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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 5, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EST

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the security pillars and the police and army being two different colors. when they do crosscourt nation and work together, than they are much stronger and they can't be beat. and so i attend a three for session every saturday that we call the senior security and that has the senior members of the nes and the national security adviser. so the police and the army interaction is daily every single day. the police ought operate a little bit different. they have along for some aspect and in many places they are the only security institution in the far reaches of afghanistan. and so they are a threat, the afghan local police are designed in the villages are probably the most attacked and they are the least amount of training and they don't have the name weapons
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as the regular police for the army. so they do get attacked and they do attack and they are feared by the taliban and the insurgents because they are directly linked with people inside the communities and so the language between the police and the army is a strong one and continues to work at. and the provinces that they have these are institutions of the governors have police armies in the intel folks altogether inside of one for lack of better term, and operational command and control for regional and at the provincial level and they provide interaction and sat right next to each other and then they interact with higher headquarters as well. and my head quarters in kabul, i have afghan police that sit next to each other inside the conjoined operation center and so interaction is very good.
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what i would tell you is that less than 10% of the people in embrace the taliban and that number continues to go down. a lot of that is because of the actions of the taliban and i understand that civilian casualties report like 75% are caused by the insurgents and our records show 90% are caused by the terrorist and the people are tired. they want a better life and they want the exact same thing that we want. they want to be able to send their kids to school and have a roof over their head and so they understand this is 85% of people who want this government and they wanted to do well and they are tired of what the taliban and what they represent. so that is a big change from where we were just a couple of years ago. >> thank you very much for that positive report. i want to correct myself president ghani. and let's just hope that what you have accomplished your will
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continue and will be spread throughout the region. thank you for your time gentlemen as well as your service. >> thank you is your chairman, thank you general for being here. it's been fairly disconcerting of how much information when it comes to this the president of the united states has given out and how we have learned about the withdrawal and we learned about the taliban does and to follow up on my colleagues comment i want to ask you for this in writing a classified briefing, i want to know the detail of what our the signs that would trigger this. i really want to know because i want to know that we have a plan and i don't want to ask it in public for everyone in the world to listen because it really does concern me but i would ask you
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to provide that in writing or a classified briefing, what are we looking for is going to happen with more loss of blood and life and as we are looking at in iraq. the other question is with isis. as you understand your role, i understand that some of you here from the state department and we were talking about the current rules of engagement as it pertains to afghanistan with this mission and my specific situation was we know that they are not working all over this part of the world and we know that they are looking around and recruiting in afghanistan. so my question was under the current operation was if they are identified by american troops were afghan national security forces to train and advise and assist mode can we absolutely destroy them and the answer from the state navarro was no it would not be for the
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united states at that point and my comment is we need to consider that it means we should destroy them. so in your world right now, what is your understanding when they are identified? >> thank you for your question. we don't talk about rules and engagement when there are tactics and and procedures, i would just answer and say that i am comfortable with the authorities that i have that i can prosecute the mission from this training and advising prospective and also protecting the forces that i have. but i can't go into the rules in this environment. >> i understand. i'd love to have a conversation with follow-up, they talked about that at some point. also with this what is the difference would be and how you can engage isis. you have more gains?
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>> i have glanced through pieces of it, i know that there is no geographical boundaries which would help. i would have to do a more detailed look at that. but for right now i have the authorities to be able to prosecute this and i would have to take a harder look at that and how that would impact this as we transition. >> in relationship to this strength, compared to what you are doing right now what additional kinds of missions and coverage you have right now that you are going to lose. i would like to have a conversation about that. we are talking about drawing down from 10,000 and 5000, when we actually having their? what steps are in between that talk about this for our purposes and assisting the afghan forces.
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what does that mean and how much coverage will be afghan forces do on their own? i understand we probably can't talk about it all here but i do want to follow up the answers to those questions so that we know is members of congress that we will be voting on this that there really is some kind of a plan and we are not going to stay say here again, i don't think anyone can take any word for anything. but we also see how these things change on a dime and i think we owe the american public to have seen that there is a plan and i appreciate it and look forward to your response is either in writing or in a classified briefing. >> thank you, ma'am. >> serve? >> thank you mr. chairman. i'd first like to thank you and those who have served including the bulldog brigade for the incredible job that you have
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done in afghanistan. i joined the my colleagues in thanking you for this terrific performance which goes beyond any claims that someone could make one anecdote by the numbers and the pictures and i agree with many comments made so far that i think that there are many lessons that we can apply from this country's success in afghanistan to our operations and objectives in iraq. when it comes to the proposed situation to combat isis my understanding is that the immediate goal is to stop them and ultimately to degrade and defeat and destroy them. what is our goal in afghanistan relative to the taliban? >> i really do believe again i
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look forward to other questions so we can talk through that on the resource that we have. what i would tell you is that our goal is to build the afghan capacity to be able to have this secured stable afghanistan for the future. and the message is not having any traction with the afghan people. it is time for the afghan taliban to take a look at what they are trying to do and become a part of the process. president ghani open the door for them to come back on reconciliation which could potentially be a game changer that has to work with pakistan where they go as they continue to build their afghan security force capability but i do believe that they want to get the taliban to where they are
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part of the afghan vision moving forward. so they have to operate from a position of strength and i think 352,000 afghan security forces and other local police give them that capability and the taliban are looking around and saying the coalition forces have signed this, they are going to continue to help and provide an train and its assist and advise, what we are trying to do, we have to be a part of this so i think that that is really where we are going. but it's because the afghan security forces are going to drive this and not the coalition. >> to that point, i think that we are seeing record casualties and losses from the afghan security forces and thankfully there are diminished casualties
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in this and we have military commanders that have asked for additional flexibility something that makes a lot of sense that we can fully endorse, giving the lessons that we learned from iraq and are learning from iraq i assume into what ability includes the ability for airstrikes and raids against terrorists and those to do us harm. what status to the degree that you can offer clarity, what will you have to see on the ground in that country in order to recommend that we no longer need that flexibility and that we can meet our goal of having a normal embassy level of protection. again through numbers or as clearly as you can, describe what that condition will have to look like to make that recommendation. >> if i could address this person just tell you that five
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to 7%, probably larger than 2013, it is about the operational template that they had that was four times greater than 2013. and so it was expected that casualties would rise. it will be continue to focus on, there are two things, one is continuing to improve the afghan capability to reduce this and work on the medevac and the doctors and we are working on very hard. and then also the recruiting case. you know, they don't recruit all year round with all of our services do. and now they have a process in place year-round and so it doesn't ebb and flow like that. so the casualty peace is not
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really the attrition rate is not a space on casualties but the number one reason is leadership making sure they have the right leadership as opposed to combat casualties. what it would take for me is to recommend that we would continue to transition and work differently to make sure that the scenes in the gaps that we have identified and we have gotten us to a level that they can have the processes that they need without it. so we continue to build of this aviation capability with close air support, the first thing is close air support. and so did you fire this and we have a few that use those. trying to make sure that we work through those processes.
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we are working on these machine guns on the side. they won't have much in the next few seasons, but we are working on a next wing capability to provide some closure support in the future. so that will continue to go up. once we work on this and build the special forces capability, i will feel much better as we close the gap on those themes out there. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the president stated policy is to take our strength from 10,800 troops in afghanistan than the 5000 troops by the end of 2015. in your best professional military judgment, is that the right strength at the end of 2016? >> it was about 5500 by the end of december and the options that i have provided provide the
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flexibility is the command on the ground to take a look at. >> and 2014 the afghan security forces lost over 20,000 personnel to desertions and deaths. does that concern you? >> the numbers again as i talked about, if you put it into context, i think that we are working with processes and procedures to make sure that that doesn't have a great impact. it hasn't had a severe impact on readiness. any desertion or casualty will concern me and concerned leadership and the president but i think again that it is about having processes in place to bring people in and it really isn't about the combat that is a fraction of it. a lot of this is on leadership and people are looking at them and saying are they getting paid. >> in your judgment is there a
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correlation between the drawdown of having the troops by half in their desertion? >> i haven't looked at it, but my gut would tell you know. would you say that tran-sixes one of the priority intelligence requirements, can you show the panel why -- what is going on with them now that makes it a priority requirement? >> thank you for your questions the party intelligence requirements, this is not the only one so as we take a look at this as we did a deep dive to try to look at what they were doing, i said that i need to learn more about the and one way to do it is through the intel folks. as we go through a number of things that we take a look at and allocate resources, other things and we are getting a
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better look at it and providing for continued updates on it. and it could grow rapidly. at this stage, it is an organization. they have the potential to jump over different stages and we want to make sure that we're looking at us. so making this gives us better situation on it. >> "the washington post" talked about a figure actively recruiting for isis in afghanistan specifically where coalition troops withdrew in october. can you confirm these reports?
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>> there has been a lot of media. one individual was designated in afghanistan what they call a course khorasan, which is pakistan and afghanistan in that area so this is on the deputy. >> so the ford we have one minute left, a few more questions about this to the answer is yes. >> so when you think about a taliban commander he was detained at gitmo and released we turn him over to the afghan detention facility where he escaped and became a recruiter for isis. are you aware of this? >> i don't know any details. >> we have to make decisions
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about this. does it concern you that our troops are fighting the same enemy twice? >> it concerns me that they are fighting any enemy whether once or twice had the same concern. >> in your best military judgment knowing that 30% of the people are going back into the war, is that good or bad judgment? >> that is a policy question and i am a military guy and i don't want to get to the policy. i want to make sure that i have the ability to do is if people are going to come back into afghanistan that i have the ability to make sure that i am comfortable with the assurances that afghanistan or whatever other country makes, that i have the ability to make sure what assurances that we have and these will not attack coalition forces again. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i wanted to ask the general a couple of questions expressing
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confidence in the new government, do you have a sense of how the afghan feel is as far as confidence is concerned with afghan capability posed to u.s. u.s. drawdown. >> looking at support we have a lot of close air support. what i tell them is do not plan your operation on us, you have the capability, the taliban does not have the close air support. you know, they don't have the weapons you have. so part of it is leadership.
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but they want the coalition around. >> so i think that they would tell you that they feel comfortable. >> how would that be perceived in the terror community. >> how do they view the afghan capability as far as being able to protect their own country? >> going back of i can answer the last question, there was at different points a sense of
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abandonment. but for the most part the security forces getting the message out and showing the people what they are capable of i think that that increases the afghan security forces confidence. i think there was some abandonment type discussion going on but i have not seen that in last several months as the security forces continue to get better and better. i think that they were thinking that the coalition would be gone after 2014. and so they now understand that for many years we have a continued commitment to remain in afghanistan and some number. and the time has come that they have to be part of the political process and get into this.
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and i just think that it is a sign of strength that he on his first day of office scientist and a message that was sent to the terrorist community saying that we thought it was going to go away and it is not. >> mr. kirk. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, i want to commend you and your testimony, your years of service and combat. what i wanted to address is something that isn't here and it is concerned and that is the situation of the drugs and corruption from an irrational viewpoint, how are we doing and can you comment on the status of
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that and where it's going right now. >> to give thank you for the question, there have been a lot of different report on this. a lot of that coming out of the area. it deals with the producers, the insurgents the user for their game, they look at different options down there and they do have quite a good record and it sees these different places with different drug labs producing a lot of what comes out of there quite frankly it has not been enough in the tragedy there has not taken that away from the insurgents, that is not part of
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my ct mission, so i cannot comment for that. but it does provide financial assistance to the taliban and the government is taking a look at how they combat that. >> the relationship with pakistan has improved quite a bit. the equipment, at one time we were concerned about the equipment backlog going to pakistan. >> the logistical community and what our nation has done taking a look at fully understanding the amount of equipment that fully came out this is record-setting and so we are on
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the path now and it ebbs and flows and the relationship with pakistan today and afghanistan is the best that i have seen it in all the times i have been over there and a lot of that is because of the chief of the army in pakistan and how they come together, but the retrograde is part of that. >> okay switching gears i think that uzbekistan has to have good relationships with pakistan. what is the relationship with them right now? i know that they were working on
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the bridge or the train that is going down there. is that still ongoing. >> i know that president ghani has visited, and i know that he has talked to senior leadership and they have talked about the bridges and sharing of intelligence back-and-forth and how they can fight. criminal activity as opposed to this and that includes two different countries around, and i think that there are several members of your positions as well. >> thank you very much. thank you for your service and i
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yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. at a time of sequestration when we are cutting thundering for u.s. forces in the u.s. and looking at everything from shutting down commissaries to adjusting retirement we are looking at how we are spending the money with providing this resource and specifically you had mentioned this i would like to talk about the ability to account for personnel. we talked about we talked about this attrition in the afghan forces that has been reported
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and there have been real concerns. the numbers of afghan militaries , as much as 20000 or 40,000 personnel. and i'm worried that we are spending this money and we are spending money there. ..
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total transparency and everything we are doing, and we are committed. some of the things are classified. this is not a knew story but but i asked to take a holistic look and said anything said, anything that was readiness data and sometimes numbers of people could be considered to have construed as readiness data but it needs to be classified we are wholly dependent.
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for our own force protection that became more so than i needed to have readiness data classified. that decision was made in august. i reaffirmed that the pres. president about having that kind of data classified. i went back down and said, i want to make sure you are comfortable because i'm getting asked a lot of questions on this. he was absolutely adamant that it was classified. i have not as has been reported in some media changed my mind. mind. the numbers of people, and the last report that came out a couple of weeks ago i want to make sure they have everything they need to do their job but numbers
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reported in numbers where you get that information comes from many different sources. in his report the baseline with for the numbers need to come from. some of the reports may not have even come from my headquarters but maybe lower headquarters where members went down to a lower headquarters and asked what there numbers were. we need to have processes in place and have a better procedure to do that. we're working on that. i signed a consolidated operating procedure to do that. we have probably 62 different audits audits going on in afghanistan. so as we transition i do
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not have people in country to do all of that and then dependent upon regional actors command we need to come up with ways to figure out how we provide audit data. i we will have to raise that with my own leadership as we go forward. there is a miscommunication when i learned through the new york times that these numbers will be replaced. we need to take a hard look at this data. they stop they stop the release. we are looking hard at how we can continue to make sure everyone gets the right data >> thank you. >> thank you for being here. if there if there is one thing we learned over the last several months it is that the people of the country have to be willing to hold that country -- afghanistan
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is a very different country. the perception is it is all one and the same issue, if you will. i do i do think that we need to do a better job of getting that message out when we have the victories because all of america is hearing right now is the bad. thank you for your service. close air support obviously in order for afghanistan to be a success they have to hold that country. but we are hopefully completely out of their afghanistan air force is currently being trade -- is being trained.
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if you speak to that element how critical it is the air support at the afghanistan's afghanistan's being able to carry out their own air support long-term, how many a 29's a 29th the anticipate we should be able to provide? >> we are thankful they have that capability. it is a long process. we are where we are. training for this capability is critical for afghanistan. quite frankly, we cannot get it quick enough for them. the current program has aircraft. we we will aircraft. it we will not have any for this fighting season.
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most we will come out in 17 and 18 which is another reason we need to have this train, advise, and assist. it is a great capability. it will give them and the people in that region we will understand they have that capability. we are working with forward firing machine guns the md 530 and they do have an direct fire mortars howitzers that we will continue to work with them to improve that capability but this is a huge asset. >> again we must make sure when we leave that country that it is prepared to hold and govern themselves.
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the situation in iraq that is certainly lessons learned the hard way. mr. chairman i don't have any further questions. i feel the remainder of my time. >> i think the gentleman. >> thank you for your endurance and service. tomorrow night in hartford there will be a sendoff for the army national guard hundred and 22nd battalion heading to afghanistan. i realize this is not in your lane about making decisions of reaching into guard and reserve units but there are folks scratching
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their heads guard and reserves i i think an understanding and acceptance during the search days when we had hundreds of thousands of people in the middle east tapping into the guard at this.and frankly doing it with the bear notice required by law is something that, again, folks are struggling with. i asked you -- and i don't mean to put you on the spot, but if you were in front of those families tomorrow night what he would share with them and explain the decision-making process. as there leader in afghanistan what would be your thoughts you would share with the families. >> all of our service could not do what we do without our military families.
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i thank them for their sacrifice for allowing us to have that soldier continue to serve. it's a very, very important mission. i would ask them to watch out for each other and always take care of the brothers and sisters on their left and right to make sure force protection is foremost in their mind and never to get complacent. but but they do have a very important job. many times sometimes your too close and cannot see some of these changes we talked about earlier. people serve for different reasons but they serve because they know they are serving for the greater good when they come to afghanistan i i tell them whatever you do make that place better than you found it and everyone continues to do that. they we will have an impact on whatever they do and whether they touch and sometimes it
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is an impact that they cannot put into words. but i we will tell you that their service will be honored them and they will feel good about what they have done after they leave. i can't speak to the service provider piece that only that for many many years our national guard, u.s. army reserve have played an important role, both in iraq and afghanistan and we will continue as we move forward. i appreciate their service. >> thank you and i we will share those thoughts. as we wrestled with the drawdown and force reduction and sequestration and the budget control act it has reignited a little bit of the tension about whether or not the guard and reserve parity in terms of the rest of the forces and the fact that they got this order to head over again again, at a time when the average person would not think
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that is consistent with the rest of the force level underscores to underscores, to me, the value that active-duty applies and believes exists. they have done humans work during both conflicts and iraq and afghanistan they deserve they deserve all of the kudos and appreciation that we could possibly give them. thank you for your comments, and comments, and i will pass them along. >> i think the gentleman. >> thank you. i we will take a little different approach. i looked at your narrative and the comment by senator lavergne. i cite these public opinion polls. we have not achieved anything and he is critical of those who do not think we have achieved anything by saying at the end of it in the people who were 7,000 miles away think we
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have not i would say to the senator, it is those people back home paying the bills the need to get something out of the tax dollars that they are paying. we went into afghanistan in 2001. the dead of our nation was $5.9 trillion today it is over $18 trillion of debt. you no what we are faced with with budgets. then i read in a blog from yesterday by jason did between casualties and desertion the afghan military is shrinking fast. the desertion problem is a long-standing one with many afghans signing up for the military, sticking military, sticking around long enough to get there 1st paycheck
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and then bailing and ultimately taking their weapons with them as a sort of severance package then in the guardian yesterday afghan officials sanctioned murder torture rape. i realize this is from human watch, and we can have our views on that. that is fair but they still write this. apparently there has been no dispute. the report focuses on a commanders and officials across afghanistan some counted among the country's most powerful men and key allies for foreign troops some accused of personally inflicting violence and others of having responsibility for malicious or government forces that commit crimes. i no good things are happening. i do not question that at all. afghanistan is like the wild
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west. my concern, we have nine more years of a financial commitment and the military commitment which might be limited in numbers but there are still young men and women walking the roads to be shot at and have there legs blown off. i wondered because i wondered because we in congress will be grappling with sequestration this year the chairman and ranking member who are doing a great job are very concerned about the military budget and i think all of us here are as well. i no i am. but i get to a place where i wonder -- not talking about you, sir. you are a great outstanding military person. will they're ever be anyone in the diplomatic or military corps that says, we have done about all we can do?
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some people benefit, but when i read reports reports like this, whether they be from the left or the right -- pat buchanan is one of my biggest heroes, ron paul is one of my biggest friends command i continue to see nine more years of spending money we don't have so that we can decrease the number in our military it does not make any sense. i no you do not make policy decisions. i understand that. with all ever with all ever been someone who follows behind you and follows behind me that will be honored to have honest to the american public that have to pay the bill that we have done about as much as we can do? >> thank you for the question i would answer it like this. >> frankly, this is the world we live in not maybe the world we want. the complexity of the world we live in is a generational piece a generational piece
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that will go on long after you and i are out of fear and we need to understand that. look at it as a generational issue and put stress seek to have strategies and policies in place that will get at this long-term. we have change our mindset on where we are at. the at. the american people are well served by the great men and women who continue to raise the right hand and serve knowing that they go into harms way. there we will be budget issues that will take away. this is a long-term issue. what i am pleased about is that you mentioned all those different reports and there are challenges, not only in afghanistan but many places in the world. because of the significant investment and lies and financial that we have provided that this can be the bright spot. this is for lack of a
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better term a strategic when that will carry on in this part of the world is a very complex and dangerous part. for for very little continued investment we can make this a shining light in central asia and is part of the world. we have to start someplace and afghanistan is the good news. for every bad news report you mentioned they're are probably nine or ten good news situations that don't get out. talk about the good things that afghans are doing in different areas. here are some good news stories. stories. you need to know that this is happening. i give them ten or 15 powerpoint slides and that does not get out because it does not sell.
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for every bad there are nine or ten that are stopped. >> the gentle lady from -- >> thank you for your challenging leadership in afghanistan. i want to quote the 2015 national security strategy in saying we must recognize a smart the smart national security strategy does not rely solely on military power. our efforts to work with other countries but the ideology and root causes of violent extremists will be more important. i strongly support this approach, general. however i am concerned the persistence we have shown in afghanistan and our presence they're can have harmful effects on our long-term readiness. as we draw down to a a force capable of protecting our
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security interests in the region, how will we capitalize and use the interests in the region we currently have in country to protect the readiness of our total force? specifically, can you comment on retrograde efforts as supported in the fy 16 budget and what impact sequestration would have on this effort if sequestration is not repealed? >> thank you, ma'am, and thank you for your visit last fall, as well. i have not looked through the numbers for the retrograde portion of fy 16 but i can tell you we will continue to be the necessary resources the financial piece so that we can put it back into the force. probably 80 percent is for the army. the very best equipment we have is in afghanistan so we need to make sure we get that back reset command into the force. we. we had some concerns a year
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year and a half ago. i don't have those same concerns. sequestration from a different perspective we will impact the readiness of all of our services which is why i think all of the service chiefs. >> thank you. thank you very much, general recently the 1st lady of afghanistan has said women come to me and say, you have forgotten us. i am a strong champion of women's rights and wonder what we can do working with the afghans and nato to ensure women's rights are respected across the country as we continue to draw down forces. how are we encouraging all working with the afghan government to make sure greater inclusion of women in civic society? a few years back i traveled within leader pelosi and
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pelosi, and we visited many of the women leaders in afghanistan. and and they were very very concerned about the future. can you comment on that? >> we work very hard but from a coalition perspective , but also the president works hard on how he is working on gender issues and particularly the women in a military perspective and security perspective my getting women into the police and the army , the money approved for this specifically pinpointed the issues. we are able of the support support, but it will take time for the police and the army, and the police are doing much better than the army on integrating women into the force, but we will look very hard. the cultural differences make it tougher. they are both committed. and i will engage the minister of defense.
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we are always looking at ways to improve -- i want to say 24 percent of parliament is women. i don't think we have that in our own congress. the president and first lady have put a hard press on this and are reaching out as well. i have a gender advisor from my force that focuses on a lot of different activities. engaging with nato and our nato and partner forces to ensure we are doing all we can to enrich this and continue to keep emphasis on it. >> thank you for your comments, and i yield back. >> thank the gentle lady. >> thank you for your service and taking on the mission you are taking on. it is encouraging to see the positives that we don't often hear.
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i agree wholeheartedly that it was a great move to sign abs a. it bodes well for all. i think it is probably wise from where i sit to come together as governance partners. my question is, what are you seeing as far as that relationship between the two and its effect on any national unity in afghanistan? >> sir, thanks. that is a great question. i look at this everyday. they gave up some to make sure that they can continue to work forward. they did that after a long time. as i see them together and separately they complement each other. they have great vision for where they want to take afghanistan.
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they have to continue to work through and have run into instances where they have differences that work hard to make sure that they have one voices they move forward. that is not always easy. they understand how important it is so they work toward it. again, they complement each other and i am honored to have the opportunity to engage with both of them. >> general and that senses it carried over to the military as far as unity and cohesion among the military and the morel within the military >> he is commander-in-chief and so his interaction with the security forces is completely different from where we were under president karzai. morale has gone way up.
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talk to them about changing authorities for core commanders video teleconferences several times since i have been with them with the senior leadership national security council every week. i think they are thankful that they do have a commander in chief that is taken not only there own welfare but there families welfare as they help out wanted warriors. >> with that in mind since they have not been in office very long do you anticipate -- the questions come up a couple of times about deserters. do you anticipate that will slow down? >> trying to make that tie in to know what he is trying
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to do is put in leadership that can make a difference. he has retired on order of about 60 general officers. they have not had any retirements under president karzai. they have had about 60 plus. that is infusing knew blood looking hard at the people he puts into those positions trying to interview everyone of his general officers based upon merit which is very good. leadership we will change the attrition peace. combat casualties are only a small peace. desertion if you look at why people desert it went dormant for a while. but when you take a hard look, it is leadership
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having a soldier assigned. all he knows is combat after combat after combat. they go through and can take leave. they are just now starting to have that cyclic force generation. once they get that into place you will see the desertion go way down. you get you get down and there is no future. the personal management is not right. he 11 way up north and it takes you days to get back or you may never get back. once you do you may go past your 20 days of leave and are considered a deserter.
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it we will make a difference >> those sound like logical things to address. what percentage of the medical care being given is coming from american personnel? >> for the afghans? >> the whole theater. taking care? >> they have their own medical system. they have regional hospitals we have advisers in different places. they only come to a coalition facility if it is a very very worst case that
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they cannot handle. >> thank you very much. we we will have a chance to meet with you again. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have appreciated your knowledge and nuanced testimony. i want to follow up. as a member of congress i have made six trips to afghanistan and four with a delegation of women. our goal has been twofold. to thank our women soldiers. we have also had the opportunity to see the gains that have been made for women in afghanistan. while not as widespread as we would like couple has
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been the prime beneficiary. those games have been real. your reports show that. so as we are drawing down our concern is that those gains are not somehow traded away. as he talked about the president reaching out and referencing the talent than in his inaugural speech as we meet with women those comments sends chills. we no how terribly they suffered under the regime. our bipartisan concern has become how we protect the gains that have been made. as we talk about the differences it seems to me
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that one of them has been the signing of the bilateral security agreement which has set up a different framework and given us a role in afghanistan. i am curious while the security situation is your role how you see the united states role using his ongoing relationship with the government to make sure that negotiations do go forward how we make sure and use our leverage and how you use your leverage to make sure women's gains remain on the table and are somehow not traded away as others argue for a path forward? >> thank you for your visits and questions.
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leadership as a big role to play. the differences it is written into the constitution. if there is reconciliation down the road one of the key parameters will be that the constitution will hold. it talks about respect for women's rights. with the ambassador and his team at the embassy with the 30 40 plus ambassadors i interact with periodically they have this upmost in their minds. it is a drumbeat that they continue to hear and understand how important it is that they abide by there constitution. leadership will make a difference and they
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understand everything is conditions based. we signed letters of commitment. this is the same way as we look forward in this area that it can be conditions based. they abide by there constitution. >> i can remember hearing we had a woman a woman who is a leader of one of the ngos said the 1st indication that things are not going well for women we will be the street. that comes that comes back to the role of the afghan national police. are you confident that they are up to the task? if not do you see -- how would the challenge them to do it better? >> they have done much better integrating women into the force and are doing
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much better on understanding how they have to deal with communities and community policing. we talked about the high profile attack one way. community policing on there mind. as we mentioned there was a change. the district commanders made a change. as i travel around the streets they are bustling. a lot of women are out and around. at indication says that continues to build. this is a challenge. making sure the international community understands how important this is. take away something. i think conditions have to go.
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there we will be challenges and it will take time. they have a goal our goal of getting 10 percent into the army. less than 1 percent today but but i look at my own army. it we will take time. it is is harder based upon cultural differences, but they are committed. >> thank you, general thank you for your testimony. >> general, i general i mentioned to you that i thought the questions would be better starting from the bottom or the more junior members and i think it has been. we touched on a lot of topics. you had a number of questions about isis or isil command i realize your not here as a lawyer and that you have not read or study
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carefully the implications of what the president has proposed. i heard you say that at this time it is a nascent threat although one you are watching carefully. as we explore this aumf the president has requested thinking about how it would work for people like you whether talking about afghanistan, syria, iraq whatever one of the concerns is that it has more restrictions on isis than the current aumf has on al qaeda. some of these groups live side-by-side. to me there to me there is a common sense concerned that if you have two different standards to go after two different terrorist groups how do you have the intelligence to know which is which? operationally you have to have a lawyer by your side
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to make every single decision. if it if it comes to be that way which is a big if operationally would that not be a matter of concern? >> thank you for the question. any commander wants as much flexibility as he can get. any policy that provides commanders the flexibility to make decisions in a timely manner is something i we will be in favor of. the insurgents feed off of each other. interrelated in many different ways. finance food, lodging. some fight each other internally.
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it is hard to separate some of these organizations. what i do have is the authority to prosecute those that is how i take a look at it. not by there status but by their conduct. >> the reason we are in afghanistan to begin with is because that is the place from which a plot was launched that ultimately killed 3,000 americans. what can you tell us about your assessment of al qaeda core ability to reconstitute itself were it not to be under constant pressure from us? >> thank you for that question. we must make sure we understand the threat. the continued pressure we
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provide but the credible capability. i believe it has prevented another attack on the homeland and believe if you don't have continued pressure it will be a matter of time that they would regenerate this capability. >> under the current drawdown plan would your ability to gather intelligence for the ct mission been significantly downgraded? in this calendar year? >> as i look at it i would much rather go into a classified session to discuss that. >> and i sure don't want to get into details. >> anytime you go from one member to another you have
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to make tough decisions on where you balance. as i said before force protection is upmost in my mind. isi provides continued force protection. i look at it hard and have to balance that. those numbers you have to make tough decisions on where you take that. if. if i don't feel comfortable with that i have to make sure i come forward to my senior leadership and provide what the risk of force in the senior missionaries. >> i appreciate that. i am just i am just thinking from my commonsense measure. if you are in fewer places you have fewer chances together intelligence. just to clarify all of the
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high-value terrorists who were in our custody have now been turned over to afghan custody, correct? >> not all afghan. they have been turned over to other 3rd countries as well but i do not have any detainees detention authority. >> they have all gone somewhere but not all necessarily to afghans? >> that's correct, sir. >> last thought i am struck, we had general austin as you no here yesterday and i am struck by the numbers on this committee on both sides of the aisle who have served in iraq and afghanistan and feel strongly that they do not want to sacrifice that has been made in afghanistan -- i hate to say go to waste
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but there is tremendous frustration with what has happened in iraq. i no from your service and those who serve under you you share that determination to make sure that whether we are talking taxpayer dollars or american lives that the sacrifice is upheld and honored and that it is not wasted because of policy decisions. the only thing i request of you is, as you watch the situation in afghanistan closer than anyone else if you believe we are headed down the wrong path, i.e. headed down the path we went in iraq, this committee expects and requests you to raise a flag to us as well
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as your chain of command and say this is headed in the wrong path. this committee obviously shares what i have no doubt is your commitment to make sure all that has been sacrificed these last year's results in a stable relatively peaceful afghanistan from which terrorists cannot again launch attacks against us. i would appreciate that. you are welcome to say anything. >> i am committed to that. that is what i am i leadership and congress, to give my best military advice as we move forward. i am absolutely committed to that and thank you for your leadership as well. >> thank you. i appreciate you answering all of our questions today. with that, this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> coming up the senate fails to override president obama's veto of the keystone xl pipeline bill. politicians discuss the pipeline. >> the senate failed to override president obama's veto the bill authorizing the construction of the keystone xl pipeline. it needed a two thirds majority and fell four votes short.
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those those who supported the override have said the approval language will be inserted into upcoming bills and eventually we will pass. part of today's floor debate this runs about one hour. >> thank you so much mr. president. i appreciate it. i no the senator will be doing the comanaging of this bill and i and i want to thank her very much for her strong leadership. this is an important vote that will occur at 2:20 p.m. this afternoon and i rise today to oppose the attempt to override president obama's veto message. the the very 1st bill the senate majority brought here to the floor.
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as i look at this bill, bill, it says to me that the only people that get help are the big canadian special oil interests, interests, and i would ask there be order if possible. >> the senate will be in order. >> mr. president the keystone pipeline is presented is something that will help the economy help oil prices, and i think the only thing it helps frankly are the special interests and canada the special oil interests who by the who, by the way will carry the dirtiest, filthiest tar says oil and to our great nation. if we look at the history of the tar sands you find that misery follows. we have terrible problems in michigan and arkansas
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because there was a spell of this dirty filthy oil command they cannot clean it up because it is so so difficult to clean. this is a picture of the tar sands bill 2013 in arkansas. that has not been cleaned up because this is tar sands oil. we had a spill in michigan. we no sense 2011 they have not been able to clean up this bill. why would we bill the pipeline to build -- to bring dirty, filthy oil and our great nation and communities when we know the danger, and i asked that there be order in the senate, mr. president. >> the senate will be in order.
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>> i no senators have an opportunity to talk to one another, and i appreciate that but it is hard to make your thoughts come out right when there is so much talking in the senate, so i think the president very much. here is the deal: why on earth would the republicans make the 1st bill a bill to help commit -- canadian special oil interests bring in tar sands oil which has caused terrible problems were communities the hardest oil to clean up. why would they do it? and why would they go against public opinion? a recent abc news "washington post" poll shows 61 percent of americans support the president's opinion on this pipeline which is don't stop the process. keep process. keep it going. let's see what this does to our people our communities.
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i spend a lot of time on environmental issues, and i am saying to you, as you look at the environmental laws of our great nation we find finally have brought such a better quality of life to people. we we can turn that around if we decide at this time with all the challenges we face to our community the challenges of disease stroke, that is what happens from the pollution we get from this tar sands oil. misery follows the tar sands i met with the canadian people who live near the tar sands excavation site you have terrible rates of cancer. because of climate change -- and we see it all around us. the remote alaskan village has to be relocated due to climate.
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we no the impact of this dirty tar sands oil on that. we no what we know what happens when it's bills. we no all these things. i think the pres. is right, let the process continue. he was right to veto this bill, and i hope we have enough votes to sustain his veto. i would yield the floor to my friend. >> thank you, mr. president. >> the sen. from washington. >> i rise to urge my colleagues not to overwrite the president's veto of the special interest piece of legislation and i want to thank my colleagues in california for her leadership on this issue and for her constant involvement in making sure that national environmental safety standards are adhered to. she has been a great advocate throughout this process and i appreciate her
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voice in this debate as we close hopefully debate about the keystone pipeline legislation. this bill undermines a a well-established process for determining what is in the national interest. if we overrode the president's veto we would be diverging safety and environmental standards that are important to the american people. i i am glad the present veto this legislation and i urge my colleagues not to veto. through this bill the united states congress attempts to circumvent approval process for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest, and because of this act of congress it conflicts with executive branch procedures and helps ensure consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest, including security
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safety and safety, and the environment. therefore it has earned my veto. the pres. summed it up. the people who who have been advocates have been circumventing the process all the way through. they circumvent of the process by not going through the utility commission and there's public utility commissions and wrote legislation around that that legislation has been challenged in court. the rest of it while the company was negotiating with the state department and supporting efforts to circumvent that process and just get a rubberstamp on their permit saying project approved. i approved. i think this project like every other project in the united states of america should follow the rules. well we spent the better part of january considering this legislation
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there are other things that have transpired. in january or cents january nebraska landowners have taken knew steps to defend their rights. on january 9, 2015 the nebraska state supreme court upheld. they did they did this even though for judges who addressed the question said this paragraph was unconstitutional. after after the setback several landowners whose property would be seized filed a new suit a new suit hopefully stopping the seizure of there land. last month last month to nebraska district courts have issued temporary injunctions. the pipeline is still in doubt because the lawsuit
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challenges the governor's ability to approve it. it is worth it is worth noting that south dakota will hold a new hearing in may. at this time we don't no whether south dakota we will make the same decision it did when it 1st approved the route three years ago. even if this bill was to become law the keystone pipeline will not be built anytime soon. my colleagues would like to rush the process and talk about the various steps with a project that delayed but who said building a pipeline through the united states of america by a foreign interest should get expedited approval from the beginning? that is what they have done circumventing processes in the state which should have gone through the utilities commission and tried to circumvent the process in the united states senate. hopefully we will not override the president's veto
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but give the president of the united states the ability to consider the national interest of the environment and security. many of the issues that would have been important for my colleagues voted to say we should not consider those. on the other side of the aisle there are people that want to give a speedy permit to this process command i urge my colleagues not to override the president but allow him to do the homework that is needed on security environment and making sure due process is followed. i asked i asked my colleagues to not override the president's veto. with that, i yield the floor >> mr. president. >> the majority whip. >> mr. president i came here to speak on another topic, but let me just interject in light of the presidents from our colleagues across the aisle
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on the keystone xl pipeline. everyone says we want job creating legislation. we we want to facilitate the creation of knew jobs in america but when it comes to voting our friends across the aisle seem to be stuck on voting against john creating legislation because our state department, it is department, it is estimated as many as 42,000 jobs would be created by the construction of the keystone xl pipeline the thing that mystifies me the most about this debate is at last count we had roughly two and a half million miles of pipelines crisscrossing america. if people might want to do a search on their laptop or tablet on oil and gas pipelines you can see a map
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it looks like a spaghetti bowl because they are everywhere. we have also noted that this is the most efficient and safest way to transport natural gas and crude oil as well. i remain mystified by the fact that the president and many in his party seem determined to try to kill what is clearly job creating energy providing legislation that would be from a friendly source. >> protecting the pres.'s veto president's veto of the keystone pipeline approval act is about protecting the review process for this project the president deserves to have all of the input from the different agencies delivered to him so that he can make his decision. today in the vote that we will be having shortly we
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are saying that the president should be able to exercise his prerogative to review the pipeline and to decide whether or not it is in the national interest to have this pipeline constructed through the united states of america. we are also protecting his prerogative to decide in the end because this is a pipeline they should be rejected on its merits. the pipeline fails the test on job creation. after it is built it we will only add 35 to 40 permanent jobs that the united states will have on its soil. meanwhile, we should be having a debate about the production tax credit.
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if we extend to that we would keep 30,000 people working permanently in the united states as this revolution continues to explode. last year they're were 5,000 megawatts of solar energy installed in the united states, five huge power plants. this year's 7500 megawatts of solar we will be installed in the united states, and next year 10,000 megawatts in solar. but that solar. but that tax break is expiring at the end of 2016. you would think you would think that there would be an urgency here on the floor of the senate to debate the wind tax break, the solar tax break which we will create upwards of 250,000 jobs in the united states. we already have 175,000 people working in the solar
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industry. there is no urgency but a pipeline from canada taking the dirtiest oil in the world. .. e. it's tar. the dirtiest oil in the world. and then a pipeline like a straw through the united states of america built right down to port arthur texas. and what's so unique about port arthur texas? i'll tell you right now. it's a tax-free export zone. and so there's the plan for the canadians. build a pipeline like a straw through the united states right down to a tax-free export zone and then get that oil out of the united states of america. and why is that? i'll tell you right now that the price for oil in the united states is now $12 less than it
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is if you can get it out on to the global market. per barrel, $12 less. so you don't have to go to the harvard business school and get -- to get a degree to put that little business plan on a three-by-five business card. get it out of the united states and you'll make $12 a barrel more. now, the advocates for the pipeline say that's not going to happen. and so that's why i made the announcement on the senate floor, the oil will not be exported. if we're going to take all the >> >> why is that important? for this reason we are the largest importer of oil in the world.
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child dead is not to import as much as we do. we are the leader you could see the ads on television for other rail companies advertise with regard to what a great job we're doing to produce more oil than the united states. in and we are. take note of that. but the truth is we are still 5 million barrels per day short. said the pipeline moves to the hundred thousand barrels of oil through canada that could reduce our dependence but it goes to the tax-free export some. why is that important? cliff is reexport young men and women in uniform to protect the ship with the
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real from kuwait in saudi arabia. so why would we export oil well we export young men into women as it comes in front the middle east?
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they bitterly objected to any provision that that is the greatest goal. or hugh will export the you cannot have it both ways. one thing on television that another thing in real life? with the ability to export this will. so that is a challenge for us to hear and if we keep the orioles here in the united states it will keep the pressure to keep the price of gasoline lower purpose of the more oil we have here in the united states to lower the price of gasoline. every time there is of 1 penny reduction it is
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$1,000,000,000.1 = 1 billion. seven the price drops $0.10 is $10 billion it is down. that is a lot of money because into the stimulus for americans to consent it so the pressure to help the driver's is not going to exist. so it fails on page one of these items. there also don't pay full taxes to the oil spill liability fund better stand
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they want to make the most money. then heard several drivers. said is a challenge it bales each one of these test details on the export test because it goes overseas and fails on the tax issue. trying to short circuit the president's prerogative to consider this is a comprehensive way. so the president has correctly veto this bill, he is standing upon for the american taxpayer or the american consumer or the environment of the united states asking the right questions is doing to right things and there's my colleagues here with the next hour of the vote to
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sustain the veto of president obama on this policy which does not advance the interest of tuesday's of america. i yield back the balance of my time. >> i request the presence of a quorum in the chamber. the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. president? , ask for this huge of a quorum call?
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and i ask unanimous consent that all times be divided equally between the two parties. >> without objection. >> mr. president the request the presence of a quorum the rise to address the motion of the credo of senate bill that would force approval of the construction of the keystone pipeline for the tar send heavy will you will have that in just a few minutes from now. my key consideration what would contribute to global warming? the reason that is the
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question is ec extensive damage to resources around the world we see this in organ into the impact of future economic prospects -- prospects. the burning of fossil fuels is still raging in our force in fishing. realist transition aggressively in rapidly from burning conventional fossil fuels to reduce of renewable energy. the shift is well within the power will within our technology but do we have the political will to make this happen?
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ended is before us in the vote we're taking today. philbins the faucet to massive space conventional reserves of the tar sand in the opposite direction of where we need to go. with the dirtiest also fuels on the planet for one generation to a accelerates civilization down the road to where it is catastrophic climate change. this building the pipeline is a mistake and there is a lot to be concerned about. global warming is an imaginary scenario with a computer model.
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no. it is back some ground. to put those years on record that has occurred in the last 12 years suggests the year we just passed a single long this year on record end while some senators may come to the floor to say there is an anomaly here or their it is not. the facts are in. when you have 10 of the 12th for the warmest years on record this new dose something dramatically is happening the average forest fire season is getting longer. it has grown by 60 days through 80 days longer than
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it was before. that means with each year that is passing it is growing by an average of two days in the number of acres consumed annually by wildfire has doubled to more than 7 million acres. that is the enormous impact so we start to see if feedback mechanism that is accelerating as down the road to catastrophic change. and it is the creasing down the cascade mountains which means more restraints that are not good for also for water irrigation. we have virtually no snow in the cascades and at this time we should have a substantial snowpack soviet the possibility of another
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major drought faces as this coming summer. we had the worst ever drought in southern oregon in 2001 and we had another devastating drought in 2010. with the worst ever dropped. and another in 2013 yet here we are with virtually no snowpack to provide irrigation water during the summer. that is a very big deal. is a just farming or forestry also fishing. of the carbon dioxide into the air is a sort through wave action to become carbonic acid you can imagine mankind putting fast amounts into the ocean if you think that would not be a good idea you are right.
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the ocean has become more acidic than it was before the industrial revolution. if you can start to see the impact but the shellfish hatchery on the oregon coast have a big problem that the baby oysters are having trouble getting enough carbon out of the water to grow the shelf because the water is too acidic. that is like the canary in the coal mine of the oysters are having trouble what other shellfish are affected by those increasing levels of the city? - - the city? we have a moral responsibility to exercise stewardship of our resources
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responsibility to this generation but for those to come. said to have a better understanding of in the law makers to come to the floor of the senate who rank global warming is a major concern and major issue to take:. they will leave -- face the challenges we leave behind but if we wait to tackle global warming and tell our pages that draw on the floor or in office then it is almost impossible to address this issue because of the feedback loops that are occurring watching hill -- mr. there was watching a series of ice in the arctic and i can tell you
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essentially the view from north america there was a swirling mass of vice -- vice it becomes less with every passing year that the pathways are ice free in the summer that is a massive change within the lifetime that is a blank in time. sold big changes occurring so we do have additional problems so the arctic absorbs more sunlight slug becomes warmer so we have day magnification of the global warming at the polls. this is not a good thing.
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whether we look at the impact of farming or our forest which is burning with the notion that becomes too acidic we have the responsibility to address those issues so we have to not burn all the fossil fuel we have been clever enough to find in the crest of the earth it is estimated we would have to leave for fifths of those we have already identified in the ground if we're not going exceed two were 3 degrees centigrade in global warming. so that means we cannot proceed to build infrastructure design to decelerate the extraction of these fossil fuels in the pipeline is exactly that
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kind of infrastructure. have no doubt i of the huge supporter of build america act to create hundreds of thousands of construction jobs over the course of a number of years of with the infrastructure we should make the we should not invest in infrastructure that does prefer and damage to our planet that does not honor the moral responsibility of stewardship of this beautiful or that will live on known as planet earth. let's honor our responsibility and not to override the veto that the president has put on the bill. thank you mr. president. >> today i will discuss the
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keystone pipeline approval legislation as well as the effort to override that veto enjoined by a distinguished gentleman from south dakota as well as the chairman of the energy committee. like to make a couple of points up front then turned to representative colleagues from south dakota. what i have your is the route to the keystone xl pipeline will take through alberta to come through montana picking up domestic crude along with canadian crude our country doesn't this we bought in oil and
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then sends it to the refineries. that is a project we're talking about. it shows what will happen if we don't approve fitch. this is been going on and for over six years. but if we don't bring it to the united states then canada will build pipelines to the west coast than to go to china and refined in china. so we go into these different discussions but we have oil here in our country where is it for china? not only does that affect our ability to produce a real the real so continue to
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import oil from the middle east. i will go through a couple more charts in freeing us up-to-date. when the president takes more than six years to make a decision we have millions of miles of pipeline but this is just the latest that features 53 different safety features that are part of the approval process for the pipeline the echoes on more than six years. before we golan to the latest status this is the finding of five reports from the administration and but
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field on the administration's state department has done five environmental impact statements and five final statements here is what the report is after is no environmental impact according to the state department as a result of the keystone xl pipeline. here we are today after more than six years in the approval process by the administration to pass this legislation was 62 votes in the senate with those big bipartisan votes for legislation but last tuesday we sent it to the president he had a veto the same day that afternoon so that is
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pretty efficient he has a back in the afternoon but his rationale was it cut short his review process. so suddenly he figured out you could veto in one day he has been studying for over six years but he vetoed because we cut the review process short. subsequent to that if congress cuts short then when we make the decision? i believe last week he said he will make the decision in a couple of weeks or maybe a couple months by the end of his term for growth how can
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there be any process? what process does he talk about? of the delays more than six years that every single requirement for more than six years? they have all approved the project all six states on the route to approve any air and the american people overwhelmingly support the project at 70%. what process? where a company spent millions of dollars taking six years to build in a billion dollar project what process is the talking about? then when we make a decision? saturn may be a few months or weeks the by the end of
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my term anyway so that is eight years. are to be a country of laws? how does anybody feel if they comply with a lot to do everything they're supposed to do over and over to somebody says i don't feel like it. when do we cease to become a country of laws? with the situation that we can rely on the regulations of the state? so if you look at a project like this it is a question we have to ask ourselves ever happens in this situation can happen within the situation? if we step up to say we pass the laws and they have to be respected and unforced isn't that our job for obligation
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and where the people of our country sent us here? i believe it is. it is in one thing to say they do business year but what if it was your companies or six years of your life for millions of your dollars? then how would you feel? remember america is a place letter people come to do business because they count on in-laws and regulations and they've made the investment they could do it on a dependable basis. what happened to that? with that of light to turn to my friend from south dakota although it would run right through his state creating millions of dollars
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>> they appreciate the leadership on this issue and has been a fierce advocate for the jobs and economic activity the energy independence, the positive benefits to national security for building this pipeline in the most recent development of frustration to have the president veto the bill number the of co-sponsors the senator has worked very hard to make it that way to support the pipeline but some of those misstatements that have been said recently that the fact checker pointed out in the president said it will bypass the united states we would like you to any benefit he would get for
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pinocchio from "the washington post" that is the big lopper to suggest there is no benefit to the united states for this and they went on 2.0 almost 70 percent of the oil refined is used in this country and furthermore the senator from north dakota pointed out it is days a connecticut investment because of the rule of law or certainty that comes with that in the oil sands production is owned by american and so with the ownership instead of getting that same type of oil that we don't have a favorable relationship with we get from canada so the suggestion that will not benefit anybody here is completely wrong.
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and i know the senator from north dakota has pointed this out before from his status of a north dakota in it which take pressure off the railroads but interestingly enough there is no significant environmental impact value put the oil on a real car and the steady show that creates 42% more in the shins that should be in the pipeline. it will go on a truck or rail car or the pipeline 28 or 42% more emissions than doing it in the pipeline. so it makes all the sins in the world. . .there


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