tv House Armed Services on South Asia Strategy - Part 1 CSPAN October 4, 2017 5:08pm-6:03pm EDT
the need to remove safe havens for terrorist and other parts of the middle east. this is just under three hours. [inaudible conversations] >> come to order the committee will come a the joint chiefs of staff for a hearing on afghanistan and south asia the secretary previously indicated he would be back to discuss the approach to this region once it was decided and that is the topic for today i a understand there are many issues facing the department and this committee but with time and focus please
confine your questions to today's subject united states officially launched operation in during freedom october 7, 2001 almost exactly 16 years ago approximately 2,400 service members have lost their lives in the conflict and another 20,000 wounded. as this administration formulates its policies the american people and members of congress have basic questions such as does american national securities towards our presence in afghanistan? do we have a strategy to succeed or avoid failure? how was this administration is approach different from previous? can we ever be successful in the face of of dien duplicity and corruption?
both have considerable experience with this conflict and i believe they are as authoritative as anyone to provide the answers to questions to chart the way for word but they do need to be discussed with the american people openly and for those that have sacrificed over the last 16 years. mr. speaker?. >> i think the chairman rays of questions that need to be raised we clearly have national security interest going back to when the government led by taliban allowed al qaeda to have a safe haven including 9/11 to make sure return -- don't return to those days but what is god is clear is how we do that or the cost that
is a very difficult place to govern that most understand it is a fragile situation, 16 years and if we're there another 20 if they are sitting in those same seats have the same conversation how'd we get the point where we can reduce our commitment so it is not an open a bit -- open-ended commitment or a blank check? we said that it would not but absent from that how do we achieve that very worthy goal? second, while granting there are risks to pull out but there are risks tuesday so what happens under the two different scenarios? because it would be great to
bring troops home to commit resources elsewhere in the longer restaged there unless we want our positive outcome is this just a prolonged stalemate? warda we think we can go beyond to get to weigh in more positive outcome?. >> thank you for being here in return the floor over to you. >> ranking member and distinguished members of the committee came here before you following the tragic event balding las vegas we are sticking closely with the intelligence community in remain alert on the assessment of the events. your work aware of the
security environment we face today as russia continues to the full range of capabilities designed to erode u.s. influence and undermine the transatlantic alliance than china's vote is the limiting our ability and to weaken our position in the indo pacific region even as we work to find common ground with north korea. international community is reflected by the sanctions resolutions focusing on the destabilizing threat by north and kim jong-un relentless pursuit of his capabilities. the defense department supports fully to find a diplomatic solution very means focused on the united states and our allies per president trump's orders.
in the middle east i continue to reject or influence across the region as he made gains in syria and iraq butting in afghanistan we have had a difficult 16 years. the u.s. field commander with troops from 39 nations has been planted those moves and they support those afghan security forces them the disarray among various enemy groups to cause them to spend resources and the taliban ability beginning last month call six are engaged in offensive operations in during these months there have been fewer civilian casualties' faldo
regrettably the high-profile attacks continue to murder the innocent while the hit of into the fighting season reinforced into a small scale and bush to to emprise devices and so casualty's has reduced from last year. i just returned last week from a trip to indiana and afghanistan and general nicholson is holding the line forecasting a significant taliban offensive remaining unfilled and violence in progress do coexist but the uncertainty in the region and the nato campaign due to the implementation and this
strategy has been welcomed by leaders in the south asia region contributing troops to the nato led campaign. we must always remember we must make america safer that south asia cannot be used with those trans national attacks against a homeland for partners or allies. as a stable and secure south asia with the settlement in afghanistan based on the intelligence community analysis we would have sent ourselves too old to apparel and the new conditions based approach has set the stage
for a change but the new strategy reviewed by trump is r4+s. the of first stands for regionalize to recognize those challenges that exist to adopt a geographic framework and then consider that the outset rather than focusing only on afghanistan with those extra annual -- external variables the visit to india was in part to thank them for their continued support in afghanistan with a long-term
regional stability and security. nato's demands so the of seconds and signifiant we are shifting the main effort for more advisers to provide training and advisory support at budget brigade level the fighting will continue to be carried out by the afghan partners and will accompany tactical units to bring support and make no mistake this is, daddy is, that the. -- is combat duty.
you can see the afghan forces are the main effort the third is reenforce with the addition of 3,000 troops arriving in the coming months to sustain the advisory effort for those that are currently without. together we were in afghanistan last week sending a message reaching out to allies said 15 nations say they will increase their support so with certainty looking to partners for financial
support the last is reconciled from the military operations, but it is committed to a conditions based outcome for those who will see to reconcile with be half can national government to stabilize and chief through that peace process warwick is a matter of will to make clear that it will state and along those committed to the fight to be a condition in space strategy and the elements of this strategy are tangible demonstration of our resolve
nt afghan partners end of coalition framework is fiscally and militarily sustainable those that continue touche take the lead were advisers as said to the united nations assembly in new york caftans and nobody should mistake our will to protect our country i am heartened and impressed and confident we can see negative levels of support from allies and partners in the months ahead as the secretary general's general said last week this is about making sure to make sure it does not become a safe haven for international terrorist in the best way is to enable afghans to have security forces that our strong enough to do that we're already starting to
see that psychological impact, militarily in the field without a commitment to reform president realizes that institutional reform is critical to success recently launched compaq doubt whining more than 200 measurable benchmarks demonstrates the shared emphasis. the south asia strategy shows you the path to peace is through the negotiated settlement it is time for the taliban they cannot kill their way to power for those who intend to do lazaro when to close by recognizing to keep a close as possible dialogue with congress and with this committee.
edition is long appreciated with the budget control act the greatest inhibitor to our defense the arab land and sea fleet than that technological competitive the advantage lost i appreciate your support to lift those spending caps as we have been increasing the ball a title security environment thank you. >> to the distinguished members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to provide an update on the south asia strategy in recent months our commander described the current condition as a stalemate secretary mattis has testified we're not winning and members of this committee have made similar statements. this has developed since the
nato mission in afghanistan transition to the advisory effort with those special operations units at the tactical level with advisory effort for conventional forces is limited to the half corn -- afghan and the army corps. and this construct with the support they needed to succeed in combat operations that military assessment is to drive down that the advisory effort to far and too fast and as a result the taliban expanded population control inflecting significant casualties what but we lost concrete -- campaign momentum to the good detailed failure analysis to identify the root causes and a directive
that we provide. our commanders develop a new operational approach to bolster our capabilities. and those for other strategy to expand the advisor efforts increasing the combat support. we believe these adjustments conduct offensive operations and reduce afghan casualty's. the emphasis on providing effective support and we have trained and equipped going forward to support support the efforts with the afghan forces that will expand and special operations units while reducing less effected units and continue to develop this
sustainable afghan air force and will enhance and expand in the region so by next spring we will have senior leaders advising a the decisive point that their efforts are fully enabled to take the fight to the enemy specifically for the afghans. guys we implement the strategy with the single greatest roadblock to progress so the military objective is clear and achievable first defeat all isis in a credit to make sure their terrorist groups cannot launch attacks against a homeland or allies. to further develop those afghan forces managing with limited international support to support president ghani effort that this
economic centers are secure to provide the in during counter partnership to protect our shared interest in south asia. this entire effort is to put pressure on the taliban they will not have a victory to end the conflict and with jedi ready to take questions >>. >> i basically have one question a former military commander from the u.s. ambassador to afghanistan and appeared in the "washington post" the for the first said the strategy in afghanistan who has to been to treat the army
through the islamic state and largely to withdraw after 16 years it is not surprising many people think that strategy has failed in fact, there really hasn't been tried and then he goes through a brief history of our efforts or lack of effort of deadlines or not meeting commitments and concludes by saying that much of the rush to the failure has ben washington driven. i would like each of you to comment on the extent of which and the lack of stability of funding with of a ninth consecutive year
which of those have contributed to not be as successful so far?. >>. >> what we have to demonstrate is the will that of be international community to stand by a this effort in the house to do with certain policies and of military and the budgets to give predictability to keep pro-military strong and it is part of setting a cohesive framework to achieve tangible results and with a prolonged stalemate
if you have time lines and i believe right now the most important thing is to let the enemy know they will not win because there is over 300,000 afghan forces through some very severe fighting have earned our support as we tried to pull toward reconciliation. >> one of the issues raised is hedging behavior by the taliban or those doctors in particular one that was inhibiting us from making progress in the campaign was lack of certainty or lack of confidence that they could be in during and for four or
five straight years as the y to ke fact that coalition and would depart it leverage is the center of afghanistan and on the flip side to undermine the confidence they realize those 300,000 afghan soldiers will have the support they need to defeat the taliban so i think that is how that has affected the campaign. >> just to follow up bomb
that question so consistently to go beyond those time lines if the taliban were paying attention and some point they would not rely on those time lines so i guess we'll have an out wind is what we have hoping over 60 years of the state there long enough eventually they can defend themselves but the lack of confidence of that comes from more than a lack of commitment. what does reconciliation and look like? so as we are looking for is conditions based but for how long? i am not looking now one year or two years exactly but what aren't a the factors
that give you confidence that we don't have that same conversation? this is not afghanistan's first time. and i get the feeling as far as the taliban are concerned to say fine we will be there for 51 not to say whenever those shortcomings have been but that reality. >> men and women live by hope the people in the weather be overstayed that we are leaving as soon as we can it will end because we don't want the threat to our
allies in the best way to do that is to make scheerer they have the force to deal with this internally it will have to see what reconciliation and looks like but it is afghan lead with supporting people of attacked this country and quit killing by the constitution that is say lobar if they choose to rejoin the political process. otherwise it will be extremely uncomfortable to revise the afghan forces. i think what we don't want is a transient success so we push this forward in a way to end this faster rather than stringing along.
and that answers your question. >> i am understand my question is i'm answerable passed a certain point. >> but put another way the president said no blank check for open ended commitment so what does that mean? where does the check or the commitment stop?. >> and he said he is going back to brussels to build more support so more people will be aligned with us with financial and troop contributions because we have replaced uncertainty also means we will see a declining use of american mentors as the army is up.
we cut back too soon to pull the training wheels off before it was ready. this was a concern from the intelligence agencies when we pulled them down to that level so we will have to make up for that and inherit aware that lies now but it is not the unending commitment you will see the declining number of forces with the improving capability on the part of the afghan forces. >> but at the conclusion of the remarks of budget caps and those that have been presented to you is one of the factors that have made it difficult to maintain the consistency of commitment to
afghanistan. so would this not make its a little bit more difficult to provide the department of defense the money that it needs to do what it needs to get done?. >> chairman, probably someone and it is to reduce of taxes levied economy and ruth -- and growth but this is not an area of that is my expertise. >> fair enough. in some to say cut taxes
dramatically you will wind up with more money. but cutting of from where we're at right now and making a commitment to national security reducing revenue every 10 years is significantly and consistent and that is the point we will return to the other hearings. i yield back. >>. >> mr. thorne barry is going to the floor to vote so we can continue meeting then when he returns we will proceed and that this time we have mr. johnson for north carolina. >> secretary general thank you as well. from july 18th i asked please come to congress and
ask us to have a debate on the new aumf. let's get out of afghanistan. and we waste billions there. so that brings me to this in that article this year titled the trouble administration opposes the effort to read in the war powers. that that makes reference to you it appears to contradict comments by a secretary mattis that has aumf to go against the may senate hearing testified he is understood what congress has not come forward to a lease
debate on the aumf that is the fault of our leadership to be honest but he does not do that. sova i was one question. write that down. so waste fraud and abuse we have spent $1 trillion talk about soldiers and marines and with over 20,000 wounded it and even know who they are but they spend billions of dollars and dod spent $6 million to buy the goats and we don't know where they are but they're spending the money that is why a with the
sequestration and i did not vote for that but in all fairness we are wasting the taxpayers' money but he said that 30 times and i have all 30 of his quotations. but waste fraud and abuse that have shocked the people of the district of north carolina was the one u.s. department of defense signed a contract with their british firm that we paid them $50 million to train afghans and gave them seven luxury cars a bentley bentley, porsche plus they paid their wives $400,000 each. go back to the aumf so who
on your staff is responsible for reporting to you about all of this waste fraud and abuse that we were being informed of the now keeps going on and on. passed to stop it will hurt the nation $20 trillion in negative and hurting the military had to justify the fact spending more and more money when we cannot account for waste fraud and abuse in afghanistan? those are my two portions. >> we cannot justify wasting any money and i am committed to being responsible every time we find a case like this. i need to look into this new century consulting piece and i will be getting back to.
as far as the aumf goes then then that brings the unity of the american people and to have your confidence on this. >> amount to the senator from washington state. >> first off the of regionalization been given 2,000 for the administration at the time that pakistan is a non at nato allies making them eligible for a certain preference given one of the
points that you made of the administration to take a harder line toward pakistan are you ready now to revoke a the nine nato allies that this? can you give reasons and why not?. >> we are aligning with the intelligence department of state this is what we must ask pakistan to do at the same time realizing that with nato we have 39 other nations also reinforcing this and to talk about the situation they face on their border there is a number of ways based on the very recent visit that we can
help see its way forward in its own best interest to do this in a holistic integrated way with our allies and that is across south asia so any nation that wants to fight back against terrorism to reduce the threat to all nations is more than wellcome. it is inclusive and that is why we started with a regionalize strategy and as we move this forward we have to find common ground. and that does not stand for terrorism. they have lost more troops so on the one hand we have the problems and get at the same time fighting the
terrorist. and then option institute deliver. >> and the have probably share the frustrations of the of a limited number of successes. >> slow coming back from china from the number three importer it is not very easy to get to but it does exist did you have discussions and what role they can play. >> that trip was really
focused to have some sidebar conversations it was one of those areas and i just suggested to the chinese interlocutor that they could be assisted with the counterterrorism effort on the border. >> the gentle lady from bomb. >>. >> like to go on record. >> it is good to see both of you today and i would take a moment to express the department of defense from birth to really appreciate your efforts to protect the
people of blond thank you very much my expectation is trying out the strategy secretary man is a your recent speech he stressed themes portents that a listening to our allies but willing to be persuaded by them. can you point out pieces of this strategy where the department of defense were was persuaded by allies from the international community and what portions of that strategy do they have concerns with?. >> end to be willing to be persuaded allies were 100%
persuaded by our approach toward reconciliation but while we were putting this strategy together because of the similarities in the of ministers of defense and those nato ministers and the dialogues and many of my counterparts. and to see a wider spread. i a thing this is why we have seen such support from
allies from the nato nations to new delhi and india and based on the objective measure we watched very closely so we have seen the of what end incorporated into what we have had for feedback. >> i am happy to hear that. when you expect that new strategy to per deuce results? level where it will not have a predetermined time line but to monitor progress by the
goals that have been set. >> with that u.s. afghan compact and those benchmarks you cannot quantify everything but where weekend that progress we're making. we have polling going on how we're doing in the hearts and minds of the people and with a separate assessment as to look better owned benchmarks. but in order to be out would to oriented it will take some time i was struck by the degree of confidence of
their -- in the coalition troops andy leadership as a result of this strategy so the psychological impact is beginning to be felt but also they're starting to fight among themselves and they're just not getting along with each other with the increasing pressure of the afghan forces. >> ran a pretty good sense for the strategy next summer is the advisory effort is implemented by the failure analysis we spoke of that is one indicator.
and regency the afghans ability to perform that security function associated with the elections as a good indicator as well. >> i yield back. >>. >> weird deeply grateful for your service and the kind of "in-depth" analysis you do one of these issues to present to the president for cry of a couple of questions. director of national intelligence testified in which he said intelligence community assessments of the political security situation will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018 with a modest increase. general dunford you planned for only a modest increase if that assesses that it will not make a difference how can you defend sound --
sending thousands more troops tottery ask our allies to do the same?. >> it is a fair question and i don't think they have assessed several things like be revised organizational construct and they're making changes and that is factored of the change with the combat support of the of coalition forces. i don't think the intel community as adequately assessed the confidence of the afghan security forces so this is a very difficult endeavor. this strategy will keep the american people saved by preventing al qaeda and isis from connecting in the homeland but also to keep
those afghan security forces getting to the point a second -- can secure the country on their own. >> do you agree we will have a presence in afghanistan for the foreseeable future?. >>. >> with the south asia as a whole we have vital national interests that are in during i do believe with said diplomatic and military presence for some period of time. but that military element will decrease to a sustainable level event with and through local partners and to the since it stable strategy and viola getting in that context so i do think that presents for some time to come i don't think
it is a large footprint of forces for a long period of time. >> to be fair to the american people we should make it clear we're not leaving afghanistan. >> we should believe if we didn't have been during vital national interest but i think that we do so there has to be some presence. it would be in different form that some presence in the region. >> you have any comments mr. secretary. >> i agree. is going in making the military more capable proving themselves if the enemy diminishes those numbers are coming down in a commensurate way. >> what does a diplomatic solution look-alike?.
>> we have to remove the taliban so now all day can achieve they don't have to have violence then we will appeal of it you already see this happening. with the taliban they have lost some key leaders and those stamped -- those who have stepped up are not as good which is made reconciliation harder because those do not represent the new fragmented taliban but the weakening of them should put us in a position they said would keep this up what does that look like they stop killing people and at that point
that president ghani has made clear that they will come over to his side. so it is starting but it is ongoing now. and to be blocked military with the victory on the battlefield. >> i could pepper you with questions as to maybe i won't you have been testifying a lot today. panera we will invite to our witnesses into the room and we will be in recess for about five minutes. [inaudible conversations]