10/12/2015 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.

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It's been a week since British airstrikes in Syria began.


Tonight we'll look at the fight against IS in the air


and on the ground and we'll find out how the Americans are targeting IS's


To date, they have had access to major revenues that have allowed


But if we can start taking a real chunk out of Isil's revenues,


The Defence Secretary will give us his assessment.


Also tonight: The decision on Heathrow's third runway -


delayed, conveniently, until after next year's


What does the chair of the Government's Infrastructure


And how climate change in Mongolia has created a tragic war


between sheep herders and snow leopards.


It's far too early to make any proper assessment


as to the effectiveness of British airstrikes in Syria.


It is predicted to be a campaign of a long duration.


We've been told to expect years, not months.


The first British targets were oilfields in eastern Syria,


making the point that economic targets are in sight.


All part of the effort to undermine the resources going to so-called


Today, in fact, news came that the coalition struck and killed


We'll hear more about the economic front shortly.


But how is the military effort progressing?


Michael Fallon is the Defence Secretary.


He's in Washington and he joins us from there now.


Thank you for giving us the time. What effect have British strikes had


so far? We have seen a very impressive start, the aria have


moved seamlessly into dealing with Syria and they were already


operating in Iraq, we have doubled the strikeforce, we have raised the


tempo of missions, more than doubled them. And we have already had some


successful strikes, as you say, on the infrastructure that supports


Isil, from which it drives its revenue and from which it has been


financing terrorist attacks in Europe to stop there is a long way


to go before we deal with the monster that is Isil-Daesh at its


source. A lot was made of the Brimstone missiles, at any of those


bemused? We have been using our precision strike ability, and these


munitions are a key part of that because they are able to minimise


munitions are a key part of that any civilian casualties and deal


specifically with targets like oil wells, one building but not those


next door and it is that decision strike that our allies want us to


bring to this campaign. How we used it so far in Syria? Yes, we have


been using these missions in Syria alongside the campaign network. Pave


way is equally as precise as the brimstone missiles and hitting these


oil well head decisively. What busy constraint? What stops us doing


more? The resources we have there or is it targets on the ground that you


are confident you can take out and are not civilian, without civilian


casualty? That are sufficient targets to deal with, there is also


a cover each night in support of the ground forces, dynamic targeting


where planes are above the ground forces, ready to give help. But


where the RAF has, and specifically has been to add that precision


strike and we will see more of that in the next days and weeks on


logistics and command control headquarters and only supply routes


that run from Syria eastwards into Iraq itself. I want to ask whether


we have people on the ground helping identify targets because Newsnight


understands that in Afghanistan, brimstone missiles, three quarters


were directed by people on the ground who were able to ten point


two target and if you do not have a very clear idea about what the


target is, there is no point in having a precise missile that hit a


target that might not be the right thing. Have we got people on the


ground guiding us? Not our own people but there are Kurdish forces


fighting in north-east Syria against Isil-Daesh and we are providing a


lot of the overhead surveillance, the intelligence and analysis in the


skies above that helps more precise targeting. Those people on the


ground, they are directing our missiles? Just to be clear? Yes,


wordy Kurdish forces need help in taking out targets, those targets


are cleared through our targeting processes and agreed and we will


come down and had them for them. The key question, only one week in, is


whether we can sustain the effort we are making there. What is your view


of the sustainability of this? It is only 16 jets out there, six Typhoons


and ten tornadoes, people are saying that is using up quite a lot of this


lack we would have had in the RAF? The RAF are fully engaged in this,


they have been able to sustain the campaign and Iraq over more than one


year, flying six days a week, flying pairs of tornadoes in the sky,


helping this campaign effort. We have doubled the strikeforce so we


should be able to sustain us for some time. We have one of the


largest strike forces in the region and we plan to be there for a while.


What happens in the event that something happens elsewhere in the


world that requires fast jets, typhoons and tornadoes, to assist?


Perhaps something in the Baltic states? Do we have any spare


capacity at all to be in any other theatre rather than the one in Syria


and Iraq? Absolutely, we have more Typhoons and tornadoes guarding the


skies over Britain against any impression by long-range Russian


aircraft and aircraft in the Falklands deterring any possible


Argentinian reprise of their original invasion and we have other


aircraft that we can send, we're sending them back to the Baltics in


the spring to be part of the policing mission so these are not


the only aircraft. We have doubled the force inside Cyprus. Fully


equipped, Battle ready, the diamond fleet aircraft, how many spare are


sitting around? You cannot take them out of the squadrons looking over


the UK and put them in the Baltics? You will not take them out of the


Falklands and put them in another theatre. What have you got it is


another theatre that comes up in the next two years? The answer is


enough. So after Syria that we were able to double the strikeforce after


the vote, we have other aircraft in reserve and we want to keep some


aircraft in reserve, as you say. There are other threats to this


country that might emerge and we may have other commitments but there are


enough aircraft and we are able at the moment to make a meaningful


contribution to this campaign over Syria just as we have been doing


previously in Iraq. One last point, as the Defence Secretary, do you


ever reflect on the fact that we say that we spend more on defence than


France and France comes out ahead in different measures but the official


line is really the biggest spender in Europe, yet the French can put 12


jets, not as many as us, plus an aircraft carrier and 24 planes on


that. For the smaller budget they seem to get a lot more bang. Is that


fair? I do not think so, we are doing far more around the world, we


have troops and planes and ships on 20 operations around the globe


tonight, far more than the French and the building two aircraft


carriers to add to the Royal Navy and we're adding more frigates and


destroyers and the point of the strategic defence review we have


just completed his Regal have stronger and better defence, more


planes and ships and troops at readiness, better equipment for the


special forces. We are stepping up, as France and the Americans have


asked us to do, as the UN has asked us. We are stepping up in this fight


and I will be reviewing the progress of this campaign with the American


Defence Secretary and the Pentagon tomorrow. Thank you very much


indeed. One argument in currency last week,


was that more important than the military action would be


an assault on Isis and its finances - the oil trade, the donors sending


money in, the banking connections As it happens, the man


who is in charge of the economic war Adam Szubin is an acting


undersecretary at the US Department of the Treasury, responsible


for terrorism and financial We'll hear from him shortly


but first, Mark Urban The campaign against Islamic State


takes many forms, but it is the most violent that usually


grab the attention. This evening the Americans announced


that they killed Abu Saleh, who they described as Islamic


State's financial minister. We recently conducted strikes


against three leaders in Isil's Their removal will degrade Isil's


ability to command and control troops and it disrupts the ability


to finance their efforts. But a recent series of attacks


on the people running the groups moneymaking activities is just


the visible part of an often covert Unfortunately, finance is global, it


crosses borders without difficulty and I think the questions we have to


ask is what are we doing in Europe? How are we letting up in Europe to


tackle terrorist financing? And the Middle East? It does not matter what


the US does, frankly, this is a global issue and it needs to be


tackled at a global level. Where does IIS get its money? Oil and gas


sales provided 55% of revenues in this estimate last year. Foreign


sympathisers gave just 2%. Other businesses, taxes and extortion made


up the rest would even since this estimate was made, the group has


expanded its photo state activities and grown new revenue streams. You


might call it broadly extortion and by that I mean a combination of


confiscations, I'd write confiscations of course, and


taxation. The taxation, for example, takes a variety of forms, like


school registration fees, parking fines, driving licence fees,


violations of public space regulations and so on and so forth.


With oil contributing $40 million every month to IS covers, both


Russia and the American led coalition have been hitting the


trucks and other facilities used in that business. But Russia blames


tricky for facilitating the trade while Western countries highlight


President Assad's role in buying the oil so it is hardly a joined up


approach. There is a double game going on here and I am sure there


was lots of politics behind it. We have started to seek middlemen


individuals broke Ringo 's oil transactions, there was a recent


example of an individual standing between IS and the resident Assad


regime and we're starting to go after those middlemen but it feels


like there could be more that could be done. The further they have gone


in realising their dream of a caliphate, the greater the half


increased their need for money. Running everything from water works


to traffic police and schools, they have had to take over salaries as


the Syrian and Iraqi governments have cut them off. That means the


group large amounts of cash and could be feeling the pinch. Without


God, I think they cannot devote necessarily so much to military


upkeep. They have had to come up with new ways to find education


schemes soapmaking students in Mosul pay most of the bees for printing of


textbooks, for instance. There was always the danger with steps of


unintended consequences, for example while workers or civil servants


thrown onto the mercy of Islamic State and, indeed, its payroll by


actions taken by the Cornish. Nevertheless, despite the very


different perspectives about, for example, who benefits from the


medical world trade, among the partners engaged in action against


the group, there is some evidence that attempts to hit it financially


are bearing evidence. -- dividends. Birds and Western allies have also


made some games on the battlefield yesterday. We capturing this time.


Here, Islamic State looted all of the property and enslaved the woman.


A reminder not only of the brutality of the organisation but also its


ability to take desperate measures against local people if it really


feels the financial squeeze. So now, the acting undersecretary


at the US Department of the Treasury responsible for terrorism


and financial intelligence, The man leading US government


efforts to cut off Isis' funds, and indeed throttle the money


of other terror groups and of nations which are deemed


to pose a security threat. I spoke to him earlier and asked him


how much money IS really has Isis, unfortunately, or Isil, is


sitting on a tremendous amount of money. We need to be very candid


about the threat we face as we try to cut off its access to revenue,


but the primary two sources of funding have been oil sales and


taxation, or you might call it extortion, of funds from the


population in the territory they control. What sort of scale are we


talking about? Hundreds of millions a year? Billions? I have no idea. We


are talking at least hundreds of millions and it could be the many


hundreds of millions. It is difficult, we don't have perfect


intelligence when it comes to their revenue streams. As they rolled


through, in terms of their initial military campaign, and took over


cities like Mosul, they were standing banks which had cash in the


vaults and Isil obtained control of those bank vaults. That is the bad


news. The good news is that once that money is spent, it is not


renewable. The Iraqi government has moved to sever the access of all of


those bank branches from Baghdad, so therefore the international


financial system. Let's talk about oil. Who on earth is buying oil from


Isil? First, Isil is a consuming itself of the oil it pulls out of


the ground and also has a population that requires electricity in Iraq


and Syria. Interestingly, maybe surprisingly for your viewers, the


President Assad regime in Syria is a primary customer of the Isil oil,


not withstanding that they are in military complex. Each has something


the other one once, money on one side, oil on the other and they have


done a bit of trade. What about the other oil that is being sold? How


difficult is it to stop that trade? Our focus is actually one phase


earlier, not necessarily stopping the transactions, but stopping Isil


from bringing the oil to market in the first place. What we have seen


over the last series of weeks has been stepped up and very smartly


crafted as a campaign by the coalition to conduct military


strikes against Isil's oil infrastructure and the oil tankers


that they rely on to bring it to market. You are saying that most of


the Isil money comes from internal sources? Oil, banks, taxation? But


there are donors. There is money given to them from outside and a lot


of attention has focused on Saudi Arabian donors. Are you satisfied


that the governments in the region are doing enough, and let's focus on


Saudi Arabia, to stop their citizens donating to Isil? I tell you, we do


not actually see major financial donations coming into Isil. I think


the phenomenon we witnessed in the cases of other terror groups, and I


would think of Al-Qaeda, Hamas, where you have deep pocket wealthy


donors, sometimes in the Gulf states, providing money, and


sometimes you have charities that are either abused or intentionally


set up to funnel funds to terror groups, we have not seen Isil using


those channels in any significant way. Now, in part, they would have a


very hard time raising funds in a place like Saudi Arabia. The Saudi


Arabian government has come a tremendous distance in terms of


setting up a meaningful anti-money-laundering and counter


finance regime. They deserve credit for that. -- counterterrorism


finance regime. You have to remember that the population in Saudi Arabia


sees Isil as a threat, which is true of many of the governments in the


region. Isil is carrying out attacks that are killing Muslims. They are


killing Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims. This is not a group that is


tremendously popular in many corners. How much do you think the


economics matters? How much can it achieve compared to air strikes? It


will have to be both, no question. Remember what I saw's needs are and


its expenditures are. -- Isil's. They are trying to gather territory


while fighting a multi-front war against the US, the coalition,


Russia and various other entities in the east, including the Iraqi army.


That is not a cheap, inexpensive endeavour. So their financial needs


massive. To date, they have access to major revenues that allowed them


to sustain this, but it would we can start taking real chunk out of their


revenue we will see the revenue -- repercussions of that. What has


caused a bit of tension between the US and Europe have been enormous


penalties, hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars in the


case of the French banks, over activities by those banks which were


said to be breaking American law because of transactions between the


European bank and Iran. Do you think the US has been extraterritorial,


overzealous in the way it has punished European banks or some of


these transgressions? This was not a stray transaction here and there


which happen to find its way into a US bank without the knowledge and


intent of the European banks. What we are talking about are intentional


patterns, and often a programme designed to be able to access US


banks to route money to and from parties like Iran and Sudan that


were prohibited under US sanctions. And the intent was manifested in


things like scrubbing payment transactions and even setting up


computer transactions to find the word Iran and delete it and replace


it with something more innocuous. Add Szubin, thank you. -- Adam


Szubin. saga of bullying and other


unpleasantness among young Conservative activists,


and in particular the activities of Mark Clarke, the ambitious


organiser who has become something The scandal has gathered pace


since the death of young activist Elliott Johnson, who claimed


he was bullied by Clarke. But should the party have done more


to stop Clarke earlier? James Clayton has new evidence


of how long the party has known it The scandal over alleged bullying,


blackmail and sexual harassment in the youth wing of the Conservative


Party reads like a cut-price version of house of cards. At its heart lies


one key question, how much did the party know about the alleged


bullying before a stream of complaints were received in August


of this year, and what did they do about it? Were you given a dossier


about bullying in 2010? Arty children -- Chairman Feldman has


said he was unaware of any bullying allegations against Mr Clark until


Elliot Johnson and a slew of others submitted complaints in August. Last


month, the party said this in response to a Newsnight report. A


spokesman told us, we have been checking and rechecking that we have


not found any evidence of complaints made not dealt with, but we are


determined to get to the bottom of has happened. But now Newsnight has


learned that a number of complaints were made about bullying by Clarke


as far back as 2008, and intriguingly, one of these was even


submitted by a man who is now one of the party's most senior


spokespeople, its deputy director of communications. Newsnight has


obtained an e-mail to Richard Jackson, and he used to be a Young


Conservative activist. The e-mail complains of bullying and abusive


behaviour at a hustings of a conservative Future election.


Conservative Future being the youth wing of the Conservative Party. It


goes on to warn... It is understood Mr Jackson passed


on the complaint as well as one of his own to Roger Pratt, the then


head of discipline at CCHQ. We also have learned that a file was kept on


Clarke before 2009 containing multiple complaints. At least one of


those complaints was of a serious nature. It is the latest in a line


of disclosures about how much the Conservative Party knew about


Clarke. Here is a quick reminder. The young activist Elliot Johnson


took his own life in September. He left a note saying he had been


bullied by Mark Clarke. In August, complaints were sent to CCHQ about


Clarke including a memo from party worker which described him as


dangerous to young activists and that Clarke was sociopathic. In


2014, a young activist sent an e-mail to a party worker called


Chris Scott who said that Clarke had tried to damage my reputation and


remove meat from politics. And we have been told that back in 2010, a


dossier was handed to CCHQ warning of a culture of bullying. A


candidate's report was also compiled in the same year when Clarke lost


the bid to win the seat of tooting in London. One witness described his


extreme excessive behaviour, verging on violence. We now know of another


complaint in 2008 to the deputy director of communications.


A NACRO temporary spokesman told us tonight that the 2008 allegations


have been dealt with properly and confirmed that Mr Jackson made a


complaint. They say the party maintained it could not find any


evidence of complaint against Mr Clark, only they could not find


complaints about his behaviour on his road trip, which vast young


activist around the country in the 2015 election. The emergence of the


2008 complaint raises one inconvenient question. If even one


of his most senior media operatives had complained about Mr Clarke, how


did Lord Feldman remain so blissfully ignorant of the problem


for so long? It was at 7.06pm that


the long-awaited announcement on the future of airport capacity


in the south of England came. Well, it's probably Zac Goldsmith,


Tory candidate for London mayor. He'd said he'd resign as MP


for his seat near Heathrow So Heathrow didn't get


a third runway for now. A decision on a runway will,


we are told, definitely come next year, and it will definitely be one


of Heathrow or Gatwick. They didn't mention the London


mayoral election, but it The indecision could be seen


as a set-back for a process that was meant to take the politics


out of these decisions. We had a three-year-long


investigation by the Airports With me now, the man who is chairing


the new National Infrastructure Commission, which is meant


to advise government Lord Adonis, thanks to coming in.


Your reaction to the delay? We are getting there on a firm decision


about air Corps capacity in the south of England -- airport


capacity. The big thing was that the analysis of Howard Davies was


accepted for the need of a new run rate at Gatwick or Heathrow. It made


it clear it would be one of those two airports, so no question of


Stansted, the estuary or other options. There are further issues to


look at with pollution, which Howard Davies said needed more analysis and


there will be a firm decision next summer. It's important to understand


that Howard Davies said we needed the runway which is vitally


important for the economy, needed by 2030. If a decision is made him --


made by then, we could see one at Heathrow or Gatwick. It was said it


would be wrong to rush the decision. RB Rice sing the decision? -- are we


rushing? It is not over rushed, but there has been 25 years of debate on


this. I was transport minister in the last government and we did not


rush to take the decision either. You would Transport Secretary and it


was your policy, which was to build a runway at Heathrow -- you were.


The politicians have not done brilliantly at this. We took the


decision at the end of the government and we had ten years and


we could have moved on. But we are getting there. On your point about


the independent commission process, we would not be where we are today


without the work of Howard Davies and his colleagues, and it looks


like we are set for a decision. There are other two viable options,


next year, it will be Heathrow or Gatwick. I admire your optimism, but


this was the first test for the commission structure. The commission


look at it and advised and the government can have six months to


think about it and then they come to a decision, yes or no, and we have


indecision. Are you denying politics is driving the delay on this? I


couldn't possibly comment on why next May is a bridge to overcome.


They have taken a year over six months, and in the context of 25


years, it doesn't matter a great deal. Provided a decision is taken.


Because as Howard Davies said, we need the run by by 2030. -- the


runway. It is Yes, Minister, we have had an enquiry and the result is to


have an enquiry. If it was like that, there would be no commitment.


It isn't like that. The decision has taken some time, but the government


did say today that it accepts the case for a new runway in the


south-east of England which is a controversial proposition and it


says it must be Heathrow or Gatwick and now it needs to decide. Can I be


clear, if there is not a clear decision next summer, then the


commission process, the process by which you have a commission and then


politicians decide, that process will have failed and he would not


want to be running the National Infrastructure Commission?


It would not be a great advert for this process but what the government


has done today is a perfectly sensible step forward, to narrow


down, as Howard Davies did, the options for Heathrow and Gatwick and


look further. Sorry, but had anybody thought we were looking at any other


options? The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said we should still be


looking at the estuary. A good part of the work was looking at a


completely new airport in the estuary or expanding Stansted and


you recommended against those and by narrowing the options to Heathrow


and Gatwick... I really thought we really had narrowed it down to


Heathrow or Gatwick. I can assure you, it would have been perfectly


possible to take no decision. You did back Heathrow as Transport


Secretary. Do you support Heathrow? Howard Davies came up with that and


that was her personal view, so you support Heathrow? Let us be clear,


as chairman of the commission, we're not playing any role in this because


Howard Davies has done the review. But I think his report is


persuasive, in terms of the massive gains to the economy we will have


from a new runway, over ?100 million in terms of economic output and


hundreds of thousands of jobs and Heathrow is our most important port


in the country in terms of the value of the trade that comes through so


this is deadly serious for the future of the country and I do


support it but equally, what Howard said was it different recommendation


to Heathrow to the one I put forward. Much tougher conditions


insurance of pollution, in terms of noise control and entrance of public


transport access and the proposal he put forward is one that can command


much wider consent than the one we put forward but he says there is a


plausible case for Gatwick and that debate will rumble on for a few more


months. Not years. Flood defences, I think when the commission was


launched, flood defences were mentioned in the list of things in


the bag and whilst in Cumbria the Prime Minister said when you have a


flood but ask, are we spending enough? Is that high on the entry?


People say we are short of what we should be spending, we should be


spending a quantum more? As we have seen over the last week, we have to


look intensively at improving flood defences and it has only been going


for a few weeks so I will not be able to offer instant relief in


Cumbria and places dreadfully affected. But it is in our remit and


something we will be looking at because it is urgent for the


country. Thank you very much indeed. Tomorrow is deadline day


for the delegates from more than 100 nations trying to hammer out a deal


on tackling climate change Negotiations are expected to run


through the night as they strive to agree a plan which is palatable


for countries both rich and poor. But we don't need to wait


for the outcome to know that one particular place is already


being affected by climate change. Mongolia's temperature has already


risen by two degrees celsius, and scientists in the landlocked


country are warning it could heat up by another four degrees by 2080


unless urgent action is taken. The country is scarred


by desertification, and it's having a devastating impact on both nomadic


herders and the country's wildlife. And sadly, the number of snow


leopards is in rapid decline as their natural habitat


is encroached upon more and more. Film makers William Davies


and Hereward Holland joined a World Wildlife Fund expedition


in the Altai-Sayan mountain range in the west of the country,


to see what can be done to protect and conserve this iconic


and elusive animal. That film was made by William Davis


and Hereford Holland. That's it for tonight,


Kirsty will be here tomorrow.


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