Atlantic Council
Energy and Economic Summit
Luncheon: Responding to Terror: In Need of a New Strategy?
 Jon M. Huntsman Jr.,
Atlantic Council
Ana Palacio,
Member, Spanish Council of State,
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Daud S. Saba,
Minister of Mines and Petroleum,
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Zalmay Khalilzad,
Gryphon Partners
Michael V. Hayden,
Principal, Chertoff Group,
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency
James L. Jones Jr.,
President, Jones Group International,
Former US National Security Adviser
Frederick Kempe,
President and CEO,
Atlantic Council
Location:  Istanbul, Turkey
Time:  12:15 p.m. Local
Date:  Friday, November 20, 2015

Transcript By
Superior Transcriptions LLC

FREDERICK KEMPE:  (In progress) – so please enjoy your lunch for the next half-hour or so.  Have good table conversation.  We’ll come back to you in a half an hour really to discuss what comes after Paris.  There’s been also a seizure of hostages at the Radisson Hotel in Mali.  It’s ongoing.  There are 170 being held in that hotel.  I’ll give you an update ahead of our session. 

As you can see, we’re going to be able to discuss this – the post-Paris, what has Paris actually changed, what has it influenced, with someone who is a minister from Afghanistan where, of course, this is a real issue on the ground every day, with someone who is a former foreign minister of Spain, and someone who is a former presidential candidate and ambassador, someone who’s a former national security adviser to the president of the United States, someone who is a former CIA director, and, of course, someone who is one of the great experts in the Middle East and has served as ambassador in several countries in the region. 

So we’re going to have a really rich discussion.  They’re going to make very, very short interventions, and then we’ll have good questions and comments also from the audience.  I know this is on a lot of your minds.  So enjoy your lunch.



MR. KEMPE:  And I’d also like the panelists to now join me on the stage and take their seats, if they can.  And while they’re sitting, I will – I will introduce them.  And then we’re going to have a quick discussion among ourselves and then go straight to you.

We have Zalamy Khalilzad.  By the way, all of the panelists – and this is part of the reason why I enjoy my job so much as president of the Atlantic Council.  They’re all board members of the Atlantic Council, including the Chairman of the Board Jon Huntsman, and the chairman of the Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security and former chairman of the board, General Jim Jones.  The only one that’s not a member of the board is the Minister of Energy of Afghanistan.  And that’s self-evident that he shouldn’t be a member of the board.  However, the president of Afghanistan is a former member of the International Advisory Board.  So it’s a global board and it has international outreach.

So we have Ambassador Khalilzad.  He’s been ambassador to the United Nations, to Afghanistan, and to Iraq.  We have the former director of the CIA, General Hayden – Michael Hayden.  Former national security advisor of the United States, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Marine commandant, General Jim Jones.  Former governor of the great state of Utah, Governor Huntsman, my state.  He served in several administrations, was our ambassador to China, is currently the chairman of the Atlantic Council, former Republican presidential candidate.  Former Foreign Minister of Spain Ana Palacio, also a member of our board.  And then, of course, Minister Saba from Afghanistan.

I’m going to start, as one does in the Oval Office, with the situation report from the CIA director.  And this is often the way things will start, if I’m not wrong, General Jones.  And so you turn to General Hayden, the director of the CIA.  First of all, I’ve got some bad news, General Hayden.  We not only have had the Paris attacks, but I’ve got news that’s just happened now, and this is true, two gunmen have stormed the Radisson Hotel in Bamako, Mali.  On Friday morning, they’ve seized 170 hostages.  A phone call to the Radisson was answered, but only sirens wailing in the background could be heard.  The U.S. embassy staff has been asked to shelter in place.  U.S. citizens should shelter in place, and on and on.  And so this is an unfolding story.  We don’t actually know what’s going on there.

That follows last night.  At least 34 people were killed and another 80 wounded in Yola, a town packed with refugees from Nigeria’s Islamic uprising.  Sweden, minutes ago – literally minutes ago Swedish security forces arrested a terror suspect.  An Iraqi, Mutar Muthanna Majid, was arrested by police during a Thursday afternoon raid on a center for asylum seekers.  He was arrested for plotting a terror attack.  So, General Hayden, Mali is happening.  Paris, everyone knows that it’s changed something.  What has it changed?  What’s in play for us here?

GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN (RET.):  Well, I’ll be very brief, and try to keep my comments in the intelligence lane, because you’ve got a lot of experts up here.  But I think it’s fair to say that although what happened in Paris was probably along a predictable arc of what we’d expect at some point from ISIS, this showed, I think, greater speed than we anticipated in terms of the growth of their ambition, their sophistication, and geographic reach. 

It also showed – ISIS is – if you compare ISIS with al-Qaida, al-Qaida’s hierarchical and top-down.  ISIS is populist and bottom-up.  We’re seeing a migration in ISIS, picking up a few elements from the al-Qaida model.  It looks as if there was more connective tissue between this attack and ISIS main than there has been in some of the precious activities.  In addition, ISIS turned the al-Qaida formula a bit on its head.  Al-Qaida was always most interested in going after the far enemy.  That would – that would be those of us in the West, as opposed to the near enemy, the Arab autocrats. 

ISIS, from its beginning, had inverted that.  It was going after the near enemy.  But now, here we see an attack more centrally directed than we have seen before, and more directed against the far as opposed to the near enemy.  So we’re seeing not just a horrific attack, which it was, we’re actually seeing a bit of change in style with regard to ISIS.

A couple of other very quick comments.  I think the attack shows the genuine limits of intelligence in terms of preventing these kinds of events.  The French are as good at this as anyone.  And their security services are far less restrained than are most security services in modern democracies.  And yet, this happened in France.  For me, as an intelligence officer, it drives home a truism.  By the way, there’s a lot of energy back home, in France, in Europe, in the United States.  What can intelligence do now to stop these kinds of attacks? 

And there’s a fair amount of hyperventilating going on in America with regard to our laws and our restrictions and encryption and so on.  Frankly, that’s probably an inevitable discussion, but it’s probably not the core discussion.  That’s a discussion about stopping penalty kicks.  That’s a discussion about trying to win this in the goal mouth.  And if you know anything about soccer, one thing’s true about penalty kicks.  Some of those are going in.  And so if we confine our conversation to just that, to that last line of defense, detecting it in the homeland, I think we’ve set up a formula for failure.

I’ll end by simply saying, you win in soccer and you win in this by getting out of the goal mouth and getting the ball way down the field into the offensive zone.  And I do believe very firmly that it’s offensive action that makes the homeland more secure.  There are real limits – without changing our DNA in our societies – there are real limits as to what the security services can do if you are really just stopping PKs.

MR. KEMPE:  That’s an incredible image of the goal mouth, that homeland security is the penalty kick and that one of them is going to go in.  And it essentially means that not only intelligence but other actions have to go more forward.

General Jones, you’ve been the national security adviser to the president of the United States – actually, to this president of the United States.  All of this has just happened.  You’re sitting with the president of the United States.  What do you tell him has changed?  What has Paris changed for this president, and what should be the response of the United States with its allies.  And I realize we’re not just talking about Paris.  Ankara has been hit.  Beirut has been hit.  But for whatever reason, this has popped up now on the radar screen in the public mind of the United States more than the other attacks have.

GENERAL JAMES JONES (RET.):  Well, I think one of the things I would talk about would be to suggest that we need a –

MR. KEMPE:  Could you put yourself a little bit closer to the mic, sir?

GEN. JONES:  Sorry.  I would – I would suggest that we need to – we would need to ask stimulate a very forceful international response.  One of the things I’ve paid attention to since the attacks in Paris has been the – obviously the great emotion and the feeling of support and the condolence for the innocent people who lost their lives.  But I’m also paying attention to what is not happening. 

I am frankly a little surprised that an organization like NATO hasn’t convened an emergency session of the North Atlantic Council.  The French president has said this is an act of war.  We have an alliance of 28 countries.  We have Article 5, which says an attack against one is an attack against all.  And yet, I’m somewhat surprised that there hasn’t been at least an attempt to mobilize the world’s greatest alliance in response to the attack.

I also think that we should understand that although this is an attack by ISIS, but as you’ve just seen in Mali, that this is part of a more global phenomenon.  It’s not just ISIS, although ISIS is the focus right now.  And I think, frankly, that I would be suggesting that it’s time for the American president to step forward and galvanize and lead the international response, including Russia, towards a focused and very hard-hitting response that ISIS and others like it would not – would not mistake. 

I think that in order to overcome these threats, I think we have to be more proactive than reactive.  And right now I’m seeing a lot of reactive thinking and articulation and not a whole lot of proactive coordinated response, which is I think is what’s needed.

MR. KEMPE:  And do you think that Article 5 should have been requested by the French and invoked?

GEN. JONES:  Well, it was after the attack on the trade center in New York, which the, I think, American people very much appreciated.  And we did have NATO AWACS flying over the continental United States.  And it also led to a greater international response in Afghanistan, which was a good thing.  So, yeah, I think that if the alliance is to be more credible in the 21st century, I think it has to be used in a more proactive way.  And the war on terror is one of those ways.

MR. KEMPE:  Let me turn next to Governor Huntsman.  Governor Huntsman, the Atlantic Council’s been working a lot on the notion of America in the world.  To what extent is this our problem, and to what extent is it not?  And so what – how do you take this on?  What’s the lesson of Paris?  Another part of this is, as we are in the middle of a presidential campaign, you heard President Erdogan yesterday, if I’m not mistaken, Secretary Clinton also spoke of a no-fly zone, spoke about potential boots on the ground.  How is this going to play into presidential and U.S. politics?

JON HUNTSMAN:  Well, thank you, Fred.  And for me, the quick answer to you is if I knew anything about the subject matter, I wouldn’t be sitting here I’d be out running for president.  So take whatever I say with a grain of salt. 

Here’s the challenge right now within presidential politics, at least on the Republican side.  Of course America has to play a role.  You can’t imagine the region settling down without a strong U.S. role and strong U.S. leadership.  You can’t imagine the ISIS situation being put to rest without a fix in Syria first.  You can’t imagine the region settling down without a stable government in Baghdad that’s able to fight and defend its territory. 

It’s how you articulate a strategy and a game plan for a very complicated region when you’re attending town hall meetings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and you’re hearing from the citizens who attend those town hall meetings, not what I heard four years ago which was what are you going to do about jobs and the economy?  What are you going to do about restoring manufacturing might in America?  But rather, this year they’re hearing, what are you going to do to protect us? 

And the easy answer for a politician isn’t to lay out a grand strategy, which puts people to sleep and, quite frankly, irritates a lot of the early activists.  It’s easier to say, oh, I’m just going to build a wall.  I’m just going to keep people out.  And you get a big applause line, and you go up in the polls.  So it’s how do you manage the very intricate political discussion around what needs to be done with respect to America’s role in the region, with the realities on the ground of knowing that the people who are about to turn out in a matter of weeks – not months, but now weeks – in Iowa, because we’re looking at early February for the Iowa caucus, and then a week or so later the New Hampshire primary, which is the first primary in America, and they’re both very different animals in terms of the turnout model and what the expectations are among the voting population.  How do you divorce the politics from the grand – from the grand strategy?  And that will be – that will be the balance that will have to be maintained at this early stage.

But I think the way things will play out more immediately, and we all thought that this would be an election cycle driven by foreign policy and national security.  And here we are, in it is in fact that very thing.  But we’ll have, in short order, you know, the Hillary Clinton response, trying to separate herself as much as possible from President Obama.  You’re going to have the GOP responses of the Republican candidates who are running.  And you’ll go from the isolationist approach that Donald Trump really has advocated.  He’s leading the polls.  It tells you something about how people are processing and interpreting and responding to his soundbites.  All the way to somebody like Governor Bush, who will be more methodical and thoughtful about the ideas that he lays out.

But interestingly, now beyond just the candidates, you’re now hearing state governors and state legislatures that are beginning to weigh in on international security issues by way of immigration.  Do we close our borders?  How do we screen and process people going forward?  There’s a fundamentally different and changed debate about immigration.  And how it all kind of plays out, I don’t know.  But it’s going to be a very, very prominent feature through this election cycle.

MR. KEMPE:  But it may focus more on immigration rather than forward defense, which is what General Hayden is talking about, or how do you think that will play out?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Well, I think – I think the immigration debate, first of all, has been sort of a nagging open-ended discussion for many years without any conclusive policy response.  But I think it also is an easy way of answering the international security issue.  We’ll just – we’ll just close the door, build a wall, and that will protect us in the meantime.  So and then, again, this is the challenge of trying to balance the detailed policy prescriptions with the need for an immediate political response that you can send out by way of Twitter.  So I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more about immigration, which is really a substitute or a proxy for what one ought to be doing about the Middle East more broadly.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  So I’m going to move to Europe now, and then from Europe to the region.  One of the great regional experts of the United States, born in Afghanistan.  And, by the next, next spring his book comes out.  I don’t know when you can start pre-ordering, but I’ve already taken a look at the galleys and they’re fantastic.  And then the minister of Afghanistan.  But let me go – first go to former Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio.  What does Paris –

ANA PALACIO:  Well, as a European citizen, it’s easy to just express pessimism, in particular of the European construction, to say, well, this is – this comes after the refugee crisis, in the middle – after the financial crisis.  And this is the unraveling of the European construction.  And of course, you can support – but they’re not arguing for that.  But I think that I will put forward three challenges that I think that, I mean, the terrible things that happen in Paris could help us address.

The first is internal, and it’s twofold.  We need to do pedagogy.  First and foremost – and this, by the way, it’s also true in United States – economic immigration is not refugee.  An economic immigrant is very different.  We have legal obligations because of the international global order that we contributed, but that you Americans led.  We have an obligation, a legal obligation, towards – of protection – of international protection to certain citizens.  This is not economic immigration.  We need to do pedagogy.  We need to explain that what – that we have this obligation.  By the way, with respect to immigrants, that we need them.  We are an aging society. 

The other internal challenge that I think there is an opportunity here is Schengen.  Schengen, of course, what we hear, is going to just break down.  Well, I think that the problem with Schengen was the control of our external borders.  And each man for himself, no member states wanted a common patrolling or common – or common security in these external borders.  And we have to make progress on this.  It reminds us of the conversation this morning about energy.  There is technology to track and trace everyone that crosses these borders.  We need to do that.

Second area, in external, I think Europeans have to understand that freedom doesn’t come for free, that we need to just beef up our armies, that we are not prepared.  And frankly, General Jones, I think that behind – and not the French government – but I think that behind not invoking Article 5 of NATO, there is also that.  Who is reliable in the European Union besides France and Great Britain, frankly?  This is the truth, and I’m very sad to say this because Spain, frankly, is not there.  I hope we will be.

Now, the other third challenge is with the – there is a great opportunity now to turn what have been the negotiations in bad faith with the accession of Turkey.  We really – there is here now this opportunity.  It’s not just that we need Turkey because of the refugees.  It’s we have to – the opportunity to a new start, opening chapters.  And I think this will happen.  Finally, we need Turkey to solve the refugee issue.  And once more, this addresses the United States, because we need to find a solution for this safe zone that was already invoked.  We need – and we need to find this solution hand-in-hand with Turkey because if not it will not happen.

So we are at a difficult juncture, but as – (inaudible) – said, and the commissioner yesterday just mentioned that, well, it’s in crisis that Europe has been built.  And I think that this one, which is a major one, will contribute to that.

MR. KEMPE:  Will it be a wake-up call for Europe?  President Erdogan yesterday – I don’t want to put words in his mouth – but the way I interpret it is Europe ignored this for too long.  This was coming.  Everyone could see it was coming, in terms of the migrant crisis.  This shows you can’t contain or ignore what’s going on in this region.  Is it a wake-up call and do European see it this way, or will it take more?

MS. PALACIO:  Well, if I maybe can be a little blunt, we in the south knew that.  Ask the Italian.  Ask Enrico Letta that launched the Mare Nostrum Project that was the rest of the Europeans, the Germans in the first place, did not want to fund with common funds.  So we knew – we knew.  The difference now is that this just wave of refugees that has been brutal and has affected countries that until now have not been affected by these drownings, by this.  You know, Spain was heavily criticized in the Union because of our security in Ceuta and Melilla, the two enclaves that we have in Africa. 

I mean, we have to come to terms.  And I think that this is a wake-up call because it’s a reality check.  That’s the real world.  And the truth of the matter is it affects everyone.  And now, for the first time, Germany’s on the demanding side of solidarity.  Until now, and being Spanish I am very grateful to all that we managed to do with the solidarity of the European Union, the Germans being in the first place.  Now, for the first time, the Germans really openly need this European solidarity.  So, you know, I’m optimistic.  This will go forward.  Just muddle through, but forward.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Ana. 

Minister Saba, no people have suffered more from extremism than the Afghan people.  No state has been more under threat.  When you see the events of the last week, how do you consume it from your position, both as an Afghan and as a member of the government?

MINISTER DAUD SABA:  Thank you, Fred.  First, because all my colleagues are not in the government, rather than me.  So let me make a disclaimer that what I say is not the view of my government, but myself as a citizen of an Islamic country who believes in Islam as the religion of peace and prosperity and a better life.

But let me come to the issue that you raised.  Definitely, there is no one nation on this planet that can feel better the pain of terrorism.  We have been terrorized in the past 14 years, and still it continues every day.  Our heart goes with the victims of Mali, Paris, Ankara, Kunduz – I can go back to reach 9/11, the victims of New York.  What I see is that, reacting to the situation right now, what you are seeing are the symptoms of a bigger problem that nobody wants to talk – or nobody’s interested.  And I, as a politician as well, you know, we politicians have short memories.  We just react to situation to feed the public what they’d like to see from us on a daily basis.

I think the problem is that we have created three worlds.  One is the world of prosperity.  You’ve got the cities, places they are living good.  They enjoy, which is good.  They deserve it.  The other world is the world of hope.  They are on a track to reach those societies that are very good, and it’s a model for everybody.  And there is a world of despair.  There is no hope.  But in ancient times, probably we didn’t have connections.  We were not on the Internet to see how the other worlds are living.  Now every young guy in Kabul or in Mali or in Nigeria, they are connected.  They know what’s going on in the other side of the oceans.  And they think it.  So that’s one issue that I would like to say.

The other one is coming back to 9/11, what happened after that.  I would like to point out this:  The reaction from the world was very good at that time.  The people of Afghanistan needed help, and we got that help.  We are very grateful for the solidarity of the international community.  But did we really address the issue of terrorism?  Did we even touch the surface of sanctuaries of terrorist groups which are living – and still they are in place – close to Afghanistan?  My answer is no. 

Look at what happened to al-Qaida when their leader was killed?  We knew about it.  We know the leaders of the Taliban.  Is there a good and bad terrorist group?  They are all terrorists.  They are killing Afghans every day.  They are killing our – killing our children, our women, the elderly, every day.  If you look at what happened in Kunduz, it was like hell.  But nobody talked about it.  I’m not saying that we should have cried, all of us, but these are problems – these are real problems that need to be addressed. 

Now, I have what I – what I expect and what I see as a citizen of countries who live in despair, I would like to see the world – the leadership of the world to look at the root causes of terrorism.  There’s one thing, which is poverty.  The other thing is – that nobody wants to talk – that still terrorism is viewed in certain countries, very few of them, as tools of their foreign policy.  And we are suffering from that.  Afghanistan is a victim of that.  Is there anybody to talk about it and deal with it? 

After 9/11, we were very hopeful that now the world will deal with those countries who have been using this as a tool, promoting terrorism, promoting fundamentalism.  At one point it was good, but later on we forgot about it.  And we left it to itself.  And it’s generating these ideologies and get the funding.  If I sent couple of thousand dollars to an account, it will be tracked.  But I wonder how could hundreds of millions of dollars are being sent to different corners of the world to support terrorism, but nobody notices it?

We, as a government, we have a difficult time to support our police.  I was also a governor in a province in Afghanistan.  We had a difficult time to give enough monies to our police to fight.  And I was always wondering, how could these terrorist groups get all these beautiful, brand-new armaments and lots of bullets and money and vehicles – and brand-new vehicles?  How could they do it?  These are questions that has to be answered. 

And I think, again, the world and all leaders have an opportunity to look at terrorism as a bad thing.  And we cannot hide behind walls.  With due respect, immigration policies, putting walls around countries doesn’t help.  You cannot hide from this.  We have to deal with it.  Thank you. 

MR. KEMPE:  Mr. Minister, a quick follow-up.  Governor Huntsman has talked about how difficult it is in the American political system to insert strategy.  That being said, it is the purpose of the Atlantic Council, and the purpose of people in this room coming together, to think about what strategy ought to be.  So if you look at the three worlds you’re talking about, which I thought was a very good way of looking at it, and particularly the worlds of hope and the worlds of despair, what do you most need from the West?  What is – you know, if all the things we’re talking about – you know, no-fly zones and delivering weapons and providing education – you know, if you were to draw up the strategy and have five minutes with President Obama and tell him what you most need from him, what is it?

MIN. SABA:  Well, I think one thing is to move away from these short-term policies of dealing with the symptom and then leave it for itself.  Look at Afghanistan today.  Is Afghanistan even talked about?  We are still struggling with terrorism.  Do you know what will happen if, god forbid, Afghanistan falls back in the hands of terrorist groups?  Nobody’s paying attention to that.  I think it’s the continuation of dealing with terrorism.  No matter how much time it takes, no matter how much resources it takes.  I know there are resource limitations everywhere in economies.  And Europe is one.  Europeans, they were always, you know, shying away from engaging in these issues, with their full, you know, power and support.  I think everybody on this planet, including in this world of despair, needs to engage more, and continue engaging until we get rid of terrorism once and for good.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Zalamy – Ambassador Khalilzad, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya.  In the year since we’ve come here, a lot of things haven’t gone in the right direction.  Now, something like Paris happens, focuses a little bit more of the mind of the transatlantic world.  What does it change?  And what should it change?

ZALAMY KHALILZAD:  Well, thank you, Fred.  And thanks for that plug about my book.  I appreciate it. 

Well, I think the way to think about it is that more attacks are coming because this region that you talked about is going through a fundamental crisis.  To some extent, it is like what Europe was, this region, with its own characteristics in the first half of the 20th century.  It is the source of most urgent problem or crisis in the world.  And the reason for this crisis, particularly in the Arab part, is because at one time this region was a great region, it was functioning, it was on the march, and the it has declined.  And there has been a struggle in the Arab world for dozens of years about what the problem is, why decline, and what the answer is to overcome the decline.

 And one answer from this competition of ideas has been Islamic extremism as the answer, that we need to go back to the period immediately after the prophet.  And defining that period in a – in an exclusive, inward-looking, and not an open way, and blaming the problems on the West of Islam or of the Arab world, and lashing out not only in the region but against others.  I think until this region normalizes, it becomes a functioning region, this – we will have this challenge.  The names will change, but the problem will remain. 

When I was in Iraq we had al-Qaida in Iraq.  We had al-Qaida when we – before we went to Afghanistan.  Daesh is the son of al-Qaida in Iraq.  These are some of the same people who were doing that.  We tactically defeated – we were able to, in my view, with some of the recommendations that General Jones and others have talked about, this going on the offense, but also doing defense.  We could shrink it.  We could defeat it.  But something else will emerge with a new name, because of this crisis. 

So I think what’s required is that we defend ourselves.  And defense – short-term defense, long-term defense is necessary.  But also going on the offense, as was mentioned.  But we need to have a long-term complicated, Governor Huntsman showed, grand strategy of how do we work with the right people in the region, with our allies, and with others to normalize this region?  In fact, I would argue that the region needs a kind of Westphalia agreement as not only it’s an internal dysfunctioning that is occurring in several of these countries, but also there is a proxy war that’s going on among the region states – the key regional states. 

And unless those regional states come to an agreement among themselves about the future of this region, and then they help the internals come to some sort of mutual acceptance of Shia, Sunni Muslims, of each other, and what’s the right order that can function.  We will have to defend ourselves, there is no doubt, but we would have to find ways and mechanisms to cook with while defending ourselves, but encouraging a kind of Westphalia-type agreement that allows for mutual acceptance, mutual accommodation on ethnic basis, which is one fault line, which is on sectarian basis, which is another fault line, to political rivalry, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia Arabs, that is – that can lead to order, stability and security, and from hopelessness to hopefulness, that the minister talked about.

I don’t think it’s impossible.  I mean, it looks very daunting right now.  We have had other regions that were dysfunctional that become functional.  I’m not talking only about Europe.  I’m talking about Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War, where there was the concern about the dominos, more conflict.  But with the international help, the locals rose to the occasion.  What’s missing here is that locals are not rising, in a sense, to the occasion because of the conflicts.  It needs more of an international effort, that’s is why the U.S. leadership role is so important, to bring an international coalition not only to deal with the urgent issue of ISIS, which we must, but also to have a longer-term strategy. 

We tend to be good to respond to threats.  We are not as good as we should be, we used to be, in shaping things for the longer-term.  And I think we need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, to defend and respond to the immediate threat, but also to have a longer-term shaping strategy that will require a coalition, resources, commitment persistence that has been lacking, especially in recent times.

MR. KEMPE:  Let me – let me capture that idea, because I think it’s an important idea.  The Atlantic Council often talks about how we’re in a defining moment.  But we look at the end of World War I, the end of the World War II, the end of the Cold War.  You’re actually going back to 1648 and the Treaty of Westphalia.  So in many ways, you’re saying that the Middle East has to go back to that point, Treaty of Westphalia, and maybe to 1815, Congress of Vienna, so the two of them together.  And a very short question, short answer for this:  Doesn’t that require Saudi Arabia and Iran, above all, to have a rapprochement?

MR. KHALILZAD:  Well, absolutely.  It requires – as I said, at the very basic level of the Shia and Sunnis to accept that they’re equally good Muslims.  You can’t believe that the Shia are not good Muslims, they are worse than the non-believers, and yet you think you can have accommodation, where they have to go to that very basic level.  And then to have a forum – maybe the Atlantic Council can play a role in convening think tanks from these countries that are rivals to start the dialogue about what it is that an order might look like, besides mutual acceptance, rights of minorities, rights of ethnic groups. 

Maybe things have to get worse, I’m sorry to say that, before they come to that point.  Whether they have come to that point because of what we see in Syria or in Yemen or in Lebanon or in Libya – whether they have come to that point.  But at least, we need to think about how to shape things in the direction where they would have to then come to mutual acceptance and negotiate.  Because absent that, we would have to be in this business of responding to threats from this area for some time to come.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Zalamy.  And I must say, it’s sobering to remember that the Treaty of Westphalia followed the 30 Years’ War.  And so the real question is, can we come to this conclusion without a 30-years’ war? 

So let me – let me go the audience and get in some questions and comments.  I wouldn’t mind, if Esther wouldn’t mind, if I can go to Esther Brimmer first.  And, John (sp), I see you too.  So we’ll come to you next, and then I’ll try to pick up as many questions as possible.  Esther may have a question, but I also would like her to comment a bit because before she went into government – you may want to share it with people what your job was – your big pre-government project was a homeland security in France initiative.  So you may want to comment from that standpoint.

Q:  Well, first, thank you for the Atlantic Council for putting together this lunch discussion.  And thank you to the panelists who bring such wisdom and range of expertise on short notice to this event.  If I may comment just in three areas.  The first is – again my name is Esther Brimmer.  I’m honored to serve as a member of the Atlantic Council Board.  Currently at George Washington University, but three times at the State Department as well, and previously working on a U.S.-French project on looking at rethinking homeland security.

The first area is to take up this homeland security point, and to say that do we not need to make sure we are reaching out to the communities that could be part of the solution?  And of course, one of my concerns is that as we talk about where we are on the goal line – I’m also a former soccer player – that we actually need to have all players on the field, and that ultimately the question of redefining tolerance in Western societies, and in this community, has to be about engaging on basic values and inclusion.  And we need to make sure we continue to defend the values we share, and that we don’t lose sight of that in this conversation about the way forward, and that when we think about homeland security and our societies, we do need to make sure we’re engaging into our civic communities and national communities, and as well as our immigrant communities, to be part of the solution.  So I think that’s important to say.

The second is to follow on General Jones’ comment.  I too also was intrigued, indeed, that Article 5 was not invoked in the NATO situation, and to ask – not surprised we haven’t spent time worrying about international organizations – what role we think the Security Council might play.  It looks like there may be a passage of a resolution this weekend based on the French draft.  We’ll have to see what happens, but that does include, we think, according to news reports, something that says all necessary means.  We want to think what role could be played by the Security Council – which does, of course, include Russia, which has been a serious problem in all this issue as well.

And finally, the question maybe because I’m married to a historian, but which analogy – and I think we are talking about 17th century Europe and the breakdown of the state society, as Ambassador Khalilzad discussed.  And I would say that, yes, I think there is a role for opening the dialogue about what is the transition in this region where we see the failure of the modern state.  And how do we foster those dialogues?  And I would echo and reinforce your comment about the role of foundations, universities, and others in the dialogue in this region about the future of political order.  Thank you.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  On the U.N. question, we have a former ambassador to the United Nations.  Maybe you can handle this, Zalamy.  And I don’t know who will want to deal – maybe Minister Saba – on the question of the failure of the modern state and the question of dealing with that.  Please.

MR. KHALILZAD:  Well, the U.N. – of course, the Security Council is the relevant institution in this regard.  And people often in the United States are exasperated about the U.N. not being more effective in this regard.  And although I represented a Republican administration, I appreciated myself the role of the United Nation.  A lot of my friends were much more skeptical than I, because I think when we have an agreement among the P5, then the U.N. can – has a lot of cards to play in the Security Council.  And when we don’t, then the Security Council – the U.N. is essentially deadlocked. 

So if there is an agreement, as was alluded by the Security Council, depending on what the resolution says, it could bring the key powers together.  And I believe for the immediate future there may be more of an opportunity among the big powers – Western power, as well as Russia and China, to come together.  And that is necessary before we can bring the regionals and the internals together in Syria.  I think the gap between the regional players is wider than the gap between the big powers from outside.  And I think the gap internally in Syria is even wider than that between the regional powers. 

So the way I would look at it, and this could be a hopeful opening if in fact true, if we could get a big-power agreement, and each of us then bring our regional friends to a reasonable point, and then they work on the internal gap – there’s no promising.  It doesn’t mean it’s very likely that this will work, but it has better prospects and needs to be tested than some alternative way of starting with the internals, or with the regionals.  I think the gap there is – in those two cases, is very wide.

MR. KEMPE:  And the Russian veto goes away in this situation as well.


MR. KEMPE:  Minister Saba – and I thank all of the speakers for keeping their comments so short because it means we can get to more.  So, Minister Saba.

MIN. SABA:  I’ll be very short.  I think what we see, for example, in Afghanistan, at this point the United Nations having a very useful role in the country to bring everybody together and make sure that they respond to the needs of the country.  But what I see is bureaucracies do not respond as quick as the needs are emerging in these countries.  And United Nations itself is a very complicated bureaucracy that’s not responding on time and very efficiently.  I agree with Ambassador Khalilzad that here the big powers – I emphasize, the leadership of United States is very critical at this juncture.  And what I suggest is they should go for a long-term view of how they would – how we engage in these quick withdrawals from the region is not helpful.  Thank you.

MR. KEMPE:  So I’m going to try to pick up two or three questions because I think we’re in the final round now.  So let me pick up who I’ve seen.  I see one here, one here, and over there.  So we’ve got four – let me pick them up – five?  If we could go less than 30 seconds on each of the questions, please.

Q:  Very quickly:  football field, analogy, brilliant.  Problem, it’s not in the field just, it’s also in the terraces.  The terrorists that we’ve had in many cases have been homegrown.  How do we tackle the question of putting teachers into schools to prevent demonization of, for want of a better phrase, good Muslims who are amongst our communities at home?  And also to promote something that’s extraordinarily difficult, we had the word that al-Qaida was centralized and ISIS is not.  But Islam in general is decentralized.  There is, with the exception of the Shiites, essentially no church, no organization, no structure.  How do we promote the right kind of message from imams in schools, in madrassas, in European countries, or countries that are not traditionally Muslim but now have large Muslim communities, so that we do teaching in schools, teaching, education, as well as boots on the ground to resolve the problem in the field?

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  And if I’m not mistaken, John Roberts (sp), right?  And if you could identify yourself as you ask your question.  Ariel, as well.

Q:  Ariel Cohen, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.  An excellent panel.  Thank you very much.

The question about the Russian role.  President Putin is doing his best to break out of international isolation and dilute and get out of the sanctions regime using ISIS as a pretext.  The question is that of sequencing.  While the sanctions will not be here in perpetuity, but can we really embrace Russia as a partner in this conflict before we have a clearer pathway of understanding and a road map for the conclusion of the Ukrainian conflict? 

And a secondary question if I may, real quick –

MR. KEMPE:  We’re running out of time, so –

Q:  Is this an opportunity also to convey a message to both the Sunni world and the Shia world that Israel has to be a part of a solution and be recognized and treated as equal, and not as a pariah, as we’re moving along in a broader Middle Eastern context?  Thank you very much.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Ariel.

And for the last two, we’re almost out of time, so I want to go back to the panel.  So very quick question, one question each, please.

Q:  Glenn (sp) – (inaudible) – Harvey (sp).

My background is intelligence.  Isn’t a fact that the Edward Snowden revelations helped the various terrorists in their operation but, if anything, there is a vindication.  We have seen what the DGSE, the French intelligence services, were able to do so rapidly.  So this, as I say, would the panel agree is a vindication of what the intelligence and security services are doing is working?

MR. KEMPE:  I think General Hayden will really like to answer that question.  I’m going to go to the last question, right here.  Oh, I’m sorry, two more questions.  Yeah.

Q:  (Inaudible) – from the Iraq Energy Institute.

 ISIS controls one-third of two countries, has a territory larger than Austria, with a population around 5 to 6 million.  Now, they need around 170,000 barrels of oil to fuel their economy and energy.  I would benchmark it with Jordan.  The production levels between Iraq and Syria, according to confirmed reports, can hardly exceed 40,000 barrels.  With rudimentary and basic refining capacity, they can hardly meet 20 percent of the local demand.  Now, many reports that I would take with a pinch of salt claims that they aren’t only meeting local demands, they even make billions of dollars in profits, et cetera, et cetera.  I learned about this 18 months ago, and there is a proof that they didn’t make a profit for three months only, but not after October last year.  Who funds and sponsors ISIS?

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Matt Bryza.

Q:  Matt Bryza from the Atlantic Council.

I’m sure everyone in this room agrees that terrorism and Islam have nothing to do with each other.  I say that married to a Muslim.  I know that.  Yet, the terrorists hijack some of the ideas, us the phraseology.  What role is there – is there any role the West can play in demarcating between the two, between the ideology and the religion?  Is it appropriate for the West to play a role?  And can we find those partners?  Thanks.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Matt.

So each of you has heard the questions.  I’m going to go in the order that I started with you and you can pick which part of this you want to pick.  And General Hayden, I think someone served you up a softball.

GEN. HAYDEN:  Yes.  The Snowden revelations were incredibly destructive.  It’s the greatest hemorrhaging of legitimate American, Australian, and British secrets in history.  It had – it had profound effect on the ability of these regulated intelligence services in the service of democracies to actually do their job to keep their people, their nations safe.  And we’re now seeing, I think, a bit of a recalibration after Paris as to what the real costs to these revelations might have been.

MR. KEMPE:  And can you – can you – would you take a stab at who is supporting, sponsoring ISIS?

GEN. HAYDEN:  Sure.  Again, doing the kind of yin and yang between ISIS and al-Qaida, al-Qaida was more dependent upon external almsgiving – and I’m putting almsgiving in quotes here – but that’s the cover story by which people, particularly in the Gulf but globally, were able to contribute to al-Qaida.  ISIS is a bit more self-sustaining, self-funding.  Number one, the best intelligence suggests they do make money from the sale of oil and other commodities, including antiquities, OK?  Number two, they really did rob a really big bank in Mosul, and they have an awful lot of funds from that.  And finally, they’re a state.  They tax.  They actually extract wealth from the territory they govern.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  General Jones, you can pick whatever you want of that, but I think in particular look at the Russia question.

 GEN. JONES:  Yeah.  On Russia, I think one man knows the answer to that question, and that’s Vladimir Putin.  I don’t – I think, you know, Russia’s thinking is more opportunistic than strategic.  But nonetheless, it’s – from Crimea to Ukraine, and now in Syria, I think there is potential there, but it’s not clear as to exactly what the grand design is.  But let’s hope for the best.  But I think the solution in that region to the conflict that’s going on for the moment has at least been complicated by the Russian presence.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Governor Huntsman.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  I’m not sure which one to take, so let me just take a stab at sort of differentiating Islam and terrorism.  And I’m convinced personally that the Muslim world itself has got some problem solving to do within the family.  And I think that’s probably the first order of business before it can have any kind of unified message that it presents to the world.  Second of all, listen, the fear factor is a huge political motivator.  And so long as people are killing themselves in the name of religion, this is going to be a big problem.  And I think we have to achieve a period of calm before the American people, or indeed the people of the world who are directly impacted, begin to settle down a little bit. 

And then we’re going to have to have, just as we did in the aftermath of World War II, after a period of calm, the violence has stopped, the war is over, promoting understanding and changes through leadership and through renewed institutions and organizations that could begin to rebuild and heal, and provide trust – which is the one indispensable lubricant which should exist, but doesn’t.  And I hate to say it, but in today’s environment that trust is almost impossible achieve, that sense of deeper understanding.  I think we’re in for a while before we can begin to take the necessary steps.

MR. KEMPE:  Just very briefly, do you like the idea that’s being talked about here, with your sense of strategy, of big powers trying to push along a sort of Treaty of Westphalia/Congress of Vienna for the region?  Is this where we have to go?  Do we need even bigger ideas?  Or is that just beyond us?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  I think the big ideas in today’s political world are very, very difficult to pull together.  The Treaty of Westphalia was a different time, different players, a different environment.  I do think that American leadership around a strategy, a leader who walks the American people through a plan – and I am speaking singularly as an American now – the rebuilding of trust in the region, institutions that are strengthen on a bilateral basis, on a multilateral basis, security that’s built for the longer term which we just don’t’ have today, economic opportunity that begins to take root. 

Listen, the recent regional order has been dismantled, that has existed since the end of the Ottoman Empire.  It’s how you begin to rebuild those component parts.  I think the outcome is going to look different.  I’m not sure that a Westphalia model is necessarily going to be the answer.  I think it’s going to be just more tough, tactical work on a bilateral, multilateral basis.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, sir.  Ana.

MS. PALACIO:  Well, first, it’s not just the intelligence.  France has given us a lesson of courage, decisiveness, and just the authorities – the government first, but police leading the French people.  So I think that this is heartening.

Now, on the limitations and schools, I think that for us – we are rule of law countries.  We need to establish a clear legal framework.  We haven’t, for many different reasons.  I think we are.  And once more, the French are leading.  The French are establishing rules and preparing rules to clarify certain gray areas.  But let’s go back to what I think it was you who said that it starts with the family.  I think that we have to call upon the Muslim communities in our countries.  It’s not just us versus them, because there is no us versus them.  They have to come together and just make sure that these imams – if not, it won’t work – that these schools are just in accordance to our rule of law.

I think that today, unfortunately, there are no-go zones.  We have – I mean, you have learned, I know that, but you have learned that there are no-go zones not just in some country somewhere lost in the world, no, in Brussels, in the heart there are no-go zones.  We cannot – we cannot accept that.  And these are wrong for the authorities, these are wrong for the rule of law.  But in my country, it says that frankly the key road is for the Muslim communities.  The Muslim communities work together with the rest of the European community to tackle these issues.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Minister Saba.

MIN. SABA:  Well, I’ll be very short.  I think more than billions of – billion of people live on Earth that are believers of Islam.  And they are split over many, many countries.  If you look at these countries, all of them have good lives and they want to be like the rest of the world.  They are part of the rest of the world.  There is no differentiation between any Muslim living in Turkey or any European.  I think the same, and they have the same aspiration.

Among all these Islamic countries, there are three countries that are claiming to be the custodians of Islamic values.  Two of them on the frontline of Shia and Sunni.  The other one on the frontline of Hindu-Muslim.  We have to look at these three countries and see how we could change their view of the world, and their role in the world, and again emphasize by two things – stronger engagement of the world leadership, and also more hope to the countries in the world that are living in despair.  And those world are not part of these three countries.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Mr. Saba.  Thank you for your wisdom and representing one of the countries that is so most threatened by all of this.  Thank you so much.  And you know, the Atlantic Council’s doing everything it can right now, because I think you’re in a very promising situation, as well as a dangerous situation.  We wish you the rest.

Zalamy, if you could close in the next 30 seconds or so.

MR. KHALILZAD:  All right.  First, I think the Russian equation that it would be desirable if we could, as the United States leading with the West, take the responsibility for order in this region.  But that’s, I believe, unlikely, given where we are.  I think U.S. leadership is important, and Russia has dealt itself in Syria.  So in any settlement, they will have to play a role.  And I think that is the – for ending the conflicts in Syria and in Iraq, which is the necessary first steps for the longer-term normalization of the region that I talked about, willy-nilly Russia does play a role.  And I believe Russia has concerns, fears, and feels threatened by Islamic extremism and by terror.  And maybe we could test that proposition.  It is a proposition worth, in my view, testing.

Now, on the issue of IS, I believe that they’re losing ground in Syria and in Iraq.  They’ve got less – 25 to 30 percent less territory than they did a year ago.  And as they become more under pressure, I expect that they will lash out, try to do more attacks in the West.  And that – but we have to learn from the experience of dealing with al-Qaida – with all the experience of dealing with al-Qaida in Iraq, that – to have a longer-term perspective, that unless we deal with the underlying issues that make this region dysfunctional, that we will have this problem –as almost a permanent problem, it will become the new normal that we will face these challenges. 

And that while peace in Iraq, peace in Syria are building blocks, a bigger strategy – a grand strategy for a functional effort for normalizing this region is the task at hand in the immediate future.  Westphalia is one model.  ASEAN is another model.  Europe, what happened, is another potential model.  And this region could set its own model of how to become normalized.  But facilitating a dialogue and mutual accommodating among the major players in this region, in my view, is both the necessary precondition for normalizing the region – although it may not be sufficient until the internal changes also take place – but we need to – this is the task at hand, I think, from a security point of view for – although Europe has the three problems of internal, the east, and the south – the south is terribly urgent, and for the rest of the world as well.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Zalamy.  Before I thank the panel, and our additional member of the panel, Esther, from the audience, three quick announcements.  The next sessions do start at two.  Please do rush there.  Gulf and Global Energy Supplies next door in Ballroom 3.  Southern Gas Corridor located in the Tarabya Room, which is just upstairs.  And then 5:00 p.m., very important, Deputy Secretary Antony Blinken in Ballroom 3.  It’s very important you come to that.  He’s got an important message both on American foreign and energy policy, obviously post-Paris, to I think augment this.  Put in your calendars for next year, November 16th to 18th we’ll be back here again, hopefully in a better world.  Our thoughts are with the hostages in Mali.

Thank you so much for coming to this lunch, and thank you to the panelists.  (Applause.)