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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 5, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EST

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with the ardennes, tax credit rules. however, despite those efforts of the estimated improper payment rate has remained relatively unchanged since fiscal year 2003 and the amount of tax credit claims paid in error has literally grown. i guess the question is, the irs know they cannot fully address the art income tax credit noncompliance by simply auditing returns and must pursue alternative to traditional compliance efforts. have you made any recommendations to the irs as to how to combat the problem? ..
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now there are ways that, that the irs could address this which we have recommended in the past and that included you know earlier reporting of earnings under, the w2 form. so again, the earlier the irs has information on what people are paid the earlier they can address problems that they ultimately find. but this is in conjunction with
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the request that the treasury department as well as recommendations that we have made and the irs has made for what is known as correctable error authority. so for example you know once the tax filing season begins, which in effect is the second or third week in january depending on the year people can file their tax return and seek a refund. the irs is not required to receive from the payee the employer or whomever for another three months, sometime in march. that same information on that individual. now, if the individual claims is different amount than what the employer claims that individual could receive more money and then receive a refundable credit, whether eipc or
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additional child tax credit or education credit, what have you. now, if the irs had what is known as correctable error authority, it does not have to necessarily wait until, again as i pointed out in my opening statement that all of the information is in hand and what have you. they could automatically hold off, paying that refund and making the corrections themselves. and of course the taxpayer would still have the right to contest the irs's decision if they believe it is inaccurate but, so it is a, symbiotic relationship in terms of legislation that the irs and the department of the treasury is seeking. so there are ways to address this, but it is obviously a very delicate area for all involved. >> i guess, you know, the frustration is, this is an area where throwing money at it is
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not, won't help in the sense of, you know, making it more we have a program in error 24% of the time which is certainly unanticipatable. -- unacceptable. in the pasttic at that identify ied re--tic at that. number of fraudulent tax returns filed using a prisoner's social security number that were identified by the irs increased for more than 37,000 tax returns in calendar year 2007 to more than 137,000 tax returns in calendar year 2012. the refunds claimed on tax
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returns from $166 million to a billion dollars. i understand treasury has the authority to share information with the federal bureau prisons and state department of corrections to help determine if prisoners filed or helped filing of a fraudulent return. would you give us update on effectiveness of irs efforts to reduce improper payments to prisoners? >> yes. thank you for posing this question mr. chairman, because i have to admit one of the areas that i have to admit i'm most disappointed. this is it one of the first subjects i testified in congress, almost a decade ago about the problem that existed and since continued to grow. congress did empower the irs to take actions to address this, by forming agreements with various
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states and federal penitentiary, correctional organizations. and they have they did at some point take positive steps to doing so. some of those expired. others fell by the wayside but this is multibillion-dollar problem. it is still going on and a lot of these individuals have so much time on their hands, and in all candor, really have nothing left to lose, that they're not going to stop and, until something more tangible is done, meaning, further prosecutions, or more authority or, in all candor the irs somehow feeling the pinch if they don't take action with signing up what data information sharing programs and the like with states, this problem will continue to grow.
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and, metastasize. >> i read the ig report talking about this and one of the recommendations was, i think there were some 300 some odd prisoners they identified to essentially give that information, to make it such that group that they had you know, they could, you know, fix it where they couldn't do it. and they refused to do that, is that correct? >> i don't know whether they refused to do it, but again, they did not have the authority to do it. and i'm not sure what you're describing predates the authority that congress did ultimately provide or not but, i can get back to you with clarity. >> it's fine. it is frustration, you know, many things that we talked about. one last question, and then we'll let you grow, i know you got lots of stuff to do. tigta identified significant
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concerns about fraudulent claims to premium tax credits and premium tax data as the irs provides data to health exchanges. the irs will have to administer penalties related to the individual mandate to try to seek collection of premium tax credits provided to ineligible taxpayers and collection of overpayment of tax credits. according to your aid dids irs reports, we talked about this, about the earned income tax credit is a problem, issue improper. again 15 billion, 13 to 15 billion in 2013 in improper payments as we discussed earlier. do you believe there is the potential for similar problems with the implementation of the premium tax credit? >> most definitely sir and it starts from the outset. you know, the bottom line is if someone is able to provide fraudulent information at the outset, when they first apply
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for this credit that starts the ball rolling downhill. now, to its credit the irs has established some filters in their system to try to weed these out. so i hope the magnitude of the problem, isn't anything like the other, the refundable credits we referred to earlier but we are, tigta is in the process now of evaluating this very issue to see whether the irs has adequate processes both in formation and ultimately in effect because this could be a budget buster, sir. >> thank you very much. thank you so much for your testimony today. thank you for being here. we really do appreciate it. appreciate your hard work, as again all of the witnesses that have testified. i know that everybody's doing their best, best to work in very
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difficult situation, again trying to restore confidence in the agency. i want to thank again other two witnesses being here. appreciate hearing from these individuals with the treasury department, the irs the ig's office and having the opportunity to explore a number of great and important and timely issues. today's session will be helpful as we momove forward on the work on fiscal year 2016 funding in especially in light of the answer to the last question, getting these things straight on the front end. that we'll have real problems and not let history repeat itself. at this time i ask unanimous consent, statement by the taxpayer advocate nina olson be included in the hearing record. i ask unanimous consent that a report prepared for the subcommittee by gao and the irs
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fiscal year '16 budget request and 2015 filing season also be included in the record. as is there no objection they will be included. with that i adjourn the meeting. [inaudible conversations]. >> coming up friday night on our
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companion network c-span supreme court oral argument in the health care law case of king versus bubrwell. the court is looking whether the law allows the federal government to help pay insurance premiums for people anywhere in the u.s. or as the plaintiffs argue, only in states that have established their own health care exchanges. only six teen states have established such exchanges. here audio of the case friday beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the political landscape has changed with the 114th congress. not only are there 43 new republicans and 15 new democrats in the house and 12 new republicans and one new democrat in the senate, there are 108 women in congress, including the first african-american republican in the house and the first woman veteran in the senate. keep track of members of congress using congressional chronicle on c-span.org. the congressional chronicle page has useful information and voting results and statistics
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about each session of congress. new congress, best access, on c-span c-span2, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> now defense secretary ashton carter and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff martin dempsey testify on the president's 2016 budget request for the defense department. members of the senate armed services committee also asked questions on sequestration budget cuts. the conflict between russia and ukraine, and about isis. this runs two hours and 40 minutes. >> good afternoon.
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apologize for keeping you wait, secretary carter, general dempsey and secretary cord. we had a vote. members will be arriving the committee meets today on department of defense's fiscal year 2016 budget request associated future years defense programs and picture of, posture of u.s. armed forces. let me start by thanking each of you for your service to our nation and to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines here at home and in harm's way around the globe and to their families. over just the past six weeks this committee has undertaken a serious and rigorous review of the present global challenges we face as well as a review of the united states national security strategy. we have received testimony from some of america's most experienced states men and leading strategic thinkers. unified alarming assessment emerged from these national leaders. as former secretary of state
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dr. kissinger testified on january 29th, the united states is not faced a more diverse and complex array of crises since the end of the second world war. given the accumulating dangers we face, it is notable that the president supported the department of defense in questioning a level of defense spending that is roughly $38 billion above the caps imposed by the budget control act and sequestration which mandates nearly one trillion dollars in defense cuts over 10 years. in light of recent events i think this approach was more than justified. with each passing year since the bca was enacted in 2011, with the united states slashing its defense spending as a result, the world has become more dangerous and threats to our nation have grown. i don't think that is purely a coincidence. the president's budget request responds to many critical priorities particularly addressing cyber and space vulnerabilities, military
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readiness shortfalls and essential long term modernization initiatives. at the same time the president's request, reflects budget driven policy decisions that would reduce some critical military capabilities either through early retirement or cancellation of existing systems deferred development or procurement of new systems or withheld funding for proven requirements. this committee will closely scrutinize these decisions and seek to meet urgent and legitimate military needs where possible. as for meeting our growing national security requirements, general dempsey's prepared testimony this afternoon states that the president's request is, quote, at the lower ragged edge of manageable risk and leaves quote, no slack no margin left for error, or strategic surprise. i would go further. i question whether the defense department's current strategy which was released in january 2012 has not been
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overtaken by world events which would suggest the need for new strategic guidance and even more defense spending in the president's request. just consider the events of the past year alone. russia challenged core principles of the postwar order in europe infading -- invading and annexing territory of another sovereign nation. terrorist army proclaimed desire to attack america and its allies now controls a vast swath of territory in the heart of middle east. iran continues pursuit of nuclear weapons while expanding its maligned influence across the region. north korea mounted most brazen attack ever on our territory china has stepped up its coercive behavior in asia backed up by the rapid military modernization. the findings of last year's national defense panel casts serious doubt whether our military can fulfill even current strategy at acceptable risk. this bipartisan group of military commanders and
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policymakers stated, that the defense spending cuts imposed by the bca and sequestration quote, constitute a strategic misseparate. more ominously the panel concluded that, quote, in the extreme the united states could find itself in a position where it must either abandon an important national interest or enter a conflict where which it is not fully prepared, unquote. based on its finding the national defense panel recommended unanimously that congress and the president immediately repeal the bca and return at a minimum, to the last strategy-driven budget proposed by former secretary of defense robert gates in 2011. that would mean $611 billion for the discretionary base budget for the defense department in fiscal year 2016. but here to i would note that the world has changed significantly since 2011 and
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this recommendation is more likely a floor not a ceiling of what we as a nation should be considering for our own defense. while senator reed and i support the defense panel's recommendations we recognize that $611 billion for defense is neither realistic in the current political environment nor is it likely that the department could responsibly execute this funding in fiscal year 2016. that's why senator reed and i came together, in estimates letter we sent last week to the budget committee to propose an objective i hope would be a new basis for bipartisan unity. ending see question operation for defense, by allocating $577 billion in discretionary base budget authority for fiscal year 2016. i recognize there are differences of opinion over broader fiscal questions, especially how to approach non-defense discretionary spending but continuing to live
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with the unacceptable effect of sequestration is a choice. sequestration is the law but congress makes the laws. we can choose to end the debilitating effects of sequestration and we must because it is sequestration levels it is impossible to meet our constitutional responsibility to provide for our national defense. we look forward to the witnesses testimony today. hope they will cover a broad spectrum of the policy and resource issues the department confronts. i would also ask our witnesses to share their views on the current situations in ukraine and in syria and iraq. i want to thank senator reed for his continued bipartisan crop -- cooperation as characterized our relationship over the years especially on the joint budget letter to the committee. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank chairman carter and
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chairman dempsey and mr. mccord. i appreciate your willingness to talk about the president's fy-2016 which the chairman has noted is $38 billion above the budget control act discretionary funding caps but also as the chairman noted these bca caps, coupled with imminent threat of sequestration level cuts and lack of budget stability necessary for military planning create a urgent and growing strategic problem we simply must address. indeed my view create as problem for every federal agency and department and sequestration across the board must be ended. on january 28th this committee heard stark testimony from each of the service chiefs about the impact of reduced funding levels. all of the services are working hard to maintain near term readiness to maintain the fight tonight requirement but increased cuts delays, increased modernization and retaining quality of life programs.
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as air force chief of staff general welch eloquently stated when the bugle calls we will win but the vulnerabilities sequestration introduces our forces will encourage our adversaries, worry our allies, limit number of concurrent operations we can conduct and increase risks to men and women who fight america's next war. services, men and women in uniform are the backbone of our nation's defense and they are under great strain. i'm certainly interested in the witnesses testimony how the department of defense will continue to manage this problem while a solution is not yet on the horizon. if you do not get the 38 billion over the bca that is the president's request again senator mccain and are i urging even more, what must be cut? and if sequestration is not avoided, what else must be cut? what is your timetable for beginning to implement these cuts? as i stated earlier, the services are focused on near term readiness. they need to be because they are actively engaged around the
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world fighting significant challenges to u.s. national security interests. and in afghanistan the commanding general of u.s. forces general campbell believes he has resources and authorities he needs for 2015 fighting season but taliban remains resilient despite coming under pressure sure on both sides of the afghanistan-pakistan border. operations against isis in iraq and syria continue at a pace that appears to be rolling back their territorial gains of the past year and providing time and space for advise and assist programs but this critical campaign must continue unabated if it is going to be successful against such a dangerous enemy and the fight will be harder each and every day, especially as iraqi forces try to enter urban centers like mosul -- mosul. in europe, russia seeks to dominate the ukraine and intimidate other neighbors including conducting increasingly activities both
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within and outside its borders. yemen and libya provide safe havens for terrorist and must be closely watched and china's actions continue to make its neighbors uneasy. this requires ready troops and adequate funding. i'm interested in the witnesses views how you're prioritizing this funding n addition to ongoing operations there are emerging threats that require immediate and significant investments. recent attack by sony across asia a reason relatively weak and rogue nation can cause extensive damage to u.s. based targets in cyberspace. the u.s. must work to counter this threat. i know efforts are underway to protect space assets from hostile threats and one that will require substantial funding. focusing on emerging threats we can not disregard the significant funding for maintenance and modernization of nuclear enterprise including
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ohio class replacement submarine. i am interested in hearing how they will balance new threats with legacy programs. the department has many bills to pay. they can not do it without the help of congress. military personnel cost approximately a third of the department's budget. they submitted several proposals aimed at slowing growth of military person until costs. this committee must carefully consider the proposals and military modernization and retirement commission in order to provide the defense department with flexibility in these areas. with regard the to brac the defense department is requesting additional base real liement and closure brac round in 2016. brac has been controversial in the past but defense department must shed at least 25% excess infrastructure it does not necessarily need and use these resources to the best and higher priorities. again i would appreciate your views on this matter.
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while the focus today is on the defense budget the pentagon simply can not meet all these national security challenges without help of other government department agencies, state justice homeland security intelligence community and so again i would ask as aspish to comment on the interagency necessities that are facing the department. let me command all our witnesses working hard. the chairman particularly his efforts our mutual letter to the budget committee and i look forward to your testimony. >> secretary carter. >> thank you mr. chairman ranking member reed, all members of the committee. thank you for inviting me to be here today with you and thank you for confirming me as secretary of defense. i'm honored bit trust and confidence of president obama and pointing me and the senate confirming me. my care and respect for the
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american and women of the finest fighting force the world has ever known is as boundless as their skill and devotion. i know this committee shares the same devotion to them and shares responsibility for them and for the defense of our great country. and i hope that my tenure as secretary of defense will be marked by partnership with you on their behalf. i'm here to present the president's budget for the department of defense for fiscal year 2016. since i've been on the job for exactly two weeks it's plain i did not have a role in shaping this budget but i have studied carefully and i'm fully prepared to answer your questions about it and to work with you to find common ground where you have concerns. most importantly, i strongly support the president in requesting the defense budget above the artificial caps of the budget control act, above the so-called sequester levels.
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next year, and in the years thereafter. i share the president's desire to find a way forward that upholds the fundamental principles behind the bipartisan budget act of 2013. i support the president's commitment to vetoing any bill that locks in sequestration. because to do otherwise would be both unsafe and wasteful. before i turn to the budget to explain what i mean by that, allow me to share some observations from my short time on the job observations that help reinforce my testimony here. shortly after i was sworn in, i spoke to the people at the department of defense military, civilian and contractor and told them i had three commitments as secretary of defense. the first is to them and their families, to their safety, their welfare, and their effectiveness and equally to those who came before them and to those who will come after them.
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the second commitment is to assist the president as he makes difficult decisions about how to defend the country in a turbulent world and carry out the decisions where they involve the use of military force. and the third commitment is to the future to make sure our military remains the very best in an ever changing world amidst fast moving technological and commercial change. as we seek to attract new generations to the mission of national security. because of those commitments i traveled at end of my first week on job to afghanistan to visit our troops and commanders and the leaders of afghanistan and some of their military leaders. i wanted to assess conditions on the ground there as we enter a new phase of our long campaign. as we carry out the transition to an enduring presence that will insure, as the president says, our progress in
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afghanistan sticks. next, i traveled to kuwait where i met with the amir before convening senior american diplomats and military leaders from throughout the region ambassadors from several countries, our commanders from centcom, ucom, after anycom and socom. the commanders in the campaign against iraq and isil. i want to hear about the complex political and military situation in the region and about the best approaches to leveraging u.s. leadership combating this ugly scourge. this afternoon i would be pleased to discuss these challenges or any others that the chairman mentioned ukraine in addition to the budget. the point is that in these regions of the world just as in the asia-pacific in europe and elsewhere it is america's
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leadership and america's men and women in uniform who frequently stand between order and disorder who stand up to militias and destablizing actors while standing with those who believe with us in a more secure just, and prosperous future for our children. but this congress will determine whether our troops can continue to do so. the administration is proposing to increase the defense budget in line with the projection submitted to congress last year. by halting the decline in defense spending imposed by the budget control act the president's budget would give us resources we need to execute our nation's defense strategy. but, and i want to be clear about this, under sequestration, which is set to return in 212 days, our nation would be less secure. mr. chairman, as you yourself ha reminded congress, sequestration threatens our military's
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readiness, the size of our war fighting forces, capabilities of our air, naval fleets and ultimately the lives of our men and women in uniform. the joint chiefs have said the same before this committee. they could not have been more clear the damage sequestration would do to our national security. i want to commend you and thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member reed, for your very thoughtful letter to the leadership of the senate budget committee about the dangers of sequestration and i completely agree with you that the threat of sequestration is, as you said quote a national security crisis of the first order, end quote. the great tragedy is that this corrosive damage to our national security is the not the result of objective factors, logic or reason. it is not that we have some new breakthrough in military
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technology or some novel strategic insight that somehow provides the same security for a smaller budget. it is not that sequester is forced upon us by economic emergency or dire recession that makes taking grave security risks absolutely necessary. it is surely not the case that the world suddenly has become more stable. or that america has less to do to keep it safe, allowing us to take a peace dividend. it is not even that these cuts solve the nation's overall fiscal challenges because the sad math is that they are large and sudden enough to damage defense, but fail to resolve our long-term fiscal issues and the real drivers of the deficit and debt. sequester was not the result of objective factors. sequester is purely the fallout of political gridlock. it is purpose was to compel prudent compromise on our long-term fiscal challenges,
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compromise that never came. this has been compounded in recent years because the defense department has suffered a double-whammy, the worst of both worlds. that is coupled mindless sequestration with constraints on our ability to reform. we need your help with both. i know chairman mccain senator reed and others are on this committee are as committed to reform as i am and i look forward torque woulding with you on new reforms. we at the pentagon can and must do better getting value for the defense dollar. taxpayers have trouble comprehending, let alone supporting the defense budget when they hear about cost overruns insufficient accounting accountability needless overhead excess infrastructure and the like. there are significant savings to be found through new reforms across dod. reforms that we're committed to pursuing, but sequester cuts
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don't help us achieve any of them. in fact, the nature of sequester frequently leads to waste as for example, when it forces a reduction in contract production rates, driving up unit costs. but at the same time, i'm committed to new and further reforms, i must note that in the past several years painful but necessary reforms proposed by dod, reforms involving elimination of overhead and unneeded infrastructure, retirement of older force structure, and reasonable adjustments in compensation, have been denied by congress. i need your help with these reforms. which have been frustrated at the same time sequester looms. and at the same time as we, as, at the same time as we make new reforms. i will work with congress to resolve concerns and find common ground, but we must have your
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help. if confronted confronted with sequester level budgets and continued obstacles to reform i do not believe we can simply make incremental cuts while maintaining same set of yep objectives that anchored our defense strategy. we would have to change the shape and not just the size of our military, significantly impacting parts of our defense strategy. we can not meet sequester with further half-measures. as secretary of defense i will not send our troops into a fight with outdated equipment, inadequate readiness or ineffective doctrine but everything else is on the table. including parts of our budget that have long been considered inviolate. this may lead to decisions that no americans including members of congress want us to make. i'm not afraid to ask the difficult questions but if we're stuck with sequestration's
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budget cuts over the long term our entire nation will have to live with the answers. so instead of sequestration i urge you to, to urge your colleagues to embrace the alternative. building the force of the future powerful enough to underwrite our strategy. equipped with boldly new technology. leading in domains like cyber and space as the chairman and senator reed said. attracting and retaining the best americans to our mission. being lean and efficient throughout our enterprise. and showing resolve to friends and potential foes alike. i think we can all agree that the world in 2014 was more complicated than anyone could have predicted. given today's security environment, the president's proposed increase in defense spending over last year's budget is responsible and its prudent.
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i ernestly hope we can come together behind a long-term budget approach that dispels sequester and provides stability rather than doing this one year at a time. i hope we can again unite behind what our great nation should and must do to protect our people and make a better world. i hope we can provide our magnificent men and women of the department of defense who make up the greatest fighting force the world has ever known what they need and what they fully deserve. thank you, mr. chairman, and i look forward to your questions. >> well, thank you, mr. secretary, and i hope every member of congress is able to hear that message that you have just conveyeded. thank you. general dempsey. >> thank you, chairman, ranking member reed, other distinguished members of this committee, i appreciate the opportunity to provide you an update on our armed forces and to discuss our defense budget for 2016. i'd ask that my written statement be submitted for the record. i will touch on just a few
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points of emphasis. our military remains strong today however with threats proliferating, resources declining and sequestration just months away, our ability to assure our allies is in question, and our advantages over our adversaries are shrinking. this is a major strategic challenge affecting not only our military but ultimately america's leadership in the global world order. we face the reeedgerrance of nation-states with the capability and potentially the intent to constrain us. in space and in cyberspace our adversaries are rapidly leveling the playing field. we face increasingly capable network of non-state actors including islamic state of iraq in the left haven't who can threaten our national securities interests oversees and at home. our strategy against isil has nine lines of effort, only two which are military.
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isil's effort is transregional and will require sustainable level of effort over extended period of time to create an environment which they will be expelled and ultimately defeated. in europe, russia seeks to reduce nato and european union influence in eastern europe and generate disagreement among our nato allies on the very future of europe. russian leaders have chosen a very dangerous path to achieve their strategic objectives, lighting a fire of ethnicity and nationalism, not seen in europe in 65 years. and it may burn out of control. our strategy is to reassure and reinforce our nato allies while considering other instruments of national power to counter russian aggression. all together, the global security environment is as uncertain as i've seen it in my 40 years of service. and, we're at a point where our national as per races are at risk of exceeding our available resources. and that brings me to the budget. we've heard the congress loud
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and clear as over the years it has challenged us to become more efficient and to determine the minimum essential requirements we need to do what the nation asks us to do. pb '16 is that answer. in my judgment this budget is responsible combination of capability capacity, and readiness investment. it is what we need to remain however, at the bottom edge of manageable risk to our national defense as the chairman said. there is no slack there is no margin left for error nor for response to strategic surprise. funding lower than pb-16 and a lack of flexibility in making reforms, the internal reforms necessary to put us in a situation could and will in fact put news a situation where our national defense strategy will simply no longer be viable. for the past 25 years, the united states military has secured the global commons with we've deterred adversaries reassured allies and responded to crises and to conflict by
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maintaining our presence abroad. it has been our strategy to shape the international security environment by our forward presence and building relationships among regional partners n general terms 1/3 of the force is forward-deployed, 1/3 has just returned and 1/3 is preparing to deploy. of necessity, certain capabilities actually operate with half of our forces deployed and the other half recovering. this puts significant strain on our men and women in uniform and on their families. sequestration will fundamentally and significantly change the way we deploy the force and shape the security environment. we will be almost 20% smaller but our forward presence will be reduced by more than a third. we will have less influence and we will be less responsive. conflict will take longer to resolve, and will be more costly both in terms of dollars and in casualties. in an age when we are less certain what will happen next
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but quite certain that it will happen more quickly we will be further away, and less ready than we need to be. simply stated sequestration will result in the dramatic change in how we protect and how we protect our nation and how we promote our national interests. mr. chairman, members of this committee, our men and women in uniform are performing around the globe with extraordinary courage, character and professionalism. we owe them and their families clarity and importantly predictability on everything from policy to compensation, health care equipment training and readiness. settling down this uncertainty in our decision-making processes will help keep the right people, our decisive edge in the all-volunteer force and maintain the military that the american people deserve and expect. i'm frightful for continued -- i'm grateful for continued support to our men and women in uniform in this congress and i look forward to your questions.
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>> thank you very much. general dempsey chairman dempsey in front of the house armed services committee on january 25th general breedlove testified, quote, i think first and foremost mr. putin has not accomplished his objectives in ukraine so next is probably more action in ukraine. in your professional military opinion do you think general breedlove is correct that putin will continue kinetic military operations in ukraine in lace places like marry open poll because he has not -- maropol because he has not obtained his objectives. >> in a april 2014 speech, putin referred to a concept he described as new russia that stretches from, across oblasts of ukraine, essentially eastern, southern oblasts of
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ukraine and up into transnistria he said that is what he intends to do and to this point their actions suggest to me they may be intent on accomplishing it. >> is the convince you or give you the view that we should be providing defensive weaponry to ukraine? >> chairman, we have, as you know, we provided about $100 million in other kinds of aid. we have a program to provide -- >> the question is, do you believe we should provide defensive weaponry to ukraine? >> if i could senator -- >> i know what you've done. not enough. go ahead. >> i think we should absolutely consider providing lethal aid and it ought to be in context of our nato allies because putin's ultimate objective is to fracture nato. >> i thank you general. today, in tikrit secretary carter, the shia militia with
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the iranian revolutionary guard leader among others and iranian air is now attacking tikrit the hometown of saddam hussein as we recall. and that the majority of that effort, with a couple of thousand iraqis are being undertaken by the shia mill like sharks the same militia we fought against in the surge, the same militia that according to estimates manufactured ieds which directly resulted in the deaths of some thousand or two young americans. are you concerned that iran is basically taken over the fight? and according to "the wall street journal" this morning we're observing that operation? does that ring an alarm bell
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with you mr. secretary? >> it does, it does. our approach to combating ice in iraq -- isil in iraq is to work with the iraqi security forces and a multisectarian government that takes a multisectarian approach to defeating isil and regaining control of its own territory. sectarianism is what brought us to the point where we are and so i do look at it with concern. we're watching it very closely. the, shia militias involved also the iraqi security forces involved. some sunni forces involved. and, i would note that some sunni tribal leaders in tikrit, and this is important, have signaled their support for this offensive and if that's true
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it's good news because it suggests that this is not purely a shia on sunni thing but this is the problem that brought iraq low. so i am looking at it with great concern. >> it's, and of course we well-documented human rights violations, significant by shia militia on sunni as we all know. secretary carter you just returned from afghanistan. an excellent visit from all reports, and my understanding from media reports is that you will be reevaluating the calendar-driven plan for withdrawal from afghanistan and is is that true? and can you tell us what recommendations you have in mind and by the way we've been hearing about these recommendations for a year or two now. have you got anytime line as to when a decision may be made?
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because according to the calendar hive driven plan that's now in place we'll have to be withdrawing troops very soon? can you update us on that? >> i certainly can and that was the reason that i went to afghanistan second only to the primary reason to see our fantastic people who are there and let us know we're all with them and think about them every day but i had a opportunity to assess conditions on the ground there, to discuss them with president ghani and i will share my observations but to get to the answer to your question i think the phrase i used when i came before you last was we have a plan, but a plan is a plan and a plan is something you adjust over time. so i think we can adjust our
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plan over the next year or two. i did discuss that with president ghani. i discussed that here in washington. i can't, i don't know what decisions the president will make in that regard or the timetable on which el make them but i certainly have had the opportunity to acquaint myself with them and the other thing i would like to say is, that, president ghani gave me a very articulate depiction of conditions and how they changed and what the good things have been and what the bad things have been and i don't want to take too much time but i want to tell everybody on this committee that the first thing he said to me when he saw me was, would you please go home and tell everyone there, and especially the troops, that i know that almost a million americans have come through here in the last decade
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to help my country. and that thousands of them have been killed and wounded. i want you to know, thank you. i wanted to tell you that because i hadn't that for a long time. >> but it is your opinion that the present plan needs to be revised? >> i think there are going to be respects the president will want to consider the conditions that have changed and i will give you some examples of that? >> mayed the examples but do you want to stick with the calendar driven plan as it is now or want it to be revised? >> in think military campaign we have to be conditions-based, absolutely firmly. >> i thank both of you for your testimony. and secretary mccord, do you want to add anything? >> not on the subject of afghanistan, thank you. >> thank you. senator reed. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you, gentlemen for your testimony, for your service. just quickly following up mr. secretary, you have been through afghanistan iraq and
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region and also been in communication with foreign leaders, your counterparts across the globe. are they aware of impending the budgetary train wreck in the united states? does this create anxiety and conclusion that we won't have the resources even if we have the resolve? >> well, in general they're polite enough not to raise this question but, when i have had conversations with foreign leaders, think it is distressing to me because they hear everything we say and they see everything we do and, they get a very clear picture of the dangers of sequester. they probably get an outsized picture of our lack of will. but, this isn't good for our friends. i'm only talking to our friends.
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so i can only imagine what our foes are thinking but they're probably thinking the same thing, what are these guys doing to themselves? and this is why it is not only a substantive matter but it's a matter of appearances and deterrents that we get our act together with respect to sequester. >> essentially this goes just beyond numbers in the budget and what programs we're going to fund. this goes to the perception in the world of the united states being both capable and resourced to carry out a strategy to support their allies and oppose our adversaries, is that accurate? >> that is exactly right. >> the other side of this coin too, we're not in a situation where our allies seem to be stepping up to the plate to fill in the gaps, either nato countries or even our gulf allies. >> i'm into that and i, you
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mentioned the europeans. europeans, our nato partners, made a pledge to take steps that would, for most of them involve an increase in defense spending. and they really need to take that step because we can't be the only one on our team with military potential in that theater which as you and the chairman have mentioned with respect to ukraine, is, a very dangerous one. >> i don't want to beat a dead horse but your enthusiasm to raise the defense budgets probably affected by our lack of will to raise ours, not just defense budget but other budgets correct? >> that well could be and that's another reason for us to get it together here. >> general dempsey you mentioned there are nine lines of operation against isil and the department of defense i think you said has two? so the seven other lines are
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being funded outside dod budget. is that accurate? >> yes. some of the lines, for example counter messaging resides partially within our budget but generally the answer to that is yes. >> so even if we restore significant funding to the department of defense on the ground you would still be without resources you need to defeat isil and degrade isil? >> yes sir. if what you mean we need the whole of government here, absolutely. >> state homeland security. >> right. >> when you talk about the situation with ebola recently -- >> counter foreign financing which works through treasury. >> treasury department et cetera, et cetera. there is not a nice neat separation between national security and dod and rest of government? >> not on the isil campaign no, sir. >> secretary carter, doubling back here for a moment. let's assume the worst, that we don't move above the bca and
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sequestration. how does that affect our overseas accounts or ability to fund them? do you have to borrow peter to pay paul? >> you mean if we're denied what we're asking for in the base budget? well, we also have an oco budget as you say. >> right. >> there isn't slack in the oco budget. that is money being spent for real things. it is being spent for the war against, campaign against isil. it is being spent in afghanistan. it is spent on the horn of africa. so it is, oco is committed to the here and now ways that we're protecting our security and we can't rob peter to pay paul. >> just in that same vein general dempsey another way to approach the problem how will you manage this strategic risk
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if we have a situation of sequestration in place like the budget control act? >> as you know, sir, we've already, i have submitted the chairman's risk assessment which establishes the fact we're at significant risk against the strategy as it was conceived in 2012 already. what we've been doing we've been increasing risk over the past three or four years. what i would tell you now if we don't get funded at pb-16 level and if we don't get reforms inside of the budget because it is $4.2 billion for this year but it accrues to i think 40 billion -- if we don't get that, the strategy will have to change. if you're asking me how i will manage the current strategy, it's unmanageable. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> secretary carter, you heard the answer general dempsey just gave. do you agree with his statement? >> i do.
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>> i wasn't here, i'm sorry i missed your opening statement and i didn't have the benefit of reading it, but i think it is worthwhile getting on the record again. you heard many times the statements of james clapper and others clapper statement looking back over half century of intelligence, i've not experienced a time when we've been beset by more crises. he repeated that in a different way later. of course just last week we had general stewart saying essentially the same thing. i assume you agree with those statements? >> i do. when i started in this business there was one problem which was the soviet union and now we have 10 or 12. >> those were the good ol' days weren't they? i can say that. >> no, i remember enough not to be too nostalgic and pretty serious. the world is so much more complicated, so much more is happening as you say. >> hearing prime minister netanyahu this morning that just drove that home. i was thinking how easy that was. yes, the threat was terrible. two superpowers.
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we knew what they they had, they knew what we had, they were predictable, we were predictable, mutually assured destruction meant something. it doesn't mean anything anymore. i was thinking about that how different that is today. the other thing i wanted to mention is you heard what general odierno, general green, admiral welch and general dunford all testified. they talked about if sequester is coming in. you said something i think is more significant. you said even with the fiscal year '16 budget, the army, the navy, marine corps will not reach readiness goals until 2020 and air force till 2023 is that accurate? what you're saying there, even not our budget without sequestration, you're saying that threat is there. >> what is going on there is dig ourselves out of a hole of sequester in the past.
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particularly the 2013 budget, the year in which the shutdown occurred and so forth. . . >> you apparently had some time pretty good quality time with the president when you were there. and it was observed, i think, by general dempsey that we don't
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operate in a vacuum here. is there anything you want to add with our relationship with the president that would be beneficial to have the whole world know or those who are participating this that theater? >> yes one thing which is that he is a partner in a way that we have been looking for and without whom the sacrifice that we've made over these last ten years can't be successful. he understands what we've tried to do for him he knows that it has been a great benefit to his country and not just to protect our country, of course, which it has and which was why we went there in the first place to protect ourselves from the breeding ground of the 9/11 attacks on our own country.
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and i think everybody who participated in this campaign ought to know and around the world in our coalition that we have now in president ghani somebody who really gets the sacrifice that we've all made on behalf of afghanistan and is committed to making the progress that we've made there stick. that's what i'd say. >> okay. that's good. i appreciate that. senator reed talked about our limited resources now, and i wasn't sure i understood your answer there. do you think people are out there -- and it doesn't matter where they are, it can be the ukraine, it can be georgia, it can be any place -- to do they recognize that we don't have the resources we've historically had or are able to do what we've historically done? >> well, they hear us saying that, and they hear us debating that. you know i hope and this is something i try to say and i'm sure you all try to say which
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is yes we're having internal debates and so forth, and we don't like what is going on here, and i certainly have said that today, but don't underestimate the will and the power of the united states. >> yeah. >> and i hope people understand that as well because we still have the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. >> yeah, i understand that, and we're kind of aiming that toward others. people look at us and, yes we do. but looking here at home when even you admit that with the current budget even without sequestration, our risk level is going to increase, right? >> that -- the risk is measured in the readiness that needs to be -- [inaudible conversations] >> yeah, uh-huh. >> general dempsey should congress pass an amf without restrictions? -- an aumf without restrictions? >> i'm the military guy in the room, and i would always seek to preserve all of our optionings.
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i was consulted on the documents, and it will allow us to meet the campaign as we designed it. that really now becomes a decision between you and your colleagues. >> all right. secretary carter? >> exactly the same answer. key to us is can we coour campaign. >> okay. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator hi hirono please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you gentlemen for your service and your testimony. secretary carter, as the department continues to rebalance our military forces in the asia-pacific and the middle east, there are clearly challenges in terms of available resources. and i know from our january meeting that you agreed the stability in the asia-pacific region is critical to our national security even as there is instability in so many other parts of the world. so you mentioned today once again in your testimony that the priority one of the priorities
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is to continue our commitment to the rebalance to the asia-pacific, and so i did want to highlight one related issue that i would like to continue to discuss with you, and that is there are plans in place to shift a number of military personnel and assets from hawaii to include naval vessels aircraft, air force tankers back to the continental u.s. by 2020. i am concerned about how moving these kinds of significant capabilities away from the region while we are supposed to be committed to the rebalance to the asia-pacific will look to our allies and to our adversaries, so i'd like to continue this discussion with you as we go forward. this is a question relating to energy security. in april 2014 there was a dod
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directive to all of our service entities. it was signed by the acting department -- deputy secretary of defense, excuse me. so this was a new energy directive to enhance capabilities while improving energy security and mitigating cost because we all acknowledge that the doe -- dod is the largest user of energy in our country. can you tell us where dod stands in regards to implementing this directive? which, by the way goes to 2024 and how is it supported in the president's budget? >> thank you, senator. and on the first point, i agree with you entirely. the asia-pacific rebalance is a critical part of our strategy going forward. you know we can't forget as we're embroiled in the conflict with, against isil which we must
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win that it's a big world out there, and we have interests and friends and challenges throughout the world. and the asia-pacific is where half the world's population and half the world's economy resides. so i agree with you and i'd be happy to discuss that. we've done that before, and that's a continuing commitment not only of mine and yours, but of our country. and so i'd be happy to talk to you about that. with respect to energy very important point. the energy land scawp is changing a lot -- landscape is changing a lot and the defense department is, as you say the largest user of energy in the federal government by far and therefore, has a real stake in where we go with respect to energy. and a role to play in getting us there. and i'd signify, if i may, two ways in which we do that. one is r and, the in areas -- r&d in areas that are
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particularly important to defense where because of our particular needs we may be an early adopter of technology. that's a longstanding role of the department of defense in many things like the internet and everything else. and we're doing it for defense. but it has spin-offs. and the other way we play a role is in the country's overall energy strategy. and, obviously, that's secretary moniz's responsibility and the president's, but we try to make sure what we're doing is aligned with them. and of course, finally -- i don't want to go on too long -- you know, overall our energy situation has improved tremendously in the last couple years, and our opportunities have widened. and that's been good for defense because we're, for example, a huge user of fuel. and when oil prices come down we benefit from it. thank you. >> thank you for you continued
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commitment. general dempsey, there was a recent rand workplace survey report that indicated that 62% of women who reported an up wanted sexual -- unwanted sexual contact to military authorities indicated they experienced at least one form of retaliation. a significant number of these retaliations came from coworkers, not from the the command structure. and so this is a difficult situation, and i'd hike to know what your thoughts -- i'd like to know what your thoughts are on this kind of retaliation and how it can be curtailed within the service. >> well it's absolutely unacceptable. there were 12 metrics that we've established to track progress toward ridding the professional force from this stain and ten of them trended positively, two of them negatively. one of them was the retribution issue. thankfully a companion piece
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was that the vast majority of respondents -- and, by the way we had an unusual number of respondents for a survey -- expressed faith in the chain of command. so we have actually been able to isolate the issue to peer-on-peer retribution. >> yes. >> so you asked what we're doing about it. well, based on that survey actually, we've had several meetings. the secretary convenes a meeting every two weeks i think it is -- >> yesterday. >> yeah. had one yesterday, and that's the topic. we're looking to get after that. but we actually are encouraged that we've been able to turn the trend line on 10 out of 12. we've got to go to work on the other two and keep our eye on the first ten. >> yeah. there will be a continuing, i think, interest on the part of most members many members of this committee -- >> as there should be, senator. >> [inaudible] >> we don't, we don't mind that a bit. we've got to work on this. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> senator -- [inaudible] please. >> thank you.
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secretary carter and general dempsey, i want to ask about the big picture, and in the six minutes we have, i'd like to drill down on afghanistan. last week james clapper spoke to us, and he said among other things unpredictable instability is the new normal and, secretary carter, i think this is what you and senator inhofe were talking about when you said we used to know the exact threats and it was one big threat, and now it's unstable and unpredictable. general clapper also said this he noted that last year there were more deaths from state-sponsored mass killings more people displaced from their homes and a high rate of political instability than we've seen in decades. it was the most lethal year for global terrorism in 45 years. that's director p clapper. now, only a few days before secretary of state kerry told the house foreign affairs committee that quote: we are actually living in a period of
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less daily threats to americans and to people in the world normally. less deaths, less violent deaths today than through the last century. now, secretary carter, are we living in a period of less daily threats to americans? >> um, senator, i didn't -- i haven't seen that particular -- >> that's the exact quote. >> secretary kerry or what the context of that was but i would say two things. one is to get back to what director clapper said about an uncertain world and one in which things new and different threats are constantly emerging, i would agree with that completely. and i just simply done know what secretary kerry said in that particular instance, senator, what the context for it was. but we certainly have serious threats to the united states around the world.
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i guess it is a good thing that we have combated terrorism as vigorously as we have since 2001 and we've made a lot of changes, a new department of homeland security, a lot of changes in intelligence in the department of defense and so i think we have upped our game considerably. at the same tim, our opponents -- both state opponents and terrorists -- continue to be ingenius. >> but, mr. mr. secretary, i would just say in terms of the threat it's hard to square the two statements coming from two members of the same administration. either we're living in a time of higher instability and more death from state-sponsored mass killings, or we're in a period of less daily threats to americans. this second statement coming from our chief negotiator with
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the iranian regime. and i will have to say to you, it causes me concern that secretary kerry would feel this way while at the same time trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with this terrorist nation. general dempsey, if the secretary of state is correct perhaps we don't have to avoid sequestration if we're living in a time living in a period of less daily threats to americans, less threats to the people of the world than normally. perhaps we could stick with sequestration, if that's the case. wouldn't you agree? >> well, you know, i would say this senator if -- one of the ways the military actually contributes to this argument is by being forward deployed so that we can shape and influence the future rather than, you know, you may have heard me say in the past the last thing we want to do is play a home game. if you sequester us we will be
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playing a home game. >> well, you know where i stand -- >> i do. >> -- on sequestration. >> i do, sir. >> and i'm doing everything i can working with the bipartisan leadership of this committee, and i appreciate your testimony. on page 3, general dempsey, that threats are proliferating. seems to me that that's what's obvious out there. it does concern me though, when the secretary of state completely misses the point as demonstrated by the juxtaposition of director clapper's statement and the secretary of state's statement. now, secretary carter, on the first page of your testimony thank you for commending our troops. you say in afghanistan our soldiers sailors, airmen and marines are helping cement progress made toward a more secure, stable and prosperous future. i want to salute you for saying that we've made progress. and it seems to me that there
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are some people out there listening maybe to the network news or some of the talking heads who would conclude that things have gone to hell in afghanistan. as a matter of fact, as you pointed out in response to senator inhofe's question, president ghani and his chief opposition leader are in a partnership, they appreciate our presence there, and we have made progress. things are headed in the right direction. and ten years' worth of blood and sacrifice has gotten us to where we are. you say they are working to insure that afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for attacks on our homeland or our partners and allies. i think six years ago you might have been able to say that about iraq. and i just wonder what lessons we've learned from iraq and what assurances you can give that with the plan the administration has, with the president's plan toward a drawdown of troops in
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afghanistan we won't lose the progress that we've made that you've talked about that cements the progress toward a more secure, stable and prosperous future in afghanistan and toss that all away as we have elsewhere. >> thank you. thank you senator, and we do have the opportunity to cement it. you said what's the difference between iraq and afghanistan, they're very different situations in the following two ways: the first is that we, as president ghani clearly indicated to me but he's said in this publicly, he wants us there. we have a willing partner. we have a bilateral security agreement which we didn't get with iraq welcoming us to stay in afghanistan. that's the first thing. and the second thing is we have a partner in president ghani. and you mentioned dr. abdullah
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the chief executive officer and that's an important point as you note. they are working together. i saw both of them, i saw both of them together, i kind of watched their relationship, and they have agreed to work together in a multi-sectarian, if i can use that phrase way which is exactly what didn't happen in iraq was the devolution to sectarianism. and that is what led to the opportunity that the cruel force of isil represented or exploited and to the situation we're now in. so we have an opportunity in afghanistan for those two critical reasons that are so different from iraq to get a outcome that really is cemented. >> general, would you like to comment on that? >> we've got a -- there's a terrorist network that stretches from afghanistan to nigeria and we have got to keep pressure on
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it along its entire length. and i think afghanistan is and will remain an anchor point for that pressure. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator blumenthal please. >> thanks thanks, mr. chairman. i want to shift to an area where both of you have demonstrated a lot of attentiveness and caring which is the well being of the extraordinary men and women whom you command while they serve under you and afterward when they become veterans. i know that both of you have shown in deed, mr. secretary in your prior life when you worked as undersecretary and, general dempsey, i was privileged to watch you perform at a recent event sponsored by the woodruff
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foundation, so i know how active you are in support of our troops and our wounded warriors. and i want to focus on the connections between the dod and the v.a. having now seen it from the perspective of the v.a., the veterans administration, in my capacity as ranking member i'm struck by the need for better information the electronic, health electronic records have been a p point of contention but so have the form lair issue, the drug formulary issue. there are a variety of areas where there needs to be simply better coordination. that is a washington word coordination collaboration, you know, but can you see ways that we can improve the flow of information and the help that veterans get, marley our
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veterans -- particularly our veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury which as you know, we have addressed in the clay-hunt suicide prevention bill that we cosponsored and recently passed but that's just a beginning, a down payment and i wonder what more we can do in that area. i know we've talked about it a little bit, and i wonder if you could address that in the context of the budget. >> i can, and thank you for that. we did discuss it and accordingly in the time i've been there i've tried to see where things stand and see how things are assessed. i have a great partner in the secretary of veterans affairs, and i've talked to him. and, you know, to the soldiers sailors, airmen and marines they don't -- they shouldn't have to worry that there are two cabinet departments that are responsible for taking care of them. they shouldn't have to worry about that. we should have to make it knit together. and you mentioned iehr the integrated electronic health
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record program, formulary issues which have to do with pharmacies and what they call drugged and so forth. yes, we do need to stay closely knitted, and we will. i wanted to particularly note your work on pts simply because i'm -- that's one of these things that we have learned through sad experience in the last decade or so is a serious thing that can also be treated. and i think you have been the one championing, and i thank you for that and will do it, making sure that veterans who came along before there was this awareness and before there were these treatments are given the benefits of this awareness and given the benefits of this treatment. and i, i've looked into that since you and i talked. i could say more about that and we could talk about it
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privately, but i understand exactly the need that you were pointing me to, and i think i see a way that we can address that. but it's really important for our older veterans. >> well i appreciate those comments, and you're absolutely right, the diagnosis for pts began in the 1980s. but troops were suffering from it way before then, and part of the challenge is to not only care for them, but also -- and you mentioned there are treatments -- but in many ways pts is still a mystery. there are centers of excellence that the v.a.'s established one of them happens to be at the v.a. facility in west haven in connecticut under the aegis of yale/new haven and the psychiatrists and so forth there, and they're doing some great work. but with proper support -- and i hope it will come from the department of defense as well as the v.a -- so much more can be done in more effective treatment
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which we're just beginning to discover, as you on so -- observe. met me just conclude by going through some of the procurement issues that i think are important. the joint strike fighter pleased to see the increase there from 38 to 57 which going back, again, to your prior service in the department of defense might not have been predicted at that time. the, in effect, vote of confidence -- i don't want to speak too strongly, but it looks to me like that procurement program is proceeding well. am i correct? >> i think we have stability in the joint strike fighter program compared compared to five years ago, and that's the basis on which the ramp-up of production is a prudent thing to do, and that's a good opportunity for us that the program's running that way. >> and i'm very pleased to see that both the virginia class and
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the ohio replacement are moving ahead on a very good pace. >> true, both necessary. >> thank you. thank you, mr. secretary general. >> senator ayotte? >> want to thank the chair, want to thank all of you for what you do for the country and secretary carter, i want to thank you very much for so quickly into, after your confirmation of following through and meeting with the jtacs to hear their close air support on friday and including me in that meeting. you know, i appreciate your commitment to review the air force's decisions on the a-10 and appreciate your willingness to do that, so thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i wanted to follow up on the issue of ukraine on a different topic, and that's the issue of u.s. intelligence sharing. because there were reports
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recently in "the wall street journal" that really troubled me about what we're doing to help the ukrainians' terms of their defense, the information we can share with them to be able to minimize their casualties and defend their territory. and in that article basically what it said was that images are being significantly degraded to avoid provoking russia and that what it was doing in terms of you i crane january officials -- ukrainian officials, they said it's really hampered their ability of their forces to counter separatists because it's a 24-hour delay in terms of intelligence sharing and that they're actually approaching other countries like canada because of these intelligence gaps. so can you help me understand you know if we're not going to give them arms and -- to defend themselves, because we haven't done that yet, and i appreciate that general dempsey and you as
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well say that this is something that you're very open to -- at least we can share information to them because they're obviously, dying by the thousands defending their own territory. so can you help me understand this issue of can we share intelligence with them so they can defend themselves? >> i can help you in a limited way because that's not a decision that either the chairman or i are involved in, it's an intelligence community thing. and it has to do with the sharing arrangement that we have with ukraine, and i think there are other considerations that they take into account when making that determination. but i think your larger point which is that there are things that we can do to help the ukrainians help themselves. and, of course the main effort there is a political and economic one sanctions and so forth. on the military side, there are ways that we can help the
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ukrainians to help themselves and we are as you say, working through them now. but i'm afraid i can't speak to the intelligence thing, the intelligence committee would have to answer that. >> it's sources and methods senator. it has nothing to do with the fact that we're worried about angering russia. and i can assure you that both the secretary and i are committed to finding ways to help ukraine defend its sovereign territory and reduce the casualties. there is a disproportionate number of casualties on the ukraine side and, you're right both the europeans and us should be active in trying to help them. >> so there's, you know, think about if you were, you know, general dempsey with all your military experience you're fighting an enemy and you weren't getting intelligence in realtime, you know, a 24-hour delay is like a life time in a wartime setting. so i guess the realtime
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intelligence, to me there's got to be a way to protect our sources and methods but not, you know, 24 hours later in an intention context is like a lifetime -- intelligence context is like a lifetime. so i really hope we'll get them realtime intelligence so that they can defend themselves, and they have suffered too many casualties, and anything we can do to prevent those casualtieses think we have some responsibility here given, you know, we were signatories to the budapest memorandum too, and this is just outright aggression of one nation monoanother. so i appreciate -- upon another. so i appreciate that. i wanted to ask as well about isil's activities beyond iraq and syria. we're hearing a lot about isil's activities in-in ya. -- in libya. can you help me understand what we see isil doing even beyond the grave challenges that we face of their establishing a
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caliphate along iraq and syria in places like libya and where else are we seeing their presence, and what are we going to do about it? >> thank you senator. i'll say something, and then the chairman may want to add in. we are seeing it. we're seeing it throughout north africa. we're seeing it in the gulf area. i had a lengthy conversation, to get back to the previous conversation we were having on afghanistan, with president ghani about it showing up in afghanistan. and then we see people in europe individuals who are joining up and so forth, and i'll give you the perspective i learned by talking to our folks over in the meeting i held in kuwait last week when i learned about it which is one isil is
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attracted to younger members of movement -- of older movements where the leadership has gotten a little older and maybe they've gotten a little staid and the younger guys who have more steam up or more deluded are attracted to this radical thing. .. in terms of what we do about it, i think that this has, this is what i wanted people to come
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from all over the region and indeed, special operations command, all over the world, we need to be prepared for this in terms of protecting our own people i think it's also true in the diplomatic and nondefense people who are in this conference have this knowledge and responsibility but it's something we need to combat in the information domain as well. that's going to be challenging because this is a social media if bin laden was the internet terrorist, these guys are the social media terrorists. and i think that we will see people running up that flag or saying that they are attracted to that movement all over the world. and by the way, this is the last thing i will say this is what is important to inflict defeat on isil. we've got to take the sting out of this thing. these guys are not invincible and we've got to make that
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clear. >> the only thing i would add is in addition to what the secretary said about the radical nature of its ideology makes it attractive to a population where governance has collapsed broadly across the region. they are extraordinarily and the social media. so we really are taking and continued to refine a trans regional unsustainable, persistent approach to this. and as i said it stretches from al-qaeda in iraq and pakistan all the way over to boko haram. at different times in the different places a syndicate with each other and we've got to see it that way in order to deal with it. >> thanks. >> senator manchin. following senator manchin at the request of secretary carter he would like to take about a 15 minute break after senator manchin come and we the committee will stand in recess for 15 minutes following senator
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manchin's questioning. senator manchin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank all of you for the great service to the country and appreciate very much what you do everyday. is not a person i know in my state of west virginia that doesn't support everything you do. doesn't support the military, they fight, do anything you ask them to do but they still us questions about why do we spend so much money on military, why do we spend more than of the next eight countries put together. we have to be always came to trust, if you will. i know procurement were not the best in procurement, not the best in developing weapons of farce costliness. eisenhower's -- i think we all are in tune with all this. so i know detrimental sequestering is. we talked about flexibility at one time. flexibility by itself won't do it, i understand that. secretary carter, you and i had a nice conversation. i think secretary hagel was trying to look at the budget,
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reducing it by 20% but by the basically it really comes down to the oddity. knowing where we are. and i talked about contracting, i've talked about the effectiveness of our national guard. i even asked the question committee of its between the reserve and guard. why do we have duplication? there's so much going on are we allowing you to do everything you need to do to run a very effective and efficient and cost effective military for our country? people in west virginia are willing to spend their taxes, invest their taxes to the defense of this country. they would like to make sure they're getting pretty good bang for the buck, too. and not just throwing a lot of it away. how do we do this? how do we help you? we've got to have an audit. we been talking about that, and i know that chairman has been concerned about that. developing our arsenal if you will, making sure we're able to
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give it to market, do what we're supposed to to do and get it as quick as possible. so anybody on the panel second to come if you want to start with that, in general chime in. >> i think your constituents are very logical. they are saying look, i'm willing to pay for defense by want to make sure every dollar you spend well. so we need to pair our request for the funds that we need to defend our country with the assurances that we're using it well. we know we're not always using every dollar of the defense budget well and that's why i think senator mccain, chairman reed and his entire committee has been urging a movement towards reform, what i very much support and would like to partner with you on because i think the taxpayer will find
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feature to support what we're trying to do to defend ourselves if they also see us vigorously at best buy for every tax dollar. at you mentioned audit. an audit is as you indicate key. we have a plan for audit readiness for the department. you and i have discussed that. secretary mccord is in charge of that effort but i'm completely committed to its success. spent interrupt for one thing. every time we hear about reduction of force is always on our front line. it's always the people are defending to be in the front line fighting and defending of people to look at basically the size of the staffs, it's just overwhelming the size of the staff keeps going by we'll continue to talk about reduction in force, the people we need out
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front. what can we do to help you take control of that reduce that staff proportionately? >> your apps will be right and i hope you will support and continued to support us as we get rid of excess infrastructure and shed excess of staffs. and this is the kind of thing we have to do if we're going to go forward here with resources that still are going to be under pressure but there will be under pressure and so we have to make sure every dollar counts. senator, while i'm speaking before as the chairman to comment on the same thing let me just say mr. chairman, i appreciate your consideration. this is about my healing of my back and i think you. however, i am doing fine. so since everyone is here unless others want to -- i'm okay going on. i very much appreciate you. >> i was trying to prevent you from having to be interrogated
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by senator fischer. she is next. [laughter] >> i just got another -- >> thanks, senator. first it's probably worth remembering when i became chief of staff of the army we were tasked to find $487 billion in the budget. we did. when they become the chairman i think i'm i may jinx but we were then asked to achieve that level, additional 520 billion. roughly speaking a little over a trillion dollars we have actually found $750 billion of it. what we're debating now is the last 250 over the next six years. i think we've done pretty darn well to be honest with you senator. in terms of what you can tell the people in west virginia, they will see those mountaineers the 20th ranked mountaineers playing basketball and they don't have to worry about getting blown up while they're watching a basketball game. we are doing okay at the away games. last but not least i would venture to tell you all that this group of cheese has
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proposed some of the most -- chiefs controversial and emotional changes in terms of pay compensation, health care facing weapon system to for any group in my memory in 40 years. if we get some help with that and we get some topline as the chairman mentioned for things that were not forecasted for example, space nuclear weapons the emerging threats can we can actually manage it and look at the american people in the eye asas a daemon on family and tell them we are spending your money wisely. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. i do appreciate your service. secretary carter i appreciate your fortitude to stay so you can have my questions. a lot of my colleagues have drilled down its issues and i've about three different areas i would like to touch on if i may.
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as we look at the situation in ukraine and we see that the separatist forces are having success on the battlefield, do you believe that may incentivize putin to become more ambitious in ukraine so that he may be would look at more ambitious goals with regards to that country? >> i am certain about that, and i think he has made his goals pretty clear. he speaks about them openly, which is to have all around him states that are in his orbit rather than pursuing their own futures, their own independent features. and ukraine is an example of
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that. and i think that if we don't remain united on the political and economic pressure which is having a real effect in russia and if we don't remain united in standing up for nato in europe and we don't remain united in sticking up for the ability of the ukrainian government and ukraine to plot and end up in the path for itself, putin will just keep pushing and keep pushing. that's the kind of guy he is. >> i would say right now that we are united, that i have fears for the future in how we move forward in this area. and you mentioned nato, and our commitment there and the commitment that we have. what effect what effect is it
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on the world when they see that we are not helping a country that ukraine, with more lethal force to defend themselves when we signed an agreement that we would? what message does that send to our nato allies and to the institution of nato itself? >> as it happens, i was in budapest in 1994 when that agreement was signed, the very one that vladimir putin's russia is violating. so i know it well. it was not a nato type of agreement, but it did come in it russia pledged to respect that territorial integrity of ukraine which it clearly has not done. and insofar as nato is concerned, as you say, i think
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the point of our so-called reassurance initiative but basically means rotating more forces into europe and taking steps to strengthen our presence in europe your that's a way of saying which i think we have to do, to nato that we are with you in a very serious kind of obligation that we have under the nato treaty. we have an obligation to ukraine also and to get your other point, and i think that assisting them politically economically we've talked about that before, military being something also under consideration, that's a very important. >> as we have looked at russia, they are not honoring the assurances that they gave to ukraine. as you mentioned that was an
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agreement. they have been in violation of the inf treaty which they don't admit to but as has been discussed they have been in violation of that treaty. how long does the united states weight before we start exploring -- the united states wait before we start exploring options not just with regard to ukraine but with regard to russia's blatant violations of trade agreement with our country? >> we have been weighted. we should wait. we haven't waited to explore alternatives. the inf treaty is a two-sided treaty. they said they wouldn't do something. we said we wouldn't do something. and they've done what they were supposed to do and so that means that we can react.
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in various ways, and so if they don't get back into compliance, we can take steps that are defensive in terms of any ourselves, that are deterrent steps, and that are aimed at countering the effects of this weapon system that violates the inf treaty that they have fielded -- not fielded, but are working on. i think they need to understand that the united states can react to this kind of thing. it is a two-way \street\{-|}street so it's not something we asked them to do and they give us for free but it's something that we have it is a two-way \street\{-|}street and we have begun to think about. we thought it was on the whole
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best for both of us not to do that. that was the logic behind the treaty. i think i still find that you can't be one-sided about it. >> i totally agree but i appreciate that you're looking for options. i hope you can be more public about that and also very from publicly in that the united states will be act to treaty violations, especially when they are violations on the treaties with our country. thank you. >> senator donnelly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you all for your service. transport secretary carter, are you looking into -- general dempsey, secretary carter come are you looking into our plan that out of? >> i have spoken to general austin. the chairman has as well. and clearly that was an instance of speculation that that it
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certainly does reflect what we need to be thinking with respect to an offensive against mosul. which is we will conduct an offensive against mosul when the iraqi security forces can leave such an offensive, helped by us. because it's important that offensive succeed. so it will happen when it can succeed. >> and this would be for you general dempsey, how do we make sure it doesn't happen again and prevented? >> as the secretary mentioned we have been in contact and he is conducting an internal inquiry into it. and they think not i think. i know he will take the appropriate action. >> let me ask you this.
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these are obviously not classified sources or whatever. these are newspapers. they said in this morning and the effort that's going on that we are really kind of a referable players in this and that the general from iran is on the front lines with a shiite militia. what is going on at there? >> this gets back to the point made -- >> i apologize. >> sorry. your question is right on. we operate in iraq in support of the iraqi government. iraqi government in this case did not ask for our support in this particular operation. and i think that we need to be
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watchful as we take together with the iraqi government take back territory from isil that we continue to conduct this campaign in a multi-sectarian way. because we have been down the road of sectarianism in iraq and it's important that the government of iraq today not go down that road again. suite of success against isil. we need to have it in with a dozen inflame sectarianism again, and that's why we are watching it so closely. >> if i could add, senator. i've seen the pictures myself. our intel committee will now go to work to decide whether he was personally there or not but it's worth reminding ourselves, iran and its proximity been inside of iraq since 24 -- 2004. this is the most overt conduct
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of iranian support in the form of artillery and other things. frankly, it will only be a problem if the results in sectarianism as the sector said. it's about the size of the force going to tikrit about a third of it is iraqi city divorces, the fifth division -- forces. if they perform in a credible way, rid the city of tikrit, turned back over to its inhabitants, there will in the main event positive thing in terms of the counter isil campaign. at this point as the second has mentioned it supported by the sunni members parliament and the local leaders, but that's depend on the behavior of the militia as they conduct this campaign. and by the way we are watching. >> i'm sure like you my concern is the sunni tribal leader look
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up and go, these are the same people who have been working as over for years. at what point do they say, you know where's a good option of these sites? >> well, that's exactly the concern. they did as we understand it make a statement today, the tribal leaders in the area, that they supported the offensive. i hope that's true because what's very important is we all be behind defeating isil and that sectarianism not raise its ugly head again because that's what brought us to this place in the first place. >> let me ask one last question because i have about a minute. i know it will take up that much time, but it's been mentioned in syria that we plan to reduce isis, get rid of them. how to bring assad to the table? >> in syria very good question,
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and i will offer the following. he needs to come to the table in order to discuss his own receiving from the scene in syria. and for that to occur he needs to see -- receiving. the right combination of the doom of the strategy that he is said his country's course on set the course of his country on. and also i believe in pressure from russia and iran both of whom are supporting him, and the need to withdraw their support of him because of what he's done to his country. and when he sees that combination, it seems to me that may cause him to recede.
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but no doubt at our point of view which is he has done things to his people by this time that put them outside the pale and he has to go. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. secretary carter, good to see you again. congratulations. general dempsey, thank you for your service. i want to go back to a theme that we discussed during her confirmation hearing and that's this broader theme of leveling with the american people. i think that on our threats, and i think you're seeing, i would call it a pretty general bipartisan concern that there's a disconnect sometimes between what we're we are hearing from the uniformed military, what we are hearing from the intelligence services and agencies, and importantly what we are hearing from the leadership of the
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country president, senator wicker was talking with the secretary of state. there's growing agreement certainly hear about the importance of defense spending and how we survey thing, i think most americans think we face a lot of threats in the world your defense spending is a function of these threats. but when we hear kind of the disconnect between different mirrors of the administration on what the threat levels are and how the president in many ways paints a very benign picture of what's going on in the world and how we're making progress in a lot of areas it undermines credibility in what we all are trying to do with regard to bolstering our national defense. i'm not going to go into the specific was from secretary the president's state of the union, all which seem to tell the americans hey don't worry, everything is looking great. things are not looking great and i think that you and the members of the military recognizes that. what would you see right now as
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the top three biggest threats to united states is facing? both of you, secretary carter and general dempsey. >> before get to the top three, to your first point i think that the president is requesting in this budget more than an end to sequester and more money than would be called for a sequester. >> i recognize that but it's hard to get that through the congress and the president in his next breath for the second in his next breath upstate says don't worry, everything is fine in the international world. the threat level is decreasing. the moment of crisis has passed. we are making progress with isis. i don't think any of the statements are accurate. >> the only thing i would say is that i think the reason why we
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need the resources that we are requesting both in the base budget and in the ocoa budget is because we are being asked to respond to and defend the country against a great variety of threats. i will do a stab at three of them but it's very hard to rank things because they're all important but otherwise we wouldn't be doing them. but just to pick the things that we are requesting additional funds for, oco funds this year which are new things by think you have to count isil as whatcom and we are requesting funds specifically and in addition to the base budget for combating isil. i think the same is true of the european reassurance initiative which is connected with the behavior of russia in europe and nato and other obligations in your. we are requesting extra money
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for that in the oco budget. and we are requesting of course funds for afghanistan to make sure that our success their can stick. so those are three i don't know if they're the most important but very important things. there are other reasons why we are requesting the amount of money that we think the country needs, which is about the sequester level. >> so general dempsey, do you generally agree with those top three? i will get a couple of questions questions. >> i'm actually concerned about european security for reasons we talked about earlier. in particular because commits not just about russia. it's what rush has done as a mentioned as start a fire up in the city and nationalism. it may burn out of their control and so european city for the first time in 20 years concerns me. secondly, the threat network as i mentioned runs from afghanistan, pakistan all the way to boko haram. we can just deal with one of
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those groups. got to deal with an aggregate. it doesn't mean we've got all kinds of tools, direct action, building partners, enabling others to the french but we got to get pressure on the entire network. the last one is when i would have to discuss in a closed session and that would be on narrowing technological gaps in certain key areas. >> thank you. want to switch to the arctic and the strategic posture that we have up there. mr. secretary, in your last hearing you did mention you agreed that alaska occupied the strategic place in the world according to billy mitchell. i just want to straighten the record with chairman and the ranking member. billy mitchell was court-martialed but he was court-martialed or, quote for insubordination after accusing army and navy leaders of quote, almost treasonable national defense were investing in battleships as opposed to
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aircraft carriers. he was later given a congressional medal of honor by the congress. i think he's been vindicated but i'm going to ask the question that follows up on the. you put out a strategy on the arctic and yet the russians are making huge moves with regard to new bases, with regard to new airfields new arctic command claiming territory overshoots one of the arctic. we had a big support in alaska, the last week on the army task force that was up looking at potential force reductions looking at two brigade combat units potential being moved out of alaska. if the army eliminate even one brigade combat team and alaska how do you think kim jong-il or vladimir putin or our allies in japan korea singapore, would react to that given how im

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