tv Representative Mac Thornberrry Discusses Military Readiness CSPAN May 23, 2017 8:59am-10:00am EDT
>> house armed services committee chair mac thorn perry sat down to talk about military ready did iness and defense spending. interviewed by the brookings institution michael o'hanlon. this is an hour. >> good morning, everyone and welcome to brookings. i'm michael o'hanlon in the foreign policy program. as you know i have the privilege and honor welcoming back to brookings, congressman mac thornberry, from texas to does defense policy, matters, many subjects up the sun. the chairman of the armed services committee. first texan have that role. his family goes back to ranching in the 13th district to 18811. wonder what he is doing in rain any washington dealing with federal budget when he could be back home dealing with texas springtime. we're grateful for your service.
we're grateful for you being here today. it is a momentous time in american foreign policy and defense policy we'll get quickly to matters of the defense budget, defense spending where the entire debate may go with tomorrow's release of the president's budget. congress gearing up in the normal hearing season on these subjects. i thought to get energized on a good monday morning, please join me in welcoming the chairman to brookings. [applause] chairman thornberry, before we get to the summit, i ask you to summarize the acquisition reform bill. a couple three headlines to make off that. one additional aspect to my question might be, i remember last year when you were here and elsewhere talking about your efforts with senator mccain and others on last year's acquisition reform, a lot of what you emphasized, listen, if it saves money that's nice but the most important thing to get technology to the war fighter
quickly and efficiently. i know that remains your driving concern but i was also struck in this bill you're also trying to help the taxpayer with reforms and efficiencies that may save money, looking hard at contractors. looking hard at various kinds of requirements, logistics matters, how we purchase regular supplies. so i wondered if you could explain the latest reform proposal in the context of how you think about acquisition reform. >> sure. maybe i will start broad with a bit of context as you alluded. i think, as far as congress's responsibilities when it comes to national defense these days we essentially have two. one is to help rebuild the military and the second is reform to help the military be more agile and innovative. and so, the budget largely deals with the rebuild, what you spend money on, et cetera. on the agility side we face a
world with the widest array of complex challenges we have ever faced, and, where a world where technology moves and adversaries can direct investments and capabilities at a much faster pace than they ever have before. all of that requires us to be more agile and that's the reason i think acquisition reform is so important. as you point out, it is about getting the best our country can provide. >> the hands of the timely way. a lot of that focused on the acquisition program, planes, carriers, if you will. this bill focuses on the day-to-day sorts of things.
the thing that will resonate the easiest with folks is, one of the reforms we proposed is to al you how dod to buy things on commercially online, like on amazon business-to-business. there are several other competitors like that. so now you've got two choices. you can go off the gsa schedule which costs more. in which many companies they're decided they're not going to participate in because of the requirements. you can go through the contracting process which takes forever and you have to do the bids and all that sort of stuff. none of which is the definition of agility. so one of the things is to allow dod folks to go back to buy commercially off-the-shelf items online on these online portals. we also try to update the audit,
the way that companies are audited on costs they incur. there are lots of different sorts of audits at dod. this basically brings in private sector audit companies to do some of this job. it is happening in other agencies. it ought to be able to happen in dod. just two more right quick, 70% of the life cycle coasts of programs are on sustainment. not on buying it at the beginning. it is on everything it takes to keep it operating over its lifetime. yet we don't really pay attention to that. we buy the cheapest thing that we think will get the job done at the beginning. one of the changes is to require you consider sustainment costs from the, from the get-go. service contracts, dod contracts for, 50% is services. not weapons and equipment. and yet if you asked dod what are you spending this money on? . .
proposal, as we all know president trump has proposed a quote on quote $50 billion increase in the defense budget for 2018 but that's measured against the sequestration level so let's say president obama level is maybe a more reasonable benchmark is your slideshows, it's only about a $20 increase which is real money but only a few kinds of the defense budget overall. and what you are now suggesting is that president trump'sproposal is not enough . and you want to add roughly another $37 billion to what he suggested and i wonder if you could partly because i think our technology is failing here but layout a little bit of what the major components of that additional $37 billion would be and we can maybe talk a little bit about each of them >> again, just a little bit of context. last year as house republicans were putting together an agenda to run on the speaker asked our country to look at what we think we need to be spend on defense. what would it take to repair the damage that has been done from eight years of br's,
five years of the budget control act, operational tempo, all these things that have inflated so is charged to us was okay, it's figure out what it would take. president trump is elected, he starts talking about a specific size, etc. so what we did was to say how much money would accomplish the goals that president trump has set forward, but could be responsiblyspent , we believe in fiscal year 2018 and that's where we end up at that 640 billion dollars. i think that the budget the administration will propose is roughly 3 percent more than what president obama had suggested this year, it's roughly afive percent increase over current your funding . so i think it is fair to say it's basically the obama approach with a little bit more but not much.
what's the difference? we tried to lay that out and i think this shows some broad categories. air dominance for example is about $10 billion above what president obama had projected. these are kind of broad labels, that's not just for airplanes. that includes the maintenance and the operations, the training that's required for us to go against adversaries like russia, china which we have not doneso much of . so that's the reason you see these categories. some of it are bringing our ground forces up to date. some of it is ballistic missile defense and if i were to look at this today looking at what's happened with north korea, i'm not sure we put enough into missile defense, both increasing the interceptors and current systems which are woefully short and research into other
kinds of systems that hopefully will be more effective. i'm not sure we put enough into munitions, by the way. it was a little bit in munitions and appropriation bill that just passed. we put some here but we had some significant munitions shortages in various items if you look at it but that's the reason there are these categories. i'm afraid when we talk about budgets, we get into these numbers games and say this number, that number, throw them around. what we lose sight of his what those numbers mean and which capabilities are we willing to forgo with a different level of budget? we have to be concrete about that because the men and women on the front lines will have their life affected by what we are not fixing. by the new capability where not getting or whatever choices, we need to make it more concrete rather than a
640, 620, will split the difference and that sort of thing is the way this debate revolves. >> toóand thank you for putting the slide up, this is the base base budget. were talking about the base budget for the department of defense and nuclear weapons activities in the department of energy of the 640 billion you would recommend would have an additional 60 billion in overseas contingency operation costs. is that your ballpark? >> i think all the estimates have roughly 65 billion in operating towards the ocl accounts and we can get into more discussion about that but you're correct. this is the budget categories, the 050 account which includes the nsa and department of energy and other things, >> this is not trying to change the long-standing practice of putting some base costs in the o5o account.
in other words there are people who have been saying what we should try to do is take all those war costs in the overseas contingency operations budget, many of which are based budget related and try to do proper budgeting, but back in the space. you don't have enough money to do that, this is not polishing that bowl. >> it does not accomplishthat goal. that is a worthwhile conversation to have , what concerns me is that if there's just transfers from o.c.o. into the base budget and people call it a defense increase, it will not be accurate. it will not tell you the facts which is you really have increased anything at all, change the label on the money. i think it's worthwhile conversation to have because putting base requirements into o.c.o.makes it difficult . and means the money is not spent as efficiently as it could be and yet we have become very dependent on that over the years to get around the budget.
>> so the 2018 proposal you are offering as you said is designed to fund things we know we can do reasonably well and reasonably shorter, is it fair to say this is consistent with the candidate trump vision of roughly 350 ship navy now, general goldstein's proposal to increase the size of the air force which candidates also propose, getting the army back to 540,000 or so active soldiers. are those the structure goals behind this? >> yes, i want to be clear, you cannot accomplish those goals in a budget or two. it takes time. general goldstein has told us for example it takes 10 years and $10 million to grow a fighter pilot. >> so air force today is roughly 1500 pilots short, you cannot snap your fingers and open the trainingpipeline big enough . to fix all those problems. this takes time. and if i'm can make one other
point, earlier this year we had the testify about the state of our military, one of the points that general wilson, vice chief of the air force said is air force pilots today are receiving fewer training hours in the cockpit. then they did during the whole military of the 1970s. so that was my reaction. i went back then and looked, okay. we all know about the hollow military. nobody was would suggest that we had equivalent problems with people and so forth. but there are a remarkable number of parallels between what we, the damage done today and the damage that was done and what did it take to get out of that. the last year of jimmy
carter's administration was a 50 percent increase in defense spending, president reagan comes in and has a 17 percent and next year and 18 percent and next year 13 percent. then three more years of 10 percent. >> that's what it took over to overcome the neglect and damage done in the 1970s to our military and i think that sort of context kind of helps us with the size and the duration of what sort of repair work is needed for the problems that we face. >> i noticed that in the two weeks for example an aviation week and space technology article last week there was more data about which aircraft which mission capable rates, do you think we need to get more of that data in the public because i know there's a tension between classification concerns, not wanting to tip off adversaries trying to be specific about defense needs, how do you think we should handle that? >> i've been pushing for more openness and frankly i have had , debates with the
leadership in the pentagon about this. because they are concerned about telling our adversaries you much about what our problems are. i focus being more political admittedly then there's this is to get the political support we need to have a sort of rebuilding that they did in the 80s. were going to have to be more explicit about this. >> i will say when you have in life happens last month, you have a fair number of pilots go on strike. because they believe the aircraft they were being asked to fly work safe. it does help wakepeople up. i think , we had a number of classified briefings with my committee and i think the more people know about the facts, the more urgent fixing the problem is. >> let me bore in on one more example about readiness. as the argument gave combat teams and the last two or
three budgets, the rte has been saying it wants to spend roughly a third of its brigade combat teams per year to the national training center and dutiful unit three week long exercises and training that are sort of the culmination and one would think that if we then funding that for two or three years, and were doing one third of the brigades per year we'd be starting to catch up and apparently were not. apparently the army is still talking today in the same kind of dire tones that it was two or three years ago, at least in my ear about the state of readiness, lack of proper full unit training and exercising. so what's going on, is it because of all these healing resolutions and other problems that impede the army from, from carrying out his plans even if it winds up getting close to the amount of money requested? we have been spending $36 million on the military, that's not chump change so why hasn't the army been able to catch up? >> i think you're right for part of it.
we have not been spending money efficiently and certainly for units to rotate through the national training, they got a plan for it so we haven't been doing that. i'll tell you again, part of the reason i believe the readiness problem are deeper than most of us have realized is just like we are cannibalizing parts off of planes, and other planes flying, cannibalizing partnerships, to keep other ships, we are cannibalizing our units. in order to make those that we are sending on deployments full. and so you talk to the commanders about this and product part of their challenge is they never have their full units. you have these people going all the time and so if they had a chance to go to the national training center, they come back a bunch of their people are taken away and plugged into other units and so they lost a lot of that benefit. >> nelly says the key, what he's looking for to increase
the number of people in the army is.increase structure, it's to plug the holes. that you can put units together and units training together is what's required to go against these more sophisticated adversaries so i think that's, there are a number of other examples where our forces are so good when you send them off on a mission, they will accomplish that but if you look at the cost, the damage done to accomplish that mission whether it's mechanics working virtually around-the-clock for the cannibalization , that's part of the reason i convinced. >> should one more part of the readiness to be there for maybe be thinking about how we do forward deployments differently in some cases, not that it's going to solve it by itself without money but we're going to pull in now, you still have that brigade in korea that generally unaccompanied and
rotated so it's a strain on the army. should we start considering some of these deployments to be permanent presence for families, allow one unit to do one units job instead of the 31 requirements, things like that? >> i think so. we have asked for a study just on costs of permanent presence in air force rotation. that's just dollars. what we're talking about is the human bowl on families and elsewhere and i think we ought to look at those options. part of the reason we ought to look at them is to show our commitment to allies. the part of it is a strain on the force and then we need to evaluate. i don't know what the cost data will evoke. i'm not convinced that it is tremendously cheaper to rotate a bunch of units through rather than have that permanent residence. >> this is 640 billion+, the war cost which is a lot of
money in one sense but it's only about 3.5 percent of gdp, is that right? >> i think that the ballpark, it's well below four percent still and i think one of the most revealing charts one can see is the percentage of gdp over time that we have spent on defense and what you see is the reagan is just plummeting. >> my last question and we will open things up. of course, this is the inevitable question because everything sounds so reasonable while talking about it in defense terms but there's a question of how we pay for it and we're seeing increasing discussion about presidential wants to at the state department foreign assistance, on domestic issues that are going to be controversial and a lot of people are saying the president's budget is doa on capitol hill even among republicans cause of some of these cuts. i'm not suggesting that you want to get into this in every nitty-gritty detail but i do wonder if there's certain principles that you would at least counsel us to
bear in mind as we think about how to pay for these defense budget increases. >> i'd say principle number one is the first job of the government is to defend the country. and so the first dollar would we received from taxpayers ought to go to that purpose. x and then everything else is secondary. so i guess that's the principle where we ought to start. >> focusing more on the budget, we've got to just keep in context two thirds of the federal budget are entitlement or mandatory spending platforms, we are now for defense we're at 14.7 percent of the federal budget. needless to say, we are not going to fix our budget problems by cutting or even curtailing the 14 percent while ignoring the 6+ percent that is mandatory. >> i think we have an
opportunity and i realize this will sound pollyanna but there are some big entitlements that people are talking about reform. not only to save money but to help people receive better benefits from it. more state flexibility unmedicated, if you're coming from texas, coming from new hampshire, so there's opportunity there. tax reform is in play. so the big moving pieces are being discussed and that gives us an opportunity to put a little bit of common sense into this discussion. >> will happen, i don't know. it will politics trump everything or everything else, i don't know. >> but we have an opportunity if we can get people of goodwill on both sides, sit down and look at these pieces, we can put defense
and everything else. >> excellent, i've got one question for later which is going to be about thinking more about older term innovation, you touched on that already but some of the current debate is emphasizing where the near-term resonance challenges is and will get some others in now, we will start from the third row and please wait for a microphone and please identify yourself before you post your question. >>. >> i'm miriam baxter, morning counsel, good evening. my question is about whether you can talk a little bit about how important these reforms are for cyber security. >> when you're talking about opening up the process to new innovative companies, not having it be sort of how that appeals to other companies who might want to be involved. >> may be reaching out to silicon valley for example, or where you see about that. >> i think you're jumping
ahead to your question a little bit. >> i want to clarify one thing. on the being able to go on line. >> for items, we allowed the pentagon to decide which commercial items were fraught so for example, if you are buying laptops or software that's going to be plugged in to some systems, then there has to be some change there so the pentagon will be able to decide which commercial shelf items are appropriate and bought commercially in that way but the broader point is we absolutely have to help the pentagon be more user-friendly for companies to do business with. one of my concerns and that part of the reason we have a lot of the reforms that are in their is that more and
more commercial companies are saying it's just not worth doing business with the pentagon anymore. it's too much of a hassle, for a variety of reasons and i'm not going to do it. >> once upon a time, a lot of innovation in this country happen in government labs and there's still innovation that occurs but more innovation occurs in the private sector so in order to defend this country we have to make it possible, desirable, more attractive for all of that innovation that goes on in the private sector to be brought in to the defense. so that is exactly what i hope one effect of the acquisition reform we've been working on the last couple years. >> here in the front row and we will work our way up and back. >> hi, eleanor with the letter.
i sent you $1 billion in unfunded medical clients. do you have any detail on that? >> one of the key things our troops, i think we expect it for them is to be within an hour of receiving medical care if they are injured on the battlefield. >> so you start looking at a variety of operations around the world, what it takes to maintain that people an hour and it requires more investment so that is one of those things that i think we absolutely have to maintain. and it does require some more money. >> sydney here in the front row. >> hi, sidney friedberg.
>> german, asked the mice question but more rudely because that's the role, we have. >> your role or your personality? >> that's a good point. >> i mean, on the one hand as you say, the new administration is wanting people to shake updiscussion about entitlements and so forth . and movable obstacles to any budget change including the defense budget. on the other hand, we've got a president who is coming to shoot himself on in the foot on a regular basis. he's got the budget coming out late, possibly with blown up numbers and a very skinny budget coming out earlier. but it seems like there might be more room for an upside in progress,there's also a lot more room on the downside. >> . >> the risks are greater and
having lived in dc for a while, my gut is that things will get worse rather than better.>> so what is the best scenario you can see, best plausible scenario, what's the worst piece of red box and where you think the online? >>. >> as president bush said in a different context, don't be guilty of the soft bigotry of low expectations. which i understand, you can point to pass failures and say this is never going to happen, they're never going to get their act together. even some of my colleagues are saying okay, we're in for a year-long the art. >> if that's our mindset, then we will bring it to pass. and i think that's a mistake. >> i can't tell you what will happen but i can tell you that there is widespread
agreement i believe in both parties that we have put defense too much, we're roughly 20 percent below what it was in 2000. >> and, let me throw a couple other numbers at you. just backup for a second. if you look back at what we're spending now versus 2000, before 9/11, our defense budget has gone up 40 percent for that same period, the chinese defense budget has increased four times. the russians, about three times. >> and justin of the context, we spent three times as much on medicaid today as we did during the clinton administration. so that's where the growth has been, it's been in mandatory sending and it's been with our adversaries. it has not been with our defense watch and we are paying a prox price for it. so my job is to describe what i think is necessary to fix
the problems. and to try to see be as effective as i can be for the men and women who risk their lives on the front line. and so that's what i'm going to do. i can't tell you how all the washington games are played but i can tell you that we have some, not just needs but there is real damage that needs to be repaired and our adversaries are not doing it. >> to do this, do we need. >> we are going to leave this and you can find online, take you live to the senate intelligence committee hearing on global threats. hearing from dan coats, the
director of national intelligence as well as the head of the dia, vincent stewart. editor john mccain is the chair of this committee and jack read the ranking member. >> good morning. >> center armed services committee meets to receive testimony on worldwide threats. we're pleased to welcome our distinguished witnesses, dan coats with the director of national intelligence and lieutenant general ben stewart, director of the defense intelligence agency. out of respect for the scheduling , commitments of our witnesses and the unanimous request on the part of all our members, we will include this hearing at 11:30 in the interest of time. and to ensure the members of the committee that we will be able to ask the questions i will be brief. i don't that comes as a disappointment, especially to the senator from south carolina. >> i asked our witnesses please submit their written statements for the record. >> if they can. >> that's not required but last night's horrific attack in manchester was a gruesome reminder that the world is on
fire. everywhere we turn, we can see threats to the world order. it underpins global security and prosperity. when it comes to the great national security challenges we face, us policy and strategy are consistently lacking. whether it's china, russia, north korea, iran, radical islamic terrorism, i have heard few compelling answers about how the united states intends to use as alliances, trades, diplomacy and values but most of all its military to defend our national interests and the rules-based order that supports them. especially with sequestration still the law of the land. this is still a young administration. cogent, coherent policy and strategy take time to develop but we should be mindful that our adversariesare not waiting for us to get our act together. time is of the essence , senator reid.
>> mister chairman in keeping with your speech i will abbreviate my statements but i will ask that it remain on the record. >> without objection. >> thank you mister chairman. i want to thank our witnesses are today. to provide their analysis of the national security threat and other challenges facing us around the world. i would like to welcome back our colleagues director coats for his currency for the commission in general stewart, thank you for your leadership of the intelligence defense agency. the national military strategy is organized appropriately so around the so-called 4+1. brett facing our nation today in russia, china, north korea, iran and the enduring challenge of violent extremism are tragic and what we witness last evening in manchester england . our hearts go out to the people of england and the world. we are pursuing these issues and i know you gentlemen are
at the forefront of our efforts and i appreciate what you do. 4+1 threats that i've touched upon inform capabilities we develop and the size of the force we build and the scenarios. however secretary gates, we have a near perfect record of the next threat we will face. we rely heavily on our intelligence to highlight those emerging threats, the ones that we had identified already and i hope our witnesses will provide these other challenges we should pay close attention to moving forward in addition to the 4+ one that i've outlined, thank you for a present and i asked the committee to consider nominations and a list of 818 pending military nominations. i asked the committee consider the nomination of david norquist to the undersecretary of defense, comptroller roberttaylor to
be director of assessment program evaluations and department of defense, elaine custer to be under secretary of defense comptroller , the principal deck very intelligence, robert s curran to be secretary of international security affairs, mister p pallotta to be assistant secretary of defense for homeland security and security is a motion favorably reported, these nominations. >> so moved. >> a second. all in favor say aye. the aye's habit. welcome to our old and dear friend director coats and lieutenant general director stuart continues to serve with distinction and with great honor. i think you director coats, in your advanced age we begin with you thank you mister chairman. i have ongoing space between who is the more aged and experienced and you win every time. which is quite an accomplishment. i'm pleased to speak for you
chairman mccain and ranking member reed. members of the committee. i must admit i walked through the door, instinctively i made a right turn trying to find my seat up on the panel and said yeah, that's right, i've got to come down here. >> you're welcome anytime to take a trip down memory lane. >> let me just reiterate what the chairman said relative to what happened in manchester last evening. i just returned from london couple days ago and that was all my intelligence community colleagues there spent a significant amount of time discussing threats to our respective homeland. it's a tragic situation that we see all too much of happening in countries around the world, and in particular our allies but it reminds us that this threat is real.
it is not going away and the significant attention to do everything we can to protect our people from these kinds of attacks. i'm here today with lieutenant general vince stewart from the cia to discuss the assessment of the multitude of threats facing our country. this will give some brief opening comments as well and try to condense our opening remarks in this unclassified session so that people will have plenty of time for your questions. we're here to describe in an unclassified way the complexity of the threat environment is expanding and has challenged the ic to stay ahead of the adversaries and this has not been an easy task. we appreciate the support from this committee to address these threats in a way that will give the president, congress and other policymakers the best and most integrated intelligence we can assemble.in the interest of time i'll discuss just some of the many challenges that we currently
face. the ip's written statement submitted earlier discusses these and many other threats in greater detail. let me start with north korea, north korea is an increasingly great national security threat to the united states because of its growing missile capabilities combined with the aggressive approach of leader kim jong. he is attempting to prove he has the capability to strike the us mainland with a nuclear weapon. we assess that all flight tests this year including the two this month have demonstrated capabilities short of an icbm at this point in time. however, north korea updated their constitution in 2012 to declare itself a nuclear power and if officials consistently state nuclear weapons as the basis for a regime survival. suggesting kim does not intend to negotiate them
away. >> we assess that the reason regime will maintain its momentum on the battlefield provided as is likely and it maintains support from iran and russia.continuation of the syrian conflict will worsen already dangerous conditions for syrians regional states. furthermore, as you all know, the syrian regime use the nerve agents erin against the opposition in what was probably the largest chemical attack regime august 2013. since that karen we have observed more than 500 allegations of syrian refugee regime, excuse me, chlorine use we assess that syria is probably both willing and able to use chemical weapons in future attacks. >> we are still acquiring and continue to analyze all intelligence related to questions whether russian officials had prior knowledge of the syrian chemical weapon
attack. let me turn to cyber threats. cyber threats continue to represent a critical national security issue for the united states wherefore at least two key reasons. >> firstour adversaries are becoming more bold , more capable and more adept at using cyberspace to threaten our interest and she real-world outcomes. the number of adversaries grows as nationstates, terrorist groups and criminal organizations continue to develop cyber capabilities and secondly potential impacts of these fiber threats is defined by the ongoing integration of technology into our critical infrastructure and into our daily lives. >> we see this today in the form of the want to cry ran somewhere attack. this victimized companies services companies and individuals in well over 100 nations within days of its age 12 release. >> as this activity continues, us government
investigations are ongoing. the worldwide threat of terrorism is geographic diverse and multifaceted and poses a continuing challenge for the united states for our allies and partners to counter it. isis is experiencing territorial losses in iraq and syria, however we assess isis will continue to be an active terrorist threat to the united states due to its proven ability to direct and inspired tax against a wide range of targets around the world. i might mention isis has claimed responsibility for the attack in manchester although they claim responsibility for virtually every attack you have not verified yet . outside iraq and syria, isis is seeking to foster interconnectedness among global branches and network. align their efforts to a strategy and categorizes after effort. we assess that isis maintained intense capability
to direct and enable this inspired transnational. al qaeda and its affiliates continue to pose a significant terrorist threat overseas and they remain primarily focused on local and regional conflicts. in a homegrown violent extremism, they remain the most frequent and unpredictable terrorist threat to the united states homeland. this threat will process with many attacks happening with little or no warning. >> i'd like to take a quick run through some key areas of the middle east in iraq. dad primary focus through 2017, we assess will be recapturing and stabilizing emotional andother territory controlled by isis. >> we assess iraq will still face . challenges with sustainability, political viability and territorial integrity even as the threat from isis is reduced. reconstruction will cost aliens of dollars and
sectarian and political reconciliation will be an enduring challenge. >> in iran, tehran's public statements suggests want to preserve the joint comprehensive plan of action. because views the deal as a means to remove section while preserving some nuclear capabilities. we assess the acd oa agreement has extended the amount of time iran would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. for nuclear weapons from a few months to about a year. in the meantime, tehran is now aligned, for example iran provides arms, financing and training and manages as many as 10,000 iraqi afghan and pakistani shia fighters in syria to support the assigned regime. iran has sent hundreds of its own forces to include members of the islamic revolutionary guard corps, the rtc.
the rtc goods force, syria as advisors. the reelection on 19 may of president ruth suggests the iranian populace also probably supports the jcp oa. shortly before the election rouhani criticized the irc g for attempting to sabotage the deal and called for iran to restart interaction with the world and not be a close, evil shadow of work. >> in yemen, fighting will almost certainly persist in 2017 between alliance forces, trained by iran and the yemeni government, backed by a sunlit coalition. either side has been able to achieve divisive results through military force. >> al qaedaand the arabian peninsula , isis branch in yemen have exploited the conflict in yemen and the
collapse of government authority to gain new recruits and allies and expand their influence. the ic assesses that the political and security situation in afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018. >> even with a modest increase in military assistance by the united states and its partners. >> this deterioration is underpinned by afghanistan dire economic situation. >> afghanistan will struggle to curb its dependence on external support until it contains insurgency or reaches a peace agreement with the taliban. meanwhile, we assess that the taliban is likely to continue to make gains especially in rural areas. afghan security forces performance will probably worsen due to a combination of talent and operations, combat casualties, desertions, or logistics support, we leadership. pakistan is concerned about international isolation and
sees its position through the prism of india's rising international status including india's expanded foreign outreach in deepening ties to the united states. pakistan will likely turn to china to offset its isolation , empowering a relationship that will help beijing to project influence in the indian ocean. in addition, islam upon has failed to curb militants and terror. these groups will present a sustained threat to the united states interests in the region and continue to plan and conduct attacks in india and afghanistan. russia is likely to become more assertive nation in global affairs for unpredictable and it its approach to the united states and more authoritarian in its approach to domestic politics. we assess that russia will continue to look to leverage its middle military support to the assad regime on
russia's terms. moscow is also likely to use russia's military intervention in syria in conjunction with efforts to capitalize on fears of a growing isis and extremist threat and expand its role in the middle east. they also have noticed and discussed a significant detail and may do so during this session, russia's influenced campaign and strategies to undermine democraticinstitutions and interfere with elections . i just returned from europe, clearly in france and its election, and now in germany with its pending election, in england with his pending election, we are seeing duplications of what has happened here in our election so the russian strategy continues. >> a little bit about the ukraine and russia. we assess that moscow's strategic objectives in ukraine maintaining long-term
influence over kiev and frustrating ukraine's attempts to integrate into western institutions will remain unchanged in 2017. >> russia continues to exert military and diplomatic pressure to coerce ukraine into implementing moscow's interpretation of the political provisions of the agreement, among them constitutional amendments that would effectively give moscow a veto over kiev's strategic decisions. >> i'll finish up here with china. china will continue to pursue an active foreign policy, especially within the asia-pacific region. highlighted by a firm stance on competing territorial claims in the east china sea. and in south china sea. relations with taiwan and its pursuit of economic engagement across east asia. china, which views the strong military as a critical element in advancing its interests, will also pursue
efforts aimed at fulfilling its ambitious one road initiative to expand china's reteaching influence and economic role across asia through infrastructure projects. >>. >> in the interest of time and to get your questions i will defer assessments on western atmosphere issues which i trust we will discuss during the question.. however i would like to make one final point on key authority. in the ic going forward. as you are all well aware, sections 702 of the fish amendment act is due to expire at the end of the year. i cannot stress enough the importance of this authority in how the ic doesn't work to keep america safe. section 702 is an extremely effective tool to protect our nation terrorists and other threats. as i described in my confirmation hearing, 702 is instrumental to so much of the ic's critical work in protecting the american
people from threats from bond. we are committed to working with all of you to ensure that you understand not only how we use this authority but also how we protect privacy and civil liberties in the process. in conclusion, the intelligence community continue with tireless work against these and all other threats but we will never be omniscient. although we have extensive insight into many threats in places around the world, we have gaps in others. therefore we very much appreciate the support provided by your committee and will continue to work with you to ensure the intelligence community has the capabilities it needs to meet its many mission needs. i will turn to general stewart for a few remarks. >> german mccain, ranking member reed and members of the subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to appear and provide an
assessment of the threats to our national security. i concur with the director's statement in its entirety. however i'd like to reinforce this committee and by extensionthe american people , their defense intelligences view on five military threat raising the nation. we call these are no film missions because risk is too high for us to fail in pursuing these missions. they include the nuclear capable and increasingly provocative north korea, a resurgent russia, modernizing china and the vicious regional power in iran and violent extremist organizations. the last category encompasses an ongoing operations in afghanistan, iraq, syria and elsewhere. the world is focused on events in pyongyang and for good reason. this is assuming power, kim jong-il has conducted three terror tests, the regime has tested a number ofballistic missiles , of varying ranges over the past year. >> although shortfalls remain
key milestones have been met in specific systems and they continue to obtain valuable data and insight from each test. >> let me be very clear on this point. >> left on his richard directory, the regime will ultimately succeed in fielding a nuclear armed missile capable of threatening the united states homeland. >> while nearly impossible to predict when this capability will be operational, north korean regimes is committed and is on a pathway where this capability is inevitable. >> russia is military power is critical to achieving its key strategic objectives. and devote significant resources with military modernization program. ask the russian government seeks to be the center of influence in what it describes as a multicolor post with world order. the support this worldview moscow pursues aggressive defense policies by employing
a whole spectrum of influence and coercion aimed at challenging us interests around the globe. >> out of area operations remain a priority as demonstrated by its ongoing deployment to syria on long-range aviation approaching us airspace. >> china is in the third decade of an unprecedented military modernization program involving weapons systems, doctrines, tactics, training and space and cyber operations. >> now stands firmly in the category as a near us competitor. >> they are being built in the south china sea and evidence suggests these outposts will be used for military purposes. the component of china strategy for regional contingency is planning for potential us intervention in a conflict in the region. it's maybe remains on the course or 350 ships by the year 2020 and entire access aerial denial capabilities continue to improve. >> turning to iran, despite sections, tehran is putting
considerable resources in its conventional maritime priorities. and cruise missiles, enable systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, air defense systems that can threaten the us and our interests in the region. >> rants conventional military option is designed to protect iran from the consequences of its assertive regional policy. spearheaded by the iranian revolutionary guards force and its regional proxy, lebanese hezbollah and in concert with. iraqi shia militias and the teeth. we should expect iran to continue to undermine the current regional security architecture using terrorist organizations and proxies , complicating us efforts through the region. >> finally, we are making steady progress against trans regional terrorism but still have a long way to go. isis has been greatly diminished in libya, will soon lose control of mosul and the capital is nearly isolated.
he killed many leaders in numerous terrorist plots have been averted. the current lines are moving in the right direction but despite will not end soon. >> the enemy remains highly adaptable and capable and instability and our other government territory that gives them opportunities to research. i am particularly concerned about the long-term impact of returning foreign fighters and the potential for these groups to capitalize on the proliferation of arms unmanned aerial vehicles to do harm to us and our allies interests. mister chairman, the men and women of your dia are providing defense intelligence around the world and around the clock work letters, defense policymakers and the defense acquisition community. they're doing so on the battlefield to combat commands, headquarters you're on the banks of the potomac and in the capitals of the world to our defense adversaries. >> there's been a privilege to serve within the last 2 and a half years and see
firsthand their service and contribution to our country. i look forward to the questions. >> thank you very much director coats. according to washington post story this morning, president trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials inmarch to push back against an fbi investigation . the possible coordination between his campaign and the russian government according to current and former officials, trouble made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence daniel coats and to admiral michael rogers, the director of the nsa, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 elections. coats and rogers refused to comply with the request which they both deemed to be inappropriate. is that an accurate reporting? director coats? >> mister chairman, as the
president's principal intelligence advisor, i'm unfortunately, i need to spend a significant amount of time with the president discussing national security interests and intelligence as it relates to thoseinterests . we discussed a number of topics very regularly. i have always believed that given the nature of my position and the information which we share, it's not appropriate for me to comment publicly on any of that. so on this topic, and also other topics, i don't think it's appropriate to characterizethe discussions and conversations with the president . >> and isn't it true that some of these leaks can be damaging to national security , director coats? >> leaks have become a very
significant, played a very significant negative role relative to ournational security . the release of information not only undermines confidence in our allies but our ability to maintain secure information that we share with them. that jeopardizes sources and methods that are invaluable to our ability to find out what'sgoing on and what those threats are . >> lives are at stake in many instances and weeks jeopardizes lives. >> thank you. in light of the tragedy in manchester last night, >> we can continue watching online at c-span.org. we take you live to the senate where debate will begin on the nomination to be very