tv Senate Hearing Focuses on Civilian Control of the Armed Forces CSPAN January 10, 2017 9:29am-11:39am EST
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you for attending today's armed forces farewell tribute in honor of the secretary of defense. please enjoy the rest of your evening. >> we take you live now to capitol hill where the senate armed services committee is holding a hearing on the civilian control of the u.s. military. this hearing is the result of president-elect trump nominating retired general james mattis for defense secretary. the former commander of u.s. central command needs a congressional waiver to lead the defense department so soon after retiring.
>> chair and director of the international security program at the center for strategic and international studies. welcome. civilian control of the armed forces has been a bedrock principle of american government since our revolution, a painting hanging in the capitol rotunda celebrates the legacy of george washington who voluntarily resigned his commission as commander of the continental army to the congress and this principle is enshrined in our constitution which divides control of the armed forces among the president as commander and chief and congress as coequal branches of government. . .
the separation between civilian and military positions has not always been so clear. 12 of our nations presidents previously served as generals in the armed forces. over the years numerous high-ranking civilian officials and the department of defense have had long careers in military service. our current deputy secretary of defense, for example, served 27 years in the united states marine corps. the basic responsibilities of civilian and military leaders are simple enough. for civilian leaders to seek the best professional military advice while under no obligation to follow it. for military leaders, to provide
candid counsel while recognizing civilians have the final say. to insist on being heard and never insist on being obeyed. the fact is the relationship between civilian and military leaders is inherently and endlessly complex. it is a relationship of an equals is nonetheless share responsibility for the defense of the nation. the stakes could not be higher. the gaps in mutual understandings are sometimes wide. personalities often clash and the unique features of the profession of arms and the peculiarities of service cultures often prove daunting for civilians who never served in uniform. ultimately the key to healthy civil military relations and civilian control of the military is the of soldiers and statesmen share in common. to protect and defend the constitution. it is about the trust they have
in one another to perform their respective duties in accordance with our republican system of governance. it is about the candid exchange of views and gentrify that trust and which is vital to effective decision-making and it is about mutual respect and understanding. the proper balance in civil-military relations is difficult to achieve. and as history has taught us, achieving a balance requires different leaders at different times. the president-elect has announced his intention to nominate james mattis to be our next secretary of defense. in light of his recent military experience, his nomination will require congress to pass legislation providing a one-time exception allowing him to serve the secretary. legislation in this committee plans to consider this thursday. members of this committee will have to reach their own conclusion but as for me, i will fully support that legislation and general mattis nomination.
there is no military officer i've met in my lifetime with a deeper understanding of civil-military relations than james mattis. he even co-edited a book on the subject. she is upheld the principle of civilian control of the armed forces in four decades of military service, as well as in civilian life. his character, judgment and commitment to defending our nation and its constitution have earned him the trust of our next commander-in-chief, members of cogs on both sides of the aisle, and so many serving in oregon for severe in short, i believe james mattis is an exceptional public servant worthy of exceptional consideration. the committee is fortunate to have with us two of the foremost scholars and civil-military relations. both of whom had a record of distinguished government service. i'm eager to hear their views on this important subject and i would like to add, was the
ranking member, senator reed, request a legitimate concern about this issue that we are having this hearing. and i want to thank my friend, the ranking member, for making sure that this hearing is held. senator reed. >> thank you verthank you very much, mr. chairman, for holding history because i do think as you've indicated so well how critical this issue is to the country. also let me welcome our distinguished witnesses, dr. eliot cohen and dr. kathleen hicks. thank you very much for your scholarship and your service to the nation. this dates back to joan george washington revolutionary war for almost 230 years this principle has distinguished our nation for many of the countries around the world and has helped ensure our democracy remains in the hands of the people. when the defense was created in 1947 there was a stipulation that an individual appointed
service a signature of this new agency could not be within 10 years of active duty as a commissioned officer in a a regular component of the armed services. however an exception to the statute was enacted shortly thereafter 1950, to admit george marshall to service secretary of defense. shortly after conclude his service as secretary of state. it then stood untouched for nearly six decades until the fiscal year 2008, national defense authorization act modified the requirement by reducing integral from 10 years to seven years but the principle is very clear and still was sustained. this requirement has served our nation well for the past 70 years and only once has congress waived or modified the statute. for only the second since the creation, congress has made a determination if an exception should be made to other race or retired general james mattis to serve as the secretary of defense. as this committee considers legislation to provide an exception to general mattis i
believe x extremely poorly carefully consider the consequences of setting aside the law and th implication sucha decision may have on the future of civilian and military relations. we must always be very cautious about any actions that may inadvertently politicize our armed forces. during this past presidential election cycle both democrats and republicans came dangerously close to compromising at the nonpartisan nature of her military when the nominating conventions feature speeches resort target general officers advocating for a candidate for president. as former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general martin dempsey stated after the conventions, is senior military leaders active and retired they can to self identify as members of supporting one part or the other the inherent and tension built into our system of government between the executive branch and the legislative branch will bleed over into suspicion of military by congress and further erosion of civil-military relations.
i hope i witnesses with sick the issue ensuring the reflection spent here. another issue we should consider is whether total number of retired senior military officers selective high-ranking positions into trump administration will impact the dynamic of the interagency process and the advice of the present receives. it is true throughout our history retired general officers have often no positions at the highest levels of the government as civilians. one notable example is general colin powell whe where he ably e the secretary of state under president george w. bush. what concerns me is the number of retired senior military officers chosen to lead agent is critical to our national security, and the cumulative effect of mae bonner overall national security policy. in addition to general mattis, general john kelly has been nominated to lead the department of public security. michael flynn will serve as national security advisor. both of whom have retired from active duty service in the past few years. while he is not a civilian and remained in active duty if we included the chairman of the
joint chiefs of staff, the leadership of our national skewed apparatus would be comprised of two retired 4-star generals, one active duty 4-star general and one retired three-star general. the diversity of opinion is important crafting policy and making decisions. i think it is appropriate for our committee to consider the consequences of so many leaders with similar backgrounds will have for the development of defense policy. the impact it could have on the civilian and military personnel serving in these organizations and how it may shape the advice that will be provided to the present. if congress provides incentive for general mattis the question this garrulous address is the president this action sets for the future. the restriction was enacted into law for good reason and general george marshall is the only retired military officer to receive this exception. i hope our witnesses will provide the assessment of this issue and they believe providing exception at this time opens the door to more in the future. i personally such waivers would
destroy the principle that is so critical to the central tenet of our civil-military relations. congress is in a position where they are making a critical decision and your advice will be deeply appreciated on this point particular i want to make it clear the concerns of expressed are not a reflection of the -- general mattis will testify before this committee later this week at a look for to having a robust discussion on his record as well as his views on defense strategy and policy. additionally it is not only previous military service is a disqualifying factor. nothing could be further from the truth. many former members of the armed services served as a country with distinction as siblings after leaving military service. one only has to look at many of my colleagues on this committee to appreciate how their prior military service has positively impacted that work in the senate, and those observed no better than most the sacrifices required to defend our nation, including the full weight and
consequences of making decisions to send our men and women in uniform in two harms way. what this hearing is about is the principal civilian control of the armed forces. the bedrock bedrock of civilian military relations and won a divining tenets of our democracy that we must protect against it being compromised and weakened. any changes or waivers must be cautiously and carefully considered. i want to think the chairman for holding this hearing so that we can do just that and i look forward to the testimony of witnesses. thank you, mr. chairman. >> welcome, dr. hicks. >> thank you, chairman mccain, ranking member reed and members of the committee for the invitation to appear before you today, and thank you also for taking the time to consider civilian control of the armed forces as it pertains to the nomination of james mattis, u.s. marine corps retired as secretary of defense. the issue before you today regarding a possible exception to the limitation against appointment of persons within seven years relief from active duty as a regular commission officer is one that is called significant discussion within
the national security community. we are blessed and the united states with a strong civil-military relations history. tensions do exist and we should never take for granted that sibling control of the military nor healthy civil-military relations more generally are a foregone conclusion for the republic. congress passage of the limitation of privacy commission officer silly as secretary of defense within 10 years of the cessation o of the service subsequent amended to seven years has been one of the primary means employed to maintain civil control. the defense sector position is unique in our system. other than the president acting as commander in chief, the second of defense is only civilian official in the operational chain of command to the armed forces. unlike the president, he or she is not an elected official. it is my view the principal excluding result of retired commission officers from serving as the second of defense as a prudent contribution to maintaining the constitutionally granted principle of civilian control both symbolically and in
practice. a permanent elimination or modification to the statute would be detrimental to the help health of our civil-military relations and our national security. so, too, would be substantial populating the upper ranks of our national security structures with recently retired senior military personnel or active-duty personnel well beyond those positions already designated in statute. i come to this conclusion based on a number of factors. first, a regular relies on former commissioned officers to service the secretary of defense or to widely popular the national security establishment senior cadre would undermine international security advantages that accrue to the united states for modeling strong civilian control. others watch our behavior closely. they note our leadership typically communicates through civilian channels, that our policymakers appear in civilian attire and our military demonstrates respect and deference to civilian leaders. it is also important to our citizens and those around the
world that they witness a model in which senior civilians manifest appropriate approaches of civil military relations, demonstrated in the respect for the professionalism, sacrifice and expertise military personnel and in the knowledge of issues important to the profession of arms. these outward actions by our military and civilian officials support use efforts to promote the embrace of freedom and democracy in the world which reduces the instability, external aggression and engine repression typically associated with the military governments. second, we -- routinely selected for secretary of defense or to wire the populate senior positions in government, it would risk furthering incentive for active-duty officers to politicize their speech and/or actions and for civilians to seek to ascertain the political viewpoints of officers. as part of the recruitment and hiring process for political positions. this leads to a third concern. individuals with like
backgrounds typically accompanies a senior appointee into government. academics know lots of academics. economists know many economists. former military personnel have extensive military networks. this is natural but what is unique in the national security world is the imperative for healthy civil-military relations. this requires guarding against an overreliance on military viewpoints just as a relies on ensuring those coming from civilian macro act as respectable and knowledgeable counterparts. fourth, the united states has an interest in developing knowledge and expertise about the armed forces among those who have not served especially in those of notes or that very senior levels. motivating civilians to invest in careers in the defense sector require having positions of meaning to which they can aspire. aspire. more generally it requires validation that such great pathways are legitimate, that civilians can bring value come expertise and perspectives to the defense enterprise. fifth, a recently retired senior
officer at the helm of dod risk prejudice with regard to service interest. resources are always more constrained so competition for dollars and mission space among the military departments is a constant reality. i secretary of defense his close associate with the particular service may find it difficult to be perceived as unbiased on important questions regarding service roles, combatant command missions, and resource share. these reasons undergird the congress is jump routes with regard to limitation on commission offices recently released from academic duty. for this committee to remain vigilant for the possible negative effects of a broad representation of former senior officers in the national security cadre. i do not force the eminent militarization of our national security architecture, but the concerns of civilian control that motivated our founders and architects of the post-world war ii security architecture have continued validity. we should not risk a failure of
imagination. despite all of these considerations, however, it is my personal conclusion that it is appropriate to create a specific exception to the statute for the senate to consider the confirmation of general james mattis. i reac reached the assessment bd on two primary factors. the qualities of the specific nominee, together with the safeguards in place to protect civilian control of the military in the presence of such an exception. based on my professional interactions with general mattis and review of available material, i believe his recent retirement for military service should not be disqualified to his consideration by this committee. i am persuaded not only by his grasp of the most important security issues our nation faces but also by his clear commitment to and embodiment of the principles of civilian control of the military. that commitment was evident in every interaction i had with the general mattis when i serve as a civilian defense official and experienced shared by all such officials with whom i have spoken.
his resort published work on similar to relations reinforces my personal impressions. the second reason i believe it is acceptable to make an exception to consider the present in fact preferred nominee is that i says the state of your civil-military relations to be strong enough to withstand any risk such a once in two generations exception on its own could post. con ed congress, the nation statutes and courts, the professionalism of our armed forces and the will of the people are all critical safeguards against any perceived attempt to fundamentally alter the quality of civilian control of the military in this country. should an exception be made in this case and general mattis be confirmed as secretary of defense, oversight by this end of the committees will be critical in reassuring domestic foreign audiences that civilian control of the military is alive and well in the united states of america. as i stated earlier i believe general mattis his own behavior will reinforce that message, if
it does not this congress and the courts of the united states should hold him accountable. i would like to close with an important caveat to my doorstep for this exemption. i have grave concerns about the issuance of any exemption section one '03 a of title 10 and portrayed are perceived as result of united states senate agreeing with the president-elect that it is quote time for a general end quote to service secretary of defense. it should never be considered time for a general to fill the seniormost nonelected sibling position and operational chain of command. rather this extension is about a particular individual who is well qualified for the position to which the president-elect has nominated him, the anticipation that exemption will be a rare generational one, and an assessment that that is at this time a healthy appreciation of the principal for sibling control of the military in this country. although i would likely not agree with the secretary mattis on every major defense issue of
the debate tha the other day, im convinced he passes a standard set forth for consideration of george marshall's exemption for this position in the "washington post" referred to as a truly authentic american and his respect for devotion to our american system of government. i have submitted a folder written statement for the record. thank you. >> thank you, doctor. dr. cohen? >> thank you, senator mccain. it's an honor to appear before you. i also have a written statement which i would like to submit for the record if i might. >> without objection. >> i hai have to say listening y friend and colleague, dr. hicks, it is very striking to me that the two of us i think pretty much in complete agreement. i will be making somewhat different set of arguments but i found myself convinced buyers and i share her views. my bottom line issue is simple. i strongly support the law that prohibits individuals who have served in the military from becoming secretary of defense within seven years of leaving
the service. at the same time i favor an amendment to permit general mattis to serve in office despite having met that cooling-off period. to explain his positions let me begin with some basic propositions about our countries experience with civil-military relations. the principle of civilian control of the military, not collaboration with it, not mere direction of the discipline control is central to the american experience since colonial times. the bill of particulars directed at king george iii in the declaration of independence reads, among other things, that he is affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power. for a century before the constitution and throughout the history of the republic, firm civilian control has been a matter of american consensus, challenge only on such rare occasions as the truman macarthur controversy in 1951, and then resolved unambiguously
in favor of civilian authority. some degree of civil military tension has always existed in her country and that is usually a good thing. a social productive divergence of views about everything from strategy to internal administration. at times the difference of use and been acrimonious as for example, during the famous standoffs between amendment lincoln during the civil war or the late 1940s over the desegregation of the armed forces, or the dispute over ending the draft in the early 1970s. in these cases the civilian political view properly beneficially prevailed. the practice embodied in the law of having a sibling secretary of defense stems from both that history and i think from four sets of concerns. the first is that it reflects the notion the control over the largest bureaucracy in our government with the largest
budget and with enormous power in many dimensions, including potentially over the lives of our own citizens, must rest with someone who represents the american citizenry, not a military elite which in the nature thinks is appropriately self-selected along military lines and to the very top ranks. second, it stems from the belief that there is a breath of the year and perspective essential to an end to military and making more that is not likely to be found in someone who is spent 30 or 40 years in uniform. the armed forces are what one sociologist has called a total institution, comparable in some ways to the priesthood in the catholic church. a career of military service affects every future of one's life, down to where how one wears one to living such indecision that is removed from civil society throughout the prime of one's life can be a narrowing as was a broadening experience and it leaves an indelible mark. it is one reason why in a certain sense general never
retire. third, having a recently retired general officer secretary of defense post all kinds of practical problems. we do be inclined to favor the joint chiefs of staff, military, over the office of the secretary of defense, civilian? would they be inclined to favor their own service over the others? with a bypass the gym of the joint chiefs of staff as of this union military advisor to the president? president? would they allow the normal rivalries or close friendships of the military career to affect their position of civilian head of the department? even the appearance of such biases, let alone their reality, would make effective leadership of the department of defense difficult or indeed impossible. fourth, the secretary of defense is in many ways chief interlocutor, bridge if you will, between our armed forces and our society. the president being too busy and burdened with many other responsibilities.
it is the secretary of defense who represents the concerns, values values and interests of the armed forces to politicians and to society. in turn, he or she guarantees the democratic values, attitudes and needs will inform and shape the american military. furthermore, countries that are routinely installed generals as ministers of war or defense have often had deeply problematic patterns of civil-military relations. and suffered military failure as well. france and germany and the late 19th and early 20th centuries, japan during the 1930s are examples of this. such is the practice in recent years in russia as it was in the soviet union. even democracies that have gone down this route has suffered from the politicization of the senior officer corps by the routine appointment of retired military figures this top civilian position. a prime cases israel whose politics are often roiled by
maneuvering among active-duty and retired generals. a point that's been noticed by american generals familiar with that country and well-documented by israeli scholars. the long question, therefore, makes eminent sense. but it was a medic in september 1950, to allow, to allow for the appointment of general george marshall secretary of defense for two reasons. the first had to do with the sense of national emergency. the korean war had gone on for three bitter months. the landings were about to begin and with them a bloody campaign to reunify the peninsula in the face of warnings of chinese intervention. at the same time the united states was sending four divisions to reinforce the two already in your, our first peacetime commitment of substantial armed forces abroad. war with the soviet union which hait only a year before it detonated a nuclear weapon seemed a real possibility. in that setting and having lost
confidence in second of defense louiluther johnson, president tn correctly believed they needed an exceptional leader for the relatively new department of defense. truman had tremendous trust in marshall because of the generals character and judgment. as was the exception breath of expense of the men who had after all been an import secretary of state as was one of the architects of the court coalition in military history -- gratis. second and this could influence congress as was president truman was the desire to reassure the american people an extremely difficult times. american political leaders correctly believed marshall, a revered figure because of his monumental role as chief of staff during world war ii, could do that. congress therefore amended the law reluctantly, insisting that by so doing it was not creating a precedent and advising that does not give repeated the future. i believe that our current circumstances warrant taking the step a second time. i have known general mattis for
well over a decade. he is probably the most widely read and reflected officer i know. he is inviting general, too, as dr. hicks pointed out. the coeditor of a recent important book on civil-military relations. more important than any of that, he has shown himself to be a man of exceptional character in judgment and exemplary commitment to legal and constitutional norms. i would trust him to conceive and execute policy as anyone on this committee would wish. he's not general marshall but he is indeed a man a similar integrity and soundness and of very white experience. much as i admire and respect him, however, i would not advocate this change were enough for two other aspects of the question. we face a world that may not be quite as dangerous as that of 1950, but hasn't deeply troubling similarities to it. we are waging our third war in iraq in a generation.
we are not close to ending the afghan war. we face a contest with jihadist elements seeking to inflict violence and destroy regimes across broad swaths of the globe. we must deal with a rising china with hegemonic aspirations in asia. a robot just -- and even interfered in our own elections. iran that is paused but not halted its drive for nuclear weapons. we will soon be looking at in north korea that is built intercontinental ballistic missiles that can hit the united states with nuclear weapons. ours is a very dangerous world that content into crisis with very little notice. and yet even this sense of danger and would not bring me to the point of urging a revision of the law were it not for my concerns about the incoming administration. i have sharply criticized president obama said policies, but my concerns pale in
comparison with a sense of alarm i feel about the judgment and dispositions of incoming white house team. .. the principle of civilian control of the military is precious and essential to our form of government. making an exception twice in nearly 70 years while keeping fundamental legislation intact and eaffirming the arguments
behind it, will not in my judgment threaten that principle, but rather reinforce it. >> thank you both. both of you have known general mattis for some period of time. as he always, or have you ever known him not to have the utmost commitment to the civilian control, our fundamental principle of civilian control of the military? >> i have always known him to have exactly that commitment. >> dr. hicks? >> agree. >> i guess, just one other comment or question. when you bring to mind, dr. cohen, at least in minds of some of us the world is in freighter danger than it has been since the days of general/secretary marshall. and there is very few people in both in and out of the military that have the experience with these challenges that general
mattis does at this time. would you agree? >> yes, sir. i would agree, although i would just add, long been pointed out the secretary of defense, other than the presidency, probably the most difficult job in the federal government and i would trust general mattis as much as or more than anybody else but i think the range of challenges he will face if he is confirmed will be enormous. >> so there is some historic parallel between the selection and need for general marshall as there is today a need for the experience and knowledge an leadership of general mattis, is that, is it, do you agree with that assessment, dr. hicks? >> with the emphasis on the individual characteristics of general mattis i agree with that. i would hesitate to ever say it as i said there any indication dangerous times require a general. i don't think that is the issue. i think dangerous times require
experience and commitment which i think as your question suggests which i think general mattis can bring. >> if i may, senator, just to add to that, i don't think one can consider this case, someone unlike the case of 1950 without regard to the president. the president has to have somebody that they will listen to and i guess i do tend to believe that president-elect trump will be inclined to listen to general mattis, and for me that is a very, very important consideration. >> one can only hope. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me thank the witnesses for very thoughtful and eloquent testimony about a very significant issue. again, let me thank the chairman for structuring this process so that we could have careful deliberation of the policy before we actually consider the legislation. thank you very much, mr. chairman. dr. hicks, you pointed out that this is a rare generational
moment and i think dr. cohen, you would agree also, and at least sort of very pragmatic question, if i may. that if indeed general mattis is confirmed but if leaves office, that we would almost have to reflexively object to a replacement of another recently-retired military officer, would that be your view, dr. hicks? >> it would be. i think lesser risk that this sets a new precedent. i think opportunity cost. that is to say i would not imagine in the next 20 plus years we would see ourselves back in a hearing of this nature over another recently retire general officer. >> dr. cohen, your thoughts? >> i very much agree with dr. hicks. >> thank you. dr. cohen, you pointed out in your testimonies one of the areas of concern i raised which is a dynamic that results when a non-civilian is the head of the
department of defense, which is, principle military advisor to the president, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff yet you have two very competent, ironically marine four stars, probably with at least tangential service if not joint service. how do we avoid or how would, if general mattis is confirmed, how does he consciously avoid that? how do we monitor, you both made the point, we have a role making sure, this, if it takes place is done aboveboard entirely or completely? could you comment? >> first thing i would say absolutely the role of congressional oversight and particularly by this committee would never be more important than it's going to be in coming years. i first met general dunford actually, when he was general mattis's keefe of staff in iraq
when general mattis was commanding the first marine division. i know both of them reasonably well. i guess my feeling about that is, these are both men with an exceptional sense of professional ethics and rectitude. this will basically come down relationships between two personalities, and i think they will be both very conscious what the lanes are that they operate in but there is no question, it will be challenging. i guess the other appointment we'll have to make, it will be interesting to see how long general dunford is going to stay as the chairman, and who is the next chairman. i presume it will be a little easier. this would be an issue and most natural thing in the world for a president trump to ask general mattis to act as kind of a military advisor. i think general mattis, will be as secretary mattis will be self-conscious enough to say you should be directing that question, i have my views, but you should be directing that question to the chairman.
>> let me ask you both too, secretary of defense has responsibility strategically huge responsibility when it comes to running a huge bureaucracy with all of the management issues and personnel issues an logistical issues and other issues. your sense of of this exemption in that conn text? typically a civilian going into this role would have great expertise in business or other management positions within government. and that's not the case. general mattis has a complete dedication to the marine corps since 17 or so. dr. hicks, first, dr. cohen. >> i think it is fair to say every secretary comes in with a unique set of schools and when you're staffing, not just in the national security team but in the defense department, you do need to take account,
absolutely, in the fuller staffing, the deputy position and others. what kind of management expertise is being brought in. i don't think it's fair to put every attribute of necessary management quality, international security experience, experience with the military, armed forces understanding of the bureaucratic elements, is too much to layer on to one person but very important as this committee looks at a confirmations for the whole team, for defense, that those attributes are covered. >> dr. cohen. >> i completely agree with dr. hicks. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator inhofe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. rare that a confession like this is made, i really did come here to learn. it's been really good testimony. i, one thing that has occurred to me is that we keep repeating
over and over again the senior officer. what about enlisted personnel? >> i think that is completely different issue, senator, i really do. i could give you a long lecture which would bore you to tears about the history of civil-military relations but the distinction between officer and enlisted is quite important but more importantly the purpose of the law is to really exclude general officers from moving from being generals to secretaries. >> the, of course we had chuck hagel and do you have any thoughts about that, dr. hicks? >> i agree it is very different. secretary hagel coming as former enlisted -- >> lots of time too. >> he brought a unique perspective in that sense but something that military hierarchy coming to top of the
civilian hierarchy, it just has a different character. >> i understand that. each one of you is talking about what would justify treating this differently, since it was george marshall. the only disagreement i would have, i would agree from a much more learned perspective, when you made the statement that that the sense of national emergency, not as dangerous as it was back in the '50s. i have a hard time with that one because i look and see, i have often said i look which is fully of the days of cold war. you have mentally deranged people developing capability and inflicting huge damages on this country. so when you, you explain very briefly when you say there is never a time for a general, tell me what you mean by that. >> sure, what i mean to say, because of the way our framers
put forward civilian control of the military at central, president, commander-in-chief, always a civilian capacity, even a president like eisenhower is former general. in the same instance the secretary of defense is very unique position in our system. it also carries a operational chain of command responsibility but it is not elected so there is special concern around it. my point being that position may be filled with someone with military experience or not military experience. what we want to look for is someone who has the right desire for knowledge and expertise and judgment and character to live out the principles of that secretary of defense issues. we don't pick them because they're a general officer. that is anti-threat call to our very system. >> yeah, that's clear. >> senator, if i could just, historian in me wants to point out, in 1950 people thought there was serious possibility that world war iii was just around the corner. i don't think any of us quite feel with that, although i agree
with your basic assessment these days. >> capabilities that are out there that weren't there before. appreciate it very much. enjoyed your testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator gillibrand. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and ranking member reed for hosting this hearing. i think this is such a critical discussion for our nation. interestingly both of you believe so deeply in civilian control but not because of this president. that is an enormously weighty and serious statement that you both said. dr. hicks, you didn't define what your concerns were. you said the attributes of this president. and dr. cohen, you were quite specific about the fears that you had on judgment. can you please be specific that why this enormous exception should be made, because of the judgment of this president or the attributes of this president? because you both made a very strong case about why civilian leadership is essential to our
democracy in a very important provision of our founding fathers concept for what our democracy would look like. >> as you may know, senator, i was one of the ringleaders in these two letters by republican national security experts that were very critical of, then candidate trump. i will just mention one of the issues which is referred to in both of those letters, that is issue of torture. as a candidate the president-elect indicated that he would be in favor of of ample use of torture not only against suspected terrorists, but their families. that is outrageous, illegal and profoundly immoral. and i think a general mattis, secretary mattis would refuse to comply with that type of order and that is very important. >> senator do you believe the secretary of defense wouldn't
comply with an order from the commander-in-chief? >> a secretary of defense should never comply with an illegal order from the commander-in-chief. >> dr. hicks? >> senator, i don't recall referring to the president-elect's attributes. i made reverence to the statement he made time for a general which worries me greatly. i will say -- >> your quote was qualities of the nominee. >> i'm sorry, i don't think i have that in my, in my, i apologize. >> i wrote it down. >> in any case, my view is that there ought to be a strong national security team at all times in any presidency, in this particular configuration that we have, this already has been mentioned, there is a number of retired general officers coming in. there is seeming lack of attention to career diplomatic skills inside of that mix. i have concerns about the way in
which that whole apparatus will operate. i think general mattis could be a very strong figure in that. it is clear, as professor cohen hasn't indicated that the president-elect at least in one instance we know of quite publicly has listened in a way very effective for civilian control to the advice of general mattis, this being with regard to reverying any kind of viewpoint on illegal torture. so my view he could play a very helpful role in this administration. i would like to think were we sitting here with a different president-elect who had nominated general mattis i would nevertheless probably come to the same conclusion. i think our, we may differ slightly on that because i think again our system is had think enough and, you are able, as part of that system to regulate it and oversee it, and i believe that we are also looking at a person who has attributes on the
level of marshall's attributes for secretary of defense. >> now let's focus on the points thaw you both make in your writings that are very clear about the importance of civilian control. dr. cohen you specifically talk about the unequal dialogue and how important it is to have diversity opinions advising on national security. if there is a push and pull that results in better outcomes and dr. hicks, you talk about the importance of thinking through the full range of implications, operational implications, strategic implications, pragmatic implications, technical feesability, dollars and cents and political elements. without the diversity of opinion with this particular group of national security advisors where do you think this committee will need to have vigilance because we have a blind spot? what diversity of opinion will not be offered because we have a high comply mint of extraordinary public servants, extraordinary generals with extraordinary capabilities but
you both outlined importance because of diversity and we now lack that. i need you to tell this committee where are the blind spots we will need to be aggressive isly providing oversight. >> i would say in addition to all the other things that you do, the question of strategy. what are we using our armed forces for? traditionally congress spends a lot of time on the administration of the department of defense, acquisition, lots and lots of things but i think you also have an enormous role to play in examining exploring, in some cases critiquing way we use military power to achieve political ends, you have done that before but i think it is particularly urgent in the period going ahead. >> again, i would i think would emphasize more than anything the diplomatic skillset and how that is going to play out. that is obviously an issue for the state department but it is an issue within the department of defense as well. there is a lot of defense to defense diplomacy that we rely upon.
you know short of actual use of arms we have a lot of alliances and partnerships that are important to maintain and sustain and push for war. i think that will be something to pay close attention to, particularly given the president-elect's statements during the campaign with regard to allies. >> i thank you, dr. cohen, for pointing out that, the oath that is taken is to support and defend the constitution of the united states, not to obey the orders of the president of the united states. there is a law against torture, and no secretary of defense or officeholder should violate the law, and, that is what i would rely on general mattis or any other cabinet member, anyone in position of responsibility, their first obligation is to obey the law. sentor fischer. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
one issue in the debate the that we'll continue that trend. i would ask both of you, do you first think there is a trend towards that? >> i'll, let me speak as former diplomat. i was counselor of the department of state for several years. there is clearly an imbalance, simply because of the size of the department of defense and the way our combatant commands operate. i don't think the presence of a secretary mattis at the head of the department of defense matters one way or another. you know, it gets down to much more mundane things like, when a combatant commander shows up, they have got an airplane and spear carriers and people in a vast entourage. when an assistant secretary of state shows up they're poured out of the back of a united airlines plane and they're not
in, on a plane that has the seal of the united states, so not surprising that the locals look at that okay, we know who matters, it's the general. those kind of issues. i'm not being facetious, sounds how humorous. i've seen that in capitals around the world. that is something worthy of your attention. >> but those actions are not really the result of any decision or any action taken by any senior military leader, are they? more of a perception that is out there, right? >> yes and no. part of it, combatant commander has resources. a combatant commander can do things. they can move airplanes and people and supplies and so forth. there is built in this, kind of asymmetry to the advantage of the department of defense which is not exercised in a maligned way or with malign intent. it just is.
if you need flood relief or something like that, state department can't do a whole lot for you. the department of defense can. >> dr. hicks? >> i completely agree with what professor cohen. i think if you layer on to that the high level of trust that the american public has in the american military which is right but much higher than it places in other parts of government. and you combine those things alongwith the alacrity of the system and with regard to dod funding and authorization for dod which runs quite smoothly every year compared to that for other agencies, it's bias inside of the civil that we just have to watch for. it is not maligned necessarily but is something to be careful about. >> dr. cohen you mentioned the word imbalance. we've seen recently i think centralized power within the white house, national security
council and not the pentagon and yet some would argue that confirming general mattis is going to, i guess in their view, continue a growing trend of military influence. how would you respond to that? >> i think in this particular context not so much. i think in the particular context of the incoming administration, it is entirely true, more power has gravitated to the white house and more actually than i think is healthy. i think because general mattis is such a forceful character, and if the senate decides to confirm mr. tillerson as secretary of state, you will have powerful cabinet secretaries. hoping that part of what will happen, we'll see a little bit more authority going back to the departments at the expense of a very controlling white house. i think it may work the other way, actually. >> and wouldn't that also reinforce what is the role of
congress, if we do have secretaries who regain, cabinet secretaries are able to regain that power they are given, wouldn't that bring more transparency to the agency itself but also to reinforce the role of congress when it, when it comes, to the larger debate of the duties of congress, when you have a cabinet secretary who respects and values the stopsabilities of oversight, of developing relationships with committees here in congress, with coming before committees here in congress and being truthful and transparent and open about their needs? >> i would say absolutely. your ability to hold the people you have confirmed accountable is just absolutely indispensable to the functioning of our system of government. it is going to be more important than ever. >> and a strong secretary would do that? >> i believe so. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> on behalf of senator mccain let me recognize chairman warren. >> thank you, mr. chairman and about this having this hearing today. we spoke a great deal about civil isian control of military between the secretary of defense and i want to raise a broader question between the military and our citizens as a whole, which relates to this question about civilian control. i come from a military family. all three of my brothers served but this isn't as common as it used to be. it has been more than a generation since we've had massive mobilization on the scale of world war i and world war ii and vietnam. america has an extraordinary professional fighting force, the best the world has ever seen, but many people in our country are disconnected from our military, and i think our founders would have been surprised by this development. they were deeply worried about our country getting tied up in foreign wars.
and they were especially worried about a president to use the military to increase his own fame and to perpetuate his own power. that is why congress, not the president, retains important war powers. also why the founders expected citizens to pay for military engagements and to serve in the military. now, dr. hicks, i know you also recognize the extraordinaire ily skill and professionalism of our military but when we think about civilian control of the military, are there consequences to having wide portions of the population that no longer have substantial ties to an active military? >> senator warner i do think there are consequences. i think it is a distortion that can play out both postively if you will and both negatively with regard to decisions about use of force. i would just say, if i had to pick just a few items to focus on, i am concerned that the lack
of understanding of the long-term costs of conflict is exacerbated by individuals in the country being less familiar with the military, and i think you see that play out, if you will, in the longer-term stabilization decisions we've had to make over time in the united states. >> thank you. you know, when one of history's great military strategists, carl klashwistz, he talked about the need to pay attention not only political and military leaders but also to the leaders of the nation. you i want to ask a related question about public support for decisions about when to use our military. if we want to be successful in future wars, do you think we need to develop a strategy to get citizens more engaged, and if so, why?
dr. hicks, dr. cohen, whoever would like to on this. >> i do think we're facing a crisis on civic engagement on foreign security policy. we've seen over time a general consensus what the u.s. role in the world is fraying, not breaking but fraying. there seems to be a lot of confusion and uncertainty, as a matter of fact, two of the most recent major polls of the public on foreign and security policy, the pew poll and the chicago council poll, use uncertainty in their titles. it just goes to this idea that the public and elite, if you will, no longer are having a constant dialogue about what the u.s. role is in the world. >> thank you. dr. cohen, would you like to add anything? >> yes i would. first thing to that immediate point, i would say in my view it is extremely important that congress authorize the use of military force. i was deeply disappointed for our third iraq war and libyan intervention that did not occur.
i'm not going to assign blame. i would say as a citizen i found that profoundly disappointing. to your earlier point i would say there are a number of things you could do and we should do. one is simply -- i speak as a father of two servicemembers. the first to get rootc programs out on all campuses including campuses where they are not traditionally been. we're both from massachusetts. so we know what they're talking about there. even if it is not entirely efficient to have rotc out there as a presence, i also have to say that i think a lot of attempt to rationalize our base structure didn't help us in this regard. again i will speak as somebody from massachusetts. when i was in rotc we were at for the devins tromping around in the mud. there was military presence in new england. there is much less of a military presence. that is not healthy. even if it is not administratively or economically
rational i think it is important for people to have contact with the military. and for a number about reasons. one of which is, it is also important not to put the military on too much of a pedestal. harry truman was a great president, he was national guard captain and knew the you know side and as well as things truly inspire about the military and military service. i really worry about it, if you will from both ends. >> i want to say thank you very much. seems to me that the broader divide between our citizens and our military makes it even more important that we continue to keep front and center the importance of having civilian control over the military. thank you, thank you, mr. chairman. >> on past of chairman mccain, let me recognize senator ernst. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you both today. this has been a very, very enlightening hearing. so i appreciate your testimony. dr. cohen, thank you for your support of rotc programs.
as a proud member of the cyclone battalion from iowa state. i thank you for that. i do believe we need more of those programs in other areas that aren't maybe as widely accepting today. so thank you very much for that. while i still do have many commitments to garner from retired general mattis before i affirm i will be supporting him for secretary of defense, i strongly believe he understands and respects the importance of civilian control of our armed services. . .
what i want to do is add to that list. i would also include a hollowed out military, which is what i believe that we have right now. as a result of the obama administration policies, our army has fewer soldiers and their navy has fewer ships and our air force is flying antiquated aircraft. u.s. service numbers while proud are understandably anxious. do you see the need for a strong soldier statesman that jazz secretary of defense, just like we did in the fifth these? and if so, as james madison george marshall fit into that mold? >> you know, again i'll speak as an historian. the buildup of the 19th of use is not the work of one individual. it was a whole team of quite exceptional great presidential
leadership as well. i agree with your assessment of the situation. i think there is a need for what will probably be a fairly substantial expansion in military spending. we are facing quite a diverse set of challenges, perhaps none of them is overwhelming is the possibility of a third world war, this case of the soviet union. what our forces are not adequate to that right now. there's going to be an issue of resources, but it will be the nature of the team that is then created to supervise a substantial increase in defense spending. >> anything to add to that? >> i would just say i agree that general mattis, if confirmed as secretary of defense could be a very effective spokesperson for the requirements of the military and again to my prior answer to
senator orrin on the issue of what is the u.s. role in the world, we clearly have a gap between the perception that we want to achieve in the world and what we are willing to put forward and what it requires. and i think the strategic man as the secretary mattis would come forward to close the gap which i think would really appreciate. >> thank you. dr. hicks committee concluded in your statement that it is appropriate to create a specific exemption of once in a 70 year exception based on his unique qualifications. and because of what's in place to protect civilian control of the military. you state that the ultimate safeguard is the united states congress and i agree with that assessment. but in light of that, what commitments should we garner from general mattis in order to
ensure that we are doing our part and our due diligence and vetting him for the position of secretary of defense. >> i think first and foremost the comment that came up earlier in the discussion about adhering to the constitution of the united states not to any individual political official is first and foremost. when general marshall served as secretary of defense, but prior to a truly strong chairman, joint chiefs of staff in statute, security and an understanding of how he would look at this pretty unique situation ever recently retired four-star and what has been strengthened over time as a very powerful chief of staff, how that would operate. and again, that is always bringing his best judgment without bias to his prior marine allegiance if you will.
i know a marine is always a marine. that would be very important in my mind as well. >> very good. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to the witnesses. you mentioned a second ago that you believe based on the current array of challenges in the world we may need to mix ancient military spending. they stimulate the arbitrary budget sequestered that is put a cap on defense spending as well as nondefense discretionary spending is not smart. >> i would say i share the chairman of the u.s. sequestered. >> thank you. that is well-known to the the members of the committee. on a bipartisan view. >> this is an r-rated hearing. >> two items, the title of the hearing is not just about the waiver or general mattis, is civilian control of the armed forces and to touch upon two-point that have been raised. civilian control over our armed forces is throughout the
constitution in different ways, not just the notion of this waiver, which is not constitutional, the statutory. the requirement we are talking about, but also the role of congress and warmaking powers in article i. you refer to this the second ago, dr. cohen and a book retrospect of former secretary of defense robert mcnamara said this about the gulf of tonkin resolution. we failed to draw congress and the american people into a full and ranked discussion and debate the pros and cons of a large-scale military involvement in southeast asia. we didn't have formal authority, we did. the problem wasn't with formalities. the problem with the substance. neither the congress or the president contended that those words would be used as we use them. we are in the 15th year of using the 61 authorization passed in the aftermath of the attack of 9/11, stretching far beyond what was the original
intent and a congress that is now nearly 70% people who weren't here to vote on the authorization. you talked about your concern about the absence of an authorization for current military operations. isn't the congressional warmaking power, the article i power that gives that decision to the people's elected legislative body part of the framework is civilian control that we are obligated to uphold? >> senator come you're absolutely right. many different aspects of civilian control. the fact that the president is commander-in-chief, which is different than other countries do it. i completely agree with you and authorizations for the use of military force. without pushing in anyway to be be critical of congress, on some occasions it's also a way of reporting responsibility. so there is a requirement for congress to step up and say i'm going to vote ordination something like that. i also think one has to have a
certain exception to the fact he will authorize use of force and then there is a limited extent to which you can predict the way that things are going to go. that's also why i was in response to senator joel brand earlier. i said it's not just about about the authorization of the use of military force. it's also looking at strategy, getting those kinds of discussions going and i think that is one of the things i hope you would ask general mattis about because they think you should be part of that discussion. you're not going to be in the chain of command they'll be part of the discussion. >> dr. hicks, any additional comments? >> i disagree completely and specifically with regards to declaration for an authorization for the military force. i want to thank you personally for how much it invested in this issue which i'm sure seems at times but i really do hope in this congress that there can be
movement for a new authorization. >> multiple years about but it managed to persuade two or three people on this but i'm going to keep trying because they think it matters. a second issue dealing with civilian control and question center fisher asked if the role of budgetary oversight, confirmation of the secretary of defense. we did some reforms in the most recent to reduce the size of the nsc operation. we don't confirm the national security adviser. we have less oversight over the nsc operation as we do over the secretary of defense and the pentagon. i actually would like each of you to comment upon the relationship between the national security and the nsc and the secretary of defense and what you think the right balance in that relationship should be in connection with this question of maintaining appropriate civilian control through the civilian alike with congress over military operations.
>> i would just say this is really one of the most delicate and complicated questions anyone can deal with. i suppose my position would be first president does deserve to have the staff that he or she wants to or organized in the way that suits him or her best, that they think are the most effective. secondly, i have my own views haven't seen a bunch of national security advisers at close in a certain way they should do their business, that they should not be understood to be principals in this sense that a cabinet secretary is. the nsc staff should not be operational. it is largely a coordinating function. it is staffing the president of the united states. there may be something more to be gained by making sure the functions of the nsc staff resident particular size and so forth are appropriate. i get very anxious the national security council staffers begin
negotiating treaties with other countries. that's really wrong. that should not have been. >> not only negotiating, but deciding rules of engagement are away places. i appreciate very much her advocacy on this whole issue that you have read sometimes a voice in the wilderness, but involve something absolutely correct. i know senator reid would like to work with you and perhaps one way to address this issue does have a series or two. it is not exercised its responsibility throughout the globe. i thank you for raising the issue. i thank you for your continued tenacity and i want to commit to us making a priority for this
committee. >> thank you. senator perdue. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i agree with those of you and your testimony and comments so far for today. this is inextricably important tenant, one that we should strive to uphold going forward. any exception should be taken very, very seriously. i appreciate your comment. having said that, i agree also that we are facing a unique and dangerous security crisis today. i can't compare to 1950. it's different. they didn't have a nuclear north korea. they didn't have an arms race in space. i think they made for integration between diplomacy and military capability has never been greater or more complicated. because of that unique circumstance, like general marshall, general mattis offers us a unique combination of skills that in mind that that make him an ideal candidate for
right now with certain cautions that you both have laid out. having said that, and having broad experience of the foreign relations committee here, i'm very concerned about the relationship between diplomacy and development debate inside the cabinet room between two military officers when it's a military option for a diplomatic option. could you both speak to that with your personal experience that general mattis, dr. hicks. >> all began. i think you are right to have that concerned, particularly if i'd met on development. the last 15 years of war again have brought home more than ever before to members of the military importance of development or the role it plays. but your average officer thinks till maybe doesn't fully understand the role of the usaid in particular. that said, i think general mattis for both his roles, but
particularly as the head of the u.s. joint forces command looking broadly at the future and that the integration of the military with other instruments of power and of course as the commander of u.s. central command were a region like many others were you absolutely have to understand how this pieces integrate together is critical. i think he will have a deep appreciation of the need for development and diplomacy experts that are nonmilitary. >> i guess i would have a couple thoughts. the first is this seems to me it's very rare one has a choice between a military and diplomatic option. the truth is much more likely to be diplomacy of one kind backed by a military option for diplomacy of a different kind maybe not backed by a military option.
what matters most is cooperation between the state department and defense department. i was privileged to serve with senator sullivan under secretary rice and seemed exceptionally close relationship she had with debra terry gave the secretary of defense and anybody in the administration tends to feel that way. i was seeing an exceptionally close integration of diplomacy and military power. the question might be more to general mattis, secretary mattis with the secretary of state. >> dr. cohan, you mentioned that we are on -- the first ones to do this. certain how doneness historically and some not so very well. you call that into your writings. would you relate to us a little bit about the cautionary comment he made about that relative to other people six. other countries experience doing what we are talking about doing today, but also unique character of dr. mattis and why this might
be a unique situation. >> let me start with general mattis. for me, what i find myself focusing on is not just the next. and the expertise of knowing it is fundamentally my judgment about his character and his judgment. that's why i think it's unfortunate people use the phrase mad dog eared i've never heard anyone uniform military referred to him as that. that is not what he is like. this is extremely awful, careful, prudent man. i think that is a tremendously important thing. to speak to the history of civil military relations, the fact is if you look at the french or the germans or even russians, and when you begin to have retired generals as ministers of defense or ministers of water, you are setting up the kinds of tensions and problems and blurring we talked about the kind of isolation of the military from
normal politics. in some ways this is what has happened in israel, which is for us the most interesting case because it is a liberal democracy. i know that country pretty well. there is a serious problem with the politicization of the senior officer corps. there is a serious goblin distinguishing between the military ice of the serving chief of generals have any minister of defense of a couple years before was a general officer. in fact, the israelis have introduced and they've actually recently increased their time gap between when you can take up the uniform, when you can run for public office and there've been those kinds of positions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> another peters, welcome again to the committee. >> thank you, chairman mccain. it's a pleasure to be here and i think our witnesses today for your testimony. dr. hicks, dr. cullen, thank you for addressing this serious
issue. to pick up on senator perdue's comment about making sure we are balancing military options with economic, the full range of power that can be projected around the world. it is important to remember the last time we did grant this waiver in addition to his extensive military experience also is or does the special envoy to china with secretary of state and president of the american red cross. quite a diverse around condescendingly are not looking at right now despite all of the qualifications of general mattis, but certainly a very rounded background going into the position. i would like to turn to the book that general mattis added it, which i think both of you have reference. in that book, he has a chapter from.your thomas outland, professor at the institute of world politics ended entitled to civilian control of the military still an issue, which raises
prospect if that is even something we should be thinking about. dr. owens raised the civil military relations can be seen as a bargain. i'm going to quote from his writing here. or three parts. the american people, the government and military establishment. periodically the civil military bargain must be renegotiated to take into account the political, social, technological or geopolitical changes. my question to both of the first is do you agree with the assessment that basically as we discussed the military relations that this is basically a bargain between the people of the government and military? >> no, i do not. the principal civilian controls the military false. >> i do think there is this issue of how exactly it manifests again in any given environment and the particular
statute we are discussing now did not arise until 19 dirty seven and in large part the variety of reasons but a large reason is because we have, but two world wars. we have seen militarized societies and we were facing the act which we still have at a much larger and very capable standing military. and so, the exact structure of how we operationalize civil military relations changed in that context. i think that has been true, which as we maintain the principle and the particular way as the waiver would be to judge but it requires to be held at a given time is assessed at that time. >> patterns clearly do change. but the word that i would really push back at his bargain as if it is a deal that gets cut between different segments of society and i think that's not the way archons to titian was
intended to operate. >> thank you good later in this book, the quote i have a servant differ not your. later in this book, general mattis writes ... your comment, his thoughts on this issue. he writes that there is a contemporary departure from the american norm, it is that military commanders are more, not less and by political leaders because the worse we are fighting are more removed from everyday to the most experience. it goes on to say the combined effect is maureen since the lease without military asked. alienated from the advice offered by military are more likely to use the force and effectively. we believe we've been saying exactly this and security policies over the last dozen years. your response, please. >> i'm not sure i would agree
with that. i understand as a point of view. there is undoubtedly a fair amount of friction in the last eight years, but restrictions, but restriction during the bush administration as well. i think sometimes people like to think that there was a period where generals and politicians got along very well. again, essentially a military historian. i can give you chapter and verse on that if you like. a certain amount of tension is the norm and is actually a healthy thing. i don't think i fully believe that. but military relations between president truman and general macarthur. president truman had not any more record in the first world war as the national guard commander. i would like to add one thing. having edited a bunch of books,
i stopped doing it because you can't really control what the people in the book are going to say i'd rather just say what i'm going to say. i wouldn't hang general mattis was polite some author has put in there. you're much less control than you might think. >> let me be clear. the last two quotes that i read were general mattis. >> i can. i was referring to the previous one. >> i basically agree with professor cohen. is simply say again it's always hard to take close to ssm, but my recollection of that portion of his essay with this co-op or, the contacts was the societal removal, the 1% issue. i do think that has a fax. it distorts how we think sometimes about military force.
it doesn't mean it's more likely we essay, which is more likely the implication of the passage are less likely to use it. i do think it means the more distant citizens come from their understanding that the profession of arms, the more dangerous that is for us because we remove ourselves from very real understanding of what the implications of force are. >> people may conflate them. for example, the fact that anything that happens is instantaneously visible around the world and when i say visible lightning on youtube and therefore is a big deal it does mean there's more political tensions. when you have abu ghraib, it's not something that comes out along came later and there's no photographs. it is right there in front of you and it has real repercussions. some of this has to do with the nature of their particular wars we've been fighting, which in a variety of ways been conducive.
so i may agree with the diagnosis of the phenomenon. i might have a somewhat different this is some of the causes. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. part of the discussion earlier had to do with whether or not we releasing contact between civilian and military members. i would just suggest that there is some white just don't believe that it's happened in one area with regard to the national guard. all you have to do is to attend a single deployment ceremony for a welcome home ceremony for a funeral and you'll see that when you mobilize the national guard, you mobilize the entire community and there's clearly a connection there, which has not faded.
and i think one thing that leads to that is a very, very close connection with the folks are maintaining their relationship with families and community and folks see them actively involved, but they also see the sacrifice of the family as well and sometimes i suspect our military members that have family back here, to sacrifice those families make his publicly not as adamant in their local communities as it is when you recognize the guard. let me ask just a couple quick questions and i don't mean just let harris, but we talked about the comparisons between general marshall and general mattis and about con activity between the two similarities and so forth. can i ask what you see as the differences between the recommendation in nomination at that time in the nomination we
have before us today. the different is in your study and in your review, that you found that you would point out to us? >> before i do that, on your point about the national guard i complete the agree, but very many dimensions to that issue and it seems to be a good name for the country of our business leaders, academic leaders, leaders of nonprofit also have family members or people they knew who were serving. that is other implications for how we go about recruiting people. there are a number of differences. obviously, general marshall has military asked areas. did definitely has been he was one of the masterminds of this great coalition after. he served as secretary of state. but the very fact as secretary
of state for two years. conversely, one does have to point out, general marshall is quite a sick man when the waiver was made. i don't think historians think he was extraordinarily effective and lost a kidney by then and he was in for about a year. general mattis is a much more vigorous type and not it's actually nontrivial. i believe. so it seems to me would be the largest differences that you're dealing with. general marshall finally did have one enormous challenge and that was of course dealing with general macarthur whom he did not like, but to be tended to respect as the guy who's in charge and macarthur was a different kind of problem. >> i would add two other
factors, one related to at elliott just bad, that he served a very short period of time and in fact all evidence points to the fact i was a prearranged agreement, that he would only serve for a limited here to time. he was helping the president out if you will in the case where you have as you reference earlier a secretary of defense who is not working out to him, so this was a way to transition with a popular, politically popular figure in the case of general marshall. you can price how much of that is similar and different in this case, but it is the fact that it wasn't is out of date secretary of defense. it was more of a transitional approach. the other thing repeating his general marshall is best i recall had gone back into an active duty status. so he was extremely recently retired just before taking on the position.
>> he was actually technically not retired. the way it works if you're a five-star general ,-com,-com ma which is what he was is that you never retired to a lot of the discussion and testimony is about what do we do about his pay. the lofty issues were addressed, too, but some of it was pretty mundane. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, you mentioned a few minutes ago that you were like them to be critical of congress. i don't know why you were gone among all the citizens of the country should feel any reservations on that front. i would suggest -- i also have to point out the statement was made earlier about president obama eviscerating the military again. this was the budget for the military, that this body and we oppose limitations that the president's budget reflect it. again, we don't want to avoid
responsibility for our role at either historically on a going forward he says. the other point seems to me one of the greatest challenges to civilian control of an election of 1864 when george mcclellan, one of the leading generals ran against the president of the united states and lincoln himself wrote his wife in august of that year saying he was likely to lose that election and probably would have other than for a taking of atlanta in september surely before the election. i apologize to the senator from georgia for raising a difficult point. when i was a small-town lawyer in maine, one of the principles we used to just do was hard cases make bad law. cases that are appealing on the merits that widows and orphans another kind of difficult issues, you end up creating precedents that are bad law and that's what i'm struggling with in this case. i think that is exactly what we
are talking about here. i have decided to support this amendment because i don't think it will make bad law because of the narrow way that it's drafted. it's important we haven't discussed the specific language, but the language is a section applies only to the first person appointed to secretary of defense described in subsection eight after the date of this fact and to no other person. that means they can even be used by another appointment of this president. it is an extremely narrow precedent and the precedent was broken if you will seven years ago, and broke then and i am comforted by this language and i suspect that if a future occasion of this nature arises, number one there's no statutory basis for providing an automatic exception. we will have a hearing like this decided upon the fact that the case just as you both have suggested today.
do you agree with that analysis? >> yes. i would add to that it's very important to the committee and members of the that the principles guiding them and how they think about the law going forward so that there is a record in the same way both of us look at the record of the testimony and the martial case. the people go back and look at the record and most money for things you senators said at the time to help them think this through. if i code, i figured i'd taken a slight at the obama administration. taking on congress seem to be a little bit too much even for me. >> the other subject that cannot today, which is important is the danger of a development of a military caste. i was discussing this recently with a high-ranking officer in
charge of personnel who indicated that something of the service numbers come from military bloodline by military families. i think that is and he said that's a dangerous situation because we don't want our military set are rated for the society. when they made a decision, i completely concur with the idea of broadening rotc and broadening recruitment efforts that we don't have a separate group that feels separated from the rest of the society, particularly the civilian government. that are hicks, your thoughts? >> i completely agree with that. i'm from a military family and myself. it away of life and it can seem for those who haven't lived it externally nomadic in nature. it's dangerous when we start to look a poster military families
and perpetuating columnist future military service and the rest of society going about its business differently. i do think that the danger. >> and makes it too easy for the rest of the society meaning president and congress is to talk about force and deployment of troops if there's a wide bad element of sacrifice. >> if i code, i think that is true, but i would also caution as you go forward, the military personnel bureaucracies will not be on your side. the easiest, most efficient thing from their point of view is go to those parts of the country or to those universities which have massive rotc programs that they can bring in. i've had these kinds of passions of people. if you look at efforts to try to get rotc back on the harvard campus, the opposition was not president larry summers. the opposition was actually from the united states army. i hate to say that having been
an army officer at one time, that it was too much of a pain in the neck. we had to deal with the harvard faculty. would be that high yield of up stairs, but completely missing the larger point of having a connection of wind people are going to be in our society. >> thank you for your testimony. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the outstanding testimony. i want to thank you for your service to our nation and as usual your testimony is insightful and how all. as someone who served as a marine corps staff officer to the centcom commander and later as assistant secretary of state, i certainly agree with your sense of imbalance between dod resources which i think we need to let god.
but also it is helpful on rotc. i certainly hope all universities will heed the call to establish rotc programs. and now, senator warren was talking about this issue where she taught and wear taught and wherewith to college, you just named the university. when i went to harvard, the spartacus euclid, which was an organization for young communist was allowed to meet on campus, but if you want to be part of the rotc company you are not welcome and i think that was an embarrassed that. it took 40 years to get rotc back after it was kicked off the campus. the opposition's list of professors and faculty who are extremely anti-military and we should be looking at all universities that continue to ban rotc and penalize them. hopefully we will continue to focus on this.
you're both historians. let me historians. let me just ask a basic question and in historical context, does the waiver? was something of a u.s. interest? do most historians agree on that? >> i think people understand why truman did it. johnson was a very dysfunctional secretary of defense. and he was clearly not the right guy to supervise a substantial bill to. it was a bit of a whiff of desperation about it and i think the general consensus is that marshall did some good things to the secretary of defense. you know, he does not go down as one of the best secretaries of defense by a long shot. >> historical record is out by the critical of it, is there? >> an idea it analogies many colleagues have raised today about dr. kissinger testifying before the committee last year
about the world in the united states hadn't seen this many crises and the end of world war ii. some of us are concerned about a hollowed out our need. are those in the character and reputation of general mattis, are those historical analogy is apt when you look at 1950 and general marshall? >> i think they go a little bit too far. united states military was in much worse shape in 1950. if you know the history of the korean war, it's a pretty sorry tale with a few exceptions in that first year as we put ourselves together. the overall sense of is much greater because there really wasn't this chance to have world war three. >> sorry to cut you off, but let me ask about kind of a question that relates to the korean war. korean war. there is the conventional and and we heard it today. we heard it in the media a lot
on this issue that there is a growing military influence in our government. is that really the case? that may give you a couple counterexamples. we can't have a job administration will have now three out of the last four presidents who have not served in the military. much of the obama white house staff never served in the military. congress now has 20% better in in 1971 it was 73 per veterans. in your view, can thus create situations where important military matters are not well to or emphasized by civilian leaders? let me give you one that relates to the korean war and that is the issue of rigorous military training. very, very difficult, hard, dangerous military training. sometimes people are comfortable with that. sometimes members of congress don't understand it. when you don't have military
training, you end up with situations like the korean war. general mattis certainly understands that. i've talked to them about it. but do we risk when they don't have much military experience and a civilian government that other leaders don't understand what task force is? a lot of members of the obama white house don't even know what i'm talking about. it's not an issue we should be concerned about as well? rigorous military training of people who understand this military issues through their own military service, which is increasingly less and less in our civilian government? >> senator sullivan, first of all military readiness and training is a major issue and i do know what the task force method is. but i do not believe you have to have served in the military in order to have knowledge and appreciation.
is this different than serving? absolutely. >> i'm talking about rigorous military training. >> understand. as i said before, i think there is a distortion when you had society becoming less familiar with the military that is how bus service in the military. i think it is a problem when there is distrust between the military and civilian leadership and i think we can point to instances both in the current administration and the bush administration and throughout history where those tensions have moved from helpful to unhelpful. but the only thing i'm going to say and obviously it's bias as i have not served in the military, but i've dedicated my entire professional life to the department of defense and surveys that i do not think you have to serve in the military to be an effective civilian leader in military affairs. >> i completely agree with dr. hicks on not. i don't think prior military experience makes any difference
to those kinds of things. again, we can have a long discussion about the history of training in the united it's military. it had to completely overhaul and world war ii which is completely in the hands of the united states army because they had no comment here and then they find themselves having to change things. our greatest commander-in-chief was a man with zero military -- almost zero military periods. together competing commander in chief, jefferson jabez -- jefferson davis, he was a terrible commander-in-chief. so i don't think that per se military experience is what matters, although i think it's a good thing. the factors are not not going to get it back. 1971, world war ii vets are still around and dominated congress. that is not coming back and i think we have to accept that and find other ways of doing it. i very much agree with
dr. hicks. it's important not to denigrate people who have not served for whatever reason. >> i totally agree that some of the challenges we face in the military today, particularly much-needed reforms and acquisition and other areas require time and that have nothing to do with the military. some of our finest should not be a requirement. thank you. senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to both of our panelists for your testimony and for thought: pragmatic approach to this issue because i think this is an issue that may not be helpful to be doctrinaire on. you know, i totally agree with this statement that they made that it's important for the country to have skin in the game when it comes to military
engagement and conflict around the world as someone who came of age between the vietnam area i remember the day they a draft verse all volunteer army and i think some of the ideas about what would happen at the time have not proved to be accurate and we have a very professional, very well-trained military about only 1% of the population that have skin in the game and that's not healthy for the long-term future of the country. having said that, i want to pick up on the comments you've made, dr. cohen. in 2002 the "washington post" to an article where you made the point that you just made that there is no evidence that generals has a classmate national security. i wonder if you could talk more about that beyond lincoln and
jefferson davis and what you've seen that makes you come to that conclusion. >> well, it is a result of a sickly be in a military historian. you know, if you look at things like the vietnam war, where there have been some very interesting books, including one by my friend, h. r. mcmaster, the joint chiefs not standing up to robert mcnamara. a reservation about the book and i've talked to them about this that it's not like they really had a better idea. we really pressed into the history that they have a different conception that would've allowed us to achieve our national object is. this is why in my book, supreme commander talk about inadequate dialogue. it has to be give and take. at the end of the day, the civilians are responsible. civilians are accountable. the military absolutely has to
be heard in a duty to speak out. it can only be forced in the dialogue. we have to be very careful in our understanding of what is the nature of military expertise. when you go to work on the restraint use force to achieve political purposes. if i might, one other thing is i think it's important to have skin in the game. speaking as someone who has some skin in the game, i was in favor of the iraq war and my son went off inside a neck twice. i would have been in favor of it in exactly the same way if he hadn't made that decision entirely on his own before 9/11 to join the service. it does affect how you think about things you do to fix that you think about political leadership. it affects how you hold them accountable. but if you're a serious individual, i don't think it actually changes how carefully you weigh decisions about sending young man or young women
into harms way. >> so, i think the argument that i find most persuasive that he made, dr. cohen and to some extent you also made it, dr. hicks, about why this way for a this time might be appropriate if because of your comments this secretary and not just might be a stabilizing and moderating force preventing, dangerous or illegal things from happening in the incoming administration. with that in mind, i want to ask you more about an issue senator perdue raised with respect to the interaction between the national security council under former general flynn and the department of defense and how policy make it made with that kind of interaction. so do you have any insight, either one of you, into what we might expect in who we might
expect to come out on top in those kinds of debates about what policy should be. >> senator, i would be foolish to predict what is going to happen here. i think in any administration use dns servers nine plus month release cycle for congress send shaken around, if you will inevitably in every administration than there is a particularly combusted combination potentially in this set of factors we have coming in in a few weeks. i can't predict what that will look like. i do want to add to the very good comments professor cohen made that this regard to the issue of the president to choose his own staff. it's important for this
secretary and also a threat to national security system to remember the national security adviser is not in the chain of command. that sounds very straightforward, but in the day-to-day actions in the station, you can become confusing of whether the adviser is a principle or not. certainly with regard to where artists come from, how they are communicated from the president, for national security adviser. i think that tension is present in many administrations will play itself out and we will see what the answer to your question is very soon. >> once again, i agree with dr. hicks. i also have no idea what this will turn into. from what i've read of the president-elect's style he likes to have lots of competing power centers competing for his ear
and jockeying around and bouncing into each other. my personal preference for orderly process but again i'm not president so i don't get to make that decision. there's a lot of pushing and shoving. >> thank you, both. >> flinn versus madness and kelley. that is going to be an interesting tension. three star versus two or stars. but the three star as the -- do you want to comment on that? >> you summarized it very well. it is one of the argument in the long run for not having retired general office others in these like secretary of defense or even possibly as national security advisor because they never forget their rank. i've yet to meet a general who says please just call me bob. that's not entirely true.
their rank carries with them after they retired and that's just the psychological fact that you cannot get around. >> dr. hicks, you used the term self perpetuating home of military service. that's going to occur as long as we don't have a draft. >> i don't necessarily think that's true and i don't recommend return to a draft. we don't need a military two to three times the size it is now. most people would agree with that. we are not looking to vastly grow the size of our military -- the percent of the population. he gets back to the issue of isabella curry all that recruitment within a population that's never changing. that is not help you if that is true and it goes back to some of the issues about looking for new
pools of interest. that can relate to opening up for instant position to women, looking at areas like cyberskill set areas for different types of people maybe would be attracted to service and have been before. so i think there were a variety of ways to get it this issue. i don't think there's a single single solution and it's certainly not a draft. >> dr. hicks said it better than i could. dr. colin, you gave the dramatic example of treatment over macarthur. can you think in history as a country and the examples that were urged for the military has actually overcome the civilian control? maybe other countries.
not a dictatorship on democracy. you mentioned the situation in israel. >> the most effect of israeli minister of defense was also the prime minister david ben-gurion who leveled out as a junior corporal and the british army over a period of three months in world war i. i think anybody who knows anything about his really military history knows he was far and away the most effective minister of defense ever had. he's the guy who built the israel defense forces. whereas conversely a few look at at -- and it has been a much more strategic decision-maker, working with the chief of staff. i think it's a pretty good example of that. >> the civilians always win. but not without occasionally
sends eeriest pushing and shoving. >> may i just simply outcome i want to answer that question a different way than i'm sure you intended it. they are stating here that era have a political cause sometimes for exercising that civilian control of the military that macarthur is a good example, very popular. truman very much not popular and he returned and truman didn't seek an additional term in office and that the next amaral was eisenhower who had then and it too with her third. i think you can look at where the political for the public weight of approval of the
military may be very strong. even when civil military analysts look at it and say these are good pieces, there can be a significant political cost to pay for that. >> what was the cost of president paid inspired chris o.? i think that would be less historian. my view is the lack of trust between the military and the obama senior leadership as senator sullivan's bad and particularly in the white house. i think to the extent that might have further field a sense of distance, that's a possibility but i haven't seen any reporting on that. >> senator blumenthal has arrived. [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for holding
this hearing because civilian control over the department of defense and military general is really a bad rep principle, one of the founding principles of this democracy recognize from the inception of our great nation and i have deep respect for general mattis says he serves his country, having met with him over numerous series and having a data visit by sending a over my service in the united states senate. we are here today to discuss in general the issue of civilian control over the military and how that principle is served or not by his appointment. the general issue applies regardless of what we think
offhand. to emphasize congress included a nonbinding section expressing the intent that the waiver was to be anti-section. quote, this act is not to be construed as approval by congress at continuing appointment to the office of secretary of defense in the future and no additional appointments of military men to that office shall be approved, end quote. i am concerned, i think many of us are that the waiver here was set a precedent. i wonder if you have advised staff as to how we can avoid setting a precedent. i don't respond to my
colleagues, senator reid. the waiting period or period of time as avoiding the repetition of the precedent. but the exception, the rule and my question to you is whether there is a name by way of legislative intent in what we may have to say about doing a waiver here and perhaps even in the legislative gadgetry language, whether we can ensure that we are making an unusual and unique exceptions and some of the concerns -- the general concerns expressed even if we want to move ahead with general mattis nomination and confirmation. >> i'm no expert on draftsmanship of the law, but i do think it makes and to put
eggs into the law to make it clear just how exceptional you all believe this case is. the other thing i suggested in the testimony which may or may not be helpful is that you consider restoring the 10 year rule and going back to the seven year rule. i think that was kind a certain message about how seriously congress takes that. that would be my only additional and that really is a matter for you folks to deliberate on. .. >> the difference between 10
years, seven years, three years, 15 years, these are years, these are all sort of arbitrary time periods. i don't know of a fact-based justification for any specific numbers of years. it's more the principle that's important. so i do agree that the language is narrow, but i'm just trying to narrow the intent so that it is clear, that is truly an exception based on general mattis is extraordinary qualification. and the very extraordinary time in which we live. thank you. thanks, mr. chairman. >> i think senator gillibrand has asked for another question. >> no thank you, mr. chairman. >> i think the witnesses. i don't know why, dr. cohen, i was reminded of one of the seminal moments was a part of
harry truman authentication of civilian, the adherence of civilian control of the military since he was the most popular man at the time. and truman in later years said i didn't fire macarthur because it was an slb, which he was picky said i fired him because he was down. do you remember that quote? as only harry truman could have put it. an individual that history treats with much more admiration and respect than it did at the time. the more i study, the more i appreciate appreciate that seminal moment. one of the most popular americans, it's hard to describe the way americans who revere war heroes at that time. would you have any closing comments, or have you had
[inaudible conversations] >> the senate armed services committee plans a vote thursday on whether to exempt donald trump's defense secretary nominee from the seven-year waiting period for general mattis to head the pentagon. and to begin the -- and to be confirmed under expedited procedures. confirmation hearings started today on president-elect trump's nominees and underway right now the senate judiciary committee is hearing from attorney general nominee alabama senator jeff sessions whose hearing is been underway for several hours. >> millions of people in the south, particularly of our country. i know that was wrong. i know we need to do better. we can never go back. i am totally committed to
maintaining the freedom and equality that this country has to provide to every citizen. i will assure you that that's how i will approach it. >> senator durbin? >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the hearing continues live on c-span3. today it is expected to continue tomorrow. comic up later today the senate intelligence committee will be holding a hearing on russian hacking a potential influence of a potential on the presidential election. the heads of the cia and the fbi and the nsa will be joining national intelligence director james clapper at the witness table and you can watch live coverage of that on c-span.org. also coming up tonight president obama will deliver his farewell address. c-span will have live coverage from chicago. he gets underway at night eastern you can also watch on c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app.
but first the u.s. senate continues debate this afternoon on repealing what's called obamacare. a number of amendments are awaiting votes. live coverage at noon eastern here on c-span2. last night democrats voiced their opposition to the republican plan an enters a look while we wait for the senate to come in.nsin. ms mr. president? >> the senator from wisconsin.en >> i rise this evening to join my colleagues, democrats, to independents, to fight togetherc to protect the health and economic security of the american people. in 2012 2012, when i was electeo the united states senate, i can assure you that the people of wisconsin did not send the here to take their healthcare away. o