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Video: Sen. Mark Warner on Face the Nation Talks About Need to Arm Ukraine; Israel vs. Hamas; China as Long-Term Greatest National Security Threat; Foreign Interference in Our Elections; etc.

"The idea that you're going to eliminate every Hamas fighter I don't think is a realistic goal."

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See below for video of Sen. Mark Warner (along with Senate Intel Committee Vice Chair Sen. Marco Rubio) on Face the Nation this morning. According to Sen. Warner:

  • “I would define the immediate [greatest national security] threat of making sure we push back Putin’s aggressive behavior in Ukraine, that we try to resolve the circumstance in Gaza where we can eliminate Hamas but also recognize the humanitarian challenge. But frankly over the longer term, the bigger challenge I think remains China – we’ve never had a nation of equivalent economic size and they are investing in technology domain after technology domain where they hope to not only be number one but frankly dominate the field.”
  • I also think potentially out of this enormous tragedy the tragedy of October 7th and now the humanitarian tragedy of 30,000 Palestinians killed, you’ve got to look at some level of optimism Israel had already aligned with a number of the Sunni states in the region. I was recently in Saudi Arabia I think they would like to find some level of peace post the Gaza conflict with Israel ,a stronger defense relationship with the United States. I do think we need to acknowledge the the Shia-driven effort to not only push us out but also undermine the Sunni states in the region, and there could be an opportunity for a grander alliance but that will mean the violence has to stop. And you know, I think we both have a lot of respect for Bill Burns, the CIA director, who has been doing yeoman work trying to negotiate this hostage exchange which would lead to at least that short-term cease fire.”
  • I think a lot of the arms, food, other things that have supported Hamas, was the fact that they have this tunnel network which is close to 500 kilometers. I don’t think any of us fully expected that, and they have been able to secure that. The fact that we are 140 days roughly into this invasion, I think most of us even in the region thought the Israeli Defense Forces would be able to take out Hamas; 140 days, in they’ve basically taken out only about 35% of the Hamas fighters and literally have only penetrated less than a third of the tunnel network. And…if this was us trying to take out this tunnel network, could we do it quicker more efficiently, and candidly the answer was maybe we could be a bit faster but when Hamas is gruesomely holding the hostages to prevent some of the take out of the tunnels, this is one of the lessons… The idea that you’re going to eliminate every Hamas fighter I don’t think is a realistic goal.”
  • “There has to be a future for the Palestinian people.”
  • “President Trump said change the law so I can do more [at the border]. I respectfully believe that what Senator Lankford  put forward was as tough a border deal as could get passed in this Congress and even next Congress. Because unless there is a 80-member shift one way or the other in either political party, I think politics is the art of the possible. I think it was a good deal. And I agree with Marco; we need to get the money  to China and Taiwan, we need to get the money both  humanitarian and for Israel. But I think the issue that I’ve been is most wrapped around is if we walk away from the people of Ukraine at this point after in the last two years, the Ukrainians with our help and the Europeans’ help at literally the cost of less than 3% of our defense budget have eliminated 87% of the Russian pre-invasion ground forces, 63% of their tanks, 32% of their armored personnel carriers. If we don’t stand by Ukraine right now, the rest of the world  should never trust us again. And this notion that, and I go back to our early comments, these authoritarian nations are watching each other. If people say Xi is a threat and if they don’t believe that if President Putin is successful in Ukraine and that will then put NATO and American troops in harm’s way, Xi will take lessons from that. I think there is enormous linkage, so I do hope we’re finding a way. I think most of us, the vast majority frankly – I think 300 votes plus in the House for Ukraine – if that was put up as a standalone, but I hope we get it done…”
  • We have nation states – China, Iran, Russia – who know that interfering in our elections is both effective and cheap. We have a lot more Americans who have for a variety of reasons less trust in any of our institutions, including our voting system. We have a court case that was in the Fifth Circuit that have restricted the voluntary communication between social media and the FBI…and you have that cauldron of change going on and then you throw in artificial intelligence tools that can bring deep fakes or voices or other manipulation at a speed and scale that’s unprecedented, and we’re going, we have dealt with this at a classified level, we’re going to have  a public hearing on this. We need to make sure that the American public is educated and at least aware and thinks thinks before they believe everything they see.”

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