tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 7, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
is all private partnerships, there's a lot of money at stake here, which means there's a lot of livelihoods affected. so the exports are waning as we said of diseased remains, unmitigated and potentially the effects that can reach our national livestock industry, which i think in and of itself presents a threat. the issues about whom we -- who responds, when do we respond, do we respond before something becomes a disaster? because with ebola, had we responded in a rural environment it would not have become a disaster disaster. just having an outbreak or epidemic does not make it a disaster, it's a disaster when everything and all the people and resources are overload eded and the management falls to pieces. i just wanted to thank you for
your time and considering on my diatribe here and wanted to share some reflections from somebody who worked both within the world health organization on communicable diseases at the united nations on the biological and tox sick weapons convention and looking at addressing multiple nontraditional ways of mitigating the effects of naturally occurring deliberate or accidental diseases as well as somebody who's been looking at this from the private sector so thank you. >> we thank you very much. >> we start with the department of health in chicago you have quite an operations center out there, i visited many times years ago, and it's very sophisticated, it's it's own fusion center. and that community and there are a few others, very few like that in the country. our public health community, 24/7 in that center.
>> yes, sir, we are. and that is because we have utilized our grant funding to be creative in our standing, we have a public health person who was embedded 100% in our office of emergency management and communications. while he works on public health issues, he works on emergency management implications and support needs for those public health issues and he is on call 24/7 for that emergency operations center within our emergency management structure. >> you have tabletop or actually on site training exercises that include a bio or chemical attack. >> yes tabletop and functional exercises, it's very expensive to conduct very, very large scale functional exercises on the magnitude that would efficiently support our population on an annual basis. one of the things that we have
done is, we do smaller functional exercises each year, building up to a larger more full scale exercise. we exercise our health care system partners on a modular basis, so we are focusing on our areas of weakness and not continuously applauding them for our areas of strength. public health is the lead emergency management serves as the coordinating body they work closely with us and ensure that we have all the resources we need. >> your the incident commander in public health? >> that's correct. >> you're the trained person that handles the public health part of the response? >> yes, ma'am. >> with regard to surveillance and detection. the move toward electronic
health records trying to protect the privacy of individuals public health records, is there a digital station where public health officials can see trends developing in the broader health community can respond. is it an anecdotal effort where that position uniquely trained, identifies something that is ab other an the and based on that anecdotal incident -- is it a coordinated effort or zhou rely on that trained physician. >> there is a system that has been implemented across the state of illinois for diseases that are reportable by physicians to public health, we then report into that electronic
system. also, specifically, within the city of chicago, we have developed protocols for identification of febrile rash illnesses as well as acute respiratory illnesses whereby clinicians can identify unusual trends of what they are seeing coming into their ers and they report those to us specifically at the local health department, so we can activate our ep deem yo logical teams to do further investigation. >> your career both in the private sector and a great career in the public sector. do you find that that illinois mod sell replicated around the country or unique to a few states. have you had an opportunity to observe and comment? >> yes, sir. and i would say it's hit and miss, i think that the type of fusion center that you mentioned is particularly more likely to
be in the larger cities. it's not just state by state it's almost city by city. resource driven, but also the depth of the ems and public health infrastructure i think that critical mass is what drives these fusion centers i think we need more regionalization. i think we need more linking of the existing fusion centers and better opportunities for smaller communities also to participate in that process. >> would you comment on -- you talked about nontraditional partners having a particular role in respond inging to a biological event. who are we underutilizing based on your experience. who should be part of the integrated system of response and recovery that we have failed to utilize as effectively and frequently as we should. >> i believe since we haven't had a lot of mass casualty event
notice united states, and we haven't had a lot of problems we have to look overseas a little more but i do think that we -- domestically we should be using the national guard a bit more i do think the private sector, folks were talking about using the private sector for logistics, i agree -- i do believe that you can have teams of people who have already been used to working together and there's been reference to postal workers and teachers unions or even construction workers who work together who can be trained to do particular things like decontamination or possibly even do things related to burial if need be. the military has a role to play. i was a strong proponent of having the military involved early on in ebola.
something else on a previous panel had discussed that. >> dr. alexander? >> thank you very much for your insight. i have a question related to international corporation in combating terrorism. and as we know, obviously you connect locally think globally as we say. my question to you is from your experience on the governmental level as what is nongovernmental agencies what works and what doesn't work specifically to the threats of infectious diseases. we have seen with ebola. >> using h1n1 as an example in
april 2009. of course infectious diseases knows no border and that the first indications of this new pandemic virus was actually at a u.s. military, u.s. navy lab at the mexican/u.s. border where they were able to pick it up one of the stronger network of labs is the one that dod uses in coordination with others, i think this idea of a network system of systems of various labs, both government sponsored and other include the ngo. it needs to be better coordinated, but i think that the sooner we can pick it up, while from a u.s. perspective,
while it's further away, obviously, the more time we'll have to prepare and we'll be able to provide more assistance that way overseas. i think networks of labs, system of systems, early notification transparency and coordination. >> just to echo that, there are already collaborating centers in labs at the international level that are networked so the world health organization has them in different regions as well as in different countries that are potentially pathogen specific for some. some are just certain levels of biosafety in which to test pathogens. additionally, they do the same thing for the world health organization and food and agricultureal organization. while there's a lot of capability out there, a lot is duplicated and the coordination is rather ineffective in my personal opinion. the issues that we've seen even
with ebola, there's an expectation that these international organizations should be at the helm of the response. that may not necessarily be the case, they may be able to provide subject matter expertise, they're not involved in terrorist activities or count er counter terrorism. >> since 2008, we all know there's been a pretty substantial decline in support for state and local health programs i think it's on the order of 45,000 jobs over the last five years. can you all say what the impact of that has been in your observations to public health preparedness and can you give us one particular thing that rises to the top of the list that you think this panel could do to represent improve the public
health awareness. >> we've seen a continuous decline in public health budgets from a funding standpoint which has obviously adversely affected the staffing compliment within public health agencies. i've seen from my personal experience a drastic decrease in the number of staff that we have available to simply carry out basic core public health functions. what i can say is that utilizing public health emergency preparedness funding from the cdc as well as for -- from the hhs office of the assistant secretary for preparedness and response, at least in my situation we have been able to relatively maintain our emergency preparedness staff for bioresponse. however, that capability is getting increasingly difficult to continue to maintain, those funds, albeit grant funds are continuously declining as well.
i think we've had great success in our city for leveraging those financial resources that have been available through those grants. as they continue to decline even the levels of creativity are becoming more and more difficult to maintain. so from the panel's perspective i would say that the at vow kasi more maintenance of those fund ing dollars would go a long way to maintain our biopreparedness, when i look specifically at the funding that we are able to provide to and utilize for the preparedness of our health care system, it is grossly insufficient. within my own jurisdiction, i have 28 acute care facilities at the hospitals, that is, and over 120 long term care facilities i am trying to keep prepared with
a very small number of about $3 million per year. >> i was frightened and fascinated by -- there's two aspects to this problem one is the active efforts of nefarious folks who want to weaken our disease systems, there are people on the ground who don't trust western medicine and people who are -- the agents who are going the western public health workers. what steps do you think we could take to alleviate both aspects of this problem. >> thank you. i think that the u.s. security apparatus needs to work with the input of the public health community about the best ways to prevent and control polio, which is actually something that we already know because this
happens to be polio and it's a disease, not a nulg emerging disease, we know how to contain it, and how to stamp it out. but there has to be a decision by the u.s. national security apparatus to also work in a bilateral fashion with the pakistani national security apparatus. maybe we do it through the indians surprisingly, the indians have offered bilateral support to pakistan for polio, nothing has happened since that offer's been made but primarily my perception that primarily that's happened because pakistan hasn't made up their decision about how they're going to go about doing things. an example was, in -- maybe a year ago or the last six months a local administrator in the northwest had actually decided he was going to co opt some of his goons with guns to go around and enforce that children were vaccinated. and you know what, it worked.
and the children were vaccinated. nobody was harmed, nobody was killed, there was an enforcement mechanism put in place one of the things we need to discuss are those uncomfortable things related to whether or not security if we talk about security, if you elevate it to security -- you have to be willing to enforce that, as a security concern. i do think there are things that can be done, obviously you have to have the acceptance of the internal pakistani and in this case -- in nigeria also in afghanistan. have you to have their input as well. >> we've been talking earlier today about leadership and the
need for strong leadership also partnerships. my colleague at the end would agree about we've been talking about how can we put the public back into public health. one is, i think we -- there's something to be said, there's strong leadership to bring all the partners together i feel a little uncomfortable for the pakistanis not vaccinating themselves. we don't seem to do a good job of that in the united states, i hate to call people on the west coast terrorists, because they're not vaccinating their children for measles. i think dr. kinney brought that up, with utilizing experts of trust, we seem to have a problem with risk communication.
i do believe it has to -- you have to have a strong leadership here nationally to encourage that. and also to kind of authorize it, and open it up and make that an acceptable approach. >> we've actually done a significant amount of that type of work in my city primarily engaging and educating faith based leaders, and developing mechanisms whereby we can distribute messages to those faith based leaders and in turn request that they distribute those messages to their congregations, we've done the same they work with specific vulnerable populations groups, one great example i always like to share is a collaboration with the organization formerly known as the chicago lighthouse for the blind. they have a very low frequency radio station that reaches over
40,000 visually impaired people in the chicago metro area and parts of indiana you need a special receiver to pick up the radio station. but we distribute our risk communication messages to the agency. and they then read those messages over this low frequency radio station, and we reach over 40,000 people that we otherwise would have no way of reaching. so that is one example. we've also begun an efforts about a year and a half ago, where we are now educating and training and exercising head start and day care providers to do business continuity planning and keep their operations running. and keep the children that are entrusted into their care safe until the parents of those children can be reunited with them. for us it's a multifaceted approach across multiple disciplines because government cannot be everywhere at once.
and we must involve community members, community leaders, and community organizations to help us do what we need to do to protect our citizens. >> can i just -- i definitely agree. i don't -- i don't want to -- i don't want to make a blanket statement that pakistan is doing this, this is about terrorists an extremist organizations, including al qaeda affiliates taliban affiliates in nigeria. and others who are actively using an ideology to ensure that people die or become chronically injured for the rest of their lives, and hail them as martyrs, while you may be in californian i'd yo logically opting out, in my opinion for the totally wrong reason, there's no actual scientific linkages about
vaccination, it's a not too new answered difference. it's not an ideology of hate and ex-termination, it's an ideology over one's self. what's going on in nigeria pakistan and afghanistan is truly a security threat. and measles was a concern the measles outbreaks is what had me start looking at what was going on in these areas. >> i have one final question. because of your work in dod, i mean obviously they were constantly working with counter measure s measures as we go forward in the 21st century and try to build a better relationship between dod, do you have any recommendations? there still seems to be from time to time i say this with great respect for the organization, there's still a silo. and based on your experience are there any recommendations you would make in terms of the
kind of collaboration improvements between dod and the private sector. dod does a pretty good job of research. i think the strength is in the private sector, as several speakers had previously mentioned, that barta was the mechanism by which a lot of these orphan drugs and counter measures got through the so-called valley of death. there was a guaranteed customer and that still needs to be done. we're getting back to leadership, i think private sector iks the strength over 85/90% of the health care sector is in the private sector, it's not in government and that goes for r & did as well. we have some brilliant minds in dod research, but i think the cutting edge stuff with regard
to development of really new technology vaccines, counter measures, in coordination with dod. i think i would speak in favor of the intelligence community and say that we need the good intel, if you will, to help us to know in which direction to develop these new counter measures. >> i appreciate that, very helpful to us because we've seen different -- we've had different people testify with regard to -- unifying them and integrating mutual capabilities we all look forward to. we thank you, we thank all the panelists, we're going to take a 10 minute break, maybe 9 1/2, lunches are outside, we have dr. earl redletter going to be our luncheon speaker. any of you in the military you can understand what i'm about to say, you have 10 minutes, you
can swallow it now and chew it later. we're going to reconvene at quarter to one. thank you very much. with congress in recess, book tv is in prime time tonight beginning at 8:00 eastern. and followed by william bennett and eric phoner. here on c-span3 american history tv has the fall of prime time. >> the head of the u.s. northern
command showed that backup systems worked but there are also infrastructure vulnerabilities, this pentagon briefing is 35 minutes. >> how are you doing? i'm going to turn them over to you guys. >> thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk with you all, been in command about four months, going on four months at norad 58 years young. people don't understand what norad and northern command do. to get my head around it i break the activity down into what we call lines of operation.
and the dominant line of operation is defending the homelands. it's a darn good mission set. it's -- encompasses the traditional norad roll of the air defense as well as the maritime warning, we round that out under northern command, the maritime defend and control piece of that. it also encompasses operation eagle, which has been ongoing since 9/11. it encompasses the ballistic missile defense shooting at the homeland and also we roll in there our counter trans national criminal network, someone that might be exploiting the scenes that are out there to smuggle something nefarious into the country. and that is the dominant line of operation. the other one is the defensive port for civil authorities. many people think that this
involves hurricane katrina or super storm sandy or earthquake or a flood it encompasses much more than that, it's helping our interagency partners, predominantly homeland security and the law enforcement partners as well. which brings me to the third line of operations. it's our center of gravity. northern command much like southern command. very senior government employees from the gs 14 up to the ses level, we have about 60 of them in the headquarters and it's through them, with them. it encompasses those partnerships, with the army guard and air national guard and our fellow co cops, both our functional and geographic cops
all working together to exploit the seams. the next one is our international partnerships, of course canada, i'm assigned under the ucp to work with canada, which is real easy since it's norad, the other two are bahamas and mexico we spent a great deal of time working with mexico, and i look forward to some of your questions on that one. a great partner as they look north and consider themselves north americans as we work on shared problems. the next one after that is the artic, signed the responsibility of the ar tick we don't have a term, we don't really understand what advocate means it has no -- i can't mandate anybody to purchase or train to capability but we are the advocate for dod for all of the agencies and the services and we'll be reporting that out this spring. and the last two lines of operation under doctor the next
one is professionalism and excellence. you know being professional and striving for excellence, it's a full time job, not just a part time job it's not something you choose to do it's the way you act, the way you work. the last one is war fighters in our families, we rely on those that defend our nation. it's our families that hold the cloth of that nation together. with that, i look forward to your questions. >> in the past hour, there's been power outages that have affected among others the white house and the state department. do you have any indication that those power outages are in anyway the result of a deliberate act? >> i just -- i was just notified just before coming up here from my office. i know that homeland security is getting ready to make a statement, and i think at this point it's too early to speculate, knowing what we know it happened and all the backup
power systems kicked in, and that's all that i know at this point. >> even though you may not know a direct cause at the moment, what concerns does something like this raise for you that the power can go out from the white house to the state department to key facilities in the nation's capital in terms of your responsibility, keeping the country safe how secure can washington be if the power can't go out. >> i think what it really goes to is, we have a lot of vulnerabilities out there, as i look at vulnerabilities for me to be able to execute my mission is norad and northcom. our reliance on critical infrastructure that our nation's need to operate. be it banking rail the faa. and if someone either through a nefarious act or through an act of nature that the impact on us i think all of our critical
infrastructures are fragile, and i say fragile it's because we don't know the true vulnerabilities that we try to mitigate them as best i can. it causes me great concern. my assigned tasks are to defend my own networks, and to assist the federal agency most likely homeland security in the aftermath. to be honest it's -- it could be cyber against these critical infrastructures, it could be a mission kill it would make the mission ineffect iveive. understanding you don't know the details yet, i have a question about iran. does this power outathene not knowing the reason at this point, does an event like this, what concerns does it cause you in terms of keeping the nation's capitol safe and the government up and running? >> are the backup systems that we put in place do they work? and at the moment, it's what i've been told, they all kicked in and they're all working,
everybody was back up on back up power, that's why we do it. we build redundancy into the critical infrastructure. as we look forward to see how well those backup systems work did they perform as advertised, do we need to strengthen them in some areas that's what i'll be looking for. >> just how vulnerable do you consider the nation's electric grid s grids. >> well by no way an expert in the electric system. i would say all of the critical infrastructure that we have out there, that we are reliant upon i'll give you an example of -- if the power grid up in ottawa fails, that could take -- the northeast quadrant of the united states out. interdependencies with our own country and close linkages between us and canada. those are all, and it's not just limited to power, it's also limited to everything else that we rely on for our governments
to run and our countries to run. >> cooperation in your opening statements, i know it's early on, have you found that was the case today did everything work on that level. >> as i was notified just before i came out here, everything worked, all the backup systems worked for all of the locations that have lost power. >> you have backup generators in place. the backup generators kick in automatically. >> yes, ma'am, and it did. my understanding is that they all functioned. >> i want to ask you about something that has come up on your previous visits for congressional testimony, which is the flights by russian long range bombers in the western hemisphere, i think you said on the hill that you believe the russians are messaging north com and the united states, can you give us an overall sense about how much more frequent they are, what the messages could be and how you're sailors and other troops respond when they take place. >> the russians have developed a
far more capable military than the quality -- quantitative large military that the soviet union had, also they published a new doctrine you're seeing that bear out. you're seeing them employ that cape ability in the ukraine at the same time, they are messaging us they're messaging us that they're a global power we do the same sort of thing with their long range aviation as events, when there was -- the airline shoot down in the ukraine, they were doing some long range aviation flights around canada, alaska and even down the english channel. so, you know the question i have is, what is their intent with that. the numbers have gone up, but i don't like to give the percentages, one to five is 500%, that may overstate it they -- the numbers have gone up, and where they're flying are different, and so we watch very
carefully what they're doing they are add mering to international standards that are required by all airplanes that are out there and everybody is flying in a professional manner on their side and our side as we watch very closely really my question is, what is their intent long term on this? >> perhaps one of the longest running debates in washington is the effectiveness of national defense, and what the taxpayers have gotten for the billions of dollars that have put into it. >> some critics still say that it doesn't really work, and it will never work what would you describe the capability of national missile defenses if a nation like north korea or iran were to launch a missile against the united states. >> as the person that owns the trigger, i don't maintain it. it's designed by the missile defense agency, i own the trigger. on this, and i have high confidence that it willing work against north korea, it was
designed to die fend against nations that might not be deterred other ways and that would be north korea in that regard. we're very concerned about the mobil nature of the kno 8 that we have the -- we lose our ability to get the indications that something might occur. and, of course the unpredictable nature of the regime that's there. but i have high confidence in its ability. it didn't -- it's well documented, the fits and starts that it's had. getting to where it is. and admiral searing is priorities are absolutely correct which are to the first off, we need to improve our sensors, our discrimination sensors, so that we have high confidence and be able to detect the objects that are in space. the next piece is we need to improve the kill vehicles and then the next one is to take
care and upgrade and maintain that which we have to be as best as we possibly can. and those have to be done concurrently. they all have to be put in place, the next step that he needs to go after, is that when it comes to ballistic missile defense, we're on the wrong side of the cost group. we're shooting down not very expensive rockets with very expensive rockets. we need to look at the entire kill chain of the plastic mess ils and try flew kinetic or non nonkinetic means we need to be able to start knocking them down in the boost phase and just after that not just rely on the mid course phase where we are today. very, very expensive and so admiral searing has put in the necessary investments in some technologies that we think will bear out to make it -- to get us to where we need to go, those technologies are not just for the ballistic missile defense against the homeland daze also
the theater ballistic missile defense we need to do as well. very very expensive proposition. i think with those right investments, and the technologies paying off, we can get on the correct side of the cost group. >> sometime in the future iran were to develop the capability of threatening the united states, are you confident at that point wherever it was could -- the u.s. would have an effective defense? >> we are outpacing the threat that's why it's the importance that the effects of sequestration will be hard on missile defense agency, when it comes to sequestration, the services, it delays new capability and the other place, it really impacts the services it comes out of readiness, it's the only place you can generate the money, missile defense agency doesn't have a readiness account large enough to cover the sequestration cuts it will delay those technologies, those key technologies and the improvements of the long range
discrimination radar and the advanced kill vehicle it will delay those and it's going to prevent us from outpacing the threat. our concern is maintaining the investments to outpace the threat. >> a couple weeks ago you said it's going to complicate our ability to defend against an attack. >> it's a relocatable target and someone that thumps targets for most of my life growing up it's the relocatable target that really impedes our ability to find, fix and finish the threat, so as the targets move around, and if we don't have the persistent stare which we do not have over in north korea at this time that relocatable nature makes it very difficult for us to be able to counter it. that said should one get airborne and come at us i'm confident that we'll be able to knock it down.
>> ballistic missile defense and moving assets over to -- fielding or deploying two more missile defense vessels part of your way to mitigate the potential threat from this road mobil missile. >> we're setting up the second tippy two in japan, which reduce reduces our reliance on aegis a little bit. it's a ballistic system, it's all the systems whether they're land based or sea based the space based architecture as well, and the kill vehicles that are up in ft. greeley in alaska. >> as far as can you tell -- >> that i'm going to have to get back to you, we assess it they can go -- we assess it that it's operational today, we assess that it's operational today. and so we practice to go against that. yes, ma'am? >> i have a question about pow, we know defense secretary in
japan, according to japanese media, a new medical history museum is going to show the evidence of u.s. pow during world war ii, about eight victims that were captured by japanese soldiers when they are -- b-29 bomber attacked during world war ii, so any comments on that? >> i'm not familiar with that story ma'am, i'm sorry. >> i mean, the defense secretary is in japan, except their talking about defense issues, are they going to talk about any history issues? >> any of those issues, i'm not briefed on what he's going to be talking about. >> sir? >> a couple months ago, the commander first air force said he urgently needs new radars. i was wondering, where do things stand with this, and why are these radars needed right now for the f-16s when the air force had put off those upgrades the past couple years. >> i submitted that urgent need
statement for the national capital region. we have some boxes we have the airplanes and we should be able to marry them up. you know it goes against the cruise missile threat that's out there. i've been defending against the cruise missiles since i was a lieutenant jg on the nimitz and i shot over 1300 cruise missiles. i know how effective they are. you need a system of systems in order to do that, when it comes for the airborne piece of that you need the capabilities that the radar can give you to that. it's only a single piece. it's also the jalins that we're testing and our aegis off the coast, we can track and share data and have our best opportunity to shoot down any of the leakers that might be out there. the best way to defeat the cruise missile threat is to shoot down the archer that's out
there. you're only dealing with fewer missiles as they come at you. >> is there a time line on that? >> well, we have the first set of systems in the national capital -- i hold great hope that jalens is going to bear out. as we expect in all of our test phases, it's not something i think is insurmountable. nesting that with our offshore capabilities. it's -- again, it's a system of systems that you need to defeat that sort of a threat. >> several years back the norcom moved its command to the petersener air force base, there was a $700 million contract left for activities at the mountain. has there been any change in the status and do you know what that 700 million is going toward?
>> there's -- because of the very nature of the way that the mountain is built it's emp. wasn't really designed to be that way the way it was contradicted makes it that way. there's a lot of movement to be able to communicate in there. and that's what that contract is for. we have the space for it, we have the cube, my primary concern was are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there i'm not at liberty to discuss who's moving in there we do have that capability. >> it goes to the very nature of an mp threat. that capability that we need to be -- electromagnetic pulse be able to sustain those abilities. our ability to communicate things of that nature and an emp environment. >> appropriations are still going to go on --
>> we command where the staff is, we move between both locations so that we can recoup should we need to both norad and norcom. >> how soon are you looking to move some of those capabilities into that complex? >> it happened long before i got there. the people are moving in there. and so it's decisions from my predecessor, i support those decisions, we'll make sure it all gets in there and it's all secure. >> let's go back to missile defense for a moment. i came to the pentagon for a long time, and i went away. when i left back in 2008. >> we do that too. >> the airborne laser and cbased x-ban radar were taughted as technological advancements, i come back and discover the airborne laser was killed and the x-ban radar doesn't seem to
have worked out. are we wasting a lot of money when we're trying to develop these missile defenses on technology that doesn't really work? >> you know, as i understand it the deficiencies in some of the programs as the system was developed, as we were putting technology -- we were putting in capability before we had properly tested it i hate to say it it is what it is, that's not the way we're progressing today. the necessary improvements, where we're going. we test before we test before we fly before we -- test and fly. do it in the proper order i think is absolutely critical. >> now, some of the decisions we're living with that occurred three or four years ago but that's not the way mda is moving forward today.
some of those capabilities, airborne laser nowadays, holds great promise for us. provided we do it in a methodical and thoughtful manner, we don't try to put it out there before we know it's going to work for certain. we don't make those same misticks again. >> yes. >> back to north korea, is it your assessment that they've developed the capability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and put it on a ballistic missile? >> yes they have the ability to put it on a nuclear weapon and shoot it at the homeland. and that's the way we think, that's our assessment of the process, we haven't seen them test the knoa yet. and we're waiting to do that, but it doesn't necessarily mean they will fly before they test it. >>. >> the situation which you have, to you don't have a choice. could not in the future -- commander, live with the idea of
another country say iran that would have the ability to put a nuclear device on top of a missile. >> our systems are designed for north korea, and if we get our assessment wrong, for iran. it's able to defend the nation against both those particular threats today. and our investments are to make sure that they outpace the capability should they. say in the case of iran which i don't think they have the capability. but what if we got that intel wrong. and they moved that delivery capability to the left. we could defend the nation with what we have today. >> the u.s. assessment that north korea has succeeded in miniaturizing a warhead to put on there? >> we assess that they have the ability to do that, yes, sir. >> now, we have not seen them do that we haven't seen them test that, but i don't think the american people want us to -- you know, there's some things they want us to make sure we edge on the side of conservatism to make sure we get right.
>> is that what it is in an over abundance of caution, as opposed to any evidence that they have the ability to do? >> it's a prudent decision on my assessment. it's a prudent decision. >> relatively new? >> i'm going to have to get back to you on that. the intel community made the assessment. >> when you came, in you came into an assessment that said we believe that they -- north korea has the capability to miniaturize a warhead and put it on the knoa? >> that's correct. when that decision -- was that last year two years ago, i have to get. >> yes, in the back. >> the chinese are now developing the new capability -- being launched -- to what extent are you concerned about the chinese capability --
>> well, they have put their ballistic missile submarines they believe they have three in the water right now. it -- a nation has developed nuclear weapons and delivery platforms that can range the homeland is a concern of mine. so, you know, it's not a surprise that china has taken their fixed sights and road mobile sites and put it in a ballistic missile that is a necessary -- it doesn't surprise me that they're doing it. we do the same thing. we've done that for years. it doesn't surprise me that they're doing. that china does have a no first use policy which gives me a little bit of a good news picture there. next question? >> follow up. >> i'll follow that. how close do some of the boats including attack boats, get to
the united states? >> you know we watch them very carefully. and, you know they're very long range capability. how far do they reach? even from the own waters, they can reach hawaii as part of the homeland. they can reach hawaii. the farther east they go, they can reach more and more of our nation. >> do different patrols take them in a range where they could strike west coast of the united states? >> we haven't seen the patrols just yet. it doesn't mean that they can't exist in the future. >> no account of surface ships? are they getting close to the shore? >> boy i'm stepping out of my lane a little bit. as i track the foreign warships we have two russian warships and they were in san diego i believe.
>> are those two russian ships you just mentioned? >> yeah. agi, you know an intel platform as well as a logistics ship and i believe one of them is just coming out of venezuela -- no. yeah, i have to get that for you. they're in cuba and places elsewhere. >> the past couple months officials expressed desire for a new technology for maritime ves he wills, airplanes that kind of thing. i haven't gotten many details on that wachlt that and what you're looking for? >> yeah. the due line the air defense radar is that we maintain on the northern canada and canada-u.s. border are you know in a few years i'd say ten years i think is the number. they're going to reach pint of
on sa less ens. we have to reinvent for that capability. the question is what sort of technology do we want to use to reconstitute that capability. we don't want to put in the same sorts of sensors because they're not infective against the low altitude cruise missiles. they can't see over the horizon. what is the technology that's going to work up there? is there an over the horizon radar system that will work? it has challenges in the arctic. so those are the questions we're asking the community about. >> what is the type table for what the answer is going to be? >> i don't think we have a timetable just yet. we're bringing it up through our policy leaders as well as with the canadian government. yes, sir? >> one or two more here. >> they said they were going to begin long range bomb pear troel down to the gulf of mexico. you have seen any indication that they're preparing to
conduct patrols? >> we expect the large jet bombers. we don't see them flying elsewhere. but it wouldn't surprise me that they do. that we're prepared for it. you know, to intercept them should we need to, should we choose to. >> u.s. officials were saying that didn't make any sense to conduct patrols down there because you would take so long to get there. you go past the whole united states military to get there. you would have no element of surprise. but -- >> i think -- you know, i think if you have long range aircraft, you want to exercise them. in order to exercise them you need to fly long range missions. >> were you expecting that during the spring-summer season? >> it wouldn't surprise me, no. i wouldn't surprise me. again, it goes to the question that was asked before. they're messaging us showing
they have a long range conventional reach or nuclear reach with the manned bombers. we do the same sorts of things with our aircraft and with our ships. so it wouldn't surprise me if they did it. >> on related to that, i spent the past couple days, they flew round trip missions to the north pole and north sea. what message were you trying to send? >> actually, it was our own exercise program with -- one for the bombers themselves that do that long range mission and then with u.s., canada and our nato allies to do those intercepts along there. polar growl is the name of the exercise. we announced it. it was a very successful exercise. in the back. >> two other questions. same notion. there is concern onlt hill about the threat that isis fighters might want to infiltrate through the southern border s that a legitimate concern? what can you do to work against that and the other question has
to do with the east coast, the idea of east coast based interceptors? is that a good idea or just a waste of snn. >> okay. >> the first one is i don't believe that it's isil that we have to worry about infiltrating through this -- through our southern approaches. they're using -- they are a threat to us because they're using a very sophisticated social media campaign to insight american and canadian citizens to do harm against american and canadian citizens. that's how they are trying to attack us. the same things between the commanders and our inner agency partners and the seams within the countries, you know, the enemy, if you find your seamed, you find your enemy. and that enemy will exploit the seams. they'll move throughout seams. they'll move people drugs,
money, weapons or something even greater. they'll move it -- they're just moving product through there. that's why we work so hard looking down there and trying to close the seams with our homeland partnerships and with the other geographic combatant command irz. the east coast missile site if i had one more dollar to do dlim defense, i wouldn't put it against the east coast missile site. i'd put it into the technology that's allow us to get past the cost curve. again that is not only theater ballistic missile defense but the homeland ballistic missile defense. it is a proliferateing threat. it is growing. people countries are developing those capabilities. they can threaten their neighbors with power projection with that. and our current approach has on the wrong side of that. i take the dollars and invest it in the necessary technologies to start getting the threats in range. i can take one more.
>> the loss of sea ice in the arctic, what -- what security issues does that raise as we see that whole area changing out there? >> that's part of what we're reporting out. the necessary threats. the reality is that it is. the sea ice is melting. the arctic shelf is getting smaller. that said it is still a very inhospitable place. today if we want to go out, there you know, we don't have the ability to reliably navigate, communicate and sustain ourselves. so that's some huge investment for the services to figure out when to do. that when do we need to late investments in to communicate navigate and sustain? and before we can communicate and navigate, we have to do the sustainment. we have to supply ourselves. it's three times as expensive and takes three times as long to put anything up there in the arctic. i mean it is very very harsh place.
we are seeing more inner modal traffic from ships that grog in there. we're not saying we worked with the shipping industries and they're not really interested. they need ships that can make them money 350 days out of the year. they can't rely on a particular period of time. they need to move large numbers of containers and a large number of crude or liquid natural gas that happens to be out there. there is more activity throughout and it's more dafrpg trous day than when dangerous today than when we had a stable shelf. that's what i'm looking forward to pointing out. >> with russia, do you have to worry about -- are we in a race with them to -- >> i don't see it as a race. the strategic importance of the arctic and the strategic importance of alaska you know, it's all about location. we have airplanes f-22 nzs in los angeles and question get them around quicker than at langley. i think as we look forward, it's
a reawakening of the strategic importancest of the arctic and how are we going to praet up thereoperate up there. >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. >> thank you. >> we recently visited virginia for a closing of the longwood university and courthouse national historical park. next tracy chornault talks about the long standoff between lee and grant and the entrenchments outside petersburg and the final battles in 186 a.5. he discusses the