tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN May 18, 2015 9:00am-11:01am EDT
captioning performed by vitac >> senator carper? >> thanks. thanks, mr. chairman. sometimes -- let me just ask, how many of you have testified on this subject before, before either a house or senate committee or subcommittee. raise your hand. okay. mr. garcia, where you been? doing your day job? >> testifying on other things. >> okay. good enough. if you've been before this committee one of us has probably asked you to tell us what works so we can do more of that.
what i'm going to do is flip that question and ask each of you to give us an idea or two about some things that don't work. and that we really shouldn't do that. what are some things you think that don't work? especially in the day and age we had all the money in the world. we don't. we have a lot of debt and we're going to get in more. what are some things we ought not do, you don't think they work. they're not worth the money? mr. hollis? >> good question, sir. >> i'm full of them. that's my best one today, so. >> i'm struggling with that one. in terms of -- because most of the stuff is, i think, that does not work is stuff that we actually stop doing. so one of the things we went through in our own office was to analyze across all of our offices which ones were most effective, most efficient and then reorganize our structure based on that.
so we actually look at that pretty regularly year over year to see what's not working and then to either adjust our organization and our assets to rid ourselves of those things. we're in the process of downsizing aircraft. we're getting rid of about 40, 50 aircraft. they're older aircraft, not good utility. reorganizing our offices along the north and the south. so we have our agents in the right places and getting -- >> hold it right there. i want you to take a couple of minutes and think about that question. think about some things that don't work that we shouldn't be doing. go ahead. mr. borkowski. >> yes, sir, thank you for that question. i think there are a lot of lessons we learn about things we shouldn't do. for example, we shouldn't treat technology or any other capital asset as an end. it's a means to an end. and we often get attracted by the bright shiny thing. and we don't think about why or how it will help us do our jobs. sometimes it's difficult because we don't always have metrics. that's because we don't have history. we're doing things that are new to us. we have to understand that as well.
we have to learn how to do things that are new to us and collect data and reiterate on that. so that's one thing. technology's a means to an end, it's not an end in to itself. we can't impose technologies on people who use it. we have to involve them. and they have to invite us to bring technologies. that's a classic mistake. we can't aspire to immature technologies before they're ready for us really to start to use them. and we do that very often. so those are all sort of acquisition lessons learned that i would say that we've done in the past that we need to remember not to do in the future. >> those are good ones. those are good ones. >> thank you. >> hold on just one sec. >> my phone just went off. my phone went off and it says rahm emanuel who used to be the president's chief of staff, but he's now the mayor of chicago.
i don't think it's him calling. but whoever has his old job over there is probably calling. we'll figure out who that is. >> i agree with my colleagues. assistant commissioner this is a challenging question. and i think we have learned. >> excuse me. i've got a phone call for the chief of staff's boss. i'm going to ask you -- excuse me for a second, i'll come back and try to reclaim my time. >> i'll take over. i apologize, i'm still going to ask that question. excuse me. >> understood. >> let's talk about fencing. you know, when we were preparing for this meeting, we got a chart up here showing the different types of fencing. but one of the charts i wanted to produce was -- i wanted to lay out the border, and i wanted to, you know, specify. here are the different types of fencing along the lines and i found out i can't show that because it's law enforcement sensitive. i'll first ask the chief, why
would the fencing and the quality of the fence and type of fencing along the border be law enforcement sensitive? i mean, that's a secret that isn't exactly a secret. >> i really don't understand that, as well. i think that the documents that we sent over that we were trading back and forth that we were trying to approve late in preparing for today's testimony were marked. i'm not sure the origination of those markings. i agree with you, if you live in a community that has the benefit of fencing as a -- >> kind of know where it is. >> the people know where it is. >> if you're a drug smuggler, you definitely know where that is. got that mapped out. >> as you start to aggregate data like that or images, you start to show a picture across the southwest border and it's easier to pick out some of the vulnerabilities. that may be the origination of the markings. but we will certainly provide what we can. >> which is, of course, why i wanted. i wanted to see where we have our strengths and where we have our weaknesses.
talk to me. maybe trying to think who would be best here. how effective can fencing be? and what has been the real problem in constructing it? we have environmental laws, we have eminent domain issues. we have lawsuits. we passed laws that exempt ourselves from those. but what's been the real reality? because, you know, we have built close to 700 miles of fencing. but you can tell by the different types of fencing, there's some that works pretty good. and some that, you know, obviously might stop a truck. but certainly going to stop a human being. so just -- who is the best just to kind of talk about the history of, you know, multiple laws we passed to build fencing. and then we relax them, set them up for discretion. they're not crystal clear, we don't, i mean, do we really need, do we have to build 700? there's no time horizon on it.
what's happened? we'll start with mr. garcia and then -- >> mr. chairman, if i understand, the first question you had was about possible impediments, legal impediments to fence construction. >> correct. >> when congress expressed authorized barrier deployment in 1996, although there was a barrier deployment before that, it provided a waiver, dhs, or i guess at that time, the immigration/naturalization service could waive two laws. nepa which concerns environmental assessment and the endangered species act. those two waivers, that waiver authority in many observers' mind was insufficient. the i.n.s. was required to deploy essentially complete a triple layered fencing project in san diego. and over the course of nine
years, that project wasn't completed because of impediments caused by other environmental laws. congress responded to that pursuant to the real i.d. act by providing dhs with very broad waiver authority to waive all legal requirements that may impede the expeditious construction of barriers and roads. not a specified place like san diego but anywhere along the u.s. border. >> did it work? >> that -- that waiver authority was exercised in five instances in, i believe, five in between 2005 and 2008 and that certainly assisted border patrol in expeditiously constructing hundreds of miles of fence along the southwest border. there were legal challenges brought to halt certain border projects.
but when dhs would show waiver authority, the courts would dismiss those challenges. in terms of that waiver authority, i will note it is not absolute. besides the constitutional limitations, you cannot waive the constitution. another thing is that it refers specifically to the construction of barriers and roads. there is certainly some question as to whether it would apply to tactical infrastructure that is not a barrier or a road. like sensors or cameras. dhs when it has exercised waiver authority to border projects, it has often mentioned things like radio towers and cameras in addition to the fence. but whether waiver authority could be used exclusively for a say, a project to install towers or sensors along a particular stretch of the border, dhs has
never done that and that would raise a question, is that a barrier? >> okay. chief, why don't you finish out and i'll turn it back over to the ranking member? >> so i think we've used fencing. and it's been part of border deployments for my entire career. in the images that you're showing here in the top left, the landing mat, you know, that was designed, procured and developed by -- mostly by border patrol agents. a lot of the national guard deployments we've used over the years along the southwest border to build that fencing. effective for a short-term, you know, surge operations when you're adding other things that technology, et cetera. it did us very well. the fencing that was brought to us by the changes in the act and the mandate to do 700 miles or more of the other images that you show there, and then the vehicle barrier also represented there is strategically placed in locations where it's very difficult to get to the border afoot. and so necessary to have a --
it's not necessary to have a pedestrian fence in places where it's -- the infrastructure doesn't support people walking toward the border. and so all of them have contributed to higher levels of security. i think on the other side of the equation, it's a lot more expensive than we expected when we started. and it was much more difficult. i was in texas as the chief of the rio grande valley in 2007 through '10. and so when i arrived on duty there in 2007, we helped validate and set a requirement for fencing. as i recall, about 75 miles. most of that fencing was built. and it has made a difference. but it wasn't without lots of -- excuse me? most of it is in place, yes. most of it is in place. oh, it absolutely has made a difference. yes, it has. but it wasn't without lots of challenges. difficulty with hydrology and flood control in south texas and lots of concerns about people who own that land.
and we're still in court about condemnation, et cetera. that's part of the history. that's part of the lessons learned as we went through that whole project. >> thank you, senator carper. >> thanks so much. i had to leave the room for a moment. right in the middle of asking a question. i was asking a good question. and i asked them, rather than talk about what is working so we can do more of that i asked them to tell us about what is not working so we can do less of that. and he's still thinking about it. mr. borkowski gave us some great insights. and ron here was about to get into it and i had to slip out of the room. so you want to pick up where we left off? >> so, as i was saying, i was agreeing with both of my colleagues. some of the lessons we've learned with trying to fit technology in without the proper kind of awareness with all of the capabilities or lack of capabilities. one of the lessons we've learned
is as we move into this new version of our technology laydown we have and are using field input for all of the installations. >> give us some examples of that. >> we have this process, capability gap analysis. and those in business are familiar with gap analysis. as a border patrol agent it's something well known in this environment. it allows us to go to the field and do surveys and walk the ground and understand what threats are faced at a station level. right, so the agents on the ground who are challenged day-to-day. and patrolling the border. where are the biggest problems and what kinds of technologies that they have or think are available will help them solve those problems. so we do that in a station by station look. that's rolled up into a sector picture. and rolled up into the headquarters. we're in the process of baselining the data. we've got about 3/4 of the workforce and the station level data coming to us. and we'll use that to help inform the plans that we've
already made with otia. and for unmet needs, the things in the inventory the things that work now being installed in places like arizona will give us a hint of where to go next. what might be coming available that we can help do research on the dhs side. >> what country does your family come from? >> vietnam? >> i knew it. north or south? whereabouts? >> the south. >> great to see you. i served a little time over there. >> thank you for serving. >> loved doing it. it was an honor. >> thank you for keeping me safe and free all those years. >> thank you. you're welcome. same question. give us an example or two of what doesn't make sense, we ought to be doing less of that. >> yes, sir. from an s and t standpoint, i would say the biggest challenge always has been how do we transition from an r & d effort into acquisition. and it's a challenge, it's not unique to just dhs.
dod has the same challenge. it's been in existence a lot longer than dhs, as well. >> have you seen some instances where folks have overcome that challenge? is there anything to learn from that? >> yes, sir. when i say it's a challenge it doesn't mean that nothing transitioned. of course we have transitioned a lot of things in dhs as well as elsewhere. what i'm trying to say is it's a challenge in a sense that that in the way the budget is structured. for example, i'll give you a very specific example. my division has been working close hand in hand and we co-fund a lot of technologies that i just talked in my opening remarks. these are undergoing operational assessment right now. so for the resource allocation plan cycle which is for fy '17 and '21 our two organizations sat down and tried to put in the budget on my side, the
technology cost to complete the development of technologies we think would be ready in that acquisition for that time frame and deliver that in time. and otia's cost is the acquisition and maintenance of that. but we both do it because we know it's the right thing to do. but i, frankly, doubt that the budget request that was put in will get approved. it's just because the way the structure -- the budget is structured. being an operational department, cbp have many urgent needs. and if otia come up and ask for a budget for a possible technology that may or may not be successful three years from now, it doesn't come as a very strong argument against other very urgent needs. so the problem of what we call wedging the budget, if we don't do that, then, of course, there's no smooth transition
even if i'm successful to deliver a technology in fy '18 if by that time we get to that point and pass all the operational assessment and let's say obp ask mark, yeah, we want that technology. if mark doesn't have it in his plan, at that time then he would have to scrounge for money. because we cannot wedge the budget. >> okay. >> so that's the problem that does impact most of us who are trying to bring a very innovative technology into acquisition. >> all right, thank you. where do you work? you don't work at gao, do you? >> i am -- >> you probably never thought of the idea of what doesn't work, have you? >> so i think two points, senator, coming from gao's work on border security and acquisitions more broadly. one is, determining what the user needs are up front before moving forward with deploying technology. and it's important and we've
reported on this as it relates to the surveillance technologies in arizona. for cbp to better document the underlying analysis and justification for what it's deploying, you know, where it's deploying it, and in what quantities. so we think that's important, and then the second piece of that is to conduct robust testing of what's being deployed to ensure that you're identifying any risks as early on in the process as possible so that cbp's best positioned to be able to address those risks before moving toward full procurement and full deployment. so i think those are two key themes emerging from our work. >> okay. good. thanks. any ideas? i bet you do. >> i should begin by saying i'm an attorney, not a policy analyst, so i simply defer to my co-panelists on that issue. i'd also be happy to put you in touch if necessary of any of the
border security experts. i could make an observation, though, and this is more in terms of the legislative role. and that's simply that a central issue for congress has been what is the appropriate level of discretion? and what is the appropriate level of guidance that should be proffered to dhs through the legislation. and issues of border security. and sometimes congress has been specific, sometimes very general. sometimes it's re-evaluated where it's provided a general authority and later imposed a specific requirement. or other times, it has had specific requirements that it has later deemed to be too onerous and provided a more general framework for dhs. to operate with. so the two observations would be, number one, the appropriate level of discretion in guidance may be different in congress' view depending on the particular issue related to border security.
and number two, it is not necessarily guaranteed that just because congress believes that a particular moment a certain level of discretion should be given or specific amount of guidance should be given that they cannot change it at a later date. >> okay. that was good. it was very helpful. i'll close with this thought. i usually get a better result in the end if i'm trying to figure out how to do something by asking a lot of other people. what do you think? what do you think? and at the end of the day, we probably end up coming up with a better idea. and we also, even if we don't use their idea, i think people feel good about having been asked. did i ever give you a chance to briefly comment? i know you tried to at the beginning and you swung and missed. >> second chance, sir. >> real briefly, please. >> one thing i think we struggled with in the past, when we procure new assets, make sure they're provisioned properly. that's been an issue for us in the past and it's one thing we don't want to continue in the
future. we want to make sure that affects our readiness. that's key. >> makes a lot of sense. thank you. >> senator langford. >> thank you. let me ask a couple of general questions and i'm going to drive down some specifics, as well. let me ask you. do you need more people? do you need more technology? i understand it's a little bit of both. but if you're going to weigh up between the two, what are you needing more than others? >> so you absolutely have to have the right mix depending on the terrain, depending on the activity, threats, et cetera. right now, i think our challenge is finishing what we started on the technology piece. i think that would do more for us. if you're just looking at the border environment, at the immediate border, the technology would be my priority would be our priority for the agency. >> the type of technology most of the agencies met with the -- we met with an agency yesterday that have 207 computer systems in their agency and they don't all talk to each other. it's just kind of grown up organically over the years. at some point you realize it
costs more to maintain these different systems rather than centralize into one system. how many different systems do you have? how many types of helicopters are we using? >> that would be my area, sir. goodness. goodness. have to count the numbers. hueys, astars, black hawks, ac 120s, about five. >> would it help us, are there one or two of the platforms more effective than others that as we determined efficiency, effectiveness for what we're trying to accomplish with it. maintain the parts, maintenance maintenance, five different types of aircraft on that. has its own unique dynamic and cost on it. >> the direction would be to go to two aircraft, a light enforcement helicopter and medium lift helicopter. >> what would it take to get there? >> procurements of new helicopters to replace the ones that are the odd types. >> is that something we need to help with or is that something you are all in process with right now? >> part of it we're in process
with, some of them we can't entirely deal with the budgets we have. >> okay. you mean you can't retire the old ones or replace those that need to be replaced. >> can't replace all of them. some of it we can, some of it we can't. >> okay. >> so other technologies that are out that we have multiple platforms of. is there a need to be able to shrink down to one or two types that are more effective that have been tried and tested. we've had five types that are tried and tested now we need to zero into a couple? are there any efficiencies of scale we can gather from that? >> yes. actually, we sort of went the other way with the ground-based technology. because what we had was this very large, very expensive system which was overkill for a lot of areas. it made sense to have us have a multiple number of these technologies from small to large. the way that we're handling that is we're designing a strategy where we can centralize our workforce that does maintenance on those so we can take advantage of the economy of scale to workforce. that's a work in progress. it does continue, though, to be a concern. if we have multiple kinds of radars, cameras, downstream, we
may want to make the cameras the same on different systems, but that will be a plan going forward. >> okay. tell me a time period on that. we try to make those decisions. again, the more people we have on maintenance, the fewer people we have -- on patrol, lack of a better term. >> we don't use border patrol to do the maintenance, first of all. >> dollars. >> that's correct. and by the way, i know this is counterintuitive, the cost of the systems has gone down because we are sustaining lower-cost systems. that doesn't mean we can't drive efficiencies as we go forward and drive those costs further down. so far this has been a good trend. i think the way we deal with more combination is in what we call technology refresh. as systems age in three, five, seven years what you replace those with you look for commonality. so that would be the timeline we're talking about. >> what are we detecting that we can't address, ground systems,
aerial systems, what percentage we cannot address, then, actually get someone to them in a manner to actually interdict? >> the fixed in mobile technology does really well on ground targets. people crossing the border afoot or vehicles. we have -- the assets brought by vader on the uas has been very good at that. i think our biggest challenge collectively with air and marine in mark's shop is this low slow radar detection for small, what they call ultralight aircraft. that's been a challenge for us. we've tried a couple of different systems, had some success, but not as far along as we'd like to be. the other big challenge based on terrain and conditions is tunnel detection. >> actually headed to my next question. where are we technology wise being able to pick that up? >> we have a system that we've borrowed from d.o.d. and done
some testing with and had some success with. but the terrain varies so much along the southwest border that it's been very difficult to find a box or a machine, if you will, that will give us the kind of fidelity that you would like to see the kinds of things we get with aircraft or fixed towers, mobile scopes, et cetera. >> okay. what kind of interchange with ideas do we have with d.o.d. and other folks to swap what we've learned, what we've gained, how is that working? are there impediments to that we can help correct as far as communication? are you finding any walls of separation? >> we have a great and extensive and increasing relationship with dod at all levels from secretary down to the colonel and lieutenant colonel running the program. i have an office that does that, and ms. duong has an office that does that. we are plugged in with the technology that they do. we have all kinds of programs to bring that into our environment and check it out and test it, and in some cases use it to support operations. very extensive.
>> one thing i would comment is we do have extensive collaboration. d.o.d. has taken lately to wanting us to buy the systems from them. so before excess military systems were passed over to us for use in homeland security, now we're having to purchase those. >> okay. are you getting walmart prices or saks 5th avenue prices? >> it's not saks 5th avenue. they do what they can, but there's been a big process of charges on the dod side. >> one other thing on the aircraft, the aerostat and how that's working. our blimp, am i using the right term on that? >> so first half to specify, two aerostat systems, the system i work with is tar system, high altitude 15,000 feet detects aircraft very well. needs to be recapitalized, it's an older system. and there's also -- i'll let mark talk about the lower altitude systems. >> all right, the lower altitude systems, the ones we've borrowed from dod that they used in iraq and afghanistan.
those we call tactical aerostats. five of them flying in texas. they are relatively expensive. we are leasing them from dod but they've been extraordinarily effective there. now we're in the process of deciding at that cost how often should we use them? that's where that's -- >> is the cost, actually, the item itself or sustaining it? >> it's the operations and maintenance and sustainment of it. we are basically leasing the dod crews that operate those. we have been able to get dod to transfer us four of the small ones as well as the towers. right now we are leasing systems and paying for operations and support. >> and one more thing to wrap up, if i may. i want to come back to a percentage that i talked about before. percentage of people in just a guess that we can detect but we're not actually interdicting. >> so one of the suite of measures that we collect is called effectiveness. and effectiveness is designed to get out how many people across the border last night and how many were apprehended. and so the data we collect,
again, as anh talked about and this is an estimate. but the data for last year shows that we're in the 75 to 78% range on effectiveness across the southwest border. >> those are individuals that we saw, that we were able to actually pick up. >> the observations, through aircraft, an individual agent, or through what we call sign, footprints in the desert, if you will. you wrap those all up, and we try to do a 24 by 7 estimate of that activity across the southwest border. and also, that effectiveness ratio counts for the people who came in, people apprehended as as well as the ones that ran back, what we call turnbacks. >> okay. >> thank you. >> thanks, senator. that is, you know, in terms of testimony before the committee, there's discrepancy there. and maybe that's the discrepancy. if you are looking at detections and looking at how many people you detected versus how many you apprehended, it's 75%.
but you're not detecting everybody, which is one of the reasons i asked the question about some level of understanding of what situational awareness is. is there any sense of what percent you're not detecting? >> we're also attempting at the departmental level, they're also attempting to look at the probability of apprehension, which would start to estimate the actual flow that would give you a scientific estimate, but still an estimate about the number of people who are crossing. we're in the technology and the deployment support realtime information. you can be very confident in specific zones where there's enough agents and there's enough technology to show you what's happening in realtime and record the responses in realtime and the effect. the effectiveness in those locations is very well documented. again, not scientific. sometimes you don't see the people cross in realtime. you can use that camera data, you can use the agent data and wrap those shift by shift, day by day and start to look at trends across. in the places where we don't have that kind of deployment, we're using this change detection technology. for instance, something that
hangs off of the uas, that can fly the border, take a digital snapshot, if you will, and an interval later, maybe an hour, maybe a shift, maybe a day, and look at that land again and you can start to recognize change based on the way the pixels look in the picture. and that can tell you and verify when you don't have threat or don't have crossings. and it'll give you a lead to find out if there's change in the specific areas to go and investigate what it is. and so that has been very useful for us in these locations where we believe based on the people who live there or based on our own activity levels there's not a lot of traffic. and we've been able to validate some of those locations don't see cross border elicit traffic. >> again, i'll definitely acknowledge, this is very difficult to wrap your arms around in terms of what the data is, what the information is, what the truth is. but, you know, we started this series of hearings on border security, certainly dhs pointed
to a number of apprehensions down, which is a quasi metric for, you know, how effective we are at securing our border. but at the same time, we started our first panel. people on the border themselves. and to a person, they are very emphatic making the point that the border is not secure. and another pretty interesting metric, i think depressing metric. and we had general mccaffrey here in his testimony before us he said there are only interdicting 5 to 10% of illegal drugs. there's a pretty big discrepancy. 75% apprehension rate of people coming into this country illegally, only 5% to 10% interdiction rate of drugs. so, you know, as i grapple with that, plus, you know, border patrol agents talking somewhere between people on the ground, 30% to 40%. i realize this is very difficult to grapple with but i take a
look at that interdiction rate of drugs as pretty indicative of how really not secure our border is. can you comment on that in terms of how that all relates? >> i think as we get better with these deployments, as we start to fill out the arizona technology plan, as we start to move into the other locations, the next for us is south texas, we'll get better in all categories. we'll get more effective at the immediate encounters on the border and we'll get more effective at the drug interdictions. looking at the worldwide estimate of production, which is an estimate, and looking at our seizure data there's a wide discrepancy. but there is -- if it's out there and our agents get wind of it, if they can follow it and track it down and make an interdiction they're going to do that. same for the air and marine. same for the state and locals. there's a lot of help out there. >> but do you dispute that estimate in the 5% to 10% range? do you think it's higher? >> i can't dispute it. i'm not familiar with how they do worldwide production. the aggregate of all the drugs that are produced.
i assume we're in a small percentage of interdictions that are actually made. >> reason i really point that out is, again, as we really explore this problem, i'm from a manufacturing background and our ranking member always talks about root cause as well. if i were to really put a finger on the root cause of our insecure border it's really our insatiable appetite for drugs. and the drug cartels that have spawned, the destruction of public institutions in central america that that has created, this is a huge problem. and the drug cartels aligning themselves with international criminal organizations, potentially aligning themselves with terrorists. this is an enormous problem, which is why we're spending so much time on it. commissioner alice, i really do owe you the ability to just respond to the office of the inspector general's report on the drone program. i know when we were down there at mcallen you were pretty
emphatic you did not agree with that. i just want to give you the opportunity to give you some perspective on that inspector general report. >> part of our discussion this afternoon has been on the whole issue of situational awareness or what we will call domain awareness. and i think that was one of the key things missing from the inspector general's report. the predator uas system helps with domain awareness, has sensors on it i never had before, we've never had in cvp before, that work over land and over water to detect movements of craft and also personnel. and they seem to have missed that for some reason. we had 18,000 detections in the tucson sector alone the year they did that report, 2013. so that's a pretty substantial detection rate for the technology. i think the other part of it is they did not consider the actual value of the system in terms of seizing contraband. i just mentioned we just finished a deployment in el salvador that netted us $370 million in contraband. that's pretty impressive considering for this half of a year that we just completed with the predator system it's got
$370 million of seizures. for the year they did the report we had a 444% return on investment. versus their flight hour calculation, the cost per hour versus what we returned in contraband. so i think it's been a very successful system for us overall and i look forward to better performance out of it in the future. >> and i think one of the biggest problems cited in the inspector general's report really was just hours of operation and just the inability to get it up as often as possible to drive that cost per operational hour down. can you speak to that at all? >> i do think this is an area we need to still work in. it's not achieving the number of hours i wanted to achieve per year. there is -- part of that has to do with the weather. but that's not all of it. there's other factors in there too. we need to build out in the system in terms of personnel, maintenance, satellites, those kinds of things we're working on. we want to hit 6,000 hours every year. i'd like to get it up more towards 9,000. i'm not looking for the numbers they put out, 23,000 hours frankly as i mentioned to you guys down at corpus, the systems will wear out in a few years
flying at those kinds of rates and not be available. so chief atell, very quickly, because this is detection and you're in charge of apprehension. so you speak a little bit to the uav program and how useful that's going to be and what are the drawbacks and what are the advantages? >> so i take the general's description about vader. this is something we had never tried before. and there were people projecting on to it something we weren't even sure it was capable of doing. it turned out to be a very useful system and we now are on our way to procure more of them. so we think it's going to be part of the future. it's obviously something that makes the uas much more capable. already a robust system with eoir, et cetera but having the vader and being able to see moving targets in realtime is going to help us and has. we've learned a lot with it in tucson. we're starting to experiment, if you will, and use operational tests in south texas and we look forward to its success there as well. >> thank you. and again, we saw a pretty amazing demonstration of that too when we were down there. senator carper.
>> that was good to hear. very encouraging. maybe we can talk about effective budget cuts. ron, if you and mr. alles would respond to this. it's my understanding. somewhere around $39 billion, maybe a shade over that. this amount is $350 million a year below the appropriation, almost $2 billion below what the president requested for 2016. and let me ask each of you if you can take a moment these potential budget cuts will impact your work and the folks that you work with to secure our borders. mr. alles, do you want to go first? >> i think it's going to -- it's obviously potential. i don't know exactly where they'll fall out.
but first area of concern in the flight hours area, we would like to maintain ourselves flying the 95,000 to 100,000 hour area which is what we're projecting here in the coming years. if we're cut back, obviously, then that is going to suboptimize our force. we're really situated aircraftwise and peoplewise to operate at those levels. if we don't, we're not being as efficient or effective as we can be. a second part is i have very limited procurements. the only current procurement we're buying is an enforcement aircraft at two per year. >> what kind of aircraft? >> multirole enforcement aircraft. built up here at gaithersburg -- i'm sorry. not in gaithersburg. hagerstown. >> king air? >> it's a king air. it's a beech king air. that's our only procurement. if that would for some reason stop because of money more than likely that line would close. >> okay. >> obviously i'll leave it to the chief and general alles to
talk about the operational impact but in acquisition systems there's also a huge impact. first of all, we can't buy as much. oftentimes that means we cut back on contracts. for example, what that can mean is i have an arrangement with a industry. the arrangement is an up to but not necessarily all the way up to and you can imagine what industry does. they project based on that and take some chances on the early part of it. if i cut some of that down stream effort out they don't get the return on the investment. now i have a tough relationship with them. the other thing that happens is the competitions become winner takes all. they get down and dirty and nasty. they increase protests. it delays the process. that also has a huge effect. it also affects their ability and their interest in investing in what they call independent research and development which is investment we all need to provide for the future. and going to ms. duong's point, it makes it difficult to do this long-term wedge planning for the next system that allows us to have a smooth transition including with industry from the s & t arena into the acquisition arena. >> okay.
chief? >> senator, it remains to be seen where those cuts are. we're obviously very concerned. this gives us a chance -- gives me a chance anyway to amend my answer about what not to do. one of the challenges we have in >> we don't get a lot of second chances in life, do we, guys? >> appreciate that. >> good to get one. >> so, one of the challenges we have in cbp is that corporately at cbp as a component we have over 70% of the budget is applied to salaries. that's people in the field. almost everybody that is employed in cbp, that's 65,000-plus. big mission support group here and smaller numbers in each of the field locations. but within the border patrol specifically, enormous amount of money provided by you all and the taxpayer. but 93% of it goes to salary. so it becomes very difficult to decide what things you need to make that workforce capable that you cannot do with specific levels of cuts. that's our challenge. 93% labor.
7% to do everything else we have to do. all the cars and all the radios and all the phones and all of the equipment that agents need to be capable. that becomes a very difficult challenge for us. >> okay. thanks. different subject. life cycle costs. and this would be for you, miss gambler, miss duong and if we have time for some of these guys as well. but i think congress -- not just congress, others as well, but we're often better about buying new technologies than we are at paying to get the full value of those investments. it doesn't make a lot of sense. for example, we talked a little about this already. by advanced surveillance technologies if we're not prepared to pay for their ongoing operations and costs to keep them running well and at full capacity and to make sure we have the right people trained to do that stuff. could each of you comment, starting with you, miss gambler, on whether this is a challenge for the department in terms of border security investments and
what advice do you have for us, for congress, on how to improve matters? >> with regard to the arizona technology plan, we -- when we did our report last year on that plan, we did assess the cost estimates that cbp had in place for the plan and some of the highest cost programs under the plan and found that cbp could take some additional actions to ensure that those life cycle cost estimates better meet best practices. a key area we reported on was the need for cbp to verify and validate its cost estimates against independent estimates to make sure that those estimates would be fully reliable and credible. and we made recommendations to cbp in that area to ensure that their life cycle cost estimates more fully meet best practices, and we understand that -- and mr. borkowski may be able to speak to this more, that they are in the process of updating the life cycle cost estimates for some of the technology programs under the plan going
forward. >> okay. thank you. miss duong? >> from the standpoint of technology that we in s & t are developing, we make sure that we do a good job at estimating a life cycle cost before we submit that information to mr. borkowski, for example, for potential acquisition. it's a process we keep improving. as you know, before we start a project we already consult with operating component in estimating the return on investment. and when i say return on investment it's on their investment not my r & d investment. so we estimate that if we pursue this particular technology, let's say we could find ten more tunnels per year, what does that mean in terms -- and we estimate throughout that -- it would cost x dollars to buy a new tunnel detection system that we're developing does that mean it
would break even in two years, five years, ten years? so at first it's just an estimate. and as we move further into the development of the solution, then we try to come up with a better and better estimate, and in the end when we get to operational assessment that's when we try to come up with a much better return on investment and estimate to help cbp make the decision. so it's not just about oh, look, what great this capability could do, what great things this capability could do for you, but if you were to buy one or three or five systems, and we estimate it would help you find five or ten more tunnels, just be conservative, per year then what does that mean in terms of cost saving? we try to do that from an s & t standpoint to help them make the right decision. the other part is about acquisition programs. as you know s & t, it is not in our responsibility to do
acquisition. that's otia's responsibility. however, the department does employ us as an adviser and we try to make investments to help acquisition programs better understand the implication of the maintenance cost. the tale of anything. just like you pointed out, senator, a lot of time the acquisition cost is actually the lowest cost. but it's the easiest one that everybody look at. so s & t always say that we want to be able to spend millions in order to save billions or hundreds of millions for mark. so it's always a goal that we strive to achieve. and the department has become more and more -- has become more and more -- in recognition of our role, and i'm glad to say that s & t has become a trusted
adviser for the department along that line. >> well, my time's expired. we're going to have one more round so i can let these guys answer that question or not? >> no. i've got a couple more questions also. >> good, good. great. chief atell, i've got a couple questions. i want to go over the inspector general's report that came out today about the lack of the department collecting data on prosecutorial discretion. deferred action on childhood arrivals. in the report it says as of september 30th, 2014 cbp's office of border patrol reported it had released 650 doc-eligible individuals. so you are keeping track of that? in what organized fashion are you tracking that? >> in cbp specifically in the border patrol when we process someone who is encountered by an agent and we refer them to either deportation proceedings or in the case of unaccompanied children to the hhs system and then all of the encounters that we make are documented in a
system, the enforcement system. so if it's appropriate, fingerprints biographical data, photos, et cetera. >> but if you're apprehending somebody illegally crossing the border, how could they qualify under doca? >> they would not. >> but you released 650 under that. >> i don't know that that's a cbp number. i have not seen the report. we've had very few encounters with doca eligible individuals in our context. >> yeah. you've -- according to this report you released 650 i.c.e. released about 12,750. your percentage is quite low. how could anybody qualify under doca coming into this country illegally? >> we do have environments we operate in such as checkpoints or people at the border who haven't crossed the border and they're encountered by our agent and they have eligibility under the standard. not everybody we come in contact
with obviously has crossed the border. >> i believe the department has agreed with the recommendations of the office of the inspector general to collect more data. have you already been contacted in terms of the kind of data they're look for as it relates to prosecutorial discretion? >> specifically to that i have not seen that. we are always looking for ways to identify where there are gaps in the system. so the issue with unaccompanied children last year, we struggled mightily with understanding how our data connected with data that i.c.e. keeps as it relates to detention and further on to removal proceedings within the justice department. that's been a struggle for us for a couple of years. >> do you deal much with just the prioritization of who we're going to try and remove? i know the aliens pose a danger to national security. those that violated immigration control. aliens, fugitives, otherwise. is that something you deal with or you apprehend them and somebody else deals with those criteria? >> so all the agents -- there's a training regimen for everyone to understand what the priorities are as it relates to the memorandum.
but obviously, most of the work we do, over 190-some thousand arrests or apprehensions made so far this year, those are all recent border entrants. so they fall well within the priorities for action. year, those are all recent border, fall within priority for action. >> those adopt affect you as much as they obviously affect ice or justice or hhs. >> correct. >> you did mention border control agents, numbers. i want to get your numbers, department of public safety engaged in operation strong safety, a lot of manpower to the border. i want your observation how effective that was. we talked about technology different detection systems fencing, that type of thing. in the end we need man. give me your assessment how
operation safety works i believe mcallen, texas. >> it's mostly south texas. i've actually seen directly the deployments in the rio grande valley. obviously as an operator i'm going to tell you more boots on the ground is always betterment is it the most efficient way and those kinds of things? that really would be for the tate to tell you how effective they have been. most deployments in south texas are near the river. having the department of public safeties, they have some capabilities rural enforcement, on the river, et cetera most of that deployment related to hard top on the highways. they have been an asset for us with regard to helping chase smugglers, et cetera. >> operation strong safety, is that continuing. >> as far as i know it is. >> have you measured at all? do you have kind of a before and after now? >> i can look at all the data we've developed. i'm not sure. obviously locally we're aware of their contributions directly.
but again, it's a situation where there are more boots on the ground et cetera in that particular location and in their deployments they help us in the areas where we know traffic is going to eventually try to make it, if it's made it past us. >> we were down there, particularly sunday i stayed down there. you see their presence. i would never try speeding on the rio grande valley. i would really be interested in any kind of analysis your agency, department can do in terms of what was the apprehension rate, what was detection rate prior to the operation strong safety and what is it now. i mean, it's just a really good test case of additional manpower. kind of measure how much we've increased the manpower because of that. >> we have seen obviously in the prior testimony you mentioned we've seen lower levels of activity across southwest border. it doesn't include where the strong safety is deployed. what's their contribution
what's the contribution of the other assets we've been able to procure and send to the agents for use and capability there that's the part we struggle with right? that's what we hear about data want us to do better at. >> please look at that. we talked to the people where those things were deployed. it shut down illegal crossings. but they just went someplace else. go ahead. >> that's often the case. i think what i've heard from the agents on the ground that are the benefit of that capability, they went from not having high altitude persistent surveillance to a capable system. we're advantaged we couldn't have to use agents to monitor and run those systems, they are a contract. the other side very expensive. >> the other side, when the wind is blowing, they are down.
let's face it i would cross when winds are blowing purchase that's wli we're in favor of additional ibss cameras sensors, mobile technology. we know those work. we know that's part of the future and you won't be subject to the vagaries of the weather. >> thank you. i was trying to be short but i've got so many questions. senator. >> so many questions, so little time. i'd like to ask chief if you all will go back to the last question of life cycle. just a minute apiece, comment object whether it's a challenge for the department in terms of board security investments and what advice, if any you have for us on how to improve on this. >> i think we have, this the data question, refine the assets available and recognizing what
life cycle costs. as an operator what we try to do is say this is the requirement the problem we're trying to solve and leave it to acquisition professionals to understand what's out there how much does it cost. i think we've gotten really good at learning from the acquisition folks how to establish requirements and then recognizing that life cycle, what we call o & m, operations and maintenance which is crucial before we make final decisions on maintenance. >> senator. >> we've got pretty good processes grown in the department discipline check affordable which includes with whether we can afford o & m. when i challenge people they blame it on congress? >> no. >> they do. i'm not sure that's true by i'll tell you what they say. what happens is we buy more technology, right? you would expect operation and maintenance cost would go up. what our budget plan is, let's suppose i have $100 and start with $80 to buy it and $100 to
operate it. over time as i spend $80, as i built all my technology maybe i'm down to zero and moved all that money from buying to operating and maintaining. what happens is the budget people don't look at that as a total of 100. they look at it as money to buy and money to operate. okay? they see the money to buy going down and they say that's great. we love you. you save money. that's not really true but that's what they say. but we hate you for operation and maintenance because that's gone up and you need to make it flat. that's the real problem that we tend to have with operation maintenance, getting people to understand that if you buy more stuff, you need to operate and maintain it. we have to look at the totality of the budget, not the individual pieces. >> okay thank you. >> senator langford asked a key question here about numbers different types of airplanes. so we compute life cycles across each platforms. you think about the big picture five different kinds of airplanes, five different pilot training programs, five different maintenance supply
chains, five different maintenance training programs, those kinds of things. so one efficiency we need to keep working on on life cycles is these numbers of different platforms. >> good. excellent. question for chief. my understanding cdp is doing an extensive gaap analysis for border security that involves identifying what else is needed to better secure our southwestern border with mexico. could you just take a minute and give us a preview of what might be in that gaap analysis and when you think it might be done how could it be used? >> so describing the process what we've tried to do with capability gap analysis, go to the field, ask them what their challenges are, where they have specific things they would like to solve with technology, with additional kinds of deployments or innovative ways to solve problems at the immediate border, in specific zones specific stations, specific
sectors. what we've done is gone to the workforce. i explained to them what the process is gone out and taken surveys, agents from the ground, controlled border and gotten their ideas about what is required. what we try to do is take that dat ash, that information at the station level roll it up to the 20 sectors out there and that will be fed up to us at the headquarters. right now we're in a situation where the training is out for bulk of the workforce like 95, 98% of it. we've got about 70% of their ideas and their innovations about how to go forward specifically on the technology side. we've got about 70% of the data in. once we get all the data, we'll have a baseline start conversations to find out is technology available, is technology the best available resource for solving the problem as stated.
we'll be able to iter ate, using success with other things and try to fit a program together that says this is how many of these things that you need and then you can go down specifically into the locations and say, you know, for instance the agents at the springs need the brush cleared or they need additional rvss. that's the capability we look to have once the first iteration is in as we move forward. >> thank you for that. the last thing i wanted to touch on briefly, when we think of force multipliers we think of lots of stuff we talked about today. it's important sometimes i think to better ensure our borders are not so porous is to use a needle in the haystack analogy. say the needles are folks trying
to get into our country. could be human traffickers could be drug traffickers could be people trying to flee a hellacious situation at home. a couple of different ways to better find needles in the haystack. one of those ways is to make the heyaystack smaller. another way to have better equipment to protect the needles. another way to make the needle bigger. i think to some extent if we do immigration reform, do it smart, we can actually make some progress on this front. if we do a better job with intelligence. i think one of the reasons we do well on the northern borders great relationship we have with canadians, a lot of sharing of intelligence and doing a lot of joint operations. the other thing i keep coming
back to, chairman and i talked about this we talked with general kelly south com, about it that is to figure out how to convince people who live in el salvador they want to live there. somehow figure out how we can make them less likely to want to flee their country to come up here. do y'all have any thoughts on any of this before we close? i'd welcome that. very briefly any thoughts, please? just very brief. you may not have. that's fine. that's okay. >> i would just add on accompanying alien children issue which we've touched a little bit today. geo has a body of work looking at it and a couple of reports issued this summer including looking at u.s. programs in central american countries to address some of those issues as well as the report looking at screening, care and custody for
the children when they are -- they come to the u.s. we'll have some work on that this summer that will help inform some of those points. >> we'll welcome that. thanks. >> senator, i know the focus of this hearing is not about cargo or poe. >> ask you to be very brief. >> i would talk about when we talk about needle in haystack, that problem is exacerbated at the point of entry because we know travel is increasing by 5% at least per year. so the strategy of reducing the size of the haystack is indeed one of the main strategies snt is pursuing technology for. >> excellent, thanks. chief. >> just echo your comments as it relates to partners in canada. i think that relationship is a very -- >> c schltscsis. i'm director of the program.
i'm delighted to present the program with u.s. army war college carlyle scholars program to talk about from cooperation to competition, the future of u.s. russian relations. russian aggression in 2014 caught a lot of us off-guard forcing reactive measures, reevaluation of u.s. policy towards russia. russia that used nonlinear approaches operated beneath thresholds of conflict to take full advantage of u.s. and nato policy limitations. in light of this strategic challenge, members of the carlyle scholars program at the u.s. army war college conducted a war game last month in the middle of april. unfortunately i was not able to participate myself as i was in moscow at a conference organized by russian ministry of defense. in the war game four key considerations for future policy and strategy.
this panel presentation will print findings from the war game and net assessment study that the scholars conducted in preparation for the exercise. views by panelist are their own should not implied the sponsoring service u.s. army war college. i will briefly introduce our panelist s panelists today. in materials you have the biography. directly to my right is colonel coy from the netherlands army. he's a colonel in the netherlands army and a fellow at the u.s. army war college. lieutenant joe hilbert is just to colonel coy's right and a career army field artillery officer, has experienced supporting light airborne armored and special operation ss.
directly to joe's right earned phd in history from johns hopkins university. i guess we are co-alumni. baltimore? home campus. the mother -- from the mother ship. he served as staff historian for several army and joint headquarters and directly to dr. mcnaughton's right colonel lay, c-130 master navigator and u.s. air force weapons school graduate. he graduated from u.s. army -- u.s. air force academy -- excuse me christopher -- i know these mixups in the services can be a little touchy with a bs in u.s. history and ma in u.s. diplomatic history from university of central arkansas. and finally to my far right
last and hardly least is lieutenant colonel, strategic intelligence officer with military intelligence experience ranging from tactical to the strategic level. so with that, let me turn the floor over to colonel floyd who will introduce the program. >> thank you very much for host us us. good morning to everybody. i'll explain a little about where we come from and why we're sitting at this table, what led to this. first of all we have five of six students from the u.s. army war college. the sixth student was already moving to his new assignment in europe so he couldn't be here. so actually five of six. we're in u.s. army war college but in special program called carlyle scholars program. carlyle scholars program is -- the idea behind it core curriculum in four months instead of eight to nine months,
just condense it a little bit so we've got more time to do research engagements with think tanks or state department. we've been there as well. yeah, to do more research. we want to do our own. we are really motivated to do. that's part of the program. so we started in october 2014, and i won't go to all the steps in the slide. we started 2014 to study into russia. the relationship -- europe russia actually. it linked into several programs we were doing already at u.s. army war college. over time we had meetings with many respected experts from think tanks, universities, dod, state department as well. those meetings were to confirm and to improve and to refine our ideas or our understanding of
the russian system. so that's what we did over time. so the war game was actually a month ago. prior to that we had many meetings here in washington with think tanks to discuss our view on what we thought that the russian system was like. we used what we call operational design. it's a way to frame the environment, frame the problem and frame the approach to the system. we started with first understanding the problem, so we looked into putin's strategy trying to figure that out. we used ways and means to define that and tensions within the system current russian system and fractures in the system as well. for na environmentation we used
visualization of russian bear with his own dna moving through a forest. controls that bear make him move or gears that move counter to the bear. so that's what we used to frame. than we frame some approaches. those approaches are approaches on how to influence russian system. those approaches led to the war game we did in april. >> as mentioned, once we completed the process of design and collaboration with different organizations you saw on the chart, we thought it would be good to take this design and test it, as close as we could get to random field experiment. in our case, that would be a war game. what you see on the side in front is how we laid that out. our first problem statement when
we looked at the national security strategy and a lot of other strategic documents we talk a great deal about strengthening our enduring alliance with europe. the question is then, well, given that how should the u.s. consider its policy against russia in how should that impact it? the purpose of the evernt come up with policy considerations. you see the final objective, final research question what kind of insights could we gain to inform policymakers. this was the methodology. so as mentioned we met with several different folks along the way building a net assessment. wen wenwe took others and divided them into three teams. we had a russia team a u.s. team and a white cell or control
group. the way the war game would work we started in large group plenary session, presented system, what we currently understood u.s. policy toward russia be then let russia and u.s. team go to breakout rooms and either refine or confirm what had just been presented to build base lane going forward. in each case told two teams, if you're the u.s. team consider yourself members of the national security council or advisers to the president and same thing for the president. consider your selves advisers to president putin. we brought them back in. each side had an opportunity to brief the other. then a chance for clarification questions for clarifications from one side or the other, white cell and control group. once they had baselined policy going into the game we then provided what we would get with inject or scenario each side would deal with.
what we found was, there was not a lot of movement from the way we designed the russian system or presented u.s. policy. we felt like we had a pretty good baseline coming in. after the plenary session a pretty good refinement. so we started with first scenario, two teams in the breakout, russian and u.s. team. they would confirm the policy they had while still valid. if it wasn't valid what changes do they need to make. then what was going to be their strategic approach going forward given new environment or given this scenario. they came back into the larger group, briefed each other. it was kind of a courtroom-type setting. they briefed one side of a brief, the other side of a brief and then allowed to provide a counter argument back and forth and white cell again would ask questions for clarification. once that turn was complete, we then issued next inject. as russian and u.s. teams went away the white cell go through a
debriefing process. what did they hear feasible not feasible, how did they understand what they hear. that's how we gathered the data. we repeated the process. these were the -- should say scenarios we went through with strategic state of the game we wanted to see secure stable, prosperous year. alliance national security strategy and our view of europe and russia that acts responsibly and honors territorial sovereignty. five scenarios, first rapid toward energy independence suspend reality and say if we could go -- completely energy dependent from russia what would that look like and how would both sides react. the second one probably more plausible and maybe even more urgent is expansion of ukrainian conflict. beyond the line of control if there was expansion in other
regions of interest then strategic miscalculation of sorts. third move nationalism weaponization of nationalism, what happens when he loses control of that nationalism, falling off the bear takes off on their own how then both sides react. the fourth turn you see there, power elites turn against putin. this was not meant to be a coup of sorts. putin no longer in power, how does u.s. interpret it. power leaks, advisers, what would they advise to what is left and how to go forward with it. the final turn getting crisis less than strategic scenario as much as it was, what is each side what do they want to see from the other both from the
russian side and from the u.s. side. in the end these were considerations after distilling data from both sides each of the terms. these were the four key considerings we saw. the first one compete with russia to maintain international order. it sounds counter-in tu tiff. we talk a lot about cooperate where we can. what we found each turn as the u.s. side would come in and look for areas of cooperation the russian side would come in competitively. at one point we had one participant say we're in an environment where we're competitive, we should compete. compete where you must compete and cooperate where you can cooperate. while you would think order would come through cooperation in this case the competition has to be resolved first. the second one was clearly articulating a position toward russia, eastern europe and ukraine. when the u.s. team would come in and debrief we often found there was a little ambiguity
toward different players. another piece that needed to come out. the policy had to be clear with regard to each. the third challenge russia in the competition of ideas and influence. that was a consistent comment from white cell u.s. lack of good information policy or information strategy. last bullet, somewhat blinding flash of the obvious, with two elections cycles coming up, both in the u.s. and with russia in 2018, clearly that time line needs to be leveraged we felt like from president putin to maintain power. one of the comments was we need to look for what is going to be crimea 2017. so while we don't -- by no means attempt to influence u.s. election but whatever policy is built it has to survive our own natural election and be implemented by a new
administration going forward and stepping into russian cycle on the russian side. with this i'll pass off to dr. jim mcnaughton, one of the observers of the u.s. tomorrow. >> thank you, joe. i had the opportunity to be a note taker setting in and listening to u.s. teams discussions over the two days of the war game. i just want to start with two general observations and look forward to questions and discussion after our introductory remarks here. my observations really on point one and point two you see on the screen here. having watched a mix of people try to come up with the u.s. policy or what the policy would be with some of these hypothetical situations it was very interesting to find out really they were confronting a sea change in u.s. policy. it was clear to them that something had changed in the
international environment. the tough part was figuring out what to do about that. they realized last two decades at least our relations with russia in general based on the concept we would encourage russia to become a normal country within european security architecture european community and that russia would be encouraged to play by the rules and u.s. could treat them as they treat any other regional power around the world. after the seizure of crimea and when conflict erupted in eastern ukraine it become clear that set of assumptions was no longer valid. everyone could see that sea change. hard part between players trying to formulate in this academic environment what should u.s. policy be, figure out how to compete with russia.
it's very difficult to jettison those set of assumptions and long range policies the u.s. work with for many many years. we considered alternative futures within the war game. it became clear for the next several years the u.s. would have to be -- would have to manage strategic competition with russia rather than treat russia as another normal country in the environment. second general observations i would like to start with, it's easy to stay the the united states needs to articulate a position towards russia and eastern europe and ukraine. there's severe challenges we discovered. joe is absolutely correct that the u.s. team ended up being more reactive than proactive as it struggled to balance several major sets of consideration ss.
the united states policy is not developed simply in washington, d.c. we must take into account nato allies and other partners in the region. a great deal of consensus building and discussions before a policy can be, in fact, clearly stated by our leaders. . where we have challenges develop thanksgiving policy consensus, the lack of knowledge how russia is going to respond. as we we could send armaments lethal equipment to kraenz. each step lacked understanding of the russian system felt comfortable if we do this pretty sure russia will do that. that really muddied the water as well, made it difficult to
achieve consensus. clearly areas everyone agreed on we really electronically want to continue to cooperate with russia. in areas such as the discussions over the iranian nuclear program. this is something quite important for very valid reasons that we need russian cooperation to continue. how do we manage strategic competition while maintain areas of cooperation with russia. took a lot of time. oftentimes the result is quite messy when it was time to go into the plenary session and say, okay, u.s. team what have you come up with as far as the policy. policy." that was one of our great challenges. turn to our colleague talk a little bit what he saw observing
russian team. >> thanks jim. as alluded to i was an analyst none of us were participants during the war game. we facilitated, observed, took notes. a unique vantage point i would dare say without predispositions, we've been doing this since october. start with a couple general comments. we can speak a little bit more fidelity granularity from the period. on hold during two-day war game russia was able to operate with strategic flexibility, a good bit more options available. russian team had more options less constrained international norms, laws, alliances. for instance during one of the
turns, armor and troops on the border, cast as defensive move, posture rather than what it was was an overtly aggressive move which leads me to second point. russia operates with far more informational operations campaign. their io remarked as one participants as more less weaponized propaganda. oftentimes russia was able to spend a particular narrative that the west could not easily counter. if they did attempt to counter lead time to gather facts and figures for a more truthful message. that gave again leading to the first point quite a bit more flexibility and how they reacted. russia no desire respond to ukraine. over the two-day war game escalate and deescalate at will.
provide a good bit of leveraging to the west rather than argue reducing economic sanctions or moving troops or forces around as they willed. again, speak a little more fidelity during q&a period with that i'll pass over to karen and offer more insights. >> i was also on the red time with chris. i have their two key things. first competitive attitude decision making u.s. and nato policies within the region. the russia team sought strategic flexibility, if you will, not through the development of clear long-term policy but instead through the creation of what they call tools. designed to seize opportunities as they arise. russian team saw long-term strategy as ineffective complex strategic environment they are operating in. why spend time developing this strategy that we may never use.
let's spend efforts on tools that allow us strategic flexibility and also surprise. those tools were frozen conflicts, bilateral agreements, back door economic deals and the development of proxy forces which we've seen in use recently. as one player summed it up, russian -- one player summed up russian's intentions succinctly. we used this quote quite often. he said the russia team played to win while the u.s. played not to lose. >> diplomatic posturing had little impact on russian behavior throughout the game. as they tried to determine the best way to characterize president putin, is he a long-term strategist tactician what is he? they decided putin more a chess player. he studies the board and improvises as needed.
hence the need for tools long-term strategy. the second observation was russian team decision-making process was driven mostly by the desire to maintain power. second the return of russian preimminence. in every discussion, decision made desire to maintain perpetuate system is evidence. while the team is confident that putin would be in power or as president for years to come, they always considered that position when making decisions. they didn't want to jeopardize elections. that came up in their discussions. we had this election cycle coming up in sync with u.s. elections. let's not do anything that would put president putin at risk.
finally the team made sure win the population russian greatness was on the rise. putin machine was returning russia to its rightful place on the global landscape. also, of course to undermine u.s. and nato actions in the region. with that i'll turn it back over to you. >> thank you, karen. during the war game i facilitated for team white. we could see them come back from rooms and presenting new policy or reactions. there were some and partly repeating what has already been said but some key takeaways i took from there and my team as well. my team consisted of western and eastern umean fellows. sometimes european, how you say that look on the situation.
so partly repeating, u.s. team came back. they were kind of struggling with how to deal with a situation because they were reactive and defensive. they wanted to play within the international rules. they were always waiting for the other side, what would happen and struggling with their position all the time. russians could play more savvy and cunning and more proactive and on the offensive. they would say we'll try something new and look what happens. so that was a big difference between the two sides. we all agree where it comes from. but it's just an observation. second takeaway everybody talks about nato all the time. not everybody. but we should have a united nato on this, have consensus. the question is when we're ever going to get that. that's 28 countries on one line.
that's what we saw in the game. maybe more wiser to address countries and create a coalition of the willing. those willing probably depending on the subject 22, 24 of the 28 countries. that's maybe all you need. that's one of the takeaway as well from the war game looking from team white. >> really interesting exercise. we would love to know more about net assessment something that needs to be widely done about russia. personally over the last three weeks i've spent more than half of the time in various scenario exercises. four of them actually. one of them conducted by joint force looking out to changes in
human geography engineering technology looking out to 2035, looking at implications for joint force. see steve out there. he was there four days with me a few weeks ago. i've also spent a couple of exercises fori1qn the national intelligence council global trends publication looking out again to year 2035. last friday over at the germany marshall fund a more neutral exercise thinking about russia. and part of the fun for me is i always get to play russia. i think some of the notes that we concur on is there's greater flexibility in the means and mechanisms the timing in which
russian can act. there is constantly number one concern is regime preservation. it starts there. i think it's important to think about ukrainian conflict. big domestic political aspect to them. one area there has been a lot of disagreement about looking in the near term is whether russia is looking to expand the conflict in ukraine. i'm interested to hear in your game russia is not that is my personal conclusion but a contentious issue but we might talk about it more. i did have an opportunity to read your report that's come out. we'll have a copy of this on our
website. the report about what the presentation is based upon. a couple of things i'd like to hearmore from you before we turn it over to the audience. u.s. and russia systems are inherently competitive especially regarding russia abroad nato and arctic. probably contest the term inherently competitive. we were inherently competitive during the cold war. i'm more skeptical we're inherently competitive today. i'm not sure what that means. ukrainian conflict what that's about take american russia domestic out agree to european security framework. certainly the contestation and
competition in russia and abroad no question. i look at different theaters i think it gets a lot more complicationed complicated. a good deal of overlapping interest arctic and asia northeast asia. you can point to others as well. joe, you've pointed out, of course that in this exercise there was the desire to maintain a certain degree of cooperation with issues we saw as extremely important. iranian nuclear program was one. for the most part we've been able to walk and chew game 14 months or so since the conflict began. point to others, for example, decommissioning of the declared decommissioning, removal of
declared syrian chemical weaponsms in the first half of 2014. the second question=idl i9! ñ h to the point and i struggle with this question all the time. you raise the question does putin have a grand strategy. well, i would argue certainly has strategic goals. whether that adds up to grand strategy what's the relation between grand strategy and strategic goals i'm not sure. does the united states have strategic goals? absolutely. do we have a grand strategy? i wouldn't call we publish a grand strategy. so if you can kind of elaborate a little on what you see as the differences. it is often said that putin is a great tactician which i absolutely agree with but he's
not a great strategist. on that i'm not sure i do agree with that. on a third and relied to this, the earlier point it's pointed out united states should seek -- page 7 -- seek cooperation with russian on a range of regional and global issues. nonetheless, return to business as usual perhaps through another reset with russia is not possible in the short-term. i guess the term reset,í=c of course, is attached to specific historical moment the obama administration when they came to power in january of 2009. but i would argue that but i would argue bill clinton george w. bush administration as well, maybe not from day one, had a strategy for we don't need to
call it a reset but certainly a major effort to set the u.s.-russia relationship on a constructive path and to work together on many many issues toll toll. i don't necessarily exclude the possibility when the next administration comes to power in january 2017 they are going to look at panoply of issues national security and foreign policy and from that they are doing to make an assessment about the degree to which they want to, for lack of a better term, have a reset with russia. of course it depends what happens now between now and january 2017. i would postulate what would have to happen two cease-fire accords would be judged to be
not in complete violation, still be in effect per se. from that i think we would already be -- already have seen significant efforts between europe and moscow. if i am -- if we take the point that moscow is not seeking a wider conflict in ukraine then the tactic to me would seem to be stable radar, violation of cease-fire accords, no big offensive any place for that matter. with that pressure relieving sanctions in europe will grow significantly. you'll see some of that probably this summer if that condition
holds. more of it at the end of the year the timing for the sooir fire a -- cease-fire acards and more in 2016. holding together alliance unity may be considerably harder as we go along. another -- let me two other things quickly i'm taking up too much time but it's a quite good document in the report you produced. you state that ukraine, this is a quote, would likely be the best place to confront russia and send a clear message of intent capability and will. here i just have why. ukraine is not a nato member. so it's the hardest, much harder place to send a clear message of intent and capability and will.
i think this is at the crux of the dilemma for the obama administration as well as our european allies because we are in kind of a gray zone with ukrainian. i guess i would ask you what do you mean to confront russia? what does that mean exactly? why is it the best place? it sounds like, i don't want to put words in your mouth your operating under a domino theory process behind us with ukraine, then look elsewhere. what's the greatest vulnerable or vulnerability. i would submit there's an awfully large difference between undertaking some kind of hybrid or other military action against
ukraine versus a baltic state or nato member. i think and i hope that is a bridge too far. i like -- i was very interested by your point of the coalition of the willing. but that would require a very well, i guess to what extent would it require a different rule making framework within nato. what would that mean for nato. for more explicitly drawing coalitions of the willing from nato. i think i'll stop there and give the panel time to respond and open up discussion with everybody. thank you.
>> i think we're struggling, taking a lot of notes there, andy. that was very good. so your first question -- counting on that. in terms of inherently competitive and i think you asked the question, is it really competitive, the fact there are other areas where we can cooperate or should cooperate, i think the challenge is that currently the distraction of the ukraine prevents cooperation. and so once that crisis is solved, then we can go back into a cooperate mode.
that conflict or that competition overshadows a lot of those areas where we can cooperate. look at the meeting two weeks ago between secretary kerry and putin. we walked away saying it was good we talked. there was no agreements substantive agreements that came out of that meeting. because of this competitive environment that we're in, we've got to solve this one major competitive issue before i think we'll start to see fruits and other areas of cooperation. >> if i may address the u.s. side of that the systems sort of an emerging view within context of the war game on the u.s. side that the russian system was fundamentally different from the u.s. system. russians as we've already mentioned, proceeded to have much greater freedom of action. but there's a degree of cronyism
and corruption that was a great worry to u.s. players. there was a sense that, you know, we didn't want to go back to the cold war. historical memory of the cold war. we were glad that we got that won't that. then we thought, okay, if not cold war, normal relations. that doesn't work either conceptually. we're kind of stuck between the two. we keep coming back, u.s. team kept coming back to the fact russian regime operating by a different set of behaviors. that's what we meant by comparatively competitive. not that there's a dispute over the particular issue but something fundamental in the russian system that had it consistently at odds with the u.s. and the west.
>> so from the russian perspective you mentioned expansion conflict in the ukraine. there was much debate on the russian team whether or not they wanted to continue to film opposition to western actions. of course the narrative they spun was ukrainian crisis and regional maladies subsequent to that are all, of course u.s. machinations in the area. but desire to expand there was no appetite. specifically russian team said they will not let separatists fail. however, the desire to create a long strategic flank on the russian army in the ukraine wasn't a desired outcome. you mentioned whether or not putin is a strategic thinker
versus a can't cal chess player. often we saw the russian team was able to craft this particular narrative that they had. as i mentioned in general comments, during one of my terms, i think it was a protest in latvia we had and a small eruption of conflict there in terms of protests. russia was able to amass their armor, move ships to bhorder and spin a defensive posture. so this was an opportunity we were able to observe that russia operated tactically. was there a strategic desire? we didn't observe that. reacting to appear opportunity that arose. that being said at no point did russia ever want to i guess enter into any conflict with the west. economic sanctions at this point according to the russian team
were livable. while the ruble has been plummeting, they found ways to operate within the context of the sanctions that were there. so it was a concerted fear of increasing any opportunity of the rest to impose more sanctions. that oftentimes kind of constraint to some extent the russian team's actions. but oftentimes again, it was this tactical improvisation rather than sort of a mass strategy of the team operated under the two days. >> i just add that the team chose to go that route because they felt like it helped divide nato decision making. it created this tension within nato. so it was the tool of choice, if you will. >> i'd like to briefly go to one of your last points about why
ukraine ukraine, it was a sense at least on the u.s. side, we were hearing very distressed messages from our east european nato allies in the context of the war game from the estonia, latvia, lithuania, poland and some other nato allies. the u.s. team didn't feel that russia was ready to cross that clear, bright shining line. we wanted to reassure our allies particularly in the baltics and particularly to encourage them to head off any possible protests or mass mobilization of
authorities, meddle further in politics. we felt the real challenge was happening on the front doorstep of nato. that means ukraine. obviously some other countries like moldova and georgia we were concerned about but we felt that if the u.s. simply encouraged nato to build a wall around current nato members and say we're not going to take any cog cognizance. that's where we came back to the thorny problem how to stabilize in kren and enforce that new government there to settle domestic differences with no outside interference. at least from the perspective of the u.s. team, that's why they were interested in essentially making a stand in ukraine even though it's not a nato member.
>> we threw it out there i have to answer that a little bit. mentions putin uses attention in nato as well. we all can see that. so it ties into korean part as well. as long as we stay strong, there's a lot of agreements that have been broken in the past already. so the baltic states, if you're going to leave there, we're going to be next. whether it's going to happen or not, it's probably yellow or red line it will never cross. it's a message you sent to the countries. that was the most important part of it. we liked united consensus within nato. we didn't see it happen in the game. every time u.s. came up with a policy and thought, okay, we'll
choose this approach, we agree. even after putin he away as nato and say it's not a problem, but we're going to solve it with mostly nato countries. so with that you don't give him the opportunity to use the leverage. so that's kind of where we came from. >> well, it is a bear of a policy problem. there's no question of that. i didn't mean to make a bad pun. it just happened. for me i think over the last 15 months and then turn out over to questions, there's sort of three baskets of policy, and one area, and it's the hardest area, is the one that deserves the most attention is how you help ukraine. how you help ukraine survive. and it's not just military.
it's financial. it's governance. it's everything. and we're fighting difficult odds. ukrainian management has been suboptimal, to put it mildly. but the focus of the intent in washington is often the punish russia part. in ways it's the easier part to do, at least with the economic sanctions. and the middle part where i've been surprised that the united states has been so ready to kind of outsource is the diplomacy. and i think that at some point and i've written about this several times over the last six months, that we need to play a larger role. but let me open it up to questions, comments and right here. yes, hank? -- for the panelists and the
audience. >> i'm hank gafney, long time follower of russia, deep experience in nato and still following all this in retirement after 28 years osd and 38 years for the center of naval a analyses. what the discussion reveals to me right now is the real big obsession is ukraine. and i want to come back to what putin in his paranoia saw and remember, as we decided in some discussions here it's all putin. i can't wait to see the discussion of how he's going to be overthrown, but he thinks that we want ukraine and nato so we can move u.s. forces and their nuclear weapons up on his border.
and therefore do what from that, i have no idea. but of course, we have no intention of doing that. but he thinks so. he thinks we wanted a naval base and we're going to move our ships there. he thinks we're going to put nuclear weapons in crimea, et cetera. and how do we really overcome that in our process of trying to stabilize ukraine? >> who wants to take that first easy question? >> for our group and net assessment i studied putin, and before this process i was not a europe analyst nor a russian follower. putin is a hard man to understand first of all. and i agree with you he's a paranoid man. he thinks everyone is watching him in some corner, somewhere. i'm not sure that we have the
answer to that exactly. i mean, we have -- i've struggled with this a bit, but i think putin has hit his own reset button. and that reset button i'm not sure has any corporation with the west at this point. so i'm not sure we can get past that. and we may not be able to do that diplomatically ourselves. we might have to work with that coalition of the willing. and that was the recurrent theme in our war game. is that we have these two perceptions. we have the russian perception of the u.s., that actually sees the u.s. as this declining power. we have the u.s. perception of russia, and we see it as a power and decline and we tend to not give russia the due it believes it deserves, and now we see
putin snubbing the west more and more often because of that, i think. >> if i can add, listening to the discussions of the u.s. team during the war game, everyone was very hesitant to do anything to feed the russian narrative. so you know, to what extent to we provide support to the government of ukraine to what extent do beprovide support to the nato members in the baltic? we were second guessing ourselves to the point of paralysis. the consensus was over the course of two days that we had to break out of that paralysis and not sit on our hands out of a fear of feeding someone's paranoia. we had to take concrete measures that everyone would understand. some would perhaps misunderstood or twist them for their own purposes, be the u.s. team felt
the greater risk was to do nothinging. there was acknowledgment that there was greater risk of making it look like the u.s. wanted to put troops into ukraine but i think if we could just get the message across clearly in a straight forward objective manner that we are providing trainers to the ukrainian government, the people who really want to -- >> i will just make a quick comment about that question because it's one we all struggle with, but there was one moment where if i were in the white house advising our president it would have been on february 21st of 2014. and this is, you know, this is the day there was the political agreement signed between
european foreign ministers, mr. yanukovych and the opposition that would call for earlier elections ten months later. and a number of other provisions. and i recall reading that hear in my office and realizing that there's no way this agreement was going to hold because the people would not agree to it. an in october when i was at the discussion club and heard putin talk about a bit of the chronology in his decision making because i had had one question, which i wanted to ask him, and i'll tell you in a second. but he said that when the agreement was signed, president obama called and they talked about it, and everything was okay. my question to him was, did you receive another phone call when the agreement fell apart,
because it was the time when the agreement fell apart that it was absolutely necessary to try to reassure mr. putin that in fact we did not want this agreement to fall apart. that it was not measures we were taking or supporting that led to this agreement falling apart. when the agreement fell apart and mr. yanukovych fled kiav to me that reflected the complete dis destruction of mr. putin's ukraine policy. and he had to react to that, and he did. in the we that he did. whether we could have prevented that, i don't know but what i fear is that north side our government at the time there was probably a little bit of a feeling of we won. when yanukovych fled. rather than thinking of, you know what, we've got a big problem, and we need to work
together. try to work together with mr. putin and our european al plies to try to resolve the problem from ukraine, because it's very dangerous but i'm afraid, af fear that the sense of -- a little bit, yeah we got him. okay, steve. >> steven blank, american foreign policy council. having just emerged from the same bunker as andy a couple of weeks ago, i have a suggestion that might help alleviate some of the problems andy pointed out. first of all, with regard to the objectives, we in the united states tend to separate the objectives of regime preservation, the alpha of putin's policies for the restoration of a great power and one seen as a grout power globally. i would suggest to you that
those are the same objectives, that the latter, the restoration of a russia seen at home and abroad as a great power is a precondition for the survival of the regime. as andy suggested, if ukraine went west putin would come under enormous domestic pressure, if not may even be unhinged in power. so there is no difference here. the conditionses of regime survival and preservation into the future is the strategic goal and the condition of that goal being med, one of the conditions, is this restoration of the great russia. the second point here is that we can therefore overcome the distipgs between strategy and tactics. i think he is