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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 5, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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understand people want to change our way of life sometimes we have to play this away game that has prevented us and we are very blessed to have men and women who put their lives of the y in. we have a sweet spot right now actually was a loss from a soldier with day civilian that was killed with a rocket attack but that is not by happenstance but i am
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honored to be privileged to work with these men and women to be part of something larger them themselves. . .so in the taliban ranks they will talk about that a little later but i wanted to ask about the military trends and dynamics how strong is the taliban right now and how is the fight going, how would you explain what's going on besides the point you've already made that this is a big transition but they are overwhelmingly doing it on their own besides that how else should we think about the trends and battlefield dynamics this year? >> i think again very tough fighting season. i would tell you that it started last year so it's been kind of a continuous fighting season. when we talk in terms of the fighting season it's until october but i think that we have seen from the very last number through the fall we had some
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political instability and the fighting continued and really afghan security forces started but we called the season on their own they didn't wait for the company in this year. they had a multi-core operation of the february and march timeframe where they took them in helmond. they took about three or four weeks of planning and proper commanders together. we went back and took that with the senior afghan police and army and it was a very complex plan that they want to take in initiative to find first into the debate. they followed that up with another multi-cooperation. then we had about a month and a half where we had a little bit of a wall and that was caused by the insurgents in afghanistan going up to the north. we haven't seen this kind and not great levels but it just takes a few in the district center. you have the people that call
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out to the central government. we need some help and it causes them to start moving some of their people up to the north are probably the three large areas, so it's dressed the afghan security forces at the time they were trying to focus on another area that i think over time in the leadership and having a corps commander we went without one for about two and a half month's so there was a little bit of a timeframe that they didn't have the right leadership they need it and once they moved the commander by the name of the major general who was in town in the south they moved to the north when north when he got an opportunity to be on the ground and i think he made a difference in the north. but again we have seen fighting over afghanistan. he talked about the south end of the east and we have seen that in the last 13 or 14 years but the difference has been in the north where they express the
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afghan security forces. but i seem to react to that and again when they do the crossword nation and have the police and army and intel they can't he beat and i tell the afghan forces that the taliban don't have a nice 35417. it doesn't have the humvee. so it really gets down to the leadership and having the confidence to take it to the enemy. there is no way that the taliban even despite his tough fighting season at the casualties that they are taken that they can overthrow the afghan government that's not going to happen. they will continue to have a attacks throughout the country and do high profile taxes and they will continue to try to take a magnetic id and put it on a bus because again civilian casualties for every magnetic ied that goes off the forces
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stop and we don't hear about that but that's a good thing and the number of times the afghan security forces have stopped attacks on i. headquarters and other places throughout is quite remarkable but again what makes the news is that suicide attack and again one or two people very low risk for the taliban to come into the city upwards of 5 billion people but i do think they continue to make progress and we will continue to work the systems and process to processes to build an afghan army and a police they can sustain. >> thank you very much for that. i'm trying to just complete the picture in my own mind and others as well about the overall state of security in the country today and it's like i know one of the things you've done is we've downsized and now you are commanding the resolute support you used to command their
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original system and one of the things you do is give greater responsibility for the analysis so we don't produce as many documents how we think the security picture books for our code congress or public and i think that makes it harder sometimes for people to get a feel. my sense, and correct me if i'm wrong this at some of the big cities remain pretty good especially via the standards that we think of as a war time zone and the road in most areas the big circumference road round of the main agricultural zones is also as secure as it has ever been in the variable in the last six or eight years but i would like to hear you describe it. i could be wrong and i'm sure the audience cares about how you would explain the nuances, so it isn't a general picture - >> the areas for the enemy to attack the major convoys in the
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coalition that's not happening like it was just a year ago. but they are having the problems in these remote district centers that represent the government and of the atlantic over the district center, that shows the loss of confidence for the people that live in the district on the district center will understand that they don't have the right to security. a year ago they took over the district center than it might be two, three, four, maybe a week or two before they have the capability to take that back. today what you see is as soon as they are taken over that for ten hours most of the time the security forces were taken. so they have the ability now and they have the capability to react much quicker, to move the forces all around the country to go back and take over the district centers. so i think it is a sign of progress has been moved forward. again, they have technology. they have the people, they have the training. i think the difference this fighting season is getting the leadership in place for holding
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those leaders accountable for the welfare of the soldiers and the police had been building the morale as they continue to take the offenses. they are very defensive in nature. eight d.% of them them on checkpoints in when you were on a checkpoint you are vulnerable to the attacks and that is where they are taking their losses on these small checkpoints. the local police were designed to be the guardians of the village area selected by the authors of the village. they are supposed to guard the village dates employed in 5 kilometers, ten columbus outside of the village without reinforcing support them in him and therefore the intelligentsia be targeted to take over checkpoint and roll that up three, four, five people in the next one so they are learning as they go on the offense the duties planned operations into the number of casualties are much, much less because they've planned them out. and when they are maneuvering and they are not just sitting in the positions that they are not
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in target for the taliban. so, the president is working very hard for the senior leadership is working very hard. it's kind of been in the dna to work on the checkpoint so they are working on it very hard. i think that we will see continued progress in it for the rest of the season. >> to remind folks i think it is estimated was estimated about 5,000 afghans gave their lives in defense of the nation and this year it's a little higher. but i know one of the other concerns is that a lot of people go awol and don't complete. before we move onto the next question for the future of the afghan security forces would you describe the current situation where they are losing people through a wall or a church in? >> we have a deep dive on it and we worked with the defense to focus on how we can help them and as we look they lose probably in the neighborhood of the 4,000 per month and a lot of that you would think is
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battlefield casualties and that is the biggest problem that is the case. absent without leave and it goes back down to the leadership and as we have done a deep dive and said why are they beating it's because you have young soldiers or police that have been fighting for two or three years that haven't had a break. something we take for granted in all of the services back here in the noncommissioned officers and junior officers they don't have the same thing in afghanistan. they are growing but they are not there yet. when you are fighting at the time and needed to take a break and have no other way, you go back home and don't come back and that has been the biggest issue. we are working on leadership and ways to retain people. when they enlist in the afghan army and again this is an all volunteer force. but again this is an all
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volunteer force that you have somebody that lists for three years and they want what we've called reenlist and re- contracting. you take a young soldier that has been added for three years and doesn't want to reenlist for five years you may want to go another year or two years. now by the way they have money for the bonuses so they start to apply the tools but they lost sight of it and that's going to grow and maintain. but but it goes down to the leadership in fighting the common things to take care of the soldiers and police and once they do that they will stay because they told me they don't need advisers to talk about the patriotism or the fighting. they've got that down pat. they need to write the leadership to show them what it looks like.
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some have said that the loss per casualties and and awol are unsustainable. they are higher than you would like. would you describe them as unsustainable is unsustainable or is that not the best? spin any casualty is a shame if we have to take stock in that and we the end we can never forget of the sacrifice of the martyrs of the police and the army. we can't forget about the wounded warriors. we are starting to incorporate the wounded warrior programs like we have in the united states into the afghan army and hopefully in the police will be a good thing as we go forward. i think another thing again if they get the worthy attrition peace and they work hard on recruiting for w. because what they do now that they don't recruit during the fighting season and from april to october the don't worry about recruiting and the u.s. army we look at recruiting all year long so they try to have them do that.
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if they start to put those measures in place and i think once they do that, again and any of the lose, they lose by going awol and that isn't good but we did overcome this would overcome this based on retention. >> to the last question for you when you look ahead at the next 18 months and we look at it as the united states we are hoping the congress will continue to be appropriated funds in the forces and economic development over many years in the future because they do not yet have a sustainable economic base to pay for the costs of their own. beyond that there is the military dimension and we are thinking about two different priorities. one is the counterterrorism needed to extend we want the ability to have american drones and intelligence in afghanistan or south asia to the longer-term future. the other is what why do they still need or might they need
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potentially beyond the timeframe that is projected. what will you be examining to evaluate the progress? talked about air power in other sessions and get that intelligence and another are a few things on your mind. could you give a couple examples? 's connect many of the gaps and challenges that they have had we identified years ago into these are things that they've done for me and it's going to take a long time to build. it's a very tough thing. logistics just quadruples how complex and how hard it is, so logistics in the intelligence being able to take the different sources to figure out what that means that took many years to do so those areas will continue to work on those and we are putting the priority on the advisers.
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our advertisers today are the weapon systems. it's changed over the years. i have advisers. they are programming and budgeting those kind of things that are experts in the transparency accountability and oversight and rule of law sustainability, strategic communication goes are areas we continue to work very hard and we have metrics and those that we measure every single week i get an update on the functions as we look at it and over time it will come to the point we are going to see that is the best we can do and i have six months left i need to reprioritize and move the advisers to something that will be important in the long run so i'm continually assessing the afghan security force for the police and army as we go forward.
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for the long haul the intelligence aviation takes a long time, two to three years for a pilot, two to three years to maintain. we started late on growing the air force, so we are going to be there for a while to continue to work hard on the air force and as we go we've built a lot of the lack of a better term mechanics to work on the weapon systems into vehicles but what we didn't do well as we did and build up the middle management to take the time to build what i call the senior noncommissioned officers to keep them into it's going. so again i will assist those every week as we move forward and we make adjustments based on input i get from the afghans. ..
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>> maintenance, aviation, intelligence. and i think that you will see nato come on board as we continue to build on the capability of those forces. >> we are willing to stay a little longer if need be.
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>> i think that we are waiting to see where the u.s. is going to go. every day we are assessing that. another my senior leadership at the end of the fighting these individuals, we will make some decisions in 2016 and beyond. >> thank you very much. our question about the afghan government. i would like to ask one about the region and then we will wrap up from there. we have talked about how abdullah and president ghani are doing. we have heard reports about how long it has taken for them to be formed. could you just explain, whatever you think are the most important highlights. in the broader question is how well are they doing twomac are they starting to make headway or is this sort of capping these tensions that are so severe that
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they could explode at any given time. >> i think that this is the best political construct now. and what is important to recognize is that this is a unique arrangement that hasn't happened in the past in afghanistan. and you need to kind of put it in context of where we were a year ago. how would we then end up in this arrangement that we have right now. because a year ago we still had president hamid karzai who had been leader since 2002. in every five years they had one in april of 2014. and he wasn't allowed to stand in as president and so then you had 26 candidates afghanistan
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had even more of them. so at the end of the day you had a candidates running in april of 2014 and in order to win the candidacy, no candidate was able to reach that threshold. the first one was a duo with about 40% of the vote. and that happened about two months afterwards in june which we then contested because of both of them being on top and there was a wide recount that happened for a number of months. and that arrangement was brokered by secretary kerry in the united states in order to
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bring them both leaders together to help govern the countries together. and you just had president karzai at the helm. and doctor abdullah had handled the day-to-day operations. and so this is very difficult. what is fascinating to see is how both leaders have a different approach to common problems and how their strength after all have the ability to be good. they are generally on the same page when it comes to broad-based policy. so when it comes to security and regional relations and women's
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rights and that shouldn't be taken lightly with regard to some of the earlier challenges that we have had. and so where are the challenges that they face and they have had this a long time until even one president karzai was president, it took many months for him to put his cabinet together and so what are the benefits. and while it does take time to come to an agreement, once an agreement is made, that agreement is much stronger. because both of them are able to deal with their own constituencies who fundamentally
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disagree on political dynamics. but it actually strengthens the bond of the decision we have an cabinet formed and it's a real surprise that he was not able to pass this a few weeks ago. it is good that he is still serving in this capacity. but it's also good to talk about this. and what is important to keep in the back of your mind is that the more time that of all the so with this in place, the stronger the bond is. and while there are others that are outside the government
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saying that things need to be changed, i think that they need to recognize and i don't think it's at the point where anyone can bring this down. there's too much of a vested interest in this. they know that they, the whole country recognizes the value of the community in afghanistan's future. >> for probably the last three or four months, they continue moving forward. and i think as was said over time, they continue to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each other and when they are together, i actually think they complement each other and they work very well. and all the national level, strategic issues, there's no daylight between them. it's all about picking people as they have helped to satisfy different groups and i think that they are working very hard and i think that everyone
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understands that we had to get this going. and really over the last several days we have been talking every single day. yesterday they did a video teleconference from germany back to afghanistan, talking about the issues at hand. and so i think between them they understand how important it is. this is the way to go, 80 plus percent of the people in afghanistan have said that the government is our only way forward. there are people trying to keep this moving forward and they understand how important it is and i think they're not going to let that happen. >> it's also an appreciation of
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the international community. that is so clear when they came to washington and addressed this with both of them and really kind of expressing their appreciation that america has given in to be able to work together in a partnership. >> we recognize that they are not here joining us and you don't want to get too far into the summa is there anything one could say that they have begun to deliver for the benefit of the afghan people? obviously making a government work and continuing in preserving security, that is already a great deal. i don't want to be unrealistic, as you say, tardy been nine or 10 months. but is there anything that we
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could point out with any kind of development program that is out there, anything else that is a good sign as where the government is going in afghanistan? >> this is something that they view as a top priority and it's right on par with security. and what's interesting is how they both engage this in a robust way and economic issues. to the north, given the relationships he has there has really been pushing forward on those things. with regards to the ease, to be able to bring economic growth in the west. opening up trade routes is important. this actually includes greater trade with regard to sanctions and others as well. and so they are really serving
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this is a great benefit to all in the region. and they really are taking this in terms of being a source of stability. >> they are still in the gdp growth capability. they have done pretty well when we were at 2001 in 2002 and they have done reasonably well in some of that was propped up by the influx of our dollars and so forth. and when i was there in the 2011 in 2012 timeframe, people were scared about what would happen to the economy. and i think it's a challenge that they know that they have to address and this gets back to where they know they have to address this. this is something that they cannot fight on.
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given the skills and the importance. our withdrawal from the country in terms of these numbers has really kind of left this economic debt. but we know we need to do this and we know we need to reach out for this area he's reaching out not only to them but to the wider region and to be able to kind of say, okay, even when it comes to saudi arabia, when it comes to china and the energy matters, it's a key point that he emphasizes time and time again. and we saw when he was in moscow. so he knows if there's ever going to be long-term stability it's going to be that.
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>> you have been mentioning the key relationships already and some of the interplay with pakistan's own security efforts. is there anything else in the region with regard to china's role, anything else that we should understand that you think is particularly salient right now remapped. >> i have been in afghanistan for over five years and everyone says that this last year was most critical. but i must candidly say that is pastor has been fundamentally different than others. and there have been a number of strategic tips that have happened and a lot of folks couldn't have predicted that they present great promise and peril to the region and that is
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why there are these adjustments going on. and i think that there are issues with regards to pakistan and we have all been reading about this in the press. donnie has really kind of pushed forward with trying to be able to have this undeclared state of hostility, having it in to be able to have a fundamental situation with them so that there can be greater economic issues. and so we didn't know if the u.s. would be in the region either. and someone could recall this in 2014, or about 142 people were
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killed in a school, 135 were children. it was very graphic. and in many ways the way it was described, i can see the reason why. it was pakistan's 9/11 which woke them up with regard to their own security issues and borders that they have to address. see you can see pakistan take on many security challenges within their own country with regards to this with what the general alluded to. it's something that we have been encouraging them to do for a wild. and of course, the secondary effects with regards to afghanistan, which is another reason why the security situation has picked up at times. what you are also seeing is in regards to greater reach out. especially with regards to the
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peace mission, things that we didn't anticipate what kind of pick up the momentum that they did. so there are all of these things are that are happening that are truly strategic in nature. and we do have a great strategic opportunity to make sure that they do not affect the past. >> we are going to transition the entire time from a government perspective and a regional perspective. the changes include being a commander in chief, being a wider regional perspective. we did not see that with president karzai this last several years.
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in its attempt to make sure that people understand that you can't talk about afghanistan and he really went out of his way and expended a lot of political capital to do that. and that includes taking a lot of kickback from the population and i think that now that people will say that includes driving the taliban into the peace process. it's going to take a long time and we shouldn't kid ourselves. the incident that we had finding out he's been dead for 2.5 years will change the dynamic. it's going to drive some to the table with her, at tendency to drive others quicker. and so we still have to work with that. but i really do think that this is a strategic opportunity to
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have a country in that part of the world that wants to be part of the international community that has a senior leadership and wants to move forward, and they are going to continue to need are some words. and thankfully we have 42 countries that are still tied into this and continue to provide either people or money. and i think for the international donor peace, making sure that people understand what they do contribute to afghanistan, it's making a difference every day and will continue to do that in the future and i look forward to working with you going forward. >> her book is one of the very best on the subject. so i would like to turn things over to you. >> thank you very much, gentlemen, for coming and for the analysis. most of all for your commitment.
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you spoke of the importance of the national unity government, not just the arrangement that came out, but more probably that commitment of politicians to progress as a country. coming through the government itself, is as much as it might be defined in some ways it is also in and handing over, that is supposed to be either endorse or dissolve this arrangement. prior to that, could you give us your reflection on what kind of preparation is being made for the parliamentary elections? what are the politics of that and also the impact on the
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security forces. in particular there has been another year of transition for the diminishment of u.s. rules and that includes any preparations that will be put in place and security preparations of the juxtaposition of this coming together at the same time. >> if i could just raise two points on that. i think that there will be a lot of discussions in order to address that more directly with regards to the particular appointment of the election. what is interesting from my viewpoint is how they will actually be carried out from security perspectives and that will be fundamentally different from in the past.
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in the past this has been there to help to provide a lot of assistance and while the afghans have their own airlift, it certainly is in comparison. so regards to the fight that they are taking on themselves, it's going to be a real test. and as we all kind of do our own analysis on this, i believe that that will be a milestone on them being able to stand up and do that from a political perspective and also from a security perspective very at i have been impressed as they are giving a specific event in order to kind of locked down in some ways. i mean, that was very great event. i was very impressed with that. they were able to make sure that there was nothing that was
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threatening that from a security perspective. and i definitely don't think that that would be a problem for them being able to perform. how that works out politically? i wouldn't really want to guess on that. what i have seen over the past year has constantly surprised me in terms of the twist and turns with these sorts of events. right now the date hasn't been set, of course that will be a political calculation on all sides. what i will be looking at is how the security forces are formed and how they prepare themselves for it. >> i don't think they can even talk about it until they figure out the election of warm and they just announced this the last couple of weeks that the doctor is taking that on, they had their first meeting about two weeks ago and i think that they're going to work towards it for the next several weeks what
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that means when parliament comes back in and then they will decide that it will probably be in the spring or after the fighting season based on the security and i think you'll make that decision for the next month or so. from a security perspective before this or after this, we still have several months before that and again, once the security forces, if it's a specific event they have no issue doing the detailed planning to get ready to do something like that. and i think they have to get through election reform before they get anywhere on that would have the election. >> we will start taking two at a time and then turn to you again. >> hello, i work for the bbc and i would like you to talk a little bit more about this. you also talked about how afghanistan is near and due dear
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to you. i'm wondering what your most how to. is there anything more specific about your experience there be remember as you are legacy? >> thank you, mike and general campbell, thank you very much for being a service to our country. [inaudible] and about over three years ago the admiral told congress about this strategic asset in many ways and that includes pakistan's intelligence. since then they have made it quite clear, leading to this in the two plus year timeframe. and the question that i guessed all the time is how can you
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trust pakistan. my question to you is the same one that i get asked frequently. how can we trust pakistan? are they for us or against us? and i have a second question related to that as well. in his recent book, he essentially missed the vote and general, the former head says the intelligence system needs to be reworked. are you satisfied that you're getting the right kind of intelligence or does this need to be reworked. >> we have to remember all four of those. let me start with an easy one and what it has meant to me. i went back as a major general.
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my son is a sergeant in the army and he has been there twice. i have lost many friends in afghanistan and iraq as well. but what i think has impressed me the most is working with the afghan security forces, the men and women that continue to understand how important the role is to bring about change in afghanistan and they have no qualms about putting their life on the line to do that. it's a volunteer force and to see these young men and women in harsh conditions continuing to move forward every single day for the good of afghanistan, to see them dead a certificate to stand up in front of the crowd for afghanistan, it makes you did goosebumps. they are very giving people. they take care of me and my men and women. when we have had green on flu
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attacks they have gone after that to make sure we can learn everything we can after that. and they understand the sacrifice of the men and women have endured. so when you work with a partner, you don't want to fail and you want to make sure that everything that you do, do you put your best effort toward. that is the latest with the senior leadership and that's the way this would be after afghan police that i've dealt with on many trips here. i'm honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve and i think that the people asked me all the time if it's worth it. and i have to look appearance in the eyes and say that their son and daughters pay the ultimate sacrifice. and that it was worth it and i do believe in my heart that it has been worth it and that we have made a difference and that
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we will continue to make a difference. when you talk about the definition of hope and what that means to the afghan people, it is about what the men and women here in the united states have done for the last 14 years. so they understand that and i think that if you ask any afghan on the street about this, the coalition forces, you would find out that that is very positive and they certainly understand the sacrifice. there has been speculation as to whether he was dead or alive, that sort of kept alive his presents. they talk about another engagement they had, in the taliban is really in smaller groups the way they operate, all they had to have was the notion that they had a spiritual
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leader, a commander that was out there, and now i think that knowing he's been dead for several years since about april 2013, that is going to cause people to think, what have i been doing this for and i think there's opportunity for afghanistan for them to help the facilitate this to the table. you brought up how can we trust pakistan. and again i had a very good relationship with the general, i tried to talk to him every week. i go over there about once a month, i was there 10 days ago talking to him. most my conversations, how can we bring this to fight a common enemy that doesn't know the border of this between these two countries. so in general we have to
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leadership teams that understand that it is not business as usual. and they are going to have to work together. years and years of mistrust. if you talk to any afghan security force on the first thing they will say is that pakistan has been harboring these guys. but they also understand that they have to have peace with pakistan before they move on. that is where the president is trying to move forward. this piece is very difficult. it has been the number one threat to the coalition forces and i would say the afghan forces as well and there's no doubt in my mind that pakistan over the years has not done enough to help us in the back. i've had a good discussion when i was over there 10 days as we focused on how connie.
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that is going to take time and i think as they look at it they have a lot of other issues that they have to deal with it inside of pakistan and they don't want to connie to turn on them. they have to look at that as well. but i think you're going to see a concerted effort by pakistan to continue to drive down the violence level over the next couple of months. the president has been very strong in giving him this out there show is that you really mean what you say this time and it's not like it was last year with your order. so again i think it's going to take time. have i seen any measurable changes impact than against them? i will tell you know because i'm so worried about the threat that they are bringing to cobble. they are the folks that will
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continue to keep the pressure on pakistan. and i think that we will be as accurate as possible. >> mike is a good friend of mine and we grew up together. i'm not going to comment on his comments, but i think over the years we have learned a great deal from a conventional perspective in all of our services join together. from an inner agency perspective, what we do and how we operate today is light-years 13 or 14 years ago. the intelligence services is the best in the entire world. i would stack that up against anyone in the world. the cooperation that we have between the military and the inner agency to include this in the community, we don't agree on everything and i think quite frankly they have a view that is glass half empty all the time with a lot of holes in it.
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i will argue about that. people go back and look at different reports and it should've been done a few years ago. but that's okay. they are looking at it very hard, we work together as we move together. but i would not want to be in afghanistan without the intelligence team that we have that provides indications in that relationship that helps us mitigate that everyday. >> is with regards to taking away these eight and a half years, the most viable thing has been both with military colleagues and others. the afghans and iraqis, it's something that will always be deep to me and a sense of purpose. you know, what is important is
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that all sides continue to try to push this and i think that is the real drive it will continue. and i think that these are the sorts of things that these challenges and curveballs, four. and that includes the issue and whether or not we are able to remain focused. i think that the primary players are being able to reduce violence and bring back peace, that's the key thing in order to keep in mind with this. to get that to the point that i alluded to, with regards to how they are trying to deal with this, these are problems that have gone on for 30 some years and again, ending that undeclared state, knowing that this is not going to be something that you're going to achieve it if you weeks or months or a few years, this is something that i think is going to take many years and this includes a number of other
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issues in your giving those indications to pakistan as well. and while that might not be there, the issue is whether you are able to identify certain interest in order to build momentum. and i think they are working towards eyeing those so you can get through the inevitable challenges and curveballs that may throw our way. >> sure, exactly. two more rounds of questions and then we will ask each person to only ask one question so we have time to get to two more rounds. so let's talk to the two gentlemen and third row, one question. and then we will have a final round. >> thank you.
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we have talked about this with 50 some companies who have provided services to us in afghanistan. as you draw down will you be turning more to them to fill some of these gaps? >> thank you very much. my question is that dealing with where the taliban is concerned, they have been talked about killing people and they have killed many people. so what does the future, and what role do you think that india had done a lot.
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>> on the contractor question, what we have tried to do is in areas that we could have this, we have built it up to a point where we are very dependent upon contracts with the skill sets that we could not afford to have them do. that number has continued to rise over the last couple of years we have retrograde at our equipment and people try to strike a balance of both military and contractors and as we move forward we will continue to have that balance and there are many critical areas that contractors provide on protection on and on and we will continue to have contractors on the battlefield and i think that we just have to balance that and
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we have more folks pick up many of those jobs out there as well. >> with regards to the peace process and the role that they have pointed out, they all have a vested interest, be it economic interest or political interest, or regional stability interests and i think that being able to do it provides greater impetus behind the collective efforts. india has invested a lot of money out west in west in afghanistan and i suspect that they don't want to have these coming through. and so again it is finding those
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common interests in order to kind of achieve the desired ends the question is whether there is a political dissolve in afghanistan and with the taliban in order to achieve that. the fact you are able to have the talks happen in early july, they sit down to address this problem that is not something that is not significant. but i think that it's something that is worth the effort at all sides are contributing to. >> unhappy that pakistan and india and china and russia, all of them are taking issue, they are working together in a stable
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afghanistan is a good thing. i am all for that. the important piece is that this is something that the president has taken on. >> would they like to look at this here and next year to their opportunity? any indications that they are becoming discouraged? they are actually not taking a lot of territory. i'm wondering if there's any such indication that they are actually finding the going tougher than expected? >> we have talked numbers. the reporting of a number of those that have been killed is probably three or four times higher than it was last year. so the security forces have inflicted a lot of casualties as well. we see signs of fracturing from leadership and lack of supplies and money to competing against
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eyesores in parts of afghanistan where they are coming in to take away from the taliban. so i think they have significant issues and now they are finding out an element that you have been following the last two years it was a spiritual head of your movement that has been dead for two and a half years. why do you continue to fight. so i think there is an opportunity for both sides here to come together and i think that afghanistan will take that opportunity and i think that the taliban has to work here as well. they are tired of the last 14 years, they want to get on with their lives and i think the only way that they are going to do that is because the afghan government is not going to fall to the taliban and they realize that as they come to the process. they are not taking territory or meeting these goals that they set out, they are going to lose it.
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so they are not going to gain terrain that you talk about the city is or any territory that means a great deal or has a great deal of value to afghanistan. and again, the president from the first day that he took over this, he reached out to the taliban and said that your brothers and sisters of afghanistan and you need to come to the peace process, we have to have a solution. so hopefully this is going to speed this up and we want to continue to fight the fight.
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[inaudible] >> they are not getting any more terrain, they are taking this where they are losing it within 24 hours, 48 hours, they have losses were the people, you know, every poll and survey that we take shows an approval rating as less than 5% and the afghan people want the same things that we want, they want jobs for their kids, they want their kids to go to school, that is something that the taliban can have. >> taking two more questions and i think we will go over here. and then back to the woman in the red shirt.
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>> mark schneider, crisis group. let me push harder on that question. just this year since january, you have had the highest rate of attacks since 2001. while it is clear that they haven't been able to pick cities, they have been able to essentially threaten a lot more cities outside their normal area of operation. so they have managed, if you will, to sustain themselves over time. and obviously the nsf as well. and so our question is really are they going to be able to continue to maintain their ability to provide security unless we maintain our level of support both in terms of air support or logistics and not just the end of next year but beyond. and this and that the only way to get them to come when they see that they are not going to
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achieve their objectives militarily see that the last question we will wrap up. >> thank you so much for being so active with the national unity government. i view almost weekly. [inaudible] and you made that remark that we are getting involved in afghanistan and bringing some help to the wounded soldiers. in my work we have an impact not just of the wounded warriors but to their families. not a lot most of us have wives and daughters and sisters.
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and when they return, a lot of problems happen at home. will it have an emotional counseling part for the rest of the soldiers? thank you. >> on the first one, again, i think that from a part of this, they are doing 98 and 99% of this on our own this season. providing this at the core level and the ministry level and some of the special operating force levels and they have this, they have this at a time when it's been very tough and i think that they continue to progress. i think that the taliban, and i think that they are realizing that they needed to do something spectacular this season in order
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to make a statement to say that we are relevant. and again, they are not making the gains that they talked about. are they having high-profile attacks, yes. one or two people running into a place that houses the ngos and it's very hard to stop. but i think that they continue to improve and people need to continue to stand up and fight this and identify somebody that doesn't belong there, and as they do that and they partner with the afghan security forces, you mentioned cities and i talked more in terms of villages and checkpoints. small centers in the middle of nowhere. and even then it was probably a good 10 kilometers, which made it sound like they were going to
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fall in the next 24 hours. as i talk to the senior leadership and we took a look at the different sensors that we had, we probably, we and the afghan individuals, the way that they get their messaging out is probably to meet some improvement and we have talked to them about that and said that we need to get the right message out, when we don't do that, they had a much better propaganda machine just like my soul does. they get the message out and they don't have to tell the truth. and then all of a sudden it blooms and starts picking up steam and i haven't seen that yet. if you are on the ground and your house is under attack, if you lost a loved one, wars are going to have a completely different outlook on life and the feeling that the government is in supporting you. but from a strategic level that i look at, the taliban arnon making the gains that they need
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to get. and they continue to make progress and i think bed it is continued progress in the right leadership holding people accountable, i don't think that the others are down the road. i would say that we are in the stages of trying to build the program and it's a great idea that we talked about, bringing that emotional piece to the families. we have sent back senior leaders back to the united states to view how we do our programs from all of the different services, we have taken those ideas back to afghanistan. we are starting to figure out how to do that everywhere from providing payments to families that lose a loved one to providing health care to make sure that they get the right care and they are working hard on their procedures to take care
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people. i talked about this earlier, not having seven or eight people in the back of a pickup truck, where your headgear. we are working all of those at the same time and i think as we continue to do that, you will see that the afghan ratio will continue to go down, just like they did in afghanistan over the years. they have a lot of work to do and just talking about taking care of martyred families and wounded warrior families, i think that's a good thing and the international community, the uk is stepping up there and i hope to see other countries step up as well. >> please join me in thanking these two. >> thank you.
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[inaudible] >> we would like an opportunity to talk about the great men and women. many have returned three or four or five times, many have sacrificed a great deal and so we cannot do what we do without having our family's supporters being in the military. [inaudible] and so we shouldn't take that for granted, i don't take it for granted and i try to make sure that every time that i go to sleep at night that i have done everything i can resource wise and decision lies to put our men and women up in the best possible position and if we
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start to take that for granted we don't take care of the wounded warriors, we don't remember the ultimate sacrifice paid by the great men and women, shame on us. we thank you for your continued support and again i see we continue to make progress, we are starting to fill that up every day. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i rise to announce my decision on the iranian nuclear agreement. the joint comprehensive plan of action. this decision of mine comes after considerable study of the issue, as have our colleagues in the senate taken this quite seriously. i have talked with folks on all
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sides of the issue. these include colleagues as well as constituents. it includes experts on the middle east and central asia, arms control experts, foreign allies, and as we say in my constituency, it includes just plain folks. i want to say that secretary moniz, a nuclear physicist, has been especially helpful. needless to say, i wish that the three americans jailed in iran and bob levinson, a former f.b.i. agent missing in iran for rateight years, i wish they had been a part of this agreement to return them.
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the levinson family in florida is anxious for information and help to return bob. this is personal for me. i'm a strong supporter of israel, mr. president, and i recognize that country as one of america'america's most importan. i am committed to the protection of israel as the best and right foreign policy for the u.s. and our allies. and, mr. president, i am blessed to represent florida, which also has among our citizens a strong and vibrant jewish community, including many holocaust survivors and holocaust victims' families, some of whom i have worked with to help them get just compensation from european
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insurance companies which turned their back on them after world war ii and would not honor their insurance claims. in our state, we're also proud to have a floridian, a former u.s. and miami beach resident, as the israeli ambassador to the u.s. ambassador ron durmer grew up in miami beach. his father and brother are former mayors. he is someone i've enjoyed getting to know and have had several conversations over the years and recently spent time talking to him about his opposition to this joint agreement. i acknowledge that this has been one of the most important preparations and will be one of
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the most important votes that i will cast in the senate because of the foreign and defense policy consequences, both huge for the u.s. and our allies. and unless there is an unexpected change in the conditions and facts before the vote is called in september -- and it will be called on the very first day that we return in september -- unless there is an unexpected change, i will support the nuclear agreement between iran and the p-5 plus 1, which are the u.s., u.k., france, russia, china, and germany, because i am convinced it will stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon for at least the next 10 to 15
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years. no other available alternative accomplishes this vital objective. the goal of this almost two-year negotiation culminated in this deal, the goal was to deny iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. this objective has been fulfilled in the short-term. for the next ten years, iran will reduce its centrifuges, the machines that enrich the uranium, by two-thirds. they'll go from more than 19,000 centrifuges to 6,000. only 5,000 of those will be operating, all at natanz, all the most basic models.
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the deeply buried fordow facility will be converted to a research facility. no fissile material can be stored there. for the next 15 years, iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium, which currently amounts to 12,000 kilograms, enough for ten bombs, will be reduced by 98% to only 300 kilograms. research and development into advanced centrifuges will also be limited. and, taken together, these constraints will lengthen the time it would take for iran to produce a highly enriched uranium for one bomb -- the so-called breakout time.
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it will reduce it from two to three months that they could break out now to more than one year. that is more than enough time to detect and, if necessary, stop iran from racing to a bomb. iran's ability to produce a bomb using plutonium will also be blocked under this deal. the iraq reactor, which is currently constructed, could produce enough plutonium for one to two bombs every year. it will be redesigned to produce no weapons-grade plutonium, and iran will have to ship out the spent fuel from the reactor forever. iran signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty in 196,
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i-- in 1968, in which they agred they would not pursue nuclear weapons. iran has re-aforme reaffirmed ts principle in this joint agreement. iran also says they want to eventually make low-grade nuclear fuel, as other n.p.t.-compliant nations do, in order to produce electricity. if they comply, they will eventually be allowed to do so under this joint agreement. and our expectation is that in 15 years, when iran can lift the limit of 300 kilograms of low enriched uranium, if they not have cheated, they will continue to abide by their n.p.t. obligations and use their fuel only for electricity and
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medical isotopes. if they deviate from those civilian purposes, then harsh economic sanctions will result, and very possibly u.s. military action. mr. president, the world will be a very different place in 10-15 years. if we can buy this much time instead of iran developing a nuclear bomb in the near future, then that is reason enough for me to vote to uphold this agreement. and if the u.s. walks away from this multinational agreement, then i believe we would find ourselves alone in the world with little credibility. but there are many more reasons to support this agreement.
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the opponents of the agreement say that war is not the only alternative to the agreement. indeed, they as articulated by the israeli ambassador, say we should oppose attempt by refusing to lift congressionally imposed sanctions and the result will be that the international sanctions will stay in place, that iran will continue to feel the economic pinch, and therefore, iran will come back to the table and negotiate terms more favorable to the united states and our allies. but, mr. president, if the united states kills the deal that most of the rest of the world is for, there's no question in this senator's mind that the sanctions will start to erode and they may collapse altogether. we just had a meeting with all
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the p-5 plus 1 ambassadors to the u.s., and they reaffirmed that exact fact. sanctions rely on more than just the power of the united states economy. they depend on an underlying political consensus in support of a common objective. china, russia, and many other nations eager to do business with iran went along with our economic sanctions because they believe they were temporary and a temporary cost to pay until iran agreed to a deal. that fragile consensus in support of u.s. policy is likely to fall apart if we jettison this deal. and so i think it's unrealistic to think that we can stop oil-
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hungry countries in asia from buying iranian oil, especially when offered bargain basement prices. and it's equally unrealistic to think that we could continue to force foreign banks that hold the iranian oil dollars, banks in china, india, japan, south korea, and taiwan, that have sequestered the iranian oil dollars, it's unrealistic to expect that they will hold onto that cash simply because we threatened them with u.s. banking sanctions. how will such threats be taken seriously when those countries, taken together, hold nearly half of america's debt, making
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any decision to sanction them extraordinarily difficult? so killing this deal by us rejecting it means that the sanctions are going to be weaker than they are today, not stronger. and the united states cannot simply get a better deal with iran with less economic leverage and less international support. that is a fact that we are having to face. and, of course, if we rejected it and if the sanctions crumbled, all of this would probably happen while iran would be racing to build a bomb. without this deal, iran's breakout time could quickly -- quickly shrink for months to a handful of weeks or days.
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it's reasonable to ask why iran would agree to negotiate a delay in their nuclear program that they've advanced over the years at the cost of billions of dollars. the simple answer is they need the money. the iranian economy is hurting because the sanctions and iran's supreme leader needs to satisfy rising expectations of average iranians who are restless to have a bigger slice of the economic pie with more and better goods and supplies. so they have an interest in striking a deal. but does that mean we trust iran's government? no. not at all. the iranian leadership -- the
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iranian religious leadership encourages the hard-liners there to chant death to america and death to israel. therefore, this agreement can't be built on trust. we must have a good enough mechanism in place to catch them when and if they cheat. in other words, don't trust but verify. i believe the agreement sets out reasonable assurance that iran will not be able to hide the development of a bomb at declared or undeclared sites. the international atomic energy agency inspectors will have immediate access to declared sites -- the nuclear reactor, the facilities at natanz and
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latordo, and the next 20 to 25 years inspectors will have access to the entire supply chain including iranian mines and mills and centrifuge facility, and storage sites. that means inspectors will catch iran if they try to use the facilities we know about to build a weapon or if they try to divert materials to a secret program. and to confirm that iran is not building a covert bomb, this agreement ensures that inspectors will have access to suspicious sites with no more than a 24-day delay. now, i know there's been a lot of conversation about that. it is broken off into days.
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at the end of the day it must be a physical access -- now, would this senator prefer that they get in instantaneously? of course. could iran hide some activities relevant to nuclear weapons research? possibly. but to actually make a bomb, iran's secret activity would have to enrich the fuel for a device, and they couldn't cover that up if they had years, let asewn in a few weeks. traces of an enriched uranium or a secret plutonium program do not suddenly vanish and cannot be covered up with a little paint and asphalt. so i'm convinced under the agreement that iran cannot cheat
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and expect to get away with it. but on top of this unprecedented iaea inspections sustained by this deal, is the vast and little-understood world of american and allied intelligence. this senator served on the intelligence committee for six years, and now has clearances on the armed services committee. i can the state up unequivocally u.s. intelligence is good and very extensive and will overlay the iaea inspections. remember, we discovered their secret activities in the past even without the kinds of inspections put in place by this joint agreement. so if iran tries to violate its
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commitment, its commitment not to build nuclear weapons, and if the iaea doesn't find out, i am confident our intelligence apparatus will. well, what about the part of the joint agreement that allows the conventional arms embargo to be lifted in five years and missile technology to be lifted in eight years? i understand that it was always going to be tough to keep these restrictions in place, and i don't like it. that those restrictions cannot there. but fortunately even when the arms embargo expires, future other nations' resolutions passed and in 2014 will be in
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place to prohibit iran from exporting arms to terrorists and to militants. these have had some questions, albeit limited, as in the case of the u.s. navy stopping arms shipments to the huthis in yemen. these same u.n. resolutions will stay in place to block future iranian arms shipments to others. we also have nonnuclear sanctions tools we can and we must continue to use to go after that traffic in iranian arms and missiles. well, mr. president, will this agreement allow iran to continue to be a state sponsor of terrorism? yes. but they now have the capability to develop a nuclear weapon within months and still be a
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state sponsor of rests. -- terrorists. ideal it is in the united states' interests to not have them sponsor a nuclear terrorist. as big a danger as iran is to israel and to our ral lies, it would pale in comparison to the threat to them and to us by a nuclear armed iran. would i prefer a deal that dismantles their entire program forever and ends all of iran's bad behavior? of course i would. but how do we get a better deal that the opposition wants, if the negotiations fall apart and that is exactly what would
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happen if we reject this deal. iran will emerge less isolated and less constrained to build a nuclear weapon. under the deal, we keep most of the world with us. that means if the iranians cheat, they know that we can snap back the economic sanctions and cut off their old money. this agreement declares that iran will never, ever be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. if they break their agreement in 10 or 15 years, financial will be available to us at these options will be available for capability and more and better intelligence intelligence.
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for the things for and against the agreement, it becomes pretty obvious to me to vote in favor of the to talk for a bit about one of the most consequential decisions i as a member of the united states senate and my colleagues will make and that's the topic of concern of the negotiated agreement between the p-5 and iran, the protest joint comprehensive plan of action with iran. in my view, it provides too much relief in return for too few concessions. the deal implicitly concedes that iran will become a nuclear power and will gain the ability and legitimacy to produce a weapon in a matter of years. while gaining wealth and power in the meantime.
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i serve on the senate banking committee. the sanctions that were created by congress originate from that committee. those sanctions were put in place to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear power, a nuclear-capable country of delivering a nuclear weapon across their border. those sanctions were not put in place to create a path, a guideline by which iran could become a nuclear weapon-capable country. the key is keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of iran's government and the key to that is keeping nuclear weapons permanently -- the capacity, to permanently disable iran and use the technology to produce nuclear materials. this deal fails to achieve this goal by allowing iran to retain nuclear facilities. those -- though some of it will
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be limited in the near term, if centrifuges will not be -- the centrifuges will not be destroyed. this deal allows iran's program to be on standby. also troubling is the lack of restrictions on research and development. iran seeks to replace its current enrichment technologies with advanced centrifuge that more efficient wily enriches nuclear material. by failing to restrict research and development now we are priming the program to hit the ground running towards a bomb when the sanctions are lifted in a matter of years. also the inspection regime agreed to in this negotiation is dangerously accommodating. the agreement provides iran a great deal of flexibility regarding inspection of material sites just like the cast work
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with covert work took place. it allows iran to hold concerned inspectors at bay for weeks if not for months before granting access to a location suspected of being a site for nuclear development. the value of any access to suspected iranian nuclear sites that international inspectors ultimately do receive will depend upon their understanding of iran's broadcast nuclear weapons research. a comprehensive disclosure of possible military dimensions to iran's nuclear research is necessary to understand iran's current infrastructure and is critical to their ability to rule out any future efforts to produce nuclear weapons. the international atomic energy agency, iaea, has not made public its side agreement with iran about their previous nuclear developments. this isn't an -- an aside none of us should agree to this negotiated agreement without seeing, reading, knowing the content of that agreement.
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under the proposed deal, that vital full disclosure of iran's past may not occur, diminishing the value of inspections and increasing the risk of a covert weaponization of iran will take place. painfully absent from the agreement's requirements are iran's release of american hostages. indeed abedini, jason razziany, the freedom of americans should have been a condition for relief instead of an afterthought. in return for very limited concessions, this deal gives iran way too much. if implemented, the agreement would give iran near complete sanction relief up front. consequence tells us this isn't a republican or democrat issue, consequence tells us you don't give away your leverage until
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you get the result that you're looking for. and this agreement provides sanction relief up front, delivering billions in frozen assets to the iranian government and boosting the iranian economy. included are sanctions related to iran's revolutionary guard corps which were to be lifted only when iran ceased providing support for international terrorism. the sanctions relief in this proposal not only failed to require preconditions and cooperation regarding nuclear disarmament but were removed sanctions from the iranian guard despite their status as a top supporter of terrorist groups around the middle east and globe. this type of gratuitous flexibility for inis found elsewhere in the agreement. the p-5 plus 1 accept taps of the relaxed arms embargo is scary. this deal would relax trading in
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missiles while immediately erasing limits on missile research and development. it would lift restrictions on iranian centrifuge use after just 8-10 years. it grants iran the ability to more efficiently produce material as it gains the delivery weapons system. earlier this month the joint chiefs of staff colonel martin democrats dempsey said under no circumstances should we release pressure on iran. western diplomats had said lifting the arms embargo was -- quote -- "out of the question." yet one week later negotiators announced the lifting of the embargo in five years or less. i wonder what has changed. the menace of arms flowing in
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and out of iran decreased, and the capitulation should have us all concern. the increased money flowing to terrorist groups is not nearly an outside possibility. it is a likelihood. last week iran's deputy foreign minister said -- quote -- "whenever it's needed to send arms to our allies in the region, we will do so. more money and more weapons in the hands of a terrorist organization are the fuel for further violence in the conflict torn middle east. we will have little reason to believe that iran's behavior will change as a result of this agreement and, in fact, their chants of death to america become more real. since the denouncement of the agreement the leader of iran has been openly antagonistic to the united states. the ayatollah khameini has continued to cite unrest and said iran's policy toward the
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arrogant u.s. will not change. these anti-american statements come from an iranian leader whose commitment the obama administration is relying on for a nuclear accord to work. it should trouble every american that the imoamed -- the obama administration is asking us to support a deal that relies on the total cooperation of those who, as i say, strongly say and state their commitment, "death to america." given the obama administration's troubling efforts to immediately push through the deal, this deal through the united nations and restrict the influence of the american people through this congress in the decision, it is all the more important that we follow through with a serious assessment of this nuclear agreement. we are faced with a circumstance that by the administration's own previous standards concedes too much and secures too little. i strongly, strongly oppose this deal. it's intolerably risky and the result is a new iran, a
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legitimized nuclear power with a growing economy and enhanced means to finance terror, to antagonize and ultimately pursue a nuclear weapons program. i will support the congressional resolution to express congress's explicit disapproval. president obama has said and used fear in his agenda in seeking our support for this agreement. the warning has been that a vote against his policy is a vote for war with iran. the president's political scare tactics are not only untrue but also illogical. incidentally, we were not at war with iran when the agreements were in place before the negotiation. the absence of agreeing to these negotiated, this negotiated agreement would not mean we're at war thereafter. his claims undermine numerous statements his own administration has made about the negotiations process, the nature of the iranian nuclear program and the proposed
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agreement prospects for success. if true, the president's word concede his foreign policy led america into a dangerous position. we would expect the president to provide the american people as many alternatives to war as possible, not just a single, narrow, risky one such as this agreement. according to the president, the only alternative to war is this agreement, a deal that results in better financed terrorists, a weakened arms embargo and need for boosting u.s. weapons sales to iran's regional rivals. if this prospect of war is his concern, the president would benefit by reevaluating the geopolitical consequences of the deal and seeking out much better options. i had hoped that these negotiations would result in a strong but fair deal that dismantled iran's nuclear infrastructure. again, the purpose of placing sanctions on iran was to get rid of their nuclear capability as
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far as its delivery of nuclear material across their borders, and yet this agreement leaves that infrastructure in place and puts them on a promising path toward that nuclear capability. regrettably, that kind of deal was not reached. now it's my hope -- it's a simple one -- that we are able to reverse some of the damage that's already done and that this agreement is rejected. i would say, mr. president, that there are those who argue we would be isolated by rejection of this agreement, that other countries would approve. the united nations may approve. this is an issue of such importance that we need to do everything possible to see that iran does not become a nuclear power and we need to have the moral character and fiber to
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