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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  March 31, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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republican senators are together on this balanced budget amendment. it provides the right kind of safeguards. it provides safeguards in time of war, it provides transition to get to the balanced budget so that we can address social security, medicare, other programs important to people, and i'm very hopeful that with all of the republicans on this balanced budget amendment now we can join with our counterparts across the aisle and get it passed. there was the sense of the senate to vote not too long ago that recall and we picked up 15 democratic votes. so if you do the math we are getting close and i'm hopeful we can get enough votes to pass this balanced budget amendment and i want to thank senator hatch, senator lee and certainly the leader senator mcconnell for the leadership on this incredibly important issue on the country.
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islamic thank you. let thank senator hatch and all of those involved in drafting the constitutional amendment. one of the things you all have not seen happening but it's been happening every week, most of the time to times a week is republicans have been gathering in this room and in another room to talk through the things we need to do over the long haul to make sure the country becomes fiscally sound. and it's really been a three step approach. one is to make sure that we negotiate the deepest cuts we possibly can in the continuing resolution. that's underway right now. the second piece is to have a statutory solution, one that can go into place right now because we've had a financial analysts on both sides of the ogle come in and talk in a bipartisan way about the fact that something has to occur right now. the third piece is to make sure that over time after the focus
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on financial discipline goes away that we have something to anchor it and that's the constitutional amendment. we've had a lot of people working on all three phases of this. i think it's shown tremendous leadership by mitch mcconnell and our leadership team to pose together are not all three of these concept and i believe it is the number-one issue in america. i really do, and i don't want to message, i want us to solve the problem and i did all of us want to work together to see that happen and i appreciate again the way the leadership of our party has brought us together to try to do that and we are reaching out to the other side to try to make sure that this happens. thank you. >> thank you, senator hatch and senator mcconnell and getting all 47 republicans i think is very important. the number one problem we face in our country is our debt. we will never, ever balance our budget until we amend our
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constitution. it is the single most important vote we will cast. republicans need this as well as democrats. we all need a rule of we must obey. this is the single most important vote we will cast this year and i hope the other side will come and embraced the idea of the fiscal sanity again. thank you. >> i get home every weekend to wyoming and sit around and ask people questions and discuss things and bostick sat with a group of people and said who's here believes they have a better life right now than their parents and a free hand goes up. then i asked how many of you believe that your kids will have a better life than you have right now and the hands all come down. we talk about why that is and the reason fundamentally is the debt. the debt is the threat to the future. in wyoming i sat in the senate for five years, the state senate we have a balance the budget and become amendment and we have to
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balance. our families need to do it, businesses need to do it and if we are going to have a secure future in this country, the one that we know that we need there's only one way to do it and that by making sure by constitutional amendment we balance the budget every year in this country and that's why i'm so glad the 47 of us have come together and unanimously signed on to this approach for a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. thank you. >> last but not least. >> thank you senator hatch and senator mcconnell for your leadership on this. ai degette says so much that we are all together in what in my view is the single most important piece of legislation that we can pass in the united states senate and this is about what i heard from new hampshire voters as i campaigned up and down the state why can't you live within your means and, chris? why doesn't washington get it like we do at home? and congress hasn't been able to
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live within its means and that's why this is the single most important piece of legislation that we can pass. and for me it's about our children. i have two small children at home, and we owe it to our children to make sure that they can live their lives free from being indebted to china, that we aren't passing on to them our failure to make the tough decisions today. so i'm so proud to join with my colleagues to make sure that we pass a balanced budget amendment, and i very much and look forward to working with my colleagues on the other side of the bottle so that we can pass this and make sure that we live within our means and address our fiscal crisis in this country. thank you. >> i want is a first to senator mcconnell and senator kafeel for their leadership on this they are both tremendous leaders and having this together is an important step in the right direction. so, we will turn it over to you for any questions.
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>> [inaudible] >> spending is 25.3%. we haven't had that much spending since world war ii. at the height of world war ii. so it's clear we are off the charts in that standpoint. the 18% is the average revenue now we've had over the last 50 years and we decided that is an appropriate figure to try to shoot for and that's why the 18%. >> can i add one thing? if i could add one thing to that, as recently as 2007, total federal spending was just barely over 19% of gdp. i was at a time when i would argue congress was not at all trying to exercise any fiscal discipline and yet virtually by accident here they were just
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barely over 19%. it wouldn't take a big lift to go from that level down to 18. [inaudible conversations] >> number one, we will have a vote on this. we have to live leadership determined that at least it seems to me. if we are smart, we will do that. number two, he voted for the balanced budget of 1997, and i suspect he would vote for this one if he was here. >> [inaudible] >> well, i heard it but i think he would vote for it. he hasn't talked with me. we chatted very carefully the last time and if he has a
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different constituency now i suppose. >> but me just add one more proud of context. under article 5 of the constitution there are two ways to amend the constitution one is by joint resolution of congress. the second is by the constitutional convention. at an earlier time in history we were actually within two states of triggering a constitutional convention responsibility by congress. so, i will tell you that this is such power out across the country people simply don't understand the ways of the congress and why we can't do what states and families and businesses do. so there is going to continue to be i would suggest significant pressure from the states that we do this as well and i think that is an important part of this context. we need to do it any way that is an important additional pressure. >> my preference is we would
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move this and would move the issue of the constitutional convention. i'm just saying that is an article 5 of the constitution that would be an alternative if we don't do our job. i hope we do our job and i would move the point. >> 1. i want to emphasize relative to some of the questions earlier, there are safeguard provisions in the balanced budget amendment you should take a look at and the address things like time of war transition to get the point we have the budget balanced and other issues like this so we do provide safeguards in this package. >> [inaudible]
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[inaudible] >> this is something all 47 republicans agreed on. i personally believe this is step one, the house is going to pass this and very soon we will have to see how close they come and we will certainly work it out, but i would prefer this version so let's hope we can get it through. >> [inaudible] >> right now we are dedicated to this amendment and i do believe we will have democratic support on this. time will tell. >> [inaudible] [inaudible]
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>> i expect a number of democrats to vote for this and we have to see. if they don't we have to face the citizens and that's not going to be easy because of brigety in this country knows we are in trouble. everybody knows that we are -- we may lose the greatest country in the world and so we are going to do everything in our power to try to get the democrats on board, and i hope we can. senator lee? >> i do think that it's going to be imperative for any one of either house or either political party who stands for fiscal responsibility and fiscal restraint to deal with this and for those who voted for the predecessor version of it years ago, i think would be difficult to articulate an adequate justification. why they would vote for that and vote against this. this has safeguards built into it to make sure that it's not
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circumventing cingular for the principle balancing the budget there's no reason you shouldn't be in support of this. >> [inaudible] well, anytime you're talking about passing an act of congress, there's a reason why people describe something they want to characterize as a herculean effort like getting an act of congress. when you're trillion to get a constitutional amendment passed that requires two-thirds, it's difficult, not going to stand here and tell you i'm absolutely certain that we will have two-thirds of both houses locked up by tomorrow. i am telling you that the mood in the country is right and it is sufficient i believe to the people listening to their constituents. they will vote for this and they will vote by the requisite margin. >> [inaudible] >> well, we've had 11 or 12, maybe 13, who indicated they would vote for a balanced budget amendment. as for this proposal we've been working on getting republicans on board establishing republican
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unanimity and we now take that effort to the democrats. >> [inaudible] sari? >> [inaudible] >> i see. well, look, it is not my inclination -- i doubt it's the inclination of any of my colleagues to signal what would or wouldn't be on the table the terms of negotiation if this were not to pass. right now we're focused on getting this passed and we believe it should pass and anyone who believes in a balanced budget amendment idea should get behind this and if they had some rational persuasive explanation as to why they shouldn't then we will talk. as of right now i don't see any reason to make changes. >> [inaudible] >> will remember one of the aspects of this amendment is we provide that after the ratification we have to balance
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it within five years. i think republicans are committed to passing this amendment in the senate and i believe we have republicans and democrats committed in the house to pass their amendment which will mir this to a degree. >> [inaudible] >> well, i think over time all of us have to be because we can't live the way we are doing right now. no question about it. >> thanks so much, great to be with all of you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> we just have to see what we can do. it's going to take some hard work and it's been hard up until now. >> [inaudible] >> it's better for the bill because we are in real trouble. everybody knows it. the people know it and they are tired of it.
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defense secretary robert gates and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral mike mullen testified on capitol hill today about military action against the forces of market of the levy if you read the testimony came a day after news reports that president for dhaka on authorized covert support for the libyan rebels. after going before the house lawmakers in the morning, they talked to the senate armed services committee for several hours in the afternoon.
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>> good afternoon, everybody. the committee this afternoon welcomes the secretary of ybfense robert gates, the, ever chairman of the joint chiefs ofr staff, admiral mike mullen come to the hearing on the situatiobe in libya. we give you both a warm welcome and great thanks for the skillsn you are bringing the, your jobs and then you always have brought to those jobs. over the past few weeks, president obama has carefullyvet helped assemble a broad militarw coalition supported by the u.n.o carefullon. the coalition is estyablished a solution.ne and arms embargo, stopped gadhafi's advancing army and seamlessly past the commanda of the military effort from ast' u.s.-led joint task force toed e
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miry effe north atlantic treaty organization. the fast pace at which the administration has moved andnat which tho,e department of defene is deployed forces is to befaste commended. it is a testament to the leadership of the department ana to the skill and flexibility ofe the men and women of our armed forces. it is the remarkable moment inoe history when the internationalsa community reunites and acts to stopional community unites and acts to stop a tyrant bent on massacring his people. today, gadhafi and his supporters are more isolated. the military capabilities have been degraded by coalition air strikes that will continue. until gadhafi ends the military attacks on his own people. as president obama has said that while the military mission is focused on saving lives we must also pursue the broader goal of a future of libya that belongs not the tyrant, be tow the libyan people. they are the ones who should
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decide gadhafi's fate. just as the egyptian people decided that former egyptian president mubarak's fate. the multilateral nature of the involvement has been and will remain violently important. as we were told earlier this week, it has made the task less difficult and provide important resources and provided important advice and details and help to, quote, overcome the tiernyranny coalition troops. thanks for the focus of the military effort being the protection of the population and due to the careful consultation with allies and other partners, we have earned support of the people in the region and the region of the a arab world and a region that is not looked fondly
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upon the u.s. actions and motives and intentions in the past. the president has understood and respected our military leader's concerns about mission creep, and the president has reiterated that while regime change is not part of the military mission, the political goal is that of gadhafi. to achieve the goal the united states has increased tools of repressing his power, including close associates. we have used a freeze on all of his assets, and it is critical to use the the soft power with the same determination that we have applied to military action. under consideration is the question of whether the coalition or a coalition member or members should supply the opposition forces with lethal and nonlethal aid to enhance
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their ability to confront pro gadhafi forces. president obama said he is not ruling that out or in. it is important that any such decision be made with the agreement of or at least the understanding and acquiescence of the coalition partners, because of the military and political importance of maintaining broad international support for the mission. also, we must weigh whether supplies arms would be advance and be consistent with the mission and the u.n. mandate being enforced. president obama has been cautious in weighing the considerations and the encoigs ds of the use of military force and i'm con i if dent thf and i'm con i if dent tident th continue to do surrounding the questions of supplying weapons to opposition forces. senator mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the distinguished witnesses appearing before us again. i know they have had a heavy and
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difficult schedule, and in previous month or so, so i thank them for appearing before us today. i remain a strong supporter of the president's decision to take military action in libya. it averted what is an imminent slaughter in benghazi and it has given a chance to achieve the goal of u.s. policy as stated by the president to force gadhafi to leave power. that goal is right and necessary. i agree with the president that we should not employ ground troops to accomplish it. it is for that reason i am concerned about the next phase of it. as the secretary's prepared statement makes clear, following the the transfer of authority to nato, the ud will only be playing a supporting role, namely intelligence, aerial refueling, search and rescue, and other enabling functions,
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but not precision strike or other offensive operations. that means u.s. military will no longer be flying strike sorties against gadhafi's ground forces. i believe this is a profound mistake with potentially disastrous consequences. be clear, i'm grateful that we have friends and allies who are making critical contributions to the mission. it is always good to have friends at our side, but for the united states to be withdrawing our unique offensive capabilities at this time sends the exact wrong signal to the coalition partners and the gadhafi regime, especially to those libyan officials whom we are trying tom koppel to break with gadhafi. -- trying to compel to break
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with gadhafi. i need not remind you that we are trying to achieve policy goals, and not only is our desire to stop gadhafi power, but we are effectively stopping all of the strike missions altogether without having accomplished the goal. perhaps the gadhafi regime will crack tomorrow. i was encouraged to see that the foreign minister has defected, so maybe this will be over soon. i hope so. but hope is not a strot ategy a it does not degrade armored units. bad weather hampered our ability to use sorties, and they made significa significant progress on the ground. so why are we going to do something that makes it harder or riskier to achieve the american policy.
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be honest with the american people and ourselves, we are not neutral in this fight. we have intervened in libya. we want gadhafi to leave power. we want the libyan opposition to succeed. at this time, we should be taking every necessary and appropriate action short of committing ground troops to achieve the goal as quickly as possible, and woe certae certai should not be withdrawings a et ises to make it more difficult to accomplish the objective. we cannot afford that time is on our side against gadhafi and maybe weeks or months or years sanctions plus a no-fly zone will inevitablies for gadhafi from power. that is a dangerous assumption. we made a similar assumption after the first gulf war, and 12 years later, we still had sanctions and no-fly zone and saddam hussein was still in
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power and brutalizing the iraqi people. a long and bloody stalemate was the outcome in iraq before and it is neither acceptable or sustainable in libya now. if gadhafi remains in power wounded and angry, he is more of a threat to the world and the libyan people. we cannot say we averted a mass atrocity in ben gaza onghazi to one in misrata. that is not success. the longer this drags on, the greater the risk. the longer the imbalance on the ground may shift to gadhafi or some tragic event may fracture the coalition which may be difficult to hold together over a prolonged period of time. i know that the u.s. military has a heavy load on the back right now and the men and women in the uniform are doing everything that we ask of them with the unique honor and effectiveness.
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we must not fail in libya and i say this as someone who is familiar with the consequences of a lost conflict. we did not seek this military operation in libya, but we were right to intervene. we have to deal with the world as it is, and if the demands of the great power are taxing the supply of it, we need a debate about increasing the size and capability of the force and not taking decisions that increase the risk of failing in the mission in a country that is now at the center of the most consequential geopolitical opening since the fall of the berlin wall. the democratic awakening of the broader middle east and african. that is why libya matters and together with the allies we must be doing what is necessary not as little as possible. to ensure that we accomplish the objective. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain.
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secretary gates. >> mr. chairman, senator mccain and members of the committee, it is my pleasure to speak about the ongoing operations in libya. i want to start by providing context of the way we got into this from my perspective. in the space of two months the world has watched an extraordinary story unfold in the middle east. the turbulence experienced by every country in the region presents perils and problems for the united states as stability and progress in this part of the world are a vital national interest. this administration's goals are articulated by president obama in february, opposing violence and standing up for the change of political reform. we recognize that each country in the region faces a set of circumstances and that each
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country are critical partners in the face of common challenges like al qaeda and iran. in the case of libya, our government, our allies and our partners in the region watched with alarm as the regime of moammar gadhafi responded to legitimate protests with brutal suppression and campaign against his own people. with gadhafi's challenge of taking benghazi we faced the pros spect pr prospect of casualties in the civilian population. once the arab league called on gadhafi to stop his acts, it was apparent that the time and conditions were right for the military action. the goal of "oppositioperation
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dawn" was to effectively ground gadhafi's air force and neutralizing the air defenses. during this first phase, the u.s. mail tear p-- u.s. militar provided the preponderance of the command and control. responsibility for leading this mission now called "operation unified ..he u.s. military will provide capabilities that others can not provide in kind and in warfare such as aerial refueling and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance support. accordingly, we will in coming days significantly ramp down the commitment of other military capabilities and resources. the nato h led mission like the predecessor is a limited one. it will put pressure on gadhafi's remaining forces to
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stop attacks on civilians and reinforce the no-fly zone, and there will be no american boots on the ground in libya. opposing the gadhafi regime as welcomed as that eventuality is, it will not be a military mission. gadhafi will be removed over time by political and economic measures by his own people. however, this nato-led operation can degrade gadhafi's military capacity to the point where he and those around him will be forced into a different set of choices and behaviors in the future. in closing, as i have said many times before, the security and prosperity of the united states is lenked to the security and the prosperity of the middle east. i believe it is in the interest of america with broad international support to prevent a crisis in eastern libya that could have destabilize the entire region at a delicate time
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and it continues to be in our national interest to prevent gadhafi from performing other degradations of his own people, and setting back the progress that the people in the middle east have made. mr. chairman, i know that you and your colleagues have many questions. as always, thank you to the comm committ committee, for all of the support you have provided to the military over the years. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> admiral mullen. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and senator mccain and other members of the committee. i am grateful for the opportunity to talk about the coalition forces and the libyan people. let me start with a brief assessment of where we are today and leave you with impressions. as of early this morning, nato assumed the command of the entire mission over libya. there are more than 20 nations contributing to the operation in all manner of ways. some public and some not so public. the contributions range from across the board of active participation and strike
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operations to financial aid and assistance for the humanitarian efforts. we are joined in the endeavor by several arab countries and despite the challenges of their own have chosen to come to the aid of the libyan people. i hope they do so knowing that the united states and the international community remain grateful for their experience and leadership, but also knowing that no one military, no one nation can or should take on a mission of this nature alone. this coalition we have forged in record time mind you is not only a coalition of the willing, but the coalition of the able. with each nation bringing to the effort what they can in terms of knowledge and skill to tackle a fast-moving complex humanitarian crisis. 25 warships patrol off of the coast of libya today, including two allied aircraft carriers, the uss chash sshgs sshgss char
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others. there is an amphibious u.s. crew centered around the uss keer saj. there are at our licommand size of planes and ships at his haste to strike targets of opportunity on little or no notice and preventing gadhafi from using his own air force to attack his own people. i note that among the coalition aircraft are a dozen from qatar and united arab emirates. indeed, in just the last 24 hours, the united states, nato and coalition aircraft flew some 204 sorties, 110 of which were
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strike related, hitting fixed and mobil targets in the vicinity of tripoli, misrata and ajdabiya. and we have freedom of movement because we moved quickly in the early hours of the operation to take over the air defenses. the strategic group struck the 19th tripoli time. by the midafternoon, the no-fly zone was in place. we have continued the strike at gadhafi's military capabilities where and when needed. it is my expectation under nato's leadership that area of focus will not diminish. what will diminish is the u.s. participation and offensive operation as we turn our attention to providing the unique and important capabilities. mr. chairman, i have been involved in allied coordination for decades from balkans to so
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many. i cannot remember when forces were mobilized so fast. the enemy was not just gadhafi's military, but the clock. as he marched on ben za gau -- i to attack people, we were in place to act. they were able to do that, because we, and i mean the collective we and not just the united states have invested in close relationships with one another and facilitated by nearby air and naval basing and improved over time through naval exercises and personnel exchanges and actual combat experience and mutual dialogue. nobody is underestimating the scope of the challenge ahead of us. gadhafi has shown possession of his military to continue. he wants benghazi and ajdabiya
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back. he denies his own people food, water, electricity and shelter. he threatens them on the streets of misrata and zentan and he will crush as many as he needs to in order to accomplish the task. i assure you that the men and women in uniform will execute the mission now in support of nato with the same professionalism with which they have led that mission until today. thank you, and thank you for your continued support for men and women and their families. >> thank you, both. as i mentioned this morning, secretary gates' sed scheduleke gates' schedule allows him two hours, so if we want to have opportunity to ask him questions, i would appreciate you to limit the questions to five minutes. if votes occur in the senate as
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planned this morning, we will have to work around the votes, because we cannot recess in this period of time. the first question is for you admiral. can we have your personal view as to whether you support the military mission in libya as authorized by u.n. council resolution 1973? >> i do. >> and can we have your personal view as to whether or not you would support broadening the military mission to include regime change? >> i don't. >> can you tell us sfwwhy? >> i very much believe that the mission as it is currently stated which is to prevent a humanitarian crisis is, was the right mission at the right time. and in fact, in its execution
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prevented that as gadhafi's forces marched on benghazi. i think that my own experience with regime change is that can be long and very, very indeterminant in the outcome. clearly the policy of the president is one of to see gadhafi out and regime change in that regard and that can be accomplished through the limited military mission that we have, and in execution, and then the additional, the the other tools, if you will, that we have to pressure him over time. >> admiral, from a military perspective, you agree that having a broad international coalition and support in place makes a difference? >> oh, i think it has, yes, sir, clearly. >> now, on the question of providing arms to the
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opposition. admiral, i believe you have aid that you are looking at all options from doing it to not doing it. >> correct. >> and beth of you i believe have pointed out that other countries have the capability to provide arms to the opposition. admiral mullen i think again said that no decision has been made on this question, so i want to ask a slightly different question to you, secretary gates. what do you see are the pros and cons, politically and militarily, to providing arms to the opposition forces and if they were to be provided, would it be better for the arab nations to provide them? >> well, i think that one of the concerns we have to have is that we don't know much about the opposition, and that we know a handful of the leaders and we have biographic information on
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and some history, but other than that, we don't know much about what i think is a very disparate disaggregated opposition to gadhafi. we have little insight for example into those who led the uprisings in the cities in the west, and who they are. and below the level of the top leaders, we don't have much information in the respect of the east as well. another factor i think that there appear to be a substantial number of small weapons available to the opposition. they have broken into magazines and arsenals and taken a good bit of small arms particularly. what they really need is training command and control and some coherent organization.
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i believe that requires advisers on the ground as would more sophisticated weapons in terms of training them on how to use the weapons. so i think that those are some of the areas that need to be taken into account, and the other part of providing them more sophisticated weapons may enable them to be more capable, but i don't believe that is the need right now. >> mr. secretary, do we support a real cease-fire coming into exist, and assuming again, it is real. i know there is a lot of doubt about that particularly relative to gadhafi since he has announced five or six cease fires, but do we support a real cease-fire coming into existence? >> well, i think that the president has laid out the
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requirements for at least stopping the attacks on the ground force, and that is that gadhafi had to withdraw his forces from cities like misrata and one or two in the west. where the fight was still going on as well as pulling well to the west of ajdabiya. when those things were announced, gadhafi was racing pall mall to the east and clearly had no interest in abating what he was doing. clearly, i would be skeptical of any cease-fire he would agree to. i think that he has demonstrated in the past few weeks that he would take advantage of a cease-fire simply to round up more civilians. >> thank you. senator mccain? >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman.
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mr. secretary, we are hearing reports that published reports that the rebels are in virtually full retreat right now. is that correct? >> they had retreated toage c j ajdabi ajdabiya, and whether they retreated beyond that, i don't know. >> and the situation in misrata as reported by cnn that i just looked at again is of severe hardship and suffering because of the long period of siege that that's the city has been under, and you agree with that i'm sure. so, when the rebels are being beaten badly, misrata is under incredible duress, we choose that opportunity to remove our assistance as far as air support
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is concerned. will our ac-130s and a-10s continue to conduct operations? >> let me ask the admiral. >> as we continue to transition over the next few days, senator mccain, they are available to the nato commander. >> they are not flying now though? >> i could not tell you whether they were flying today, no, sir. >> so, is there any other assets that our allies have that have capab similar capability as the a-10s or c-130s? >> no, sir. >> well, as a outcome, one might conclude that the removal of gadhafi will be achieved over time by political and economic measures by his own people and something they did not succeed in for 42 years. >> well, one of the things that is different from the restt of
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his regime history is that we will continue to attack his military stores and on his logistics, and this is a fact that is one difference between the no-fly zone in libya, and the no-fly zone in iraq during the 1990s, and that is our ability in the current circumstance to continue to attack the ground forces and continuing to attack and degrade his capabilities with no opportunity for resupply, so his military at a certain point has to face the question of whether they are prepared over time to be destroyed by these air attacks or they decide it is time for him to go. >> so, your words a stalemate in libya is not an acceptable
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outcome? >> no, i think that from the longer term standpoint, no, it is not. >> and does the withdrawal of strike and u.s. capabilities at this time make a stalemate in libya more or less likely? >> i am not sure it will have an effect either way, senor to. a l -- senator. a lot of it will depend upon the sor tis th s t sorties that the commission can continue to contribute. i will tell you that we have had the strike aircraft available in a relatively short period of time should it become apparent that the nato capabilities are in inadequate, and another humanitarian disaster such as a race to might occur, so
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we are sort of in a standby and i invite the admiral to comment, but i believe that our allies have the capability to degrade his capabilities. >> senator mccain, are the allies, denmark, belgium, france, the uk, canada, and along with us have actually been very, very impressive over the course of the week. and as you know, we have been impeded in the last few days by weather, and it is a question that i have asked constantly of the commander out there as he has watched the various countries perform, andt a least it was his assessment that he had a high level of confidence to continue to execute the mission. >> without the most capable aircraft at the close support are the f-16s which are not designed for that nor are they the most capable.
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but the fact is that your timing is exquisite. at a time when the gadhafi forces have tragically routed the anti-gadhafi forces, that is when we announced that the united states is abdicating its leadership role, and removing some of the most valuable assets that could be used to a great extent against the rebels. i'm glad to know that small arms will be effective for them. well, it is very disappointing what you have told us here today, and it is very disappointing that we have a policy that we are not prepared to use means necessary in order to gain that policy in, and i hope that as i said earlier that gadhafi will be deposed from within. i worry what will happen in
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misrata while we wait to see if our allies need to call in additional help. it's, i guess, one of the lessons of warfare a long time ago i learned is if you go into the conflict, and secretary gates who quoted general macarthur said that there is no substitute for victory. it seems to me that we are not achieving the policy goals and continuing to relieve the anti-gadhafi forces and in places like misrata. i hope we don't learn a bitter lesson from it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain and senator lieberman. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, mr. mullen. i suspect that you believe that the right thing has been done
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with respect to going in to the no-fly zone and for humanitarian reasons and to say that this is our way of supportive of the democratic rup democratic upriding in the arab world so in that way i agree with president obama. i also agree with president obama, it is unacceptable for our involvement to end with gadhafi still in power. with that sense, i agree with you, mr. secretary, a stalemate is not an acceptable resolution of all of this. our application of arab power has been having a significant effect. you have saved the people of benghazi from a humanitarian disaster and we opened the way for the opposition to gadhafi to move forward militarily, but the last few days have been me ask matter of fact, following up on what senator mccain said, do you feel confident, mr. secretary,
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that nato's assumption of the responsibility for enforcement of the no-fly zone and protection of the civilian population does not represent a d dimunition of the air capabilities that the united states brought to bear when we were solely with our coalition partners in charge? >> let me take a crack at that and then invite the chairman because he's more knowledgeable about that than i am. i think it remains to be seen. the question is whether they can continue to generate the number of sortis that we've been flying and so on. but let me make one thing clear. what we have -- this transition was part of the package and part of the plan with our allies from day one. everybody understood that the united states would come in
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heavy and hard at the beginning. >> right. >> we would destroy, with our unique capabilities, the air defense capability and his ability to fly his airplanes. and make possible the sustainment of the humanitarian mission and the no-fly zone with potentially fewer aircraft and fewer sortis. but the idea all along was, and it was the agreement that was made with our allies, was that we would commit these very significant resources at the beginning, but there would be a transition, and we would recede to a support role as soon as we had reached a point where those air defenses had been suppressed. so, you know, this is not a surprise. the timing with their -- with gadhafi's success, which as the admiral said, has coincided with bad weather that's prevented us from flying is unfortunate. but this has been the strategy
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and the plan all along, and the allies knew it. >> is it fair -- i want to pick up on something you said. obviously it remains to be seen whether nato brings as much to the enforce am of the no-fly zone, civilian protection as we did whether they are capable of flying as many sortis, is it fair to conclude that if for some reason they don't, we will reconsider the extent of our involvement with nato in those actions? >> i think we would have to say that the answer to that is yes. >> okay. let me go to the other part of this. i understand the decision that it's not one of our military goals to get gadhafi out of power. it's however our political goal. in my opinion, and we're going to advance that hopefully through diplomatic, economic and political means, but if the opposition to gadhafi on the ground is not showing military
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capability, it seems to me that it removes one of the incentives for gadhafi to leave power. as i understand what happened in the last few days when nato couldn't fly the no-fly zone and the anti-gadhafi forces were basically left on their own, they were overwhelmed. it wasn't a fair fight by the gadhafi forces. so my question is, isn't it critically important, even as part of realizing our political goal of getting gadhafi out, that we help -- we or our allies provide either more weapons and/or training discipline command and control soon so that they can put up a fair fight and hopefully such a fair fight that they will advance westward and give gadhafi one more reason to leave power? >> well, i think that providing
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them the training and help like that is important. one of the concerns and one of the issues is frankly they haven't asked for it. you know, it's not clear what anybody would have to work with in terms of getting a number of people together even for the training and who's going to be in charge. so part of the challenge that everybody faces in libya, going back to what i said at the very beginning, is the disaggregated, disparate nature of the opposition and the way it's scattered across the country. and there's really no critical mass to work with perhaps outside of benghazi. >> that leaves us -- my time's up, but i'd just say i know you know this -- that leaves us with a real dilemma because we've committed american power. nato's committed, arab allies are committed, and our goal politically is for gadhafi to get out of there.
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and yet the boots on the ground which are the libyan boots are themselves unable to win this fight. so we have -- it seems to me that we're facing a stalemate or even a gadhafi victory unless we and our allies figure out how to make the opposition forces to gadhafi at least an equal to gadhafi's forces. >> well, i think that there is an alternative outcome, senator. and i go back to the point i made earlier. and that is we continue, and the alliance will continue, to degrade gadhafi's military capabilities. and it wasn't that long ago that there were uprisings all across libya, and gadhafi's forces were on the defensive. they either turned and joined the oppositionists or they retreated out of some of these cities. and it was only because his military capabilities were --
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remained intact that he was able to put down those uprisings. so there's clearly a lot of people across libya that are ready to rise up against this guy. and if we can sufficiently degrade his military capability, it seems to me, that then gives them the opportunity to do that. >> i appreciate that answer. thank you very much. >> senator wicker. >> thank you. i want to agree with senator lieberman when he suggested in his questions that it is unacceptable in the end for gadhafi to remain in power. it is in nuance to say that our military goal is not the removal of gadhafi but that it is our political goal. words are important, and precision is important, and sometimes nuance is important. but that doesn't take away from the fact that our overriding
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concern, in my view, should be the removal of this international terrorist, this dictator and savage butcher who is reviled in his neighborhood like no leader on the face of the globe. and to think that we would be passing up an opportunity to remove him as a threat to united states interest and is a threat to the region is an unacceptable thought. both witnesses have said that their view is that over time, i think both of them used the term "over time," colonel gadhafi will likely be removed. that leaves quite a bit of leeway. gentlemen, i wish you well in
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somehow participating in an effort that continues to be heavy and hard till we have won this thing on the side of the people who we have weighed in with. and there's no question that we have weighed in. senator lieberman said what many of us know the last few days have been unsettling. the last two days there have been reversals for the rebels. admiral, to what extent have those reversals at all resulted from the removal of united states close air support in the form of ac-130s and a-10s? >> virtually none. what's happened in the last three days has been weather for everything that's flying. and they can't get on the targets. they can't see the targets specifically. and in this -- in the success
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that the rebels enjoyed the three or four days before that to push gadhafi's forces to the west, they also -- they essentially got -- they stretched themselves too far. gadhafi's forces, as they've come back in the last few days, i've watched them stretch themselves to a point where they are concerned about medical, food, fuel, support, you know, logistic support. and we've hit their logistic support pretty significantly since this started. literally right now, just before this hearing, the situation was there still. they are consolidating. gadhafi's forces are consolidating south. and what we think, obviously, will -- they will move towards
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benghazi when they get consolidated. each time the forces have interacted, if you will, the only success the rebels have enjoyed is when they've had that air power, when they've had that support, and that's really allowed them to move. without that, they've had brief contact, but basically they've been in retreat over the last couple of days. they, too, have outstretched their supplies in some cases. as it has evolved over the last week. >> admiral, to what extent will you be involved in decision-making that might involve a return to action of our ac-130s and a-10s should the type of close air support that our nato allies are presently prepared to use? >> first, the ac-130s and a-10s are still available and they will be for the next few days. they're available to the commander -- >> it's a mistake to say they've been taken out of the action except for the weather.
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>> correct. >> that's comforting to know. >> i honestly don't know if they're flying today or not. but they're not -- they're not -- they are still available, if you will, to the commander for the next few days. until this -- until the transition on the complete transition on the civilian protection mission, we have completely transitioned out of that. >> and after that transition, are you suggesting that our nato allies are unlikely to use this best kind of aircraft for close air support? >> as the secretary indicated, we have made provisions to put in standby united states capability that could be called upon, and that would actually come back up through the u.s. chain to make it available to nato, if the situation were dire enough to do that. >> secretary gates, did the state department spokesman, p.j. crowley, misspeak when he said it's very simple, the u.s. security council resolution passed on libya in that
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resolution there is an arms embargo that affects libya which means it's a violation for any country to provide arms to anyone in libya? >> that was true of resolution 1970. but it is not true of resolution 1973. the embargo and resolution 1973 apply only to gadhafi and the government. >> so it would be perfectly legitimate and acceptable under the resolution, in effect, today for the united states to -- and our allies to supply arms assistance to the libyan opposition? >> yes, sir, that is permitted by the resolution. >> thank you, sir. and gentlemen, thank you for your service. i know you're tired, and i know you're focused on this, and i appreciate it. >> thank you, senator wicker. senator webb. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, i have great respect for both of you and for the way
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you have handled this military situation in this dilemma for the past several weeks. i appreciate all that you've had to do today in your earlier testimony. i'd like to follow up on one thing that senator wicker just said as an introductory comment, and that is, you know, it seems to me and i think everybody else that we are clearly involved in regime change in this issue and the evolution at the same time of a very unpredictable political scenario. this isn't a military question. you are implementeding a policy decision, but it is definitely a diplomatic reality. we, at the same time, do not know who the opposition is or what they will do if and when, and it's probably when gadhafi leaves. so the situation that we are facing and its implications are
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much more complex than the way that they are often being characterized over here. and when you have a sustained operation, i think we all have to agree this is something more than a rebellion. i don't know what we would characterize it. maybe you could help me in a minute. i'm not sure we could call it a civil war. but we are arming one side as a result of these decisions. and for myself, i think we need to start looking very hard into the immediate future. i don't know whether there's going to be a stalemate, you know, secretary gates, i think you answered this question in a way that i would agree. that at some point, this will -- there will probably be an implosion from what we can tell inside libya that will cause a government change. but we're going to have a period where either we're going to have
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a stalemate or at some point gadhafi is going to fall. and the question for us is how we prepare for that period and what we believe the american policy ought to be because i think we can probably assume that either way there are going to be reprisals, and there are going to be calls for an international involvement in libya in order to sort these things out. my bottom line here, mr. chairman, is to support what you said. i believe it was yesterday or the day before. that whether or not we are going to invoke the war powers act, i do believe we need to have a process where we have a discussion about the implications of what's going on right now, looking down the road so that we can have some sort of debate and understanding here in the government at large rather than simply having to follow the prerogatives of the administration on this issue.
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but secretary gates, how would you characterize this rebellion? how should we look at it? is it a civil war? >> i think it represents a fairly broad-based uprising against an oppressive government. i mean, the number of cities and towns in which there were uprisings and people taking it on themselves to confront the security services and the military i think makes it more of a broad uprising against the government than it does a civil war. civil war would imply that there are -- to me at least -- would suggest that there are two
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established governments or two established entities that have some kind of structure and that are in conflict for power. the best i can tell from most of these uprisings is that the principle agenda was getting rid of the government they've got. i think one of the challenges that we're all going to face when gadhafi falls is, as you suggest, what comes later. and i think we shouldn't exaggerate our ability to influence that outcome. the tribes will have a big influence, whether the military splits or the military turns on gadhafi, there are a number of different alternative outcomes here. only one of which is some sort of proto democracy that moves towards rights so i think we have to be realistic about that. >> i couldn't agree with you more. that's what makes the decision-making in this so
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difficult. the only thing we know that everybody seems to agree with including our side is we think this one individual needs to go. but at the same time, it's going to be an enormous challenge for not, again, to use your terminology and your statement not only for this country but for our vital interest in the region, it's going to be an enormous challenge to see what follows on that, knowing the history of the region and the traditions of reprisals, whether gadhafi's gone or not and the way that we may be drawn in in the aftermath. so again, mr. chairman, i hope we can have the proper kind of discussion here in the congress on the implications of what we are doing. and at the same time, again, i want to give my utmost respect to both of you for the way that our military and our leadership in the department of defense has carried out their responsibilities as this decision was made. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator webb. senator ayotte.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, secretary gates and admiral mullen. i wanted to ask -- i'm sure both of you are familiar with the secretary powell's doctrine as well as coming off of secretary weinberger's doctrine in terms of when we should engage in military conflict. and i wanted to know whether those questions that are raised in those doctrines were engaged in before we engaged in this conflict. >> i would tell you, senator, that i think that not only those questions but all of the questions that have been raised in the congress and in the media were discussed and debated at great length and with great intensity as we tried to figure out what to do in this situation. >> secretary gates, just following up on that, one of the questions that would be asked is
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do we have a clearly attainable objective here? how would you define our clearly obtainable objective? >> well, i think that there are two objectives. there is the military mission which is the no-fly zone and preventing gadhafi from slaughtering his own people. and there is the political objective of the overthrow of the regime. and i guess i just have to say that my view, looking back over the years, is i would be very hesitant -- in fact, i would oppose the idea of making regime change a military objective. i think if it's to be imposed from outside, i don't see how it can be done without people on the ground. >> what i'm really struggling with is how we meet the objective you just defined of protecting -- preventing a
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slaughter from gadhafi if we're in a position where the forces, the rebel forces, can't maintain a military position against gadhafi's forces and we're not putting our full might in to make sure that civilians are protected? i just can't understand how we're going to be able to meet the objective that you've identified without going forward in a more forceful fashion than we are right now. >> well, i would just say that when you say putting the full might of the united states involved, as far as i'm concerned, that's another full-scale war in the middle east. >> let me qualify that, secretary gates. what i'm saying is that we're in a position right now where you said that our goal is to protect civilians, libyan civilians. however, the forces with gadhafi there, i don't see how we can continue to protect civilians, given that he is the threat against his own people that we
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are seeking to protect them from. so that's why i'm struggling with the political goal versus the military goal and not putting the resources that are necessary. obviously, i don't support putting ground troops in. and with limitations like that, that's what i'm trying to understand. >> well, it is the question of how much you can accomplish strictly with air power. and i think that -- i think what we have seen is that when the weather cooperates with us, we clearly significantly enabled the rebels with the same kind of military capabilities they have right now to move to the outskirts of sert. so as this moves back and forth, and as the admiral said, their lines get stretched. the limitations on both sides are pretty clear. and i think that we just have to face the reality that we, over time, are taking a significant
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toll on his military capabilities and his ability to use those forces against his people. >> i just wanted to also, you know, add my support for the comments that senator lieberman made about what i see right now as an inherent contradiction and our policy of being able to obtain the objectives that we've identified in libya. and thank you very much for answering my questions today. >> thank you, senator ayotte. senator udall. >> thank you, chairman. good afternoon, gentlemen. we've heard that the regime's events have been neutralized. i'd like to use you all to look at the broader picture in that context. can you give a battlefield damage assessment associated with the u.s. and nato's operations? and to what extent have gadhafi's ground forces, armored and unarmored, been degraded?
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>> his air defenses have been essentially completely taken out. he does have some portable air defense systems that are still out there, although few in number but still with potential. his command and controls have been significantly degraded. we have -- the ratio right now roughly on the ground is about ten to one with respect to his ground forces, his ground capability. he's got a lot more tanks, a lot more personnel carriers, a lot more artillery, those kinds of systems than the much more lightly armed resistance or opposition forces. so that's the most significant part of what he has left. and that is of great concern. >> admiral was just in front of
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us as well. and i asked him how the nato forces would interpret the rules of engagement. and now i understand nato has warned rebel forces against attacking civilian targets. i'd like to ask you directly, given that the nato mission is to protect civilians from harm, if rebel forces were to fire on civilian targets or military targets that place civilians in harm's way, what steps would we take to protect innocent people? would we fire on the rebels? >> i have seen nothing so far over the course of these engagements to negate that the rebels are going to do that. we're very focused on the civilian protection piece of this going in both directions. the main focus is obviously on his regime forces. it's much clearer outside the towns, if you will. senator mccain talks about
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misrata when you're downtown and they're hiding, gadhafi's forces are hiding in buildings and the like, those shots are not being taken because potential for civilian casualties. so it is, at least from my perspective, the countries who are engaged in this aspect of the mission, both before nato took over and afterwards, i haven't seen, while there's been a discussion about it, i haven't seen nato or we'd be restrictive in that regard assuming we'd execute the mission in the same way. >> these are delicate questions, i think you would acknowledge. >> they are. >> yes. i share your concerns about worst-case scenarios. i'm remaining optimistic, but i'd like to ask you about options, should the mission last longer than we might expect. are we working to add coalition partners to the mission who could share the load? >> i mean, we've been doing that literally since this first came
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on the scope, and it continues to work in that direction. so when secretary clinton was in london on tuesday, the swedes came forward with eight aircraft to contribute to the mission. so that work continues to go on. and it's not just about military capability because there's a whole lot of work going on in terms of financial support, humanitarian assistance and other aspects of this mission as well. >> admiral and secretary gates, i think in secretary gates' well crafted and right-to-the-point statement, you said going forward the u.s. military will provide kamts others cannot provide either in kind or in scale such as electronic warfare, aerial refueling lift, search and rescue and surveillance intelligence and reconnaissance support. then we're going to significantly ramp down our other military kants and resources. does that mean the sortis and
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ordinance being directed at gadhafi's forces will be provided by our partners in nato? >> yes. >> and we believe that they have the capabilities and the capacity to do that, obviously? >> yes. and as we indicated previously in the hearing, we will have capabilities on standby should they be needed. >> is it fair to say that in effect the military operation is designed to create space for political options to unfold including, as we all want, gadhafi to leave the scene? >> well, i think this is one of the aspects of this that is always complicated when you're dealing with a coalition and operating under a u.n. security council resolution. the security council resolution
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provides only for the no-fly zone and the humanitarian mission along with the arms embargo and so on. and so it doesn't talk about degrading his military or regime change or anything like that. so you have individual members of the coalition that are leaning very far forward in terms of the political objective of getting rid of gadhafi, but you also have others in the coalition that say they don't want any part of that. and so, you know, the military mission is being flown and being operated as the admiral has suggested to fulfill those missions and degrading his military capabilities as seen as the way to try and help protect the civilian population. >> let me just end on this note. secretary gates, i really think you made an important point in your statement again where you said you believe it's in our national interest as part of a coalition with broad international support to prevent a humanitarian crisis in eastern
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libya that could have destabilized the entire region at a delicate time. i think that's at the heart of what we're doing. thank you for making that clear. >> thank you, senator udall. senator cornyn. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary gates and admiral mullen, let me join my colleagues in expressing our great admiration and respect for both of you. we realize that you didn't make the policy decision, you're just given the responsibility of carrying it out. i only wish the president had taken the time to come to congress before he went to the u.n. security council to explain to us what he planned to do, what he wanted to do and to secure that authorization for use of military force. not necessarily -- i'm not going to get into a legal argument with anybody about at this point about whether that was required, but it strikes me that it's incredibly important that the american people understand the reasons the president decided to
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go forward, the limitations on our ability to affect an outcome so they can, then -- we as their representatives could express a view on this matter. but the president has taken that on himself. and now we are being sort of left with the explanation after the fact. there's a poll that just came out today that said that 21% of americans believe that the u.s. has a clearly defined mission in libya. 21%. and i bet if you took a poll of congress, the numbers would be similar. b but, of course, nato, who is now being handed off the responsibilities in libya, the role of the united states and nato is essential to nato's success, wouldn't you agree with that, secretary gates, and admiral? i mean, it's not as if by handing things off to nato, it's
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something other than the united states and coalition partners. for example, in afghanistan where we have a 2-1 american contribution in terms of troops on the ground. i'm interested if, in fact, nato makes a determination, secretary gates, that a stabilization force is needed on the ground, i understand it's within the power of the united states government to withhold its participation in a stabilization force. but would the united states participate in that, or would we withhold? >> well, first of all, i think that the security council resolution specifically prohi t prohibits a foreign occupying force. so unless the circumstances under which any kind of stabilizing force would go in would, i think, be open to
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debate. i frankly would tell you based on the debate leading up to the nato agreement to take on this responsibility, that the chances of getting an authorization under nato auspices to put boots on the ground would be virtually impossible. >> well, i -- i'm worried, in light of your answer, and i sort of expected an answer along those lines, that we may have started something that nato's not going to be in a position to finish. and i wish -- well, let me ask you this. secretary and admiral, do you think what the united states plan is if gadhafi were to go into exile tomorrow? >> well, you mean after the celebration? >> well, i -- i hope it would be a celebration.
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>> i go back to my answer to senator webb. i think we should not exaggerate our ability to influence the political outcome in libya even after gadhafi goes. i think that there is the opportunity for other arab states for the international community to try and influence that out. but i think we're kidding ourselves if we don't think there's going to be some kind of a struggle for power. >> that means a civil war? >> no, not necessarily. but, you know, even gadhafi rules by balancing the tribes -- the major tribes and playing them off against one another and so on. he does that through money and some intimidation and so on. so it's a complicated business in terms of his governance. even his governance. and i think it's likely to be more complicated in the future.
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but, you know, i think we've lost our place a little bit in this in a couple of respects. the urgency of this mission was based on the fact that his forces two weeks ago were racing for benghazi, a city of 700,000 plus, and the belief that once he got there, he would slaughter a large number of people. and so the reason for the urgency and the speed with which this came together was to have the capability to stop him from getting to benghazi. and that part of the mission was successful. the other concern -- another concern was the millions of foreign workers in libya and there's over 1 million egyptians. and the fact that we had hundreds of thousands of them pleai i fleeing to the borders of tunisia and egypt had the potential to create a destabilizing influence in both of those countries. so getting that stopped was very
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important. and then we have taken on this effort to try and protect the civilians inside libya. but one of the things that i think we have accomplished is to reduce his ability to destabilize north africa and egypt and tunisia. and now we will have to work with our allies and with the opposition inside. >> i have no doubt that the situation is dire. and again, i wish the president had had this conversation before the u.n. security council was asked to pass the resolution and come to congress and explain it to us and the american people. the one thing i really i wish that we had and i wish the president would explain to us is what the ultimate goal is other than the intermediate goal that you've just described, stopping the rush to benghazi, what the goalter gadhafi leaves and
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what the responsibility of the united states as part of a coalition or individually to engage in nation building or other efforts there. it also seems extremely open-ended to me, but now it's started, and it's going to be decided, as you suggest, in part by things beyond our control. >> well, i would say, you know, it still remains to be dealt with, but i think that the last thing this country needs is another enterprise in nation building. and again, this is an area where one of the reasons we acted was because of the urgency that our allies felt. the british, the french, the italians as they contemplated the prospect of significant migration out of libya to their shores. and they really did consider libya itself to be in their vital interests along with the unprecedented action of the arab league.
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and so i think that we -- i mean, my view is that the future of libya -- the united states ought not take responsibility for that, frankly. i think that there are other countries both in the region and our allies in europe who can participate in the effort, particularly with nonlethal aid and to try and help the development of libya. i just don't think we need to take on another one. >> thank you, senator cornyn. senator shaheen. >> thank you, secretary gates, admiral mullen. thank you for being here this afternoon. secretary gates, you indicated that our capabilities will continue to be on standby as we have turned over the strike sortis and the embargo to other of our allies. one concern that i have and i think it's been reflected here by others is that a prolonged
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presence in libya will fall ultimately on the united states to continue to shoulder the burden of the military effort there. so do you have confidence that our european and arab allies in this effort will be able to sustain their involvement over a long period of time? >> they certainly have made that commitment. and we will see. >> and -- >> but i would say this. and particularly looking at what they have done in afghanistan from the british to others, they thought they were signing up probably for a peacekeeping mission back in the mid-2000s. and at riga, and they have found themselves in years of combat
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now. and they have certainly stepped up to the plate there and been able to sustain an effort. >> are we at all concerned that a prolonged conflict with our european allies, sharing significant share of that burden will affect their willingness to continue to support the efforts in afghanistan? >> there has been no indication of that at this point. >> you indicated and we know that both the uae and qatar are part of this effort. are we talking to other arab countries about their providing assistance, either about for military involvement in terms of planes and flights or for helping to provide costs --
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coverage for the costs of the effort? >> we haven't talked to them about covering the costs, but we continue to talk to a lot of arab countries. and frankly, there are -- while there are only a couple that actually have planes in the fight, there are a number who are providing support in terms of overflight, in terms of landing rights and a variety of other things that are actually necessary for the success of the mission. >> are there any other of our allies who are not involved with military equipment or part of the military effort who have suggested they might be willing to help with the contributions to the cost? >> no. >> admiral devretis when he was hire said our intelligence is showing flickers of potential
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ties to al qaeda and hezbollah within some of the rebel forces. do we have concerns about that, and are we confident that the rebels don't have connections to al qaeda or hezbollah or other terrorist groups that we might be concerned about? >> it's been an area of great focus. and we just haven't seen anything other than what i would call aspirational from al qaeda leadership. in that regard, they are -- i think this has caught them somewhat flat-footed as well. that doesn't mean that we're not on guard for that or that they might not -- in fact, i do think they'll try to take advantage of it. we just haven't seen anything today. >> one of the things that gadhafi is doing, though, is in his information operations, he is trying to gen up the narrative that the opposition is, in fact, led by al qaeda.
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and so one of the things that's making it a little difficult is he broadcasts all the time that al qaeda is involved and al qaeda's doing this and that. so we just have to be aware that he's using this in his own propaganda. >> have we been successful with efforts to jam the communications from gadhafi? >> i think we struggled a little bit early on because we're further out. once the ides went out, we have been able to move over libya. we've been more successful, but i wouldn't characterize it as completely successful or 100% in terms of the ability to eliminate his broadcast capability. >> thank you. my time has expired. >> thank you, senator shaheen. senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service to our country.
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i don't really know where to begin because i'm more depressed than i ever thought i would be after listening to the plan. but we have to move forward, and we will. and i'm hopeful and pray that gadhafi does leave. let's start with the idea of al qaeda taking over libya. i may be wrong, but i'm just not overly worried about that. i just don't believe that all these people have risen up against gadhafi because he was not tough enough or that he wasn't enough like al qaeda. did either one of you believe the libyan people would stand for an al qaeda-led libya? >> there's absolutely no evidence to support that. >> no, i don't. >> i mean, it makes no common sense, does it, that they would tolerate it? >> i mean, the reality is that fires we have faced in afghanistan and some al qaeda members have come from libya. >> that's right. >> particularly eastern libya, but that's a different story than the people of libya wanting al qaeda.
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look, the real power in libya is in the hands of these tribes. and even gadhafi realizes that. >> sure. >> and i just don't understand how it would be possible for these tribes to cede any of that authority to al qaeda. >> and mr. secretary, the truth is that there's just no real evidence that the people of libya, the body of the people of libya, really won't embrace al qaeda that i've seen. >> no, sir. >> okay. you know, people on our side particularly talk about the cost of this operation. you know, the cost of a tomahawk missile, how much it costs america to be engaged in taking gadhafi down. if you looked at a balance sheet of what it costs to take him out versus the costs to our country in the world if he came back into power, what would be the costs to our country and to the mideast as a whole if gadhafi were able to survive? what would that mean to us? >> i think that if he were -- the assessment from the intelligence folks and my own view is that if he -- if he
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survives and somehow wiggles out from under the pressure that he's under right now, there's no question in my mind first that he will take terrible revenge on the people of libya and anybody who has dared to oppose him or that even thinks may have opposed him. second, i think that, you know, he has a long history of supporting terrorist groups. and i think that, you know, we all remember pan am 103. and so i think that the risk of him generating his own revenge, if you will, to the extent that he possibly can is a very real possibility. >> so the costs to our country in the miffed east as a whole would be greater if he survived than if we took him out. >> well, i think it would be an ongoing danger. >> do you agree with that, admiral mullen? >> i do. i mean, one of the things -- one of the actions we've taken is to
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freeze -- i think it's over 33 -- over $34 billion. >> right. that could be used. >> that he has that is not planned on being used for the libyan people, for example. and that's just an indication of the scope and the potential costs in terms of the question that you asked and what the balance would be. >> well, i've been wrestling with myself about how to approach both of y'all because i admire you so much, to whether or not i should make a joke about this. that when we pushed for a no-fly zone, we didn't mean our people. and the idea that the ac-130s and the a-10s and american air power is grounded unless the place goes to hell is just so unnerving, i can't express it adequately. and the only thing i would ask is please reconsider that. because if you don't, you have some friends up here who disagree with you about tactics, but we do see the need to get rid of this guy. you know, there's probably going
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to be a vote soon in congress about whether or not we support this policy. senator levin is working on an authorization to use force. and i believe it is inherent within the commander in chief's able under our constitution to do what he did. and i think you're on solid legal ground with the war powers act, but you need to come here. know, i'm telling you both of you as friends that if something doesn't become a little clearer and a little more forceful and a little more decisive, it's going to be very difficult to get an authorization to approve the plan as it is. and could you just comment, secretary gates, would it be helpful if the congress blessed this operation? >> yes, sir. as several have said, secretary clinton and i think the president, we would welcome congressional support. >> what would happen if we rejected the authorization as a congress if we voted it down because we're not confident that it will work?
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what kind of signal would that send? >> well, it would obviously send an extraordinarily negative signal to our allies. it would certainly be encouraging to gadhafi. >> it would be a disaster, i think. one last comment. i won't go over my time. is gadhafi the legitimate leader of the libyan people in your eyes legally? and if he's not, would it be unlawful for some nation including ours to drop a bomb on him? to end this thing? >> well, president reagan tried that. >> well, maybe we should try again. i'm asking this in all seriousness. i don't believe this man is the legitimate leader of the libyan people. i believe he's a combatant. then we're within our bounds as a nation and our coalition partners to take the fight to
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him and his cadre of supporters. is that on the table or not? >> i don't think so because i think it would probably break the coalition. >> who would be mad at us if we dropped a bomb on gadhafi, and why would they be mad? >> well, i think -- i think that certainly some of our european allies have a different view on the idea. >> because anybody in europe would be upset if gadhafi were killed in this engagement. >> well, i don't know. >> thank you, senator graham. senator hagen. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, both of you gentlemen, for your excellent work here. obviously, following up senator graham, i, too, definitely agree that general gadhafi needs to -- moammar gadhafi -- needs to be removed from power. he needs to step down.
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but in light of that, i am very concerned about how difficult that is. and what else can be done without ground forces? transitioning now to nato to be sure from a political and economic factor than we can help along those lines? >> well, i think that there's still some additional measures that can be taken in terms of seizing libyan assets. we've taken action against the assets here in the united states that the chairman referred to. i think there are other assets in europe and elsewhere that probably could be seized in terms of denying him access. >> are those being sought after right now? >> yes. yes. i think that, you know, the question of what kind of
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assistance to provide to the opposition is clearly the next step in terms of nonlethal or weapons and so on. and i think kind of all the members of the coalition are thinking about that at this point. as with our government, no decisions have been made. >> speaking of cost, as we transition to nato, assuming command and control of all the elements of this mission, there continue to be uncertainties regarding the costs, resources, duration and nature of our military conflict. and according to the d.o.d.'s controller's office, currently the costs have been about $550 million. most of these from munitions and aircraft. it appears that it would cost about $40 million a month, assuming no added munitions costs. we obviously know that we have
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100,000 service men and women in afghanistan. and i just want to be sure that we're not distracted from that mission. and can you discuss the types of resources and support that the u.s. will provide nato for the operations in libya and how we can be sure that supplying those capabilities and resources will not distract from those assets that are needed in afghanistan? >> we've moved a squadron of electronic attack jets from iraq into the mediterranean theater to support this. we've moved one command and control aircraft that we don't consider -- that is, from my perspective, more critical in the mediterranean theater than in afghanistan. and that's sort of been the limit of what we've done with
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respect to any assets out of centcom moved into this theater, we don't expect. so i don't see any long-term significant effects. particularly in the areas that afghanistan seeks. more resources in the areas of intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance and reconnaissance. and we're going to add assets over there this summer, fairly significant assets. and i suspect the secretary is about to say from reprogramming initiatives that we think are critical or he's led the effort to make those assets available for the fighting season this season in afghanistan. so i haven't seen any kind of significant impact on resourcing afghanistan or iraq, anything of substance based on what's going on in libya.
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>> i'd like to just add one more thing because, you know, in response to some of the comments from senator mccain and others, i acknowledge that i am preoccupied with avoiding mission and avoiding having an open-ended, very large-scale american commitment in this respect. we know about afghanistan. we know about iraq. what people haven't realized is we have 19 ships and 18,000 men and women in uniform helping on japanese relief. we are in serious budget trouble. the ongoing cr and significant budget cuts at a time when we are asked to do so much, i
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think, brings this issue home. and frankly, i need help from the congress. the department of defense needs help from the congress. if we're going to do all these things, we need the resources to do them. and under this continuing resolution, we're canceling ship deployments because we don't have the money to pay for them. and so trying to do all these things and then taking on another major commitment that is potentially significant in scope i think is a very great worry for me. and it's one of the reasons why aye been so adamant about keeping the nature of our eng e engagement in this as limited as possible because there are others who can fulfill nearly all of the role. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, senator hagan. senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wish that senator graham were
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still here because i see the issue of congressional authorization rather differently. i remember the many weeks we spent being briefed and debating before we went into iraq. and i believe that resolution should have come before any military action. i'm not going to ask either of you to comment on that because that's really the president's call and not necessarily yours. i do want to say, secretary gates, that i am so aware of the terrible problems that the pentagon operating under a short-term cr is creating. and i think congress has been completely irresponsible to not make the defense department appropriations bill our highest
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priority. we're in the midst of three wars now. and yet we haven't finished the work from last year for the department of defense. it's going to end up costing us way more than it otherwise would. for that point, that's why i keep offering the defense appropriationed bill as an amendment to all the bills that have been on the floor. that's a different subject, but it is related to the issue that you raised about avoid iing mission creed. i'm glad that you're so focused on that issue. i'm concerned to hear the testimony from the air force chief of staff, general schwartz, earlier this month when he said that a no-fly zone alone was likely going to be insufficient to turn the momentum in libya. and indeed, it seems each day we
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see a turn -- or a change in fortunes among the rebel forces. so that worries me because that looks like we're engaged in an operation even if it's in a supporting role that's going to drag on without resolution forever. unless gadhafi is somehow removed. the administration has said repeatedly that the removal of gadhafi is not a military objective, it's a political objective. in response to senator graham, and it was a question i was going to ask you, is are we trying to kill him is this are we or our allies trying to kill him? if we're not trying to do that, are we trying to arrange for him to go into exile and have a soft landing with no further consequences?
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or are we going to try to get him out of libya and have him tried by the international criminal court, which has been mentioned? if he knows that that's the consequences, he's never going to leave voluntarily. so how are we -- if getting colonel gadhafi out of libya a an objective, had you are we going to accomplish that and how are we going to bring this to closure? i just don't see how this ends. >> there are several alternatives. one is that a member of his own family kills him, or one of his inner circle kills him, or the military fractures, or the opposition with the degradation of gadhafi's military capabilities rising up again and is successful, because so much
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of his military has been destroyed. i think that general schwartz was completely accurate when he said that a no-fly zone alone would not be sufficient to get him out of power or to meet our goals, but i think that as part of the humanitarian mission, the degradation of his military forces does add something, add a completely -- a significant and different dimension to the no-fly zone. so it's not just the fly zone alone -- no-fly zone alone, and, you know, i would just make one observation that nobody in this hearing has mentioned. there have been a lot of concerns expressed about consultation with the congress, but in its own way, the congress consulted with the president and particularly this body that
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unanimously in a resolution called for the imposition of a no-fly zone. >> well, if you look at that resolution, my time's expired, but it is very limited in what it calls for, but that's a debate for another round or another day. thank you. >> thank you very much. we're trying to get the exact wording of that resolution. we think is-it-may have been calling on you to consider, but in any event we'll get the actual wording of that, but i think it's also true in fairness there was a great urgency here. there was a catastrophe in the works here a slaughter with perhaps hours and then we were in recess and the president didn't actually consult with the leadership of the congress.
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i think those facts also need to be part of the record, regardless whether you're technically correct about the wording of the resolution or not. >> mr. chairman -- >> i always can -- senator collin has the facts. she always knows. >> this is an important point, because, frankly, if it had been a resolution authorizing the use of force, i probably would have voted against it, but instead, it's a resolution that applauds the during of the libyan people, strongly condemns violations of human rights, calls on gadhafi to desist. welcome cnn voted united nations security council urges the regime to abide by it. this is the only part that's even tan jengtially on lis issue. urges the united nations security council to take such further actions as may be necessary to protect civilians
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in libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over libyan territory. so i think that's pretty weak language in terms of authorizing the united states -- >> i wasn't claiming for a second that the resolution authorized anything, but it certainly was a manifestation of the wish and the view of the united states senator on this issue. >> thank you. and we will now turn, i believe -- i don't have a card in front of me but i think that senator blumenthal is next. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i want to join in thanking you for being here today and giving us the benefit of your thinking on issues that i suspect you have been wrestling long and hard with. i don't think we've asked any questions that haven't woken you
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up in the middle of the night or kept you up late at night, and so i want to thank you for sharing your views with us, and i think i want to go to a point that secretary gates made earlier. can we accomplish any kind of regime change here, unless the opposition receive it's what you've identified as the main defect in their fighting capability, which is the absence of training and command and control? or to put it a different way, sdun one of the nato partners or one of the arab countries have to be there to provide that kind of capability that they're missing now? >> well, my view, senator, is that at the, sort of the high point of the uprisings, all
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across the country people either, when they rose up either turned gadhafi's security services or elements of the mill tier their side or were able to chase them out of their towns. the only way ga doff ha gadhafi able to recapture control of most of his country is that until we started flying our air sorties and strike missions, he was able to gather the loyal forces of his regime and one by one put those cities down by using military force. now, if that military force is dramatically degraded over a period of time, then it seems to me that you have the potential for these people to rise again and he will not be able to put them down, because he won't have the military capability to do it. so i think -- i think the training and the cohesion and the organization are all things that clearly the rebels need,
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but i don't -- i don't think that it's -- it's that they can't win without it. >> would you agree, admiral? >> i do. >> because i'm struck by the public reports of the retreating rebels, which make it appear, at least, that they really need, as precondition of ousting gadhafi, the kind of training and internal command and -- indeed of potentially governing in the future, some cohesion in that fighting force to maintain some degree of civilian control even in the country? and i would suggest that -- a stalemate is in some sense a potential humanitarian crisis if it leads either to chaos or even
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to gadhafi's continued control over a part of the country where he is able to massacre and slaughter his people as he's done for more than 40 years. is there any consideration to the united states providing the kind of air support that senator mccain suggested through the ac-130s and the a-10s? >> again, those planes actually are available today and for the next couple of days, and we'd planned that. so they're currently assigned to nato. after the 2nd of april, they will be -- there will be u.s. aircraft, strike aircraft, available to the nato commander in support should he need that, ask for that and need it.
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this, again, has been the focus of discussions over many days, and the nato commander is aware of that. that said if he needs it, he'd have to ask for it, and it would come back here. the design is to have a package on alert, in standby to prevent any kind of overwhelming effort on the part of -- which would result in further massacre of libyan citizens. have that available on a very short notice to the nato kmonder, and that's out into the future. >> so those assets would be available -- >> right. they just would not be participating an 0 day-to-day basis. >> and would that be true, also, of resources or assets that might support both training and command and control for the rebels in libya? >> well, again, that -- the decision to do that has not been
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made in terms of support to the rebels. and there are -- there are many countries, i think, who have the capability to do this. and as -- you know, as part of the coalition, i would certainly hope that as countries make that decision, that they would do that. we just haven't made that decision at this point. >> thank you. my time's expired, but i would just like to say that i supported this policy insofar as it has, in fact, stopped the massacre or the humanitarian crisis that might have occurred in benghazi and prevented the destabilization of other parts of north africa, and i think we're debating here, as i don't need to tell you, the means, not the ends. i think we're united in -- in your efforts and the president's efforts to remove gadhafi, and these problems are exceedingly
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difficult for the american people to understand, and your being here, i think, helps to explain to them what's at stake here. thank you. >> thank you very much, senator blumenthal. senator sessions? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i remember after the failed attempt in iran to rescue the hostages, a british general or expert in the military said, a good plan can be foiled by bad luck, but a plan that depends on good luck is a bad plan. i just don't know what category this operation is in, but there's so much vagary in it, and how it would be conducted, and how it might end, it seems to me an awful lot like, we're hoping somehow good luck will occur, and in war fair and in
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mail tear activities, it often doesn't. i want to get one thing very clear from your conversation with senator lieberman. it seemed to me that, i believe, admiral mullen, you indicated there was a lack of critical mass, perhaps, in the rebel forces, or maybe that was secretary gates, and that the dilemma was as expressed by senator lieberman under the circumstances it appears they're not able to be successful to win without substantial allied support. so -- and what is the most effective support? i think it's quite clear that was the a-10s, ac-130s that have been utilized. now admiral mullen, as i understand it, the ac ---ac-10s,
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ac-130s that provided close air suppo support, the powerful fire power that they contain off the battlefield at this moment. is that right? >> they are still available to the -- >> no, no, no. you pulled them off? they're not flying, an there's no -- >> no. i haven't pulled them off. i don't know if they're flying today. they're available to fly today. that will be the case for a couple more days. after that, they they won't be available unless it's in this standby mode i described here, but i would also say, senator sessions, there was plenty of action, plenty of support, much of which was provided by allied aircraft before the ac-130s and the a-10s showed ip. they didn't show up at the beginning of this. so i don't discount the capability that those countries provide as well. >> well, with regard to -- i'll
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ask a military opinion. the rebel forces are in defensive situations and i spread out gadhafi military is attacking them. would not the ac-10s provide a powerful balance on the battlefield? >> the a-10s and ac-130s are very, very powerful weapons. >> it's just odd that -- all right. so is there any reluctance anywhere in this coalition that we should not use the ac-130s or a-10s? >> when they're available, no, but there are -- i mean. >> we are over the course of the next couple of days, we are not going to participate in the striking mission.
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striking part of this mission which includes the a-10s and ac-130s. >> now, we've been doing that, but now that the rebel force, in retreat as senator mccain acknowledged, or noted, it's a unilateral u.s. decision to cease to make those assets available to the situation, unless we have a specific request from the nato leadership. is that the policy? >> it is. >> do you think that could have a discouraging effect on the rebel forces? >> i actually, again -- and work this pretty hard with the previous commander, general ham, in terms of his assessment of what the co-lipgs cant. allied capability is, and he was kr
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confident it could be sustained at the necessary levels to support the opposition. wrap has xinlted to us the last three days has been weather. it has not beena arin planes. >> let's go beyond the two days available here. secretary gates, in your written statement you say going forward the u.s. military will provide dmablts other capabilities cann provide either in kind or in scale, such as electronic warfare aerial refuelling, lift, search and rescue, and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance support. a do not see in that list close air support. did you intentionally desire to leave that out? >> yes. >> and so the normal -- so the military capabilities we intend to provide after the next two days would not include the close
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air support of a-10s and ac-130s. >> that's right. we would not be participating in the strike missions. >> but the nato missions, admiral mullen, as secretary gates said is a limited one that will maintain pressure on gadhafi's remaining forces to prevent attacks on civilians and force no-fly zones and arms embargo and provide humanitarian relief. does that include in your view close air support attacking actual goadhafi forces from the air wherever they're found? >> it does, and the countries who are committed to that are those who have been participating in that already, outside our capability, which we will no longer add to that mission. or have executing that mission.
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plenty of strike contract availab capability for that. >> plenty but perhaps not the most effective capability. the powerful a-10 aircraft. >> sir, they will not be participating after the 2nd. >> that's troubling. thank you, mr. chairman. my time is passed. >> thank you, senator. senator? >> thank you. senator gates and admiral mullen you've been here a long haul and very patient. so let me first -- i don't think anyone disagrees gadhafi is a bad character, a lot of issues you want to deal with. i felt frustration. i'm tern concerned about the monetary cost, resource cost both on the cr, the broader sense of the department of defense, but also in this
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specific mission how you have to accommodate for this. so let me make points on the dollar, make sure i'm not off here, that we're on the same page, but my understanding is so far we've allocated or expended $550 million, $560 million give or take in that range, and that it is estimated before this fiscal year is out, the '11 fiscal year we're in now it may be in that $700 million, $800 million. is that fair or am i low? >> the costs are calculation of the costs, as of last monday was $550 million, and at the ramped down level of support, the cost, the run rate per month is about $40 million. that's our estimate. >> and does that include all military and humanitarian, your just the d.o.d. component of this and not the state
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department component? >> that's just the d.o.d. component. >> do you know what the state department -- are you confirming to make sure -- has there been a number on the state department's component here? >> no. one ore thing i'd like to mention in terms. these costs that need to be covered. i mentioned earlier we have 19 ships and 18,000 men and women in uniform in japan. >> those have to be covered also. >> that we need to deal with as well. >> right. i'm going to focus on libya only because that's the conversation but i agree just as we had to deal with haiti and the list goes on and on -- how are you paying for this, and if i read what i'm reading, that it is rearranging kind of the deck of the money, moving and shifting it. whatever you're shifting it from, we have to replenish that, right? the tomahawks, maybe less inventory later. how are we going to address that? >> we're in that discussion with the white house and o.m.b. right
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now, but it is my view that the defense department cannot just eat that cost. now, there are some -- some ways of looking at the overseas contingency operation funding, where we may be able to do something, but, again, i'm just in the beginning of conversations with the white house and o.m.b. on that. >> in fact, i didn't mean interrupt you, but do you this in this contingency resource that you have that the dollar, the amount that it may be, by then in this fiscal year, can be covered? or do you think you'll need new resources at some point? some amount? am i wrong? >> i don't see the top line of either the oco or the fy 11 budget being changed by this. >> at all? >> no. >> well, let me ask you differently. the comment i have, that was extra money? and i know the answer is no to that, so did that mean -- >> they're they'll have to make
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internal trade-offs? >> what are those? >> we haven't gone there yet. 1234is a discussion i just said we're having with omb in. white house. >> i don't want you to take this as hostile at all. i'm new to this. i just know we in iraq, afghanistan, no one talked about the money. now it's trillions of dollars that hurt your budget, hurt the v.a.'s budget. i know everyone wants to talk about, as we just heard on the ac-130s and a-10s, i appreciate, admiral your comments. our coalitions have the capacity, maybe not at superior but doing the job we need them to do based on nato. that's great. but all of this costs money, and my issue is, what's the trade-off, understanding that ga doff hey to go. he is a bad character. i can make you ten other bad characters in the world we should be taking out, but we are where we are, and the issue i have, i'm trying to figure this out. for example, if i heard right, i mean, our allies, nato, the arab
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league, my personal opinion, the arab league, needs to pony up money to help offset these costs. but that's me. and we cannot shoulder these costs with a downward turn on our dollars available for everything across the board. i'm just trying to figure out, has someone -- i truly believe the senate does not do, we do not do very good oversight on budgetary process until after the fact and it's too late. we're in the middle of it. i'm asking the questions. so i appreciate what you're saying. i just want to make sure it's not so far down the line, then they come in, you all come in, we need half a billion dollars because -- i want to mentally prepare for this and know what we're trading off. somewhere we're trading off something, and it's frustrating to me. not -- i'm supportive of your needs. i've always been here, when afghanistan needed 30,000 more troop, one of the first democrats to step up and say you get them, because you need them.
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we were underresourced in that operation when i first came here. i'm frustrated like you. i think maybe two questions here on the monetary elements, and that is part of this discussion that we have to have. i mean, they are -- most of their income in libya comes from oil, period. we're probably not going to have any agreement for repayment if we move this count a better situation, and we're going to be, again, carrying the load. so i'm frustrated. i heard frustration from you. i'm frustrated. i want to make sure we do it right. i don't know if you have any comments. my time is up. if you want to go down that route. >> well, i would just say th that -- the defense appropriations bills that are currently under negotiation have around $4 billion in unrequested ads. that's where we'll look first. >> that's a fair statement. i appreciate that. i'll live it at that.
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again, i'm going to support the missions that you all decide from a military perspective but i want to make sure the resources are there. we're not fighting over nickel and diming you to death. i've already been to subcommittee meetings and seen it and it's painful to watch. i'm trying to figure out what's the right approach here? i'm finished with that. >> senator manchin? >> first, the state of west virginia thanks you all for your service and we have the utmost respect, and a tofollow-up, whe i'm having a problem with the cost is, i remember the gulf war. and at the gulf war, you might want to, both of you, whoever wants to speak to this, there was a big to-do made about we already had commitment for reimbursement before we went in. we were asked to come -- just giving it to you from my perspective being in our state of west virginia listening and watching with intent and our guard people commissioned to go over, and the it was something
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we felt was a win-win for us. we were asked to come help. we went in and we helped. we were successful. we did our mission and they paid their costs and we have that and people didn't feel they were overobligated or overburdened. so if we could do it then and they we think we asked to come in this time, where we had the support of the arab league with nato, i think what we're saying, i think, could we not make that same deeg this time? they would offset the costs to come in and assist them, and i would tie that, secretary gates, with all due respect i know you said you did not believe that this was in our vital interests, and i think a lot of west virginians share your belief with that, but whatever it is, we are where we are. i think -- did we not get the commitment or buy in or just basically the request to come and you all pay your own bill?
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>> first are all, with respect to the gulf war, i was there. i was in the white house. when that all took place. and i can tell you, we had no advance commitment from anybody to pay anything. >> okay. >> and that was all dealt with later. and the reality is, the bulk of the repayment came from saudi arabia and kuwait that had been the most directly under threat. they clearly don't feel that kind of a direct threat today from gadhafi, and so i think -- i think getting these guys to shoulder very much, if any, of the financial cost soo remote possibility. >> so the states that feel there's a direct threat to them, at that time they would make a financial decision to be
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involved. they must not think as a direct threat, gadhafi, and i think you said did you not think there was a direct threat and we went in anyways. >> the kw5i9 kuwaitis already occupied and they saw saddam as an immediate threat. >> i would ask this, to both of you, also, has there been any movement. i keep hearing there might be some movement on gadhafi leaving. does he want to leave? is there any opportunity for him to are exiled somewhere else? how would we approach that, if there was a country working with his exile and he was this actively entertaining that? is that door left open for him to leave? >> i think -- i think first of all, we haven't really discussed this, and, discussioned it in detail and it's more the president and the secretary of state, but my personal view would be that anything that gets him out of the country and
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provides for a change of the regime should threatt be considered. >> it's an option. >> it's an option, yes, sir. >> and i know everybody asked about the time element. it looks like whatever -- there's no way of backing out of that thing right now until he's gone, and we're hoping that the nato troops or whoever the air stat arab states will do their job and make that happen sooner than later? >> we certainly are counting on the coalition to sustain the air campaign. >> yeah. well, let me justsy that, about what strain -- admiral maybe you can speak to this. the strain to the troops. what strain is there to be troops? i was in iraq and afghanistan and saw the finest soldiers i ever man imagined seeing, anyone in the country's ever seen, but is it going to take a toll on us? >> well, i think over the short term, not that much.
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and i'd be the first to say that you know, we're stretched pretty thin. secretary gates spoke earlier, just on the financial side. i mean, we're now at a point where we don't have the money this year to fund some of the navy deployments, just because we don't have a bill yet. over the long temple, you know, i would grow increasingly concerned. that said, what we've done or what we're in the process of doing right now with very specific guidance from the president is, this is a limited military involvement, and from the stand it point that i can see the limits right now, with the capabilities that we have, that we can sustain those support capabilities, for a significant period of time without substantially adding to the stress on the force. so most of the stress on the force is on the ground. obviously this doesn't involve
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ground forces. so at least certainly as this was nirn initiated and where we are right now i think we're okay, but it is a concern. >> again, i say thank you for your service and thank you for the tough job you have. thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator manchin. close the loop on one question and then close nap is -- no, we're not. we almost are going to close. the -- that's the question of the strike missions and your decision not to participate after the next couple of days on the strike missions. you've testified that nato has great strike capability. i want to just be sure of one thing, and that is from your perspective, admiral mullen, that decision, that policy of ours that we've worked out with nato, does that have your own personal support that we not participate unless we are requested on ap standby basis?
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you've got through and then that request is approved by the civilian leadership of this country. do you support that policy? >> i'm very comfortable with the guidance i've gotten from the president and the mission to be executed as i've described it, as the secretary's described it and as you just described it. >> so that is something that has your personal support? >> right. >> thank you. >> senator mccaskill. just in time. >> thank you. i just finished presiding and raced over here. what about either secretary gates or admiral mullen, what is the governance capability of the rebels? we know their shortcomings in terms of their ability to -- to advance in terms of their military operations but what about governance and what about do we think the international council of benghazi in the east
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is qualified in some of the more remote areas of the country? >> i think the answer to the second question is, no. and i would say that the governance capability at this point is limited if not non-existent. >> and so assuming that we're going to be optimistic here and gadhafi leaves power quickly, what -- have our allies, has nato talked about what happens in the room in there is no governance capability? are there any plans or any discussions about what would happen in libya, or is this one of those situation where is we will impact, sit back and watch to see what develops? >> secretary clinton has carried the principle burden of negotiating with our allies and coalition patter ins, and whether that was discussed in the london conference a few days ago, i just don't know. >> okay. egypt. i know with what we are
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committed to, and i agree with the assessments that have been made by our leadership in regards to libya, i worry that we are taking our eye off the ball to egypt and i wonders ed do you sense, so go egypt, so goes the rest of the nation and what are your feeling ar a dock dlaes dock dlaes is trying to democracy trying to be born in egist? to the contrary, we've not only not taken our eye off the ball we've paid a lot of attention to egypt. i was there last week. secretary clinton there the week before that. admiral mullen and i are in regular contact with our counter parts. i came way from my visit and the decisions that have happened in the last few days of feeling
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pretty positive about developments there. one of the things that we had been concerned about was that, trying to have elections in june would not give parties other than it the old mubarak party and muslim brotherhood a chance to prepare. they're movement, not a political party. so their decision to move to delay the elections until september, i think, is actually a very positive move, because it will give -- space for those groups that are not yet very well organized. so i'm cautiously optimistic, that things are headed in the right direction. it is absolutely clear from my conversations with field marshal tentally, the military wants to shed this responsibility as quickly as they possibly can, and they seem to be making the right decisions in terms of the reforms that they've put in
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place. in terms of the elections and so on. >> frequency of contact is one thing that as the secretary said we both do. we're also -- it's not just myself. general is in contact with the military leadership there and we're working our way through given the huge challenges that they have. the best way to really sustain a military to millary relationship over time has had a positive payoff in the overall all crisis in egypt and we recognize the value of that and continue to work through things like education and you don't want to see those things go by the wayside. from all indications neither does the egyptian military. >> one thing i would add on that is that, the -- just to address your -- one other point that you asked about. i think -- i think that the
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future of egypt is absolutely critical to our interests in the region. it has long been the center of the arab world, in many ways, and so we have a very significant interest in how things go in egypt. >> i want -- see, i think often there can be cynicism about the time and resources we spend in terms of building alliances with our militaries around the world, and i think this is a great example for the american people to take a look at all of the training that we have done here of in this country, the relationship our military developed with the egyptian military over the years. clearly, that has come into play at this time of crisis, and been very important in terms of our ability to get information and ability to monitor and make sure we were not -- what was going on there was in the long run goi
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r e .. the resources we expend on training and even equipping our allies across the world, you never know when it's really going to come in handy, and i think this is an example of where it has. >> ma'am, i agree with you, and i certainly juxtaposition this with -- i also spend a lot of time on pakistan, where we've broken that relationship, and it has cost us dearly to do that. we're working on renewing it through what are very, very difficult times and significant challenges, but those -- those two examples teach us lessons on both sides of that coin. >> yes. i thank you both for your leadership in this time. i know it's trying, and i'm glad that both of you are where you are at this moment. thank you very much. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator mccaskill. thank you very much. we came close keeping a commitment, and we did the best
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we could. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]r. >> do you feel blindsided by a quick >> no, not atyo all.is were [inaudible] >> authorization to pull out the would forces. pull >> these are resolutions, though >> these are resolutions. not authorizations. you're talking about -- >> only thing that would enforce them would be the power of the purse cutting off funds, and i don't expect that would happen. in fact, i'm sure it won't happen. >> have had you any discussion with the pentagon about supplemental -- i know secretary
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gates thinks he can pay for it internally. >> too many other things to look into that. first question, in terms of authorization, the first thing you come up with would are senator paul's sense of the senate and i don't know if that's on list or what the status is because i've been here all afternoon, but he has a sense of the senate resolution, and the first important thing, you need to defeat that, because that says that limits the authority of the president to -- ways which -- just what every president since president truman in violation. so -- that's the first thing that needs to be addressed. any authorization resolution requires significant time, i think, to put it together, but also, you know, much more time on the floor. and it would deserve a
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significant debate. >> talking about -- >> resolution referred to this committee and to foreign relations. >> i think he assessed the senate. >> amendment. >> to refer back, which i hey think may be on a list of matters to be resolved before this small -- i'm not sure th that -- it's so fluid over there it's hard to know whether or not senator paul's motion to refer back and then immediately refer to the senate, i think it's to foreign relation, but, anyway, to immediately vote on, that the president had no authority to do what he did, and that's -- that has to be addressed before any resolution authorizing or resolution supporting. i mean, senator -- mccain, senator lieberman, i agree that
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support this mission. i mean, we're all in support of the mission. so if there is an effort at an authorization resolution, hopefully we can come together on that if there is such an authorization. there's a lot of language which would have to be viewed, and need to be set aside in a significant amount of time in the senate for that, and it may be to some extent overtaken by the event of the handoff to nato and the reduction of our presence. so that it may take way less of the immediacy of acting on something which is already passed. now that doesn't mean that there's not a continuing support. so it still would have some relevance, but less immediacy. >> i don't know what the it is. depends on wording. >> in paying for this, secretary
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gates said he would seek to reprogram about $4 billion that essentially congress had reallocated with the oco. for fiscal 2011. are you concerned that secretary sort of kind of just targets what the congress did to re-use that money? >> i have to see the specks there. the specifics there. >> interesting comment. >> well, i think it obviously had a point to it, which is legitimate. >> did you feel reassured by what the witnesses said today about the u.s. could return to strike missions if nato requested that? >> a logical position to take. i just wish that everybody, frankly, here to here, admiral mullen say that he supports, personally supports that position that we not participate after a few more days, after the transition is completed in the strike mission. that's something he supports.
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personally supports. so this is a policy which has to do with avoiding a mission creek. this was a policy agreed upon by nato going in. this was a policy which was well-known to the congress. this comes as no surprise to anybody. this was the plan. and it's logical that if the plan needs to be changed down the road, that people be open to considering that change. and so -- but i think it is important, i wanted to clear up at the end, because i don't think admiral mullen had been asked a question. whether he supports the decision that we not participate in the strikes after the handoff to nato, because there was a lot of criticism here today of that decision, of that policy, but that's not a new policy. that was the stated policy nap was what the nato policy was agreed upon by everybody at nato.
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that's what our military leader agrees with, and i think all of that, they put that in a very important context which may be different from just kind of a statement that some of my colleagues, the stake in it. i wish everybody was here to hear admiral mullen saying he supports that policy because of the mission creek issue. because you've got to have other countries who have the capability of handling this kind of a mission take the lead so we're not always in the lead. you know, we're in two other wars and we cannot just automatically be leading all of these efforts. there's countries that are allies, that are closer to libya, that have longer historical ties to libya. that are willing and want to take this mission that in fact encouraged us to participate. and for hevaven's sake, if they have the capability of handling the air strikes, our leaders are
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saying, civilian and military leaders, are saying, let them handle that. they say they can, let them do it. to simply say, well, they don't have a-10s or the other types of equipment, okay. they don't have everything we have, but they have more than adequate capability. that's what our top military leaders say. >> senator webb mentioned this question of what next. how might you and the committee engage in the question of, whats next? should gadhafi, say, tomorrow or say some day in the near future step out and create a power vacuum, how might you and the committee engage in this discussion of what to do next? because that is a pretty significant question. >> yeah, but you have to -- that's a step after the next step. so it's the next step which is subject to the current very legitimate discussion. where i think there's significant agreement on the committee, by the way. i think that senator mccain, senator lieberman, just about
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everybody who spoke here today, i think, with a possible, a couple exceptions, support this mission. that's the key thing. that there is broad support for this mission, as limited, as set out. without regime change being part of the military mission. i didn't hear anybody here today say they wanted regime change to be added to the military mission. i didn't hear anybody here today say they wanted american boots on the ground, by the way. i mean, evenen people who say, well, holy cow, he's going to still be there after the military mission. ity hear any of those folks who said, well, you can rely upon economic -- our economic boycotts and seizing all of these assets and putting the diplomatic pressure on them saying you can't count on that to lead to his removal. that's true. that's not certain, that's hoped for, but i didn't hear one of them say that they want american boots on the ground to assure that. so they may be able to point out
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that the military mission doesn't include regime changed. and that the political vision isn't the certain one of achieving regime change, but i don't hear them providing the next logical step. it's, okay, you want boots on the ground? oh, no. we don't want american boots on the ground. i don't either. so i think that we have to do a lot of sorting out of these issues before you get to the issue that senator webb raised, although it's mighty important what comes next? i agree totally with that, but there's so many issues in the current class of issues that are floating around, we have to just sort them out first. >> arming the rebels. you heard the various pros and cons in it today. what's your bottom line yet?
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would you fave the u.s. arming rebels or did he make a persuasive case. >> i stated my position. >> i'm sorry. i didn't know if it was changed or not. >> no it hasn't. >> is that a yes or no. >> no. it's a statement that a lot of thought needs to be given to whether or not we know who they are. whether it will fracture the coalition or not. and whether or not other countries might be perfectly able to do it if it's the wise thing and a lot of thought needs to be given to that, and i believe, and i feel, that president obama has given a lot of thought to the question of this military operation. he was very cautious, very thoughtful, and i'm confident that he would give a lot of thought to this issue before he decided it was wise to arm the rebels, either by us or whether or not it would be wise for any country to do it, but there are a lot of other countries that are perfectly able to do it and
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i think one of the witnesses today i think, answered my question, that 2 would it would be better for an arab country to be doing it rather than us, if it's going to be done. >> thanks. >> sure. >> thanks. >> for more than four decades, the libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant, moammar gadhafi. we have tonight is people
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freedom, exploited the wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad and terrorized innocent people around the world. >> in a few moments, tea party at this rally the capital
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>> while news reports suggest that as of the house and senate have compromised a $33 billion in budget cuts for this fiscal year, tea party act this rally
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at the capital demanding congress be more aggressive in cutting spending. speakers at the two-hour event included republican members of the senate and house. [inaudible conversations] >> thank you everyone for being here today. it's a great day to be out and stand up for america. [cheers and applause] how many of you -- this is the first time you've ever been to washington d.c. for one of these things? how many of you have been here more than twice before? how many of you have been here more than three or four times before? [cheers and applause] how many of you are sick of coming to washington d.c. in the middle of the week to tell these people what to do? you know, we've been loud. we've made our voices heard. they've heard us, but they're just not listening.
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that's why you're here today. we're here to make sure they listen to us. they are talking about the people in congress. they're talking about this being a battle over federal spending. we understand the american people understand this is a battle over how our families salaries are going to be spent. this government spending comes from somewhere and that somewhere is our back pocket. [cheers and applause] the american people, you and me and people just like us all around this country, we want substance and meaningful spending cuts. we don't want symbolism that congress can turn around and pat themselves on the back and say we got more than we've ever cut before. you bid $700 billion in just a couple of weeks. [cheers and applause]
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the cuts come in the senate leadership are currently proposing they will not pull this country back from fiscal disaster. it is inevitable if we continue on this current course. the bottom line is that -- our bottom line is tea party picture it's his to put america back on a sustainable path into fiscal soundness. [cheers and applause] we right now are calling on congress and the republicans to keep the pledge they made to us before the elections and cut 100 billion this year. you know, it is a start. some people call that draconian. i is someone today asked me what you are in means. severely punishing to cut
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$100 billion. let me put it in perspective for you. the simple truth is that if every single dollar in spending our money, we're asking them to cut 2.6 pennies. less than three pennies out of every single dollar and they are saying buster conan. we can make this card. i asked my 8-year-old daughter last night, what if i cut your allowance each week or three pennies? to thing you can live with that? my 8-year-old daughter said yes, i can live with it. i don't want you to, but i can live with it. she gets it. my cofounder, mark muckler, his 11-year-old, she gets it. why can't these people up here get that we are only asking for a little bit and we are trying
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desperately to return this country to fiscal soundness. you're right. [inaudible conversations] the main problem is this is a debate over america's future, about my children's future in their children's future. and we're spending -- at this point, were not spending our money anymore. we're spending their money and we cannot keep it up and we need people who have the courage to leave. we have 11 people to lead this country and they are not doing it. we are here today doing it for them. we're going to lead the american people if the people we elect can't get it together to figure out how to do it. [cheers and applause] let me to show you their playing games. earlier this week, senator schumer is on the phone telling
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people that the republicans need to quit listening to the tea party and just do with the democrats the democrats want to do. they say we need to make sure everyone knows that if the tea party salt. guys, if we do a government shutdown, congress souls. they have not passed a budget since 2009. they were supposed to do this before the end of last year. [cheers and applause] time for someone to stand up and lead. and it is time to quit blaming the american people. time for the people in congress to quit blaming us, the american people. take a look in the mirror and figure out i will return the country to the greatness we know it can be. [cheers and applause] may be what they should be doing instead of telling everyone for all, they should be trying to
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figure out what they're doing is so successful. it's time to get it right. and if it does shut down, just a member, it's the governments fault. is congress' fault and the white house this fall. i wants you to remember what being. if you remember nothing else here today, remember this. i'll were doing -- all the tea party peaches are doing, the american people were asking congress to cut less than three pennies out of every dollar they spend. let's hear from some of the people who are willing to leave him or her doing the they can in these halls and a little later we're going to talk to them face-to-face and make sure they're listening to us. our first speaker is congressman jim jordan who's the chairman of the republican study committee. [cheers and applause] >> thank you.
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thanks for being here. go buckeyes, yeah. two weeks ago i had the opportunity to go to independence hall. and when you walk in there and you imagining your mind by jefferson in fact, were adam, and claims that and what these men did when they started this grand experiment of liberty we call america. and you think about the declaration that was put together if they are signed, these guys wrote and i tell folks next to scripture the next us towards a non-paper is we self-evident. all are created equal with inalienable rights. when you think about what to base their comments truly amazing is that i called the united states of america, greatest country in history. and then you contrast the action in the words and the wisdom of
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the founders with what we're hearing in the united states senate by senator schumer, was more interested in playing politics in the future of the country which is truly a state, where he says saving money for tax years as extreme. i mean, think about that. you think about these guys who put in contrast that with so many politicians today, were worth $61 billion as extreme? i mean, you've all but the numbers. with that of $14 trillion national debt, $1.6 trillion deficit. the largest monthly deficit in american history, 220,000,000,061,000,000,000 in savings for you to tax payer of the american people is somehow extreme? in maine, we talked about this before we came over. if this represents the amount of money were going to buy this year, 61 billion is about that
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much. and if this card represents the entire budget, we're talking about that much in savings. this is a good first step in if they characterize it as extreme. last night we heard -- we listen to a guy give a speech. maybe part of the sky, christopher steve. you ever heard of that kia? [cheers and applause] and he made a point. he said you know, we're at a point in american city at the president and author we need petri nets, not patrons. i learned a long time ago that if you want to accomplish anything of meaning or significance got to get in the game. on the sidelines, nothing much happens. you've got to be willing to get off the sidelines and out of the shadows and into the game. i want to thank you for doing that. or at a critical point in american history and you are making a huge difference in helping us that the country back on the right path. i'll just finish with this.
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i have my -- i had a coach in high school come and ask my parents had the biggest impact in my life with anyone. he was the toughest teacher at our school. retyped chemistry and physics. toughest wrestling coach in the state of ohio. this is no exaggeration. everyday he talked about this. you've got to be disciplined about preparing the night before and doing homework. in the wrestling room, you want to excel for sport you've got to have self-discipline. the most important quality necessary. there are days we've got to be quiet. he's saying what my dad says every day at home. i did great definition. hanks and are wrestling room at our school. he said doing what you don't want to do when you don't want to do appear to be sicker than meant doing things coaches like and that doing things the right
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way with a brother to them that a convenient way. i've only been washed in a few years, but one thing i've seen is that politicians love to do things anyway. it's so convenient to canned on the road and kind of keep spending and playing around the edges. what a point in american history where we have to do the tough thing, the discipline thing. we could do with the american people are doing, small business owners. we actually have to live within our means and began to cut spending. i know we're going to do it because she'll help us send a message to the united states. we're serious about the budget. we need the full amount of savings that can take the first step towards fixing the country and making sure that the founders on this on this place, we can hand it to her kids come in the great country they envisioned for us a thank you and god bless. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, congressman jordan for pushing to the hundred billion year colleagues pledged to us. next recall for that freedom ring i want to rescue one thing.
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the camera crew -- holger signed up for when i come not just put them down. we're live broadcast and broadcast and we see standing to leave, so that we people can see it all across america. >> things, jennings asked. you know you're in the news today. here's what abc news said this morning on their thing. is this a tea party has emerged -- as the bogeyman of budget negotiations on capitol hill. well, good morning boogie man. [applause] and the women. absolutely. listen, you're going to hear a lot of people trying to put these budget cuts into perspective today. here's one way to look at it. let's assume that you're in tre

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