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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 15, 2016 8:00pm-12:01am EDT

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senior writer will talk about donald trump's global financial web. and the finances of the clinton global initiative. watch c-span's washington journal, live journal, by beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on friday morning. join the discussion. >> coming up tonight on c-span2, a hearing on u.s. policy in afghanistan. then the leaders of the four branches of the military testify about the impact the pentagon budget. later, remarks by the head of the european union. . .
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i want to thank you gentlemen for being here and your service to our country, and the meeting is called to order. i apologize for bag few minutes late. forget we changed the time until 9:45 until 10:00 so ben could go to a meeting at 10:30. can you for accommodating both meetings. obviously afghanistan continues to be something that is important to our u.s. national interests. we brokered a government, if you will, the united states did in 2014, that create both a president and ceo office that has not been confirmed, if you will, through and continued on. we had concerns about that process taking place, and you wonder about the support that government has realtive to not
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being confirmed in the way that it normally would. i have a tremendous respect for president began ghann and a warm relationship with abdullah. they're have muddled through it together as one might expect with the type of arrangements that have been, quote, create from the outside. i was glad to see president obama commit to 8 hundred -- 8400 troops going fur. the security situation does not warrant changing that at this time. would have liked for it to have occurred earlier but seems look we have been able to continue to have the support of our allies in the region. i appreciate certainly the additional authority being given to our military to count ever al qaeda and -- counter al qaeda and work more closely with the afghan troops. the close air support has been
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very important to them in saving their lives and pushing pacific what is happening with insurgency there. we have a complicated future there i want to hear from our outstanding witnesses today. on one hand we have the taliban there that we're continuing to counter appropriately so, and on the other hap we've expressed in the past our desire to negotiate a settlement with the taliban, the very people we went to afghanistan in the first place, and '01, to take out. very complicated. complicated further by the fact at that time pakistan continues to be a tremendously duplicitous partner in this, mr. ol'son and i have talked about this on several occasions but certainly they are working against our interests there through helping support in the ways they do the network and the greatest threat
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to american soldiers there, the greatest threat to the afghan military and civilians. so i look forward to our testimony. i wish it was enhanced with someone from the military. i had a good meeting yesterday with one of the generals involved in the transition issues. i don't understand why the civilian side of the military continues to be in over their head, it seems and their ability to cooperate in hearings that will be beneficial to witnessed but they steam be in over their head. so with that i'll turn to senator carner. >> thank you for convening this hearing on the 15th early of the speier national good atsmann in afghanistan. it's appropriate we take a look at where we are and where we're heading and evaluate how we can achieve our objectives. this hearing, of course, is in the aftermath of the nato warsaw summit so we can get an update
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as to the commitments made there and the upcoming brussels conference in october. ambassador ol' sewn, i want to they're chairman corker's comments. the first issue of concern is security, and i take it the department of defense fell you were fuelly capable of responding to our questions on the security issues because they declined to have you have help at this hearing, which i join senator corker in expressing my regret. >> that was the civilian side, not the military leadership. >> absolutely. so, we will want to get an update on the security. it is critically important we know of the afghan special forces have particularly effective but they're stretched rather thin throughout the country in dealing with the security needs and would be interested to know how the
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conventional forces are a capable of maintaining security in afghanistan that is critically important. the peace process, what is happening. there is a possibility we can move forward pakistan's role as assisting news the peace process in afghanistan. look forward to your update on the governance structures within afghanistan. the status of the emerging democratic institutions. senator corker already mentioned the president ghan and i ceo abdullah, the national unity government agreement of 2014. we have seen signs recently that there has been some division here. is the unity still there? is it still effectively operating at a unity government in afghanistan? i am extremely interested in the protection of human rights. recent reports of child abuse by some of the afghan national security forces that is absolutely up acceptable --
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unacceptable and i want to make sure we have zero tolerance for that type of activity and that's meat clear through awe of our participating arms, which bring knows mr. sampler. the work that usaid is doing and afghanistan, our largest efforts in the world, great personal sacrifice to the men andwoman who are carrying out that aid, some who have given the lieds. so i express my deep appreciation to the work force at usaid and the leaders there and i understand that's may be one of your last days at the time usaid that you are moving on and i want to thank you for your service to our country, both of you for your service to our country. lastly, we need to take a look at the aid program, as to how it's being administered. considering the size of the afghan economy is it right-sized?
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do we need to make sure it's working effectively carrying out lasting reform. it's time evaluate that aipac as well. i regret i will be leaving for part of the hearing. we have the counselor of burma is who town. you met with her yesterday at breakfast. i have an opportunity to meet with her and i'll take advantage of it. >> very good. we appreciate those comments, and obviously you'll be the first questioner so you make sure that we have time to do what you need to do. the first witness ambassador richard ol'son you. may be leaving soon, too, is that correct? >> i will be departing before the end of year. >> both of you are leaving soon for distinguished contraries and we thank you for being here. our civic witness is mr. donald sampler. the -- junior, the assistant to
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the administrator for pakistan and afghanistan at usaid. we appreciate you've both being here. think you now you. summarize your comments in five minutes, without objection. your written testimony will be made part of the record and we thank you both for being here. >> chairman corker, ranking member cardin, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to update you on u.s. engagement in afghanistan and the region. in light of many years working together, i would express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the members and staff of the committee for your continued support of one of our highest priority foreign policy agendas. 2016 has been significant year for afghanistan and progress has been made. but important work lies ahead as we'll discuss today. my written testimony, which has been smidt for the record, touches on many topic is expect
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we'll discuss, including prospects for peace and reckon ciliation and regional taxes. our partner show win office remains strong. there's an important ally in the fight against terrorism, and kabul works with us to to eliminate the remnants of al qaeda and its affiliates and disrupt and degrade the rice of -- rise of islamic state. to strengthen afghanistan escapabilities as party nor and improve the lives of the afghan people we continue to work to strengthen afghan security forces, build institutions and strengthen the economy. the afghan has made head we were on launching and implements reforms using these instruments. we are nearing the two-year mark of the political partnership between president ghan and i chief executive abdullah brokered in 2014. despite the challenges we believe the unity government provides provides the most viable path.
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president ghan and i chief executive officer abdullah are focus owned sustaining more stable, secure, and prosperous afghanistan. political stability is linked to a positive security environment. afghan security forces incorporate lessons returned. the forceses are performing better this year. the fighting has not been easy and there has been an increase of casualties, but the taliban have not been able to capture or hold strategically significant loaning locations for any extended period of time. afghanistan continues to engender strong international support. we cannot overemphasize how critical this support is for afghan security and development. afghanistan will continue to need international support to on sol date the gapes -- console date the gains of the past 15 years. president obama's july troop extension announcement was
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welcomed by our allies and partners temp warsaw natal summit they agreed to -- pledged support to the afghanistan security forces for three years, totaling approximately $1 billion per year until 2020. the october 4th and 5th 5th brussels conference on afghanistan, co-hosted by the european union andas, will solidify international support for afghanistan's development and government reform plans for the years ahead. ahead of brussels. afghanistaning showing tangible reform progress that remains critical for donor confidence. while international support afghanistan remains strong the regional picture remains complex. a constructive relationship between afghanistan and pakistan remains the central to bring peace and stability to the region. following significant improvement after the election of president began any, relations between afghanistan and pakistan have peaked and
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troughed. tested by terrorism, referees and border management. on counterterrorism pakistan has made progress in shutting down safe havens and worked to decimate core al qaeda. pakistan faces a serious threat from terrorists to continue to target its schools, hospitals and places of worship. while pakistan's progress is laud able, it struggleed with terrorism will not come to an an until i shifts away from tolerating stormily focusedups. u.s. officials have been very clear that pakistan must target all militant groups without discrimination, including those that target pakistan's neighbors. and shut town all safe havens in its territory. in this regard we welcome the general's statement on july 6th which he directed pakistani military commanders and intelligence agencies and law enforcement officials to take concrete measures to deny
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any militant safe haven groups, save have vein ore of pakistani soil to launch terrorist attacks in afghanistan. frsh while significant obstacles lie ahead, afghanistan continues to be an invaluable partner for the united states in the heard of asia. thank you for the opportunity to address the committee today and i look forward to our discussion and your questions. thank you, sir. >> thank you. mr. sampler. >> chairman corker, ranking member cardin, senators, expends and colleagues it's an honor to testify before you today about the work of usaid in afghanistan. today is in fact my last full day as assistant administeryear so i'll use my oral remarks at this probably my last testimony to reflect on my 14 years of almost continuous service in or on the reconstruction of afghanistan. within weeks of the attacks of september 11 in 2001 the u.s.
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and our allies had begun military action inia. supported by teams from my own former unit, the special forces group, forks forces loyal to northern alliance quickly defeated the al qaeda. it stepped the international security force. the u.s. embassy was re-opened with ambassador ryan crocker as charge. i first arrived in afghanistan in 2002 to assess the capacity of the government for conducting the emergency -- that was required by the agreement mitchell assessment was not particularly optimistic. the capacity to build a government was basically nonexistent at the time. that an important first point i'd like to share as i reminisce. what we call the reconstruction of afghanistan is something of a misnomer. the soviet occupation, followed by decades of brutal civil war, have robbed afghanistan of any
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sense of what governance was or could be. the physical, emotional, and intellectual and human infrastructure of the country was devastate over the course of 30 years to the point we were not reconstructing afghanistan. we were helping the afghans construction a new state from scratch. so perhaps our initial estimates of the problems. he wreck with sit solutions and prospects for rapid, meaningful, social changes were too optimistic. yet, during the past 15 years i have seen afghanistan make remarkable gains. thanks to the effort of the united states, our international partners, the afghan government and the afghan people. the key elements of uaid venezuela afghan straight remain to make durable the gains made in health, education, and opportunities for women to maintain a focus on economic together and fiscal sustain santa and support a transparent government in afghan that is responsive to the needs of its
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citizens. the efforts transcribe to our own national interest of combating terrorism and stabilizing the region. senators, when i first arrived in kabul in 2002, found a city with virtually no infrastructure but with fantastic hopes and operations. the population with a great passion to learn and a country with a very bleak, divisive and painful past that was hoping for a brighter disputer looking to the united states for support. eye mound of what we accomplished with the support of the united states congress and the american people. today in afghanistan mothers and children are much less likely to die immediately or during after child birth. more afghans have access to healthcare, education, electricity, healthy food, clean water, cell phone service and even the internet in their rural local communities. afghan farmers are being trained and equipped with modern farming
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techniques that increase the quality and yelled of their farms the point that the afghan minister of agriculture, irrigation and livestock, hopes that afghanistan can be food self-sufficient in five year that and is producing young men and women who are capable of contributing to their country to their society and their economy, in ways that were not imaginable in 2007. -- in 2002. we have accomplished much of which we can be proud but much to learn of the experiences and failures along the way and we must learn the lessons because we have much more to accomplish. mr. chairman, let me conclude my remarks by recognizing the people who made our progress possible. the men and women of our military, our ally and the afghan national security forces. thousands of civilians working with and to usaid, many of whom, i might add, never experienced the kind of environment they would is in in afghanistan.
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the remarkable staff at usaid and specifically the staff in the office of afghanistan and pakistan affairs and at our mission in cob bull. while i have the privilege of addressing you today the accomplishments about which i will boast or the fruit another their labor and they're afghan colleagues and finally i have to think miss barbara smith, dedicated and well respected development professional who thought my work has been my counselor, confess 'er, intellectual sparring partner and frequent live miscritic but most important live my wife. support has made hi tenure possible and her companionship has nate it enjoyable. i'm pleased to introduce m-bill hammock who is the new assistant administer for afghanistan and pakistan affairs has served as the mission directey in several countries, served for the year wind me in afghanistan, and he has served in senior positions here in washington so he notes the lay of the land hereafter --
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lay of the land here. i'm confident he will continue to make usaid in ways that make us and you proud. thank you. >> well, thank you. we're certainly fortunate that both of you are here today and we deeply appreciate ambassador ol'son's -- olson's service to our country. we're fortunate to have you here today. hope you'll write a book. seriously. to help us think about engagements like this more fully in the future. aim sure the you have, the experienced you have gained or invaluable, and while id a planned to focus on afghanistan's other issues today i look forward to seek something of that advice today, but thank you so much for being here. bill, assume is the gentleman sitting behind you nodding his head.
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we welcome you and with that i'll turn to senator card in. >> thank you, mr. chairman. join you in thanking both of our wees for their public service and extraordinarily challenging surroundings. i cannot imagine what you saw 15 years ago. and we're all very concerned about what the light is at the end of this tunnel and how long it's going to take in order to reach that and how much more of our military and civilian efforts going to be needed before the country is self-sufficient. and i hope we'll get into those types of questions during this hearing-but let me just focus on one or two issues i want to make sure we follow up on. ambassador olson, the last time we had hearing i talk about the pervasive problems of corruption. you acknowledged the serious problem within afghanistan, and indicated that the mutual accountability framework could be used to have greater accountability in this area. can you just update us as to what will be down perhaps in
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brussels to make sure that we stay focused on achievable results in fighting corruption in afghanistan. >> thank you, senator. corruption does indeed continue to be an enormous challenge for afghanistan but i can tell you that the government of afghanistan, start wig president ghani, takes the challenge seriously. let me say that our assistance to afghanistan is commissioned -- is conditioned in particular the security assistance, provided through defense channels, through the combined security transition command afghanistan, includes specific measures to root out corruption and prevent corruption of contracting
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authorities such as fuel. usaid and i'm sure my colleague, larry, can talk about this. sponsors extensive anticorruption components. on the political side of the house, the recent appointment of the attorney general mr. ham -- hamad di, has ex-end reputation and is taking anticorruption measures. he in june of 2016, with the support of the u.s. government, administered applications for 20 vacancies to ensure that government positions are filled on merit. that's one small example. the afghan government's anticorruption efforts have been backed by actions. there was -- as president ghani has established a high council on the rule of law and
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anticorruption which meant for the for it time in august and he established an anticorruption center -- >> that's good. all those areas are good. there's been little activity by the anticorruption justice center to date and i would just urge you, that we -- the united states in our capacity -- continue to keep a very bright spotlight on these issues, and i would personally ask to keep this committee informed that the progress made not just on corruption and fighting corruption but also on advancing the human rights issues and we'll during the course of this hearing, we'll make available to you our specific concerns. i think those steps are good but to date we haven't seep enough evidence that it really is taking root. so we need to continue to point a major spotlight on it. one more administrative
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question. we have special bureau for afghanistan and pakistan. is it likely that structure will continue indefinitely or are there plans to integrate it into the normal bureaus of both state and usaid. >> for the state department the office of the personal representative for afghanistan and pakistan will be continuing for the time being. i think secretary kerry and the leadership of the state department will be making decisions about how this is presented to the incoming administration, the transition teams, but for the time being we continue to have the special representative's office. >> mr. sampler, you said you have learn lessons over the last 14 years. alluded to what is the light at the end of the tunnel, and how much longer will it be before we can start to significantly turn
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over the responsibilities to the afghan people? >> senator, with respect to light at the end of the tunnel i would argue there are literally millions of afghans who see the light already and enjoy the benefits benefits of the intervention we made 15 years ago. when we talk about the taliban and the conflict afghanistan it's important to remember that well less than five percent of the population of afghanistan is under the rule of the taliban. that number fluctuates as the come bad roles around by the vast majority of the afghan people are living much better life than they could have envisioned in 2002. take your point that isn't what you were looking for but in terms of the future of afghanistan one point i like to do after does this for 15 years, we're there we need to continue to support afghanistan. we need to make sure the changes for women and girls and young entrepreneurs are not rolled but but the tub that we with you support in 2002 began to create in afghanistan are reaching true
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is now and i'd fruition now. i'd like to address your corruption question. ambassador olson talked about the strategic things we're doing elm thus government is supporting the joint interagency monitoring and evaluation commission for fighting corruption in afghanistan and they have reached agreement with civics different ministries to do internal audits -- -- all on their open doing -- can use logging are for signs on corruption and vulnerabilities to corruption and looking for the ministries to address them. they've dub this with the administrator of public health. it probably alarmed the minister would show all his dirty laundry in these opening hearings. wait done at the president's innocence steps and has been productive. likewise we have mechanisms in place to protect programs we are supporting and u.s. tax daryl. the corruption is endim mick in afghanistan and mose of the
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countries that usaid works in around the world put we are confirmed to prevent and it are in it in the long haul to help the afghans combat and it ultimately defeat it. >> i'll just ask one question. i ambassador's holbrooke lazy envision of the relationship between afghanistan and pakistan was the best we could make at the time is different than we thought, and so i do think it's worthy of looking at this relationship and having a pakistan-afghanistan official because there's a lot of conflict and i'd love to have your counsel off record or is that breeds distrust because of the single role. so that's worth discussing. larry sampler, first of all, how much are we newly spending, the united states, government, on afghanistan today?
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>> senator, let me in a broad sense we have spent $21 billion -- >> but this year, how much. >> you have appropriated to us right at a billion dollars this year. >> no, no, no. >> how much have we pent? >> no, how much we spend each year -- i'm not talk about uthrough usaid. the u.s. government in general, support of the military, support of security, their military, their security, and our certainly -- >> i don't know the answer to that because i don't know what the military spends. >> i'm not taking about our own military. i'm talking not support of their military, and mr. olson do you to answer answer that. >> in broad terms the figure is $4 billion a year in support of the afghan national defense and security forces, and roughly a billion in terms of civilian assistance. >> that doesn't include, of
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course, what we're spend only the troop wes have on the ground. this think the numbers are close to $10 billion a year but i'd love to be correct. my question in getting to that, i didn't think it would take that long -- is to ask someone who has been invested in the way that you are, who has seen his brothers and sisters killed, maimed, back here in and many disabled positions, as a person, again, who sees the future there, but since you will not have this opportunity likely again, we're going to spend this kind of moneyed a infinitum. 95% of afghanistan's budget structure comes from donors. okay? we know this is going to go on,s a infin night -- infinitum. there's no end to this in sight. i'd love for you to share with us -- you did speak about the thing that have transpired within the country but as the
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citizens look at the national interest and weigh 10 billion a year ad infinitum and weigh what has happened to military personnel ands who are so committed, the people like you have done what they're -- they've done hospital. would you you express the value of this to american citizens since you're right there on the group, as they look at these types of incursions. and how it affects our national interest. >> senator, thank you for the very broad question. i appreciate the opportunity to respond. will yield to rick as well part of the remaining time. my response is this. the human development index, which depth professionals around the world use to rack ask stack countries in whether where they stand in terms of human development needs. action is 171st out of 158 countries so they're somewhere in the middle of the countries in africa. our they're serious expenditures
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so i can make an argument as a develop professional or a humane person that we are investing in afghanistan to improve the quality of life for afghanistan in ways they desperately need. overlay that with our non security interest, come frog am military brown very much focused on counter-encentury general si, ungoverned spaces are the worst possible thing can allow so supporting the government of afghanistan and their ability to govern their own space and do that pro-actively to prevent insurgencies rather than having to counter. the is a good investment. it is expense tonight work in afghanistan. it's a long ways away. the roads terrible. the airports are not good. it costs a lot of money, and every time i go home to georgia i have to explain to my 83-year-old father why this is more important than fixing fixie bridge out back. and senator, i apologize -- fixing the bridge in georgia. how we spend this money in afghanistan does make it's difference and makes difference
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any home state of georgia as well. >> thank you very much. senator brasso. >> thank you. i share your concerns that the senator cardin expressed with regard to corruption, and i think you made a comment about writing a book. a bike came out yesterday called "corruption in conflict." this is the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction, and when you think about who this insector general is -- i ask unanimous consent this be included in the record. >> absolutely. if a book has been written or an article published you have read it. so thank you. >> what i hadn't realized, unlike other inspector generals, congress created this special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction as an independent agency, not housed inside any single department, and it is thus able to provide independent and objective oversight. and if you go through this, as they have reported in today's
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financial times, today's financial times headline: afghan corruption worse an usaid effort says watchdog. so when we talk about fixing a bridge in georgia versus what has happened in afghanistan, undernight it says, countless examples uncovered of fund goods to waste and malpractice. it says it is this endem neck corruption that poses an existential threat to afghanistan and u.s. policy objectives simple want to ask questions based on what we see here and have you comment on things in the report that just came out from the special inspector general. the inspector general -- corruption undermine the u.s. mission in afghanistan by fueling grievances against the afghan government and channeling material support to the insurgency.
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we're talking about political objectives, security objectives, working to wife with al qaeda. so either one of you. >> thank you, senator. i think first of all, we appreciate the work that they've done and we thank them for broaching the 15-year history with lessons learned approach on corruption itch don't think anyone would doubt that corruption is a huge challenge in afghanistan. president ghani has himself acknowledged its as one of the form yost challenge would say we agree with the assessment that corruption undermines governance, and can in certain cases even help to fuel the in -- i insurgency. with the ghani government we
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have a commit partner on anticorruption and president ghani has taken a number of steps. he took action to seek to finally clean up the kabul bank scandal, which was a dramatic example of corruption and malfeasance. last year he cancelled a large fuel contract because of allegations of impropriety and as my colleague, larry, mentioned, he has set up the monitoring and evaluation committee, mec, iowa outside experts, leading outside expects on anti-corrupt corruption who have come in to work on this. anyone would have to admit this is a work in progress but i think it is a dramatically different situation than what it was friar 2014. >> i'll go you with the next quote from the report and ask you don't than. the united states contributed to the growth of corruption by
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ingests tens of billions of dollars into in the afghan economy using flawed oversight and contracting practice and partnering with maligned power brokers that's from the report. i'd ask you to comment because of your long history. you have been to afghanistan 6 times in the last 15 years. this is a concerning report. >> in general i've gone on the record and under owing multiple times sag i appreciate the val you've of gao inspectors general. what i will say about the report is i don't fine its particularly helpful to be remind that corruption is a problem usaid identified corruption in afghanistan in 2004. with dade fairly grand assessment of corruption in afghanistan then, and it's been a part of our onward planning every since. i appreciate every opportunity to bring attention to corruption in afghanistan but usaid deal's problems similar to this all over the world.
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to your question about we credited corruption by the infusion of money, one thing from the remarks yesterday, liken corruption to cancer. that's a good analogy. once it's in the system it's really hard move. you have to cachet early bus the remedies to elims cancer are painful and more debilitating. for example, refusing for witch maligned actors. definings individual asthma lined actors its own problem but who you choose to deal with not deal with creates enemies went the it and to the state nat some cases are as much a threat as the cancer to ambassador mike mckinley, who was doing a fantastic job, must balance the support to government of afghanistan that they work tee rad indicate this cancer of corruption in the country, with the political requirements to be as exclusive as he took make sure he is able to bring stability to his country tell my
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staff, is this were easy the boy scouts would have done its year ago. >> their, mr. chairman. my time has expired. >> -- it's been interesting observation you make. the conflict that existed from the very beginning with president karzai, publicly alluding to the alleged suitcases of cash that were delivered to him by our intelligence agencies. from day one, and continue throughout his administration according to him, and public reports. these alleged statements but fueled the very thing that senator brasso is eluding to, and certainly undermines when people are so aware of it when you have a president of a country publicly stating we are delivering suitcases of cash. it really undermines our
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situation. i understand the conflict you're alluding to. senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service. i want to continue on senator brasso's reference to the report. understand some of these things are heard but even boy scouts, especially when they're an eagle scout, can get some things done, and so let me move on to some of the major points that were -- says we were slow, the gust government, slow to recognize the mag to anyitude of the problem. the role of networks the way it threatened core u.s. goals. that even when the acknowledged corruption as a strategic threat, political goals tripled antes corruption action and when the united states south -- sought to combat interruption its efforts saw limited success
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in the absence of sustained afghan and u.s. political commitment. so, as someone who has been very supportive of our efforts here and it's resources, this undermines my sense of commitment because you say, mr. sampler, that we recognize it in 2004. that's 12 years ago. so more than a decade later, i don't see a lot of greater success in this regard. that's why working with chairman corker i authored legislation that the senate passed in april to address many of these concerns that laid out this in and a number of other quarterly report as mandated by congress. almost all have indicate without addressing core denchans issues our effort there will be a failure, and at its core the afghanistan accountability act lays owl a framework or two the
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tattoos take meaningful steps to work if the afghanistan and to develop a clear accountability benchmark, supporting the afghan legal system to better oversee property rights and asset management and in certain cases imposing specific penalties of persons who are knowingly involved in direct acts of mismanaging for misappropriating u.s. assistant. the how has not ten taupe legs but the efforts to establish sound metrics when we're talking about billions of dollars of the u.s. taxpayers commitment to afghanistan, shouldn't need an act of congress but it will continue to push for that. so my questions are in this regard, don't get a sense that we have made progress in institutionalizing any of these commitments. we seemed to happen tried the
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capacity approach for the past 15 years. so it seems to me that while i've always heard we need to bill capacity and accountable it's time to look more serious through to the accountability side of the question. and so my question to you is, are we making progress, and don't give me a generic answer. give me specifics of institutionalizing these commitments. how can we eek fifty held those officials who engage in these practices accountable and what's the thresholds for taking reel steps to improve good governance and develop anticorruption efforts? >> senator, thank you for you question and take your legs draws to this very thorny, very complicated issue of corruption. i should note when i mentioned in 2004 we did a study of the state of corruption in afghanistan, and discovered the corruption was in fact endemic, there were no institutions in place to fight it.
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they had had their emergency -- a constitutional -- they had not yet i believe at that time even had their first presidential eselection the institutions being build in afghanistan are institutions even now -- nice santa institutions now. i talk about the state of play in the united states when our nation was 14 years old. we had not dreamed of giving women the right to vote and we have serious problems with collecting revenue and dealing with debt. i'm very close if the work of the mec. five ministries signed up in an agreement with evaluation committee they will examine their own ministries and publicly air what is found in in those examinations examinations- publicly address what anied to do. the when we are were working with the hope to help them provide resources to develop the
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electric grids we identified 56 very specific victories to corruption in utills structure. now, again, each utility was created in 2009 basically from scratch. the first 0 years required significant federal subsidies from the government of afghan. it's now in the black. they defense all 56 or whatever the specific number was, of the vulnerabilities we identified in a way that satisfied us so we began giving them money. that's an important point. we incentivize our investment in afghan institutionses by requiring them to make the necessary adjustments to meet western standards. final point afghans are very upset with corruption. the afghan public ex-upset. that's foundation survey every year raises the issue of corruption, and the way i respond when i talk to afghans there is two element's toe fighting corruption. and a third observation. the on sir vacation, it's going to take a decade. you can't turn corruption around overnight. the first requirement is strong
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insuingses. president ghane is building the institutions. the served is political will. win thing we have in spades now we did not necessarily have before is political will. not just at the president's level but among the young technocratic ministers and deputy ministers and office directors he appointed. these are afghans who do not want to tolerate corruption but need our help in rooting it our and prevent it. >> unless we see substantive, all improvement tissue mean, the mec sounds like it's self-policing, and if they're true to their commitments self-policing can result in -- can create a positive result but i'm not sure. the point is that i don't know what the political will here in the united states will be to continue to support the afghans in a lot of what is going on there with all this now. so we're well into over a decade
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of this type of commitment. takes another decade -- i don't know what the political will well be here tend of the day. so the sooner they accelerate their actual actions -- dent have to be they'll be pure overnight but temperature tangible and demonstrable can be measure, the bet their political will. otherwise persons like himself who have been supportive will take an entirely different view. >> thank youor your comments and i do hope that president ghanis efforts every saturday morning to himself sit down and micromanage the contract letting that's taking place, i hope they'll bear fruit. i know that g ah ani is in a whole other place. he is doing it himself. with that senator isaacson who seems many times to have distinguished georgians who are presenting, but thank you for being here.
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>> very very proud of the -- all jogs georgians make. it's a tributes to you and a tribute to the country. are you going to be retiring to georgia? >> i can only wish. i will be taking a position somewhere necessary the country. >> if it ends up in georgia we's love to have you registered to vote by october 8th. >> be assured you have my dad's vote. >> tell him anything we can do to help them, let us know you. made a comment early on in your testimony answering a question that we are there. talking about the work of usaid and what we have been doing and trying to get girls in school, change some of the thats that need to be change on the ground and if we are that not have the digs in with the exception of some areas controlled by the taliban, is it going to take the five billion that mar olson referred to we're investing into
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the afghan military and government every year for us to stay there in your definition offing in? >> senator, thank you for lefting me clarify itch don't want to communicate in any way we have finish our work in afghanistan. they are still 171st out of 138 or 1 185 cup items the humn development index. i mean afghans have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and there are afghans who live a much better life than they did before. the fact with have age to reduce maternal mortality by over 50% is a fantastic statistic but that is still an incredibly large number. the remaining problems of maternal mortality. the number of mid-wife res privated to allow women to have safety births or accompanied birth is a remarkable accomplishment and afghanistan women will say this is tremendous but isn't yet a standard that we should be satisfied with. i can't comment on what the cost will be in years going forward.
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think in afghanistan, everything is tied to reconciliation and the resolution of the ongoing conflict but i think as a development precision alalso my work on planning for the future i see usaid being engaged in afghanistan for a number of years as long as we enjoy the support of the u.s. congress and u.s. people. >> one thing i was hoping could point to, and you have pled know that point, hope your successor, who is behind you. we wish your successor. what does it take from us to support what you have done so far and sustain it in the country of afghanistan. we learned in iraq, recan be instruction teams, soft power, we brought iraq to peace. they wrote a constitution, voted three times and then we left and support mechanism in iraq become headquarters for isil.
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we don't want the same thing to happen in afghanistan. so knowing what road map it's going to take with honest success and build on it, going to be important to know and i hope your successor will work if, give something idea what that will be. >> mr. olson, the -- i believe the isil affiliate in afghanistan is cooled iskp. is that correct? what. >> what is their strength in afghanistan? >> we believe that they are -- have a noone fighters 500 to 2500. mostly concentrated in nangahar province in the to east. they are actively being fought against by the government of afghanistan and of course, our oregon forces are carrying out airstrikes against them. >> are they coordinated with the taliban? >> no, sir.
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in fact, the taliban and daesh have been fighting each other in the province. they have not to the best our or knowledge joined forces. >> do they have state goal, daesh. >> i think the difference between the taliban and daesh is that daesh has in fact a global agenda, the advancement of the caliphate, and the taliban traditionally has focus its its objectives purely on afghanistan. and has not had extra territorial ambitions. i do think it's important to note that daesh in afghanistan is largely and the result of
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ttp, pakistani taliban people who are pushed out of north waziristan with the successful operations pakistanys have conducted in north would sir stab. this went to the other side of the bore and many of them have sworn allegiance to daesh, and that is in many ways the basis of the organization in afghanistan. >> thank you for your answer. thank you both for your service to country. >> is it still the stated goal of thes a of ghani him to solve the internal differences that exist there through an inclusion, negotiated inclusion of tale taliban in at the government? >> senator, west. we do believe that ultimately the peace of afghanistan will require a political settlement,
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and i think the way i look at it is there is a very long-standing conflict in afghanistan that's been going for 40 years, and it has changed -- the sides have changed considerably over those decades. but at the core there is an internal conflict about the future of afghanistan that is going to have to resolve by afghans talking to afghans. that's not to suggest there isn't an external element. there certainly and is i would readily concede that. but our belief is that it will be necessary to bring bat political settlement, have the taliban come to the table and this why we have repet lid called for both ewan latllly and threw verious multilateral mechanisms to for the taliban to come to the table. unfortunately they have not been prepared to do that. this was an important factor in the president's decision to take the action he did against
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mansour earlier in the summer. so, we continue to believe that will be the way forward, and that is the belief of president ghani as well. >> i look forward to following that up on the second round. 'll say why i abhor pakistan's activityies and typed their duplicity hard to take, and my sense is you'll see a lessening to a grow of support for for pakistan because they know that our end goal is to negotiate with the taliban. that beats some over the duplicity because they're hedging thunder bets. >> thank you, chairman corker and thank you both of your service and what is an awful difficult situation there in afghanistan.
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mr. sampler, you used the metaphor that corruption is like a cancer. and as you know, when we tackle a cancer we have to do it very quickly or the cancer wins, and i just -- i'm a little bit disturbed when we talk in terms of ten years, and long period's time in terms of getting ahold of corruption and really knocking it out. and one of the areas that it seems to me that the most is the most effective is removing people from office, prosecuting officials, letting people know there's a determ, really strong deterrent. can you tell us how many people have been removed from office, how many people have been prosecuted? is there a strong prosecutorial
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agency? are they reviewing cases? we have known the corruption there is but what is actually happening on the ground in terms of acting upon the individuals? the chairman talked about suitcases of cash. its that's happening, something ought to be done about it in terms on the institutions there. >> senator, thank you for the question. the observation. i have learned in my last hearing, i will not ever in hearings again use met fors because they can get out of your control quickly. your point about catching corruption early is correct and i would argue especially the higher levels of government. leadership leads by example and if there are in the hire echelons of government corrupt officials that breed corruption and trains younger officials to be corrupt in their own right
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when it becomes their turn. one thing that president ghani has done quickly in his term of office is he has seizes the reigns of corruption at the ceremony levels as best as he, recognizing he has challenges with respect to inclusive governan good there are consequences for firing certain people. have to -- you talked about numbers of individuals. i don't have it on the tip of my tongue but in general sense, president ghany has relieved dish believe the number is over 30 customs individuals in a specific incident and he has created panels win the par him, general parliamentary council on corruption and a women's council on corruption that is authorized to take action. >> president ghani has also
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removed more than 90 generals from the ministry of defense roles. that was not necessarily specifically for corrupt. ... >> the whole issue of corruption raises the question of what is more of a threat to the long-term stability of afghanistan? is it the current inability of the afghan government to deal with its own internal struggles? for example corruption or is it isis, al qaeda, the other group
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you mentioned or the tele-band? how do you see that in terms of the long-term stability? >> i think there is no question that what preoccupies most afghans on a day-to-day basis the more preoccupies the government is the security threat from the insurgency area that is to say from the television. i think that overall the television has thrown everything they could to the government for two years now, for two fighting season, 2015 and 2016 and have not succeeded. they did really take an area but no credential capitals issue. any afghan forces have been fighting back very effectively. given the effectiveness of the afghan defense forces i think the taliban and has resorted to
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outrageous terrorist attacks in the cities which of course garnet enormous attention. those are generally speaking against very soft targets. so i think the people of afghanistan are genuinely concerned about the insurgency. i think they would see that as the first and foremost among the threats. it is also one of the reasons there is such a yearning for peace in afghanistan. >> thank you very much. thank you for your service. >> thank you. >> senator flight. >> thank you for your testimony. a couple of years ago the house myself and another member on the government reform committee looked into some of the contracts that we had with afghanistan. at that time a lot of the percentage of the funding that were going work trucking contracts with the afghans for movement of fuel and supplies it
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to forward operating bases, in particular. with a diminished presence there that requirement has gone down quite a bit. that was identified as an area of deep concern i know at that point. the allegiance of those with whom we are contracting basically to protect our supplies moving forward and to move those supplies was fleeting, at best to put it mildly. the television one day and with us the next, it seems. that is still a concern and concern and how much of what percentage of the funding with regard to defense funding is still going that direction. i know you may not be aware of some of these figures by can you give me the best estimate you can? >> senator, i think with the regard to department of defense funding i would have to take that question and get back to you.
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that is obviously the responsibility of my colleagues, the department of defense. what i can tell can tell you and i was the assistant court nader at the u.s. embassy during the time i think you're talking about. there was a great deal of concern about contracting and efforts were made to greatly improve that teen of the various contracts that no u.s. funding was a falling into the hands of maligned actors. i think that is less of an issue now in part because of the diminished size of u.s. forces. i think there continues to be a great emphasis on fuel. i know that general nicholson has spent a lot of time addressing the question of fuel contracts to ensure that they are completely clean and administered and a way that doesn't encourage any corruption. of course i would have to refer
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you to the department of defense's specifics on those two. >> with your permission, i will add in specific response to the early issue, the u.s. government develop programs of what we call that a man as the department alluded to. i cannot give you information on vetting since 2011. usaid has a vetted 7318 potential partners to receive our 318 potential partners to receive our funding since march of 2011. of that 300 have been determined ineligible, that may not mean they were criminals but we found something that made them ineligible to receive our funding. the amount of money that may have protected is in excess of 600 million dollars. we took a threat of that particular corruption very seriously and now systemically across the government and i might add in other countries as well we are looking at how we examined the back rooms of the individuals in these organizations with which we work. >> thank you. the concern was in this applies to the numbers are bigger on the
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defense side with it contracts as well. that concern at that time was that so much of that funding was actually being used against later. these are big numbers, huge, huge numbers in terms of the contracts. but i am pleased it seems that the vetting process has been stepped up because it was quite clear that point a lot of the money used to acquire weapons much attacks was actually u.s. money that had been turned around because of insufficient vetting. i understand that you have to deal with unsavory actors here a lot. less so now with the diminished presence. i just hope that we are making sure that our funding ends up where we wanted to go and not being used against us. >> thank you. senator murphy. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you both for your incredible service.
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ambassador, we often use the number of 8400 u.s. troops to talk about her presence inside that country. for any. for any of us that have spent time there and of course you well know that number of u.s. support personnel is actually much larger. we actually have have a big nonmilitary civilian contracting footprint. do you know off hand what the number is of u.s. supported or u.s. a paid for personnel that are on the ground today in afghanistan be on just that number of 8400 troops? >> no senator, i do not have number of the number of contractors that would be supporting either dod or the state. i could give you the numbers for the u.s. embassy. we have about 670 -- 670 u.s. members in addition to the 9800
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that are serving with the u.s. military. i'd have to get back to you on the number of contractor. >> carries it because i think we use the wrong metric when we try to understand our presence. we tried to to look at some fairly significant functions way from new troops to what they used to do there. our footprint is much bigger and we have more americans at risk than just that number 84. >> if i could if you don't object, with the order of magnitude be may be tripled the number that we have a military just a military just to give an order of magnitude? >> senator, i am really reluctant to guess on this number. i don't have a sense. >> i apologize. >> that's my guess. ambassador, can you talk about what you see is the future vision of the u.s. military
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presence in afghanistan. whether you see this as a movement for the day when there are no u.s. troops, no u.s. military presence, or should we be thinking about afghanistan more like south korea in which we are going to have to have a constant presence there to help underwrite and help advise the military forces. what what is your recommendation for the administration on that question? >> i think as we are thinking about transitions of administrations, of course course these are the kinds of questions that will come to the floor. and president obama with his decision on keeping 8400 troops in place wanted to leave as much room as possible for his successor to make decisions about the overall levels of u.s.
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troops. i think that i will give you my own personal view, that there is essentially two models i would say of how we can be looking at the future. one is essentially a long war in which we do have a long commitment of some number of troops, whatever that number may be i think that will be open to debate. but the other option is to pursue a political settlement and to pursue reconciliation i don't think that it's necessarily something that needs to be done on an immediate timeframe and it certainly needs to be done in accordance with our core principles. we have to establish this in regard to reconciliation that any agreement has to, at at the end of the day involve the
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television breaking with al qaeda and international terrorism. with ceasing violence, and with coming under the afghan constitution including a respect for minorities and women. so i think that if i may, just having been thinking in terms of future military presence i think the way we should be thinking about this is that our military hardening of the afghan state could send them in a position to arrive at a political settlement that is safeguards the investment. >> that assumes that the taliban is interested in a political solution. you worry that it is simply not in the dna of the tele-band to compromise. were talking about a political party. were party. were talking about a social, cultural, and religious movement
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that may be totally incapable of doing what were asking them to do. that is essentially get one quarter or one half of what they want to power share. it doesn't suggest to me the kind of organization that really in the end is capable of entering into a political settlement. if if that is the case than a strategy which assumes that eventually they will fold in is one that will never turn out the way we wanted to. >> if i may senator, i think it's next line question and i think we don't know the answer to the question. i was as a diplomat this is a proposition that we would need to test, whether the tele- band are prepared to come to the table and to talk. when i would say is there is an enormous war weariness in afghanistan on both sides. i think that is very evident. i think it is evident amongst the afghan people who are think absolutely ready for a peace element and for reconciliation. if that widespread desire can be
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translated into attitudes on the part of the taliban i think there could be some ground. i think it is something that needs to be tested. >> inky. our staff found out and said it was probably between 8,100,000, but it of additional security contractors. if you get back with us that bigger. in saying this, i want to say personally that i lobbied the white house to keep the number of troops that we had their, and grabbed the president came up with a number that i think will keep stability there. i appreciated the additional authorities that were given to the military to give close air support to the afghan military when necessary. i appreciated the authorities to go against al qaeda that didn't exist a year or so ago. i do not want any of the questions that i am asking to indicate anything other than my support for those decisions that
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have been made. i think donnie is generally a good man. i think i'm glad we have someone that doesn't care about corruption and he is more of a technocrats and understands the way of the world and the imf and other places. i think there are political skills as a human being. that said, again i want to go back to some of the questions i asked mr. sampler earlier. regardless of political reconciliation, and ice share some of the concerns that senator murphy laid out, when we created this afghan military and afghan police, we knew that for we would be pouring billions and billions of dollars even with political reconciliation
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occurring. we have a country as you mentioned that is the poorest of the world. there is all of this utopian discussion about the minerals they have in the ground which is been utopia for decades. it is like when to happen in my lifetime, i know. i think it is better for the american people for us to understand that once you undertake an effort like this you are talking billions, billions, and billions of u.s. dollars every single year. so i would get back to someone who is a true patriot, mr. sampler and just as we learn about this and obviously it is affecting the american people when they see afghanistan, when they see iraq and out's lead change in thinking in our country among the american people. those of us who are policymakers obviously want to always continue to pursue our national interest. we understand the country is changing or at least test for a while. how would you assess when we go
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into a place like afghanistan and we determine what we are going to do, george bush 41 determined that when we went into desert storm it was a limited mission and once that was accomplished she stepped back out. bush 43 determined that mission to be very different in afghanistan and iraq. you are seen on the ground the effort that it takes for this transformation and certainly good things have occurred. how should we begin to think in a more sophisticated way on the front-end about these types of engagement spaced on what you have learned over the last 14 or 15 years? >> again, thank you for the question. the observation i would make and i make it coming from a special forces background is that it is
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much cheaper, better, and humane to prevent insurgencies than it is to go in and clean them up. in afghanistan one of the reasons i am such an ardent supporter of continuing our engagement is that we have seen firsthand the consequences of walking away from this region. it was the tele-band and it was 30 years of civil war and its bond a breeding ground from al qaeda from which they attacked the united states. so so i am an ardent supporter of pursuing stability in places like afghanistan. one of the things i urged to work on is what should we have learned to do this the next time around, wherever it might be in the world. as an agency and interagency what must we be better at to make sure that we are as prepared as we can be to bring all of the instruments of national power to bear to make sure we find the most economical and effective ways to do this. i really appreciate your observation to the time required. you may be able to go into afghanistan in 2001 and topple
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the government there very quickly. but you cannot rebuild the state in an equally quick. of time. there is a further confusion and some of the community of interest that if you double the amount of money spent you'll therefore double the rate of change in the national government. i appreciate to the growing recognition that that is just not true. i would argue for a comprehensive whole government approach that really does use all the instruments of our national power. then the strategic patience as you have indicated to be able to stay the course i make sure the changes we make are permanent. i worked in bosnia in 1995 and 1996 when richard holbrooke wrote that peace agreement. at that time we are very pessimistic. bosnia is not covering itself and gloria and it's a very complicated place to work and but it is a government
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state and the people there live better lives there than they did in 1993. if that is all we can achieve in afghanistan, that might be enough for the short run. i think we run. i think we need to stay the course to make sure the gains the afghans have made in the government they are getting to provide is permanent not reversible. >> i will turn to government senator shaking. we know these problems will go on for decades, what we have done in our country is due so and not pay for. what we have really done is make sure that future generations will pay for this. which to me is inherently immoral. it seems to me on the front-end of these a decision needs to be made if we know we are going to be there spending $10 billion per year that we also create some way through cuts and other government services which obviously the american people would pay attention to or in some other ways revenues pay for
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these undertakings. we are not just committing to something for a long time each year, most of these resources are being piled on the back of our young people that down the road are going to bear the price. not us but people down the road. >> thank you mr. chairman and i would agree, i think what we have done is let the american people think that we can do these kinds of interventions without any cost to america. that is a dangerous precedent to set. but i want to begin by thanking you, ambassador olsen and mr. sampler for your service in afghanistan into the country. i wish you well and whatever you are doing next.
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i have two questions. my first is very specific. as i know you both know, without any action from congress to authorize additional visas for afghan and for the afghan special immigrant visa program, not only will that program expire but thousands of afghans who have provided valuable service to our embassy there, to our men and women who have served, will be denied access to this country be exposed to themselves and their families to great danger. many of them already are. so i want to ask both of you if you could talk about how important it is for congress to take action to extent the siv program for afghans who are still in the pipeline and to talk about what a difference that has made to our mission there on the ground.
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>> thank you senator for your question. let me say that the state department is a fully committed to the special immigrant visa program. we consider it frankly a moral responsibility to our employees who have been prepared to put their lives at risk by their association with us. senator, you are indeed correct that without an infusion of visa numbers we will very shortly be exhausted the ability to issue visas whether it is to individuals who served with our armed forces or our work locally engaged staff at that u.s. mission. i would not offer any specific
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commentary on the various pieces of legislation that are currently under consideration except to note that we do believe the need is real and we would encourage the senate in the house to act on it. >> mr. sampler, do you have anything to add? >> yes man, i will endorse the investors observation. i will say that i look for to a day where the afghans do not feel a need to flee afghanistan. the brain drain that this creates a monk that just the interpreters but the professional staff at our embassy who we come after serving just two years are now in the united states is significant. it has been discussed in the government afghanistan that as soon as we can't reverse the security concerned and give the people's of the confidence that
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they can stay that will be a significant success. in the short run, i very much is support the siv program. i have colleagues who have worked with them for me in afghanistan who are either in the united states now or hope to be because of the siv program. i very much appreciate congress is willing to offer this and willing to extend it. >> thank you both and i do it appreciate the efforts of the state department to make sure this program has worked and worked more expeditiously to help those in real danger. it's disappointing to me that we have had a few people in the senate and in the house who have blocked something that has been very important to our efforts on the ground in afghanistan. my second question is really a more broad one. just reading and listening to media reports in the last month about discord between president donnie and ceo about televangelist incursions tallow
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-- and one of the police chiefs who at least for all news reports was not corrupt and was working hard to address the dangers of taliban, it is hard to read all of those reports and have a rosy view of the good works that have gone on in afghanistan. i appreciate both of you talking about progress that has been made. it does raise concerns about what the future holds. i wonder if you could talk about how we should view the future, given some of the reports of what we are seeing? >> thank you senator. i agree with you that it is important not to be rosy i done this. i do think in particular the security situation is not quite as dire as it is sometimes presented. through media reports, i'm not
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saying that to be critical of the media but it is just simply the nature of the news cycle. the fact is the taliban for the last two years has thrown everything they have against the afghan forces with the exception of the brief fall of -- last fall. the afghan forces have held. in fact under general nicholson's leadership nicholson's leadership they have taken much more offensive actions and are much more mobile and less tied to checkpoints. many of the incidents that you are describing are actually the overrunning of checkpoints. for instance, in a province recently there were reports that they capital had fallen, that was not true. what had happened is certain checkpoints on the outskirts
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which is a town on the hills and surrounded by narrow roads leading in had fallen to the taliban. the city itself was never actually under any kind of direct threat. that said, the fighting has been serious, especially in parts of the north. again, the key parts, that is to say the populated districts, the capital, the areas around the ring road have continued to hold. i think the taliban do control certain parts of afghanistan that is indisputable, but with a controller primarily rural areas with very low population densities. these are not population centers. if you look at the proportion of
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the country the taliban holds in terms of population that is really not very significant. this is of course that five major cities of afghanistan have over the course of the past 15 years become huge series in afghan status. so i do not want to be overly optimistic, but but i do think that the afghan forces are holding despite some real casualties. with our continued support we believe they will be able to withstand whatever the taliban has been throwing against them. on the question of national unity, it is a challenge. this is not a country country that has a tradition of coalition
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government, ever. it has a a long tradition frankly of very authoritarian centralized one-person rule. so there are challenges to making the government internationally work. there are some challenges that have come up recently of which i'm sure you are aware. our sense is that both president connie and doctor abdallah, i've met with both of them repeatedly. my senses they both recognize the importance of unity and inclusive government. there are some top political issues frankly that decide them but we are working with them to continue to keep the process on track. >> we talked about the significant losses to the afghan
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forces and i have heard they have lost thousands of people. how much is is this affecting their ability to continue to recruit men to replace all of those people who have been lost? >> i don't mean to duck the question but i would prefer that to my dod collects area they would probably have the precise numbers on that. my sense from having been out there and having talked repeatedly to general nicholson and others is that while the casualties are severe, first of all they are not a significant as the casualties of the taliban are taking. the taliban casualties are particularly severe. so far i think it is safe to say that the recruitment efforts
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have not been hampered and there has been some important advantages the afghan forces have right now, particularly the use of air power which gives them a big advantage and a morale boost over the taliban. the afghans now are fine 829, the afghan air force is conducting airstrikes and we have provided helicopters and 530s which are being used quite quite effectively. . .
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we think what's important in the near term is that the government afghanistan agree on what electoral reforms are absolutely necessary to conduct elections as soon as possible. there is a consensus that after the last, the 2014 election dayy are necessary and under consideration for electronic id cards. the question of constituencies and naturally constituencies raised questions of redistricting which is as controversial as in the united states, so these are important issues that we are going to have to get through that we think the important thing is for them to actually come up with a reform package and agree on it.
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i will say in reference to one of your questions there is a 30% rate each year so the special forces have an outstanding job outperforming the arrest of the afghan military does have significant turnover. >> as far as the games that have been made, a big part of that has been with the close air support we've been able to get to. >> that is correct. i am well outside my main. >> they just couldn't get it together unfortunately. but that is true what i just said, right?
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>> general nicholson of course has under his authority is the ability to provide air support to carry out a strategic effect and he has been using them quite effectively. >> when do we expect the afghans themselves i know that they are gaining ground as it relates to the air service but when will we expect they can totally displace us on those activities? >> i would think i couldn't answer that question. that would be one for my air force colleagues working this issue directly that we would be happy to take it back to try to geget you an answer. >> what would be your observation taking up the issue of having a ceo in a president today that it's likely they would put that down?
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>> the question is a bit of a complicated one because political agreement calls for one pickle pick calls for a constitutional which would require first holding parliamentary elections and as i was discussing with senator shaheen, this challenge is to carry out and that's why they haven't taken place so far and it hasn't come about. >> my understanding was that possibly one of the reasons we are not going ahead with the parliamentary peace as we know to the extent it was constitut constituted. this shotgun marriage we created within the exist but would fall apart, so it's the sequence you outlined and not concerned about with the aftermath might be. >> yes, first of all these are
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afghan decisions about whether to convene a la jolla jerga. i don't think that the calculation that this would not -- that this would proceed one way or another was a factor. it was simply the difficulty of reaching a consensus on the electoral reforms and therefore agreeing on the electoral date actually prevented the convening. and it's important to emphasize i'm talking about a constitutional la jolla jerga. there is also the option that's much less predictable in terms of possible outcomes. >> and i understand karzai is playing a mysterious role in those issues is that correct?
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>> president karzai has occasionally signaled to that he would favor a traditional la jolla jerga. i think we would have concerns but at the end of the day this is up to the afghans to decide. >> one last question and i can tell we want to close with other questions and comments. the role that you play first of all the post will end after many years of distinguished service which we are all thankful for but it does seem to me that now the whole notion of the scenario that we envisione envision thate is different today. i would love a fe if you were or way out the door to talk about
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the strengths of having a person in this position and some of the complexities again. i would think in some ways it greets distrust by some countries for someone in your position or code. i wonder if you might make some observations that others will decide if this position continues. >> thank you for giving me the chance to address this. i do think having an office like mine that is robustly resourced and staffed and able to deal with some of the highest priority issues in our foreign policy on a daily basis may be a good deal of sense. just to give you some examples, i am equivalent to the secretary of state i only focus on two countries but this allows me to
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focus much more intensively. as i mentioned i've been there twice in the last month and in the nine months or so that i've been in this job i've been out on a monthly basis almost to cobble and islamabad and that is a level of attention that i think an ordinary assistant secretary of state would be able to attach to one or two countries that i have to say that there are challenges to the structure as well. the challenge i think that we all come up against is the fact that pakistan in some ways views itself and sees itself much more in terms of its relationship with india and the fact that
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india and pakistan are in the current structure and separate bureaucratic domains can sometimes be a bit of a challenge but let me just say i work extremely closely with great respect for my colleague and we have made significant efforts to make sure it's not problematic but i think that is a serious concern. >> can you just share with us how helpful they are being in the taliban involved afghanistan in the peace process and particularly how they are inconsistent, i'm being generous recount in regards to the network impacting the ability to
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have a meaningful peace process in afghanistan? >> yes, thank you senator. i continue to believe pakistan is at a strategic crossroads and it can choose either to act against the extremists who threaten to save haven on its territory and threaten its neighbors or it can continue to ignore this problem. if it chooses the former course of action that will be build regional stability with its neighbors and the united states. it chooses the latter it will face it seems to me increasing isolation and estrangement. >> we have been talking about this for a considerable period of time and again being somewhat kind on this it seems to be
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taking both at the present time but many here believe they've already made their decision that they won't go after economy andd may even allow them to operate for whatever reasons that they've chosen in many respects not to go after them. if you talk to the indians to tell you the same thing is true in regards to the networks against indiatheir networksagait organizations against india that are supported at least by the presence in pakistan. so i guess my question is the jury still out on pakistan and if it is, how do we influence to make the right decision? >> i think that pakistan has taken some actions. they did clean out the worthless era stan -- north was era stand.
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>> did i get them involved in the peace process? >> it's safe to say that pakistan needs series of efforts to try to bring the tablet into the table. we know that through a variety of means but at the end of the day the tablet and didn't take up the offer to come to the table and i think that is unfortunate and regrettable. we continue to urge pakistan to take robust action and i think that there are indications that they have taken some actions,
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but i don't think that it would be fair to say that those actions have been definitive. >> this conversation has been going on for a long time. and it just looks like a major spotlight. it's a matter that not only has a direct impact on pakistan, and truly it does but there is one additional question on human rights. there are many in afghanistan but think the united states hasn't been strong enough with the human rights monitoring in afghanistan. i would just make that observation again as they did with corruption where we had a good discussion here today.
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it's critically important that the united states prioritized every opportunity and that we must have accountability if we are going to be able to continue this successful conclusion. >> did either one of you since you may not have the microphone is there anything that you would like to say before we adjourn. >> i'm continually impressed with the value of the government and how we do things and it does encourage me to watch other governments where i get the opportunity to work. i appreciate the other opportunities you've given me. can i come back?
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>> i did want to make one more addition to this point. there has been a subtle shift in the way pakistan is approaching the question of the tablet and conversations with us and i've had many conversations. i was formerly ambassador in pakistan and i met with the general 50 times to discuss this particular issue but i think that what has happened is that there is less of an emphasis on the strategic dimension that you alluded to and i think that there is a greater concern about taking on another fight when they already have a domestic terrorism issue that they are grappling with. this is a question of capacity
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for the pakistanis to deal with. not 100%. i wasn't suggesting there are some people who favor the tablet and for strategic reasons, but i think it is in many ways from the perspective of the military establishment simply having too many things they have to deal with at once. we have the sense that we are making progress, slow vb step progress in these areas but again, let me join with my colleague in thinking you for giving us the opportunity to be here toda today and to thank yor your support and cooperation. >> i've had conversations about the haqqani network and we know
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that if roadblocks to get out of jail free health car healthcared that relationship is very cozy and we know that the leadership of pakistan, those generally speaking. it's a problem that we all understand. we held that the subsidies if you will. we've seen the clips each day and we know that it's been reported in pakistan and india. but in all candor we haven't heard much in the state department sends. what kind of affect does that have internally on pakistan when
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they see support is diminishing because of their lack of action? >> there is a great deal of concern about what they see as a downward slope in the relationship with the denied dates. one of the challenges here is very candidly that pakistan is a very compartmentalized society and has a very compartmentalized government. i think that most genuinely believe that the country as a victim of terrorism and has been engaged in a long-standing battle with terrorism for which we are unappreciative. that is not entirely true but
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for those groups that threaten their neighbors, which quite frankly they have the best one can say they have not pursued them with the same degree that they have pursued those that threatened them domestically. >> i would say the big compartment as the military service and the small department is the civilian leadership. and i would make another observation that when i first got here a decade ago, nine and a half years ago, the relationship was very transactional and we tried to move through a period of time that it was more whole and put in place and we reverted back over time because of disappointment to a very transactional relationship and i
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think it is unhealthy at present and it seems pakistan has figured out a way to use their potential bad behavior. the concerns of nuclear weapons and concerns about just what they are doing in some ways has driven us to want to be more involved. i look forward to debriefing you as time goes on but i think we need to be thinking about these things in a different way. we thank you for your service and even though he will be gone from government today, hopefully he will answer those that will come through monday afternoon and be the first test. we welcome him and thank you and hope you will write a book that will help us think about these.
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i look forward to seeing you again. the meeting is adjourned. an audible conversations [inaudible conversations]
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the leader available online and editorial the publisher saying a better choice for president. thanks very much for being with us. >> why gary johnson?
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they have a lot to offer and weren't under any circumstances but in this crazy year with the two major party candidates, they look like as we said in the editorial ray of hope in the darkness. >> a reference to your predecessor. >> he was astonished richard nixon made this detente and he was ballistic about it. he didn't think it was going to be at all good for the united states and i'm not sure that he wasn't right. but thanks and of course --
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mixinofcourse the opponent was e mcgovern. so his advice on the front page to the readers was pooled your nose and vote for nixon. and if the readers of that today say there is no need to hold your nose and voting for johnson and while they are commendable of those that actually have experienced and success in running the government and appealing across the aisle. >> they still haven't reached that 15% benchmarthe 15% benchmo participate in the first of what will be for presidential and vice presidential debates scheduled a week from monday.
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>> that is as bad as last summer when the networks into the cablecables especially were determining who to invite to their so-called debates and c-span was nice to come up and cover our event with all 16 of the republican candidates minus trump who decided not to show us that we didn't think then and we don't think now that some of these opportune decisions about who gets in and who gets out are the right ones for the country and johnson and wells came in and talked to us about it and said that what the commission might do is have a lower percentage in the popular polls for the first debate and then see those subsequent to that of who gets in after that and maybe
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10% in the first go around moving it u at up to 20% for the subsequent debates. this will be quite the show. if he is going to tell the national audience that he will exist and have the best chance since roosevelt in 1912 making a dent in the popular vote. they are going around the country and both have good records.
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let me ask about both of the candidates how would you describe him? >> he's a blowhard that has no business working for president of the united states other than he's gotten a lot of free media going off of that. his record in business is very spotty. the statements on his political beliefs have been all over the lot. he is now out there in bracing the parental leave which would be anathema to republicans and most times. he has the popular support of
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this country and he doesn't know what the nuclear triad is. he makes fun of the veterans and disabled people and he's not a republican and shouldn't be president of the united states. >> and hillary clinton. >> hillary clinton is a career politician who as we said in the editorial we think that trump isn't that far from the status quo to go along and build up the government more and more expense. she's an expert on data that clearly not telling the truth about a lot of things including her own health and how she does the nation's business on private e-mail. she's gotten her job because of
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name recognition mostly from her husband. they gave her the secretary of state's job which she hasn't done to our estimation a very good job of. >> the publisher of the new hampshire union leader and today's editorial available online. always a pleasure. thanks for being with us. >> keep c-span running. >> booktv brings 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend. here are some of the programs this weekend. 8 p.m. eastern tv talks with the new librarian of congress at first woman and african-american who holds the position. "new york times" president and ceo mark thompson looks at the erosion of public language in his book enough said.
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it examines the change in language from fdr and churchill to donald trump. interviewed by arianna huffington, founder of the huffingtonpost. >> the natural shape of politics all over the western world you can feel the big traditional legal party, the mainstream parties. the international literary stars and emerging authors featured authors and topics include a discussion on economics.
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the leaders of the four branches of the military testified for the senate armed services committee on the pentagon budget issues. this is two hours and 15 minutes.
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the senate armed services committee meets to receive testimony on the budgetary challenges facing our military. i would like to welcome the witness as chief of staff in the army that the chief of naval operations admiral richardson, dodd of the marine corps and chief of staff of the air force, general goldstein. thank you for your years of distinguished service and for your testimony today. far too often, washington is governed by crisis and a stopgap deals like continuing resolutions, omnibus spending bills and episodic budget agreements that are a poor substitute for actually doing
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our job. it's become unfortunately in all familiar cycle of gridlock, and backroom dealing. is it any wonder why americans say they are losing trust in government? and threw it all, we lose sight of the fact that the dysfunction of washington has very real consequences for the thousands of americans serving in uniform and sacrificing on our behalf all around the nation and the world. from afghanistan to iraq and syria from the heart of europe to the cities of asia, the troops are doing everything we ask of them but we must ask ourselves are we doing everything we can for them, are we serving them with a similar degree of coverage and performance of our duties? the answer i say with profound sadness is we are not. we are not. over many years across president and congressional majorities of both parties, washington has overseen a steady explosion of our national debt.
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this is just a fact but five years ago rather than confronting the real driver of the debt which is the unsustainable growth of entitlement spending, we look the other way. we failed to make tough choices and necessary reforms and the reason that was the budget control act that imposed arbitrary caps on the spending including defense spending for a decade. when we failed to fix the problem, we doubled down on the reckless cuts with mindless sequestration. we lie to the american people. the budget back into sequestration have done nothing to fix the national debt. this is just mathematics. and what is worse, the people we have punished for our failure are none other than the men and women of our armed services. they've grown more dangerous to
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the resources available to the military has continued to decline. this year's defense budget is more than $150 billion less than fiscal year 2011. rising threats into declining budgets have led to shrinking military forces that are struggling to sustain higher operational tempo with aging equipment and readiness. the modernizing threats of tomorrow our present crisis of military readiness is not just a matter of training that is a capacity problem. of the army, navy, air force and marine corps are too small to train for and meet our growing operational requirements against the threats while simultaneously having enough spare capacity to prepare for the full spectrum warfare. as it is, our services are cannibalizing themselves just to
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keep up with the current pace of deployment as in the recent media reports in the marine corps aviation has made clear and the result is that the fighting forces are becoming effectively hollow against great power competitor's. if all of this isn't bad enough, there's this year only halfway through the budget control act. there's five more years of our pitcher a defense spending caps. it's true that last year's act provided much-needed relief but this deal is coming to an end and when it does, those caps will remain in place through the next president entire term. the department of defense believed this would devastate the national defense and yet we are fooling ourselves and receiving the american people about the cost of fixing the problem. just consider the departments current five-year defense plan
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is $100 billion in total above the spending caps set by the budget control act. in addition, roughly $30 billion of the doub the value of annualg for the base defense requirements is buried in the budget account for emergency operations and requirements that would remain for the military which of course they won't. what this means is that over the next five years, our nation must come up with two -- $250 billion tto deal with our defense strategy and our current in ours record. a $250 billion just to do what we are planning to do right now which i would think many of us would agree is insufficient to meet the present and future challenges. a quarter of a trillion dollars, that is the real hit in cost above our budget caps that we must come up with.
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if you pay for the defense is doing right now even as most of us agree that what we are doing at present is not sufficient for what we really need. of those needs are great indeed for maintaining the capability and capacity to wage a generational fight against the radical islamic terrorism to rebuilding the forced to detour and if necessary to defeat high-end threats and modernizing the nuclear deterrent to investing in the next generation capabilities that will preserve the military technology advantage and ensure the troops never find themselves in a fair fight. the bottom line is this from the budget control act tax to the so-called account to the increasing obsolete defense strategy to the modernization coming from each of the services
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we are lying to ourselves and the american people about the true cost of defending the nation. deploying the young americans into battle without sufficient training or recommend to fight the war that will take longer, the larger, cost more, and ultimately claim more american lives than it otherwise would have. if that come this comes to passl be responsible? who is to blame for the risk of those that serve and defend the nation committee answer is clear we are. the negative republicans, all of us. the question is whether we will find the courage we lack to put
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aside politics to chart a better course to adopt a defense budget worthy of the service and sacrifice of those who volunteered to put themselves in harms way on our behalf. i am committed to doing everything i can as the chairman of the committee to accomplishing the task. i know my colleagues on the committee are, too, despite the odds i'm ever hopeful that together, we still can. senator reid? >> let me thank you in -- join you in thinking the members and ask them to give their thanks to the men and women that served so proudly. the focus of the budget is confronting military services for 15 years they've been in continuous military operations while our men and women in uniform have performed their duties during always ask them to
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demand more. the tempo has had an impact on the training and equipment. on top of all of that data to grapple with the sequestration as the chairman pointed out the military leaders before us today have an important task. if they planned budget for fiscal year 2018 and beyond, they must anticipate the threats of the future and how the military will address and defeat those threats as we are reminded on a daily basis the country is facing many complicated and rapidly evolving challenges that do not offer easy or quick solutions. for example, we have seen that competitors learn from the past successes to big advances of their own particularly in areas of precision and long-range strike and anti-access space and cyber. they've embarked on a strategy to recapture the advantage over
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the adversaries. welcome to the witnesses on how they plan to confront these critical issues again in the context of these difficult budgetary issues and in addition, the witness today must also ensure investments are made to rebuild and modernize the force and maintain the well-being of the troops over the course of this year they've repeatedly heard testimony on these issues and i hope we can provide an update on the progress that they have made. finally, the defense budget should be based on the long-term military strategy which requires the focus at least five years in the future. last year congress passed the bipartisan budget act that established the funding level for fiscal year 2016 and 2017 and there is no greater for fiscal 18 and beyond.
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without another that provides the relief of the sequestration of military service will be forced to submit the 2018 budget that adheres to the sequestration level budget caps and would undermine the investments made to rebuild the readiness and modernization and of the aspects of the military force. not only is one of the budgets but the certainty knowing that you have budget levels at least for five years and that is another aspect. i will welcom welcome by witnesd suggestions as we move forward. thank you very much mr. chairm mr. chairman. for the army soldiers and families the army as you know is manned, trained, equipped and
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led as the foundation of the joint force in order to detour and if deterrence fails, to defeat the wide range of nonstate actors. today, tomorrow, and deep into the future. although there is many challenges as i outlined below, the most important of which is consistent sustained predictable funding over time. i still want to be clear the united states army is the combat force of decision and we are more capable, better trained and equipped, better lead and more lethal than any other ground force in the world today-a valued by the allies and feared by the enemies and they know full well we can destroy them and any enemy and destroy them anywhere and we can destroy them any time. but having said that, ever challenge today is to sustain the counterterrorists and
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insurgency capabilities that we have developed to a high degree of proficiency over the last 15 consecutive years. for many years in the future the prediction of which is unknown. and simultaneously to build the capability and ground combat against high your end great power threats. the army prioritizes readiness because the global security environment is increasingly uncertain and complex. and i anticipate that we will have to continue to prioritized readiness for many years to come. while we cannot forecast when and where the next will arise. if any contingency happens it will likely require the significant commitment of the u.s. army forces on the ground.
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the army provides 52% of all the global combatant commander for military forces and the provide 69% of all the emerging combatant command and we have 187,000 soldiers committed in 140 different countries globally to conducting the nation's business. to sustain the operations and to mitigate the risk of deploying the force in the combat operations the army will continue to prioritized and fully fund readiness over at the end strength modernization and infrastructure. we have the future readiness encourage readiness. we fully ma manned and equippedr combat formations and conduct realistic combat training at both home station and the combat
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training centers. we determined that they are lagging. the networks in the air and missile defense, combat vehicles and emerging threats programs. the efforts are focused on developing the overmatch and mobility, without becoming mission command and force protection with specific emphasis on the following systems. long-range fighters come in missile defense, director energy reference, ground vehicles, vertical lift, cyber electronic warfare, robotics, networks and protection for both ground and air and we ask for your continued support for soldiers and families to maintain high levels and high-quality of confidence that you've come to expect in the united states ar
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army. balanced, predictable resources the army will find to meet the current demands, build for contingencies and invest in the readiness of the future force. thank you, senator. good morning mr. chairman and distinguished members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and thank you for your sustained support to the needy and the nation. i've been traveling around a fair amount recently to put eyes on the needy around the world. and as you know the problems are getting more complex by the day but the team is working hard. the sailors, marines, civilians are simply astounding in their skill and dedication and must focus on that with everything we do to respect their mission and
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dedication. i can describe the current challenges in terms of the triple whammy. the first as we said as the continued high demand for the naval forces. we just marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and in the past 15 years of the off tempo in support of the war has put tremendous wear and tear on the ships and aircraft. it's also taken a toll on the sailors that take the platforms out to see on the skilled navy civilians the building and repair them and family members. the second is the budget uncertainty. the years of continuing resolutions including the year of sequestration and driven additional cost and time into just about everything that we do. the services are essentially operating in three fiscal quarters per year. nobody scheduled anything important in the first quarter.
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the distractions of this uncertainty posed directly to the risks to the navy and the nation. the third is the resource level and budget control in the bipartisan budget acts and funding levels require us to prioritized the readiness. we are compromising the readiness of the ships and aircraft and we will have to surge to achieve victory in the large conflict. we've also curtailed the modernization and a number of areas critical to staying ahead of our potential adversaries. one more related point as this highlights a point you brought up the navy thrives on long-term stability when putting together shipbuilding plants it is necessary to think in terms of decades. while i know we are mostly here to talk about the current challenges, i must say i was struck by the recent
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congressional budget office report updating the long-term economic outlook. and that discretionary spending that includes defense will drop to the lowest levels in more than 50 years. it makes it crystal clear that we all die van and get to work on this problem now for the security of the country. in terms of the solution, we must work as partners. on the one hand, we must work to set up sufficient resource bubbles and restore stability to the budgeting process and on the other hand we must ensure every dollar that the american taxpayer gives the navy is spent as efficiently and effectively as possible. i am committed to meeting my responsibilities here and partnering with you as we go forward. together with ou our service is coming your navy is here to protect the great nation.
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the sailors and civilians continue to do everything that is being asked of them even as the demands continue to grow. working together with un committed to finding a way to address these challenges. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> chairman, thanchairman, drinr reimemberreed, members of the c, thank you for the opportunity to talk about your marines and i thank you for your support of the sailors that serve. marines have a unique perspective on the readiness based on the intent of congress. we are the readiness and it's central to our identity as part of the marine corps team. that said, my understanding of the purpose of the hearing is for the service chiefs.
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there are many fiscal requirements but this congress has to deal with. however based on the current topline in the future budget projections. we are pushing risks and the long-term health of the force into the future we submitted an unfunded priority list of approximately $2.6 billion which is the largest we've ever submitted. the global security environment drives the requirements and requirements equal commitment. the themes are as busy and committed now during the height of operations in iraq and afghanistan and the kind of temporal balanced against the reductions and instability of the continuing resolutions and the threat of sequestration during the years have driven us to critically review the allocation of resources to meet these commitments. we, like the other services make choices every day and we are facing the readiness challenges
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head-on. the current readiness shortfalls and aviation facility sustainment and future modernization, retention of critical skills and building the depth on the bench are the primary concerns. that said, we haven't stood idly by planning for the future incompetence we've identified the requirements for the readiness recovery and improvements and we are making progress slowly but progress nonetheless. our force 2025 initiative is identified in the requirements of the future marine corps balanced against the fiscal reality. it addresses the current bloody shortfalls and the sustainment of the capacity and future manpower requirements to the 21st century battlefield. battlefield. fiscal constraints necessarily bring trade-offs into paraphrase one of my predecessors we will give you the most ready marine corps the nation can afford. the marine corps restores what
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we are given given and we will generate the maximum possible with the resources we are provided, and we will create and generate what is ready and lethal working side-by-side to the other services into the navy shipmates especially we can count on the marines to meet and exceed the standards the american people to support us. >> to be a member of the team serving beside the men i've known for years and fought with and admire in the interest of brevity, the eu and the ranking member asked five key questions in a letter requesting the hearing. you asked what are the modernization needs we need to maintain stable predictable funding for the kc 46 and the 21 to outpace the adversaries and at the same time shoulder to
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shoulder with the navy we must modernize the nuclear enterpri enterprise. and while we continue to extend, we need flexibility to retire the aging systems and reduce excess infrastructure in order to afford the advantage given the adversary position. they continue to proliferate and provide. our bipartisan budget act total is for fy 17 and 317,000 of which were active duty. based upon the airpower as required to defeat the challenges presented by china, russia, iran and north korea and violent extremism we
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respectfully request your support to grow the force to 321,000 of duty airmen by the end of fy 17. this remains the top priority in the budget request. the last couple o desktop of the maintain its technological edge? the laser focus on the bomber recapitalization, nuclear modernization, preparing for the war that could extend into space and increasing the capability and capacity and cyber domain and leveraging and improving the multi-domain coalition command and control as the foundation of the future combined arms operations. you asked how well the requirements impact the budgetary topline from fiscal year 2018 and onward? we will be forced to continually make strategic trades of simultaneous existing legacy fleets, engage in the current fight while smartly investing in modernization and future
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technologies that will be required to meet the combatant commander demands in the information age of warfare. repealing sequestration, returning to stable budgets without the continuing resolutions and allowing us to the flexibility to reduce the infrastructure and make the strategic trades are essential to success. finally coming you asked, what solutions are available for the mitigating and growing costs such as the new acquisition authorities with innovative solutions to maintain the military. as the chief requirements officer, i review every major program to ensure they are published and sustained throughout the program and by personally signing documents leading to the decisions to ensure that we meet the cost schedule performance standards for the war fighting commanders. ..
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thank you for your leadership and service to the nation. i think we could all agree that the world has changed enough since the initiation of sequestration. a simple question. do you feel that we can adequately have the resources and ability to defend this nation against present and future threats if we continue
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down this path of sequestration beginning with you general milley. >> on sequestration no sir i cannot. >> admiral richardson. >> sequestration will prevent us from doing that. >> general neller. >> no surreal would not have the capability. >> the same. >> thank you. admiral richardson you talked about in your statement, your written statement people are feeling the strain and continue to meet our recruiting and retention goals but you go on to talk about seals and surface nuclear officers not needing goals and aviation is another area of concern. we see declines in officer retention from multiple grades and onus is on not proving fully effective area i guess i would
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ask admiral richardson general neller and general goldfein it's not an matter of money for these young pilots, isn't that chair? it's a matter in being able to fly and to operate. we just talked about solving this problem with bonuses and we are never going to compete with the airlines because they can always up the ante but when our pilots are flying less hours a month than russian and chinese pilots are you are going to have a problem. i will begin with the admiral richardson. >> sir our pilots join the navy to fly aircraft and that's what they want to do. this is a much bigger problems than money. money can help up to a point and we want to make sure we can adequately compensate all of our people and there's competition as you say but at the heart of the matter is the highly dedicated team that want to fly high-performance aircraft. they want to fly. >> general neller. >> sir i would agree to that.
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on paper or situation looks a little bit better but it doesn't take into account the experience level of those aircrew but it is all about retention and providing modern maintainable party to fly airplanes but i'd also say it's the maintainers and we are making it now on the backs of those sergeants and staff sergeants out there that have to work twice to get the part from one to put it on the other so i'm as concerned about maintainers sticking around. we compete not just with the airlines but we compete with contractors and commercial concerns and the marines that maintain our airplanes. >> and while i've still got you, and your written statement he said the marine corps is no longer in a position to generate current readiness and you said our equipment while sustaining her facility in modernizing to ensure our future readiness. it's a. strong statement.
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>> based on the current fiscal environment as a stated i believe we are all making trades and those trades require us to accept risks in certain areas. i would like to have our parks support it when you look at the aviation particular i can say the same thing about the ground equipment. the amount of money we are able to put against supply support is not that we need to maintain our legacy aircraft. >> general goldfein. >> i approach this as a balanced challenge and opportunity for quality of service and quality of life rated what they found in the past and we have mentioned this before is the quality of service is as important as quality of life and quality of services and making sure you are given the opportunity to be the best you can be in your design in your chosen occupation. private saddam fly and maintain a two and maintain a two.maintaining comptrollers who
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did not control will walk and there's not enough money in the treasure to keep demand if we don't give them the resources they need to be the best they can be. in my mind readiness are -- and morale are inextricably linked. where we have low readiness we have lowest morale. >> general milley in your written statement you said our goal is to have regular or gate combat teams achieve 60 to 65% spectrum for readiness and i estimate it will take your army approximately four years to achieve that assuming no significant increase demand and no sequestration levels of funding. that's a. alarming statement when you look at the challenges, the potential challenges that we are facing. do you want to elaborate on that a bit? >> thank you sir. for 15 consecutive years the army has been decidedly
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committed to iraq and afghanistan and other counterinsurgency type of operations. in order to do that we essentially came off of a core warfighting skills combined maneuvers against the higher end threat so for example just a couple of examples. an armored tank officer today up to say the rank of major has very little experience in terms of maneuvering tanks against an opponent who has armor. very little experience in gunnery. artillery battalion are not firing battalion level fires consistently in a decade and a half so i have, we have to rebuild that and that's going to take time and effort on our part. we have made a lot of progress in last year. >> and you can't do with sequestration. >> absolutely not. sequestration will take the rather out from underneath us absolutely. >> i would just like to say as i
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turned to senator reed at your confirmation hearings i asked you before this committee to give us your frank and honest view. i appreciate that testimony here today and i think it will be very helpful in our efforts to eliminate the effects of sequestration and give you the wherewithal that you need to make sure that we meet the challenges which are as i said in the beginning, far more significant than they were the day that sequestration began. we have got a lot of issues but i appreciate the fact that you have outlined for this committee and i hope for the american people the necessity of us addressing these challenges and i think the witnesses. senator reed. soon i thank you very much and again thank you gentlemen for your testimony. it's very insightful and very
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sobering and also reinforces the point that the chairman made that we just have to move away from sequestration in one of the issues that has been illustrated by your testimony is not just the limits on spending, it's the uncertainty. you only operate -3/4 of the year and that one quarter is just sort of standing around wishing and hoping. can you elaborate a bit? >> sir to hager has been modified to react to the reality over the past eight years so big or grams they require new funding in the require authorities for new starts, those are all prohibited in a continuing resolution environment so rather than put those programs in the first quarter in the mott risk with the three-quarter year and at first quarter is a light touch on just trying to keep things going. >> general milley and then general goldfein your comments about this uncertainty fact and in fact one could argue and i
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will get your insight, that effectively use our -- you are losing lots of money wasting lots of money because of this uncertainty because of sequestration. >> that's correct signature because it's if what we are doing is planning things year-to-year or -3/4 of the year things like multiyear contracts long-term relationships with industries and whether they can count on us and so on that because her difficult. its built-in inefficiency and cost overruns. it's an ongoing situation. >> general milley your comments. >> senator we have clouds got some major programs and would like to have the certainty to be able to tell the vendor that we have the funding there and we compress them to drive the cost down. if we live year-to-year month-to-month is not going to happen that in line with esther esther -- general goldfein said
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they are looking at us and they want to know what the plan is and people brought this is the center of gravity and that's one thing we have have to protect. we can buy up the planes and ships and tanks in vehicle siu wants but this is a volunteer force. this is a recruited and retained for said they watch every move is going on. these young and women are very smart and they want to know that there is commitment that they can count on as they decide whether they are going to continue to stay in. >> aq. general goldfein. >> perhaps add some perspective if we end up in the long-term continuing resolution this will be the eighth that we have had to deal with so just to give you a scale for what will happen in the united states air force if we go beyond three months until long-term cr that will be about $1.3 billion last than the f-117 budgets of the immediate impact we will go from 15 to 12 aircraft and the fy17 budget
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will rack staple to forecast based on what we believe we will be dropping in the current fight. that will go away so we will be procuring or munitions at a lower. which not only of x. all of us that are engaged in the campaign but it affects our coalition partners who are relying on us as well for preferred munitions. without 60 acquisition programs that will be affected and 50 milcon projects to include those that are new missions. that's just buy a long-term cr. >> thank you. one of the issues that you all discussed and the chairman has high made appropriate reference to is the changing situation in terms of unexpected challenges in the last several years. my sense is we look around at technology and you are beginning to discover unanticipated costs of legacy systems and in addition we might not even have added in the projection.
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general goldfein and it will go down the panel. >> what happens is we do an extension program and it's actually there's a reason the support letter word. we put it in the aircraft and put it through all kinds of environmental testing testing ay find out what those failure parts aren't that neither by those parts or we put them in the bunch stock and try to predict what will need and then we certified the aircraft will fly in the next 2000 hours. the reality is real money fix what we can accurately predict and then we put these aircraft into depth on maintenance. we pull the skin often what we find are things that we have never predicted. classic example f-15c has a steering problem and we look for the part and we haven't made that part for five years. we go to the industry and we find we have to hand make apart that we have been made in years and that just causes the cost to go up so what we we have done over the years is that the older
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aircraft is actually not a linear path in terms of cost growth. it gets point to an exponential growth in that cost per flying hour requires us to put more money into the system's longer and putting that money into the modernization which we desperately need. >> my time has expired. thank you gentlemen again for your service. >> thank you mr. chairman. general milley when you were talking about ground troops i'm reminded of last year in the house i was on the house armed services committee since 1990 or when we had an expert witness sitting up there like you guys are saying in 10 years we will now longer need ground troops. you know i think so often about what her needs are going to be in the future and how we are trying to stand by it today and yet looking into the future. you talk about the kc-46 and the kc-135 has been around for 57 years and it's going to be
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around for a lot longer. it's not what the competition does. i think the chairman is right when he asked for your honest opinion and i don't have and don't have the credibility to go out and explained the love roll over us that we are accepting today and the fact that we are in a position. they depend on hearing that from you, not from people like me. general dempsey sometime ago said we are putting our military on the path where the force is so degraded and so unready it would be immoral to use force. that to me was a courageous statement that i've used and people are shocked when they hear it. this was some time ago. wynnefield made the statement the first time in my career asked to respond to a crisis i would have to say that we cannot that is a shocker and then of course when our former colleague chuck hagel said american
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dominance in the skies in space can no longer be taken for granted. what i am saying is you folks need to be outspoken. you need to be heard because you are the experts. the public is not aware of the threats that we have so i want to ask you the size of the military but let me give you a couple, these are quotes from you and other people talking about just the size. general goldfein user their strategic capability at image over our competitors is shrinking your ability to work to protect strategic deterrence is being challenged. your predecessor general welsch said virtually every mission area is critical in manning shortages and the air force general subivy said in light of the threats of our nation to include russia china north korea korea and isis you need to talk about that. the army has exempted high
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military risks to the requirements of the national security strategy. general allen and strength readiness is -- so i would like to ask each one of you to do the realities of the strategic environment today in the foreseeable future calling for a change in the size of our military e-mails to refute general subby. >> thank you senator grade-a think the army has got the adequate readiness and the adequate size to deal with our current demand which is fighting terrorists and to meet the commander demand for day-to-day operations. >> the current end strength? >> a day to what's going on with the military strategy given we are actively engaging and isis undock qaeda and other groups so that's current. the risk comes if we have a
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conflict with a high-end competitor. those other contingencies that secretary of defense carter and many others have talked about china russia north korea or i ran. each of which is different operationally and tactically and each which would require different levels of types of forces and methods of operations. the bottom line is the size of the u.s. army today if one or more of those under -- other contingencies to waste i maintain that our risk would increase as i mentioned before and it two of them happened at the same time. >> i understand of course that is not predictable. >> of course not but we have to be prepared order one last comment. what we want is to deter it. nobody wants to have war and the only thing more expensive than deterrence is fighting a war and the only thing more expensive than fighting wars fighting an elusive one. this stuff is expensive. we are expensive and we recognize that but the bottom line is it's an investment that
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is worth every nickel. >> reflate the size. >> philosophically i couldn't say it any better than general milley but in terms of the size. when i first came into beta cno our current fleet size and capability of size is 308 ships. and that was without considering the threat of russia. we are completing a study this month that gets a new force structure assessment and we will be ready to bring that to you shortly. >> used to generally agree with that? >> verses the capacity and the size they talked about and was mentioned by everybody else the capability says we have found that future fight but to deter future fight their capabilities that we don't have the membrane
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horror that we were prior. how big is that orson would you do next otherwise you have to trade and their capabilities we have now that we don't want to get rid of size you trade when capability for another duty to give something up or accept risk their forget the other capability and those were the trades we were discussing. >> you have to accept the risk. it's not concrete answer that question but i do have another comment to make inserting you'd general goldfein. i talked to the pilots and they want to fly more. you take someone off the street in macon s. 22 for the pilot and yet the bonuses are jumping $25,000 a year. that has to be considered also. >> sir in terms of the fact that we are moving forward for an aviation bonus.
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>> you have to consider that along with flying hours. taking someone and putting them in advanced air force training and taking them to have 20 to capability. c as a matter of fact we show that we have not adjusted the aviation bonus for a number of years so we are asking for congress support for an higher level based on the day that we have. it shows it will take her than what we are offered today to be able to provide the quality of life to be able to allow them to stay in but at the same time i am laser focused on the qualities of service aspect on this because even if i pay them more if i don't get them in the air they are going to walk. >> senator mccaskill. >> i want associate myself with the opening statement of senator mccain in many ways because i think you all honestly step
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forward and lead an amazing fight force. i think we owe the american people honestly about the military budget and what is going on in the house of representatives this year is once again they have only budget gimmick to pretend that they are somehow being fiscally conservative as they are using the overseas contingency operations funds to fund the base operations of our military. that is dishonest on its face. it is inefficient and ineffective for military and general sublive i would like to bring us home to my state. obviously we have the port that dates back to world war ii in terms of some of its buildings and we have temporary military construction dating back to that time and we are in an aggressive up dating of that facility which is such a key facility for our
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army and i notice that they even have the nerve to put military construction and to these at aces in the united states in the overseas contingency operating funds paid can you comment about how this impacts your ability on readiness and training when you are being put in a fund year-to-year and not certain and you can't plan with it? >> sure senator. you are exactly right you can't plan with it and you can't just go year-to-year and things like multiyear contracts and having relationships with industries to upgrade your weapons and equipment etc.. specifically what you are talking about is infrastructure which is a key component. we have demand train and equip but also the infrastructure on army bases are not as modern as they should be. it's not just in missouri. to many other places.
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that's a big concern. we been robbing that account for quite a few years now to maintain readiness. that's another area of big concern is that infrastructure. >> our men and women aren't deployed we certainly shouldn't fund their money. general goldfein i had an opportunity to go to 139 airlift wing over the last couple of weeks and you know it is the top gun of airlift in terms of training and the frustration there is there seems to be a disconnect in all made you and people that you interact with can fix this and that is these are strategic level courses. we are training people from all over the country at this facility in terms of left and internationally i might add our allies as you probably well know. for some reason they are having to deal with annual funding issues instead of getting
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programmatic funding. i don't get that. i don't get why the national guard and the air mobility command cannot get together because you know what they are both doing? they are doing this. one is saying we are putting in and the other one is saying we don't have it and it's really frustrating for that excellent facility to have to continue to beat on the store and have nobody answer and i would like your commitment today to look into this and see if you can get this resolved once and for all. >> yes maam i will tell you quickly we have this come up in the pilot aircraft business and what we found was because there are so many elements associated with getting an airborne and the getting a sore tea that we have gone to build requirements at layout over an entire year so the wing commanders were having to plug holes in go month-to-month so as a result of that we put together a team and we are working with it directed
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the air national guard to layout national requirements and once we have those requirements who fund them on an annual basis. we will take this on to make sure. >> that would be terrific and finally for you general miller i'm a big fan of the marines but i was struck when i saw portland would and i had a chance to visit the recruits. they were in their ait training and i had a chance to visit with the men and women. i was struck of him at reince for in this training class from south korea and honduras coaster rica. we just on the naturalization ceremony for 67 soldiers. ..
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thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator reid and gentlemen for being here today. i'm going to pick up a little bit on senator mccaskill's expression of frustration and expand back. many times the american people hear different stories, different information from different source and i would like to highlight part of that today and get your response to that if you could clarify it. "the wall street journal" published an article by general petraeus last month and it was entitled the myth of the u.s.
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military crisis and he characterized the army's weapons military in the following way. while some aircraft and other key weapons are aging and will need replacement or major refurbishment soon most equipment remains in fairly good shape and according to the sources in the military, army equipment on a mission capable rates today exceeding 90% and that is historically high leve levels, general do you believe general petraeus was correct in his assessment that the equipment and the mission capable rates are what he says they are and what does that tell us or possibly what does it not tell us about the state of the army? >> i know general petraeus while along with mr. o'hanlon who is
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the co-author of our very talented but as you might suspect i don't necessarily agree with that on the readiness issue. i don't know if crisis is the right word. it's packed with all kinds of emotion but there are serious challenges today and the operational rates for the key weapon systems are not above 90%. they are below 90% in some cases and that is the cause for great concern they are improving but they are below 90%. that is the standard. the weapon systems are not in that condition at this time. >> than >> thank you for clarifying that. also it goes on to argue training for the full spectrum operations is resuming and it claims by 2017 the army plans to rotate nearly 20 brigades about one third of its force through national training centers cheer.
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the marine corps plans to put 12 infantry battalions through large training exercises and the air force is funding its training and readiness programs at 80 to 98% of what it considers fully resourced leve levels. general do you think that accurately petraeus your services and their readiness to conduct a full spectrum operations? >> it is a partial answer. with the flagship training event to combat team ithe combat teama combat training center and a few years ago we had a decisive operation actions against high air threats. we changed gears about 24 months ago and about 12 to 18 months ago we started putting brigades through the paces of going
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against the competitors unless they were designated to go to afghanistan or iraq. at the end of fy 17100% of the brigade combat teams on active dutduty who have one rotation. so if you were back in the day a typical battalion commander or a company commander you would have three, four, five, maybe more rotations to a training center by the time they reached those levels. today we have an entire generation of officers going into the field commanding battalions were even in some cases companies that have very little or no experience so by the end of 17 it's the amount of reps. you have to do it over and over again so the data that i have, the forecast is by the end of 18, 24 months from now we will
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have nine of the brigades with three rotations, 18 of them with two and four with one. that's not bad. it's better and there's more to it than jus then just going to e training centers. that's the key part. manning levels are holding us back. we have 30,000 in the regular army today. that's an entire core not available for a variety of reasons and that's not even talking about the basic training and the overhead to run the basic training so the personnel piece is big and equipment maintenance those are all parts of readiness with the equipment modernization, the system we have today. five or ten years from now there's lots of systems up there that we need to invest and to get them online to people to deal with that great power if
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that day ever comes. i don't subscribe 100% with general petraeus as much as i respect what he wrote. >> i'm out of time general. if you could get that information to me i would be happy to put that out and i also respect the service general petraeus has given to this country but i think it's important that we get correct information out to the people of the country so they understand the situation that we are facing with our military. >> on behalf [inaudible] >> thank you gentlemen for your testimony and service and the service of the men and women whom you read. over the course of the many hearings this committee has had with regards to the negative impacts of sequestration we have been provided with objective information as to those impacts
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that cause me to question the the article my colleague just talked about as much as we appreciate the service general petraeus. i've been monitoring the progress including visits to okinawa and i know that it will be important to have adequate training facilities. can you talk briefly about the current status and if you have any concerns about the progress so far on the layout plan? i just read an article recently about the position is. >> we are still in the execution of the current plan. the facility has been separated
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from the move but from the beginning it was based on the fact we could maintain their readiness once deployed because of actions of others and environmental impacts, right now but is potentially at risk and has pushed the timeline to the right so we are still committed to going to bomb but we have to be able to sustain the readiness of the force so i am concerned with it and watching it. i think there may be some other forces involved causing delays. there's also still issues that the building to the north of the facility tied up between negotiations between the government and japan and we continue to monitor that.
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>> i share your concerns because there's a number of moving par parts. i am very concerned about p6 i realize we are doing a build up the necessary that we can't send our troops unless they have a place to train so the discussions that we are having with that government is critical and i would appreciate you keeping me at highest as we go along and anything the committee can do to help. >> i want to commend you in the leadership of your respective services including the national guard components in your mission. the combined force is imperative to the defense of the country. the full committee hearing on cybersecurity this week the
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important role of the national guard plays in the requirement was discussed. can you talk about progress in other areas where you will be depending on the guard component to fulfill army and air force requirements? >> i will give the general a break. we are looking across the entire enterprise of the five core missions the air force does to look at where we can partner with the air national guard to leverage that component into the air force reserves across all these missionaries of cyber, intelligence, command and control, conventional air power in terms of the bomber and fighter force come here looking at all of that and the mobility portion you go to the c-17 and ask a question whose active, whose reserve and very often all three hands go up because we are
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that connected. we have three components, one air force, five missions looking across all those missionaries. i predict that cyber will be a growth industry when it comes to including the air national guard because it is ideally suited for that mission set so we are looking across the enterprise in ways that we can increase that. >> we have made a lot of strides in the last year to enhance the readiness of the national guard and it's my assessment would have to significantly improve the readiness of the national guard and the army reserve. we are the only service that has over 50% of the structure in the reserve component. we have about 53%, so significant chunk of the army is in the reserve and as was designed many years ago. at the bottom linthe bottom liny cannot conduct, sustain land
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campaigns overseas without the national guard and without the united states army. it's not possible. it's the way the system was designed many decades ago. so today what do we rely on? there's a considerablthere is at of force and army national guard we are moving to 26 brigades with the president's budget. there's a lot of artillery and combat national guard, a lot of attack helicopters and so on. if you look at the combat support logistics units about 62% of the united states army's logistics is all in the reserve component so the army bottom line couldn't fight, feed itself, maneuver, conduct any kind of extended land campaign anywhere in the world without the guard and reserve. it's critical to what we are doing and we need to increase the readiness as well. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> gentlemen, i want to thank you for your service.
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as a matter of fact, what we testified last time a number of us have had a lot of criticism with some of the obama administration's foreign policy national security but one area that i want to commend the president is the quality character of the men and women he's been nominated to become for this committee for confirmation to leave the military. i think the four of you exemplify that quality and character and i want to commend you for that. part of the reason the chairman has already touched on it is the honest views you have been given since the confirmation and important positions leading the men and women in uniform in the nation. thgeneral, when you were here a couple months ago, you talked about the issue you and you already restated it from a
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veneer full-spectrum threat in terms of conflict. you stated the military would be at a higher risk and you mentioned the national security strategy. do you continue to hold that view and then i would like to have each of the other service chiefs here give us your assessment of where the service is in terms of risk. there's a high military risk. it's pretty remarkable, and i just want each of the service members in terms of the full spectrum in the ability to meet for the nation's security, where are we in terms of risk for the
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service. thank you, senator. my assessment remains the same. just as a reminder, what does it mean when i'm using that term i'm talking about the ability to publish the military tasks assigned to the army units. the ability to do it online and the ability with an acceptable level of cost expressed in terms of casualties troops. it's high military risk. >> that's right. you start to lose the sense of what that means that as the general described if we get into one of those conflicts, we will win and it's going to take a lot longer than we would like and it's going to cost a lot more in terms of dollars and in casualties.
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general miller. >> senator, we build a force that has been focused on the counterinsurgency fight in the way we've been doing this effectively. our potential adversaries have capitalized from the ground up that will force but has significant capabilities to grow every day so we are in the process now of getting ourselves back to looking at those capabilities and we need to match that up. the cost would be higher. so the high military risk. >> if we had to do it based on the contingency plans that was one major contingency and the simultaneous the second one >> that is the key for the discussion.
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if the guidance tells us that we have to be simultaneously ready to defeat the adversary. while at the same time imposing the costs and deterring another adversary while at the same time ensuring the safe in the secure enterprise while defending the homeland to the level that it wiltheywill be required at high. but you've got to walk down that line. >> that is what we expect of you. >> we talk a lot about cost, general and i know some of you in the army and the marine corps are still given to the infantry officers to read. can you talk just a little bit when you talk about cost when we are sending the units into a fight we talk about the cost of sounds like a dollars and cents what is it, really at the first
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summer in 1950 in korea. because the americans is that correct? >> that's exactly right. the cost is the bill was paid in blood for the forces and we have a long history of god. it is thought to be short when they begin and often thought to cost less than they end up costing and end up with terms that you never know. it's a dangerous thing and that this thing i know of is to ensure it is equipped and capable to prevent the war from starting to begin with and once it starts to wane fast and decisively and that is the most humane thing to do when you engage in combat otherwise your
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expending lives that i don't think it's necessary. in the korean war, task force smith the 21st registr 21st regd infantryman went forward to the peninsula on relatively short notice and they were essentially decimated and it wasn't because they were bad or because they were incompetent. he was an experienced world war ii guy. it's because they had 90-millimeter rifles and their ammo wasn't done and the training wasn't done and they were not in great shape. they were doing occupation duty in japan. they were sent into harms way on ready and they paid for it and tens of thousands in those first six months. it's not a pretty picture. readiness matters. equipment matters and to do otherwise for us at this table is the ultimate sin to send someone to combat that isn't
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ready. >> that is a risk we are facing right now. >> i think you delivered the line of the day for me the only thing more expensive is losing the war and that summarizes the situation. i would like to ask a couple questions specifically on afghanistan and then go to the more general question. i know the president has modified the troop drawdown schedule in afghanistan which was an appropriate response to the situation. where are the authorities maintained for the forces that we have that allowed them to act effectively to assist the afghan forces? >> as i understand it yes. i'm heading over the next month and i will see if i had gone as i understand they are adequate to do the test that i will double check and get back to
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you. >> the second question are the nato commitments that have been proportional to ours being maintained? >> i believe yes but let me give you a better answer. >> this hearing is focused a lot on the end and i think it's important that there be some context. in 1967 defense spending was 8.6% of gdp. in 1991 it was 5.2%. today it is 3.3 and i think often the public and all of us get caught up in these numbers but the reality is our commitment to defense has fallen dramatically in the last 45 years in part because the perception the world was getting safer and because of budgetary issues.
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the other thing i would point out is the net interest on the national debt is more than a third of the military budget and we are out an all-time low with interest rates it's going to only go up which will tend to make budget constrained even more. i just think we need to be talking to the american people about the fundamental responsibility of any government just to keep its people safe and the dramatic reduction and commitment that we needed to defending this country. the follow-up plan which has been made previously is that since 2011 and the budget control act, we have had cvs, isis, south china sea, ukraine, north korea's nuclear development and cyber and to maintain a rigid budget structure in light of those changes it just seems to me as
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dumb and we are trying to protect this country. it's similar to the discussion we have had about the troop levels in afghanistan we have to respond to circumstances on the ground and the circumstances have dramatically changed the last five years in terms of threats in this country that this country faces and the other point that has been made by the ranking member certainty as important and i think you testified to that. the other way we are not serving the public is by the absolutely ridiculous process of adopting budgets during continuing resolutions getting the money in the middle of the year which doesn't allow you to plan what to do the capital planning or long-term planning you need to do and i realized i've talked a long time.
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the other is the nuclear capitalization and i've got some slides that i think make this clear cut to me are rather dramatic and what we are facing is a very large bulge if you will in the commitment and if we don't make some additional overall way of dealing with that issue it's going to eat up everything else and we won't be able to maintain or develop the ship. we have to have a special way of accounting for this and it doesn't mean borrow but it does mean funded in some way otherwise it will crowd out the necessity of modernization
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across the rest of the enterprise. if you can find a questio queste you are welcome to it. >> i will jump on that because between the general and i., we are lockstep trying to solve this problem in every way we can. i think it talks to a number of the points you made. it's much cheaper to detour the war and this is what it's all about. you look at it before and after the startling difference. each of these recapitalizations the first time i one in the 60sn the 80s and now we are getting that mission done for less and then to your point we can get it
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even smaller if we have predictable funding in place we will recapitalize if we get that to the predictable funding to buy the package in a block we could get those probably for the cost of ten or 11. it's absolutely essential that we get this done because without it deterrent effect we think things are bad it would be much worse. thank you for your outstanding testimony today. >> thank you mr. chairman lets see if we can summarize all of you agree there is a long term that is bad for the military. >> yes. so when they are wishing for the
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long-term you don't wish for that to my house colleagues, he lost the problem with what they are doing? taking the money to fund the military? >> do you think the funding is not stable. why do they do this, they don't want to bust the caps or take on the right. the sequestration is and working to be told the president what you're telling us about the state of the military under sequestration. have you had a conversation with the commander-in-chief telling him what you just told us.
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>> were that the marines out of that the air force, what are you doing at the white house, mr. president? >> you are threatening to veto a bill that would increase defense spending because it doesn't have nondefense increases. i see the wall walls in the hous doing. i can't believe the commander-in-chief sitting on the sidelines taking this attitude that if you send me a bill that increases defense spending without increasing nondefense spending by the veto it. i find that as repugnant as with the houswhatthe house is doing. >> okay. by the end of 2021 will be spending 1% of gdp as fully
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implemented. does anybody know? 2.3%. senator king made a very good point. do you think by the end of 2021, given the threats that we face as a nation it is wise to cut the spending in half in terms of historical numbers? >> no sir i do not. >> no, sir. >> somebody should ask. how could your congress and president allow that to have been? i ask that all the time and i don't have a really good answer. if sequestration goes back are we putting people's lives at risk because of the affected eff sequestration in terms of training? >> yes, sir. >> does anybody else listen to these hearings besides us? how do you live with yourselves and i say that including me. i am part of this body.
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i voted against sequestration but that's no excuse. if you want to do revenue to fix it, but i'm not going to do is keep playing this silly game. from the nationstates and the terrorists would use a sequestration is a threat to the military? >> scheuer. >> would you agree that the congress is going to shake down more in an enemy than we can think of in the near-term? do you agree with people park more marines and take them out of the fight to ban any that we can take out the sequestration? >> we are going to go fight and be at risk. >> what is your budget in terms of personnel costs? >> weepy about 61% for the personnel. >> 60% of the budget person out if sequestration goes into
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effect, are you going to lose marines? >> yes, sir we will. >> how many ships will money be have come admiral? >> they say 278. is that about right? so the congress is going to think how many? >> how many brigades are we going to wipe out? >> would you agree you have to put them in ethnic if you don't fix the sequestration? >> i'm not required to answer that question. >> i'm not judging.
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>> i will abstain. >> there are certain questions you are not required to answer. >> i was about to say i was going to re- ask the question. i want to say how much i respect your service and i think we all do regardless of the tough questions that have been asked. we approach this as an effort working together with those that devoted their lives to the service of the nation with extraordinary distinction and bravery that goes for you and all who serve with you and i just want to begin with my profound thanks for your
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service. admiral, i want to talk a little about submarines. i know that we are moving towards building to submarines a year. in the testimony you noted your concerns. what is the navy strategy to do with the shortfall when the wite to 48 vote minimum to 2025 reaches a low point potentially placing the nation in jeopardy tdo we have a strategy to addres the shortfall? >> that shortfall highlights a fundamental element of the shipbuilding plans, and some of these things are very difficult
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to correct in the short term it takes to build the submarines and capital investment as well but we are building two per year and continue to do that and are also going to look to every way to extend the life of the current los angeles class carrying the burden today so we can carry that trough as much as possible. ..
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>> your point about planning is important to the american people who often think we can stop her fingers and turnout the spigot for submarines. but we know and so do the dedicated men and women at electric boat that planning also requires investment and skill training, and the defense that consists of the men and women who in many ways are like the men and women in uniform because they build the platforms, the submarines who make our projection of power possible around the world. >> i would completely agree. in terms of their talent and skill level i wish we we could take every american to that facility with a vote and seeing that in all of our shipbuilding facilities just to see what american can do when it puts its mind to it, stunning.
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>> as we ramp up for a higher replacement the biggest challenges the workforce and bring in the skilled labor on. so i agree you 100%. it is a team effort and it is a tough job. >> i hope you'll come back, i have been privileged to go through electric boat with you. i know senator reid has come on many occasions as well and this investment is not spending, it is investment in our future. i think it is really vital. likewise, on the blackhawks as you know, the national commission on the future of the army issued aviation recommendations earlier this year and these recommendations create some budgetary tension with the aviation restructure initiative in 2014. i'm concerned that the plan, you
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aged 60 black hawk hawk procurement which is a vital modernization initiative for the active army across the nation will be reduced to pay for other programs as you move forward with the army aviation the fiscal year revision. are they future modernization plans will be sustained in light of the recommendations? >> aviation is one of our top priorities and when i mentioned in our opening statement. absolutely we are committed to the modernization and we have several initiatives underway with respect to the national commission we have some of the requirements and others we are funding. so we think they commissioned a great work and we intend to implement the recommendation to the extent we
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can. >> think you. >> thank you mr. chair. gentlemen, thank you for being here today. it is a privilege to be in the same room as you. we do have a lot of difficulties coming up especially with sequestration. i don't think think i could be any more eloquent than senator graham. admiral, i would like to start with you, i do understand the navy is facing some significant budgetary challenges and this is true of all of our services. however, i was able to visit one of your ships earlier this year and i was stunned to learn about the requirement for up-to-date paper charts aboard u.s. navy ships. and the low priority of celestial training. i did send a letter to the navy on this topic about two months ago and still waiting for a written response but what i would like to know from you is what steps are you taking for basic knowledge : celestial
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article training for your sailors and removing -- from electronic devices. we understand that these enough the shelf a product that other civilian navigators use as well as a program that is specific to the navy. they just don't get it up-to-date and downloads. they don't have the paper charts necessary. maybe you can fill me in a little bit. >> with respect to navigation we take it very seriously every moment we are underway and looking into the future. with respect to minimizing our vulnerability with those sorts of systems a multifaceted approach, the we have started take teaching/navigation so those types of courses are back in their curriculum at the naval academy and other places. we can use technology to move us beyond in terms of proficiency
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and accuracy there. and then one of the things that i am working hard with our industrial base partners is that there are other ways to get precision navigation and timing into our systems which is critical not only for navigation but also for weapon system performance and everything across the board. that is an area of emphasis as well. these should be systems that would be independent of gps and more precise than gps. we are working very hard across the spectrum. >> we can't forget that we need to stay a little bit old-school. >> that's outstanding. thank you. i appreciate that. >> general i recently did have the opportunity to visit one of my iowa international guard units, 180 fifth air refueling wing in sioux city, one of the things i noticed was the pilot
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shortage. they continue to talk about that and i know the the chairman has already addressed this issue. what i would like to know from you is that is there a solution for the guard and reserve force as well? what can we do to better enable them with our pilot shortage? >> is a very similar solution as to what we look for because the motivation is the same in the same pilot who joins is very often as you know the international guard came from there. so the important part for us is to ensure they are getting the same opportunities to train in the international guard as they are in the active duty. and as set for the army, the air force is structured in a way as well that we cannot do the job that we are required to do without the international guard, and all active components working together. especially the mobility community is the most connected in terms of these associations and how we get together.
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what i mention in terms of quality service, making sure they have the hours to fly, they have the resources to be competitive, at the same time we provide the financial incentives to stay. all those come together to improve our retention rates and were committed to that. >> wonderful, thank you very much. very briefly, and march the army announced a new associate unit a new unit with an app active brigade combat team. my understanding is this could greatly increase the readiness of our reserve forces and reduce costs. general, do you have any updates on how this program is working so far? again, very briefly please. >> we have 14 associate units right now the pilot program. we think and hope that it will increase the readiness of the garden along with increased ctc rotation and inc. creased for manned area. >> out outstanding. we love our guard folks. thank you sir.
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>> thank you mr. chair. and thank you for being here. i know that i was here for your opening comments, had to concurrent meetings i had to run to. you said something that may meet reflect on the 440th and i will not refer focus on except to say you're saying that you need flexibility to get to access infrastructure your going to meet some of your budget constraints. i think the 440th was a classic example because i know very well that they released five or six other sites that were statutorily protected or protected that in your opinion what a been a better more appropriate way to get to the target you're hitting. hopefully we will repeal sequestration. if we don't we need to find other ways to provide you with flexibility to weather the storm. one question is it really has to do with the nda a from fy 16 which has a requirement to
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retain 1900 aircraft. how are you going to comply with that requirement, or can you? >> we will comply with that, in the next afterword is going to be a challenge. as we bring on new weapon systems given all the other challenges we face, being able to maintain a 1900 is going to be a challenge as we also increase investment and other key areas the nation require. >> so we should probably outside this committee hearing talk about shedding light on that versus putting a requirement in there that i don't think you're going to be able to achieve. today, of general, i spent a lot of time at north carolina cherry point, we had discussions appear and i continue to hear about challenges facing readiness for the aircraft. then you have have the second and third order effects on challenges for flying time and training time. how would you assess the current state of readiness and give me
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an idea what that looks like. >> the current state of readiness for marine aviation is dependent on the series but in aggregate it's improving but it is not where we need it to be. it is below unacceptable level. we are not not flying enough. we don't have enough now freddie base aircraft and that means the aircraft that we fly get turned faster and so they are harder to maintain. we are right at our flight program because not that were flying a lot of hours but that's where we get our parts. so we are not where we want to be, i don't think we will be where we want to be assume a consistent stable funding if we can increase the support funding it will help happen faster if we can get more airplanes but the trendline is up slightly. >> one thing i saw at cherry point, is that if you are where the rubber hits the road and you
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see these repair operations in the way that it works they can go so far was certain repairs and then they're either waiting for parts are relying on some of the part of the supply chain to finish the repair. be me a plane second probably be ready to go but for changes in some of the processes and other things that we may do to provide you with the flexibility to do it. i know that has to do with funding and the accounts that have been depleted over time. we have got to shed light on that as we go into planning for next year. general millie, you made a comment about where mortgaging our future readiness to be ready today. we are creating a debt. would you mind getting into specific examples of what that looks like? >> specifically with respect to the budget over many years we have undercut or reduced rsn to t and r&d parts in the modernization accounts. that part of the budget not part of the pie has reduced over
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time. that is the part that his future readiness is ten or 15 years from now those are neat projects and they become real weapons or real equipment. that is what i am talking about. that part of the pie has been reduced. we are trying to this president's budget make some hard choices as a service given topline and given basically a fixed amount on a compensation piece of it to try to balance the readiness today versus modernization and infrastructure et cetera for tomorrow. these are hard, tough choices. in the army's piece of it we are prefacing and biasing today's readiness because of the gaps in the last 15 years. we have to get them up to speed because of the threats we're talking about. >> thank you all for your service. thank you center mccain for his position on the effects of sequestration that is going to
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continue to have if we take nothing away from it we have to be unified and to end this ridiculous way to budget and protect our nation. thank you all. >> thank you mr. chairman. they call for being here. in 2014 the jacob section of the military suicide prevention act was signed into law to the fy 15 and eaa. there was the first bill introduced after joining the senate. it's named after a soldier we lost to suicide in 2009. asher was the four straight year with us more members to suicide than to combat. my colleagues, senator king is sponsoring a showing of a movie, thank you you for your service what touches upon the subject. i'm a talk about taking care of our troops when we talk about readiness, we talked about maintaining the strongest fighting force the world has ever known i cannot think of any thing more fundamental than ensuring the physical and mental health of our men and women in uniform.
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the act that they are provided a robust health to every member whether they are active, reserve or not. i'd like to know how your branches are doing in implementing this requirement. if you could touch on that. >> thank you senator. one thing within the army we are seeing in the last year an improvement, meaning a reduced number of suicides, slates but significant enough to be noticeable across the force. that is important. of the efforts we have done with your help in the congress help and lots of folks help over the last several years are showing leading indicators of improvement in suicide which we recognize as a component of readiness.
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because it's a tragic event. specific to to your question, we are implementing through med, annual health assessments for the force of the regular army. i would have to check on the guard, reserve and how that's been done. we are doing that throughout the force. we also do routine postemployment health assessments. so once if you go to iraq, afghanistan come back we do tbi checks. we have a lot of programs right now throughout the force to focus on the very thing we are talking about. were taking it serious and we think were making improvements. >> thank you i know your team and in many ways on this, if you could touch upon it. >> sir, exactly the same commitment. we are on track to implement that completely in compliance with your intent. we share your deep commitment to the mental health of our sailors. with respect to the other measures to prevent and we find
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that the more we can make our sailors feel like a member of the team, that they have a network of support to fall back on, that seems to be one of the most effective things. that in combination with an assessment we hope to turn this thing downward. >> thank you general miller. >> according to the senior medical officer who is a navy admiral for the marine corps, we are in the process of one implementation, he estimates on the active side of fy 17 it will be implemented. the reserve will probably take longer just because of the nature of their drilling on weekends and having access. but as far as filling out the questionnaire online and having the care provider contact them and having a conversation with all the intentions of the legislation or law, we are planning on being fully implemented by the end of fy 17. >> thank you. >> all just say the same, were in the same boat and we will be
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fully implemented by the mid- part of fy 17. we are taking a different approach as well. fairly well knew, we are taking the -- approach and their approaches if we were taken in aircraft off the schedule of a certain periodic time to do maintenance and then take it off to do other maintenance and make sure they're in good shape and put them back in the fight, why would we do the same thing for him in? so were looking at taking your initiative to the next level which is a periodic maintenance schedule for the human to increase performance. that takes a stigma off because if you have to go and based on the schedule and everyone is having to do it we think it will have profound effects. >> emil richardson, your kind enough to visit creighton naval base in its integral to several modernization efforts that we have going, most -- out is that
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on continuing resolutions impact your ability to modernize the navy? >> think we all feel the pain in some way or another. this continuing resolution business really undercuts the trust and confidence that we have with our suppliers, with the industrial base t to providing not only at the ship level particularly in this business but also on the component level. when you disrupt that trust and confidence, when you double the amount of contracts you have to write just to get through the year, when you prevent the ability to buy things over a long period of time the only thing you're doing is increasing cost in time and that translates to increasing risk. >> thank you for your hard work and dedication. >> thank you mr. chairman and i think you all for your service and being here today.
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one question i want to task on its -- the united states air force stand in the tradition and coalition building which will do. and it's having a significant role against isil which you have all done quite effectively. as you may know only four of our fellow native coalition members spend at least 2% of their gdp on defense spending and the target for nato countries, there is is 28 and it should be a 2%, including five with u.s. that leaves 23 that doesn't make to make any attempt whatsoever. i can't figure why that condition was put in if it is not intended to be kept or met. so so i think i would just like to hear your assessment of this somewhat affected is having. i know there's been some wild
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political statements made about what would be done, i don't subscribe to me that. but i'm thinking why do we have that condition if were not going to force or any retribution if you don't. how is it affecting? >> the secretary has been over there talking to nato significantly about contribution and increasing their investment in defense and that's something all of us at the table would like to see in all the domains. one of the areas were focused on in the air force specifically is coalition friendly command and control. the information age of warfare's more warfare is more about data sharing and more about information sharing been able to connect into a, network and architecture and technology has increased security over time. it is made that harder. so as we partner with our nato allies and others around the globe, being able to have them connect into a common framework and network and to fight as a
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coalition is going to become more important in the future, not less. >> i know know that, but i'm saying how much of a strain is that that we know that our challenges we have financially and everyone else's around the world. if they are basically able to neglect that thinking we are going to do all the heavy lifting which we have done and i understand, but also come up with the financial means to do it as well, sir anything we could do that, do you see any movement in the positive direction? i understand germany takes the lead on this and the rest follow in germany doesn't take it serious is not to happen. >> we've had this conversation and i know i do it as an air chief my partners to hear as well, that is, we call something high demand, low density and that we tend to admire it over time. we do the best we can to increase the density but it does help a. it would be helpful if our nato
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friends could raise the bar for everyone as opposed to sometimes what they choose to invest in. >> when anybody have any comments? >> i would just add that first this is not a new problem. i was a nato officer in the 90s and after the end of the cold war they have not reinvested. second, our military counterparts, they want to participate in they want to play and they play within their capability to think we need to provide them opportunities to do that, whatever their percentage of gdp is for investment. lastly i think it is changing. i think the world environment and strategic environment particularly in europe is causing them to recognize that they have under invested in particularly the eastern european countries are going, so i think there will be change and i think we should encourage them and i think there are military sales which they should increase
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their interoperability and then whatever way whether it's fms or with their own money will encourage them to increase their capability. >> i will add onto that first, just like the general miller said, my counterparts in nato are as frustrated as anybody as per they want to be full participants in securing not only their patient but europe and contributing to global security and stability. to that end, the importance of american leadership to provide an example and be there is another thing they comment on consistently. so as a team weather is equipment or ability, commanding control, they want to participate in they are as frustrated with the policy decision. >> as you know senator we have had a long history in europe with the army and we still have 30,000 troops over there doing exercises we are putting out aps systems. with respect to the nato partner
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spending, what i have read is their defense spending is actually increasing with many of these countries lately lithuania, poland, even germany, sweden, finland, norway, these countries are reversing some of these trends because of what they have seen in your crane in crimea and elsewhere. so they are investing and expanding. the key now is to work as a team. nato is a critical alliance. there has been a long piece in europe in europe since 1945 it's gone on seven decades. part of that is because of nuclear weapons also because 300 soldiers stood up on the wall but also because of european allies shoulder to soldier facing down the civil the union. i think it's mutually inter- dependent between us and them in order to achieve effect on a future battlefield. >> of this is one of the conditions the members of nato
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member nations had when they formed nato, how many other conditions are not being met? >> there's no enforcement, no no policing. there's no attribution. it just seems if your not gonna do anything when we have it there? and they're to say don't worry about that americans will pick it up, they will pay. you understand we go to our constituents and it's hard to explain why is it there? if not going to make them do something there's no retribution i'm not saying were not not going to help her defend, but maybe you know world bank interest rate, thing of this sort they give them privileges of being a nato member member that there might be a penalty or a push. i'm understanding this not from the military, it it must be coming from the policymakers and the state department's. thank you for your service. i appreciate it. >> thank you on behalf of general mccain. >> thank you for general, on
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april 6 secretary testified that the required numbers of ships necessary to provide the lives of two marine brigades to conduct joint forcible entry operations is 38 ships. that number, but he also said that numbers fiscally constrain 234 ships with an operational availability of 90%. we often hear about combat commander requirements requiring amphibious ships. general, you are the man who provides as the marines who operate off though ships. was the right number in your opinion and what mix of ships should that include? >> you are correct, combatant commanders they could meet all the requirements it would take 50 ships.
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the fiscal constraint requirement is 58 with a 90% availability. right now we are at 31 and we'll go to 34 by 2022. >> will get to 34? >> will get to 34. >> where would that leave us? what that not permit us to do sir? >> it will not give us, based on the average availability, the ability to about two marine expeditionary brigades which is ability to about two marine expeditionary brigades which is the minimum requirement for forcible entry. >> so ultimately will get to 38 but it will be beyond multiple -- and then it will start to go down if we don't sustain it. >> so what's the right mix? the right mix is ideally 12, minimum of 12 that can handle f35, 12 lpd 17 class and then 12 other comparable forms, ideally in lpd 17 repeat or what we call
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-- >> that's only 36. >> you'll also have 2la hr's and other ships that would get you 238. we have two non- well deck big well ships that would get you 214 big deck. >> between the lx are, can you get more ship at less cost of the schedule is accelerated? >> first well thank you for giving us the 12, absolutely. similar to what they set about some rings. anything that we block buying can give the shipyard, whatever shipyard it is certainty where they can get the workforce and train the workforce and they can learn as they build the ships, they can build these ships faster for less money. if we were to block five lpd 17 replacements are lx are we could probably get three and have ships for the cost of five.
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but that's a big number. but i know you would agree with that it goes with any type of shipper platform where there is an airplane. the more we can provide certainty to both notches the primary vendor but all the subs that build the parts we can drive the cost down and the workforce gets better, smarter, faster. >> thank you. general, about afghanistan, my understanding of our goal in afghanistan is to participate in a sustained partnership with the elected leader ship there. and i would observe that we have a sustained partnership for decades with our friends in europe and a successful sustained partnership in korea, although this not much kinetic warfare going on in korea

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