Democratic Debate Needs Human Intelligence on the Ground

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley discuss the most important issues at the ABC News Democratic debate.
6:22 | 12/20/15

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Transcript for Democratic Debate Needs Human Intelligence on the Ground
Governor O'Malley. Intelligence on the ground what is it our intelligence community. Is not doing now that needs to be done. Well we have invested nowhere near what we should be investing in human intelligence on the ground and what I'm talking about is not only the Covert CIA. Intelligence I'm also talking about diplomatic intelligence. And and we've seen time and time again especially in this very troubled region. Nation state failures and then we have no idea who the next generation of leaders are that are coming forward. So what I would say is not only do we need to be thinking in military terms but we do our military a disservice when we don't. Greatly dial up the investment that we are making and diplomacy. And human intelligence and when we fail to dial up properly. The role of sustainable development and all of this as president I would make the DD administrator if I USA ID an actual cabinet member. We have to act in a much more whole of government approach is general Dempsey said. And I do believe and I would disagree somewhat tell with one of my colleagues but. This is a genocide or threat. They have now created a safe haven in the back him that we allowed to be. Partly because of our Bob blunders to be created there in the areas of Syria and Iraq. We cannot allow safe havens and as a leader of moral nations around this earth. We need to come up with new alliances and new ways to prepare for these new sorts of threats because Martha this will not be the last region where nation states fail. And you've seen a little bit dubbed this emerging India. India African Union and the things that they have done to better stabilize Somalia we need to pay attention here in Central America as well so this is the new type of threats that we're facing and we need to lead as a nation and confronting. And putting together new alliances in new coalition Platt. I bought a Democrat parts of that you know one of the reasons why I have advocated for no fly zone is in order to create those safe. Refuges with in Syria to try to protect people on the ground both from a spots forces who are continuing to. Drop barrel bombs and from crisis. And of course it has to be deacons selected with the Russians who are also flying in that space I'm hoping that because of the very recent announcement of the agreement. At the Security Council which and bodies actually an agreement that I negotiated. Back in Geneva in June of 2012 we're going to get a diplomatic effort in Syria to begin to try to make a transition. A no fly zone would prevent the outflow of refugees and give us a chance to have some safe that. That is that Clinton I add what to go back to that effect could crisis doesn't have aircraft al-Qaeda doesn't have the aircraft so would you shoot down a Syrian military aircraft. Or a Russian airplane I do not think you would come to that we are already. A decision you should make now whether no I don't think so I have mandate here advocating this I am advocating the no fly zone. Both because I think it would help us on the ground to protect Syrians. I'm also advocating it because I think it gives us some leverage our conversations with Russia. Now that Russia has joined us in the Security Council has adopted an agreement that we hashed out a long day in Geneva. Three years ago now I think we can have those conversations the no fly zone I would hope. Would be also shared by Russia. If they will begin to turn their military attention. Away from going after the adversaries. Alvis socked fort ices and put the a sop future on the political and diplomatic track where. Along I wanna take this is editor and take this senator Sanders next because at exhibited a bachelor's comet that are a distant difference of opinion of with Secretary Clinton on this. Our differences. Are up fairly deep on this issue. We disagreed on the war in Iraq be both listened to the information from bush and Cheney are voted against the war. But I think. And I say this with due respect that aren't worried too much. That Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive. Without knowing what the unintended consequences might bait. We yes we could get rid of Saddam Hussein but that destabilize the and Mario region. Yes we could get rid of adopting a terrible dictate up what that created a vacuum. For all crisis. Yes we could get rid of a sought. To mark all but that would create a not a political vacuum that would benefit Ike's assault I think yeah. Regime change is easy getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that you gotta thinkable what happens the day after. And in my view what we need to do is put together a broad coalitions to on the sled. That we're not gonna help a political vacuum filled by terrorists. That in fact we are gonna move steadily and maybe slow. What democratic societies in terms of a sought a terrible dictator and I think in Syria the primary focus not. Must be on destroying ices and work it over the years to get rid of a sought that's the secondary issue. But senator they're. Lately that is exactly what I just said what I just described of its and that played implore Terri but has now we have a UN Security Council that will enable us to do that and you know with all due respect senator you voted for regime change with respect to Libya. You joined the senate in voting to get rid of Khaddafi and you ask that there be a Security Council. Validation. Of that with the resolution. All of these are very different called issues I know that I've been dealing with them for a long time. And of course we have to continue to do what is necessary. Witness someone like adopt a get despot with American blood on his hands. Is overturned but I'll tell you what would have happened if we had not join with our European partners and our air partners to assist the people on Libya. You would be looking at Syria. Now the Libyans. Are turning their attention to try to disk slot ices from its foothold and began to try to move to gather to have a unified nation.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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