tv U.S. Senate CSPAN October 9, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
reauthorized but we're passed that now because we have gotten this discharge petition signed by 218 members members members . >> it will come to floor the 26th. >> let's be clear. this is nothing new. ranking member waters meeting on flood control insurance, meeting on terrorism risk insurance, beat him on his gse reform. she is four for four. i am not worthy. >> just let me say, democracy is messy, but it's just the best system that we know, and it works. one person cannot stop the momentum of the majority, and this was a real tribute to democracy. >> thank you. >> thank you all. >> just heard there about jeb
hensarling, the charm of the committee who release eat statement that said i respect my colleagues who believe the bank is essential just is respect those who believe paste unfair and harm. corporate welfare but i hoch all republicans will recognize that signing a discharge petition sets a very serious and dangerous precedent. let the democrats own corporate welfare all by themselves. republicans should instead focus on reforms that will give every american greater opportunities to succeed. the discharge petition to move the export-import bank reauthorization to the floor was started by a republican, steven fincher of tennessee. >> presidential candidate benson today spoke at the national press club bat broke he wrote with his wife, "a more perfect union." we'll hear from him at 8:00 eastern on c-span.
>> every weekend the c-span neatwork features programs on politics, nonfiction books bookd american history. saturday morning at 10:00 eastern on chance, marking the 20th anniversary of the million man march, life coverage of the gaterring at the national mall with keynote speak ermanster louis farrakhan,; then ben carson discusses his book, a more perfect union, which he wrote with hi wife. and an monday, column best day, we're live from new hampshire for our all-day coverage of the no-label problem solver convention in manchester which includes eight republican and democratic presidential candidates. on c-span2's become booktv on saturday, coverage of the brooklyn book festival. authors include joy-ann reid on broke barack obama and the clintons and then moan on why
the middle east needs a sexual revolution. coming ups night at 9:00 on booktv's afterwardses, former "meet the press" host david gregory on his current book, holiday us your faith? about faith and religion. her interviewed by sally quin. on american history tv on c-span3, saturday night at 8:00, on lectures and history, san diego state university professor elizabeth cobb on alexander hamilton, he role in the creation of the federal government and his life in strong central government to mediate between the states. and sunday afternoon at 4:00, on real america, the 1982 u.s. information agency film on the first tee years of the soviet union's war in afghanistan and alleged war crimes, including the bombing of hospitals. get our complete weekend schedule at c-span.org. >> army general john campbell testified before the house armed
services committee recently about the u.s. coalition forces in afghanistan. he answered questions about the u.s. bombing of a hospital in afghanistan as well as the u.s. plans for training security forces there and drawing down the u.s. troops. texas congressman max thornberry is the chair of the committee. the hearing ran two and a half hours. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] committee will come to order. committee meets today to hear testimony from general john campbell, our commanding jenna afghanistan, about the situation there, and we're going to have a hard stop at 12:00, so i'm going to ask unanimous consent my full opening statement be made part of the record without objection. and just expedite things, general campbell we appreciate having you here. my view is we're in afghanistan
today for the same reason we were in afghanistan in the fall of 2001, to prevent it from becoming a safe haven for terrorists for attacking us. afghanistan is always going to be a attractive for terrorism because of its history, because of its ungoverned spaces, because of its narcotics and the financing, and so without us there, until the afghan government is able to provide for its own security, we have a lot at stake there. we also have a government that is willing to work with us, and we haven't always had that. bum they have challenges, and i know we'll talk more about those as the day goes. so i think this is an important time in afghanistan's future and important for us to hear from you. so, thank you for being here. i'll yield to mr. smith.
>> thank you, also ask my full statement be entered the record. i agree with everything you've said. it's a very difficult part of the world. i would include pakistan in that conversation as well. and i often said i wish that we didn't have national security interests in afghanistan and pakistan. it is a very, very difficult place to work with but we do have national security interests in afghanistan and pakistan, and they are presidencily the ones the chairman said. many different terrorist groups, not just al qaeda, would love to make a safe haven out of the ungoverned spaces and the difficulties there. so trying to maintain some stability in afghanistan -- and it is good we have a partner in president begany we did not have for a long period of time. that gives us hope but the challenges are enormous as the general knows too well as n terms of having any overall control of the country is still very fracture sunday and --
fractious and still very difficult. the only thing i cook with, way would like to hear from the general on, one, his view of going forward, what our troop levels should be, and what the utility of that it, what do we need them for? what's going to be critical in the next year or two or three and how many troops we must have to along with our nato allies to achieve those goals and also the issue of the bombing of the hospital. definitely set us back and the kind of thing we don't want to see happen, would like to learn more about how it happened, what we're going to do to prevent that type of thing in the future. with that i will yield back and look forward to the testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, sir. general campbell, the floor is your double digit objection your full written opening statement will be made part of the record, and the floor is yours for any commends you would like to make. >> thank you.
good more than, charm, and i rank member smith, distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i'm honored to lead and represent the servicemen and william of the united stateses forces afghanistan that have ben there for the last 14 years, and i've been in afghanistan for this tour for the last 14 months. i like to begin by thanking the committeor four support of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and civilians and due to your leadership and commitment they're the best trained, equipped force our nation has ever deployed. they're outstanding performance bears testimony to your backing and the backing of the american people. i'm also profoundly greatle for your continued support of the afghan security forces fund. our efforts to build the afghan national army and the police could never have been possible without your financial commitment and your trust. every day we drive to be be stewards of the american taxpayers' money to ensure our efforts result in increased security. members of the committee have
also been staunch promoters of women in the in the afghan security fors. you're efforts making different. it's a more effective force and you deserve to be proud the courageoused a steps the afghan men are make can and eight also like to play tribute to military families. our frequent absences from home are harder on them than they are on us and without their love and support we couldn't succeed. finally i'd like to acknowledge and honor the over 2200 service men and women who have been killed in afghanistan since 2001. in the over thousands who have been wounded. tragically we loves 14 personnel, six airmen, four u.s. contractors, lost friday in an aircraft mishap, and we always remember the afghan and our own fallen and the loved ones they left behind. every dale we honor their memories by asiing the afghans to built a secure country and
protecting our homeland. 14 yours have passades sense the 9/11 attacks and we have not forgotten who i we first came to afghanistan and why we remain. since 2001 the exceptional efforts of our forces if ensured another terrorist attack from afghanistan and directed against the u.s. homeland has not occurred. seven months have passed since i last appeared before this committee, and much has changed. afghanistan, its government, security forces, the enemy, and our own coalition have ungone tremendous distribution kissing, ensuringing this -- transitions. this year can't be compared to previous years. i'd like to emphasize the political, military, economic, and social transitions are affecting the operational environment in order to place our campaign in context. afghanistan is at a critical juncture, and so is our campaign. but before i further explain the formidable challenges and
opportunities before us, i'd like to address a few topics that have been in the headlines lately. first i'd like to discuss the tragic loss of lives on the strike on the hospital. the u.s. special operations forces have ben providing training, advice and assistant to afghan security forces who have been engaged in a ten neighbor fight with the taliban. on saturday morning our forces provided close air support to afghan forces at their request. but to be clear, the decision to provide air fire was u.s.a. decision, made with win the u.s. chain of command. a hospital was mistakenly struck and we would never intentionally target a protected medical facility. i must allow the investigation to take its course, and therefore i'm not at liberty to discuss further specifics at this time. however, assure you the investigation will be thorough, objective, and transparent. and i will get those results back to this committee. i'd also like to remind the committee and american people we
continue to make extraordinary efforts to protect civilians. no military in history has done more to avoid harming innocents. we assume greater risk to our own forces in order to protect noncombatants so prevent any future incidents of the nation title the force will undergo in depth train. our record stands in stark contrast to the actions of the taliban. they repeatedly violate lawed of war by intentionally targets civilians. the united nations attributes more than 70% of noncombatants killed and wounds in this war to the taliban. second i'd like to discuss the sexual exploitation of children. this criminal practice is unacceptability to the afghans as well. the president, chief executive
abdullah rereiterated they will not tolerate violation of their policies and afghan law and they're committed to strict enforcement within their security forces. we'll do everything within our power to defend and protect human rights. that's our moral obligation to you, the american people, and ourselves. i've ordered 100% training of the force to ensure they understand our human rights policy which has been in place since at least 2011, and this policy requires that our personnel report any suspected human rights violations missed by the afghan security forces, to include any sexual abuse of children. whenever and wherever our personnel observe human rights abuses they will be conveyed through our chain of command some in turn to the afghan government. perpetrators must and will be held accountable. with so many weeks left in the traditional fighting season, intense combat continues in many parts of the country. the afghan security forces have
been receive rearly tressed but continue to fight hard in the wake of the coalition residents redeployment the afghanistan security forces accepted this fighting season could be pivotal. there was no winter lull, and since february the fighting has been nearly continuous. casualties on both sides have risen. some the violence has moved beyond the traditional instunt strongholds. pakistan military operations this year -- into eastern in and northern afghanistan. the emergence of daesh or the iskp has further complicated the theater landscape and potentially expanded the conflict. more recently the taliban increased the tempo of their operations following the announced death of their spiritual leader. we are also now seeing hour our re-deployment and transition from combat operations to an advisory role has changed the battlefield dynamics. only a few years ago our
coalition numbered over 140,000 military personnel. now our forces comprise of fewer than 14,000, of which approximately 10,000 are u.s. service men and women. -in years past, our aircraft provided responsive and often dissive close, air support to coalition and afghan troops. this is no longer the norm but the exception. collectively the afghan disputer forces are adapting to these changes and in some places they're struggling. within this context the fluidity of the current security situation is not surprising. this fighting season started well for the afghan national army and the police as they successfully conducted multicore cross pillar operations, and the southern approaches in the kabul. in april they fought back significant taliban pressure in the north. and in august and september, they reversed almost all of the taliban gains in northern
helmund, but after consider effort. yet there have been setback, and most recently the taliban overran kandu city. still the afghan army and police and special forces rallied and they regained control of most of the city just as they successfully have retaken other ground tearily lost. the afghan security forces inconsistent performance underscores self of their shortcomings. they must improve their intelligence fusion, command and control, and utilization of forces. they don't have the numbers to protect every part of the country. this makes it very difficult for the afghan security forces to count their taliban's ability to temporarily mass, seize an objective and then blend back into the population. ultimately the afghan security forces and the leaders need to discern better when to fight, when to hold, and where to assume risk. despite these shortcomings, the
afghanistan security forces displayed courage and resilience and they're still holding the afghan government retains -- nearly all of the district centers. the afghan security forces are protecting the principal population centers. it's also apparent our advisory support and financial backing are strengthening the resolve and building their systems and processes for the future. the afghan national arm and and police have shown that wheat key enablers and competent operational level leaders they cannot handle the fight alone in this stage of their development. i'm convinced improved leadership and accountable will address most of their dissis but its takes time theoff security performance on the fighting season unscores the shortfalls that will persist well beyond this year. capability gaps still exist in
fixed and rotary wing aviation, combined arms intelligence and maintenance. one of the greatest challenges for the afghan security forces has been overcoming the afghan air force's still extremely limited close air support capability. despite the challenge the fundamental partnership between the coalition and the afghan government remains durable. the difference between the gmani administration the previous admission is like night and day and at every level the afghan leaders continue to work together in pursuit of shared strategic objectives. the afghan government, civil leaders and military commanders demonstrate a growing appreciation for the coalition's efforts. president ghani asked anyway toy for flex nibble -- flexibility. good-a sustained coalition and u.s.a. presence provides actual
and psychological stability to the country as a new government solidifies. he recognizes that his new administration must invest considerable time and effort to address the challenges of systemic corruption. he has non while the afghan security forces are better equipped and trained than ever, much work remains to build their systems and processes and improve their leader development. i've offeredder my chain of command several options for a future laydown in 2016 and beyond. it was envisioned in mid-2014 that we would transition to a formalized embassy presence by january 2017. that remains or planning assumption. since that time, much has changed. we have seen the rise of daesh or isil. increased al qaeda presence in afghan due to pakistan military operations and now we have a strong partner in president ghani and chief executive abdul
lamp put forward recommendations, and training, advising and assisting the security forces and conduct operations to protect the homeland. an upserge in violence shows that afghanistan is at a critical moment in their history. president obama is well aware of the tenuous court situation, and i also appreciate that he has many other global issues to weigh as he considers my recommendations mitchell role is to provide my best military advice based upon my seesment of conditions on the growth, weight against the risks to the force and the mission. i'm unable to discuss further details on the options i provided to the president. and in the past when flexibility has been requested of him he took it under serious consideration and made his decision. he provided flexibility this year. the same decision process is being work through now for 2016 and beyond. in closing the challenges before us are still significant, and
extremely tough fight, the afghan future forces hold. they remain resilient and have not fractured. fully support and led by an engaged commander in chief in president ghani, embraced be the afghan people and backstopped by or mull tear advisers, rear sours and enables, the afghan security force's future and prospect for peace still remain promising. if we fail in this worthwhile mission, afghanistan will become a sanctuary for al qaeda and other terrorists bent on attacking our interests and citizens abroad and at home. likewise, if we withdraw from afghanistan, the security vacuum will arise and other extremist networks such as daesh could rapidly expand and sell unnest in stroll and south asia and target our homeland. the hard work and sacrifice of countless coalition personnel
and civilians have created the conditions in which the afghans can and are taking responsibility for their own security and governance. the afghans welcome the opportunity to share their defensor net but still desire, need our assistance. our support should not be indefinite another unconditional. the afghans must continue to do their part, and if they do we should continue to exercise strategic patience and sustain our commitment to them. working together we can be successful. a proactive cooperative ghani administration, a committed afghan security force, offer us a unique opportunity to further develop a meaningful strategic relationship in a volatile but vital area of the world. our continued efforts to stabilize afghanistan will benefit the entire region, and in turn offer greater security for the u.s. homeland and americans abroad and here at
home. thank you, sir, again, for the opportunity to testify before this committee. thank youor steadfast support of off campaign. i request that my written statement be taken for the record. >> thank you, sir. general, there were two statements you made in the early part of your testimony that jumped out at me. one was, d-and i recall read the sentence backsince 2001 the extraordinary efforts of both or conventional and special operations forces have ensured a another terrorist attack originating from afghanistan and directed against the u.s. homeland has not occurred. i think there's a lot of frustration when you read the news from day to day about the ups and downs, but i think it's really important for all of us to keep that basic fact in mind for 14 years there has not been another attack from there
directed against our homeland, and i got tell you, on the morning of september 11, 2001, would have never expected to us go 14 years without another attack, and the reason it hadn't is because of what you say, extraordinary efforts, heroism by men and women who served their, including some members of this committee, who have served there. so i think it's important to just keep in mind the broader accomplishment. the other thing that jumped. out us your comment been afghan casualties. i stood next to you a month ago at a ceremony where we remembered and honored the afghans who lost their lives, all of us get troughed when we're there to help somebody who is not willing to stand up and fight for themes. my impression is, and you can correct me if i'm wrong -- the afghanistans are willing to stand up and fight for themselves and they have lost a
lot of lives in doing that. which is part of the reason that our partnership is working better. if you want to make a comment on that. >> sir, you're absolutely right. the afghan security forces and the afghan people in general are warriors. they want to protect their homeland. the afghan people absolutely think that the afghan army, the police, they rate them as their anybody one institution in the country, but there's no doubt in my mind they have re resilience and the will of character to continue to stand and fight to protect their homeland. >> thank you. i just want to ask some numbers. you made recommendations to the president. you cannot talk about those. today we have about 9,800 american service members in afghan. -- in afghanistan. correct? >> that's correct. >> how many of them are involved in the counterterrorism efforts? >> if i could take that for record i can get you the exact number, but roughly we're
talking probably 1300 of those. directly day-to-day, tied into train, advise and assist. a lot to continue to support that but at least 1300 are everyday what we call level one taa. >> i'm sorry. so, about 1300 of them are involved in day-to-day training and assisting the afghan forces. does that include the people who are helping the bureaucracy inside kabul? ,...
>> it would limit our ability to try to advise and assist, yes, sir. >> mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. can you talk to us about the relationship between afghanistan and pakistan, and then there's the and then there's a group to govern bald? i guess related to that is the conversation about reconciliation talks between the taliban and the afghan government. first of all what hopes do you have for that? no matter what comes out of that the the groups on both sides of the border that are not part of it. what sort of your, tells about the groups be involved, who
might be reconcilable, we may select fight another relationship between afghanistan and pakistan factors into those negotiations. >> thanks for the question. passion of rakowski between pakistan and afghanistan. i do try to maintain ties with pakistan. i talk to the chief of the army in pakistan proud once a week. i tried to get to pakistan once a month. we really work hard to make sure that the afghans and the pakistan military conduct mil-to-mil discussions to continue to improve upon their inability to fight the same common enemy on that border. reconciliation is going to take time. it's going to take both afghanistan and pakistan working together. although president ghani has said many times reconciliation will be afghan led, and he and the rest of the government there continues to work very hard. they at one, at least one sanction to talk of reconciliation that's been out in public and that was how be back in the june timeframe.
facilitated by pakistan to bring some taliban to the table to talk, working towards a second talk at that happen the same week announcement of mullah omar is a death so that kind of stuff that's what i think reconciliation talks will continue but it would take some time to bring the right people to the table to do that. but taliban kunar a look at in this way based on who's in charge. mullah bonds who is trying to take charge but there's a lot of of the fragments of the taliban because they do fight really decentralized but a lot of other factions of the taliban are trying to do not follow monsoon. it will take a good couple of months before we see them come back to me kind of peace negotiation but afghanistan and pakistan both relies has to be a political solution to this problem that they will not kill everybody. i think afghanistan and president ghani especially has expanded political capital the last six or seven months to try
to work with pakistan. it does seem a lot in return. therefore, has taken again a lot of challenges from within his own government but i think he's been very courageous and how he has reached out. i think general, the same with his leadership trying to work every hard. this is years and years of mistrust that they're trying to work through. they know that they get there to come to associate a question who would reconcile and you wouldn't, the estimates i've heard both from afghan perspective and probably from intel committee is anywhere between 60-70% potentially reconcilable on the taliban side. you probably would not have haqqani who continues to be a very, very calm and enemy that is dangerous to both the coalition and afghan civilians because they attack civilians. haqqani party would not reconcile come after spotting members of a cube that would not recognize the 67% is kind of the
number that is out there. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. jones. >> mr. chairman, think very much. general campbell, thank you, and all of our men and women in uniform for the responsibility also the dedication. you all a very special to all of us in america. i want to in march when you hear i ask you a question and this will not be my question but a believes up to a question. my question was will there ever be anyone in the diplomatic corps or the military who will say to the president, we have done about all we can do? one of your answers back to me was this, very little continued investment we can make this, many afghanistan, the shining light of central asia in that part of the world. we have spent about $686 billion since the year 2001. you've already mentioned a number been killed and wounded.
then recently we had in the newspaper, and you have acknowledged one of these, these titles, u.s. wasted billions of dollars rebuilding afghanistan. i was in the papers back in september. then in october afghan forces on the run, this was in "the new york times," also in "the new york times" which you have the knowledge, u.s. soldiers told to ignore sexual abuse of boys by afghan military. you i think our number 15 or 16, i've been here 20 years, general marine and army sitting right here telling us what you told us. and i believe it. no question about that. i believe to be a 15 who sat where you are today. then i go back to enough that i got from the former commandant of the marine corps. a few years ago i asked him, i said general i got a military background.
how successful can we be in training the afghans to be soldiers and policemen? and, of course, we realize that's a problem with education and the country and i understand that. but let me read what he said very quickly. get real in training an army and police force. all we're doing is training eventually members of the taliban. trainers are doing a wonderful job but we don't have the time to make come we don't have the time to make an army. and he closed by saying everyday somebody dies. my question to you, we are faced with a debt of $18 trillion. we're going to be debating in about a month debt ceiling increase so we can borrow more money from foreign governments primarily to pay the bills for last year. the american taxpayer has got to know at some point in time there's going to be an and to
this investment. money, blood, there's got to be an end to it. and that's something you were saying a while ago, and this is going to lead to the question. at some time i've been hearing for 15 years from the generals like yourself that training the afghans to be policemen and security forces, it's going pretty well. it's a little fragile but it's going pretty well. it's been going pretty well for 15 years. that's not a criticism that i'm just making an observation. we at some point in time as a nation and members of congress have got to understand that we cannot continue to, as john socko says, waste, fraud, and abuse is worse today than it was 15 years ago. that's the joint responsibility, i understand that, but this
thing has got to an end to it. is that when they see duty forces can say we don't need any advisors from the coalition forces or the american military? will you get some idea of how this thing is going to end, the best you can? >> thanks for the question. if i could correct the record he set icollege we ignore the abuses and that's not what i said. we do not, i do not, and in my state i said where policies to say you did not ignore the abuses. you report the abuses to your can't commit thought like to correct the record there if i could, what you just said. on the financial piece and to continue support to the afghan security forces and afghanistan and the people, yesterday was 14 years so it has been a very, very long time but as the chairman said we're not been attacked. we live in the road we have, maybe not the world we want but it is the world have. this will continue be a very changes will and we will have people who want to continue do harm to the men and women back
here in the united states. as i said and i would say for a modest contingent investment we can protect not only our homeland by continue to build speech i apologize for cutting off the decrepit for me to question but will your limited time and numerous members. if you ever want to extend your answer in writing, please feel free to do so but we're going to try to keep to the time limits today. ms. sanchez. >> mr. chairman, i, for one, appreciate the four-minute question. thank you, mr. jones. for reminding this committee what is happening in afghanistan. so it's pretty much been a failure. general, do you know how many people we have recruited and trained over the years for the afghan army and police forces?
>> currently today we are authorized of 352,000, that includes the army -- >> i'm not asking which are authorized. i'm asking you how many people have we paid on the payroll to be over these 14 years in the afghan army and police? >> i will have to take that for the record i don't have the answer. the army -- [talking over each other] we have 60 year old men uneducated signed up for these afghan forces. with tons of people we are paying that are not even showing up for work. this has been going on and on and on.
of those 350,000, how many are filled today, general? >> the police are authorized 157,000. they have about 156,000 that are filled today. the army offers 195,000. there's probably an area 173, 174,000 filled today. >> i think would be important to get that number of how much we spend training these people. you said in your testimony, i remain concerned about the long-term viability of the afghan national defense and security forces. assessing the, afghanistan cannot afford its security forces. you mentioned that 90% of paying for these forces are from the coalition and the majority of the money is coming from the u.s.
so within your own current testimony, let alone a testament that mr. jones brought before you from before, you basically are saying i don't know there's a long-term viability for the security forces, we are paying the majority. how much money does that mean to have a force that you don't believe has a long-term viability? >> today, for calendar year 15, united states put $4.1 billion to build the afghan security forces. >> 4.1 billion, thank you. spent every year we continue to reduce that by gaining efficiencies. we're not providing -- >> i've heard this. i've heard this for 14 years. we are going to get better companies going to your efficient, we are getting there. the reality is that we are not. so we are not. i mean, mr. jones was right. my next question for you is operationally, what is our
strategy in afghanistan? what is, i heard the chairman, we haven't had 14 years of attacks coming out of afghanistan. i will remind the chairman come instead they went to small the. instead they went to yemen. instead they went to iraq. instead they went to series. instead they went to libya. so we can say we have concentrated our forces and our monies in one place but the reality is that you and i both know this, they move. so what is the plan for afghanistan? >> the plan is to continue to the afghan security forces so they can partake the afghan people to have a stable government so it can provide for the afghan people so that the afghan people can have jobs, their kids can go to work, that they can be a viable country in that very, very park -- >> thank you. 4.1 billion this year. you don't believe it's a long-term viable strategy.
let me ask you one last question before my time is up. i just want to say i just have a son who will be full-time in the u.s. infantry. we just found out. i love our forces. i think there doing a good job. i'm talking about what we are doing as policymakers. did we ever find out how much money karzai and his cronies stole and put in swiss banks speak with general come if you want to provide a for the record. again we're going to try to keep to the time limit. mr. forbes. >> thank you for this thing. general, thank you for your service. you were educated one of the best military academies we have in the world, west point. you have not just served that you commanded for 35 years leading men and women defending this country. you commanded in germany, haiti, iraq, afghanistan and the united
states. you get to see with a set of eyes that few of us ever get to be able to look through. it is very easy for people to come in here and we count the price tag we paid in afghanistan. that's pretty easy. there are people across america who ask what mr. jones asked, for what? what i'm going to ask you today is it, because as i look at your testimony you have told us what would've happened if we had not been there and you said in 2015 al-qaeda has attempted to rebuild its support networks and planning capabilities. fuji bank two pictures for us today? one, taking all that experience you have, give us in your best her facial military judgment the danger to the united states homeland and the risk of loss of life in the united states, had these individuals not made the sacrifices that you talked about and we as a nation not made this sacrifices? and also in your best professional military judgment
paint a picture for the danger to the united states homeland and the risk of loss to life in the united states if we pull out and do not continue to make those kind of investment and sacrifices. >> thank you for the question. we've been fortunate in a country where brave men and women who continue to join federalization that is not about them but about the greater good. i think all of our men and women understand that piece of it. without their great sacrifice and the sacrifices of their families put people back and hold went to the people in europe would be at much greater risk of terrorist attacks. i don't think there's any doubt about that. i think in future as we move forward we have a lot of talk about isil in syria and iraq, daesh going up in afghanistan to if it's not daesh into your skin will be something else. this is a generational issue. terrorism knows no boundaries. so if we think that this is going to be cleared up in a couple of years we are fooling
ourselves. we have to position ourselves to ensure we can do everything we can to mitigate this impact and the way to do that is to continue to apply pressure with a great special operating forces, the great men and women would have in all of our services and also to build the ct capabilities of afghanistan and the other countries in the region so they can take it on themselves. and without that the homeland would be at much greater risk. >> gave me a little specificity would talk about a greater risk of terrorism. i can be kind of a general term. but if we had not been in afghanistan, if we had not done is how we could have strengthened their hand? i would've had a great opportunity to strike the united states and to do harm to us here at home speak what they would've had sanctuary to continue to plan and devise ways that they could attack the homeland. they could attack europe. there's a doubt i think in anybody's mind there are people out there who want to do harm to people throughout the world, and
his terrorism will continue for years to come. we have to continue to everything we can to prevent that. the way to do that is to continue to keep pressure on it spent thank you, general. thanks for your service and for the sacrifice that the men and women under you have made throughout the years. i yield back. >> ms. davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and general campbell, thank you for your invaluable service to our country. all your sacrifices. you mentioned in your testimony that our support is not unconditional. i wonder if you could tell us within the context of the relationship that you have built with president ghani which is really quite extraordinary one that is always i guess you would say you are fortunate that you have a willing partner. tell us more about what we could, should, where have we actually put come use our leverage and clearly the fact that they can afford their own military and we need to be there
on their behalf, what could we be doing? what have you seen that has helped to direct to provide the impetus to move forward in governance that is really important? >> i've seen it really at my level through m.o.i. and m.o.d., ministry of interior, ministry of defense were everything that we do is based on conditionality. the si list of commitment because we appropriate, with the money around a scientific conditions. we ask them come if you don't do this we will do this. if you don't do this we will do that. that is a change of behavior. for many, many years if the afghans need this we would provide that to them. what we need to do now to make sure they're not very dependent upon that went to break that, change behavior. by putting conditionality on the money at the m.o.i. and m.o.d. level we are able to do that. at the presidential level, we are very fortunate with president ghani and dr. abdullah
that wants to work with u.s. the conditionality updating after corruption. so president ghani personally chaired a national procurement meeting every week that he looks at context and he has a board that does have to get after corruption. we've asked them to go after that. we've asked him to make some tough choices as he and dr. abdullah work on governors and provincial police chiefs and naming the right leadership and picking leadership based on merit, not based on patronage of who they need. those are ways we can help with the confidence level that will do that those kind of conditions as we move forward. and if i could add, president ghani welcomes conditionality. >> has been effective in just movie then discussions as well with even the pakistanis, as we move into negotiations at some point with the taliban? is there anything we've seen with the conditionality that has kind of pushed that situation
along? >> yes, ma'am. on the pakistan side i think was noted a couple months ago that the state department and department of defense worked every day with pakistan to look at how they can continue to do more to fight terrorism and how they can go after haqqani, how they can do things that enable their forces and the people to be safe but at the same time not destabilize afghanistan. i think there are conditions we can use with pakistan. >> are we able to do that as well and talking about the constitution and the ability to not withdraw i guess from that human rights issues? how have ridden -- how have we been effective without? what else is to be done as we move forward to ensure that those issues are dealt with? >> i think if i saw the we needed to buy conditionality
something like that i would absolutely do that. went away to president ghani by the abuse and sexual children, he got there and then we have a law of our constitution covers that but i will reinforce that. i which are all of my security forces understand that. if he didn't do that to be something i can go back and see if you don't do this, we need to look at that. i didn't see that indicates and we will continue to work very hard. president ghani and dr. abdullah welcome the conditions. it makes them tougher. it makes them accountable and they understand that money, not only the money but the blood, sweat and tears, the ultimate sacrifice that all the nations have provided, that special to the. not only their own data been lost by the international community. they want to make sure we understand they are very appreciative of that. unlike when we were over a year ago without a national government, we are in a completely different place. >> you have the authority you need, no additional help from
the congress to do that? >> i'm comfortable with the authorities i have today. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> mr. milner. >> general, in 2014 a decision was made to the troop level of 9800. and my question i think a simple but it may not be calm and the question is, is this entity situation in afghanistan better or worse today? and if it is not better than it was then, how can we can even entertain talk about troop levels of 5000 or 1000? >> again, in 2014, the number of u.s. forces, coalition forces we had versus what we have today is different. security on them i think is one thing because unfortunately we have lost some great men and women over the last year but i think we balance that is a number of people we've had in the security and look at the force protection.
from afghan perspective, this is a very, very tough fighting season at a new is going to be a very tough fighting season, and the taliban new because we were redeployed from because our numbers are going to go down, because they didn't have the same amount of close air support they would try to send a message. and so not having close to support like we had in years past embolden the taliban in some places to attack in large numbers that we had not seen before. the afghan forces i think of stepped up for the most part. they've made corrections. they are resilient. there have been some setbacks i can northern helmand but unlike iraq and people could compare iraq and afghanistan, they are not the same. the afghans have plant and reorganize them we supplied input the right leadership in place and continued to fight to protect the people but overall if you take the number of security attacks and compare, 20142015 it's difficult because we're not out there in the numbers we were before but it has been a very tough fight on both sides.
>> i will yield the balance of my time to mr. turner but i have one comment to make, and it is a plea. i know you can't discuss the gunship incident, but i would plead with you, please don't let the crew of the aircraft nor those americans were on the ground that guided that fire when they did become scapegoats. >> i will look come we have an investigation as you and investigation will give me the fact that make sure the committee has all that as we learn more. >> thank you, sir. to mr. turner. >> thank you, mr. miller. i wonder i want to echo mr. mellis, to everyone is concerned about that investigation and that those who certainly had no involvement in a mistake, no culpability in a mistake do not have consequences.
we had a conversation about the 9/11 commission report. when we first got that report oliver to this congress it had a chapter, chapter 12 that detailed what we needed to give any future and but we shouldn't do. it specifically said that our flight was not against al-qaeda and osama bin laden solely and if we get our fight as bad, that we would lose. anthat it was islamic extremism and worldwide terrorism. when we look at iraq it's clear that we have not heralded chapter 12 because we've seen isis take hold, and often our homeland. you have made recommendations that we continue to all troops in afghanistan. you have both isis and daesh, now there. could you tell us if you did withdraw our troops down to the level of 1000 its effect on both the safety of our troops and the building of our effectiveness for counterterrorism actions in afghanistan and? >> if we came down to 1000 in
this he presents as you just discussed, there is no counterterrorism structure force in those numbers. and then if you draw down to that size in one location, you are solely dependent upon the force protection for that particular site. by, with, and through outer layers that we would not have that we've had in the past. i'm not sure if that answers your question. >> it does. which it totally crippled our ability. when you draw to those level of forces are those forces left behind at a greater risk without a larger footprint? >> they are in one location. the enemy would know what they are at, but we do everything we can to make sure we mitigate against force protection number one concern for me as we continue to draw down come every command would make sure they do everything they can to ensure the right force protection. it would be high risk to the
ethics of ability to gather daesh as they enter the country speak was there's no cd allocation in the. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. miller. >> mr. gordon. >> thank you, general, for your service and testimony here today. your ipod one of the most complex missions i think almost you could possibly even imagine. again we really appreciate your efforts. i want to associate myself with mr. miller's remarks about the investigation. i think it's also important to underscore when you talk about doctors without borders but it was almost exactly ago after working hand-in-hand with the military in africa taken on the ebola challenge. they are a valuable international resource and that's why to think this requires the absolute top level of scrutiny and independents in the investigation. i like to turn to your comments
regarding the afghan security forces which it the other day i believe in this kind of the linchpin in terms of a strategy to hand off power and security in that part of the world. in particular, the alp, your comment commit sort of an interesting comment in your assessment about how they would miss employed. clearly when we are talk about corruption issues and the need to sort of root out corruption, they frankly been a topic of conversation, not with knee-jerk critics of u.s. forces over there but, frankly, even people who want to help the nation. can you talk a little bit about where president ghani is in terms of the alp? the criticism is they are kind of gone rogue a lot and has been complaints within the civilian population about how they operate. >> thanks to the question that we've looked at the alp, the
afghan police bernard the last several months. they are authorized about 30,000 in 134 different dishes afghanistan. they belong to the ministry of interior on the police side. what the minister has done is sign a new director to go out to all of provincial police chiefs to make should have done all the right training, the right leadership in place and that they don't misuse it. in some places a lp put out explore checkpoint five, 10 plumbers away from a village. what they're decided it is the sort of that village security, the stabilization. when they get taken a five kilometers without a mutual supporting fires, without other support, reinforcing support, and they become easy targets for the taliban and other insurgent groups. not only because of that and the casualties they have taken, not only that because they have potentially some issues with leadership taking advantage of that is done a holistic scrub of the alp and continue to try to
force the provincial police chiefs to meet all the same standards that we've ha had in place, and in some places they haven't done that well. he has reenergized that. we are working hard with them to do that. he had all the please choose back into kabul and the entire conference was on alp and how to make sure we don't have some issues you just talked about. >> that would send a powerful message there's real change happening if there's reforms that the government can really talk about. >> and as ms. davis talked about one of the things in the condition of the can we have really put conditionality on the alp. if you don't get to the reforms, they don't abide by all the bidding procedures, then we don't pay. that is a conditionality we put on them. >> seems like a pretty good leverage. thank you, general. i yield back. >> mr. wilson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm grateful to see largely general bipartisan support of your efforts. i put a great opportunity 12 times over the years of my service in congress to visit.
i have seen a civil society develop. it's so inspiring to go along streets and see little girls with white scarves going to school, caring books. it just warms your heart, did you see little guys with baseball caps. that's not indigenous to afghanistan. these are people who are truly working to develop a civil society, and i just want to thank you for it's also very personal. my appreciation of your service. my youngest son hunter serve as an engineer for a year in afghanistan. and i just don't use making a difference by helping build backcountry, rebuild, begin from the beginning. to protect american families at home, and you. additionally, i'm grateful as a better. my you know, the 218th brigade, serve their under general bob livingston, adjutant
general pagosa barges deployment livingston, adjutant general the largest deployment of software lessons world war ii. 1600 troops and they were spread all over the country and they were helping to train forces and they were so inspired. these are lifelong friends of mine and they would really let me know what they think, if they think they know that they were working with who they identified after afghan brothers. i regret that so much, hey, bad, i agree member the first time i went afghanistan with sheila jackson lee. she pointed out that bad news has no feet and come excuse me, which is equipped good news has no feet and bad news has wings. wow, but the bad, the good thing is that extraordinary progress has been made and i agree with the chairman, too, that success in afghanistan is to deny terrorists safe havens which protects american families, and we cannot forget it was september 11, 2001, the attacks
on a country that were originated, plan and culminated from caves in afghanistan. i'm just very appreciative of your efforts and the largely bipartisan support we have here. with that in mind, with his special operations reliance of support from conventional forces come if conventional forces are reduced as has been called for, how can special operations fill in this gap? >> today we continue to tactical level train and advise and assist with special operating forces that continue to build afghan capacity added a tremendous job it would have conventional forces at the brigade level that i would have been at the core level and at energy level we are not really doing that much with the conventional side. they are special operations forces continue to do great, great work every single day. >> with a dual leadership, i appreciate it. additionally, i'd consider that information and intelligence
sharing between the u.s. and afghan national defense and security forces. athletes to operations in afghanistan. can you speak of what its misery to improve the coordination cells and advise and assist cells throughout the country? >> we have a dedicated effort it will recall an essential function seven which is intelligence and how to is intelligence and our work would become a liability cannot assure intelligence at the same time build intelligence capability, their enterprise. i think we've made great strides did initiative recently established with a call -- basically a national intelligence, brings in intelligence from the moi and mod, their intel organization to produce national level targets. they never had that before and the difference that's making this procedure i think we continue to build upon their capacity and we've seen some great, great progress in some of the operations base the that the tactical level on the intelligence structure. not only in the hardware side
but also in human capital side for intelligence. >> that so important to prevent collateral damage which, of course, is your goal. as i conclude again, i'm just so grateful for your service, for the service of american military personnel. having been there i seen, my first visit there of the contours to destroy. it was a consequence of a 30 year civil war. there was nothing really to say except rubble. then to see the rubble removed, the streets paid for the first time, to see little shops develop, to see opportunity for schools, for bridges to be built. and we send units to work on agriculture to advance. thank you very much. i yield back i'm. >> ms. tsongas? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, general, for being here today. i appreciate for a much your testimony. and like so many, all of us
here, and like many americans i was so a long children of the tragedy of the doctors without borders facility in afghanistan. i look forward to your investigation in a hopefully very transparent one. but appreciate how serious you are taking this. i want to go to different places in question. ashur wrestling with how best for afghans to secure the country al-qaeda secure the country of what can support his essay to a effort i'd really like to hear about what you're doing to ensure that afghan women, 50% of the countries population, is part of your process. i've been part of a delegation, at least six trips over, that focus on one visiting with our women who have so ably service and for whom we are also grateful but also with an emphasis on learning more about the changes that our presence has brought in the lives of afghan women. it's been very promising. over and over again we hear the
real differences that have taken place. i remain concerned that whatever our way forward may be, how best we secured those gains that we don't trade them away in a reconciliation process, that we don't adequately trained afghan national security forces whether it's the local police, the national police, whatever it may be because it requires a culture change, and that culture change has begun but it is very fragile. so i'd like to hear the new work with the trained advise and assist with the security forces, how you address the rights of women so that the security forces opened will remain in place to secure the future life of the country also are committed to securing the lives of the women are very much a part of their country. >> thank you for the question.
everyday president ghani, dr. abdullah speak of this i think with her leadership and our continued train, advise and assist at the future for engaging them in the triple on the police and the army side continues to improve. they put more of a spotlight on it. this committee with your market has helped us emphasize i don't infrastructure to house, to take care of women in the military to protect them i think as been pretty critical. we're very thankful of the. i have a women's advisory committee that i co-chair that meets quarterly to talk about different issues. by level, level we may correlate with communities by boo weekley. in fact, that nine over the last month or so is been beating quickly to push some issues on the women's side with both a place in the arm and that's very, very good. for the place it easier as you recruit women into the police. they go through training, they can surf whether at. by the army --
>> the question i'm asking, yes, i think it's important for security forces to the local police whatever reflect the population. i appreciate the efforts, especially congresswoman davis in terms of making sure we at least provide some element, female president afghan national security forces but the reality is most of the sources are men and they have a certain cultural compact that a certain historical approach to women so we truly about how we train and mentor protect the rights of women are i'm curious as to how that piece is moving forward. >> they do some of that in their assessment training, officer training, basic training about rights of not only women but as men and so i think they continue to work to do. it's about education, training, holding people accountable and i think they continue to get after that. as they see more women in positions of increasing responsibility, they see more women tied into special operating forces which the women that do that with him to go on
objectives, to search by the females. it is pretty incredible. wind and see this dynamic attribute i think it does have a change in attitude. as you know the army and the police or the route a couple of years but it will take time as we move forward. we put conditions on recruiting women, how they do that and i think they will continue to improve. as you say it's going to take time and at the time for the tiny army that's been around for 240 years to get above 15, 16% at west point. this is something they're focusing on and with the leadership of president ghani, dr. abdullah, i see good things forward. >> yes polkadot conditionality, how you use it as leverage to achieve certain goals that there may be some resistance to. is that the tool in your toolbox speak was absolutely. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. conaway spirit general, thanks for being you. you mentioned about your families and the role they play.
you think in an unwanted make sure they do the same kind of thanks and heartfelt admiration for what they've done and how steadfast the art and allowing you and your team to do what you do. so thank you very much on our behalf. what can we glean from what the taliban did? what techniques and procedures if they choose? the afghan response, do you have a great without? walk us through that and what kind of advise and assist in should we them in that response or was it all -- >> thanks for the family peace. in kunduz, quite frankly the afghan security forces were surprised or president ghani has directed a commission to take a look at an after action figure out exactly what happened. we continue to work that now but in a nutshell kunduz is a two and 50,000 people in it. they dumbly inside the city is police. outside the city there are
pockets of the army. over the period of the holiday, many senior leadership of the police and army were not present. et al. dan pooley had a lot already inside the town, but right after that time period they attacked from within the city. the police thought although they didn't take a lot of casualties and when they didn't see reinforcements from the army, they kind of melted out. i don't think the taliban had any intentions to continue to hold kunduz but they got a great victory going into raising their flag. the difference i think is the afghan secret forces responded very quickly. they got the right force up there. they moved a lot of logistical resupply spirit they changed some leadership out and once they got right back into the city the taliban for the most part less. to our and today continue to isolate pockets of resistance fighting. a very small group inside an urban economic a battalion for the people. i talk to the minister of defense this morning he was in kunduz earlier today.
he told me he sees great progress as they move forward. he still said fragile in kunduz but he's confident that all the major areas of kunduz the own. what did we provide? for the most part this was afghan lead. i got themselves back into the city. i had a couple of special operating teams that were south pacific provided some planning, training and advice for special operating forces and also put an advisory team into an airfield south of kunduz so they could provide the cor core level headquarters in planning, logistical planning capability to oversee the afghans. >> president on an dr. abdullah have been in a for about a year now. what i do marks to the get for running the trains on time, water, electricity, all the things you expect of government services and what does that tell us about the conversation that is after that's a fragile government, that is likely to
not be able to be resilient? can you talk to us about those issues speak was i think if you're in kabul and for the most part you would give them probably a ct, although with high profile attacks inside of kabul that would be loaded i think if you're on the outskirts your in a faraway province, your grade would be much lower because they haven't seen some of the covers they need at the level. they have been a national government on the 20th of september, that was a year. they continue to move forward. is a very, very tough environment but they continue to improve. they have a change in almost all the ministers. they've changed that most of the covers. they had key positions but they have to continue to work on together. on the strategic level policies that afghanistan is tied into, there's no daylight between the. i think the issues that is when it comes to picking people and will be the minister and will be the provincial police chief.
they understand how important is i think they'll continue to do everything they can to make this work. but they give to engage better with the afghan people not only in kabul outside the city much better. >> can you give us from your perspective the initial communities continued financial support that will be key, they can already afford of the forces that do. can you talk to us about the expected what you see as the international community's part to stay and fight? >> i don't think right now we have 50. i think next year the warsaw summit-july 2016 they will look at funding for 2010, 19 and 20 so that will be critical. i think afghanistan is to continue to progress so they keep donor support that donor support is absolutely crucial because afghanistan cannot afford what they have known. they are working very hard. president ghani is the right guy to do that but economic wise it's going be very tough.
>> mr. o'rourke? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, first i want to thank you for serving under leadership and through you want to thank all the men and women are carlos irpa in afghanistan and who have served in the past. i want to ask you a couple of questions about the bombing in kunduz, or the attack on the hospital in kunduz. i recognize there's an investigation ongoing but i want to ask you, per your knowledge why the afghanistan national army called that strike at that location. >> again, that's a question that we're asking in the investigation. i wouldn't want to get out in front of the investigation. i need to learn those facts. there's a dod investigation, an investigation. as soon as they give us details
i will make sure the committee has those. >> is there ever a center where it's okay to strike a hospital? >> a hospital is protected facility. we would not target a hospital. if i can go back to the first part of your question and maybe get of which are talking about, when afghans call for fire, that's not an automatic response to every afghans asked me for close air support. we just don't go find someplace. it has go through a rigorous procedure to put aerial fires on the ground from a u.s. process under u.s. authorities. and so that's why we've got to get what happened in decades. i do want people to think that just because the afghans call fire there was automatic fire anywhere they want. that's not the case. >> my last question on this is, are you aware of press reports within afghanistan that that the hospital was treating taliban and non-taliban combatants alike, which raised the ire of the afghan national forces who
had conducted a raid at the hospital days before the weeks before that strike? >> i've seen media reports about taliban treated in hospital, yes, sir. >> that would not be a justification for a strike on the hospital? >> no. >> related question of what i think you can speak openly about. can you talk about the terms of our security agreement with afghanistan, and under which conditions we can use lethal force? i understand there are exceptions for counterterrorism activities. there are exceptions for when u.s. forces are under attack. there are exceptions for urgent situations. could you characterize our involvement in kunduz under those exceptions or others that we may not be familiar with? >> again i'm not going to talk about kunduz of what happened in kunduz. and then we talked about in
detail and, of course, the rules of engagement i will not do that in a public hearing. i will be glad to discuss that with you any clustering. >> this might be my last question. how do you balance the need to ensure that we are adequately supporting the afghan national army, not abandoning them, and continuing with the train, assist, and advise operations, and not at the same time creating a prolonged moral hazard where they know that u.su support will be there year in year out, and they may make some of the difficult political decisions, investment decisions in their own armed forces and capabilities and decisions with accountability for their leadership that otherwise might be made? >> that's a great question and i think we worked very hard every single day.
they know and that's why fighting season 15 was completely different. the number of forces we had, the level that we have people at, where we do train and advise and assist me the certificate the ability for us to provide close to support like we have in the past is given. does about in my mind or the senior military that i do with on the afghan side that it is different and have to pick up the fight. they have to want this whether we want it. i've seen a change of behavior on that. i don't see that as an issue. what your looking at now is how long will our continued support from international community and the usb there any decision to continue to provide support would make a huge impact of supporting president ghani, supporting the afghan people, supporting the afghan secret of forces, the impact it would make on the taliban and the message it sends to think of the messages since to pakistan and the message it sends to made i think a pretty huge as well. this isn't her upcoming as we look forward would have impact on all of those.
>> when what was likely to the result of investigation of the kunduz attack? >> i talked yesterday with the investigating officer. he is working very hard. i should have some preliminary results are in the next, yesterday i was asked and i said within about 30 days. i don't have an exact date but as soon as i get i will make sure we get that to the committee. >> mr. skancke. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, -- mr. scott. general, thank you for being here. just a couple of quick questions than i want to specifically get to the close air support capabilities, but harry reid has promised earlier this week to uphold the president's veto of the ndaa. the president has not vetoed that legislation yet but just one if you and the other leaders of our military have had the opportunity to speak with the president about the importance of the ndaa since it has passed?
and how do you assess the additional risk if the build is vetoed and the veto is upheld by senator harry reid as he is promised to do with? >> to be candid i have not talked with the president on the ndaa, and for the last several weeks i've been focused on afghanistan so i couldn't give a good answer. answer. >> we ask you to do an awful lot on this end of the, you know, with no ndaa, no budget and certainly you and your men and women are being judged a standard of perfection and that's kind of an unfair scenario that they think that we put you in, and extremely important mission. i represent the air force base, home of the 81st. where training the afghan pilots to fly the a 29 light air support aircraft one of the key
capability gaps you said is a close air support. you're expecting these aircraft in the theater pretty soon. we originally planned for 40 of them. we are not expected to deliver over 20. how many do you expect to see delivered? how many do you need to? could you speak to just that issue, generally? >> we are looking forward to getting the 829. i will get about six in december time frame, and get more and 16, foumore than 17. we don't close of the program of record i think until mid to late 2018. will bring a great capability afghan forces are lacking. i've asked for an holistic study to take a look at the close air support capabilities of afghanistan both any rotary wing at a fixed wing capability. until that goes through i couldn't make that call on numbers but right now we're
looking at 20. again ago to the first five or six until the end of this year and we'll get them as soon as we can ever look forward to that. the afghans look forward to that. >> you think they have the ability, they have enough impact to change the fight? >> if they would've had the a-29 this summer it would've been a game changer in some locations, yes, sir. >> thank you, joe for your service and for what you and your men and women do. i yield the remainder of my ti time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, i want to thank you for testimony today, especially for your service to our nation which is invaluable i do hope you'll pass out appreciation onto the men and women under your command. first of all, general, again, i'd like to better understand the current situation in afghanistan, and i hope that today's discussion will continue
to not only inform our overall strategy but also serve to better protect our men and women in uniform and our coalition partners on the ground. we have seen too many lives lost in this conflict, like master sergeant andrew mckenna from bristol rhode island very recently was killed in a terror attack in kabul. we have to do everything in her power to ensure that our policies afghanistan maximize our strategic games while minimizing the tragic loss of lives that we've seen to quickly across the headlines. make no mistake about it, the work that you and the people, men and women in uniform who are serving in afghanistan are doing by the important work done in a they are depending on a serotonin preventing those who plot and plan against us from coming here. at the same time there's a big
frustration on the part of the committee and the part of my constituents that the afghan forces are not further along in their training and where we need them to be. i'd like to begin with a "new york times" article from yesterday in which a senior afghan know to officer blamed a lack of coordination among afghan units for recent taliban advances. insulates to your mention of ane need to improve, for improved leadership and accountability of an that in your test whether i'd like to ask you directly, how do going to the committee, how do i explain to my constituents back home as to why after the 14 years of effort and training and crisis and the billions of dollars that we have spent the lives lost, the people that have been injured, why the afghan forces are not further down the pike in their training and why are they not where we need them to be? i would also like to ask
directly what you need in regards to time and resources in order to build strong leaders. >> thanks for the question. i think very quickly with afghan forces where they plan come with a preplanned, when they work together both across the organization, the police and the army, they conduct operations, back to work together and preplanned they do very, very well. waited till, where it's crisis mode that's what they continue to need help in working to. when they don't work together your right they don't do well. again i would say we've been there for 14 years but is only continues to be very, very young. we have just started the air force the last three, four, five years. ..
people to close about-- closure eyes and think if that was the rangers, the seals, that was the afghan special operating forces and they have that capability today and they continue to get better and better, but they have gaps and seems that we knew they would have and we have to continue to train, advise and assist on. >> with respect to the drawdown, can you talk to nato's willingness to step up and add additional resources and forces there to supplement our drawdown. >> from my discussions with the senior members of the partner countries, with 42 right now and most of them, i believe, will continue to support, but it will take a us decision first before they do that soon i think you. i yeild back my time. >> thank you mr. chairman and general, thank you for being here today. on september 11, 2001, and attack was launched on america, from a place most americans never heard of and by the person most americans had never heard
of and when i think about the freedom we enjoy in this country that came flying interface that date that was at risk i was reminded etched in wall and not isolation cell where sam johnson spent time in, those that have fought and almost died experienced a taste of freedom and to protect it will never know. i think sometimes your comp was schmitz and a compass was of our military now and throughout history and the freedom we enjoy are often taken for granted in america and i think that needs to be recognized. i think many in america, and some in this room don't fully understand the effort and sacrifice that went behind every one of those ribbons and tends that you wear and so many in our military where and i want to thank you and all of those that serve us in that regard. one of the things you said today that stuck out to me and i think you know why as a veteran of a rack and stood out to me when
you said we honor their memory by building a stable afghanistan i think there is a lot to be said for that. i think history has shown and i believe the greatest chance for peace on this earth comes from a strong us military that can be reactive, can be postured well and can serve as a turn-- deterrent to evil doers and i think that is what we are after. i think that is what we want to see happen. so, my question today is: what do you think would be the bare-bones level that we can maintain in afghanistan, to prevent a vacuum like we've seen in a rack, and what level gives you the most comfort or most assurance that that won't happen and also, i went to get some of your thoughts on the benefits that even if we had a stable
afghanistan that was able to stand on its own 2 feet, would there be benefits to us still being there in a postured position like we do in other parts of the world? >> >> thank you for the question and thank you for the thanks, there. i don't want to go and details of numbers and level and again i provided options to the senior leadership and i feel comfortable with and those options and laid out in terms of risk, higher is less and less increase is at risk in general terms, but i feel compo in those options and i know senior leadership will look at those in a way i provided pros and cons to all of those, but it was based on capability as we look forward, not numbers, capabilities based on afghan capability and as you said, a us ct mission as well and we took a hard look and included that in there. i do think that presents the equals influence and if your people on the ground you influence and if we are not there to provide influence someone else to be there. whether it's russia, china, iran, you name it, the us and
having people on the ground provides influence. >> long-term benefits from even a stable afghanistan? >> afghanistan lives in the neighborhood that does not follow the rules. look at the countries around it, tough neighborhood. again, presents equals influence in building a stable afghanistan that provides stability in that region, having a partner that wants to partner not only with the us, but the zero-- other us nations is key and we have not had that the last several years and i think we have an opportunity today to take advantage of that for a very modest continued investment in the both money and personnel. >> thank you very much to, general. i yeild back my time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you general campbell for being here with us today. you are talking about presents equals influence and other members have mentioned the instability and the threat of this save brand of extremism is
other countries rather region. would your recommendation, your strategic recommendation the to maintain or deploy us presence and military service members to other countries in the region such as libya and yemen that are facing similar threats and far greater instability than we see in afghanistan? >> i think chairman dempsey before he left talked about a regional presence throughout different areas of the world and i would concur with that. >> how long do you suggest that given the track record for the last 14 years in afghanistan, that we continue to ask our servicemembers to deploy to afghanistan on this similar train and equip mission given the lack of progress that we have seen and given the failures that we have seen in iraq and syria? >> ma'am, i cannot talk iraq,
syria and i would disagree a bit on lack of progress in afghanistan. i think there has been great progress. i think this fighting season has been tough and i would probably say uneven progress, but there are areas of capability that continue to have issues with that take any army a long time. building a pilot takes two or three years. building a maintainer takes two or three years and we started out late in afghanistan, so that is one area we have to continue to train, advise and assist on for years to come. they want to take this on. they have an attitude that they want to do this by themselves and they welcome conditionality, so i think we have an opportunity here where we have a willing partner where they want to continue to improve on their own capabilities and they can be a protective country in that part of the region, not only provide for stability and protection for their own homeland and people there, but
also for the region. >> so, you see an open ended commitment from united states military to maintain a presence there? >> i think we have to continually assess that as we have done over the last several years and we have gone from 140,000 down to less than 10000 and the amount of money goes down, so i think we have been good in continuing to assess that and bring the commitment down. i said opening remarks, this is not without conditions and there can't be unlimited forever and ever, but i think we have to continue to assess that and make those calls as we go. i think i have been asked to lay that out for this time where the afghan security forces are and that is what i have attempted to do. >> given the corruption we have seen, though, in all levels of the government in afghanistan, but including at the lowest levels and it's been talked about a lot recently given what happened with the caliban taking over that city for a short time, but also people saying that that was kind of the first volley and one reason they were able to do so is that the local communities
there and we have seen this in other parts of afghanistan, because of corruption by the afghan local police and local government, people are getting shaken down multiple times and see perhaps the caliban as the lesser of evils in their daily life and their challenges. what is being done about stemming out and getting rid of this corruption so that that afghan folks who you have been training can actually do this without us. >> thank you for the question and again i think the senior leadership idea with every day traced to get their corruption and they understand it's a huge issue and has been there for years and years and they are trying to get added by picking the right leadership, holding them accountable and trying to get it outed by look at procurement. trying to get outed by providing
education for leadership and the folks i join the army. i think if you ask most afghans they will tell you they don't want the trend six through the taliban and kill innocent women and children. that taliban put suicide vests on little kids and put them in marketplaces and hold their mother and father hostage. i do not believe the afghan people want that. they want to secure afghanistan and they have that hope because of that afghan security forces and because of the great work are many women have done. >> thank you. in closing, mr. chairman, i think it's deeply concerning to consider the idea that we would ask our servicemembers to go on this nationbuilding mission across the region and something we have to look at carefully. thank you. >> i appreciate the comments. i want to highlight for members that week after next we will spend a week in this committee looking at training equip around
a variety of countries and what has worked and what has not worked and there are lessons to be learned because i agree with the general lady, this is an important issue that we need to dig down deeper on because there are a number of instances where it has not worked well and we need to understand that, so i appreciate the comments. mr. nugent. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all i want to thank the general for your leadership to our troops, your service, but as we move forward with the power man-- with the taliban and do we see an uptick in training or has that stayed level or dropped off >> sir, i think at least it has stayed stable or level and again they have surged this fighting season because they know this is an opportunity for them because
we don't have the coalition or numbers. they want to make a statement and remain relevant and they want to show as potentially it moves to discussion of reconciliation that they can operate from a position of strength, so they have continued to recruit. when you have someone there that has no job: no money, no future and someone offers you 100, $200 to planted ied, that is pretty easy to do, so i think what we have to continue to do is show the people afghanistan that they have hope and a better future if they continue to support the afghan security forces and of the government, but for the most part what i see is the afghan people do not support that caliban, but there will be people-- >> so, if they don't support the taliban, where are they recruiting from-- are they recruiting within? >> i think both read the recruit
from within afghanistan, and also reports of foreign fighters that come in that assist the taliban as well. >> how do they train? >> sir, i think there are areas inside afghanistan, that they have potential training areas and there are areas outside of afghanistan that have sexual errors that provide them an opportunity to train. when they conduct-- not something you would see from a large modern technological force commanding control and this is counterinsurgency, one or two people putting in ied out there, one or few, a suicide mission, they don't have to-- they don't follow the rules and all they have to cause your in the people and that is what they want to do, so fear to make the government seem as they can't provide security for the people, so it will take everyone in afghanistan, to fight this. i do not believe the afghan
people support the taliban, for the most part. >> that is good to hear. but, i was there in 2011, and was struck with-- i was in iraq and then afghanistan and actually struck with the security level in afghanistan, versus iraq in 2011, when we were drawing troops. we had more freedom and movement within afghanistan. we had less restrictions on movement in afghanistan at that point time. now, i wonder where we are as compared to 2011. when i was in iraq in 2011, everywhere we went was, you know, fast, quick with protection and it was just the opposite in afghanistan. has that changed asked if i go
to afghanistan, today will i see the same type of movements available to us? i got to visit with the afghan police, train facility. >> sir, quite frankly we don't have that many areas, so most of the areas that you would have to go to you would probably travel by helicopter to and land in a small location based on the downsizing of the people we have there, so we don't have a lot of folks that end up driving throughout afghanistan at all just based on location, based on the dead cd of people that would have their. as roz afghans, i think they continue to have like i said freedom of movement on highway one, throughout kabul. >> chairman, one must question. in 2007, 2008 my older son was
in afghanistan for 15 months and he said, dad, and a lot of folks talk about just back in the stone age and he said the problem is they are already in the stone age. has that changed at all? >> i think especially in the cities, at least, outer parts of afghanistan you will fill-- still see people that are limited primitive housing, but inside the city, cell phones, business, internet, you name it as was mentioned earlier today. >> thank you again, general. my time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, what to thank you again for your service and specifically for your courage and willingness to come to washington, and say candidly when you disagree with the policy we are sending your way, so thank you for that. as a iraq war veteran it was hard for me to return to iraq this winter, disheartening to
say the least to see so much of what my colleagues and i had fought for and frankly achieved during the surge gone to waste and so i'm particularly interested in how you are learning from that experience to make sure we don't to repeat the same mistakes in afghanistan, and one thing i think standout in particular is that it was not just our rapid withdrawal of troops, but our failure to continue to support and influence the iraqi government that ultimately led to it falling apart. i mean, in many ways what happened in iraq was not just a failure of our train and equip mission as far as the troops go, the iraqi army just put their weapons down went home because they lost faith in the government, so it was pulling those advisers out of the prime minister's office. we forget that malik he was in power during the surge when we actually made a lot of progress and had a relatively stable government but it was because our influence, so who are you talking with run that iraq experience to make sure that you don't compete-- repeat the same
mistakes and can you give us an example of the things you're notably doing differently than what we did in iraq? >> in afghanistan we have a lot of it iraq veterans and thank you for your service and all of them i think the us you do and we want to make sure we don't-- that we learn from our experience and so as we do different plans and take a look at the security cooperation office in particular and what will remain in cobble, how they did that in iraq versus how they'd do that in afghanistan for planners got together with planners that had been the in iraq and they talked and work through that and we made adjustments based on that kind of discussion, so i feel confident that we have been able to take a look because as you know the military is after everything we do and we have to learn by that i think we have done that in that case. we have also taken a hard look at how we do set up advisor
teams. how we can take teams as we continue to downside to provide some level of expertise in areas and i think that has helped us, but i think what you said is key. the fundamental difference here tween iraq and afghanistan is you have a government that is a willing partner hair that wants to continue to have a presence from the international community that favors that and have asked for and wants to continue to grow the professional army, a professional police different from what you sow with malki. >> is there reports the government is suffering from a serious brain drain were a lot of talent is leaving. are you seeing that? is a concern? >> is a concern overall refugee where people are-- young people are leaving afghanistan and it's a concern for the presence and they have spoken about that. at the same time i see great potential of the army and police and young men and women that have been trained in the us and the uk and germany and other countries as they continue to move up and increase response
building leadership positions. there are some really good talent and we need to get them in the right position. >> from the outside we see cooperation between the presidents-- i've actually sharing power or is that an area of concern as well? >> i think they have to continue every single day to work at its. the president is the presidents. i think there's no doubt in his mind who the president is, but i think again on policy matters they continue to work close on that and there is no daylight between them. they work together in that security council, in the cabinet meetings, but they now there is no other choice as they move forward to cement general, one last question following on mr. scott's question earlier. the chairman of the secretary of defense have testified before this committee that using funds to fund the department of defense is not a satisfactory way to ensure our national security. do you agree with that position? >> sir, i have been fortunate to
have the resources that i need. i have had the right people trained and equipped and that is because they have done it by oh coke, but as i think everyone has mentioned it's hard for any of the services to continue to find when you go year-by-year. >> i think it's important for you to understand that is the rationale the president has given for voting against this and it's the rationale myself and others who had taken that tough vote have used as well and we hope we can change that situation by forcing the issue. is in no a-- wait for reflection and our lack of confidence in you and the troops on the front lines. thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. general, went to thank you for being here and i appreciate your candor. it's really-- it's a fresh moment to have a bottom-line general come in and basically say, here's what i think to the presidents. i guess a couple of comments i have is that i think and i
appreciate the gentleman's questions and opinion, but i happen to have the opposite opinion. i think we are talking about symptoms here and i think we need to remind the american people that over the last three years, certainly in my short tenure in progress there has been a vacuum of foreign-policy and there's been a lot of reactionary things happen and there hasn't not been a lot of support that i have seen from this administration and i think that when the other president that stands up and is willing to volley back and forth politically the entire defense budget, which absolutely has everything to do with the allocation of the good people you get, the money, the sport and i can get dangers and i think the american people understand that. i do appreciate so much you're not to being able to talk to us specifically about the troop drawdown and the things i have seen in the media has been anywhere from 1000 to 5000 to 8000 and i appreciate your comments. i went to make sure we are talking about for the record when there is less presence,
less influence, there is greater risk and that counts across the board, so that would count with counterterrorism, trade, advise seen, is that not correct? isn't that what presence equals influence means? the less presence the greater the risk? >> i would not argue with that statement. >> my other question, general, no one has talked about, but i'm concerned because and some of my other colleagues talked about policy that you are just implementing a policy that we are sending. again, i don't think we are sending policy there as administration sending policy that many times cannot be understood and has created a vacuum for the enemy. i think certainly with the iranian puzzle that was signed, do you detect currently or are you concerned about increased
iranian presence and what that means as you share a border now that we are venturing in my and administration's desire to sign this agreement with iran? >> ma'am, you won't go into policy, but i will tell you that i have talked about bringing influence on the taliban and providing taliban support to fight isil, so the present, and security forces are concerned and impact that would have. if i could add though, not really on policy, but as i have on board and asked for flex ability for report 2015, the administration gave me that flexibility and i asked for enablers, strategy and authority and i was able to get that as well, so again, i am very comfortable as a provide options to my senior leadership that they put due diligence and scrutiny on that and that's what i would expect. i think that's with the american people expect. >> a further question on iran and the forces you are suggesting, does that take into account a new level of activity with toronto and kabul? >> maybe not specifically, ma'am
, as we looked at that we have seen reports and i've talked to the ministry of defense and the impact that would have specifically on the west and we do have-- that get some of the reports, but i don't think we looked at that specifically as we looked at the capabilities required. >> my final question is, as we launch into uncharted waters with this agreement with iran and should you see the need for things going awry for additional training, help, forces, money, people, personnel should anything happen on a border, do you feel like at the flex ability with this administration to go back again until the ministration and the american people something is wrong and we need help? >> whether it's the west, and the north, the south, or the east my job is to provide the best military advice and if i see issues that i see i will absolutely raise that to my leadership. >> thank you mr. chairman.
i yeild back my time. >> mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general campbell, thank you for your service to the nation. i think americans are getting tired the bogged down in afghanistan. we have been there for 13, 14 years and it seems that there is no end in sight. it seems like we are doomed to always maintain a troop presence of their. and i don't think that that is something that-- that is good for our country. for us to be nation building forever in afghanistan. that is exactly what the future holds for us. there is no point in our plans
or in the plans of those who want to build the nation of afghanistan. there is no stopping points. because whenever you do stop there will be some adjustments that have to be made, so why not make the adjustment now? why not drawdown our troops if the russians or the chinese want to come in and be players over there, good for them. i would think that they would not want to emporio themselves over their. they would probably want to see the locals working out. what do you say to that? >> sir, i would say that we have continued to redeploy and drawdown our forces. we have continued to-- with
three or 400 different outpost when i was there in 2010, 2011, and we are down to less than 20 today, so we have drawn down both our forces and i think we have drawn it down responsibly. i'm thankful we have had the ability to do that, so i think as we look forward we are trying to make sure we continue to provide afghan support with a need and reasonably responsibly as we continue to drawdown, but in the areas that are very tough for them in the close air support and others, having a stable government, having a stable afghanistan is not only good for afghanistan, it's not only good for the region, but it's good for the united states. >> it just seems like stability is not there and there will be no stability in the short-term or in the foreseeable future. there won't be any stability with the us presence there, with our 10000 troops. i mean, do you believe that we should just maintain that force level for the foreseeable future or should we think about drawing down even further?
>> sir, as i said earlier i have provided options to the senior leadership that weighs pros and cons based on different risks and i said up front i don't believe it should be unconditional and that it should not be for ever and ever and we have to continue to work through that. if you look at korea, if you look in germany and the amount of forces that we continue to have those countries 70 years later with career or germany, with a be a stable as they are today? >> that's exactly what the american people are looking forward to with afghanistan is a multi- decade presence over there and if we do maintain-- if we do maintain ourselves as targets over there as long as we are supporting the afghan government ..