tv Today in Washington CSPAN December 11, 2009 6:00am-9:00am EST
differentiation between fixed post guards man a perimeter and the bodyguards who are much more controversial, the blackwaters of this world. there is no question to tell you that to hire these people to guard the areas, except for afghanistan and iraq, that hiring local nationals is far, far cheaper than trying to hire some american contractor who will put americans -- not only that, it's not necessary. it's just not necessary. these are contractors who -- and some of them are under personal services groemenagreements. >> by the way, that is -- probably -- you traveled. you're right. they've got a lot of folks that,
right professionals attached to the embassies for years, that are nationals that aren't providing the security. thanks for reminding me of that. >> yes, indeed. and that's the bulk of the contractors. the great bulk the contractors. they go home at night. they don't go in some guard camp somewhere. they go home at night. >> so the fact is it's cheaper? >> it's much cheaper. infinitely cheaper. now, the second category are the security guards, the body bargu. these people. there's been a question of whether it's cheaper to do it with americans on contract or perhaps military, u.s. military. and i believe the congress shio budget office came out with a study last year in which they put up the true cost, as best they could get to it, the true cost of a sieve civilian
contractor and bodyguard and plilt person. it was very close to the same. obviously, if we substituted military, that's 1,000 new military in iraq at a time when we're drawing down the military. it's really very not practical. >> thank you. >> thank you, very much, senator voinovich. mr. ford, you testified that gao identified domestic and overseas ds officers with significant staffing gaps. i want to set the stage for why this issue is -- will you please describe how the staffing short falls could affect our diplomatic missions? and the security of state department personnel. i'd like to ask for any additional remarks from the
ambassador as well on this. >> okay. most of the staffing gaps that we identified in our work tended to be in the domestic offices here in the united states. i think typically what was happening was that ds would receive protective missions for things like the olympics or they needed to staff positions in iraq and afghanistan which was their hst priority. and they tended to use agents that were here on domestic assignments. and so the domestic offices here, they're responsible for things like passport fraud, visa fraud, other investigating type missions that ds has. those were where the short falls tended to be in terms of the mission. so we had some examples we cited in our report. i think one of the examples as i recall was in the houston field office which we indicated they
had about a 50% staff vacancy last year. when we consulted with them about what the implications of that would be, they told us that it resulted in case back logs on such things as the western hemisphere travel initiative. so some of the implications of the ds having to shift resources to conduct, say, work in afghanistan and iraq by taking people from the domestic offices, that resulted in mission short falls here domestically. and that's where most of the impact occurred based on our analysis. now we also visited a number of overseas locations in which we talked to a number of ds folks and other embassy employees at various overseas missions. and similarly, in those that were not necessarily the highest priorities such as pakistan, iraq, and places like that, a lot of their folks were shifted over to work in those other locations which had some negative implications in terms of what rso es wanted to do wit
their individual locations. it also impacted ds' ability to provide sufficient training for all its staff because there isn't a sufficient training flow within ds. by the way, this is state department wide problem. it's not unique to ds. staff are not able to get the training they need because they need to go overseas immediately fill a position which in some cases resulted in people that may not be as experienced as they should be to fulfill that mission. and we cited some examples in our report. will tl are negative implications of staffing shortage that's ds is faced with because of the other higher priorities.
i think it's true that the challenge, the stress of the major initiatives in iraq and afghanistan had a back stream effect. we were dealing with our highest challenge. we were dealing with our highest priority. it is true that it caused some vacan vacan have vacancy rates. we have a vacancy rate in the domestic field offices now of 16 periods, foreign service and civil service and we're looking to close that last remaining gap. i would take a little issue in what -- with what mr. ford said in terms of training. i don't think any ds agent had their training cut short. that is their agent training cut short to go to any assignment
overseas. we just wouldn't do that. but i think where we did fall short is on the issue of language. i snow senatknow senator that y interested in this and you testified before this committee several weeks ago. the gao report accurately points out that we have about 50% of our jobs -- of the ds jobs oversea that's are language designated do not have people that tested at that level. and i think there was some curtailment of language training or waivers put into place. i was in this job ten years ago in a time when there were few diplomatic positions. they were ever language designated. it was just not part of the deal. i'm very, very pleased now to
see that bureau and the core of agents evolved in the good direction in the sense that many, many, many more agents are getting language training, including hard language training, chinese, over a long period of time. that was not -- had not been done in the past. now we're still catching up. there are a lot of positions that were language designated that we haven't had the chance or the time, haven't been designated long enough for us to be able to put people with that kind of training in. the human resources people at the state department are very much adhering to this. there are fewer language waivers being proved. we have a certain amount of -- certain amount of catching up to do in that regard. >> ambassador, senior diplomats
worldwide have been provided fully armored cars. some situations, the use of high profile armored vehicles may put our diplomats at greater risk. also, in some cases, these vehicles may not be the correct ones for the local terrain. my question to you is, is diplomatic security also hearing these concerns and are there steps ds can take to provide more flexible, lower profile security wherever it's appropriate? >> one of the other bits of cull
ta culture shock i had that was mentioned in the report whereas ten years ago there were small number of armored vehicles out in the field. relatively small number of embassies where the amount rated an armored vehicle. now it's thousands. thousands armored vehicles. and certainly every ambassador is required to have an armored vehicle and in many places it's more than one. i think we have 3,000 armored vehicles, maybe more than that, in the field. mostly in the combat zones as is appropriate. in terms of what kind of vehicles, i think it's a fair criticism. we're limited by america. and, you know, the kind of vehicle -- american vehicle can you put heavy armoring on is a chevy suburban. and that's a lot of what's out there. that's a loot of what's out there. what we are doing, i think we made a good deal of progress.
we do have other kinds of vehicles particularly in places where we're exempt from buy america because of right hand drive, for example, pakistan is one. there is a place like. that but also we are, i think, making a lot of progress in mixing up the kind of vehicles that we're using, combination of high profile, low profile. >> i'd like to get back to the issue of the training flow. how is the department coming on that? i mean that impacts you. but it impacts everybody else, too. >> the training float has been a dream of department managers for many, many, many years. i think we did get some positions, we, the department,
got some training positions on a one time base nisbasis in 2009. but that's a one-time shot. we have never been able to maintain what you could call it a training float. you could call it many other names over the years. men in motion. it's not just training. there are always gaps between assignments in the foreign services, just the nature of the game. there are leaves. there is training. there is home leave. there is this kind of thing. and there are the complications that are the result from trying to match up a departure date with an arrival date. >> in terms of the language gap, either hire new people that have the languageos or take the peope that are there and upgrade their
language skills. in order to do that, you got to give them time off for that to occur which means that if they're not doing their job and somebody else has to do it. you're saying that it's still -- you're not to the point where you're robbing peter to pay paul? >> i didn't mean that at all. the department has always had it as a matter of principle that we will train our people. if people come onboard with languages, that's fine, that's great. but we will train our people, including the ds agents, and we intend to train our people to the language required about it position. we have taken advertising world languages. putting a list that ds gts can compete for, can express their preferences for jobs.
in the # 0's there were 20 security officers in the field in the department. in the foreign service. and they were truly regional. because there were only about 20 of them. but there is nothing regional about the jobs now. there are very few security officers that are responsible for more than one country. regional security officers are the chief security official and the chief -- >> and they're state -- >> they are always state department employees -- >> always. >> so really, in effect, if that's the case, that's the group of people that you're trying to bring onboard and train up to take on these positions? would that be -- >> that's right. we have about -- we have about 700 agents in the field, security officers. a little under half of our
entire agent population is in the field. and the ones that are state side spend a lot of time doing tdy in the field. >> i don't have any more questions. >> we traveled in the near east and central asia and saw firsthand posts that look like fortresses. of course, strong security measures are necessary to protect embassy personnel. nonetheless, our diplomats informed my staff into these posts make it more difficult to build relationships with local populations. either due to stringent security standards or the relative
inaccessibility of these posts. my question is how do we build better relationships and increase our public diplomacy while insuring that posts are well protected? >> mr. chairman, my responsibility is the security part. but it is a balance that we're trying to reach. and we in security try to play our part in helping the foreign service, the rest of the foreign service achieve that balance. having said that, i think if somebody was here from the office of overseas buildings that is responsible for building embassies would tell you that they work very closely with diplomatic security to try to produce designs and buildings and standards that are more -- what shall i say approachable, humane, a little less of the fortress. but you have to understand also
that in the wake of the terrorist attacks on our embassies in nairobi and tanzania the congressman dated new standards for buildings and the department went through an incredibly intense building program. i think we built 50 new embassies or maybe it's 60 -- 65 new embassies, thank you, in the last several years. and to do that in an economical way, much use was made of something called a standard embassy design. standard embassy design is not very pretty, i'll tell that you right now. it's a -- it's very functional. and many of the embassies that your staff saw in central asia were certainly of that kind of design. i do think that we made a lot of effort in the right -- we, the department, have made a lot of effort to make these buildings a little less fortress like. but, senator, i'm a big fan of very secure buildings. when i get a -- when i get a
threat, when -- when i sit in the morning meeting and look at threats in new places, one of the first questions i ask is what kind of building do we have there to protect our people? and i'm very reassured when it's one of these new buildings. ambassador newman stated in his written testimony that the state department needs to give its deploying officers securer communication devices to be used in the field because officers currently rely on the military for these capabilities. is the department considering doing this? and are there any obstacles to move forward on this?
but they're not in general use. the state department personnel in the field and in afghanistan, for example, as i mentioned, are closely linked to the military and do use the military communications. we need to do some more on our side, though. i think some things are being done. we have just, for example, in afghanistan made available our open net which is not classified. it's sensitive but unclassified. nevertheless, it's a step in the right direction to all the people that we have in afghanistan. >> mr. ford? the gao report identified the challenges ds faces of balancing security with slates the diplomatic mission. do you have any recommendations on how ds and states diplomatic
corps core's can best achieve this balance? >> i think the key thing here is communication. there is sometimes miscommunication that occurs between security folks that work for ds and the diplomatic side of the house which is trying to accomplish a -- an outreach mission or -- reach a broader audience in an individual country. and then in many cases there is just a lack of communication about what types of security is necessary for them to conduct their work and how to get outside the building. so i mean i -- i would say at a minimum -- and this may be a training issue, we need to make sure that our security folks are sensitive to what the diplomatic mission is. we need to make sure the diplomatic folks are sensitive to security. the security mission that ds
has. both ds and those in the field and the state department employees in the field, you often -- i often hear perceptions that indicate that one doesn't really understand what the other's job is. and as a consequence, there is sometimes some negative viewpoints on both parts with regard to what the mission is overseas. so i think the main thing is to make sure through training and through other communication mechanisms that the department makes it clear, you know, there are certain reasons why we have security standards in our embassies and in our packages for people that want to go outside the embassy. and i think the diplomatic side there needs -- on the ds side, there needs to be an understanding that, you know, we want to outreach to the local population there because we have other diplomatic objectives. so in my mind, it's communication -- communication is the key. >> thank you very much. that was my final question.
>> the criteria that you use in terms of where you're going to build a new embassies? by that, i mean, i was in china in 2005 and they're building a new embassy, 45 minutes outside of beijing or something. i mean it's a long distance away. currently it's -- maybe they've already moved. it was downtown, very close to other embassies. so it's now way out somewhere else. is there something that you could go to to say that we made the decision to move it there for ten different reasons? or is there a standard, macedonia? they got one of the prize pieces
of property in the area way out. i think in a residential area to build their new -- it's probably built, too. but is there any kind of -- what's the criteria that you use about where you put these places? and it gets back to something i'm going to as the next panel about. you get them way out some place where there's no -- you're not close to the business area or maybe other embassies and does anybody weigh that in terms of its location and the image it's going to create? for example, the biggest one was the one we built in iraq. i mean who in the devil ever figured -- built that thing? i mean what was the basis for their building it? >> the short answer to your question, senator, is that there is a standard. and it does govern to a large degree where we put our embassies. and that is the requirement that classic requirement well known
for 100 foot setback which between our buildings, buildings occupied by americans and the edge of the property where the wall is. that is an essential, in fact, probably the most important security measure that i can put into place is that 100 foot setback. and, of course, that means if you're going to have a significant embassy, that means you need a significant piece of land. and a significant piece of land that size is often very difficult to find. so it is true that new embassies, as i mentioned before in my testimony, there have been an awful lot of new embassies built, that many of them are not right in the downtown core. i put in parenthetically that one in beijing is in the downtown -- beijing is a pretty big city. but it is -- it's not in some field. it is down -- it is in town and is, in fact, in an area where a
lot of other embassies are being -- >> you are talking about the new one? >> the new one. i'm very intimately familiar with it. >> okay. that's good news to me. i was told that they were building it way out and taking ambassador 35 or 40 minutes to come down to meetings. >> i think -- one, it was not being built way out. it's just that beijing is a very big city and being built in a different part. it has been built in a different part of town. it is true that it is farther away from the abc's residence, the ambassador's residence. but in terms of where it is in beijing, it's in a very active intercontinental hotel right across the street from it and several other embassies. it's also true that while we have embassy that's are distant, that's been one of the bi-products of building these new embassies. towns and cities grow up around embassies. i was part, years ago, of put willing together the real estate
pact package in amman. brand new embassy. and we got a lot of criticism for having to put together a site that was -- that was, you know, half an hour away from the downtown location where the old very difficult to defend embassy was. and the site was in a bunch of tomato fields owned by local farmers. and it was a 13-acre site. and i went back to that site last year where the new embassy has been in place for 15 years. and the town has grown up around it. it is a highly prestigious area of amman with an enormous number of other buildings around it including prestigious buildings. i'm not saying that happens in every case. but that certainly happened there. >> in the uk, in london, the prize piece of property, the state department folks said we're going to get so much money for this that it will help pay
for the new embassy? >> that's right, sir. but the reason for the new embassy was simply that the existing embassy is extremely -- >> too close? >> very difficult to protect. almost impossible to protect well -- about as much unattractive bar sh wire and barriers as possible have been put around that rather classic famous embassy. and it's still, you know, there is a real threat in london as we witnessed in the last few years. so that embassy is being sold. i think it has been sold. and a new site has been found. a rather remarkable new site. >> i've seen it. >> centrally located. >> and expensive. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. thank you very much. i want to thank our first panel for being here today. your responses will be helpful
raise your right hand. do you swear that the testimony you're about to give to this subcommittee is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> i do. >> i do. >> thank you. let the record note that witnesses answered in the affirm tichlt before we start, i want you to know that your full written statement will be part of the record. and i also like to remind you t remind you to please limit your oral remarks to five minutes. ambassador newman, we'll please proceed with your statement. >> chairman akaka, thank you for inviting me to appear again before you. as you know, i am not a security specialist. i speak to you as one who has lived with security issues, been under fire and served in three
critical threat posts, two as ambassador. first however, i would like to pay special tribute to the brave and hardworking security officers who have protected me in my mission in dangerous times. i also would like to acknowledge my respect for the men of dine core and blackwater who protected me in afghanistan. they performed with courage and restraint. one lost his leg in the process. whatever a program now attaches to others i owe those gallant men, state department and contract employees my gratitude. i wanted to have this moment to express it. to sum up the problems that i wanted to talk about are the inadequate security communications that you referred to in the previous panel, security mobility issues, especially the need for expanded air assets that may be required, utilizing local security forces
for prts and branch posts and accepting some greater degree of risk when the gains warrant. finally, the consideration of funds for security emergencies. the report observed the changing security conditions that govern our life. that has produced a vast expansion of security facilities and resources. but there are still gaps between some of our standards and practices and the needs that we have to serve. we lack the standards, not the equipment, to provide secure deployable computer-based communications. we have had this problem for years and we have never solved it. we have delegated it to the military but that is going to be a problem as they go away and, frankly, we have people serving with allied militaries that don't have compatible secure communications. this is a bureaucratic issue.
this is an issue of willpower. the military protects the same secrets in deployable circumstances. it is time for state to summon the willpower to resolve the bureaucratic problems and find a way to send secure computers to the field with officers. i would add this is not a d.s. problem exclusively. this is a problem between bureaus and standards. you raised the comment in the previous panel from my testimony about our vehicles. i think we have made progress in afghanistan and iraq on the mix of vehicles. i think we still have a problem in some areas. i'm probably a little out of date. i know d.s. has made a good deal of progress on that. i think it's something that needs close attention in the further follow up work i would note that part of the problem is also a congressionally mandated problem. that's the buy america
standards. but congress has supported waivers and changes. i hope you will continue to do that. as the military redeploys from iraq, we are going to face complex issues of how to handle protection for our movements. state may need much more robust maintenance capabilities than it now has. i think state should consider having its greater air assets both fixed in a rotary wing in these critical threat areas. i understand there is some planning going on for this, but many issues remain to be settled and future funding is a significant issue. these resources and the authorities to use them wisely need to be thought about now and budgeted for. supplemental budgets are not the answer. they are neither sustainable nor dependable for year to year operating costs. this problem, as you well know,
goes to everybody administration and congress alike, but it is time to stop flinching from the requirement to pay for the mitigation of the dangers we ask our personnel to accept. operating in areas like afghanistan and iraq requires we adopt new ways of thinking about risk. our foreign service officers are not soldiers but our nation's need for informed judgment on complicated economic and political subjects doesn't end when risk arises. you cannot coordinate effectively over the telephone with foreigners that work on face-to-face and personal relationships. we are hampered not only by issues of numbers of vehicles and shortages of rsos but by our self-imposed standards often described as zero tolerance. we have avoided the problem in the field by turning over the security to the military so that our people are moving on different standards than those which we would use if they were
secured by rsos. but as the military withdraws from iraq and we are on our own or we establish branch posts we are going to face increased problems. i want to be clear. i do not advocate that we assume high levels of risk for civil n civilians and i would be opposed to ordering officers to take risks they deem unreasonable. but we must find better answers than we have to date. we have made progress in iraq. we have too many places where we have 48-hour requirements still for movements in cultures that don't make appointments 48 hours in advance for necessary work. we have to have standards that allow for the use of judgment in weighing the risk of doing something against the gain to be derived from the action. i want to be clear. i'm not criticizing the
excellent rsos who worked for me. they did a fine job. i hope we are beyond the issues of the past in which dedicated officers frequently push the bureaucratic boundaries to accomplish what they often correctly believe to be essential tasks. these were not members of officers taking foolish risks or using bad judgment, although i have known that to happen. rather, the point is to note the tension between security standards and what we need to know and do. i believe we have made progress, but i believe we're going to find this problem coming back in spades. and if we -- we do need to focus on it. some speak of risk management. it's a bureaucratic term to avoid saying someone may get killed taking a risk that seemed sensible at the time. it is the flexibility to make difficult decisions we need to strengthen on two different levels. one is in the field.
you talked in the last panel about security officers and regular officers not understanding each other. i think that's true. i think we need to move to having this kind of training be a part of regular training for all state department officers, not just senior officers and security officers. there is no telling when you go to a quiet post whether you will have the next coup in the world. so this needs to be part of the training that we don't do anyway. the second issue concerns washington. we need a more systematic policy between local responsibility and washington responsibility. i believe we have made progress. i think it is probably too dependent on individual officers and i think if we are going to ask people to take risks they need to know they will have
bureaucratic back-up if they are unlucky. as we go to the prts branch post we have repeatedly had problems for the last eight years on how we secure these people. we have not done well with our answers historically. delegating the protection of civilians to the military has been only partially successful in my judgment. i frankly do not believe our military will be able -- that is not willing. i don't question their willingness, but i question that they will have the resources to secure all our people and allow them to move with the frequency required of their mission. >> mr. ambassador, would you please -- >> yep. that's about it. i think we can use local security. i think we know how to do it, but we have to make decisions. we have to fund it and finally, i would make two last points, mr. chairman. one is we need some kind offen financial reserve because -- of
of financial reserve because it would take a lot of work to design with congress in a way that wouldn't be a slush fund. the last thing is strategic planning. we haven't done nearly enough. we need to do a lot more. it's hard. we don't have enough people. but i think we're still playing catch-newspaper the strategic planning. thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. ms. johnson, please proceed. >> thank you again for inviting us to testify on this important issue and complex issue. i welcome the opportunity to share some of our perspectives and to be testifying again along with ambassador neumann with whom we almost always agree. afsa is proud to -- i know, i'm looking for an area of
disagreement. afsa is proud to represent diplomatic security specialists at the state department. they make up about 10% of our membership. we are proud to salute their dedication, courage and hard work to protect both our overall mission and personnel. the challenges and demands facing foreign service abroad as well as concern for security and safety of our diplomatic personnel have grown over the last two decades. for reasons of security, centrally located and accessible embassies and missions seem to be a thing of the past. our ability to travel throughout many countries we are assigned to is far from what it used to be. as the young daughter of a career foreign service officer, i recall traveling into remote areas of the sahara and later in what was then ethiopia going horseback riding after school with friends from the u.s. base at cagnew station many miles
outside of our consulate general. these now seem like distant memories. the need for increased vigilance and better security measures led to new and tougher security standards, contracting access to and travel outside of our embassies and missions. we can no longer rely on the ability of host countries to provide adequate security. finding the right balance between prudent and effective security measures and policies and the ability to do our jobs as diplomats effectively is more challenging than ever. afsa welcomes the g.a.o. report calling for strategic review of the recent growth in the mission and the resources required by the bureau of diplomatic security. we support the gao recommendations. we also concur with ambassador neumann's recommendations. i served in iraq as a senior advisor to the iraqi foreign ministry from july through september of 2003 and for the
next three years in bosnia as a deputy high representative and supervisor of bergco district. a high profile position that came with a full security details, a u.s.-led team of security personnel provided under a contract. this close protection unit was dedicated, highly professional and, if i had to have security 24/7, i couldn't have had better people, but i questioned then and i still do today whether that particular security package was needed in bosnia ten years and more after the peace accords. it seemed it was either an all or nothing proposition. either you have the whole package or nothing. nothing was not the right answer either. in iraq in 2003, as i have described in my written testimony, the stated policy was all travel outside the green zone required full military escort. i arrived with the first surge
of civilian advisors and it was quickly apparent that such escort wasn't available to the majority of the civilian advisors although we needed to travel to our@@@ axd and in other posts lead me to suggest first the need for more and better internal dialogue or communication between the policy and security sides of the state department on what is the best security posture.
secondly, that the one size fits all approach is not the best one for us today. thirdly, that senior officials on the ground in country should have more flexibility and take more responsibility to determine which mix of security measures is most appropriate in a given situation at a given point in time. and i second the remarks that ambassador neumann made that this can't be left to personal decision. there has to be bureaucratic support, consensus that lays out guidelines for this. you can't expect someone to take a position i'm going to authorize or have somebody take on a risk when the other side of it is you take all responsibility if anything goes wrong. there has to be a better way. finally, the increased prominence of security issues today underscored the need to do more to avoid the experience gaps highlighted in this and other gao reports prepared for this committee. lack of experiences, from my
perspective, increases security risk at both the personal and the mission level. having seasoned, experienced veterans in the right positions decreases those risks. the training now offered at fsi certainly heightened security awareness, but it cannot be expected to substitute for years of accumulated experience. thank you, mr. chairman. i'm happy to respond to any questions that you may have. >> thank you very much. this question is for the panel. as you know, gao found that over half of the regional security officers do not have the language competency that they require. what impact could this have on overseas security for diplomats and what recommendations do you have to improve their language competency?
>> i'll go first. it is a help when they have language. rsos are responsible not only for protection but for negoti e negotiating and working out a lot of arrangements with the host government. being able to do it directly rather than depend on translators that may be inadequate is a big advantage. i don't think we are hurting in a fatal way, but we need to do it. it goes back to the issue of training. you were raising the question earlier. one, the state has to have enough people to take them off the line and train them. otherwise we're just flapping our gums. secondly, they have to have a strategic plan for how they will use the training. i don't yet see that emerging. it's of quite a bit of concern to me. they are drinking out of a fire
hose to assign the people they're getting. it's a good problem to have but i'm concerned if we don't have the plan and budget, it gets more difficult next year. you won't have a template to fill in against for the long term. i see the need to lay out the strategic plan as the next critical piece beyond getting the bodies. >> thank you. ms. johnson? >> i believe there is an impact. it's felt most greatly in the most dangerous or difficult countries. the lack of language skills really depends on which country. in some places it's important and others, less so. i think as part of the planning effort there needs to be a review of criteria for
designating language in general and certainly for ds officers and the levels at which that should be taking into consideration we need higher levels of proficiency in dangerous, sensitive countries and lower levels in countries where that is not the case and where use and knowledge, good command of the english language is much greater. i think to do that, d.s. is now recruiting many people who don't have any experience with learning languages and don't necessarily have any aptitude for learning language. we may have to recognize that it may take longer and we may need to review the approach we have to the language training and reinforcing it once we have given it. so i think that whole approach of the department to language training needs to be more carefully targeted and a little more creative in the way we give the training particularly to differentiate more between those people who have strong language
aptitude and experience with learning language and those who don't. right now we don't. we mix everybody together to the disadvantage of both groups. >> but don't look at me when you talk about strong language aptitude. >> to both of you, gao testified that diplomatic security's workload likely will increase as the military transitions out of iraq. ambassador, you mentioned that also. what should -- the question is what should the state department be doing to ensure that the transition is a smooth one? >> there are several things. some of them they may be doing. remember, i am now out of the department for a couple of years, so i may be behind. first thing is they need a plan for what the post is supposed to do. what are the missions you're
going to have to accomplish. in broad terms, how much are you going to have to move as well as to protect the base. then you backplan from that and say, okay, what does that mean i need in terms of detail people, facilities, vehicles? and from there, you go to looking at your choices for how you're going to fill those needs. i doubt that the process is well advanced. they should be doing it right now because they have to give you the budget because those things are not going to be there, i'm reasonably sure in the current budgets because we didn't have to pay for them. the military paid for them. that process needs to take place at a high level of detail in order to come to the congress with a request for the requisite assets that is solidly documented. i think there is work on that
now. i don't mean that they are asleep at the switch, but i think they are probably not up to the speed they themselves would like to be. >> ms. johnson? >> i would agree with the points ambassador neumann just made. one consideration for me representi ining rank and file the people is that whatever planning is going forth or might go forth in the future that perhaps afsa have a role or a seat at the table in some of this so that we can provide a constructive, you know, value added to the process by perhaps filtering in the unfilters views of people who have served in iraq, afghanistan and who have practical firsthand experience and views on what are likely to be the problems, the conditions. it's hard to look ahead and see
what analysis we're going to make as to what are the -- going to be the conditions on the ground after our military withdraws. and therefore what can we take on as civilians. but this is another area where i am not sure what the department is doing. i would agree that if the planning is not far along and i would like to work with management to see that afsa is involved in an ongoing basis in this and that we can figure out together how we can add to the process so that the end product is, in fact, better and better under by the people who have to implement it. >> senator? >> i sit at these hearings in my 11th year. senator, you have been around longer than i have and you will be because i'm leaving next year. i always wonder about the
hearingin hearings and what comes out of it. i have asked my staff to go back over the hearings and the questions that we have had. these folks are here to testify today and in terms of the practical things the two of us and the subcommittee can do, when i think about iraq -- and i was on foreign affairs and i looked back on that. we assumed based on what was told to us that they had figured this out. the fact is, they didn't and we thought they did. i met with richard holbrook and his team. i was impressed. he was saying people are complaining because we're not bringing on people fast enough
and we're trying to get the best people. i was impressed with that. but if you were in our shoes, how would you go about making sure that the plan in terms of iraq has been well thought out inms of human capital, security and other things. a critical path in terms of the things we need to do and to get an idea of how long we'll be in iraq because we're not talking about that. it's the same thing i mentioned earlier, in terms of afghanistan. i mean, to my knowledge, nobody's talked about the commitment that we're going to make towards nationbuilding. anybody that knows what's going on has to understand that's as important or more important than
the military side, but very little attention has been paid to that. how do we get a guarantee that, in fact, holbrook's got it figured out, the state department's got it figured out how many people, how long, where they are going to be and all the other details to make sure that two years from now when i'm no longer in the united states senate i don't read about some fiasco over there where somebody didn't do their homework and we're in real trouble because the planning wasn't done. how do we get that information? >> best realism i can give you. and i came to iraq just after susan did. i drove the same unarmored vehicles in the same fashion with the same dubious adherence to regulation because they had not thought out the issues. i would segregate it into two
pieces. they're not going to think of everything. afghanistan is too much in flux and too changing. you will read of something that's not thought of. so part of what we have to do is to look at our capacity to react when we come across the thing we didn't think of. >> but you ought to have a plan. >> you ought to have a plan. you ought not to be guilty of not thinking of things that were squarely in front of your nose which we have seen ourselves mess up before. >> if i got ahold of richard holbrook can i say have you thought of how many people, human capital, et cetera, et cetera, you think that's in place? >> i think it is in place in theory. i think some of the theory will be very thin. especially when you talk abo
about -- i want to be realistic here. when you talk about new people doing jobs that have never been done there is a limit as to how much you can think it through in a vacuum. when those people arrive there will be a certain amount of muddle, quite frankly, while humans work out what they can do in a complex place. i have every expectation that there is going to be a huge amount of muddle, particularly on the civilian surge when we get people. we don't own enough people who have the requisite qualifications. not just we don't own them in the state department. they don't exist in america. so part of the planning is going to be, how are you going to learn from your mistakes and how is the plan going to be flexible instead of to come up on the hill and what may have been an inadequate plan because you didn't see something and what, in fact, you want to say, i learned something. i want to fix it.
the other piece is the detail of planning which i think, you know, your staff is going to have to work on. what are the questions? i think you have to go beyond -- does the plan exist to say what are the questions you're trying to answer in your plan? and it needs to get down to a level of detail on numbers of -- not just numbers of people, but how many people are going to secure. i mean, right now the answer that's being given as i understand it to how you're going to handle security and movement of your civilian surge is the military going to do it. i am very skeptical that that answer is going to be adequate to the job. but i think that goes beyond sort of people just arguing about views and saying, okay, what is it you're going to have to do and how are you going to do it and why do you think military can do this? and i think it's just going to be a lot of grilling from you all, frankly.
>> ms. johnson? >> i hope i'm not going out on a limb here but i know you have been asking and urging the department to produce various plans on various things. and those plans may or may not be in the works and may or may not be forthcoming. so it's possible you'll have to -- the only thing i know of that sort of ensures that you'll get a product is to tie it to money, getting money. it's an awkward thing to say and i hope that's not the case because it's much better to do it less -- i mean, more informally. the other question is the quality of the plan. i think the thinking and planning up front is critical. and one of the weakness in state department planning from my perspective is that it's insufficiently inclusive if it's done at all. not enough people get to have input, and not enough people get to see it and kind of critique
it or, i don't know, red-game it or something or another. secondly, once you have your plan and as ambassador neumann said it's not going to be perfect and it will foresee everything, so make sure you have two critical, you know, factors addressed and that is good communication and good mobility. and then thirdly, try to get the best people you can into those dangerous places. and if you've got those mix of things there, i think our chances of avoiding any sort of catastrophe and dealing with the unexpected emergencies are rather good. in fact, right now we're missing most of those ingredients. >> i've got some more questions but it's your turn. >> fine. mr. ambassador, in your testimony you mentioned that the
state department needs more people to do strategic planning. that's one of your priorities. this may impact the qddr and perhaps later efforts. my question to you, along with adding more personnel, how you will the departments' culture, departments' culture need to change to support ongoing strategic planning? >> clearly, there are culture changes. some of that is that we have to get a plan right for professional growth in the service as a whole. we have not had that in the past. we haven't had the choice, frankly, 'cause we didn't have the people. now we're getting with thanks and for what the congress has
done, you know, what this committee has supported, they're getting numbers. the numbers are going to change the complexion of the department. we worked on a basis of the older training the young but the older are retiring and the young are multiplying and so the result is the young will be trained by those who do not have as much in seniority. we have to create a new -- a new paradigm, a new plan, that looks at professional development, not just formal training at fsi, not just language training. but professional development at large as our military colleagues have managed to think about it for some time. i think if we get that plan in place, although it will change and shift over the years, that we will then begin to grow people with somewhat different
attitudes toward a number of the things you're concerned about. if we don't have a plan for -- a strategic plan for professional development, then i think it will all be ad hoc and much of what you're seeking i think -- you'll get pieces of it but you'll always be kind of cramming down against the grain. >> ms. johnson, you testified that some u.s. embassies have become less accessible, have moved through the outskirts and senator voinovich was speaking about this. move to the outskirts of capital cities and have a fortress profile that may send the signal of a militarized america my question is, what needs to happen to meet security requirements?
>> well, that's a tough question because we've embarked over the last, you know, decade in this direction that we're currently on of building already 65 or more of these kind of fortress-like embassies outside the center. and we often see the properties that we sell are taken over by other european powers. and they use it for an embassy. you know, one concern is that, you know, in trying to defend ourselves from attack and trying to address the security of our diplomats and our people overseas, we're always going to sort of be fighting the last technology. we are now working with this 100-foot setback and it's my understanding it might have either been imposed by congress or it was something in the inman
report but it appears to be cast into law, you know, cast in stone. but i think we're reading now about suicide bombers and attacks that are taking place at 500 feet detonated and are still blowing up 100-foot buildings so the technology is going to make the 100-foot setback obsolete. so i'm not sure that particular defensive tactic is going to serve us well over the long term and we may find we have spent a great deal of money to fight sort of the last war and we'll just be confronted with a new set. so i'm not sure that i have the answer to that but i know it is a problem for conducting diplomacy. and from where i sit, in many of the posts that i've been in the last decade, i'm finding that the business world and the ngo world is becoming better informed and more knowledgeable
about what's going on in the country where they're living and working than many of the people in our fortresses who are handicapped, you know, by many constraints that make it impossible for them to get out, form the relationships and get their finger really on the pulse of the country that they're in. and i think we need to think about this as we develop a vision for what is going to be the mission of our -- the diplomatic service of the united states. in the coming years. what is the vision? is the vision that we're going to be increasing involved in nation-building, in post-conflict or even continuing conflict, fragile or failed states? and that we're going to build up for that? or is there some other notion? and how does the role of the u.s. government fit with what the private sector is now doing? and how do we -- in looking at public/private partnership models, how do we get a better grip on what's the appropriate
and optimal role for the public part of it, let's say the embassy, and what's the appropriate role for the, you know, the private sector and who should be coordinating or clearinghouse or what should be the role of the embassy in all of this? i think many of these questions are not really being addressed in the sort of public square but are not being addressed with sufficient thought. and we may end up spending a lot of money and training even for the wrong things if we don't figure this out. >> thank you. let me ask ambassador neumann, you recommended, ambassador, that foreign service officers at the state department and usaid should be given risk management training. how do you suggest the department implement this training? and who should be in charge of
providing that kind of training? >> new curriculum will have to be developed. i mean, right now we're -- this is, i think, primarily a midlevel and senior level training issue. it's not -- it's not a junior level one. but it goes to this question of people not understanding each other. that came up with -- you talked about the first panel, senator akaka. so i think it is not that hard to have professionals invent role-playing scenarios curriculum training but right now we're not doing much -- we're doing midlevel training in a series of postage stamp modules that we try to cram into people's transfer summer. i think this is what you need in inservice training training.
for instance, the state department has done crisis exercise for years where they have trains that travel out to embassies and you could build some of that training into that and build it into here. but right now we're not doing it. so we're not -- we're getting past the question of misunderstanding that you raised only by accident or by officers who live it. you know, but not -- not everybody needs to do four wars the way i did. >> thank you. senator voinovich? >> i really didn't understand, ambassador neumann, you're talking about communications and computers that are secure? >> i'm trying to be a little careful because there are some issues that are forward
projection and i have security implications. but basically -- when we first sent officers to iraq, we gave them no deployable community computers. until they get on the military net they had unsecured methods which means they were blind to a lot of threat information and they could not report appropriately development with appropriate classification in all cases developments in their own areas. that problem has not really been fixed. right now what we've done, we've done a work-around. we send them out with u.s. military, they're using the military computers. they have completely different -- i know it's the same government, but they have completely different standards from state on what they can take to the field and how they can use it. and as long as we're with them,
our officers can use their computers or similar computers. they can talk to our computers. as soon as they go off on their own -- i mean, if you have big packages like the team you send out if an embassy's bombed, they have a communications package, but a few hours going someplace, the state does not own any releasable, useable technology. they can give an officer to put him in secure contact with his embassy. he can use his private account, you know, he can use his yahoo!. i don't think that's a very good way to handle what we need to control so don't control or we don't have enough protection on what we control. and we haven't figured this out. so right now nato, for instance, we have -- in afghanistan, we have about the prts as you know are nato prts. we have state and aid people in a lot of those prts.
they work on a functionally different computer system that does not talk -- i mean, you cannot cross-communicate secure communications between nato communications and either the military or -- the american military or ours. i can get a state officer and a prt with a nato force, and they can be friendly and give, you know, their computer but he can't send to my account in the embassy. and we were physically dealing with this in kabul. we actually were running fiber optic cable off the telephone poles down the street to connect my office with general mcneal's so that we had a nato communication -- he had super net so we could talk to each other but the headquarters didn't. so we had to go out and buy computers that aren't in the state system, run fiber optic cable off telephone poles.
and connect and then we had to physically handle data because you can't electronically move it from one system to the other. i think this is ridiculous. >> so the point is is that there needs to be a lot more coordination to start off -- that you'd have these secured computers and they'd probably are going to have to talk with the military part of this? >> exactly. but it is a bureaucratic issue of what standards are acceptable. >> so what you try to do is have uniformed standards. you've got consistency there and you can talk. it really gets back to the other thing about -- i'll never forget when i was in iraq, we went out to one of the camps. i don't even know if there were any state department people that were there. there were military people. but the fact of the matter is, that they had developed a very,
very good relationship with the sheiks. you could just tell, you know, they were talking. it was kind of like a little celebration. it was that kind of thing that makes a difference. and it seems to me that if you're going to do the afghanistan and you're going to have your military out there, that one of the things you want to make sure they are trained in counterterrorism and, you know, they're trying to make friends. but then that kind of segues with your state department people so there's a movement there from one to the other -- that's probably as effective as anything, you know, that we can do. lots of challenges. >> yes, sir. >> you talk about the whole concept of having an overall plan for human capital and training and the rest of it.
so often what we do is we spend all our time putting out fires and never have time -- >> that's part, i think, is happening in state. i wish they had the problem of suddenly having a lot of people to deal with than not having enough to deal with. the fact is -- or my impression, remember, i'm on the outside, i don't speak for the administration but my impression is that they are so beleaguered trying to get people assigned that they're having a lot of trouble dealing with the sort of outyear big strategic issues, how do you fill the knowledge gap between bringing people in at the bottom rather than what we need is not bodies but a certain level of experience and what is your long-term training -- your staffs were both involved with us in preparing that report of the academies on the budget. and we -- we made a big deal in that of the need for a training
and transition float. they in my judgment state needs, though, to come up with a strategic plan for training. >> let me just ask you one other thing. the last time around, i was disappointed in secretary rice because she had zoellick in there and then she had negroponte in there and they finally got kennedy and then they had -- what's the name, the lady that was there trying to do the management thing? as contrasted with colin powell and armitage who seemed to me had a really good kind of importance of human capital and that type of thing. where do you think we are right now? ms. johnson, they have a new organization. secretary clinton has decided to have one person in terms of policy and another in terms of management. is there anybody over there in
your observations that's getting up early in the morning and staying late up at night, working on the management things, working, you know, on the -- developing the human capital and the training and looking at the big issues that the department has to undertake if you're going to really get the job done overall? >> i think getting up early in the morning. it's staying up late at night thinking about the corrective issues. i think they are trying to. i don't think actually i can answer the question. i think we'll have to see what comes out. >> who's in charge of that? >> qddr -- >> lew is doing that with ann marie slaughter. they are cochairing the qddr effort. and there are five or six working groups under it that are working on different things that we at afsa where we might relate to those different working groups.
some affect usaid and we're concerned with getting usaid folk in touch with the people who are doing that kind of planning. >> in terms of the plan, the recommendations that you made you know of anybody who spent any time working on those recommendations from the academy to see if they're implementing them or following through or responding? >> not very much. they're certainly interested in the numbers. i don't think they're using the plan. we are talking to the director general's office about having the academy take on another planning -- try to help -- don't feel proprietary about it if they can do it without us we don't need to be horning in. but we've got an awful lot of experience in the academy. an awful lot of knowledge. and we would like to find a way to work with them to make some
of that knowledge, you know, tom pickerings joke and we would like to make some of that available to help with that effort. >> mr. chairman, i want to thank you. i don't have any other questions, but i -- this has been a great hearing. fire it up, mr. chairman. [laughter] >> thank you very much, senator voinovich.s let me ask my final question. i'm trying to reach in to make sure something you didn't have a chance to mention. this is for the both of you. what are your top three recommendations for improving a diplomatic security efforts within the state department? >> you go first.
great interest with assistant secretary boswell give his testimony and talk about what they're planning and what they're trying to do. i would go back to, i think, the suggestions that i made in my oral testimony earlier. and, one, i think is consistent with what mr. ford from gao was saying. the need for more -- i say better communication between the policy side and the diplomatic security side because all of these either misunderstandings or miscommunications. and i think that communication has to happen at multiple levels and some of it could be by having more joint training where ds people and other officers are taking or addressing the same issues together in the same room from their different perspectives. i think that always adds value to both sides. so one is just to find ways to pay more attention to that dialog 'cause i don't think it really exists in any kind of
hearing. when they ask the question. so i think we need to, you know, confront that a little bit and see what's happening. why is it that people feel that they can say and do say one thing to us where it's not necessarily for attribution and another thing in their official capacity. but i think we need to narrow it a bit if get too far out of whack, it's a signal that we need to open the discussion and management needs to send a signal as secretary clinton has said and said early on, you know, that she encourages and wants to hear different points of view but i don't think people have internalized that yet. i'll turn it over to you. >> you know the real estate state about three things that are most important, location, location, location. i think in this case i would say plan, plan, plan. we've got a lot of big issues. it also picks up, susan's, ms. johnson's need to talk
across functional and substantive lines. but if one doesn't plan then you're always reacting. and our budget cycle is not conducive to acting in a reactive mode because then you can't get the resources to, in fact, react. then you have to pull from someplace else, you know, you just cascade your problems. you shuffle them from one place to another. so of the things i laid out, i think planning is my overall priority. >> thank you. well, i want to thank you both very much. and thank all our witnesses today. diplomats repeatedly have been talking of attacks and ds is charged with keeping them safe so they can advance u.s. interests abroad. you have provided key insights and support of this effort.
additionally, i'm hopeful that diplomatic security will begin to take a strategic approach to addressing its staffing and operational challenges. this is critically important since the department must be fully prepared for new challenges in iraq and afghanistan. as well as other crisis that may emerge. the hearing record will be open for one week for additional statements or questions other members may have. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
see the exquisite detail of the supreme court through the eyes of the justices. go beyond the velvet ropes of public tours into those rarely seen spaces of the white house. america's most famous home. and explore the history, art and architecture of the capital. one of america's most symbolic structures. american icons, a three-disk dvd set. it's $24.95 plus shipping and handling. order online at c-span.org/store. >> we continue our coverage on hearings of afghanistan and pakistan. next, commander general stanley mcchrystal and karl eikenberry testify about the president's new strategy for the reason. howard berman of california chairs the house foreign affairs committee. this is 2 1/2 hours.
>> the committee will come to order. now it can be. before beginning my opening statement, i'd like to make two brief announcements on procedure. first given the time constraints on the witnesses and to maximize the time members have for questioning, only the ranking member and i will make on them. -- on that. we will turn to the witnesses for their testimony. without objection other members may place written statements in the record and as i mentioned at the end of last week's hearing i will recognize members for questioning at the point where we left off last week. so those who did not have an opportunity to question our witnesses last week will get the first chance to ask questions today. the staff has sent out specific information about the order in which members will be recognized. and now we'll go to the hearing. last week the committee heard from secretary clinton, secretary gates and admiral
mullen three of the president's top security advisors. they did an excellent job in making the administration's case for the new strategy in afghanistan and pakistan. today we welcome the top american officials on the ground in afghanistan. ambassador karl w. eikenberry, the chief of mission at our embassy in kabul. and general stanley a. mcchrystal, the commander of all united states and international forces in afghanistan. the president and his team have made it very clear that our efforts to degrade the taliban and defeat al-qaeda cannot stop at the duran line. the al-qaeda, the pakistan taliban, the afghan taliban, the network they have joined an terrorist network that shares the same goals including destabilizing afghanistan and destroying the pakistani state.
fortunately, there appears to be a growing recognition in pakistan that it is impossible to differentiate between different terrorist groups. and that the same people killing americans, international, and afghan troops are now arming suicide bombers in the streets and markets of pakistan and killing pakistani civilians. we sympathize with the plight of the pakistani people who have suffered great losses from the growing number of terrorist attacks in that country. as reflected in the legislation recently passed by congress, we are committed to doing what we can to improve their economic and physical security. as all of our witnesses emphasized in last week's hearing, the president's military strategy in afghanistan can only succeed if it is accompanied by a robust, civilian surge designed to improve governance, strengthen the rule of law and promote economic development in both
afghanistan and pakistan. this fact often gets lost in the debate about troop levels and the time frame for withdrawal and we must make sure that these civilian -- critical civilian programs aren't shortchanged. to that end, ambassador eikenberry, will you have enough capable civilians on the ground to help strengthen governance, build rule of law and promote economic enterprise? will these civilians have enough experience to be effective and will they have sufficient experience in afghanistan and as the civilians has proposed having on the ground by early next year, all we need, if not will when you be able to tell us exactly how many are required? what will your new military campaign program include that the august campaign did not. with regard to the military strategy, i am curious one of
the keys to our success in iraq was the sunni awakening in which thousands of sunni transcribes men, many of whom who participated in or aided the insurgency essentially switched to our side. is there any prospect of a similar shift in afghanistan? can we succeed in afghanistan without such an awakening? finally, general mcchrystal, will 30,000 troops, even with an additional 7,000 apparently pledged by other nations be sufficient to break the taliban's momentum? can we meet the president's objective of degrading the taliban by focusing primarily on the south when the taliban is already operating in the north? what types of soldiers, trainers, civil affairs, infantry will comprise the 30,000 increase? now, i'm pleased to return to the ranking member for any remarks she would like to make and following that we would proceed to the testimony of our distinguished witnesses. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman, general mcchrystal
and ambassador eikenberry, for months we have been requesting your presence before the committee to discuss the afghanistan strategy so we're extremely pleased that the administration has now authorized you to provide testimony. welcome, sirs. last week we received the broad presentation when the chairman asked secretary clinton if she knew the resources that will be needed for the civilian surge, she was unable to provide specifics adding that the administration, and i quote, will be submitting budget requests in order to achieve the numbers that are going to be needed, end quote. so we anxiously await a more detailed assessment on what you need to prevail against our enemies. before we look forward, we must present an accurate portrayal of the last eight years in afghanistan, the progress that has been achieved and the challenges that lay ahead. claims of failure from some are an affront to our brave men and
women such as my daughter-in-law lindsey who served as a marine officer in 2007. it minimizes their accomplishments. and let me briefly contrast afghanistan in 2001 to afghanistan now. the taliban is not in power, does not control afghanistan while our enemies are rebuilding, afghanistan has not been used to launch attacks against the u.s. homeland. there are serious problems with corruption. but there's a duly elected government in power, one that is an ally to the united states. and women and girls have health and education services and are integrated into afghan society. as ambassador eikenberry has noted afghanistan has come a long day since the dark days of the taliban and i have witnessed this progress during my travels there. turning to the strategy announced by the president i have five quick main issues for our distinguished panel.
first i'm concerned about the delays in the decision-making, the impact on our ability to succeed in disrupting, defeating, dismantling al-qaeda and the taliban. general mcchrystal, you wrote on august 30th that the next 12 months from that date were critical. yet, one-quarter of that time has already gone. and by the time the surge is expected to reach its full capacity, three-quarters of that time would have elapsed operations such as the marine offensive, operations -- operation cobra are being undertaken. is this illustrative of the counterinsurgency strategy that will be carried out as part of the surge? and how does this compare to the counterterrorism strategy? secondly, general mcchrystal has the president provided you enough troops and other resources to successfully complete our mission? there have been reports that the mission's goals have changed from your original proposal
focusing on the elimination of the taliban it off instead ensuring that insurgents could no longer threaten the afghanistan's government survival and are they robust to permanently eliminate the taliban as a threat? and as the chairman asked, ambassador eikenberry, do you have the necessary tools to carry out the civilian component of the strategy? thirdly, i have concerns about the july 2011 trigger for withdrawal that's been highlighted in the president's speech. talk of transition and exit ramps with an 18-month target to begin withdrawing and telegrams saying they need to persevere and through a few difficult fighting seasons because the u.s. will retreat. some argue that withdrawal timelines make our troops wonder about the determination of washington to succeed. and could undermine our efforts to secure greater cooperation from our allies.
the "new york times" recently reported that the president's timetable for withdrawal of american forces in afghanistan rattled nerves in that country and in pakistan as well prompting diplomats to scramble to reassure the two countries that we would not, in fact, cut and run. a fourth concern involves the problems of command and control. coordination with our allies and burden-sharing. our allies are being asked to provide more troops to help push the taliban out of center and north. some such as the dutch, canadian, british and french shoulder a greater burden. do you foresee greater difficulties in ensuring a greater commitment from our allies to contribute to the war effort? to the forces that the nato security general identified have the combat capabilities that you require? and what actions has the administration taken to convince countries to give you more flexibility in placing troops
where they are most needed rather than leaving them in safe zones? and fifth and finally, our afghanistan strategy does not exist in a vacuum. at last week's hearing i referred to statements by the chief prosecutor for the international criminal court that he already has jurisdiction in afghanistan. that he's already conducting a preliminary examination into whether nato troops including our american soldiers may have to be prosecuted by the icc. also, as you know, three navy seals, part of a team that captured the ring leader of those responsible for the 2007 brutal murder of four of our american contractors in fallujah are facing court martial after the killer initially complained that he suffered a bloody lip while in u.s. custody. so combined with the reinvestigation of our u.s. intelligence activities, the prosecution of cia operatives, the transfer of gitmo detainees
and the networking activities could be dramatic and undermined critical intelligence-gathering that could save, save the lives of americans serving there. despite these concerns, our nation's safety is at stake and we must ensure that the brave americans serving in afghanistan as well as our critical allies are provided the support that they need to win this war decisively. i thank you both, gentlemen, for appearing before us. thank you so much for the time, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. and now to introduce our witnesses. ambassador karl eikenberry, retired from the united states army, with the rank of lieutenant general on april 28th, 2009. and shortly thereafter was sworn in as the u.s. ambassador to afghanistan. prior to this assignment general eikenberry served as the deputy
chairman of the north atlantic treaty organization military committee in brussels belgium. he has served twice before in afghanistan, first as u.s. security coordinator and chief of the office of military cooperation in kabul and then as commander of the combined forces command to afghanistan. general stanley mcchrystal is the current commander international security assistance force and commander u.s. forces afghanistan. previously served as director of the joint staff from the april 2008 to june, 2009, and as commander joint special operations command from 2003 to 2008. where he led the operation that led to the death of zarqawi, the leader of al-qaeda in iraq. ambassador general, we're honored to have you here and ambassador, why don't you begin. >> thank you, chairman berman, ranking member and distinguished members of this committee, thank you for the opportunity to
present my views on afghanistan today. i'd ask that my full statement be submitted for the record. like in a speech to the united states military academy at west point, president obama presented the strategy for afghanistan and pakistan. his decision came after an intensive, deliberative and far-reaching review i'm honored to have been part of that process. i believe that the course the president outlined offers the best path to stabilize afghanistan and ensure that al-qaeda cannot regain a foothold to plan new attacks against us. i can say without equivocation that i fully support this approach. i considered myself privileged to serve as united states ambassador and to represent an amazing team of diplomats, development specialists and civilian experts who formed the most capable and dedicated united states embassy anywhere in the world today.
i'm extraordinarily proud of them. i'm also honored to testify alongside general stan mcchrystal, my professional colleague and friend of many years. i want to say from the outset that general mcchrystal and myself are united in a joint effort where civilian and military personnel work together every day side-by-side with our afghan partners and with our allies and we could not accomplish our objectives without this kind of cooperation. as you know, mr. chairman, the united states is in a critical juncture in our involvement in afghanistan. on december the 1st, the president ordered 30,000 additional troops to be deployed to afghanistan on an accelerated timetable. with the goal of breaking the insurgency's momentum, hastening and improving the training of afghan national security forces and establishing security in key parts of the country. on the civilian side, we aim to increase deployment and provide
essential services in areas of greatest insecurity and to improve critical ministries in the economy at the national level. these steps taken together, i believe, will help to remove insurgents from the battlefield and to build support for the afghan government. as the president said, we will be clear about what we expect from those who receive our assistance. after a difficult election, the afghan government does show signs of recognizing the need to deliver better governance and security. we await urge, concrete steps in a number of areas. i would likely -- i would like to briefly discuss the three main pillars of our efforts in afghanistan, which are security, governance, and development. general mcchrystal will address our plans to improving security and building the afghan national security forces. since assuming my post, i made a special point of getting outside of kabul to see conditions
firsthand and i fully concur with general mcchrystal's assessment that the security situation in afghanistan remain serious. sending additional united states and other nato isaf forces to afghanistan is critical to regaining the initiative and i'm confident that as these troops arrive the situation will stabilize and turn in our favor. additional troops will also permit us to expand our work with the afghan army and the afghan police so that they can take a larger role in providing for security for their own people. as president obama said, the transition to afghanistan responsibility will begin in the summer of 2011 when we expect afghan security forces to begin assuming lead responsibility for defending their country. moving on from security, the second pillar of our comprehensive strategy focuses on governance. at the national and at the
subnational levels our overarching goal is to encourage improved governance so that afghans can see the benefit of supporting a legitimate government and the insurgency loses support. as general mcchrystal points out, one of the major impediments our strategy faces is the afghan's government lack of credibility with its own people. to strengthen its legitimacy, our approach at the national level is to improving key ministries by increasing the number of civilian technical advisors and providing more developmental assistance directly through these ministry's budgets. by focusing on ministries that deliver essential services and security, we can accelerate the building of an afghan government that is sufficiently visible, effective, and accountable. at the provincial and district levels we're working jointly with our military teams through our provincial reconstruction teams, our district working
groups and district support teams which help build afghan capacity particularly in the areas of greatest insecurity in southern afghanistan and eastern afghanistan. underpinning these efforts is the need to combat corruption and to promote the rule of law. with our assistance, the afghan government is steadily building law enforcement institutions to fight corruption. organized crime and drug trafficking. in his inaugural address, president karzai stated his speech to implement an anticorruption strategy and we're encouraged by his statements. the cultivation of poppy and trafficking and opium also continued to have a debilitating effect on afghan society. our strategy is multipronged and it involves demand reduction, efforts by law enforcement agencies in the military to detain traffickers and interdict drug shipments.
the narcotics problem, of course, will never have a solution, though, without economic development and this leads to the third pillar of our effort which is development. in recent months we've adjusted our approach to focusing on building key elements of the afghan private sector economy, increasing our emphasis on agriculture, enhancing government revenue collection and improving the coordination assistance within the united states government and the international community. these steps were taken to produce improvements in the lives of ordinary afghans and to contribute directly to more effective government and lessen support for the insurgency. rebuilding the farm sector in particular is essential for the afghan government to reduce the pool of unemployed men who form the recruiting base for extremist groups. we estimate that some 80% of the afghan population derives their
income either directly or indirectly from agriculture. mr. chairman, i want to emphasize that we're concentrating on what is essential and what is obtainable. the president's strategy is based on a pragmatic assessment of the security interest of the united states and our belief that a sustainable representative government and a sustainable economy are essential to success. we need a viable afghan government so our forces can draw down in the investment of u.s. taxpayer dollars can be reduced. in closing, i need to mention two important risks that we do face in carrying out this strategy. the first is that in spite of everything that we do, afghanistan may struggle to take over the essential task of governance and security on a timely basis. the second is our partnership with pakistan. the efforts we're undertaking in afghanistan is likely to fall short of our strategic goals
unless there's more progress at eliminating the sanctuaries by the afghan taliban and their associates in pakistan. if the main elements of the president's plan are executed and our allies do their part, i'm confident we can sustain our objectives. i say this with conviction because for the first time in my three tours in afghanistan, all of the elements of our national power are being employed with full support of the president and increasingly of our allies. achieving our goals for afghanistan will not be easy. but i'm optimistic that we can succeed with the support of the with the united states congress. our mission has been underresourced over years but it's one of the highest priorities with substantial funds and hundreds of personnel. we will soon have increased our civilian presence in kabul threefold and in the field of six fold just over this past
year and we will, of course, though, need more. u.s. foreign assistance is also a comparatively small but a fractional amount that's being spent in afghanistan and has been spent over the last eight years. additional resources will be necessary and we look forward to sharing more details on our anticipated needs with congress in the coming days and weeks. mr. chairman, afghanistan is a daunting challenge. success is not guaranteed but it is possible. with the additional troops and other resources provided by the president and with the help of congress, we will work tirelessly to ensure that al-qaeda never again regains refuge in afghanistan and threatens our country. and thank you, sir. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. general mcchrystal? >> mr. chairman, ranking member, distinguished members of this committee, i thank you for the chance to appear before you today.
i welcome this opportunity to testify on our way ahead in afghanistan and i'm pleased to do so with ambassador karl eikenberry, an old friend. let me begin by saluting the bravery of the men and women of the international security assistance force in afghanistan. they are anchored by over 68,000 courageous americans, our close partners in the nato alliance, and a 43-nation coalition. we honor the sacrifices of the fallen, the veterans, and their families. we also recognize the toll paid every day by our counterparts in the afghan security forces and by afghan civilians who ultimately suffer the most from this insurgency. it is for them and for all of us that we seek a stable afghanistan, a defunct al-qaeda and a secure future in that vital region of the world. i first deployed to afghanistan in 2002 and have commanded forces there every year since. despite that experience there's much in afghanistan that i have yet to fully understand.
for all of us, afghanistan is a challenge. it is best approach with a balanced, determination and humility. while u.s. forces have been at war in afghanistan for eight years, the afghans have been at it for more than 30. they are frustrated with international efforts that have failed to meet their expectations. confronting us with a crisis of confidence among afghans who view the international effort as insufficient and their government as corrupt or at the very least inconsequential. we also face a complex and resilient insurgency. the taliban or afghan taliban is the prominent threat to the government of afghanistan and they aspire to once again become the government of afghanistan. the hacani insurgency groups we'll have more geographical reaches but they are no less lethal. all three groups are supported
by external elements by iran and pakistan, have ties with al-qaeda and coexist within narcotics and criminal networks both fueling and feeding off instability and insecurity in the region. the mission in afghanistan is undeniably difficult and success will require steadfast commitment and incur significant costs.ñ/+ i participatedg8h fully in the president's assessment and decision-making process and was afforded multiple opportunities to provide myq3 recommendation and best military advice which i did. combined with7eñ insights in poy considerations from across our government, i believed the decisions that came from that process reflect a realistic and effective approach. to pursue our core goal of defeating al-qaeda and preventing their return to afghanistan, we must disrupt and degrade the taliban's capacity, deny their access to the afghan population and strengthen the afghan security forces. this means we must reverse the
taliban's current momentum and create the time and space to develop afghan security and governance capacity. the president's decision rapidly resources our strategy recognizing that the next 18 months will likely be decisive and ultimately enable success. i fully support the president's decision.??0ç the president has also reiterated how this decision supports our national interest. rolling back the taliban as a prerequisite is the ultimate defeat of al-qaeda. the mission is not only important.f"y it is also achievable. we can and will accomplish this mission. let me briefly explain why i believe so. my confidence derives from the afghan resolve since it is their actions that will ultimately matter the most in ending this conflict with their interest and by extension our own, secured. second, we do not confront a popular insurgency. the taliban have no widespread
constituency, have a history of failure in power and lack an appealing vision. third, where our strategies are applied, we begun to show that we can help the afghans establish more effective security and more credible governance. finally, afghans do not regard us as occupiers. they do not wish for us to remain forever yet they see our support as a necessary bridge to future security and stability. i've been back in afghanistan for six months now.fbd , i believe, that with the president's and ongoing reforms i outlined in our initial assessment our efforts are now empowered with a greater sense of clarity, capability, commitment and confidence. let me start with clarity. the president recently completed review of our strategy to include its deep and pointed questioning of all assumptions and recommendations has produced greater clarity of our mission and objectives. we also have greater clarity on the way forward. additional forces will begin to deploy shortly and by this time
next year new security gains will be illuminated by specific indicators and it will be clear to us that the insurgency has lost the momentum. and by the summer of 2011 it will be clear to the afghan people that the insurgency will not win giving them a chance to side with their government. from that point forward, while we begin to reduce u.s. combat force levels, we will remain partnered with the afghan security forces in a supporting role to consolidate and solidify their gains. results may come more quickly and we must demonstrate progress toward measurable objectives. but the sober fact there are no silver bullets. ultimate success will be the cumulative effect of sustained pressure across multiple lines of operation. increasing our capability has been before much more than just troop increases. for the past six months we've been implementingw organizationl and operational changes that are already reflecting improvements in our effectiveness.
but the official forces announced by president obama are significant. forces to increase our capacity to train the afghan national security forces and forces to partner with afghan army and police in expanding security zones in key areas will provide us the ability to reverse insurgent momentum and deny the taliban the access to the population they require to survive. our commitment is watched intently and constantly judged by our allies and by our enemies. the commitment of 30,000 additionalgúo u.s. forces alon with additional coalition forces and growing afghan national security force numbers will be a significant step toward expanding security in critical areas and in demonstrating resolve. nations will be buttressedlh1ñb clear understanding of how we will mitigate risks. i'll briefly mention three. the first is the afghan government's credibility deficit. which must be recognized by all
to include afghan officials as a critical area of focus and change. equally important is our ability to accelerate development of the afghan security forces, measures such as increased pay intives, education is necessary to ensuring the national afghan security force to ensure stability. third, the hazard posed by extremists that operate with the borders of pakistan with freedom of movement across that border must be mitigated by enhanced cross-border coordination and enhanced pakistani engagement. looking ahead i'm confident we have both the right strategy and the right resources. every trip around afghanistan reinforces my confidence in the coalition and afghan forces we stand alongside effort. alongside in this effort. also find confidence in those we are trying to help. that confidence is found where an afghan farmer chooses to harvest wheat rather than poppy
or where a young adult casts his or her vote or joins the police. or where a group of villagers resolves to reject the local '@ rr in closing my team and i would like to thank you and your colleagues for your support for the american men and women currently serving in afghanistan, and to tell you a bit about them. we risk letting numbers like 30,000 poll off our tongues without remember that those are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters serving far from home.
suffering their sacrifices for each of us. the other day i asked a young but combat experiences are to where he was on 9/11. and his answer, in my braces removed. reminded me it's been more than eight years since 9/11. many of our service members and families have experienced and sacrificed much. but as i see them in action, at remote bases, on patrol, partnering with afghan forces, recovering in combat hospitals, they don't talk about all that. they talk about all their publishing and their determination in this endeavor. this is not a force of rookies or dilettantes. the brigade commander is completing his fourth combat tour in afghanistan. and it's experience and expertise is reflective of a force that represents you. all have felt fear and loneliness. most have lost comrades. none have lost heart. in their eyes, i see maturity beyond their years.
in their actions ica commitment to succeed and a commitment to each other. i'm confident that i share your pride in what these great americans are doing for our country in afghanistan. and it will be my privilege to accept your questions on their behalf. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you both. and general mcchrystal, you are commander of the international security assistance force as well as u.s. forces. would you be willing to introduce a few of our nato representatives who are here with us today? >> yes, sir. this is part of my personal staff. of course, i've got colonel charlie flint who is a u.s. army officer. kristof is my german a. one american and one german. bill bradford is one of our players, a british officer. another allied officer from the u.s. navy, greg smith runs adjudications. jake mcferrin is our political
advise you in the headquarters. casey welch is my other aid, my american a. i had 27 months in iraq before he came to afghanistan with only five months off between those two deployments. and then dave silverman works on my personal staff as well obvious he. another naval officer. >> thank you very much. we will begin are questioning a. and first i want to recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for continuing the hearing. and i want to thank both ambassador eikenberry and general mcchrystal for what you do in your leadership. you are doing for our men and women. not only serving in military, but obviously in the civilian side. having been the embassy in afghanistan a couple of times and then hosted there, it's not the plush area anyone ever thinks. but i appreciate what you all do, and i know members of congress do. general mcchrystal, there are
currently 94000 afghan soldiers on the ground. current plans call for increasing the number to 134 by october of next year. there are currently about 91000 afghan police officers on the ground, and currently calling for boosting the 96800 by next october. this would make a total of afghan secret force around 200 30,000, police and military. during this strategic overview or review your advocated boosting the number of afghan security forces to 400,000. security forces and iraq would have been much easier to rain now total about 600,000. do we think 400,000 in tougher terrain in afghanistan is really -- is a lot more than 230, the estimate but it is still -- is a still within range of what we really need for the afghans? >> congressman, as everyone knows, afghanistan must ultimately be secured by afghans. that's what they want and that
is the right answer. we did a detailed analysis of what it would take using basic doctrine to secure afghanistan, and the number reaches up near 600,000 total afghan, for security forces of all kind, police and army. but the insurgency is not in the entire country. not all the country is threatened. so as we refine our focus, in fact, we were able to reach what we believe is a better, longer term in state. we came up with about 400,000 a combination of army and police being the right number for afghanistan to have as coalition forces dropped down to a fairly small number of advisers, or for the long-term. that would of course be adjusted or could be adjusted based upon whether there is an insurgency at that point, and the size of that insurgency. and number of 400,000 divided between the army and the police of 200,000 ultimate in the army and 160,000 in the police would
not be really out of range for that part of the world for standing armies and police. but i think we need to do that not as a hard number at this point, but as a goal we work toward, and at just constantly. the president's decision is to grow those forces like we are going to army to 134,000 by next fall. and we will clearly continue to grow the police. but to relook that every year will allow us to reflect what the state of the insurgency is, and then of course what their ability to grow is, can they make those numbers. we're getting some very heartening feedback you recently. there have been pay raises for both the army and the police, and with our international committees help and we are seeing a significant improvement. but we've got to see whether that is sustainable long-term. >> and you recognize that our goal is to make it the afghans protecting their own neighborhood, and you share that and the present i know shares it, i know congress does to
general mcchrystal, and your testimony you write additional force will be deployed shortly. by this time next year, the securities will be eliminated by specific indicators. it would be clear to us that the insurgency has lost momentum. other than generally saying conditions on the ground, knowing the security situation would never be perfect, what cry chaikin american people look to that we are basing that decision on sometime next year? >> sir, we collected tremendous number of metrics but we tried to pull those together and a number that is understandable both to us and incommunicable. the first and biggest would be the security situation by district across the country. within a 34 provinces. whether the district is in fact undersell government control, whether it might be contested or whether it might be under insurgent control, so we do a map that is fed by a tremendous amount of data that allows us to look at those districts.
if we are seeing progress in those, that would be one of the major indicators. i believe that the other mage indicator will be the growth and development of the afghan national security forces, or increasing capacity in afghanistan to secure itself. >> in addition to the two major indicators that i believe will be most illustrative, we see that with an tremendous amount of information from data from what the afghan people think, which is key because ultimately this war will be one in the minds of the afghan people. and indicators of their ability to go about their lives whether they can try to secure areas to market, and cost of goods and things like that. >> the time of the gentleman has expired the gentleman from arkansas, mr. boozman, five minutes allotted include questions and answers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we appreciate you being here. ambassador eikenberry, general mcchrystal, we do appreciate the service to your country.
and then also your families. and i think that was so illustrated by your staff or when you mentioned that he was in iraq and not in afghanistan and the time away from home. general mcchrystal, following the president's speech to congress, the president developed a series of metrics to judge progress in afghanistan and pakistan. are those metrics to useful? did they have any influence on the strategy and the assessment that you did in august? are his metrics are useful base of the present new strategy? do the metrics have any influence on the july 2011 withdrawal? do the metrics need to be revised as a result of the new planning? >> congressman, i believe the metrics, they are still in place. they are useful. i do believe they will evolve over time because of the conditions on the ground evolves, and we collect even more debt and look at a. i think it's important we keep being willing to evolve those to
understand. so i expect those to be based on metrics but i expect to inform that with many others as well, sir. >> i know that you are all very metrics are then. had many come and testify before congress. that president karzai will be held accountable. do the metrics that you have developed, do they specifically include assessment for president karzai? >> congressman, our assessment, yes, they include the effectiveness of the government of afghanistan at the national level, and as general mcchrystal said, assessments are at the subnational level as well, that we have a robust plan of assessments at all levels. >> i know that prime minister brown has reportedly given president karzai a list of milestones and metrics that he
will judge him by. have you seen the list? does it have -- are we trying to replicate and work with them in that regard? >> congressman, i have not seen the specific list, but i'm roughly familiar with the intent of it. >> good. lastly, the other guys were here and testified, secretary gates, and then also admiral mullen. and i think that i know in my district, i think throughout the country, there really is a great concern of the four guys that are under indictment, or whatever you call it in the military. and i think the concern is, that somehow we are being caught up in political correctness. i wanted to tell secretary gates, i did that get a chance to ask a question, but arkansas played texas a&m earlier in the year and begin. at texas stadium. but you know, in the heat of that battle, if somebody hit
somebody in the mouth, they would be suspended for a game. i know it's different, you know, the situation but it's not that different. and i guess what i would like from you is just your reassurance, i know through the years, you know, people stood up for me. your reassurance that you are looking into that, you know, and shepherding that process. i know you can get involved directly to the point it is no. admiral mullen indicated that he had confidence with the people that were taking care that. my comeback to that is i know he had confidence in the people at fort hood, and yet a third grader could have told that there was something going on there that was not right. and i think again, the american people are concerned that that is due to political correctness. >> congressman, i am not familiar because the incident that happened in iraq with the
current one that you mention, although the specifics of that case, but i will tell you we stress to all of our people, the importance of how to act. but there's also an absolute loyalty. so i think the balance is about particularly we have learned a lot over these years as we go through this. >> i know that is in review, is an iraqi situation. but it does make a difference, and since your guys now, when they are deciding whether or not to do an action, the easiest thing to do is not good. it does make a difference as far as decision-making, and so i would hope that you would work with your cohorts. i know you have got tremendous influence in various areas, but that really is an important thing. it's an important thing with the american people. and their support of the military. thank you, mr. chairman,. >> the time of the joan has expired. mr. scott is recognized for five
minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and welcome general, ambassador. let me start off with a mission that was articulated by general gates and secretary clinton, and last week was this. our mission is to go in, destroy, dismantle, defeat al qaeda in both afghanistan and pakistan and see to it that they do not return. that being the case, what about pakistan? pakistan is where the crux of the problem is, but yet it is the least emphasis where we have seen our strategy. that's where al qaeda is. that's where the real apex of this situation is. will our troops be able to go in to pakistan and do exactly what, to see that it doesn't return to pakistan's? >> imports of the mission against al qaeda is absolutely clear. as commander, my responsibility or my authority stop at the
border of afghanistan and pakistan. we do however work very hard, and i personally spent a lot of time with general kiyani, developing a strategic partnership to enable them to meet their strategic objective spirit let me ask it again because i only have a few minutes. i will have a number of questions. to your knowledge, of your involvement with the joint strategy with pakistan, to your knowledge will our troops be able to go into pakistan? >> sir, i'm really out of my lane to discuss that. >> all right. let me ask you, about nato and our troops. nato has said they are sending around 7000, 6000, 7000 troops. those troops come with caveats. can you comment briefly on what that presents to you were a nation may send soldiers but they tell them you can go, you can see, but you can't conquer.
you can't get in the battle. you must sit on the bench. what does that do to our strategy? >> many of the 43 nations forces come with no caveats, and operate just like ours. >> you said 40%? >> no, sir. i don't know the percentage. i would like to get that idea for the record. the caveats are something i work with all our nato partners and ask them to reduce to increase our flexibly. i think it's important we continue to reduce those so that they can prosecute operations, tickly counterinsurgency effectively. >> going back for a moment you, ambassador, you mention some things. there's been a hedges is the to stay away from the word nationbuilding. but as i listen to you, as you talk about setting up the afghan government, as you talk about your three quarters. which were a security, which was governance, which was building up the economy. if that isn't nationbuilding i don't know what is. is that not nationbuilding?
>> congressman -- >> can we not be successful unless we do that? >> i think our goals are clear. they are narrowed, and what we are seeking to achieve in partnership with our afghan allies, is a government that has the capability of providing for the security of its own people. >> let me just ask you though, because i only have a little bit of time. are we in nationbuilding in afghanistan? >> i think that what we've established our clear goals that are narrow, that have to do with establishing sufficient security. >> but i'm asking you yes or no. are we in nationbuilding in afghanistan? >> know i would not characterize it. we are providing assistance. i would not characterize it as open-ended nationbuilding. clearly not. >> let me go back to you, general mcchrystal. you mentioned and you spoke openly and i agree with you of the sacrifice and a great job that our soldiers are doing. but here's what concerns me.
there's a terrible strain on our military. many of our young men and women are going on in their third or fourth tours of duty. there's been an ugly side to this. every time i've gone over there for a, four times i've been to afghanistan i go back to the air force. i care about our military. the situation in fort hood was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of excessive stress of mental strain, suicide, divorce rate. tell me, how deep is the strain on our military, and what are we doing about it? >> congressman, the strain is significant, but the force is holding up. extraordinarily well. i think the things we're doing to take care of families back in the states, the things we're doing to look after servicemembers while they are there, to get leads, all those things to take care of wounded warriors, to me all those things come together to give the force much more resiliency than it would otherwise have an
historically would have. >> the time of the german has expired. the gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson is recognized for five minutes. >> general, ambassador, thank you very much for being here today. i have a special appreciation of your commitment. as a member of congress i am grateful to be the cochair of the afghan pakistan by a procedure hospitality at the briefings that i've had with both of you. i just have great faith in your service. also, i am very happy that we share our army careers, began together in the 1970s and so i appreciate as a bitter and your service but more particularly as a pair that i have four sons serving in the military of the united states today. i'm very grateful for their service, and military service means a lot to our family. that's why i want military families to know that i have faith in your integrity. i have faith in your ability. you truly are looking out for
the troops, as i believe you're going to be victorious in the second search where we will be defeating the terrorists to protect american families at home. on tuesday i was honored to be at the armed services committee meeting, ambassador, and was puzzling surprised when you said that there has been progress in afghanistan. and sometimes i have to read about progress in unusual places, like rotary magazine, and they were giving indications of a rotary projects around the world. one that they are backing up our schools. the number of schools have increased from 650 to 9500. can you tell us what you see as progress. and in what is the role of a provincial reconstruction team? >> thanks, congressman. there's been remarkable progress since the very dark days of taliban in 2001. you mentioned one in education. in 2001, there was 1 million children going to school.
they were almost all boys. they were receiving a certain persuasion of education. today there are 6.5 million afghan children who are going to school. about 35 percent of those are girls. in 2001, very little of the afghan population had access to any health care. now 80 percent of the population has access to primary. albeit rudimentary, but access to primary health care. i could go on with the building of roads, 10 million afghans have cell phone, have cell phones. and there's been profound changes. and we know the challenges are. general mcchrystal and i have both share our views of where those challenges are. but there is room -- there is room to have great hope as we move forward. there is much to build on. provincial reconstruction teams, provincial reconstruction teams have a very important role, both at civilian military, combined effort in many other provinces in afghanistan under nato isaf
command. and their goals are to assist the local government, strengthening their government, to help them develop capacity in order to improve their distribution of the basic services to the people in the area. >> something that would be very helpful, i served with congresswoman sheila jackson lee in the afghan caucus, if you could provide to us, say, a bullet type presentation that we could do straight to our colleagues on items of progress that you see. that would be very helpful. general mcchrystal, i've had an opportunity to this a police training academy in the lull about. by former national guard unit, the 218 helps train. the police units across the country. and i saw dedicated persons but i'm concerned about their pay. the pay is so low that it certainly would call into question loyalty and then lead to some level of a bribery.
what's the status of pay, training, who is paying? >> congressman, well-timed. the government of afghanistan just increase the pay of afghan national army and police. didn't quite double it, but got almost to twice. it is still, the design is to get to a living, living wage we don't have people who are forced to resort to corruption or family support to go forward. and its foreign money that helps the afghan foreign government is required to pay 34 percent of the budget of corn to the london compaq 1996 towards their afghan security forces. but that clearly does not cover the major part. >> and the cost largely covered you say by foreign contributions. it's my understand that japan again, people do not know the
extraordinary efforts and support from around the world, as unlikely as japan supporting the police of afghanistan. thank you again for your service. stomach time of the german has a five. the gentleman from arkansas recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general mcchrystal, the arkansas national guard, like those in other states plays an important role in responding to natural disasters and other domestic emergencies and arkansas. it's not uncommon for them to respond in other states as well such as louisiana after hurricane katrina. in addition to these domestic roles, the arkansas national guard 39th infantry brigade combat team has twice been deployed to iraq. and while this team has to date not serve in afghanistan, there
is a significant national guard presence in afghanistan. and the 30 night has been to iraq not once but twice. i think most of them have a pretty good idea of what may be in their future. i'm grateful for the service that men and women of the national guard provide our country. their continued deployment leaves the national guard with fewer troops and equipment needed to respond to domestic issues. how many of the 30000 additional troops to do you envision coming from the national guard? and how soon will national guardsmen, guards women return home after the planned drawdown begins in 2011? >> sir, i will have to take the record to the 30000 get back to you, that look like national guard. the services will determine that. i would like to take a second to talk about national guardsmen and service. because they are extraordinary across all the discipline,
engineers, infantry, trainers, significant number of people trained the afghan national security forces, national guardsmen. and then the agriculture development teams that are there as well from many states. they provide a linkage to practical agriculture expertise that we can provide, and they also develop a sense of partnership with the afghan people that is a combat multiplier, not just about middle assistance to actually help security as well. so i can't say enough about what national guardsmen do or the sacrifices they have made. >> in my time remaining, approximately three quarters of the food, fuel and other provisions that supply nato forces that passes through pakistan, in the face of increased taliban attacks on the supply routes, pakistani government has been unable to
increase security. since september 2008, the attacks have forced several temporary closures of supply routes. as a result of these attacks and the decreased security in pakistan, nato was forced to seek alternative supply routes into afghanistan. the continuing attacks raise concern for the deployment of additional u.s. troops to afghanistan, which will require a significant increase of supplies. while some of the additional supplies will be transported via other ways such as the northern distribution network, much of the additional supplies will have to pass obviously through pakistan. what will be done to ensure a american and forces received the supplies necessary during their deployment in light of this? >> congressman, that's an important point we look at very hard. what we call the ground lines adjudication that go through pakistan are essential to our
effectiveness of there. so what we work with, our strategic partnership with the government of pakistan to continue to secure those. we actually have a very good track record of about of equipment that makes it through without any issues. it's a very, very high percentage. it's been a very strong predictable flow. that said, we always understand that instability could threaten that and that is why the northern distribution was developed. not because the absolute had to have it, but would want to have alternate means so that if one means was threatened, or one line of communication was threatened would have the additional. >> mr. chairman, michael and life remains keeping you happy. and with that i yield back my room and 40 seconds. [laughter] >> wow. i hope it's contagious. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. english is recognized for five minutes of. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gender, you lead an awesome group of folks and we thank you
for your service and for their service. you mentioned that our commitment in the nation is being watched intently. and you called it a significant step to commit 30000 troops. is a sufficient? >> i am confident it is. >> and in the commitment being watched intently, what do we signal by a timeline for transfer? does that undermine the signal of commitment, or does it -- what's the impact of talking about a date certain for transfer? >> there are several points i could make on that. there is first a vulnerability in any date that is set. the enemy can take that day and use it for propaganda purposes. but i believe we can combat that. but there are a number of positives in where we are right now and i would like to stress
those. the first is that the date does serve as somewhat of a forcing function for the government of afghanistan and afghan people to understand that the responsibility for security is absolute, and we need to move toward a. i think we've already begun to see some of the effect on that, so that is positive. but i would also step back and talk about the more important part to me is security standpoint, the president has outlined his commitment to a strategic partnership overtime, long-term, which provides assurance to the people of afghanistan and the government that we are partnering with them. were i an insurgent and i saw that solid assurance from the united states, then i would understand that a date doesn't change anything. in the near term, the 30000 additional american forces combined with coalition forces is going to allow my forced to turn this momentum and it very seriously pushback on the insurgency. and i think they effectively. i think that will be clear to everyone.
at the same time, the growth of afghan national security force as we'll be rising during that period so that at any point, whatever pace the president decides to draw down our combat forces, i think that is met with growing afghan national security force and government capacity. so i really think we don't leave much of a window of opportunity for the insurgency, particularly when they see the long-term commitment. >> thank you. ambassador, you also leave an oppressive group of folks, and we thank you for their service and your service. the general mentioned the wonderful decision by a farmer to decide to harvest wheat rather than poppy. do you have any idea what the per acre profit margin is comparing those two crops? what kind of farmer can make on wheat as opposed to poppy? >> it changes from year to year. it changes from region to region. i was a bit for the record,
congressman, the most current data. the fluctuation of the price of wheat, one of the main staple crops of afghanistan, has an extra ordinary about to do with decisions by farmers. but i would also emphasize, there is a direct correlation, a known direct correlation between areas of insecurity in afghanistan where there is no legitimate government of afghanistan present, and high poppy yields. we see that very clearly in southern afghanistan. in one province in southern afghanistan, helmand, over 50% of poppy production for the entire country will curse their as exactly the area where general mcchrystal's forces right out in the afghan national security forces have part of their main effort. part of that success that we will have their will have to do with pushing the taliban back in securing the afghan population, part of its success will also yield reductions in poppy production and narcotrafficking. and there is a clear nexus
between the two. >> it seems to be a clear nexus between the security, the imposition, our ability to project force and stop that poppy production, because otherwise the unpopular is, as the general said, the unpopular taliban becomes more popular by comparison if you can feed your family selling an illegal crop as opposed to slaving away on a low profit margin crop that maybe isn't going to feed your family. so it's crucial as opposed to have these things go together. so we have to push to say that you can grow this anymore. but also provide some hope that other crops will work. and you can make a living. >> one of the key first principles of our developmedevelopment strategy is in the area of agriculture. and i think, congressman, it gets exactly what you're talking about. >> the time of the german has expired.
the gentleman from new york, is recognized for five minutes. >> i thank the chairman, and thank both of you gentlemen for being here before us today. like many of my colleagues, i am have sirs reservations about additional troop buildup in acts against them. as bush and a topic of the cycle we're under right here. are first and foremost respond to it is to the american people. the greater region all raise questions about u.s. efforts in afghanistan. i'm also concerned about the well being of our troops. i have traveled to both afghanistan and iraq last year. probably the sharpest dissection i could draw after coming back was that the different assets that have hereupon afghanistan i want to thank out all that's been done already, but the representation of the coalition
forces that are engaged in afghanistan. i want to thank them for their participation, for their sacrifices they've made as well. having said that, we will be sending many, many more american troops and coalition forces from abroad. with that in mind, i just want to ask a follow-up on the last questions that were brought up, about general mcchrystal and ambassador, in terms of your initial report to secretary gates, you said the narco profits were a major earning for the insurgency. if we were to displace that as a prophet, both for the rebels and for al qaeda, do you believe there are other alternative resources that they would be able to use to supplant that? and would they be enough to carry out the work they are doing right now?
>> congressmen, we calculate that the taliban get about one third of their funding from the narcotrafficking, but that they could operate without it. they essentially tax the narco trade. they could tax it listed class cross as a. we don't think that will cripple them. the corruption that it brings into governance. so what we need to do first is get security and bring all of those down to get a. >> i thought it was important to make that point, and i appreciate you doing that. that in itself will not impale the problem we have? >> just another revenue source of course from the taliban comes from outside of afghanistan, funds that come from the gulf, funds that come from different elements in pakistan. and there is a full out combined intelligence, military and law-enforcement effort to try to joke that often. >> thank you. i have limited time.
testimonies by numerous government witnesses have pointed out that u.s. is going to increase the number of traders to expand afghan army. overtime, the plan worked the size of the afghan army will grossest into. going forward how will the afghan army sustain itself financially, financially? and does your plan include a measure of self sustained dose of the american taxpayers are not putting the entire bill for decades to come? >> sir, in the near term it is good afghanistan will not have the funds to pay for security forces in the size that they need. as the economy grows, but in the foreseeable future that does not appear possible. >> also, congressman, important to note that when we talk about the afghan national security force, the army and the police, i don't think we can tape you cicely what's the ratio of cost of having a u.s. army soldier or marine deployed to afghanistan versus the cost of sustaining an afghan national army soldier,
policeman. but it is probably on the order of 30 or 40 to one. so obviously, the way forward, developing afghan national police, they can provide security for their own people, it makes good sense for a lot of reasons. >> i appreciate it. looking at my clock i have less than a minute, so mr. chairman, your work has been incredibly important in terms of the level of witnesses we've had before this committee. and i do want to extend good graces and i will yield back the balance of my time. >> well, that's nice. thank you. the time of the gentleman has been relinquished. the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for being here. i am from southeast texas. i represent a guy by the name of charlie wilson's old district. and so i have a few questions that i just got back from
afghanistan on tuesday. i met with our generals, german, canadian and british, nato allies and our troops down in pakistan, afghanistan border. i was pleasantly surprised to learn that the afghan people appear to me to be very supportive of our presence in afghanistan. that they fear the taliban. they fear the reprisals that they have lived under, under the taliban. and they supply us a lot of information about the taliban. good intelligence. the question, several questions. we've heard about the president's position on more troops. i call it the surge in retreat policy. but now that has been hedged a little bit in the summer of
2011. general mcchrystal, what is our policy now? is it to read evaluate our troops, our position? in 2011, the summer of 2011? is that what it is as you understand that? >> congressman, my understanding is in july 2011, we will begin the reduction of u.s. forces. the pace of that and the scope of that will be based on conditions on the ground at that time. >> so we will start bringing troops back home but we were won't necessarily bring them all home. is that what you understand? >> exactly, congressman, there will be some pace that is determined by conditions. >> and if the conditions are worse, what happens then? >> sir, the president can always make decisions based upon conditions on the ground. but it is my expectation that beginning to lie we will start a reduction. >> you believe that you cannot convert the mission you have what you receive the troops, which is in several weeks, or
even months, maybe just a year, a year time that you have to do that? >> congressman, i do. i think with the forces we have, the additional forces at that time, i'm comfortable that we will be able to do that. >> i think it's obvious to anybody that goes to afghanistan and iraq, that our troops are just the best. there's no comparison. to the quality of our troops. how many members of the taliban are there? i would like to know how many of the enemy we're trying to do the. how many of them are there, general? >> congressman, it fairies based upon their popularity. we assessed between 24 and 27000 members of the taliban. but i believe as momentum is turn, that affects their ability to retain their force. so i think it's not people with long-term enlistments. i think it's more flexible than that. >> having been on the pakistan afghanistan border, talking to
just regular troops, just my opinion is that the pakistan government isn't doing enough to ratchet up protecting their side of the border, that the taliban come over in afghanistan, will be to them, i mean come over to afghanistan, will be to them if they do because the military is going to find them. but they run back over to pakistan and have sanctuary. and it appears to be we know where they are. pakistan gives lipservice to doing something about it. met with their people. i'm not convinced that pakistan is engaged in helping defeat the taliban. can you give me some insight on that? >> sir, i believe our long-term away is a strategic partnership with pakistan. they are absolutely focused against the pakistani taliban, intro to pakistan.
they have not focused on the afghan taliban that use a joystick interestingly, and i have a very close relationship with the pakistani military building this relationship -- >> excuse me for interrupting. i just have 30 seconds. so they take business with the taliban. that is, the homegrown folks that just a grunt with pakistan but people running back and forth across the border into afghanistan, they don't consider them their problem? >> congressman, i think that may oversampled by. i think they do, but i wish that they would do more against the afghan powell untrimmed taliban. >> i just concerned about the rules of engagement, the navy seals captured one of the worst guys in history, and it seems they ought to get medals rather than being court-martialed. but we don't have any time to talk about that. specked the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, is recognized for five minutes. >> let me welcome you and say
good morning to both of you, ambassador in general. is good to see you again. was with you only a few weeks ago. we talked a lot about 30000 extra, but what about the civilian surge side of this? could you elaborate on that, ambassador eikenberry? what is our projected number? what are we hoping to arrive at, and how is that process going long? >> thanks, congressman. good to see you again. >> absolutely. >> we have made very significant progress over the last 12 months in increasing our civilian numbers and our survey and capabilities in afghanistan. by january next year, here in about a seven week timeframe, look back over the last month, we will have a threefold increase in our civilian presence in afghanistan. very importantly, in support of general mcchrystal's efforts, a six fold increase in the
field. numbers roughly been that we are talking about early next year, january and february timeframe, we'll be looking at about 1000 civilians over all in afghanistan. about 400 of those we project to be out in the field. it's a very diverse group of civilians. these are civilians, not only from the department of state as you know, but usaid develop specialist department of agriculture specialists around the country. members of the federal bureau of investigation mentoring and helping establish an afghan fbi. we have a brave members of the drug enforcement administration, members of the federal aviation administration. a really oppressive array. we have over the last six month in which we have organized our civilian efforts and multiply the effects of whatever they are, through hiring afghans, and then through the afghan organization, amplifying the
effects. we have very close collaboration with general mcchrystal and the integration of these efforts, projecting ahead, confident, we are set to build the 1000. right now we are in discussions with the department about what additional capabilities and numbers we will need on the ground. that's also in collaboration with general mcchrystal understand his campaign so we support that. i don't have an exact number for what will they will grow to, but it might be on the order of meeting several hundred more over the course of the next six to nine months, beyond what we projected currently. >> well, i guess my question is, i mean, that is very impressive and i thank you for that. the movement in education, girls education, there are a lot of good stories to tell. and i think both of you for that. but as i look at what we are trying to arrive at at a civilian number and we'll are trying to arrive at a military number, it's like 100 to one.
is that the right racial? should we have a greater -- if we're tried to help stabilize the country, so there is more in pervious to at least forces to overthrow the government and hurt the country, shouldn't the proportion be a lot greater when it comes to civilian representation? >> numbers are important at one level, but you have to look at the effects that they are going to be achieving. when we talk about the military, we talk about mobilizing to achieve effects. remember when we are talking about civilians we are talking about individuals or three good department of agriculture's specialists working in the ministry of agriculture of afghanistan can help transform the entire ministry and its delivery of services of agricultural services throughout the country. and so yes, numbers matter. but at the end of the day it's how do you organize them and what effects are you trying to achieve. and if you wish for the record,
i can give many more examples of that. >> and i would like that, but i have one more question for you. you know, when i was in afghanisafghanistan only a few weeks ago, our mission as part of the house democratic partnership commission was to interact with our counterparts, other legislators there. and i was really impressed with many people i met, including several women legislators. one of them was from helmand province. she told us, this is what she said. she reported that without the intervention of the u.s. marines, she probably couldn't even be a member of the parliament. and i guess my question to you is, how is security related to women's rights in afghanistan in your view? >> security is very critical dimension of the events meant of women's rights in afghanistan. certainly there are many other
factors but security is unknown. >> the time of the german has expired. the gentleman from illinois, mr. manzano. >> thank you, mr. chairman. during the last three months, the current prosecutor for the international criminal court has been making public statements that he has jurisdiction over alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity in afghanistan and is performing a quote preliminary investigation to operations by u.s. and other nato forces. this could lead to icc prosecutions of american soldiers, even though the united states has never ratified their own statute. among other things he has declined to rule out, icc prosecutions based upon unmanned u.s. drone strikes against leaders of their in afghanistan. however, this administration has been the united states closer to the international criminal court, secretary of state has expressed great regret we are not a signatory to the roman
statute. and last month for the first time, for the first time since the rome statute introduced, sent a delegation to participate in a meeting of the icc and assembly of parties. it's my understanding that the u.s. ambassador at large for war crimes ambassador rapp, was at the meeting. said nothing to protest the dispute the iccs prosecutorial jurisdiction of claims. we understand that there is an article 98 agreement with afghanistan that exempts afghanistan as a signatory to the rome agreement from turning our troops over to the international criminal court. however, the soldiers that are in member states such as japan, germany, and even the u.k., may be subject to jurisdiction. i would like your opinions on
whether you agree or disagree with the iccs prosecutorial claim, potential jurisdiction to prosecute u.s. troops over actions taken in afghanistan. >> congressman, let me just speak from a united states perspective. we do have a bilateral agreement with afghanistan, article 98. >> right. smack as we do with other states, certain other states. they are party to the icc. and is precludes the afghan government from surrendering afghan troops to the icc. the bottom line is our troops are protected being turned over to the icc, commitment of this administration. >> while the they are in afghanistan. what if they are in other countries that are not signatories to an article 98 agreement, but the countries themselves are signatories to the rome agreement? >> let me get back for the record on that important question. congressman, i know it's a
complicated legal issue. >> general mcchrystal, do you have an opinion on that? i think we need a definitive answer, because young men and women are being asked to go overseas to afghanistan to engage in combat. they need to know whether or not they can be arrested in countries that are signatories to the rome agreement. >> congressman, i agree. we need clarity. i would like to, along with ambassador eikenberry, take it to the record to make sure we get the accurate answer. >> i would hope we would have a today. we are concerned about the prosecution of the three navy seals. a lot of people contacted us. they don't think that military standing behind the young men and women in uniform. they don't think that because some terrorist got punched out that they should be subjected to a court-martial that is taking place in this country. i would like the assurance of both of you that if there is no clarity on this that we will
have clarity, especially in light of the fact that the secretary of state is expressing regret that we are not a party to the rome agreement. ambassador, both of you, are you on record as saying that you're absolutely opposed under any circumstances to men and women in uniform being arrested anywhere in the world and tried before the icc court as a result of their actions in either iraq or afghanistan? >> congressman, yes. and we will get back with you, we will get back for the record on the very specifics of what you're talking about. >> your answer would be yes also? >> yes. >> thank you. i yield back. >> a time of the german has expired. the gentleman from florida is recognized for five i minutes. >> they could very much. thank you for being with us today. thank you for your service for our country. difficult challenges and we appreciate you taking these challenges on. general mcchrystal, this week when he testified before the
services committee, explained that the taliban may react to the arrival of reinforcements with a shift of asymmetrical tactics, suicide bombers, increased use of improvised explosive devices, strategies other than traditional large-scale operation. can you share with us, what are we doing to prepare our troops who are already there to confront these type of asymmetrical threats and what are we doing to get the afghan military to prevent these as well? >> congressman, on the direct tactical and we are doing extensive training on combating improvised explosive devices. we're using a number of tactical means to surveillance, reconnaissance, drones and what not. we are using human intelligence as well pixel we are doing the tactical things to try to combat the problem as it already arises. i think we are widely, the real way to get rid of things like ied's is to secure an area. would you secure an area, it's like reducing crime in the
neighborhood. rather than trying to start each crime, you can increase overall security. to what that does is the population becomes intolerant of ied, because they suffer the most casualties from ied's, civilians do so we are working in that way to improve our partnership with the afghans is the same. were tried to provide the equipment and training as well so they have the same expertise. again, suicide bombers got it is mostly intelligence. >> and as a follow-up, i think one of the discussion points that many people are raising about the whole effort and the tactic and strategy, is whether there's a different way to do this, which would be to continue with success, to train the afghan military. we know the police continue to be a more competent and a lot more effort. but to continue to build the quantities of players there. and then use our military and a tactical way, special force
tactical way, to go after al qaeda where they are in those areas. and of course, this lends itself to the question of, these organizations do not respect national boundaries. we understand that, and the discussion has been pakistan afghanistan, but also they can also be more noble. and they can pick up from one area and go to another area. other weak states, if you will. what's to stop them and what are we doing tactically within the territory where talking about here, to prevent them from going to other areas, and how do you assess those threats of those other areas of being hospitable if we have success in eliminating them from afghanistan? >> congressman, terrorists and insurgents do best and undercovered or ungoverned areas. they thrive on that and they don't survive in areas that have effective rule of law and governance. so what we're trying to do inside afghanistan is create first areas of security into which we can fill that vacuum
with effective governance, development, hope for the afghan people. so it becomes a little more durable. when you talk about outside afghanistan, the same thing applies. we see terrorists moving to places like small yet, yemen, where there is less effective governance. i think our best way forward is to partner with those nations to try to increase governance. we still need to call them a debt as we do in afghanistan with precision strikes. so you can't allow leaders or sanctuaries to emerge. so you got to keep them under pressure as you do these other things. so the thing about counterinsurgency or counterterrorism, because there's a lot of similarities, there is no single answer. is security, governance, development, precision strikes. and i agree with that. i think those people who are questioning in our communities back home about the effectiveness of the strategy in afghanistan also recognizing the threat of the taliban's influence and the nuclear issue,
which is extremely important. and obvious a part of the whole strategy. this question about you don't necessarily need a whole nationstate for al qaeda that is operated. this notion is it's all about afghanistan or all about iraq. they need care to rebut it doesn't have to be large that it can be square miles to train into some of their things and they can move to another place, even if we are 100% successful in afghanistan. how do we respond to that notion, other than nuclear issue, which is important, how do we respond to the notion that they are picking up and going to other places and stopping them from doing that? >> the best way is very extensive intelligence sharing with all our partners. and dancing after they pick it is like following a criminal gang around. >> do you have any other thought on that? >> no, i share general mcchrystal's assessment on that. is a comprehensive diplomatic intelligence and military approach that's needed. spent the time until it has expired. the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith's.
>> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you both for your extra night leadership and for your extra preservice. let me just ask a few questions. number one, the iraq surge of 2007 deployed as we know 20000 combat troops extended the tour 4000 marines already in iraq. constitute innovation to help the iraqi's clear and secure neighborhoods to help them protect the local population and to help ensure that iraqi forces left behind were capable of providing security. notwithstanding secretary or senator reid's statement that the war is lost, and the search is not a compassing anything stated back in april of 2007. the search did create space for political solution and reconciliation. my question would be did the success of the iraqi search inspired afghan search? what lessons learned from that surge pro and con, or incorporate into the troop deployment? secondly, i agree that we need an exit strategy. but shouldn't it have been kept secret?