tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 16, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EDT
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 at this point. we are there, we've had a sustained partnership and
i think it's been successful for the people there for americans also. what is the understanding in your opinion of the afghan people about our purpose in being there in our long-term relationship? >> senator, thank you. i have a fair amount of time in afghanistan. in general, the afghan people are very supportive of the united states military being there. they would be fearful of us withdrawing. at least in the near term. so what we're trying to do is working by, with come in through the afghan security forces who have been built up to a significant size now. what we are trying to do is train, advice, and assist them in order to maintain stability against their enemies so that the government and the other
elements of the campaign, the economy and rule all could be sustained over time area and i think that is going to take a considerable length of time. the attitude of the people at least my experiences that they would prefer that we continue to stick with him and i think that is our plan our current u.s. plan, i think it's also the nato plan. to continue to sustain that effort. >> for one concur in your conclusion. is it unsettling to be after people to hear that we might leave early? >> i would say yes. but i think that we, the united states and nato have been very firm in our commitment and we have said what we are going to
have and going forward. i think that that the government, the military, and the people understand that, we are not going to abandon afghanistan. >> mr. ranking member, and understand we have had our discussion about sequestration. my understanding is that no one has asked these panelists if they are designing that reflects the return to sequestration. i realize i'm a bit over my time but i think it would be important for us to hear. i know they are horrified at the thought of sequestration returning. but if each of you could tell us , you designing a future year defense plan to reflect going back to sequestration? >> sir, we are not. >> you're not? >> wears. >> where's the law of the land. >> well, general miller.
>> sir, we are not designing one but we have had discussions about what might be the cop's clients and some actions we could possibly have to take if it became if it went into effect. >> and admiral richard sick? >> it's security that americans expect of the united states navy. but we always always have to start that conversation with the sequestration levels which puts us in a bind to meet that mission. >> so nothing that actually looks at what you have to implement. >> and finally,. >> we have done preliminary planning. >> so i understand what the order of magnitude actions would have to take place in the event of sequestration. however, no we have not developed to that level of detail that would be submitted to the president congress. >> is really hope we can avoid it but as i have said years ago
senator reid, it is the law of the land and it surprised us all less time when we got to that point it went into effect, hope we can avoid it and thank you for your service. >> thank you very much. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you all very much for being here for your service to our country. i apologize, i had two other hearings this morning so i am am sorry that i missed much of the discussion. i'm sure you may have already answered this question but i think it is important to ask again. as i have traveled around the month of august when we were not here in washington and met with businesses, one of the things i consistently heard from many of our businesses in new hampshire and we have a significant number that provide, that have contracts with the department of defense that provide equipment and technology to our military.
it was concerned about two things, one about the budgeting process and about the fact that we are going in, again with no budget for the upcoming year and a short term continuing resolution. hopefully we will have a longer-term budget after the election. the other was about the reduced investment in research and development. so, can i ask you to speak to at the impact is, not just of your budgets in the military, but also of the industrial base that supports our military that we need to maintain if we are to keep our technological edge? >> and general, i see you nodding so maybe you could begin. >> the impact to industry when we cannot provide some stable budget and projection for them
probably hits them the hardest in their technical workforce. so what i see is a rather technical forces when i'm talking to a company that is building an air to air or a missile they have to keep a certain amount of that workforce engaged over time and so when i go to them with one your budgets until the my procurement quantities are not going to be here in the next you're because of traits they're going to be down here and i checked them around back and forth it causes an incredible challenge for industry to be able to sustain their workforce that we need. that does not even go into our point to go to them and say because of the global security environment i need you to search and build even more capability and produce more weapons over the period of time. what they tell me is that we got rid of that workforce because you told me you were coming down this year. so everything that we deal with in terms of an unstable budget
and one your budgets actually gets accelerated into industry as well. >> you alluded to the impact that has on our national security and our ability to be prepared, can i get you to elaborate more on that? >> it goes to what kind of weapon systems that we need to modernize. so for the air force, like all the services we have aircraft that has exceeded their service life and they have got to be replaced. so we rely on industry to support us with our acquisition programs going forward. if we don't have stable budgets, if we don't have the research and development dollars to develop that technology for the future then what happens to us as we continue to push it to the right and like millie said you start mortgaging the future to pay for the current readiness. the other challenge you have is the aircraft age over time. they become more and more
expensive to fly. so you take more the dollars that you need for research and modernization and you shift them to older weapon systems. it adds up to an increased risk. >> thank you. >> if i compile on to that. support of my fellow chief and this is a really a team effort. this message of stability is critical. it is not just government r&d, those businesses that you visited our best in their own dollars and they need to know if they're going to get anything back on that investment. when we don't give them that signal of stability and confidence are not going to invest. they will cash out of the out of the business. the other thing is particularly with technology today and senator reid highlighted in his opening statement. what used to be long-term future has become a more short-term future. were not talking decades into
the future, were talking single digits of years. things are moving so fast and directed energy and manufacturing, electric magnetic warfare, artificial intelligence, technologies, we have got to keep on the step with this because we are not the only team out there looking to capture these capabilities. >> thank you. hopefully that is an admonition to congress that we get our act together and produce a budget and some certainty for the long term. can i ask one more question. >> senator will have one too if you let him. so you go first. >> i know this is on budget but i just came from a hearing in the foreign relation on afghanistan and i heard the mask about afghanistan. i wanted to ask you all about
the special immigrant visa program for the afghans because as i'm sure you're where it is about to expire. congress so far has it declined to extend that program and therefore we have several thousand afghans in the pipeline who is questionable whether they will get visas and many of them are under immediate threat or the families are being threatened. can i ask you to speak to the importance of that program to our men and women on the ground and light would be important for congress to extend? >> thank you. we have had hundreds and thousands of afghans work for us, the united states military. they have been interpreters, analysts, they have been doing a lot of things. many of them have asked to become american citizens, etc. i. i personally would be in favor of extending that because those
are brave men and women who have fought along our side. there are men and women, american men and women in uniform alive today because of a lot of those afghans put life on the line for their own country, to be sure, but with us. now they want to become an american citizen and i for one would like to afford them that opportunity. >> thank you. would anybody else like to add? >> we saw similar thing in iraq where your other shoulder to shoulder with marine and soldiers risking their lives ensuring the risk in providing great services to keep our citizens alive. i interviewed them myself to make sure they understood that this is not what you may have seen on tv. you're going to to come and work if you have the opportunity. i think there is a proper vetting process. i know commanders up to the rank
are involved in this. i signed off on all of these myself and i know there is background checks. i fully support, with the proper vetting process that this program be allowed to continue. >> thank you all very much. thank you mr. chairman. >> just briefly, one of the privileges of serving on this committee is the relationship we have with our services and one of those relationships as the military fellows that are assigned to our offices. today marks probably the last hearing for lieutenant commander dennis wish meyer, a naval officer who served in my office served this year and i want to recognize the importance of that program, recognize the work that the lieutenant commander has made. if i ask good good questions they have been his, if they five stb questions they are mine. i wanted to provide that recognition. thank you. >> you must've been here today senator king. >> let me thank you gentlemen for your testimony forthright
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and also explore opposing opinion. the 100,000 dollars in cash prizes will be awarded and shared between 150 students and 53 teachers. the grand prize of $5000 will go to the student or team with the best to the student or team with the best overall entry. this year's deadline is a january 20, 2017. mark your calendars and help us spread the word to student filmmakers. go to our website, student cam.org. >> , the european commission president delivers the annual state of the european union address in france. they spoke to members about creating a new military headquarters, preparations for the u.k. to leave the ee you and economic stability and -- this is 50 minutes. [inaudible] >> ladies and gentlemen please take a seat.
today sitting is hereby opened. >> the point on the agenda today is the state of the union and i'm very happy to be able to welcome to the house today for his speech on the state of the union. this is a moment on the policy and politics. it's number two did a for us to look at the past and also think about the main guidelines on the fundamental directions of the forthcoming year. it is an essential part of the democratic work of the european union.
it is once again the second time to be presenting thoughts. you have last year's with the commission -- i would when youit look at the european parliament it would move a little bit further towards the parliamentary process, the democratic process in the parliament that both institutions need to work hand-in-hand on this road. with interest that we have today that the state of the union commission is a very important moment in the work of the european parliament. a historic moment. a very important moment when it
comes to the development of european -- the opportunity in european parliament together with the european commission to look at signs of indecisiveness. which i know you and your colleagues have worked very hard and we are very happy to hear your work and to listen to the state of the union. [applause]. >> ladies and gentlemen, and members of the european parliament. presidency of the council, collects, one year ago in september 2015, in my speech on
the state of the european uniond i stated that the state of the union left much to be desired. those events only applied to europe but in our union there was not enough union. in spite of progress which has been made it is still applies. the european union's still does not have enough union. some things have improved. but others haven't. this has something to do with the crisis in the european union. there are too many areas in which we cannot meet the scope in which we cooperate together is too small.
far too often national interest -- we should not misunderstand,v immigration cannot be left bound to individual member states. europe cannot become a melting pot. a colorless melting pot. europe lives and draws from its diversity. although it doesn't seem this is the case the commission does not intend to get rid of the nationstates. we don't destroy, we don't want to undermine. we want to construct. we want a better europe. europe is not going down the
path of nationalization. it can never become that type of nationalized area. but there are splits out there and often fragmentation exists where we need further effort from the union. that is leaving scope for populism and we cannot accept that. populism does not -- on the contrary, populism creates problems and we have to be aware of that and protect ourselves against it. [applause]. it is really high time, more than never that we really take a look at the situation. unemployment continues to be far too high in europe. although between 2013 it today 8 million new jobs are created.
employment on a employment is constantly rising. but social injustice continues, that is why we have to get to work on the the basis of social equity. we have to work on the energy side as well. europe is not social enough. we have to make that clear. [laughter] in europe continues also to achieve at a higher level. despite the fact that we have seen a drop of deficit rates down to 1.9 from 6.2.
so we do not want to see the flexibility at times, i think we need to show intelligent flexibility in applying all of this and that we we do not brea or hinder growth. i think we also need to look into the eyes of those who are observing us from afar. friends and partners worldwide who all regret brexit and they are wondering whether brexit is the beginning of the breakdown of this integration process from the european union. allow me to say here and today that we respect and at the same time regret the u.k. decision. the but the european union as such is not at risk. [applause].
we would be happy if the request for brexit could happen as quickly as possible so we can take the specific step which needs to be taken. so that our relations with the u.k. which are in a friendly basis can take new shape and that means that only those can have unlimited access to thet. internal markets to accept that there'll be free access there can be no all a card access to the single market. constantl they constantly raise the
question as to whether the e.u. is still in a position to enter into trade agreement for the rest of the world. we have trade agreements with 140 countries worldwide. i am not a blind fanatic on this. but i do believe that we cannot leave aside the impact of this trade means more work. trade means more jobs. . . they are dependent on this. one in every seven jobs in europe depends on our experts. $1billion more in export volume an additional 40,000 jobs in europe. and therefore i am very much
beat in the absence of the european union. moving forward and sometimes we also urge others of the steps to be taken because very few union members states have done not to ratify the paris agreement. [applause] >> basically dragging our feet to on ratification undermines our credibility and makes us look ridiculous. and basically the links against ourselves they depend on this is not the united states of europe. be comn
it cannot be compared to the "state of the union". we are much more diverse it is hard to understand for this way.le but the history for people made us what we are. that is no reason to make things even more complicated >> but we need to speak and the terms of europe of national parliament as well. >>ect
help bring about the communications to support the two leaders of cyprus and that has to be done now. [applause] one. >> it means peace that the longest periods of peace started with the of formation of the european community's those of lasting peace in mint -- lasting peace in europe that claimed the lives of 200,000 people. of course, we still have our differences sometimes we fight but then we settle our
i promise it was against tax evasion value did not believe me but guess what we are doing? we're limiting this commission with the fight against tax evasion. [applause]ropean bb end to subsidize those of place and from the unfair competition.n some part but then to put those european producers out of four.this year. five was in china twice this year to address the issue of overcapacity.
this and has proposed to have that duty.and on but to support the commission that this would dog be naive.ould not be nai put that respond as forcefully to dumping and the united states of america. of the way of i 12 preserve that we will stand by the factscult especially going three difficult moment. last year it was imposed by russia to be in support because i will not except
that milk is cheaper than water. [applause] >> now for most of us with the global financial crisis to protect us from even worse stability. often looking at $50 billion this year in payments and of the monetary policy.s that governments can and should invest. $50 billion we. and answer by the way that
the commission is still sticking to this. [applause] i wish from when those elected politicians not only the european way of life but those living it.rk for you are we need but empowers our citizens and today both have gone digital those digital communications are into every aspect of life with access to high-speed edt be connected and people need it. we have to look invest that
is why the commission is proposing the reform for the communication markets whiff the framework making the investments of connectivity. we should be able to plan those investments over the next 20 years because of europeans in vast and the services those are 1 million new jobs over the decade hence connected asia would benefit everyone that is why they are proposing across the european union in 2025. to create those jobs of the european union.
which means it doesn't matter where you live so to equip every european venue and every city and put public life by 2020. we also have to empower our creator to protect their works. the creation of content is a, profession. i want journalists and publishers whether it is offline or online or published of those copyright tools it is exactly that.
[applause] >> to empower the europeanri union economy not just with connectivity but the $350 billion investment plan already has 150 billion in investments in the first year of operations that banks to the europeans investment but now we will take it further and to double the capacity. feel supp we make sure that the european investment comes of
accelerate our work on the capital markets. to put this on the table today. the capital markets to make them far more resilient to be easier with more diversified and when the bank will refuse your loan the options are veryry limited. offe vital sources of funding and business capital markets for just one example of going up
to 100 billion euros before speed up iusinesses. >> but the investment plan inside europe now we will take it further today we are launching an ambitious of $44 billion in investments. and with the member states this will complement our development with the root causes of migration.he of economic growth at dulles level since 2003 that the new plan would otherwise be
pushed to take dangerous journeys. webcast to be dealt with. [applause] >> as much as we invest, we also need to invest in a humanitarian crisis.sis. and more than anything the investments of the young people i cannot and will not accept that. [applause] accept that the son uh generation may be the first generation to be poorer than their parents.couldr of course this is a task.the
but they can support this effort and their efforts. but with that guarantee more than 9 million young people will get a job. because of the european union. day coz as far as advertising and then reaching out to those most in need. >> taken also contribute to opportunities for young people the young people in
europe in of a contribution to society. >> the words solidarity appear and then that is the financial proof of solidarity. and s is strong and external solidarity.e crisis we smeal started to see solidarity and i am sure that more solidarity is needed that must come from the art it cannot be imposed . i am urging the slovak president to encourage the diversity's and differences
outside the borders borders. and we need and this is a priority to do this encounter terrorism as of 2004 europe has suffered that they happened over the past year. we have all maintain the solidarity throughout our suffering and morning and we must take a collective approach to be truthful and faithful to ourselves to our values in a multi-cultural society. we need to show terrorists but they have no chia its no chn when they try to attack these values. [applause] this tolerance which is ours , cannot go the face of our safety or security that
is why the commission has given a priority to set up a special system for the return of the fighters and we are combating the financing of terrorism and the internet to combat the terrorist propaganda and we are combating and now we must know which individuals are in our borders. and for this reason we defend our borders withrease ate speck there are agencies one
dealer herb bulgaria and the members on ashley members states have to be in order to major they can set up this new agency. and the we will also defend our borders but to be very strict over who can cross of border to implement. anyone coming into the european union would be registered at date and place and the reason as to why. by november we will be posing with then they will
graphically if we wish you maintain our influence in the world, it is obvious that we have to work together and did this together that we will be able to face challenges and with the soft power behalf to it meant that is noto sufficient in the world that is ever more dangerous so we're in is the union and the member states to solve this conflict. >> so the vice president of
the commission is doing a remarkable job but we need a european minister of foreign affairs. [applause] something to bring to gather the national be diplomat to wade in with international negotiations and this is why i am asking for us to draw up a strategy for syria as they should have a seat at the negotiating table for their future. a europe should be stronger point of view in terms of our defense you can no longer depend so we have to
make sure we protect our interests to for dissipate and more than military and civil missions carried alibi the european union. to have a european headquarters. so we should work towards a common military force in complement with more european defense in in europe does not mean less transatlantic solidarity but
from the economic point of view to bringing together the of military resources to use cooperation and that is something that is very useful because that cost between 20 and $100 billion per year we must do something in this area. in order to guarantee the solidarity of the european union with the creation of the european defense fund to assist in emulate the they wished to do so without the capacity available of a
permanent structure and it is high time to avail ourselves to this possibility. [applause] >> that final point to talk about the collective responsibility to assume more responsibility that could lead to failure because we cannot survive without working together. europe needs to be better explained that i have asked the commissioners to visit national parliaments to
discuss of european union and i was like to do at more. now. it can only be built if it is understood and has to be explained and only be built with the members states but not against a the memberai states. so the commission has to be a political commission of the strange ideas but we need to listen to the european parliament and you like to do that more intensely.
as they like themselves up in their ivory towers. some people think i am not listening to others but those that think that are highly mistake in every single day at talk to the european citizens because this is my duty in everybody's duty. [applause] as said earlier the commission has withdrawn and reduced the number of initiatives by 80 percent and puerto rico reviewing all of the legislation in effect because we need to focus on the areas in which a of a true added value this is the only way to make
europe less face of solidarity -- a space of solidarity can that means that we would have to correct any technocratic errors that may have arisen to do away with the of roaming charges on the cellphone. in to do away with those roaming charges. those were some very good intentions in terms of of technicalities you will see a new draft this improved tr
when you travel with your mobile phone to feel at home anywhere in your reps. [applause] with those new roaming rules. >> being responsible means that we have to take responsibility for our actions and that is why i would like to change this of serb rule that we have whereby commissioners have to give up their posts. must think courage of commissioners to live up to democracy.
so as far as the of european project maybe a little bit older so i have lived through this project and dedicated my entire life from personal convictions and i have not hesitated. i i believe been europe and the stability of the continent. and he knew how precious europe was and how fragile that was because he had to fight in the of war and to instill in me these values.
what is the of heritage? has a forgotten its past topa have visions of the future? futu they deserve better that preserves their way of life that champions that way of life to protect that it is high time for us and to build that together and with their certain debates with of pollyanna optimist that europe has a mission at home and in the of world then you
have the of rosy view but then you have the resolve. with a word in the spirit to create something for future generations and that is the us.olve that came before us and i call on us to have resolved to get over cha differences but history will not remember our names but by the force of our resolve and convictions. so this needs to be integrated. history will remember our mistakes and make us responsible for what we do in this generation. [applause]
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understood though role but you cannot have a conversation about the civil-rights movement in the united states without inclusion without the work of charles houston but stepped into an the entryway and stared at, jr. and board asked if he could help and demand looked and said you were gerald ford, jr. and he said i am
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 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 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 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 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 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 -- 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? 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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. 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 -- 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. 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 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 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
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 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 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 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 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? >> 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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. they had had their emergency -- a constitutional -- they had not yet i believe at that time even