tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 16, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT
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
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 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 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 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. >> 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 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. 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. 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. 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 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, 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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
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 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 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 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. 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. >> 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 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 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 -- 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
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 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 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 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 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 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. . . 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. 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? >> 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?
>> 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 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?
>> 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 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 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 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 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 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.
>> 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, 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. 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? >> 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 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
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 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 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 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. i look forward to seeing you again. the meeting is adjourned.
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 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. 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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. 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 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. 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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. ..
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 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 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. 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. >> 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. >> 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 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.