF. Even if they are temporary, they appear to expand the power of the military to detain civilians and to roll back civil liberties.

Now regarding Syria, I spoke extensively about Syria yesterday. Our consultations with the United Nations, our allies and partners, and the Syrian opposition continue on the best way forward. Today, my deputy, Bill Burns, had a constructive meeting in Kabul with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. We don’t see eye to eye on all of the issues, but our discussions continue. And President Obama will see President Putin during the G-20 in Mexico.

We’re also intensifying our work with Special Envoy Kofi Annan on a viable post-Assad transition strategy. And I look forward to talking to him in the days ahead about setting parameters for the conference that he and I have discussed and that he is discussing with many international partners. Our work with the Syrian opposition also continues. Ambassador Ford is in Istanbul today for a conference with the opposition that Turkey is hosting.

So we’re working on multiple fronts. I think our strategy is very clear. We want to see an end to the violence, and we want to see the full implementation of Kofi Annan’s plans, including the political transition so that the people of Syria have the same opportunity that the people of the Republic of Korea or the United States have to choose their own leaders and to build their own future. And the work is urgent, because as you know, the Syrian Government continues to attack its own people, and the bloodshed has not ceased. And we have to do everything we can to end the violence and create a framework for a transition.

MS. NULAND: Next question: Kang Eui-Young from Yonhap News, please.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Thank you for the opportunity to give you question. I’m – name is Kang from the Yonhap News Agency. My question is for Minister – Defense Minister Kim. It is written in this statement that you have decided to develop a comprehensive alliance approach towards the missile defense. I want to know what this means. If you are referring to the missile defense, are you intending to build a Korea air missile defense or are you saying that you will be integrated into a U.S.-led missile defense? Could you elaborate on what missile defense system you are envisioning? You mention comprehensive alliance defense system. What – how does this build into the U.S.-led assistance?

DEFENSE MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) The position of the ROK military regarding the missile defense is this given the terrain of the Korean Peninsula. The most effective approach is a low-tier defense. And how will this be linked to the U.S. missile defense system? This is of the analysis – the studies that are being conducted right now. That’s what I mean by saying an effective combined air defense system.

QUESTION: Secretary Panetta, is the United States expanding intelligence gathering across Africa using small, unarmed, turbo-prop aircraft disguised as private planes, as reported by The Washington Post?

SECRETARY PANETTA: Well, I’m not going to discuss classified operations in that region, other than to say that we make an effort to work with all of the nations in that region to confront common threats and common challenges. And we have closely consulted and closely worked with our partners to develop approaches that make sure that the nations of that very important region do not confront the kind of serious threats that could jeopardize their peace and prosperity.

MODERATOR: Today’s last question will be from Ju Young Jim of SBS.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Reporter from the SBS, Ju. This is a question for Defense Minister Kim and Secretary Panetta. Right now, the Korean media is dealing – covering very extensively about the range extension of the Korean ballistic missiles and that the ROK side is insisting on 800 kilometer whereas the U.S. is insisting on 500 kilometer, where although the countries have agreed on the payload. Senator Carl Levin said that he is positive when it comes to the range extension. Has this issue been discussed at the 2+2, and will the two countries be able to show a concrete outcome by the end of the year?

One additional question is – this one is for Secretary Clinton. Kim Jong-un, the new leader, he has taken over his father, deceased father, and is now already six month as the new leader. How do you assess his leadership so far?

DEFENSE MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Let me first address this range extension issue. This is still being discussed on the working level. This issue was not dealt at today’s 2+2 ministerial meeting.

SECRETARY PANETTA: In consultation and negotiations with the Republic of Korea with regards to this area, I think we’re making good progress. And our hope is that we can arrive at an agreeable solution soon.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Regarding the new leader in North Korea, I believe leaders are judged by what they do to help their people have better lives, whether they create stability and security, prosperity, opportunity. And this new young leader has a choice to make, and we are hoping that he will make a choice that benefits all of his people.

And we also believe strongly that North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which will only continue to isolate the country and provide no real opportunity for engagement and work toward a better future. And so we hope that the new leadership in Pyongyang will live up to its agreements, will not engage in threats and provocations, will put the North Korean people first. Rather than spending money on implements of war, feed your people, provide education and healthcare, and lift your people out of poverty and isolation.

This young man, should he make a choice that would help bring North Korea into the 21st century, could go down in history as a transformative leader. Or he can continue the model of the past and eventually North Korea will change, because at some point people cannot live under such oppressive conditions – starving to death, being put into gulags, and having their basic human rights denied. So we’re hoping that he will chart a different course for his people.

MS. NULAND: Thank you very much.

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Remarks at the U.S.-Korea Ministerial Dialogue 2+2 Meetings

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Korea Kim Kwan-Ji
Thomas Jefferson Room
Washington, DC
June 14, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much and let me welcome you to the plenary session of the second U.S.-Republic of Korea Ministerial 2+2 with the foreign ministers and defense ministers of both of our countries. It’s a real pleasure to have you here for this occasion. The relationship between our two countries has never been stronger.

In the three years that we have been working to implement our joint vision for the alliance between our nations, we have reached several milestones. Last October, we hosted President Lee in this room for the first state visit by a Korean president to the United States in over a decade. During that visit, we also celebrated the passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which has already begun to spur job creation and greater economic opportunity in both our nations.

At the same time, Korea has taken on a rising global profile. In the past few years, Korea hosted the G-20 showcasing its economic power; the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, which I was very pleased to attend; the Nuclear Security Summit, highlighting its leadership on global security; and now the World Expo in Yeosu, building ties between the Korean people and visitors from around the world.

So it’s clear that on many of the pressing issues of the 21st Century, the world is looking to Korea, and Korea has shouldered and welcomed its new and growing responsibilities. We share an unshakable partnership and we continue to seek new opportunities to strengthen our cooperation. We’ve enjoyed unprecedented coordination on a number of bilateral, regional, and global issues.

And most importantly, we consult closely and regularly on developments in North Korea. We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Republic of Korea allies in the face of threats and provocations. And I look forward to continuing these consultations today.

Finally, I’d like to note that we are not only building our institutional ties through dialogues like this, we are also building connections between our people. This year we inaugurated our diplomatic exchange program between the United States State Department and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. And we have enjoyed hosting Kim Jae-shin. She’s become an invaluable member of our team enhancing our work with her insight and building connections between our offices. We would keep her forever if we could, Minister. And Minister Kim, I hope you will feel similarly when we send our first exchange officer to work with you later this year.

So thanks again to both Foreign Minister Kim and Defense Minister Kim. Thanks to Ambassador Choi for his presence here in Washington and working on our relationship year round. And thanks to my colleagues from the State and Defense Departments. We look forward to a productive discussion. And on that note, let me turn it over to Foreign Minister Kim.

FOREIGN MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) Secretary Clinton, Secretary Panetta, about two years ago the ROK and the U.S. held a 2+2 ministerial meeting for the first time. And now that we are holding this meeting the second time, I am very pleased.

Just as Secretary Clinton commented just a while ago, during the past year there have been great changes in the Republic of Korea, as well as the world as a whole, in keeping pace with the changes in the security environment. It is very significant that we are here today to review the changes that we need to continue making based on a very solid trust between our two leaders.

During the past four years we have laid very strong foundations for our alliance. Despite the continuing North Korean threat, the sinking of Cheonan warship, or with the shelling of the Yeonpyeong Islands, or the long-range missile launch, and we have shown an almost perfect cooperation. We’ve also handled some very complex alliance issues such as the OPCON transition or the base relocation.

And the Free Trade Agreement that entered into effect earlier this year has increased the scope of our alliance into the economic sector. Now we must ensure that we are not complacent with the achievement we’ve made thus far and try to move out into the world as an alliance under the slogan of a global Korea, that the Republic of Korea will continue to contribute to global issues, and we’ll continue to cooperate with the United States in this regard.

Hopefully this meeting will not only strengthen our alliance and send clear message to North Korea, but also try to seek what we can contribute to the region and the world as a whole. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Minister Kim. Secretary Panetta?

SECRETARY PANETTA: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton. I would also like to join in welcoming Minister Kim and Defense Minister Kim to this second 2+2 ministers meeting dialogue.

We greatly appreciate the opportunity to assess the ongoing efforts of the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea, particularly as we continue to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.

I want to extend my sincere and solemn appreciation for the shared sacrifice of our two nations’ veterans of the Korean War. It’s through their sacrifice and it’s through their commitment, and it’s through their continuing service that our men and women in uniform truly put their lives on the line in order to protect both of our countries. We are privileged to sit here today because of their efforts, and we embrace as always a very strong and enduring friendship.

As we face the many security challenges and opportunities on the horizon on the peninsula regionally and globally, we must forge a common strategic approach and address these issues collectively, rooted in friendship and in mutual interest.

One of the things that we have done at the Defense Department is to enact a new defense strategy that has made clear the importance of rebalancing to the Asia Pacific region. One of the cornerstones to our ability to effectively implement that strategy is the close partnership and relationship that we have with the Republic of Korea. That’s why it’s so important for us to come together, to meet to discuss our common views on the shared security challenges that we face, and to forge a common strategic approach to those challenges.

Thank you for your friendship and most importantly thank you for this historic alliance.

MODERATOR: (Inaudible) Defense Minister (inaudible).

DEFENSE MINISTER KIM: (Via interpreter) We are holding today here in Washington our second 2+2 ministerial meeting. And this is a very significant event. I want to first thank the U.S. side for hosting such a wonderful event. The current ROK-U.S. relationship, just as our two leaders named it last October, a partnership for peace and prosperity, is developing into a multi-dimension strategic alliance which address not only the security issues of the Korean Peninsula but moves out into the Asia Pacific and into the world. A recent poll show that over 80 percent of the ROK public believe that the alliance is contributing to the security of the ROK peninsula, of the Korean Peninsula, which is contributing also for the peace and stability of the region.

Especially in the defense area, the two countries have managed very stably the situation in the Korean Peninsula following the death of Kim Jong-il through a very close policy and military cooperation, especially the intelligence sharing and the combined crisis management system that we operated before and after North Korean long-range missile launch shows that we are very much prepared to counter North Korean threats. And we are going over – beyond these cooperations by addressing regional and global cooperation to show that we are indeed becoming multi-dimension strategic alliance.

Through our historic 2+2 meeting today, we want to reconfirm our will and our commitment for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as this region and the world as a whole, and demonstrate to the world the solidness of our alliance.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister.

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The Law of the Sea Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-39): The U.S. National Security and Strategic Imperatives for Ratification

Testimony

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Washington, DC
May 23, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Senator Lugar. After both of your opening comments, I think you’ve made the case both eloquently and persuasively for anyone who is willing to look at the facts. I am well aware that this treaty does have determined opposition, limited but nevertheless quite vociferous. And it’s unfortunate because it’s opposition based in ideology and mythology, not in facts, evidence, or the consequences of our continuing failure to accede to the treaty. So I think you’ll hear, from both Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey as well as myself, further statements and information that really reinforces the very strong points that both of you have made.We believe that it is imperative to act now. No country is better served by this convention than the United States. As the world’s foremost maritime power, we benefit from the convention’s favorable freedom of navigation provisions. As the country with the world’s second longest coastline, we benefit from its provisions on offshore natural resources. As a country with an exceptionally large area of seafloor, we benefit from the ability to extend our continental shelf, and the oil and gas rights on that shelf. As a global trading power, we benefit from the mobility that the convention accords to all commercial ships. And as the only country under this treaty that was given a permanent seat on the group that will make decisions about deep seabed mining, we will be in a unique position to promote our interests.

Now, the many benefits of this convention have attracted a wide-ranging coalition of supporters. Obviously, as we heard from both Senator Kerry and Senator Lugar, Republican and Democratic presidents have supported U.S. accession; military leaders who see the benefits for our national security; American businesses, including, strongly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, see the economic benefits. It has the support of every affected industry, including shipping, fisheries, telecommunications and energy, environmental groups as well. We have a coalition of environmental, conservation, business, industry, and security groups all in support of this convention.

And I would ask that my longer written statement along with the letters that I have received in support of the treaty be entered into the record.

CHAIRMAN KERRY: Without objection.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Now, one could argue, that 20 years ago, 10 years ago, maybe even five years ago, joining the convention was important but not urgent. That is no longer the case today. Four new developments make our participation a matter of utmost security and economic urgency.

First, for years, American oil and gas companies were not technologically ready to take advantage of the convention’s provisions regarding the extended U.S. continental shelf. Now they are. The convention allows countries to claim sovereignty over their continental shelf far out into the ocean, beyond 200 nautical miles from shore. The relevant area for the United States is probably more than 1.5 times the size of Texas. In fact, we believe it could be considerably larger.

U.S. oil and gas companies are now ready, willing, and able to explore this area. But they have made it clear to us that they need the maximum level of international legal certainty before they will or could make the substantial investments, and, we believe, create many jobs in doing so needed to extract these far-offshore resources. If we were a party to the convention, we would gain international recognition of our sovereign rights, including by using the convention’s procedures, and therefore be able to give our oil and gas companies this legal certainty. Staying outside the convention, we simply cannot.

The second development concerns deep seabed mining, which takes place in that part of the ocean floor that is beyond any country’s jurisdiction. Now for years, technological challenges meant that deep seabed mining was only theoretical; today’s advances make it very real. But it’s also very expensive, and before any company will explore a mine site, it will naturally insist on having a secure title to the site and the minerals that it will recover. The convention offers the only effective mechanism for gaining this title. But only a party to the convention can use this mechanism on behalf of its companies.

So as long as the United States is outside the convention, our companies are left with two bad choices – either take their deep sea mining business to another country or give up on the idea. Meanwhile, as you heard from Senator Kerry and Senator Lugar, China, Russia, and many other countries are already securing their licenses under the convention to begin mining for valuable metals and rare earth elements. And as you know, rare earth elements are essential for manufacturing high-tech products like cell phones and flat screen televisions. They are currently in tight supply and produced almost exclusively by China. So while we are challenging China’s export restrictions on these critical materials, we also need American companies to develop other sources. But as it stands today, they will only do that if they have the secure rights that can only be provided under this convention. If we expect to be able to manage our own energy future and our need for rare earth minerals, we must be a party to the Law of the Sea Convention.

The third development that is now urgent is the emerging opportunities in the Arctic. As the area gets warmer, it is opening up to new activities such as fishing, oil and gas exploration, shipping, and tourism. This convention provides the international framework to deal with these new opportunities. We are the only Arctic nation outside the convention. Russia and the other Arctic states are advancing their continental shelf claims in the Arctic while we are on the outside looking in. As a party to the convention, we would have a much stronger basis to assert our interests throughout the entire Arctic region.

The fourth development is that the convention’s bodies are now up and running. The body that makes recommendations regarding countries’ continental shelves beyond 200 nautical miles is actively considering submissions from over 40 countries without the participation of a U.S. commissioner. The body addressing deep seabed mining is now drawing up the rules to govern the extraction of minerals of great interest to the United States and American industry. It simply should not be acceptable to us that the United States will be absent from either of those discussions.

Our negotiators obtained a permanent U.S. seat on the key decision-making body for deep seabed mining. I know of no other international body that accords one country and one country alone – us – a permanent seat on its decision making body. But until we join, that reserved seat remains empty.

So those are the stakes for our economy. And you will hear from Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey that our security interests are intrinsically linked to freedom of navigation. We have much more to gain from legal certainty and public order in the world’s oceans than any other country. U.S. Armed Forces rely on the navigational rights and freedoms reflected in the convention for worldwide access to get to combat areas, sustain our forces during conflict, and return home safely all without permission from other countries.

Now as a non-party to the convention, we rely – we have to rely – on what is called customary international law as a legal basis for invoking and enforcing these norms. But in no other situation at which – in which our security interests are at stake do we consider customary international law good enough to protect rights that are vital to the operation of the United States military. So far we’ve been fortunate, but our navigational rights and our ability to challenge other countries’ behavior should stand on the firmest and most persuasive legal footing available, including in critical areas such as the South China Sea.

I’m sure you have followed the claims countries are making in the South China Sea. Although we do not have territory there, we have vital interests, particularly freedom of navigation. And I can report from the diplomatic trenches that as a party to the convention, we would have greater credibility in invoking the convention’s rules and a greater ability to enforce them.

Now, I know a number of you have heard arguments opposing the convention. And let me just address those head-on. Critics claim we would surrender U.S. sovereignty under this treaty. But in fact, it’s exactly the opposite. We would secure sovereign rights over vast new areas and resources, including our 200-mile exclusive economic zone and vast continental shelf areas extending off our coasts and at least 600 miles off Alaska. I know that some are concerned that the treaty’s provisions for binding dispute settlement would impinge on our sovereignty. We are no stranger to similar provisions, including in the World Trade Organization which has allowed us to bring trade cases; many of them currently pending against abusers around the world. As with the WTO, the U.S. has much more to gain than lose from this proposition by being able to hold others accountable under clear and transparent rules.

Some critics invoke the concern we would be submitting to mandatory technology transfer and cite President Reagan’s other initial objections to the treaty. Those concerns might have been relevant decades ago, but today they are not. In 1994, negotiators made modifications specifically to address each of President Reagan’s objections, including mandatory technology transfer, which is why President Reagan’s own Secretary of State, George Shultz, has since written we should join the convention in light of those modifications having been made.

Now some continue to assert we do not need to join the convention for U.S. companies to drill beyond 200 miles or to engage in deep seabed mining. That’s not what the companies say. So I find it quite ironic, in fact somewhat bewildering that a group, an organization, an individual would make a claim that is refuted by every major company in every major sector of the economy who stands to benefit from this treaty. Under current circumstances, they are very clear. They will not take on the cost and risk these activities under uncertain legal frameworks. They need the indisputable, internationally recognized rights available under the treaty. So please, listen to these companies, not to those who have other reasons or claims that are not based on the facts. These companies are refuting the critics who say, “Go ahead, you’ll be fine.” But they’re not the ones – the critics – being asked to invest tens of millions of dollars without the legal certainty that comes with joining the convention.

Now some mischaracterize the payments for the benefit of resource rights beyond 200 miles as quote “a UN tax” – and this is my personal favorite of the arguments against the treaty – that will be used to support state sponsors of terrorism. Honestly, I don’t know where these people make these things up, but anyway the convention does not contain or authorize any such taxes. Any royalty fee does not go to the United Nations; it goes into a fund for distribution to parties of the convention. And we, were we actually in the convention, would have a permanent veto power over how the funds are distributed. And we could prevent them from going anywhere we did not want them to go. I just want to underscore – this is simple arithmetic. If we don’t join the convention, our companies will miss out on opportunities to explore vast areas of continental shelf and deep seabed. If we do join the convention, we unlock economic opportunities worth potentially hundreds of billions of dollars, for a small percentage royalty a few years down the line.

I’ve also heard we should not join this convention because quote “it’s a UN treaty.” And of course that means the black helicopters are on their way. Well, the fact that a treaty was negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations, which is after all a convenient gathering place for the countries of the world, has not stopped us from joining agreements that are in our interests. We are a party to dozens of agreements negotiated under the UN auspices on everything from counter-terrorism and law enforcement to health, commerce, and aviation. And we often pay fees under those treaties recognizing the benefits we get dwarf those minimal fees.

And on the national security front, some argue we would be handing power over the U.S. Navy to an international body. Patently untrue, obviously absolutely contrary to any history or law governing our navy. None of us would be sitting here if there were even a chance that you could make the most absurd argument that could possibly lead to that conclusion. Disputes concerning U.S. military activities are clearly excluded from dispute settlement under the convention.

And neither is it true that the convention would prohibit intelligence activities. The intelligence community has once again in 2012, as it did in 2007, as it did in 2003, confirmed that is absolutely not true.

So whatever arguments may have existed for delaying U.S. accession no longer exist and truly cannot be even taken with a straight face. The benefits of joining have always been significant, but today the costs of not joining are increasing. So much is at stake, and I therefore urge the Committee to listen to the experts, listen to our businesses, listen to the Chamber of Commerce, listen to our military, and please give advice and consent to this treaty before the end of this year. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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