DAVID MCKEAN: Good evening. I'm David McKean, CEO of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation. And on behalf of my colleagues at the Library and the Library Foundation, I want to thank you for coming. I'm pleased to acknowledge the underwriters of the Kennedy Library Forums, including lead sponsor, Bank of America, as well as Boston Capital, the Lowell Institute, the Corcoran Jennison Companies, and the Boston Foundation. Our media sponsors are The Boston Globe, WBUR, and the New England News Cable Network.
We are extremely fortunate tonight to have with us the Right Honorable David Miliband, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. David Miliband is a graduate of Oxford University and holds a masters degree in political science from MIT where he was a Kennedy Scholar. This scholarship, incidentally, was created as a memorial to President Kennedy. It's enormously prestigious. I've seen it described as a Rhodes Scholarship in reverse.
Tomorrow, the Foreign Secretary is scheduled to deliver the Compton Lecture at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Compton Lectureship was established in 1955 to bring to the MIT campus some of the great minds of the world scene. A further stipulation was that the lecturer should be, “Men of Broad Horizons.” And that would seem to be a pretty good description of David Miliband. In 2001, he was elected a member of Parliament from South Shields. Since that time, he has enjoyed a meteoric rise in British politics. In 2002, he was appointed Minister of State for Schools; two years later, he was appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office; in 2005, he became Minister of Communities and Local Government. And in 2007, he was Secretary of State at the Department of Food, Environment, and Rural Affairs. He's been Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since 2007.
During his time as Foreign Secretary, he has spoken out on the importance of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, given Europe new direction through his work on the Lisbon
Treaty, and maintained the historically close relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. And by the way, his partner in the latter endeavor, the British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, is here with us tonight. [applause]
Next, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Senator John Kerry, who is not here at the moment, but he is en route from Washington. He is the Senior Senator from Massachusetts and the current Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. A graduate of Yale University, he volunteered to serve in Vietnam and was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. First elected to the Senate in 1984, he is currently serving his fifth term. From his groundbreaking work on the Iran Contra Scandal to his leadership on global AIDS, Senator Kerry has distinguished himself as one of our nation's most respected voices on national security and international affairs.
He has worked on a bipartisan basis to craft the American response to 9/11 and has been a leading voice on counterterrorism and Middle East politics and peacemaking. And I just have to mention that I worked for Senator Kerry for 15 years, almost a decade as his Chief of Staff. And during that time that I was Chief of Staff, he was never late to anything. [laughter] In all seriousness, he has just finished meeting with President Obama on energy and climate change. And as you know, he's been a leader on that in the Senate. So we do expect him about halfway through this.
Our moderator tonight is Kevin Cullen. Kevin has been a reporter for the Boston Globe for 25 years. In 1995, he was awarded the Citation of Excellence by the Overseas Press Club of America for interpretive reporting in Northern Ireland. In 1997 to 1998, he was the Globe’s bureau chief in Dublin. He then moved to London to serve as the paper's chief European correspondent covering the war in the former Yugoslavia. In 2001, he returned to Boston and joined the Globe’s investigative team that broke open the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, for which the Boston Globe received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
A Boston native, he graduated from the University of Massachusetts, attended Trinity College in Dublin, and was a 2003 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. So please join me in welcoming Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Kevin Cullen. Thanks very much. [applause]
KEVIN CULLEN: I first met David Miliband 11 years ago. I was introduced to him when he was the head of the policy unit for Prime Minister Tony Blair by my old pal, Alistair Campbell, who's the press spokesman for Tony Blair. And I was struck by his age, which was relatively young at the time. And when I made this remark after David had left, Alistair said, “We call him Brains.” Being a journalist, I just assumed it was a reference to a certain beer brewed in Cardiff, but it turned out to be a character from the Thunderbirds. And if I had to explain what the Thunderbirds is I don't think we‟d get to any questions. Minister, I think a lot of people in this audience have a general idea of what our Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, does because they see her on television and they read about her in the newspaper. I think you probably have a slightly different portfolio, a different job than Mrs. Clinton. Maybe you could explain that?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Well, thank you, Kevin, and thank you to the audience, very distinguished audience, for coming tonight. Obviously, in the British political system, a parliamentary system, the Foreign Secretary is also a member of Parliament. So I have a dual role. If I wasn't a member of Parliament for South Shields, I couldn't be the Foreign Secretary. And so I have parliamentary and constituency responsibilities associated with that. But if you're the foreign minister of a medium sized power, or a member of the Security Council, I suppose you're right, that one does have a different set of responsibilities than Secretary Clinton. I think she's described herself as America's chief diplomat. And maybe the best way of answering your question, and also finding a link to the remarkable institution in which we are meeting, is to talk a bit about foreign policy as dealing with issues of power. Because in the end, that's what foreign policy is about. And if I think about how I spend my time, which is not a bad way of thinking about your question, I spend my time on three sets of issues.
First of all, thinking about countries where there's an absence of power, an absence of state power -- I'm thinking about countries like Afghanistan or Somalia or Yemen, countries where the absence of sufficient legitimate state power creates instability, sometimes safe havens for terrorism. And certainly when I think about the work I do with my defense and development colleagues -- those places often combining poverty with insecurity -- that's a very significant theme of the work I do.
The second set of issues I deal with are not countries where there's the absence of power, but where government is too strong -- government can be too strong, both in respect to its own people, can abuse the human rights of its own people, and that's something that calls on governments like mine to act, yours, too, but also where governments are strong enough to challenge the international system. There is a lot of discussion rightly at the moment about the Iranian nuclear program. That is a fundamental challenge to the international matrix of responsibilities and treaties, notably the nonproliferation treaty.
And so there, you've got a strong government, as it happens abusing its own people as well, but challenging the international system.
The third set of issues or countries I deal with are those where we are seeking to generate a global public goods, where we're seeking to address risks and exploit opportunities. I'm thinking about issues like climate change, issues like trade, issues like development.
Now, what's interesting, when I knew I was coming here, I went back to President Kennedy's inauguration speech. He talks about a new world of law where the strong are just, the weak secure and the peace preserved. And actually, if you think about it, places where the weak are secure, that's what I'm spending my time on, in the ungoverned spaces. Where the strong are just, that is about the responsibilities of strong nations and strong governments to their own people and to the international system. And the peace preserved is a metaphor for the pursuit of sustainability, security, prosperity at a regional or at a global level. In the European Union, obviously we are quite an integrated set of countries.
And so my job is to be a policymaker, to be a debate leader, to be an executive for a country that has got 261 diplomatic missions around the world, which is a member of the Security Council, which is a member, obviously, of the European Union and NATO, and also a member of the Commonwealth. And we try to use those networks to address the three types of issues that are raised in those three kinds of places.
KEVIN CULLEN: You mention the challenges facing weak governments, particularly weak central governments. I guess Afghanistan would be the most obvious example. And I think you've spoken about the need -- there's a military surge there -- but there's a need for a political surge as well. From your perspective, is the Karzai government really doing what it needs to do to create dialogue with the Taliban, to create a political surge?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: The front page of The Guardian newspaper tomorrow suggests that I think it doesn‟t.
KEVIN CULLEN: The Guardian’s never wrong. [laughter]
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Well, yeah. [laughter] I'm not sure about that. I'm making a speech tomorrow where I'm going to say that now is the time for the Karzai government to pursue a political settlement with the same vigor with which we are pursuing military and civilian effect. Because the truth about an insurgency and a counterinsurgency -- and we are fighting a counterinsurgency -- the truth about a counterinsurgency is that it's never ended militarily, it's only ended politically. But the purpose of military and civilian effect is to create the conditions in which a political settlement is possible.
Now, for those parts of the insurgency that are linked to al-Qaeda, that are unwilling to accept the constitution of Afghanistan, there isn't a political settlement. And it's vital that we build up the institutions of Afghan security capacity and civilian capacity to withstand that insurgency. But the truth about the political settlement in Afghanistan is that it's unbalanced. It's too centralized in a notoriously decentralized country. And it's not representative, sufficiently representative, above all for those Pashtun communities in the south and the east of the country from whom the Taliban draw their strength.
And I think it's very, very important that we make the case -- certainly if you're in the diplomatic world or in diplomatic service -- you've got to make the case that in the end, politics has got to be the basis on which countries like Afghanistan find a way of living in such a way that isn't a threat to us. Now, sometimes people think that a political surge is an alternative to a military effort. And I'm afraid that's not the case. It would be nice to think that it was such, but it's not. If there wasn't a significant international complement from 43 countries -- notably yours, but also ours -- in Afghanistan that I'm afraid there's no question that the Afghan security forces would have been rolled over, that the incubator for al-Qaeda would have been recreated, and the country of 170 million people next door -- Pakistan, a nuclear weapon state -- would be significantly destabilized.
So it's not a matter of saying that you can have the politics without the military effort. But the military effort of our combat troops is not a permanent phenomenon, it's a temporary phenomenon while we build up Afghan security capacity and while they develop a political framework that's able to balance the different tribal and other ethnic issues in that country.
KEVIN CULLEN: Now, yesterday you were in London testifying before the Chilcot inquiry. And I'm hoping you could explain what that is to the audience. But the question I have for you is with so much looking back and sort of trying to figure out what went right and what went wrong, particularly what went wrong in Iraq in Britain's policy there, does that make it harder or easier as Britain drafts policy for Afghanistan?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: I think that the difficulties in Iraq and the mistakes in Iraq after the initial military phase, the successful military phase, have introduced a great degree of caution right around the world about what was called liberal internationalism, liberal interventionism. There is a sense -- I think a probably welcome sense -- that there should be humility and huge care in the deployment of military force. Funnily enough, or ironically enough, Tony Blair's 1999 Chicago speech which set out what he called the Doctrine of International Community, set very strict conditions under which, I think that not least because of the losses that have occurred among our own troops and yours, there's a caution.
But I said to the Chilcot Committee -- this is a committee that's been set up by the government – to learn the lessons for the British government of the Iraq affair: how we make decisions, what works and what doesn't work. And I said, “But amongst all the lessons they had to learn, they had to beware that we didn't learn the wrong lessons.” And the worst lesson of all would be that in the modern world any country can opt out of the big debates about other people's security, prosperity and sustainability because the truth about the interdependent world in which we live is that even for a country as great as yours, as large and rich as yours, the rest of the world's problems can come crashing in and affect you. And certainly for a country like us, a medium sized power on the edge of Europe, we feel ourselves strongly to be part of an interlinked economic, social security system where the problems in one part of the world -- whether economic or security -- can affect us very quickly.
And I think that there's a real issue for those of us who are internationalists to our core, about whether in democratic societies like ours we can win the case for the sort of internationalism that is necessary to govern the chaotic planet on which we live. Because the governance of the modern world does require stronger international institutions, not weaker ones. It requires stronger international treaties, not weaker ones. It requires stronger regional institutions, not weaker ones. And all of those issues raise questions about the sharing of power and the sharing of sovereignty; they're profoundly difficult in democratic societies.
But I think that one of my jobs is to make the case for that kind of internationalism, and notwithstanding all of the arguments about the war in Iraq, which was hugely divisive in my country, as well as in yours. It was divisive within parties, as well as between them. I think that the balance sheet on Iraq now is a balanced one and the Iraqi elections on Sunday were actually a remarkable event. I mean, a relatively pluralist society and a relatively democratic one emerging in the middle of the Middle East, the only other country which has anything like the elections that Iraq has would be Lebanon, I think.
That is a remarkable event.
Equally on the other side of the balance sheet, the death and the destruction has been on a very, very large scale and it's very, very important that that is not ignored or swept under the carpet in any way. But I think the worst lesson would be to say the world is just so complex and so difficult that we're better off opting out of engagement. And obviously, the military engagement is the last resort. But issues in respect of development and trade and political engagement with countries around the world also raise very difficult questions. But I think if countries like ours, and certainly yours, if we start turning our back on that -- I suppose what you'd call the opportunities of globalization -- we will become much, much poorer for that in all senses of the term.
KEVIN CULLEN: Now, in Belfast today there was a moment of, I guess, political triumph that involved obviously your government, the Irish government and an assist from the American government in the guise of George Mitchell. Powers involving policing and justice were devolved from Westminster to the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast, and that's obviously a welcome day, and all that. But I'm wondering how much you think in having particularly your government and how much time Prime Minster Blair spent on this very issue, how many lessons are applicable in Northern Ireland? We have peace in Northern Ireland, and yet it still remains a very segregated society. There are actually 88 peace walls in Northern Ireland, which is basically triple the number that there was keeping people away from each other at the height of the troubles. Is Northern Ireland a model for Iraq?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: I think one's got to be very careful about taking what is a unique situation in Northern Ireland and exporting that, if you like, to other parts of the world. I think that today one's got to be careful. Tony Blair famously said once, “Today is not a day for sound bites. But I feel the hand of history on my shoulders.” So one has to be careful. But I think today will be seen in decades to come as being a historic day, not because today was necessarily the most dramatic breakthrough, but it was the final breakthrough. Because the devolution of policing responsibility to Northern Ireland -- policing in any society -- is one of the most delicate and dangerous and difficult issues. But the devolution of policing responsibility was the capstone on the architecture that was created in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Prime Minister Blair spent a huge amount of effort on it.
Prime Minister Brown in the last couple of months, but also over the last three years, has always been ready to essentially drop everything with his Irish counterparts to try to go the last few yards. And the last few yards are often the toughest. But I think the fact of the almost unanimous cross-community vote today -- certainly the fact that you've got the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein supporting the deal on the devolution of responsibilities; I think the Ulster Union has failed to support, they actually voted against the deal. But otherwise, there's strong support.
I think this means that the gains that have been achieved over the last ten years will now be consolidated. I mean, when I first went to Northern Ireland in the early 1990s, British troops were on the streets of Northern Ireland. I mean, it's easy to forget how recently that was. And there's been huge British effort, huge Irish effort, huge credit also to successive American administrations who when they've been needed have also been willing and ready to pick up the phone and make their own contribution. Senator Clinton has been doing so, and others.
I think that in its own terms, it's a huge breakthrough. What you're talking about, though, is a deeper reconciliation and that, I think, is a good thing to raise. Certainly, many people talk about the Northern Ireland process as being one that should be looked at elsewhere, and the process of achieving the breakthrough on Good Friday. I think the deeper reconciliation, people look further afield for the most powerful examples of that. But I think Northern Ireland will be looked at in the future for how it's addressed the cultural and other economic issues that continue to divide communities, as well as political ones.
KEVIN CULLEN: I guess the other question is the absence of violence is not, when we're looking at whether it's Northern Ireland, the Balkans, or what might come out of Iraq, it's not just the absence of violence. And where do the governments come in when the violence is over, which the last weekend showed remarkable … I think it was better than anybody expected in Iraq for the elections. Even though the violence was terrible, it wasn't as bad as everyone said it would be. But after the violence ends, I'm curious where you think you go back in there.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: What do you mean?
KEVIN CULLEN: Well, how do you go back into … Your troops are out of Iraq. I mean, you probably don't see any situation that would bring your troops back in there. So what does the British government do?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Okay, that's interesting. The importance of the withdrawal of British troops doesn't mean the withdrawal of Britain. Because in the modern world, a country like Britain wants to have actually a very deep relationship with Iraq, its government, people. It wants to have an economic relationship, it wants to have a political relationship, it wants to have a cultural and educational relationship. And let me just put it in these terms because I think probably especially in America, Iraq can seem like a country far away. In the European Union, we are committed to the entry of Turkey into the European Union. If Turkey enters the European Union, Europe will have a border with Iraq. Europe will have a border with Iraq which on north/south basis leads you down to the gulf. So suddenly Iraq, far from being a medium sized country far away, is actually a strategically very significant country.
Because if you think about the east/west problems that exist in the Middle East, notably into Iran, the idea of a strong north/south axis that goes from Turkey through Iraq into the gulf is potentially very, very significant. It's significant politically, it's actually … significant in religious terms. Sort of a hobbyhorse of mine is that the development of Najaf as a center of Shi'a religious teaching is potentially very, very significant if you're thinking about the influence that Iran has through teaching from Qom from their religious seminaries there. So in religious terms, the development of a pluralist Iraq is very, very significant. As well, never mind from the democratic opening that it offers in the middle of the Middle East. So from our point of view, we have a very strong interest in not just having “normal diplomatic relations,” Iraq should be quite an important country for countries like us. Not a military relationship, but a political, cultural, educational, economic relationship. Not just in Baghdad, not just in Basra, which is the heart of 95 percent Shi'a, but also in the north of Iraq where the traditional tension that's existed in Kurdish communities that are divided across the Iraq/Turkey border are actually addressed through cooperation between Iraq and Turkey. And as it happens, Britain is a very good friend to the Kurds and a very good friend to the Turks. We have a diplomatic role in trying to help them work and live together.
So I think it's not that the violence has ended in Iraq. Remember: 38 people were killed on Sunday in the middle of the election. So it's far from being a normal situation.
However, there is the opportunity for diplomacy, politics, educational links to develop and it's got to be an important part of our job that we see that comprehensive relationship as being the whole purpose of our engagement.
KEVIN CULLEN: You know, in preparation for this I was speaking to Jerry Burke, who's a retired Massachusetts police officer who is now training police in the Palestinian authority. I spoke to him; he was in Ramallah. And I said, “If you could ask David Miliband a question, what would you ask him?” And he said, “Well, where I am right now, the reality is that those new settlements that began have made my job and the job of the government in the Palestinian authority that much harder. So I would ask him what can the international community actually do in practical terms to impact that, to change that?”
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: This is a profoundly important issue in international politics. Now, I don't know the extent to which the situation in the Middle East is center stage in American political debate, but the 40 year tragedy -- not just for the Palestinians, but also for the Israelis -- of the standoff that has existed is now a 43 year tragedy since the 1967 war, has impacts far, far beyond the Middle East. And it's interesting that you talk about the security training that's going on in Ramallah.
General Dayton is the American general who's leading the security effort. His deputy's British. The work that's done in Jericho on building up the institutions of Palestinian security are very, very significant. And if you want to know how significant they are, ask the Israeli defense force privately about the capacity of the Palestinians to provide security in their own towns and cities and they will give you quite an encouraging answer. So the first thing the international community has to do is on the security side.
Secondly, there is an economic aspect to it. But neither the security nor the economic drive will work unless there is a political track. Not a political process, but actually a political plan to deliver what some people call the two state solution in the Middle East. Our position on this in the U.K. is very, very clear: that a Palestinian state is able to live alongside Israel is not just a matter of justice, but a matter of security for both communities; that the Palestinian state should be based on 1967 borders, plus or minus land swaps that are negotiated; that Jerusalem should be the capital of both states and that there needs to be a fair settlement in respect to the refugees.
Now, that is something that Britain cannot impose. I mean, we've been there before. We do learn some lessons. But it is important that I reflect to you the virtual unanimity in the international community about that vision. I mean, there are rejectionists on both sides, but I honestly cannot see a resolution that is safe and secure either for the Palestinians unless it's on that basis.
Now, in that context the announcement by the Palestinian President that he's willing to start so-called proximity talks despite the fact that the Israeli government has not met the obligations entered into under the roadmap that was negotiated by President Bush for a freeze on settlements, is significant. The decision of the Israeli government to announce 112 new settlements yesterday on the day that Vice President Biden was visiting Israel, visiting the Middle East is really a slap in the face to the negotiating partner who is wanting to come into the talks. And I believe that's very, very dangerous because the alternative to President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad is not a more malleable, more compromising, easier going set of Palestinian partners. The alternative to President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad are people who have argued that the political track will not deliver. And that is very, very dangerous indeed.
So I think it is very, very important, just to finish the point, George Mitchell is applying the determination and patience that was needed in Northern Ireland in the Middle East. He's getting strong support from Secretary Clinton and from President Obama and Vice President Biden. I think when President Obama said that it is in the national interest of the United States for a viable and contiguous Palestinian state to be created, he was saying something very significant on something which the whole international community rallied behind. And so I would say to you as an American audience that your government needs very, very strong support in seeing this through because it has very, very wide ramifications for all sort of coalitions that need to be built between the west and Muslim majority countries. It has very, very significant ramifications. But it's also vital if you care about the security of Israel. And this isn't about trading off Israel's security for a set of coalitions with Muslim majority countries on a whole range of issues from trade to climate change. It's about saying that if you actually want to secure Israel's long-term future in the middle of the Middle East, it has to do so as part of a wider settlement.
KEVIN CULLEN: Let me ask you, since new Labor came to power in 1997 your government, successive governments, have worked with the Clinton Administration, two Bush Administrations, and now the Obama Administration. Do you think that from a British perspective your approach changes depending on who is in the White House? And specifically whether they are Democrat or Republican?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: That's far too good a question. [laughter] In one way, our approach doesn't change because America is our closet bilateral relationship. Any British government would want a close relationship with the U.S. administration.
And so, on one level, our approach doesn't change. However, it's also the case that if an administration shares your values, priorities and policies, then you can have a slightly different approach than if you disagreed more than if you agreed more. But I think in terms of the administrations I've dealt with, there is a candor and a frankness that speaks to a really deep and serious strategic relationship. And I think that is borne of some very strong shared values and shared interests that go beyond individual administrations. But I think if I sat here and said, “It doesn't matter who the American administration is; we have exactly the same relationship,” you'd sort of slightly say, “Pull the other one.” And I think the best way of saying that is the approach and the commitment, maybe the commitment to partnership remains very strong. And sometimes you have more common ground, sometimes you have less. But I've always found a very strong determination to find common ground.
Funnily enough, Condoleezza Rice, when she came to London at the end of 2008, she was finishing her period as Secretary of State. The Bush Administration was obviously finishing. She came and did two things, actually. She played a Beethoven Sonata at Buckingham Palace in a quartet with my wife in front of the Queen, which was rather …
KEVIN CULLEN: Tell them who Louise plays for.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: My wife plays for the London Symphony Orchestra, so there was a nice … so we managed to … It was funny, we were at a diplomatic reception in November -- or maybe it was October 2008 -- and we were being shown round. And they said, “Here is the music room.” And a sort of light bulb went off in my head because I knew that Condi Rice was coming to London. She had worked very closely with successive administrations. And we were thinking what would be a nice thing for her to do? So put Condi to work because she believes in work and especially if it can be combined with pleasure, and so we said, “Why don't we offer her a chance to play at Buckingham Palace?” So we approached the Palace and they said, “Well, I'm afraid she can only do that if the Queen is in the audience.” So I said, “Well, can you ask the Queen if she‟d like to be in the audience?” So they went off and the message came back that the Queen would be very happy to provide the audience. So the quartet played … not many relationships where that happens.
The second thing that she did was she came to do an address to the staff of the Foreign Office. And these were people some of whom were new and some of whom had worked for many years with the U.S., and she said, “Look, I didn't really appreciate what the special relationship meant and was until I became Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.” And she said, “We certainly haven't agreed on everything, but we have a depth of commitment to each other and respect for each other that goes beyond the normal boundaries of diplomatic exchange.” And I thought that was a very powerful and profound thing to say. And the administration was changing in the U.S., and she said she very much hoped there would be a continued relationship of that strength, and I think that has continued. And that doesn't mean that we somehow put ourselves in each other's shoes, but it is a very, very strong relationship.
And what I would say to you as an American audience is what I always used to say under the Bush Administration, some of whose policies were not popular in the U.K., diplomatically put [laughter]: that if you want to do good in the world, if you want to do good on poverty reduction, if you want to do good on conflict prevention, if you want to do good on climate change, all the things which we did want to do good on, you need America on your side. You can't actually go around America.
And so the debate in America about what sort of super power you are, how you do engage in the international system, is very, very important. And our engagement with you, I hope, helps their part in fashioning the sort of decisions you have to make. Now, we don't overestimate the role that we play, but I think that you need to know that certainly from the progressive side of the political spectrum in my country, which depends on an active and engaged America, if you were to tackle these big problems, the internationalism and the commitment of the United States, from everything from the Peace Corps that you look at downstairs, to nuclear nonproliferation -- you name it -- the challenges of being a super power are immense because everyone wants a piece of your action and everyone sees that you're number one and that they want … and it's the case of some countries that they want to take you on.
But I think that not only do I believe that you would be poorer if you weren't an internationalist engaged country, the rest of us would be much, much poorer. And the things that we want to actually try and advance in the areas that I talked about, in the areas of weak states where there's no human rights, in the area of strong states where human rights are based, or in the search for a better protecting the public goods on which we all depend and which requires international cooperation, American engagement is absolutely vital. And the core of British diplomacy under any party, I think, is to try to use the special relationship to enhance that.
KEVIN CULLEN: It's probably counterintuitive to say this, but I would think that when you're engaging with a Bush Administration as opposed to an Obama Administration, that British influence is higher, that it plays a more … in terms of you engaging with an American administration where you would reflect more values or more policy positions on the outside world, natural allies, whether it's France, whether it's countries that you would be closer to, say, that American administration would be. Wouldn't you have more influence? Wouldn't a Labor government have more influence with a Republican administration?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: I mean, that is very sort of dialectical, really.
KEVIN CULLEN: That's what I get paid for. [laughter]
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: I don't think you can write … There's no rule of these things. Look, a lot of it is about personal engagement, a lot of it is about the issues that come on. I don't think it's as simple as that. Look, Iraq was deeply divisive in the European Union. Let's cut to the chase, it was. And it split parts of Europe from America, and it split Europe as well. But what I think is interesting is that the forces or the incentive for cooperation is very, very strong. So within a matter of two or three years -- of certainly by the time the French and German administrations had changed -- the force for multilateralism was restored. And I think in the second Bush term, there was a stronger multilateralist aspect to the way in which the administration did its business.
But in the end, part of politics is to find common ground. In a way, the art of politics is to push the boundaries so that you can find common ground. And I don't think there's a rule about Labor/Tory and Democrat/Republican. I think that what is very, very important, though, is that Europeans and Americans understand the transatlantic alliance has real, real work to do. Because it's easy to think that in the modern world it's all globalized and the old alliances don't matter very much. I think that's a lazy point of view because the truth is that the values that bind Europe and America together are quite distinctive.
Now, India is a remarkable rising democracy which shares many of our values. But that's not true of all the countries that are on the rise. And it's important that America has very good relations with China, it's important that American has very good relations with Russia. But they're going to be a different set of relationships than those that are based on a strong congruence of values. And I think there's real responsibility in the European Union at the moment.
We've got to make sure we're good partners for President Obama. President Obama said that he's not going to be able to come to the EU Summit in Madrid this half of the year. I said -- I'll tell you with absolute frankness -- I said to the European Foreign Ministers when we met on Friday in Cordoba in Spain that we have to take very seriously the need to make our summits useful so he wants to come to our summit. So there's a real responsibility on the European Union, obviously of security and trade and international development, never mind nuclear nonproliferation, et cetera, to make sure that we're actually a good ally for America.
I hope that America remembers that the values that bind America and Europe, that created the transatlantic alliance are actually still important if you want to carry forward the argument about human rights, about conflict prevention, about nuclear nonproliferation. We are just an appetizer for the main course, which is arriving.
KEVIN CULLEN: Elvis has left the building, but Senator Kerry has arrived. [applause]
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Good to see you, how are you? SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Good to see you. How are you, John? SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Good to see you, thanks.
KEVIN CULLEN: You know John, David just gave, I think, a good segue into the next question I wanted to have, because you mentioned China. And if the last century was America's century, the next century might be China's. And the Chinese economic growth is phenomenal -- we all know that -- but what a partner to have in some of the things you've mentioned, and it's not a reality right now. How do you reconcile Chinese growth economically and human rights issues and the lack of an internationalist view that's coming out of China right now?
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: I have to figure out where I am.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: You can't be jetlagged if you go from Washington to Boston. [laughter] Remember, for me it's a quarter past one. So goodness.
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: You got to stay up all night.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Party time.
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Let me just say what a pleasure it is to welcome David Miliband here. We've become good friends. We've worked on a lot of things together. He treated us to a wonderful symphony where his wife, Louise, played …
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Different from the one I was talking about earlier.
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Oh, different from the one … And as you all know, his brother is the Secretary of State for Energy and the Environment. So Simon Cowell would have a hard time figuring out who the most talented Miliband is here. Anyway, it's a pleasure to be with you. Good to be with you.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Thank you. Well look, I think that we've got to recognize that power is shifting from west to east. That's just a fact of the modern world. Economic power is shifting, and there's going to have to be a rebalancing of political power as well. It's not just China; you can make a good argument that the rising powers of the 21st century will be in Asia. Don't forget that America is 20 times per head, 20 times as rich as China. So don't underestimate your own power. But in relative terms, China is going to rise.
Now, China's been a big winner from globalization over the last 30 years, partly from the decisions it's taken, partly from the engagement it's had in the international system. I think we've got to encourage that engagement with the international system because thinking Chinese know that it's been an important part of their growth. So I think we should be welcoming and engaging China in the international system in a very, very committed way.
We've got to do so in a way that recognizes that they have massive challenges internally. I mean, the move of people from the land to cities is the biggest movement in human history. And 300 million have been taken out of poverty in the last 25 years in China, which is a remarkable achievement. What we've got to make sure is, as they have over the last two or three years, is they boost domestic spending in the context of a global recession, and they don't think they can become self sufficient and block out the outside world. And I think that we have to be very, very insistent on the need for an international system that tries to keep markets open. That's a controversial thing, I know, here.
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Absolutely.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: But I think it's a complete dead end if we fail to learn the lessons of the 1930s, that in the end what happened in the 1930s was that the crash of ‟29 was bad enough, but it was the response to it in the „30s and the raising of trade barriers which really caused trouble.
I think you mentioned human rights. I'll be in China next week and I will have a meeting with human rights defenders, as well as meeting with Chinese government officials -- the Premier and others in Beijing -- and make a speech in Shanghai. Now, I think it's important that we talk in a way that is clear publicly and privately and it's consistent publicly and privately, but is also not hectoring publicly and privately. And that's, I think, the way in which one can build a frank and productive relationship. Because it obviously is a very, very different political system from ours, and that's something we have to reflect with a degree of humility as well as concern.
KEVIN CULLEN: But John, it is difficult engaging the Chinese on those very fronts and I know the President's struggled with how public and how un-public to be with criticism on human rights. How do you strike that balance?
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Well, I think our great task is, first of all, to strengthen our economy because it's very difficult … I think Larry Summers asked the pregnant question, which is how long can the world's strongest economy remain such if it's the world's largest borrower? And we are borrowing from the Chinese, they are our banker. It's very difficult to leverage your banker when you don't have the strength to do so in many ways.
There's a certain triumphalism at large in China right now, and I think we need to be very cognizant of it. I believe the Chinese can be a critical partner to all of us, to Europe and to the United States. And it will depend on how we build relationships with them and prioritize with them. Historically, they have not been terrific relationship builders in parts of the world where building relationships is very, very important. I tend to think that fly- by visits by Secretaries of State or Assistant Secretaries or Vice Presidents or whatever don't do the job. It has to be much more engaged, much more consistent, and much more respectful and substantive than that over a period of time.
When we begin to sort out, sort of, how you can pick your priorities about what you can leverage, but what we're going to have to understand is there will be an order of sort of what's doable and what isn‟t. They are very determined in the selection of sort of policy priorities, and we know that because of the nature of the Chinese governments, chosen and worked on from the very beginning of the joining of the party, and then a very calculated process by which people rise through it, and it sorts out the people on the edges. And they wind up, therefore, with a very easy replication of what has gone before.
That's good for stability, it's bad for vision and long-term innovation and other kinds of things. So I tend to think that David is correct and it shouldn't be understated when he points out about internal issues within China. What they're seeing today, I think, is a reflection of the moment. But I wouldn't take it to the bank for the long term there, because I think China … You know, their 450 million or so people who've been brought into the urban centers and industrialized, in a sense are not yet fully integrated or assimilated. There are still 800 million people out there living on less than a dollar and a half, two dollars a day, and they have great, great challenges. I think you see that in some of the social unrest and sectarian unrest that has already bubbled up fairly publicly.
So I think as a younger generation rises, many of them educated in other parts of the world, obviously exposed to a very different world, I don't think things stay the same. So we can't bet on any particular outcome because I'm not sure it's definable. But I do think we have to be super engaged and put the big issues on the table. And we are doing that with Iran right now, for instance. I think there are other areas of cooperation, and we have to be thoughtful about the modernization program in the military and very own interests in that region, which are fairly domineering.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: I think this is really interesting, and the most difficult question in foreign policy is about the limits of state sovereignty. To what extent is it legitimate for one country to interfere in the internal affairs of another country? Now, China holds very fast to the view that was dominant for 300 years, really, until the 1950s and the foundation of the U.N. in the 1940s. And that view was that what happened within your own borders was your own business. And that's what the Treaty of Westphalia was about in 1648 and it carried on for a very long time.
In an interdependent world, that is not a sufficient basis on which to run international affairs, because what you do internally can affect countries further away -- your neighbors, but also further afield. And, also, part of our interdependence is that there's a global conscience about issues of human rights, never mind the global flow of information. So the way a country treats its own people and what it does within its borders are legitimate matters for other states to care about.
But the question of what rights does one country have to pressure, incentivize the activities of another state is a very, very difficult issue. And it's brought out in all the debates that we have in the United Nations. It's brought out in the debate about the so- called responsibility to protect which was passed in 2005 and was intended to defend human rights, but actually is more notable for the fact that it's not used rather than it is used. It's notable on this Iran issue where Iran has signed the nonproliferation treaty. It has rights in respect to civilian nuclear energy. It also has responsibilities not to be a proliferator, which it's failing to comply with. But the argument that is put is you can't interfere in their internal affairs. And for all the debates that happen about reform of the United Nations, unless you get into this core philosophical issue about the extent to which the rights of a state within its own borders, we're absolutely not going to be able to develop a different kind of an international system.
KEVIN CULLEN: Speaking of human rights, one of the things -- besides meeting with President Obama today -- one of the things that the Senator did in Washington was announce his support for the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which is essentially the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the military, where anyone who was openly gay could be thrown out of the military right now. In your experience in the U.K., it's been ten years now since your military has operated in obviously different theaters in the world. What's your experience been in the U.K.?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: On that issue?
KEVIN CULLEN: On that issue?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: It's not an issue for us. It's really not been an issue. I mean, it's not really been an issue for us. You've got a big debate going on about that at the moment, have you? [laughter]
KEVIN CULLEN: Let's hear it, John.
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: There's a certain virtue to being the Foreign Secretary. Can I come back for one minute to the China thing, because it's so important. And maybe you touched on this earlier. We're living in such a different world right now, and it strikes me just in the years that I've been in the Senate, I've seen this transformation. But I mean, it's almost trite and even perhaps clichéd now to talk about how most of our formative years were guided by a bipolar, east/west communism versus everything else debate. And it was very simple. Everything was fairly simple, and we were then such a dominant economy in the wake of World War II and Germany rebuilding, Japan rebuilding, et cetera. So all of that period of the Cold War was really dominated by this polarity, which as we know, suppressed an enormous amount of sectarianism in various parts of the world.
Yugoslavia disappeared and boom, off we went, and elsewhere, all around. We're still living with that. What has struck me is the degree … The more I've traveled to the Middle East and the more I'm involved in Afghanistan, Pakistan, et cetera, is the degree to which tribalism, something we never really thought about that much in that period of time, just leaps out at you. Tribalism, everywhere.
And the tensions and policies that we're struggling with were really dominated by these different tribal factions and potential outcomes. But, also, the world we're living in today is much more Disraelian or 19th, 18th century, than what we saw during all of our formative years in the latter part of the 20th century. And so the question is people are really going to react to interests much more. And therefore in our dealing with China, when you think about that, we‟re much more limited. They are not the developing country that they were during that period of time. Nor is anybody else, to some measure.
And so I think economic power and that's why I think something like global climate change and energy is not just -- it's not about global climate change. It's really about the transformation of economies. It's really about not sending 365 to 400 billion dollars a year to places where much of that money finds its way to people who -- whoever it finds its way to, and so forth.
And when we look at the net effect of this recession, we've lost some eight million jobs, and everybody, “How they going to come back?” There's been a contracting. And the only place that I see that they really come back, that's growing now in California, in North Dakota and around the country, is alternative renewable energy efficiency, et cetera. I think that's the sort of next wave for all of us. Unless we do that, we're going to be even less successful in getting China to the table to see an interest that they might not see today that we need to get them to see.
KEVIN CULLEN: And I think the Chinese have already gone ahead of us on the green economy?
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: They're way ahead of us on that. They're going to put $400 billion into alternative renewable. We developed the photovoltaic cell here in this country 40 years ago, Bell Labs. And we don't have one company in the top ten producers of photovoltaics in the world today. You can run down a list like that. They're now quadrupling their wind power in China. They've decided to be the world's number one electric car producer. And here we have a Detroit struggling. You know, the President said in his State of the Union message, “I want America to be number one.” I think most Americans would like that. But we don't have a policy in place to get us there yet. And I think that's so critical to China and other people to hear, seriously.
KEVIN CULLEN: Before we came down, I said -- only in half jest -- if David's brother, Ed, who's in charge of climate change, the portfolio, had that same job in this country, he probably would have jumped out the window in frustration. And I wonder if the two of you could explain the difference? The Obama Administration has spent an awful lot of time on this trying to convince Americans of the importance of it in which a British government really doesn't have to win people over?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Well, let me give you the good news and the bad news. The good news: I mean John Kerry's leadership on climate change in this country is absolutely fantastic and genuinely outstanding. I mean, really. And I think your point about this being not just an environmental issue, but an economic issue, is totally correct. Tony Blair encouraged me when I was Secretary of the Environment to draw up a Climate Change Act. And we have done something which I think you will think is incredibly radical.
We've passed a law which binds every future British government between now and 2050 to reduce its emissions by 80 percent on 1990 levels in five year carbon budgets, five years is the time. And every government has to account for itself every five years and insure that it lives within its carbon budgets on an 80 percent reduction trajectory. And that's driving policy on housing, where every new house has got to be zero carbon from 2016. It's driving policy on electric cars where we think we can be the first to combine government incentives for people to buy electric cars with charge-up points in our cities, et cetera. The Chinese may produce the cars, but we‟ll be driving them. [laughter] And as you know, Britain is famous for its sunshine, so we‟ll have very good sources of electric power. It's driving policy in quite controversial areas for people who are part of the green movement. We're going to maintain our nuclear, sort of a nuclear energy, which I think is very important. We're offshore wind, you name it. So that's the good news, that there is a really very, very robust regime in place, and no party dares to defy it. Having said that, if you look at the figures on the population as a whole, there isn't 80 percent support for the idea that climate change is an existential threat. There isn't 80 percent support even for the idea that it's necessarily going to affect us in our lifetime. It's actually far, far lower than that. And I don't think we can say in our country that government's done a brilliant job at winning the argument. And I think if we were trying to win the argument now, it would be much more difficult than if we were trying to win it, as we were, three or four years ago. So the pressures that are existing here, I think I can understand.
Now, what's interesting is there isn't a sort of reaction against it. The sum of this climate skepticism about science, there hasn't yet burst through into the political realm. Well, it's interesting that the conservative party three or four years ago used climate change as a big example of how it had changed. And then two weeks ago, they published their list of top ten policies, why you should vote conservative at the next election and climate change didn't appear on them. I mean, they‟re doing their focus groups and that's an indicator of what's happening. So I wouldn't want you to think it's an example of European virtue and American sort of vice. I mean, there is …
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Don't look at me. [laughter]
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: It is staggering to Europeans that American emissions are 17 percent higher than they were in 1990. That is extraordinary. But it's a difficult environment in which to be winning the argument.
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: But in fairness, Europe has been way ahead of us for years with respect to energy costs, the legitimate cost of fuel, smaller cars, smaller engines, better fuel mileage, and so forth. And they've had to deal with space issues in ways that we haven't had to. So I think there's been a greater consciousness of it. I do think that Americans, at least the polling data shows, that Americans support the idea of moving in this direction. The problem is the age old problem in Washington, which has gotten worse and with the Supreme Court decision recently, will probably get even worse, which is the power of certain interests to set the agenda as opposed to the real agenda of the American people. That's our great dilemma, frankly, and we have to try and deal with it.
But I do think today we had a fascinating meeting before we went to meet with the President. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman and I met with the nuclear industry all at the same time: nuclear industry, coal, airlines, train, coal transporters, electric, you run the gamut. And we've really gotten into a serious negotiation and it is possible that this equation could change. I just say possible, we‟ll know in the next weeks.
KEVIN CULLEN: And John, before you got here, I talked to David about Afghanistan. And specifically, how do you match the military surge with a political surge with the Karzai government?
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: Well, first of all, there is no military solution. Everybody has agreed on that. I set three conditions for my support of the notion of some kind of additional troops could make a difference. Number one: if they go into an operation, it must be with Afghans. There has to be an Afghan presence and an Afghan transfer of participation. Secondly, you have got to have a local leadership that is identified ahead of time and empowered immediately that is indigenous. I mean, you have to be able to come in. Governor Mangal down in Helmand, for instance, was able to come in after our troops, be visible and have something of an Afghan presence in terms of governance. Not as large as I think it ought to be, but something. The third ingredient is where we are weakest and where I'm most concerned right now, which is I think you have to follow in underneath that with a real significant civilian capacity that rapidly improves the lives of the people that you have disrupted with your military presence. And if you don't do that,
I believe we‟ll fail -- I really do -- if you don't build on each of those things. So there's no way to transfer.
I also believe that you have to have a political reconciliation in Afghanistan, which is, I think, achievable, as we begin to hopefully change the atmospherics with respect to the Taliban, which I think is doable. The Taliban are maybe 25,000, 30,000. Of that, perhaps 5,000 are hard core Mullah Omar irreconcilable Taliban. The rest are a mix of criminals, thugs, kids who are unemployed and have been terrorized because their family's been terrorized into providing security locally, or something. They're not as hard core about it. They can be turned. Those are the ones that we can really work with.
The key -- and I've said this again and again -- Afghanistan is 300 years behind Pakistan. We could spend the treasure of our country in the most significant nation building possible process for the next 30 years, and we might conceivably get close to where Pakistan is today. So clearly that's just not even on the table or an achievable goal.
What we have to do is create a sufficient level of stability, sufficient level of capacity and security through an Afghan trained presence. But most importantly, through a political reconciliation that President Karzai has to engage in and Abdullah Abdullah and others, have to all become part of. We have to nurse that along. But in the end, I personally believe more will be determined in Pakistan as to what happens in Afghanistan than in Afghanistan itself. If we can keep Pakistan moving in the western part of the country to deprive sanctuary -- I remember what sanctuaries are like in the fighting of a war - it's impossible. If we can continue, if we can focus on the Hakani (?) network, if we can deal with Quetta Shura and isolate them and then put pressure increasingly on the foreign fighters with al-Qaeda in the western part of the country, that would do more to deliver confidence, I think, and change in Afghanistan.
Secondly, we, Europeans and Americans, have to work much more diligently at managing the Indian/Pakistan relationship, and particularly the Indian presence in Afghanistan itself. Because it fuels the Pakistanis who then reciprocate and you get Israelis, the two intelligence agencies kind of end up going at each other and dueling. And then people keep hedging as a bet against the question of how long we are going to be there.
So you have to work that out very carefully. And I think if we pushed harder … I was in India a few weeks ago. I met with Prime Minister Singh. He actually used the words “grand reconciliation,” which I found quite interesting. And then there was a meeting subsequent to that with the Pakistanis. If we can keep that going and have literally a new security arrangement that we strive to achieve in that part of the world, then I think we also leverage significantly what the outcome in Afghanistan will be.
KEVIN CULLEN: I will ask you both if the recent successes by the Pakistani security forces, if you see them as episodic or as a spigot that can be turned on or off? Or is it genuine? Has there been a sea change, particularly within the ISI?
SENATOR JOHN KERRY: It's both genuine and a spigot. They can control that, and I fear that unless we do the right things, we still have not delivered some of the equipment they need. They need lift, they need helicopters, they need night fighting capacity. They need things that we just have not gotten to them.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: I think that it would be a brave man who said that the Pakistani state had fundamentally shifted. But I think there has been a fundamental shift, which in a way speaks to one of the themes of our discussion over the last hour and a half. The Pakistani people have changed in a very, very fundamental way, even in the last three years that I've been going to Pakistan. I've been in Pakistan six times in the last three years. And the recognition on the part of the Pakistani people that they have got a massive domestic problem, there has been a palpable shift on that issue. And that explains why the Pakistani people are supporting their government and their military in some very, very brave missions that they are running in the western part of the country.
There are now 120,000 Pakistani troops -- not just the poor frontier corps who are historically put there, but 120,000 Pakistani troops. They're taking a lot of losses. But the government and the military are not losing popularity from their own people. Why? Well, Benazir Bhutto's assassination was a blow right at the heart of that country. The successive incidents of Pakistan, Taliban of using Pakistani civilians, and there are videos of such abuse going around the country, have had a profound impact. The level of violence, as well, that's being perpetrated and the number of civilians who are being killed by the insurgency. So I think there has been a fundamental shift.
Now, that does not equate with a shift in the degree -- I'm sorry to say this -- in the degree of anti-Americanism that still exists in Pakistan. There's been a shift in the Pakistani view of the problem they've got; they've got a historic problem which any Pakistani will tell you about, but they will also tell you about the domestic terrorist problem. However, the relationship with the United States is incredibly important. I mean, the Kerry-Lugar Bill -- $1.5 billion over a year for seven years -- that is a very significant change. However, from the Pakistani point of view, they look at that and they think, “Okay, you're spending
$100 billion a year in Afghanistan.” And they can do the math as much as you can do the math. And it's as stark as that. And they want a relationship that is respectful, they want a relationship that respects their interests. They want what the President said in his remarkable speech in Cairo about reaching out to the Islamic world. And I think that it's very hard to underestimate the challenges Pakistan faces: 170 million people, it will grow to 300 million people in the next 30 years; it's a nuclear power; it's a very poor country; two-thirds of its borders are still not agreed 60 years after independence; and it's a state which has had 31 years of military rule in the last 62. So the challenges for the civilian government are very, very profound.
I think the focus that John Kerry and some of his colleagues have put on -- to be fair, the Vice President is also very, very committed on this issue -- I think is very, very important, because Pakistan's own sense of self is at stake. And while they are so worried about their own sense of self, they're not going to be the sort of regional partner that we need.
Earlier, I just wanted to say something on this, I earlier talked about the sort of internal political settlement that Afghanistan needs. But, of course, you can't have an internal political settlement unless you've got an external political settlement. And an external political settlement is to involve all the neighbors: Pakistan, India, also Iran, but also the Turkeys and Chinas of this world who are going to be an important part of any sort of stability in South Asia.
KEVIN CULLEN: Can I just ask, you have a general election coming up.
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Oh, really?
KEVIN CULLEN: Could you inform this mostly American audience how long that campaign will last?
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Well, we don't know the election date yet, but it has to be before the first week of June. We will have a very long three or four week campaign, I would guess.
KEVIN CULLEN: That's what John calls New Hampshire. [laughter]
SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND: Although it would be wrong to suggest the parties are completely ignoring the fact that there might be an election in what they're doing at the moment. This is not an election rally, by the way. I'm not coming here as on that score.
KEVIN CULLEN: Unfortunately, we don't have much more time to go on. I think Senator Kerry might sit here and quote Senator Webster or Senator Kennedy and the Foreign Secretary might quote Disraeli or Churchill. I will quote Jerry Foley, the great barman over at J. J. Foley's, who said, “You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.” [laughter] I'd like to thank Foreign Secretary Miliband, Senator John Kerry.
Thanks for coming. [applause]
DAVID MCKEAN: Thanks very much, thank you. Kevin, thanks for directing a terrific discussion tonight. I want to thank Foreign Secretary Miliband. Senator Kerry, thanks for making a big effort to get up here. This could have gone on for a lot longer, as far as I'm concerned, but unfortunately we do have to end it. I think we touched on a lot of the really critical issues, though.
I also just want to acknowledge one person in the audience who makes this all possible, or who helps to make it possible, and that is the Chairman of our Distinguished Foreign Visitors Program, that's Jack Manning sitting here in front. Thank you. [applause] And a few people are starting to leave, but if the rest of you could just remain seated for a couple of minutes while our guests exit, it would be much appreciated. Thanks very much, thanks for coming. [applause]