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  • [APPLAUSE AND CHEERS]

  • HILLARY CLINTON: [LAUGH] Whoa!

  • Hi!

  • [LAUGH] Thank you!

  • Thank you!

  • Great.

  • Thank you!

  • Oh, thank you.

  • [APPLAUSE ENDS]

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, Secretary Clinton,

  • welcome back to Google.

  • HILLARY CLINTON: It's great to be here, Eric.

  • You've grown a little bit, since I've been here last.

  • Just a little.

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: Are you talking about my weight?

  • HILLARY CLINTON: [LAUGH]

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: I knew I gained some pounds, here.

  • No, the company is much larger and even more successful.

  • And thank you for your first visit.

  • We're here to talk about your book, which, you know,

  • I've actually read.

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you.

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: I did want to present you--

  • [LAUGHTER]

  • I did want to present you with my book.

  • And I want-- it's entitled "How Google Works."

  • And I want you to notice something

  • that's different between your book and my book.

  • Now, your book is 600 pages and very-- lots and lots of words.

  • My book is 37 pages, and it uses big type.

  • And my book has black and white photos,

  • and yours has color photos.

  • So, on a pound for pound basis, my book is more valuable.

  • [LAUGHTER]

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Well, but there are many things

  • you can do with my book that you can't do with this book.

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: Such as?

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Well, you can work out--

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: Foreign policy?

  • HILLARY CLINTON: No, you can work out, with my book.

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: You can work out with your book?

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Absolutely.

  • And if you get two copies--

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: Weightlifting?

  • HILLARY CLINTON: --you'll be balanced,

  • while you're working out.

  • You can use it as a doorstop.

  • This would just slip under the door.

  • You can't imagine using that as a doorstop.

  • I don't know.

  • I think it's kind of a-- just a draw, don't you think?

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, at some point,

  • we're going to be talking about my book.

  • But I want you to notice that my book is--

  • [LAUGHTER]

  • My book is so short, you can read it during this interview.

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I have to say

  • there is a particularly attractive picture of you,

  • on page 31, wearing some kind of ridiculous hat,

  • with some model of an airplane.

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: And a picture of Bill Gates, in the back.

  • HILLARY CLINTON: [LAUGH]

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: Let's get to work.

  • So, Secretary Clinton, your book is entitled "Hard Choices."

  • And what we're going to do is, we're

  • going to have some questions from me,

  • we have some [INAUDIBLE] questions--

  • that is, submitted from the audience--

  • and we have some live questions, as well.

  • And the first question I want to ask

  • is that you and I had a very dear friend-- Richard

  • Holbrooke-- who died, unexpectedly,

  • of a heart attack.

  • And you had appointed him to do the negotiation in Afghanistan.

  • Do you think that his death affected the outcome

  • in Afghanistan?

  • As a brilliant negotiator, did we miss him that much?

  • Did we end up in, roughly, the right place

  • in Afghanistan, at the end of it all?

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Well, there's two parts to that question.

  • Let me address our friend, Richard Holbrooke, first.

  • He was, in my view, the premier diplomat of our generation.

  • He was dramatic, when called for; he was persistent,

  • he was tough-minded, but he believed, passionately,

  • that you couldn't end a war if you didn't

  • talk to the people on the other side.

  • Now, that may sound simplistic, but, indeed,

  • that's a huge obstacle for many in diplomacy--

  • politics, governments-- to get over.

  • How do you end a war, if you talk

  • to the people you despise-- who you view

  • as the troublemakers, the instigators?

  • And Richard came at the assignment I asked him to take,

  • on behalf of the President and myself,

  • with that strong conviction-- borne out

  • of his many years of experience, and, in particular, his ending

  • of the wars in the Balkans, when my husband was president.

  • He spent a lot of time with Milosevic--

  • a most unsavory character.

  • He drank with him, he yelled at him, he bullied him,

  • he listened to him and, eventually,

  • was able to get to the Dayton Peace Accords, which

  • ended the war, even though it didn't

  • end all of the political and ethnic

  • and other problems that are, unfortunately, still prevalent.

  • When I asked him to take on the task in Afghanistan

  • and Pakistan, he went at it with his same level of commitment--

  • even relish.

  • And, as I write in the book, we were

  • beginning a process of reaching out to, and responding

  • to outreach from, the Taliban.

  • And I gave a speech that tried to make the case that that

  • might be distasteful; it certainly

  • was to me, for many reasons, as to how

  • they treat people in general, and women in particular.

  • But there had to be a political negotiation, in order

  • to try to end the conflict.

  • And literally, the day he died-- and he

  • suffered a terrible attack in my office--

  • we were talking about the first meeting

  • that we had engineered between an American diplomat--

  • one of Richard's lieutenants-- and a representative of Mullah

  • Omar.

  • I guess the short answer, Eric, is that Richard would never

  • take No for an answer.

  • We had a lot of difficulties, both with President Karzai--

  • because he didn't want us talking to the Taliban--

  • and we had problems with the Taliban,

  • because they didn't want to talk to President Karzai.

  • So we were playing a kind of multilevel chess game

  • and trying to move the parties closer

  • to talking to each other.

  • And, unfortunately, with Richard's death,

  • we kept up the initiative, but we

  • didn't have that same overpowering presence

  • that he brought to it.

  • Now where we are with Afghanistan-- and Pakistan,

  • because we looked at them, very much, as presenting

  • similar challenges to a lasting peace and to threats,

  • first of all, to the region, and even beyond--

  • is an election that was held that has been criticized

  • for irregularities that now, finally--

  • and I give Secretary Kerry credit for going there.

  • There's no substitute for going to these places

  • and staying and trying to engineer some kind of solution

  • That there will now be a total audit of all the votes,

  • in Afghanistan, to determine who the next president is.

  • So things are, kind of, on hold, until we know that.

  • What I think of as the three biggest challenges is,

  • number one, getting a new president in who

  • could keep Afghanistan unified.

  • Despite all of the problems that many of us

  • had with President Karzai, that was his primary goal.

  • To try to keep the country unified,

  • and not fly off in different ethnic directions.

  • And we need to support whoever that next president is and do

  • our best to give him the authority that he needs,

  • to try to keep the country unified.

  • Secondly, continuing to work with the Afghan security

  • forces.

  • They have proven to be much more dependable, effective fighters,

  • taking the fight to the Taliban--

  • because the Taliban is very clear that they intend

  • to reoccupy territory they lost to coalition troops,

  • in the last several years, following

  • the surge that President Obama ordered.

  • So continuing to work and support the Afghan security

  • forces.

  • And then, finally, being well aware that so many

  • of the problems in Afghanistan are incubated in Pakistan.

  • And the Pakistani government is now

  • facing some of the most serious threats

  • that it, historically, has, because, as I say in the book,

  • they had an idea that was never going to be workable,

  • for the long term, which is, you can

  • keep poisonous snakes in your backyard

  • and expect them only to bite your neighbors.

  • And the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment

  • have, unfortunately, over years, worked with-- supported-- lots

  • of the terrorist groups-- extremist groups--

  • for their own purposes, some of which

  • was to keep Afghanistan kind of off-kilter.

  • So there has to be a lot of effort

  • made to work with the Pakistanis, as difficult

  • as that is.

  • And that's something that I spent some time on,

  • in the book, because I worked very

  • hard to try to have as effective a relationship as we could.

  • But at the end of the day, the Pakistanis

  • have to stand up to the threat from within, which is also

  • a threat to Afghanistan-- and, by the way, a continuing

  • threat to India.

  • So it's a-- we've made progress, but not nearly enough.

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: I was in Pakistan a little bit after you were,

  • and I found it incredibly confusing to figure out.

  • In fact, while I was there, the president I met with

  • was gotten rid of by the supreme court

  • over-- something involving financial and his child.

  • In the book, you spent a fair amount of time on, I think,

  • one of the significant foreign policy

  • achievements during your tenure, involving the pivot to Asia.

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Right.

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: And when I lay it out-- right,

  • we've got the Pakistan problems.

  • You were the first person to really open up

  • Burma-- Myanmar-- you met Aung San Suu Kyi, et cetera.

  • But you start looking at, like, the--

  • as an example, the Spratly Islands,

  • and this line called Line Nine, between China and Japan

  • and the others-- it's getting more confusing to an outsider.

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Mhm.

  • ERIC SCHMIDT: You talk about the pivot.

  • Do you think that we understand how to navigate, now,

  • between these-- each of these countries

  • is becoming more nationalistic, as it becomes stronger.

  • HILLARY CLINTON: Right.

  • Well, that is a trend that I saw really beginning to take off.

  • And it has a number of implications,

  • both for the region, but also for us,

  • and the rest of the world.

  • As China has gotten much more economically powerful,

  • it's understandable that they want to project their power.

  • But it's quite threatening, to the rest of the region.

  • And what I saw as a growing threat was the increasing

  • budgetary resources going to the People's Liberation Army,

  • to build up their naval capacity so that they

  • could project power on the seas.

  • Now, the United States, primarily,

  • has kept the peace in Asia, in navigable waters,

  • for the protection of commerce, and our navy

  • has been a very positive force.

  • But it's clear to me that the Chinese

  • intend to challenge American naval superiority.

  • That's their perfect right, to do so.

  • They are a sovereign country; they

  • get to make those decisions.

  • But the problems that Eric alluded to

  • are having a rebound effect around the region.

  • So that, if you see China developing its first aircraft

  • carrier, with plans for a number of more carriers,

  • and you see China being quite aggressive

  • on territorial claims-- not that they're

  • willing to arbitrate those claims,

  • but they're merely asserting them,

  • against the Philippines and Vietnam and Japan, primarily,

  • now.

  • And you see that this could lead to increasing tension,

  • and maybe even conflict, in the region.

  • Then we have an opportunity, but also a responsibility,

  • to work closely with, number one, our allies, because we

  • have mutual defense treaties with five

  • nations in the region.

  • Obviously Japan and South Korea and the Philippines

  • and Australia, but also Thailand.

  • So we are treaty-bound to work with-- and, if necessary,

  • protect-- our allies.

  • Nobody wants to see any kind of conflict that erupts,