tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 9, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT
afghanistan and pakistan and the various groups that are involved there? i guess related to that is the conversation about reconciliation talks between the taliban and afghan government. first of all, what hopes do you have for that? second of all, no matter what comes out of that, there will always be groups on both sides of the border that aren't part of it. what's sort of your -- tell us a little bit about the groups who might be involved, who might be reconcilable who we might still have to fight and how the relationship between afghanistan and pakistan factors into those negotiations? >> thanks for the question. as you know, very conflicted between pakistan and afghanistan. i do try to maintain ties with pakistan. i talk to general sharif probably once a week. i try to get to pakistan once a month. we really work hard to make sure the afghans and the pakistan military conduct discussions to continue to improve upon their ability to fight the same common
enemy on that border. reconciliation is going to take time, sir. it's going to take both afghanistan and pakistan working together, although president ghani has said many times that reconciliation will be afghan-led. he and the rest of the government there continue to work at that very hard. they've had at least one really sanctioned talk and reconciliation that's been out in public, and that was probably back in the june time frame facilitated by pakistan to bring some taliban to the table to talk. working toward a second talk, but that happened the same week that the announcement of mula omar's death, so that stopped that talk. i think reconciliation talks will continue, but it will take the right people to the table to do that. they are currently a little in disarray depending on who is in charge. mula onsur is trying to take charge from his perspective, but there is a lot of other issues
with the taliban because they do fight decentralized, but a lot of other factions of the taliban are not following onsur. i think it will take a couple months before we see any kind of peace negotiation, but pakistan and afghanistan realize there has to be a political solution to this problem, that they're not going to kill everybody. i think president ghani has spent the last several months to try to work it out with pakistan. he has taken a lot of challenges within his own government, but i think he's been courageous with how he's reached out. i think general rahil with his leadership is trying to work it out the same way. this is years and years of mistrust they're trying to work through, but they know they have to get there to come to a solution. your question on who would reconcile and who wouldn't, what i've heard from afghanistan is
50 to 70%. it's reconcilable on the taliban side. you probably wouldn't have a khani who continues to be an enemy that is dangerous to both the coalition and the afghan civilians because they attack civilians. they're the ones responsible for the high-profile attacks in kabul. hakani probably would not reconcile and there's probably members of aq that would not rec s -- reconcile. but 67% is probably the number. >> mr. jones? >> mr. chairman, thank you very much, and general campbell, thank you, and all our men and women in uniform for the responsibility and also the dedication. y'all are very special to all of us in america. i want to -- in march when you were here, i asked you a question, and this will not be my question, but it leads up to a question. my question was, will there ever be anyone in the diplomatic corps of the military who will
say to the president, you know, we have done about all we can do. then one of your answers back to me was this: for very little continued investment, we can make this, meaning afghanistan, the shining light of central asia and that part of the world. we have spent about $686 billion there since the year 2001. you've already mentioned the number who have been killed and wounded. then recently, we had in the newspaper -- and you've acknowledged one of these -- these titles: u.s. wasted billions of dollars rebuilding afghanistan. that was in the papers back in september. then in october, afghan forces on the run. this was in the "new york times." also in the "new york times," which you have acknowledged, u.s. soldiers told to ignore sexual abuse of boys by afghan military. you know, i think of number 15
or 16 -- i've been here 20 years -- a general of the u.n. army sitting right here telling us what you told us. i believe you, there's no question about that. i believe number 15 who sat where you are today. then i go back to an e-mail that i got from the former commandant. a few years ago i asked him, general, i don't have the military background. how successful can we be in training the afghans to be soldiers and policemen? and, of course, we realize there is a problem with education in that country, and i understand that. but let me read what he said very quickly. "get real in training an army and police force. trainers are doing a wonderful job, but we don't have the time to make an army." and he closed by saying "every day somebody dies."
my question to you, we are faced with a debt of $18 trillion. we're going to be debating in about a month a debt ceiling increase so we can borrow more money from foreign governments primarily to pay the bills for last year. the american taxpayer has got to know at some point in time there's going to be an end to this investment. money, blood, there's got to be an end to it. i heard something you were saying a while ago, and this is going to lead to the question. at some time, i've been hearing for 15 years from the generals like yourself that training the afghans to be policemen and security forces, it's going pretty well. it's fragile but it's going
pretty well. it's been going pretty well for 15 years. that's not a criticism, i'm just making an observation. we at some point in time as a nation, and members of congress have got to understand, that we cannot continue to, as john sopko says, waste, fraud and abuse is worse than it was 15 years ago. that's not your responsibility, i understand that. but this thing has got to have an end to it. is that when the security forces can say we don't need any advisers from the coalition forces or the american military? will you give me some idea of how this thing is going to end the best you can? >> sir, thanks for the question. sir, if i could correct the record first. you said i acknowledge that we ignore the abuses, and that's not what i said. we do not, i do not. in my statement i said that we have policies that say you do not ignore the abuses, you report the abuses to your chain of command, so i would like to
correct the record there if i could of what you just said. sir, again, on the financial piece and the continued support to the afghan security forces and to afghanistan and the people. yesterday was 14 years, so it has been a very, very long time. but as the chairman said, we have not been attacked. we live in the world we have. maybe not the world we want, but it's the world we have. this world is going to continue to be a very dangerous world and we're going to have people who want to continue to do harm to the men and women here in the united states. as i said earlier, and i would say for a modest continued investment, we can protect not only our homeland but continue to build -- >> general, i apologize for cutting you off, particularly after a four-minute question, but we have limited time and numerous members. if you ever want to extend your answer in writing, please feel free to do so, but we're going to have to try to keep to the time limits today. ms. sanchez? >> mr. chairman, i for one appreciate the four-minute question.
thank you, mr. jones, for reminding this committee what is happening in afghanistan. so it's pretty much been a failure. general, do you know how many people we have recruited and trained over the years for the afghan army and police forces? >> ma'am, currently today we're authorized to have 352,000. that includes the army -- >> i'm not asking what you're authorized as far as billets. i'm asking how many people have we paid on the payroll to be, over these 14 years, in the afghan army and police? >> ma'am, i have to take that for the record. i don't have the answer. >> you can stop.
i've only got five minutes. so i have plenty of friends in afghanistan who have gone over there. you know, we have phantom people on the rosters. we have 60-year-old men uneducated signed up for these afghan forces. we have tons of people who aren't paying that aren't even showing up for work. this has been going on and on and on. of those 360,000 billets that you say we have, how many of them are filled today, general? >> ma'am, the police are authorized 170,000, they have about 160,000 that are authorized today. the army has authorized 195,000, there's probably in the area of 173, 174,000 that are filled today. >> i think it would be important to get the number of how much we've spent training these people. you said in your testimony, "i
remain concerned about the long-term viability of the afghan national defense and security forces. succinctly, afghan security cannot afford its security forces." you mentioned that 90% of these forces comes from the coalition and the majority comes from the u.s. so within your own current testimony, let alone the testimony that mr. jones brought before you from before, you basically are saying, i don't know that there's a long-term viability for these security forces, we're paying the majority of that. how much money does that mean, to have a force that you don't believe has a long-term viability? >> ma'am, if i -- >> how much. that's the question. how much? >> today for calendar year 15, $4.1 billion to build the afghan
forces. >> 4 billion. >> we're not providing -- >> general, i've heard this for 14 years. it's going to be better, it's going to be more efficient, we're getting there. the reality is that we're not. we're not. mr. jones was right. my next question for you is operationally, what is our strategy in afghanistan? i heard the chairman. we haven't had 14 years of attacks coming out of afghanistan. i'll remind the chairman instead they went to somalia, instead they went to yemen, instead they went to iraq, instead they went to syria, instead they went to libya. so, you know, we can say we've concentrated our forces and our moneys in one place, but the reality is, and you and i both know this, they move.
so what is the plan for afghanistan? >> ma'am, the plan is to continue to build the afghan security forces so they can protect the afghan people to have a stable government so it can provide for the afghan people, so the afghan people can have jobs, their kids can go to work, that they can be a viable country in that very part of -- >> thank you. 1 billion this year, you don't believe it's a viable strategy. let me ask one more question before my time is up, general. by the way, i just want to say i have a son who will be full-time in the u.s. infantry. we just found out. i love our forces. i think they're doing a good job. i'm talking about what we are doing as policymakers. did we ever find out how much money karzai and his cronies stole and put in swiss banks? >> general, if you want to
provide that for the record, again, we're going to try to keep to the time limits. mr. forbes? >> chairman, thank you for this hearing. general, thank you for your service. you were educated at one of the best military academies we have in the world, west point. you have not just served but you've commanded for 35 years leading men and women defending this country. you've commanded in germany, haiti, iraq, afghanistan and the united states. you get to see with a set of eyes that few of us ever get to be able to look through. it is very easy for people to come in here and recount the price tag we paid in afghanistan. that's pretty easy. and there are people across america who ask what mr. jones asked: for what? what i'm going to ask you today, because as i look at your testimony, you have told us kind of what would have happened if we hadn't have been there. you said in 2015, al qaeda is attempting to rebuild its
networks and planning capabilities. can you paint two pictures for us today? one, taking all of that experience you have, give us, in your best professional military judgment the danger to the united states homeland and the risk of loss of life in the united states had these individuals not made the sacrifices that you talked about and had we as a nation not made those sacrifices? and also, in your best professional military judgment, paint a picture to us of the danger of the united states homeland and the risk of loss of life to the united states if we pull out and do not continue to make those kinds of investments and sacrifices? >> sir, thank you for the question. again, we've been so fortunate in our country to have brave men and women who continue to join an organization that is not about them but about the greater good. i think all of our men and women understand that piece of it. without their great sacrifice and the sacrifices of their
families, the people back here in the homeland, the people in europe would be at much greater risk of terrorist attacks. i don't think there's any doubt about that. i think in the future as we move forward, we have a lot of talk about isil and syria and iraq. we have a lot of talk about daish in afghanistan. if it's not daish in two years, it will be something different. if we think this will be cleared up in a couple of years, we're fooling ourselves. we have to position ourselves to ensure we can do everything we can to mitigate this impact. and the way to do that is to continue to apply pressure with a great special operating forces, with the great men and women we have in all of our services and to seek capability in afghanistan and other countries around the region so they can take it upon themselves. without that, the world would be much greater. >> tell us a specificity when we
talk about this. if we hadn't been in afghanistan, if we hadn't done this, how would they have had a greater opportunity to strike the united states and do harm to us here at home? >> sir, they would have had sanctuary to continue to plan and devise ways they could taeb attack the homeland, they could attack europe. there is no doubt, i think, in anybody's mind there are people out there who want to do harm to people around the world. this terrorism will continue for years to come and we have to continue to do everything we can to prevent that. and the way to do that is to continue to put pressure on t. >> thank you, gentlemen. thank you for your service and the sacrifice that men and women under you have made throughout the years. i yield back. >> ms. davis? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and general campbell, thank you for your invaluable service to our country, all your sacrifices. you mentioned that our support is not unconditional. and i wonder if you could tell us within the context of the
relationship that you've built with president ghani, which is really a quite extraordinary one, and in some ways i guess you would say you're fortunate that you have a willing partner. tell us more about what we could, should -- where have we, actually, used our leverage and clearly, you know, the fact they can't really afford their own military and we need to be there on their behalf, what could we be doing? what have you seen that has helped to direct to provide the impetus to move forward in governance that is really important? >> ma'am, i've seen it really at my level through moi and mod, ministry of interior, ministry of defense, that everything we do is based on conditionality.
there are certain things they have to do. if you don't do this, we do that. if you don't do that, we do this. for many years if they didn't do that, we would provide it to them. what we need to do now to make sure they're not very dependent on that, we have to change behavior. and i think by putting conditionality at the moi and mod level, we can do that. we are fortunate we have president ghani that wants to work not only with the u.s. but the entire international community. president ghani personally chairs a national procurement meeting every week that i looks at contracts, and he has a board that does that to get after corruption. we've asked him to go after that. we've asked him to make some tough choices seeing abdullah working on governors and police chiefs and naming the right leadership and picking leadership based on merit and not who he knew. those are ways we can put
pressure on the government as well to move forward. if i can add, ma'am, president ghani welcomes conditionality. >> has that been effective in moving some discussions as well with even the pakistanis as we move into negotiations at some point with the taliban? is there anything that we've seen with that conditionality that's kind of pushed that situation along? >> yes, ma'am. on the pakistan side, i think it was noted a couple months ago that both state department and department of defense work every day with pakistan to look at how they can continue to do more to fight terrorism and how they can go after hakani, how they can do things here that enable their forces and their people to be safe, but at the same time not destabilize afghanistan. so i think there are conditions that we can use with pakistan there.
>> are we able to do that as well in talking about the constitution and the ability to not withdraw, i guess, from that human rights issue? how have we been effective with that? what else needs to be done as we move forward to ensure that those issues are dealt with? >> ma'am, i think if i saw that we needed to apply conditionality to something like that, i would absolutely do that. when i went to president ghani on the abuse of sexual children, he said, we have a law, our constitution covers that, but i will reinforce that,ly make sure all my security forces understand that. if he didn't do that, that would be something i could come back and say, mr. president, if you don't do this, i can look but again president ghani welcomes the conditions. it makes them tougher. it makes them accountable and they understand that the money,
not only the money, but the blood, sweat and tears and the sacrifices of the nations is personal to them and the international community. so they welcome conditions and they want to make sure that we understand that they're very appreciative of that. and so, unlike where we were, you know, over a year ago without the national government, we're in a completely different place. >> you have all the authorities you need and no additional help from the congress to do that? >> ma'am, i'm comfortable with the authorities i have today. yes, ma'am. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. mr. miller? >> thank you. in 2004 there was a decision of 9,800 troop level. my question, i think is simple but it may not be and the security question is is security better or worse than then today? how could we entertain troop levels of 5,000 or 1,000?
>> sir, again, in 2014, the number of u.s. forces, coalition forces, we had verse what we have today is different so the security on them i think is one thing because unfortunately we have lost some great men and women over the last year, even resolute support. but i think we balance that based on the number of people we have had there and security, looking at force perspective. from an afghan perspective, again, that is very, very tough fighting season and they knew it was going to be a very tough fighting season and the taliban knew because we were redeploying, because our numbers would go down, they would try to send a message. and so, not having close air support like we had in the years past, emboldened the taliban in some places to go ahead and attack in large numbers we hadn't seen before. the afghan forces i think stepped up for the most part. they've made corrections. they're resilient. there have been some setbacks
like in kunduz and northern helmand. but unlike iraq and afghanistan, they're not the same, afghans plan, reorganize, resupplied, put the right leadership in place and continue to fight and protect the people but taking the security attacks and the compare it from '14 to '15 it's very, very difficult because we're not out there in the numbers we were before but it's very tough fight, sir, on both sides. >> and i will yield the balance of my time to mr. turner but i have one comment to make and it is a plea. and i know you can't discuss the gunship incident in kunduz but i would plead with you, sir, please don't let the crew of that aircraft nor those americans that were on the ground that guided that fire, where they did, become scapegoats. >> try -- we have an
investigation, sir, as you know and the investigation will give me the facts and i'll make sure the committee has all that as we learn more. >> thank you. i want to echo mr. miller's comments. i think everyone is very concerned about that investigation and how it -- and that those certainly who had no involvement in a mistake, no culpability in the mistake do not have consequences. we had a conversation about the 9/11 commission report. when we first got the 9/11 commission report delivered to the congress it had a chapter in it, chapter 12, that detailed what to do in the future and we shouldn't do. it specifically said that our fight was not against al qaeda and osama bin laden solely and if we viewed our fight as that, we would lose. that it was islamic extremism and worldwide terrorism. when we look at iraq, it's clear that we have not heralded chapter 12 because we have seen isis take hold and now threaten
our homeland. you have made recommendations that we continue to hold troops in afghanistan. you have both isis and daesh, isil and daesh there. can you tell us if you withdraw the troops down to 1,000 the affect on both the safety of our troops and the ability of our effectiveness for counterterrorism actions in afghanistan? >> sir, if we came to -- down to 1,000 embassy presence as you just discuss, there is no counterterrorism structure force in those numbers. and then, if you draw down to that size in one location, you're solely dependent upon the force protection for that particular site. by with and through outer layer that is we would not have that we have had in the past. i'm not sure if that answers your question, sir. >> it does. which it totally cripples our
ability. aren't the forces that are left behind at a greater risk without a larger footprint? >> sir, they are in one location. the enemy would know where they're at. but we would do everything we can to make sure we mitigate force protection number one concern for me. and as we continue to draw down, every commander would make sure they do everything to ensure the right force protection. it would be high risk, sir. >> -- the country, the effects of your ability to counter daesh as they enter the country? >> at the 1,000 number, there's no ct aloe case at in that. >> thank you. >> mr. courtney? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general, for your service and testimony here today. you have probably one of the most complex missions i think almost you can possibly even imagine so, again, we really appreciate your efforts. and again, i want to associate myself with mr. miller's remarks
about the investigation. i think it's also important to underscore when you're talking about doctors without borders, i mean, it was almost exactly a year ago that they were working hand in hand with our military in africa taking on the ebola challenge. they are a valuable international resource and that's why i do think this requires the absolute top level of scrutiny and independence in the investigation. i would like to turn for a moment, againing on your comments regarding the afghan security forces which at the end dift i really do think is kind of the lynch pin in terms of a strategy to hand off, you know, power and security in that part of the world. in particular, the a.l.p. your comment, you made sort of an interesting comment in the testimony how they were misemployed and talking about corruption issues a enthe need to root out corruption, they fracly, have been a big topic of conversation, again, not with just sort of knee-jerk critics
of u.s. forces over there, but frankly, even people who want to help the mission. can you talk a little bit about where president ghani is in terms of the a.l.p. and, you know, because, again, the criticism is they're kind of gone rogue out there a lot and there's been complaints within the civilian population about how they operate. >> sir, thanks for the question. we have looked at the afghan police. they're authorized 30,000 in 174 different districts in afghanistan. and they belong to the minister of interior on the police side. what the minister did is sign a directive to go to the provincial police chiefs to make sure they have done all the right vetting, all the right trains. they have the right leadership in place. and that they don't misuse them. so in some places a.l.p. put out in smaller checkpoints from a village and designed to do is be sort of that village security
that stabilization there. and when they get taken out 5 kilometers, 10 kilometers without mutual supporting fires, support, reinforcing support, they're easy targets for the taliban and other insurgent groups. and not only because of that and casualties taken, not only that, because they have potentially some issues with leadership, taking advantage of that, he has done a holistic scrub of the a.l.p. and continued to try to force the provincial police chiefs to meet all the same standards that we have had in place and some places they haven't done that well so he is reentergized that and working hard with him to do that. he had the police chiefs back into kabul and the entire conference on a.l.p. and how to make sure we don't have the issues you talked about. >> i think it's powerful message there's real change happening if there's reforms that the government can really talk about. >> and, sir, as miss davis talked about, one of the things
of conditionality, we haveality on the a.l.p. if they don't get through the reforms, they don't abide by the vetting procedures we don't pay. so that is a condition we put on them. >> seems like a pretty good leverage so thank you, general. i yield back. >> mr. wilson? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm very grateful to see largely, general, bipartisan support for your efforts. i have had the great opportunity 12 times over the years of my service in congress to visit. i have seen a civil society develop. it is just so inspiring to go along streets and see little girls with white scarfs going to school, carrying books and warms our heart and guys in baseball bats not indigenous to afghanistan. these are people who are truly working to develop a civil society and i just want to thank you and very personal. my appreciation of your service. my youngest son hunter served as an engineer for a year in
afghanistan. and i just know he was making a difference by helping build that country, rebuild -- begin from -- from the beginning. so that -- to protect american families at home. and you have. additionally, i'm grateful as a veteran. my unit, the 218th brigade served there under bob livingston and the largest deployment from south carolina since world war ii. 1,600 troops and spread all over the country and they were pepg train forces and they were so inspired. these are lifelong friends of mine and they would let me know what they think and they think and know that they were working with -- who they identified as their afghan brothers so just -- i'm regret that so much -- hey, bad -- i can remember the first time i went to afghanistan with sheila jackson-lee. she pointed out that bad news
has no feet and -- excuse me. what is it? good news has no feet and bad news has wings. and wow. but the bad -- the good thing is that extraordinary progress has been made and i agree with the chairman, too, that success in afghanistan is to deny terrorists safe havens which protects american families and that we cannot forget it was september 11th, 2001, the attacks on our country, that were originated, planned and culminated from caves in afghanistan so i'm just very appreciative of your efforts and the largely bipartisan support we have here w. that in mind, with this special operations reliance of support from conventional forces, if conventional forces are reduced, as has been called for, how can special operations fill in this gap? >> sir, today, we continue to tactical level train, advise and assist with the special forces
and they do a tremendous job. we don't have conventional forces at the kandac brigade level. i only have them at the core level at the six cores and the ministry level and we're not really doing that much with the conventional force. the special operation forces continue to do great, great work every single day, sir. >> with your leadership, i appreciate it. additionally, i'm concerned about the information and intelligence sharing between the u.s. and afghan national defense and security forces. as it leads to operations in afghanistan. can you speak of what is necessary to improve the coordination cells and advise and assist cells throughout the country? >> sir, we have a dedicated effort what we call an essential function seven strictly intelligence and how we work with the m.o.i. and m.o.d. to share intelligence and same time build their intelligence capability. their enterprise. i think we have made great strides there. this year they established an nasrad center, basically a
national intel fusion cell that brings in intelligence from the m.o.i. the m.o.d. the ntsment their intel organization to produce national level targets. the difference that that's making is pretty huge. but i think we continue every day to build upon their capacity and seen some great, great progress in the operations based ep at the tactical level on the intelligence structure. and not only in the hardware side, but also, on the human capital side for intelligence. >> that's so important to prevent collateral damage and is of course your goal. as i conclude, again, i'm just so grateful for your service, the service of american military personnel. having been there, i have seen -- the country was totally destroyed, a consequence of a 30-year civil war. there was nothing really to see except rubble. and then to see the rubble removed, the streets paved, for
the first time, to see little shops develop, to see opportunity for schools, for bridges to be built and opportunity -- and we sent unites to work on agriculture for to advance. thank you very much. i yield my time. >> miss son gas? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general, for being here today. i appreciate very much your testimony. and like so many, all of us here, i like -- and like many americans, i was so alarmed to learn of the tragedy at the doctors without borders facility in afghanistan. and i look forward to your investigation in a hopefully very transparent one. but appreciate how serious you are taking this. but i wanted to go to a different place in questioning. as you're wrestling, general, how best to enable afghans to secure their country and what kind of support is necessary to aid them in that effort, i'd really like to hear about --
more about what you're doing to ensure that afghan women, 50% of the country's population, is part of your process. i have been part of a delegation, at least six trips over that focused on one visiting with our women who have so ably served us and for whom we're so dwratful and also with an emphasis of learning more about the changes that the presence wrought in the lives of afghan women and it's been very promising. over and over again, you know, we hear the real differences that have taken place. and i remain concerned that whatever our way forward may be, how best we secure those gains that we don't trade them away in a reconciliation process, we don't adequately train afghan national security forces whether it's local police, national police, whatever it may be because it obviously is requires a culture change and that culture change has begun but it is very fragile.
so i'd like to hear in your work with the train, advise and assist with the security forces, how you address the rights of women so that these security forces who hopefully will remain in place to secure the future life of their country also are committed to securing the lives of the women who are very much a part of their country. >> ma'am, thank you for the question. every day president ghani, the doctor, they speak of this. i think with their leadership and our continued train, advise and assist that the future for engaging women in the military both on the police side and the army side continues to improve. and they put more of a spotlight on it. we continue to assist. this committee with earmarked money helped us to really emphasize not only infrastructure to house, to take care of women in the military, to protect them, i think it's been pretty critical. we're thankful of that. i have a women advisory xhilt
tee i co-chair with ms. ghani that meets quarterly to talk about different issues. at my level, her level, we meet quarterly. ms. ghani over the month or so meeting weekly to push some issues on the women's side with both the police and army and that's very, very good. as you know, for the police, it's a little bit easier as you recruit women into the police. they go through training. they can serve from where they're at. the army -- >> the question i'm asking really, yes, i think it's very important that the security forces, local police, whatever, reflect the population and i appreciate the efforts, especially congresswoman davis in making sure we provide some element, female presence in the afghan national security forces but the reality is most of those forces are men and they have a certain cultural -- have had a certain historical approach to women but it's really about how we train the men to protect the rights of women and curious as
to how that piece is moving forward. >> ma'am, they do some of that in their assessment training, the basic training of rights of not only women but men and so i think they continue to work that. it's about education, training, holding people accountable and i think they continue to go after that. i think as they see more women in positions of inl creased responsibility, they see more women tied in with the special operations forces and women that do that with them to help go on objectives, search other females, it is actually pretty incredible and when the men see this and how they contribute, i think it has a change in attitude. but as you know, the army, the police only been around for a couple of years. it takes time. we put conditions on recruiting women, how they do that and i think they'll continue to improve. but, you know, as you said it, it takes time and took time for the united states army to get above 15%, 16% at west point. so i mean, this is something
they're focusing on and with the leadership of president ghani, the doctor, i see good things forward. >> you have spoken of conditionality, leverage to achieve certain goals that there may be some resistance to. is that a tool in your tool box moving forward? >> yes. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. conway. >> thank you for being here. you mentioned about your families and the role they've played. you thanked them. i want to make sure they hear that same thanks and heartfelt admiration for what they've done and steadfast they are and allowing you and your team to do what you do. thank them very much on our behalf. what can we glean from what the taliban did, the tactics and procedures, did they use? and the afghan response, was it all or -- you know, give a grade for that? walk us through that and what kind of advice and assistance
did we provide them in that response or was it all organic? >> sir, thanks. thanks for the family piece, as well. in kunduz, quite frankly, the afghan security forces were surprised. president ghani has directed a commission to take a look, sort of an after action to figure out exactly what happened. they're continuing to work that now but in a nutshell kunduz has about 250,000 people in it. predominantly inside the city is police. outside the city there are pockets of the army. over the period of the holiday, many leadership of the police and army were not present. the taliban probably had a lot already inside the town and right after that time period, they attacked from within the city. the police fought and did not take a lot of casualties and when they didn't see reinforcements from the army, they kind of melted out and i don't think the taliban had any intentions to continue to hold kunduz but they got a great i.o. victory going in there raising the flag. the difference here i think is that the afghan security forces
responded very quickly. they got the right forces up there. they moved a lot of logistical resupplies up there. they changed leadership out and once they got back into the city, the taliban for the most part left. there are and today continue to be isolated pockets of resistance and fighting. a very small group inside of an urban area can hold up battal n battalions worth of people. i talked to the minister of defense right before i came over here. he was in kunduz, earlier today. and told me that he sees great progress as they move forward. he still said fragile in kunduz and confident that the major areas of kunduz they own. what did we provide, sir? for the most part, this was afghan led. they got themselves back into the city. had a couple of special operating teams that were south of the city that provided some planning, training, advise, for the special training forces and an expeditionary advisory team into an airfield south of kunduz to provide the core level
headquarters and planning, logistically planning capability. >> thank you. ghani and abdullah in it for about a year now. what kind of marks would they get for running the trains on time, water, elect tris tricitye things you expect and what does that tell us about the conversation that is out there that it's a fragile government, likely to not be resilient? can you talk just about those two issues? >> sir, i think if you're in kabul, for the most part, you'd give them a probably "c" although with high profile attacks inside of kabul that would be lowered. i think if you're on the skourt skirts you're in a far away province, your grade is lower. they haven't seen the governance they said. they continue to move forward. it is a very, very tough
environment but they can't to improve. they have made change in almost all the ministers. they have changed out most of the governors. they have key positions to continue to work together on. at the levels of afghanistan tied into, ghani and abdullah, there's no daylight between them and picking people and who's going to be the minister and provincial police chief and understand how important that is and i think they'll continue to do everything they can to make this work but they do have to engage better with the afghan people, not only in kabul but outside the city much better. >> and the time we have left, can you give us from your perspective the international community's continued financial support? it is key, obviously. already been said, they can't already afford the forces they have got. can you talk to us about the expected or what you see as the international community's heart to stay in the fight? >> sir, thanks. i tried -- i don't think right now we have donor fatigue.
i think the international community understands how important this is. next year at the warsaw summit, i think july of 2016, they'll look at funding for 2018, '19 and '20. i think afghanistan has to keep showing progress and the donor support is absolutely crucial because afghanistan cannot afford what they have now. they're working it hard. president ghani is a right guy to do that with his experience but the economic environment is tough. >> thank you, general. >> mr. rourk? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, first, i want to thank you for your service and your leadership and through you i want to thank all of the men and women currently serving in afghanistan and who have served in the past. i want to ask you a couple of questions about the bombing in kunduz or the attack on the hospital in kunduz. and i recognize that there is an investigation ongoing but want
to ask you per your knowledge why the afghanistan national army called that strike at that location. >> sir, again, that's a question that we're concerned. the investigation. i wouldn't with an i wouldn't want to get out in front of the investigation. there's a d.o.d. investigation. a nato investigation. an afghan investigation. >> is there ever a scenario where it is okay to strike a hospital? >> sir, hospital's a protected facility. we would not target a hospital. if i can go back to the first part of your question. when the afghan call for fire, that's not an automatic response. so every day the afghans ask me for close air support and we don't just go fire some place. there's a rigorous procedure for aerial fire on the ground. under the u.s. authorities.
and so that's what we have to figure out what happened in that case but i don't want people to think that just because the afghans call fire there's automatic fire anywhere they want it. that's not the case. >> my last question on this is, are you aware of press reports within afghanistan that that hospital was treating taliban and non-taliban combatants alike which raised the ire of the afghan national forces who had conducted a raid at that hospital days before or weeks before that strike? >> i've seen media reports about taliban treated in the hospital, yes, sir. but that's -- >> that would not be a justi justification for a strike on the hospital? >> no. >> related question and one i think you can speak openly about. can you talk about the terms of the security agreement with afghanistan and under which conditions we can use lethal force? and i understand there are
exceptions for counterterrorism activities. there are exceptions for when u.s. forces are under attack. and there are exceptions for urgent situations. could you characterize our involvement in kunduz under those exceptions or others that we may not be familiar with? >> sir, again, i'm not going to talk about kunduz or what happened in kunduz and any time we talk about detail authorities of rules of engagement, i would not do that in a public hearing. i'll be happy to do that in a closed hearing, sir. >> this might be my last question. how do you balance the need to ensure that we are adequately supporting the afghan national army, not abandoning them, and continuing with the train, assist and advise operations, and not at the same time creating a prolonged moral
international community and the u.s. be there and a decision to continue to provide support would make a huge impocket in supporting president ghani, supporting the afghan people, supporting the afghan security people. the message to taliban, pakistan and nato i think are pretty huge, as well. so decisions here upcoming as we look forward would have an impact on all of those audiences. >> when will we likely get the results of your investigation of the kunduz attack? >> sir, i talked yesterday with the investigating officer. he is working it very hard. i should have some preliminary investigation results here in the next -- yesterday i was asked and i said within about 30 days. i don't have an exact day but as soon as i get those. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. scott? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for being here. just a couple of quick
questions. i don't wa then i want to specifically get to the close air support capabilities but harry reid has promised earlier this week to uphold the president's veto of the ndaa. the president has not vetoed that legislation yet. but just wondering if you and the other leaders of our military have had the opportunity to speak with the president about the importance of the ndaa since it's passed. and how do assess the additional risk if that bill is vetoed and the veto is upheld by senator reid as he's promised to do? >> sir, to be candid i have not talked with the president on the ndaa and for several weeks, i've been focused on afghanistan so i couldn't give you a good answer there. >> we asked you to do an awful lot and on this end of the --
you know, with no ndaa, no budget and certainly you and your men and women are being judged a standard of perfection and that's kind of an unfair scenario that i think that we put you in and extremely important mission. i represent the home of the 81st at the air force base. we are training the afghan pilots to fly the a-29 light assistant aircraft, a gap. you said is close air support. you're expecting these aircraft in theater pretty soon? we originally planned for 40 of them. we're now expected to deliver 20. how many do you expect to see delivered? how many do you need? and, could you speak to just that issue generally? >> sir, we are looking forward to get the a-29 super socani.
i'll six in december time frame and more in '16 and '17. we don't close out the program of record i think until mid to late 2018. that's a great camability they're lacking. i have asked for a study to take a look at the close air support capability of afghanistan in a rotary wing and fixed wing cape b89. until that goes through, i couldn't make a call on numbers but we are looking at 20. i don't get the first five or six until the end of this year and we look forward to that. the afghans look forward to that yes, sir. >> you think they have the ability -- they have enough impact to change the fight? >> sir, if they would have had the a-29 this summer, it would have been a game changer in some locations. yes, sir. >> thank you, general, for your service and what you and your men and women do. i yield the remainder of my time. >> mr. lanzman.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. general, i want to thank you for your testimony here and most especially for your service to our nation which is invaluable and i hope you'll pass our appreciation on to the men and women under your command. first of all, general, again, i'd like to better understand the current situation in afghanistan and i hope that today's discussion will continue to not only inform our overall strategy but will also serve to better protect our men and women in uniform and coalition partners on the ground. we have seen too many lives lost in this conflict, obviously. like master sergeant andrew mckenna of bristol, rhode island, killed in a terror attack in kabul. we have obviously, everything to do in our power to ensure that our policies in afghanistan maximize our strategic gains
while minimizing the tragic loss of lives that we have seen too frequently across the headlines. make no mistake about it, general, the work that you and the people -- men and women in uniform there serving in afghanistan are vitally important work and i know they're defending us here at home and presenting those who would plot and plan against us from coming here. at the same time, but still a big frustration on the part of the committee and certainly the part of my constituents that the afghan forces are not further along in their training and where we need them to be. i'd like to begin with a "the new york times" article from yesterday in which a senior afghan military officer blamed a lack of coordination among afghan forces for recent taliban advances. this relates to your mention of the need to improve -- for improved leadership and accountability of nsaf in your testimony. i would like to ask you directly, you know, how do you explain to the committee, how do
i explain to my constituents back home as to why after the 14 years of effort and training and presence there and the billions of dollars that we have been spent -- lives lost, the people that have been injured, why the afghan forces are not further down the pike and in their training and why are they not where we need them to be? and i'd also like to ask you directly what you need with regards to time and resources in order to help build strong leaders. nsaf are missing to sustain themselves beyond our eventual withdrawal. >> sir, thanks for the question. i think very quickly where the afghan forces where they plan, preplan, where they work together, both the cross preliminary organization, the police and the army, they conduct operations, work together and preplan, they do very, very well. where they don't, it's crisis mode, that's why where they
continue to need help in working that. when they don't work together you're right, sir. they don't do well. but again, i would say we have been there for 14 years but this army continues to be very, very young. we have just started their air force the last three, four, five years, the army's been around for eight or nine years. the police about the same time frame so it continues to be a work in progress but i would tell you they are -- they can do a lot of things very well. but the areas that they have issues in are any areas of any army would have and sustainability, close air support, special operating force capability, they're tough pieces for u.s. army to do. they've been fighting at the same time, trying to build this army. and so, i see continued progress. i've been there three times, first time in 2002-2003 timeframe and they are today is light years from where they were there. i do see progress.
their special operating capability, i mentioned probably last time i was here take four m-517s and in kandahar, a small landing zone, special operators off the back, a little ipod device giving them full motion video, to a high-value target. i told that story and asked people to think about open your eyes and think the s.e.a.l.s, the doiranger, the delta. they have that capability. they continue to get better and better. they have gaps and seams we knew they would have that we have to continue to train, advise and assist on. >> thank you, general. with respect to our drawdown, can you talk about nato's willingness to step up and add additional forces and resources there to supplement our drawdown? >> sir, my discussions with the senior member countries of the
42, most of them i believe will continue to support. but it's going to take a u.s. decision first before they do that. >> thank you, gentlemen. thank you. i yield back. >> dr. winstroke? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for being here today, as always. you know, on september 11th, 2001, an attack was launched on america. from a place that most americans never heard of. and bay person that most americans had never heard of. and when i think about the freedom that e enjoy in this country that came flying in our face that day that was at risk, i was reminded in an isolation cell that congressman sam johnson spent time in at hanoi hilton said that those that fight and almost died taste the freedom that the protected will never know and i sometimes think your accomplishments and throughout history and the freedom enjoyed are often taken
for granted in america. i think that needs to be recognized. i think many in america and some in this room don't fully understand the effort and sacrifice that went behind every one of those ribbons and pin that is you wear and so many in our military wear and i want to thank you for that and all those that serve us in that regard. one of the thing that is you said today that really stuck out to me and i think you know why as a veteran of iraq, what stood out to me is when you said we honor their memory by building a stable afghanistan and i think that there's a lot to be staid for that. and i think history has shown and i believe that the greatest chance for peace on this earth comes from a strong u.s. military that can be reactive, can be postured well and can serve as a deterrent to evil doers and i think that's really what we're after. i think that's what we want to see happen. and so, my question today is,
what do you think would be the bare bones level that we can maintain in afghanistan to prevent a vacuum like we have seen in iraq and what level gives you the most comfort or most assurance that that won't happen? and then, also, i want to get some of your thoughts on the benefits of the idea that even if we had a stable afghanistan that was able to stand on its own two feet, would there be benefits to us still being there in a postured position like we do in other parts of the world? >> sir, thanks for the question and thank you for -- thanks. i think, sir, i don't want to go in details on number and level. again, i provided options to the senior leadership. i feel comfortable with the option levels in terms of risk, higher is less. less increases at risk in general terms but i feel comfortable in those options and i know that senior leadership will continue to look at those and weigh those and i provided
pros and cons of all that. but it was based on capability as we look forward. not numbers but capability needed based on afghan capability and then as you said, a u.s. ct mission, as well. we took a hard look and included that in there. i do think on presence -- you know, presence equals influence. if we're not there to provide influence somebody else will be there. whether that's russia, china, iran, you name it. the u.s. and having people on the ground provides influence. >> long term benefits from even a stable afghanistan? >> sir, you know, afghanistan lives in the neighborhood that doesn't follow the rules. take a look at the countries around it. very, very tough neighborhood. and again, presence equals influence. building a stable afghanistan to provide stability in that region, having a partner that want it is partner with the u.s. and the other coalition nations is key. we haven't had that last several years and i think we have an opportunity today to take advantage of that for a very
modest continued nstment in both the money and personnel. >> thank you very much, general. i yield back. >> mr. gab bard? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, general campbell, for being with us here today. you're talking about presence equals influence and other members have mentioned the instability and the threat of this same brand of islamic extremism in other countries around the region. would your recommendation, strategic recommendation be to maintain or deploy a u.s. presence in military service members to other countries in the area such as libya and yemen facing similar threats and far greater instability than we're seeing in afghanistan? >> i think chairman dempsey before he left talked about a regional presence throughout different areas of the world. and i would concur with that. >> how long do you suggest that
given the track record for the last 14 years in afghanistan that we continue to ask our service members to deploy to afghanistan on this similar train and equip mission given the lack of progress that we've seen and given the failures that we have seen in iraq and in syria? >> ma'am, i can't talk -- you know, iraq, syria. i would disagree a little bit on lack of progress in afghanistan. i think there's been great progress. i think this fighting season's been very tough and probably uneven progress, but either our areas and capabilities and continue to have issues with that take any army a long time. building a pilot take twos or three years. building a maintainer take twos or three years. we started that late in afghanistan.
we have to train, advice an assist on for years to come. they want to take this on. you know? and they have an attitude to do this by themselves. they welcome -- i talked about conditionality. so i think that we have an opportunity here where we have a willing partner where they want to continue to improve on their own kafabilities to be a productive country in that part of the region. not only provide for stability and protection for their own home lnd and the region. >> you are seeing an open-ended commitment from the united states military to maintain a presence there? >> i think we have to continually assess that and as we have done over the last several years from 140,000 down to less than 10,000. the amount of money continues to go down so i think we have been very good in continuing to assess that to bring that commitment down. i said in my opening remarks this is not without conditions and there's -- it can't be unlimited forever and ever and continue to assess that and make those calls as we go and i think i've been asked to lay that out for this period in time where
the afghan security forces are and what i've attempted to do. >> given the corruption we have seen, though, in all levels of the government there in afghanistan, but including at the lowest levels and it's been talked about a lot recently given what happened in kunduz, with the talibans taking over that city for a short period of time, but also, people saying that it's likely that that was kind of a first volley and that one reason that they were able to do so is that the local communities there and we have seen this in other parts of afghanistan, because of corruption by the afghan local police and by local government, people are getting shaken down multiple times and see perhaps the taliban as the lesser of evils in their daily life and their challenges. when's being done about stemming out and getting rid of this corruption so that the afghan folks who you have been training can actually do this without us?
>> thank you for the question. again, i think president ghani, dr. abdullah, the senior leadership i deal with every day tries get after corruption. they understand that's a huge issue. it's been there for years and years. they're trying to get at it by picking the right leadership, holding them accountable. trying to get at it by looking at procurement, by providing the right education for their leadership and for the folks that join the army and the police. you know, i think if you ask most afghans they would tell you they don't want the taliban. the taliban target. the taliban kill innocent women and children. the taliban put suicide vests on little kids and hold their mother or father hostage and say you're going to blow yourself up. i know the afghan people don't want that. they want a secure afghanistan. and they have -- they have that hope because of the afghan security forces and because of the great work that the great
men and women do. >> thank you. mr. chairman, in closing, i think it is dangerous to ask the service members to go on this nation building mission across the region and something that we have got to look at carefully. thank you. >> i appreciate the comments of the gentle lady. i went to highlight for members, week after next we'll spend a week in this committee looking at train and equip around a variety of countries and what's worked and hasn't. are there lessons to learn? this is a very important issue we need to dig down deeper on because there are a number of instances where it's not worked very well and we need to understand that. so i appreciate the comments. mr. nugent? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and first of all, i want to thank the general for your leadership to our troops, your service, but as we move forward with the taliban, what are their
abilities to recruit and train? do we see an uptick in that or is that stayed level or has it dropped off? >> sir, you know, i think it at least stayed stable or at least stayed level. again, they have surged really this fighting season business th because they know it's an opportunity for them. they want to make a statement. they want to remain relevant. they want to
>> so if they don't support the taliban, where are they recruiting from? are they recruiting within? >> sir, i think both. from within afghanistan and there's also reports of foreign fighters that come in that assist the taliban, as well. >> how do they train? do we have a metro con how they train or where they train? a sir, i think there's areas inside afghanistan that they have potential training areas. there's areas outside of afghanistan that have sanctuary that provide them the opportunity to train. you know, when they conduct an attacks, it is not something that you would see from a large, modern technological force command and control movement.
this is counter insurgency, one or two people putting an ied out there, one or two people killing a few people here, a suicide vest going on. they can -- they don't have to -- you know, they don't follow the rules. all they have to do is cause fear in the people and that's what they want to do. instill fear to make the government seem they can't provide security for the people so it's going to take everybody in afghanistan to fight this piece there but i do not believe the afghan people support the taliban for the most part. >> and that's good to hear but, you know, i was there in 2011 and was struck with -- i was in iraq and then afghanistan. actually, struck with the security level in afghanistan versus iraq in 2011 withdrawing troops. we had more freedom of movement within afghanistan.
we had less restrictions on movement in afghanistan at that point in time. and now i wonder where we are as compared to 2011. like i said, when i was in iraq in 2011, everywhere we went was, you know, fast, quick, you know, with ballistic protection and it was just the opposite in afghanistan. has that changed? if i go to afghanistan today, will i see the same type of movements available to us? i got to visit with the afghan police. training facility. >> sir, quite frankly, where we were in '11 to where we are today in 2015 we don't have that many areas so the areas to go to, you'd go by helicopter and land in a small location based on the down size and the number of people there. we don't are folks that end up
driving throughout afghanistan at all based on location, based on the density of people we have there. as far as the afghans, i think they continue to have as i said movement of freedom on highway 1, which is a ring road. throughout kabul. >> general, one -- i mean, i don't mean to interrupt but one last quee. in 2007, 2008, my older son was in afghanistan for 15 months. and he said, dad, he said, a lot of folks talk about just going back into the stone age. he said, the problem is they're already in the stone age. has that changed at all? >> absolutely. i mean, i think in especially in the cities at least. in the outer parts of afghanistan, you're still going to see people that are very -- living in very limited, prim live housing but inside the city, cell phones, business, internet, you name it, yes, sir. as was mentioned earlier today. >> thank you again, general. my time is expired.
>> mr. molten? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, i want to thank you again for your service and also specifically for your courage. when you come to washington and disagree the policy we're sending your way. thank you for that. as an iraq war veteran, it was hard for me to return to iraq this winter, disheartening to say the least. to see so much of what my colleagues and i had fought for and frankly achieved during the surge gone to waste and i'm particularly interested in how you're learning from that experience to make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes in afghanistan. and one thing that i think stands out in particular to me is that it was not just our rapid withdrawal of troops but our failure to continue to support and influence the iraqi government that ultimately led to it falling apart n. many ways what happened in iraq was not just the failure of our train and equip mission as far as the troops go.
the iraqi army put the weapons down and went home because they lost faith in a government that rotted from the inside and so it was pulling those advisers out of the ministries, the prime minister's office. we disdain malaki and we forget that he was in power during the surge and actually had made a lot of progress and a relatively stable government and because of our influence. so, who are you talking with from the iraq experience to make sure that you don't repeat those same mistakes and can you give us some examples of things you're notably doing differently than what we did in iraq? >> sir, thanks for the question. you know, in afghanistan, we have a lot of iraq veterans. thank you for your service. all of them i think feel as you do there and want to make sure we don't -- we learn from our experience so as we do different plans, as we look at the security operation office in particular of kabul and did that in iraq verse how they did that in afghanistan, planners got together with planners that had
done that in iraq, they talked. they worked through that. and we made adjustments based on that kind of discussion. so i feel confident that we've been able to take it -- take a look because as you know the military ar or after action reports on everything we do and we have to learn from that and i think we have done that in that particular case and taken a hard look at how we set up advising teams and continue to down size and proside some level of expertise in particular areas and i think helped us but i think what you said is key, though. the fundamental difference for me between iraq and afghanistan is that you have a government that is a willing partner here, that wants to continue to have a presence from the international community, that favors that, that wants that, asks for that and wants to continue to grow a professional army, a professional police. different than what you saw in malaki there. >> i have heard some report that is government is suffering from a serious brain drain right now
and talent is leaving. are you seeing that and is it a concern? >> it is a concern. young people are leaving afghanistan is a concern. it is a concern for both president ghani and abdullah. they have both spoken about that but at the same time i see great potential with the army, the police an young men and women that have been trained in the u.s. and the uk and germany, other countries as they continue to move up and increase responsibility and leadership positions. i think there's some really good talent there. we have to get them into the right potions. >> from the outside we're seeing cooperation between president ghani and abdullah abdullah. are they actually sharing power or is that an area of concern, as well? >> national government is hard and i think they have to continue every single day to work at it. the president is the president. there's no doubt i think in his mind or dr. abdullah's mind who the president is but i think, again, on policy matters they work close on that. there's no daylight between them. they work together in the
security council and the cabinet meetings. but they know there's no other choice there as they move forward. >> general, one last question following on mr. scott's question earlier. both the chairman and the secretary of defense testified before this committee that using oco funds to fund the base of department of defense is not a satisfactory way to ensure our national security. do you agree with that position? >> sir, what i would agree is i've been fortunate to have the resources and that i need. i've had the right people trained and equipped and that is because they have done it by oco but i think as everybody's mentioned it's hard for any of the services to plan when you go year by year. >> i think it is important for you to understand that's the rational the president has given for voting against the ndaa, the rational myself and others who have taken that tough vote have used, as well. we hope to change that situation by forcing the issue. it's in no way a reflection of our lack of confidence in you
and the troops on the front lines. thank you. >> ms. sa lor ski. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, i again want to thank you for being here and i so much to my colleague's comments appreciate your candor. it's really a -- it's just a fresh moment to have a bottom line general come in and basically say, you know, here's what i think to the president. and i guess, you know, a couple of comments i have is that i think and i appreciate the gentleman's questions and opinion, but i happen to have the opposite opinion. i think that we're talking about symptoms in here and i think we need to remind the american people that over the last few years, certainly in my short tenure in congress there really has been a vacuum of foreign policy and a lot of reactionary things happening and not a support of this administration and i think when you have a president that stands up and willing to volley back and forth politically the entire defense budget which absolutely has
everything to do with the aloe case of the good people you get the money to support them, i think it's very, very dangerous and i think the american people understand that. and i do appreciate so much your not being able to talk to us specifically about the troop drawdowns, things i have seen in the media 1,000 to 5,000 to 8,000 and i guess i really appreciate your comment where presence equals influence. wayn't to make sure we're talking about for the record when there is less presence there is less influence there's greater risk and that counts across the board so that would count with counterterrorism, training, advice, assist, force protection and missions s. that not correct? isn't that what presence equals influence mens? the less presence, the greater the risk? >> i wouldn't argue with that statement, ma'am. >> and then my other question, general, nobody's really talked in some of my other colleagues talked about policy. that you're just implementing the policy that we're sending.
well, again, i think it's not we are sending policy, there's the administration sending policy that many times can't be understood, has created a vacuum for the enemy, and the american people certainly don't understand, as the losses in iraq, as the presence of russia right now in syria. and i think certainly with the iranian proposal that was signed. do you detect currently or are you concerned about increased iranian presence and what that means as you share a border, now that we're venturing in by an administration's desire to sign this agreement with iran? >> ma'am, i won't go into policy but i would tell you -- and i talked as well about iranian influence on the taliban and providing taliban support to fight isil. so president ghani, security forces are concerned on the impact that would have from iran on its western flank. if i could add, though, on -- not really policy but as i've gone forward and asked for flexibility for 2015, the administration gave me that
flexibility as i asked for, enablers, a bridging strategy, and authorities. i was able to get that as well. so again, i'm very comfortable as i provide options to my senior leadership that they put due diligence and scrutiny on that and that's what i would expect. i think that's what the american people expect. >> sure. and then to just a further question on iran. and the forces that you're suggesting. does that take into account a new level of activity with tehran and kabul? >> maybe not specifically, ma'am. as we looked at that, i've talked about that with the minister of defense and the impact that would have on horat, specifically on the west. we do have an italian -- led by the italians in tac west. that gets some of those reports but i don't think we looked at that specifically as we looked at the capabilities required. >> sure. so i guess my final question is, so as we launch into uncharted waters with this agreement with iran and should you see the need for things going awry for
additional training, help, forces, money, people, personnel, should anything happen on that border, do you feel like you the flexibility with this administration to go back and tell the administration, also the american people, hey, something's wrong here, we need help? >> ma'am, whether it's on the west, south, north, east, my job is to provide the best military advice. fy see issues where i have concerns, i'd absolutely raise that to my leadership. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and general campbell, thank you for your service to the nation. i think americans are getting tired of being bogged down in afghanistan. we've been there for 13, 14 years. and it seems that there's no end in sight. it seems like we are doomed to
always maintain a troop presence there. and i don't think that that's something that is good for our country. for us to be nation-building forever in afghanistan. that's exactly what the future holds for us. there is no point in our plans or in the plans of those who want to build the nation of afghanistan, there is no stopping point. because whenever you do stop, there's going to be some adjustments that have to be made. so why not make the adjustment now? why not draw down our troops? if the russians or the chinese want to come in and be players over there, good for them. i would think that they would
not want to embroil themselves over there, they would probably want to see the locals work everything out. what do you say to that? >> sir, i would say that we have continued to redeploy and draw down our forces. we have continued to -- we had 300 or 400 different outposts when i was there in 2010-11, and we're down to less than 20 today. so we have continued to draw down, both our forces -- and i think we've drawn it down responsibly. i'm thankful we've had the ability to do that. i think as we look forward what we're trying to do is continue to provide the afghans support where they need it, reasonably and responsibly as we continue to draw down. but in the areas that are very tough for them, in the close air support and other areas, having a stable government, having a stable afghanistan, is not only good for afghanistan, it's not only good for the region, it's
also good -- >> i understand that but it just seems like stability is not there and there will be no stability in the short-term or in the foreseeable future. there won't be any stability with theups presence there, with our 10,000 troops. i mean, do you believe that we should just maintain that force level for the foreseeable future? or should we think about drawing down even further? >> sir, as i said earlier, i provided options to the senior leadership, that weighs out pros and cons of different force levels based on different risk. and i said up front i don't believe it should be unconditional and that, you know, it shouldn't be forever and ever. we have to continue to work through that. if you look at korea, if you look at germany and the amount of forces that we continue to have in those countries 70 years later, would korea or germany be as stable as they are today? >> well, that's exactly what the
american people are looking forward to with afghanistan is a multi-decade presence over there. and if we do maintain -- if we do maintain ourselves as targets over there, as long as we're supporting the afghan government, a corrupt government, which does not have the full allegiance of the people, which is highly factionalized over there. if we maintain our presence over there, and being a target for those who just simply want to drive us out, then we're just stuck. and i don't believe that's a good thing for america. >> sir, i'll not sure of the
question. but i don't think -- >> it's a ra tore ka -- >> the government wants us there. >> well. i think we're getting sick and tired of being sick ask tired of the same thing happening over and over again in afghanistan. and i think it's time for us to look at closing up shop. and with that i will yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you general campbell for your testimony today, for your service, and for your family's support over your decades of service to our nation. earlier this year i had the opportunity to participate in a delegation visit to afghanistan with mr. wilson, mr. molten, mr. ashfo ashford, my colleagues on this committee. in addition to meeting with our troops deployed we also visits with president ghani. one of the issues president ghani rated was the threat of daesh within afghanistan. in your written testimony today
you state, daesh has grown quicker than we anticipated and presents a legitimate threat to the entire region. in the last year we have observed the movement's increased recruiting efforts and growing operational capacity." i wanted to see if you could elaborate on specifically what you're seeing on the ground in terms of that increased recruitment efforts, their operational capacity, and their presence in the 34 provinces in afghanistan. >> thank you, ma'am. i'm sorry i wasn't there when you came through. in fact, i was back here i think testifying. thank you for taking the visit. daesh or isil kp continues to be a concern of dr. ghani, dr. abdullah, the security forces, pakistan has issues with daesh. i think if you talked to president ghani about it in terms of recruiting, what he would have told you is al qaeda was windows 1.0, daesh is windows 7.0, in their ability to use social media to get out and recruit. having said that, daesh and
taliban ideology are different. they continue to fight each other, specifically in the province of nangah a. r in the east. that's where we've seen the biggest presence of daesh. there are reports throughout the different provinces upward of probably 25-plus provinces we've had reports of daesh. but the significant presence is really in the east, in northern helmand a little bit, in the west. predominantly in nangahar. i don't believe today -- when i was here in february, march, i said it was nascent. today i'd say it's operationally emergent. we have to continue to watch, make sure that the afghans apply pressure on the -- on isis or daesh to make sure it doesn't continue to grow. as you know they are very barbaric, brutal, and they've shown instances of that in afghanistan as well by cutting off heads of captives, by kidnapping, by taking men and women, throwing them on a pile
of ieds and blowing that up. again, afghan people have no time for daesh and the afghan security forces want to continue to go after that. >> what is your assessment of afghanistan's approach to countering recruitment efforts? you talked about daesh's successful social media which we're seeing throughout the middle east today, and frankly global hi. what is your assessment of what president ghani and his administration are doing in countering that? >> i think a lot of it is the educational piece. trying to work that in the universities, trying to work that through radio, tv, campaign ads, showing the benefits of having a unity government, supporting the afghan security forces. i don't think for the most part they have to -- they show video of how brutal daesh is, that really just turns the people away. so they have to continue to work that very hard. i think they've done a good job of that. and they'll continue to try to
work together with support forces on the ground and the neighbors in the region. president ghani's approaching this really from a regional standpoint and has said, we can't -- we're fighting daesh, we're fighting this for the entire region, we've got to continue to reach out. they'll hold a conference here i think the end of october time frame where they bring in all the operational and intelligence arms of all the surrounding countries to talk specifically about daesh and how they can combat that together. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> mr. aguilar. >> general, can you give us a size as a follow-up to the last question, can you give us a sense of the size of daesh and isis and their presence in the region? >> you're talking about just a number, sir? >> yes, sir. >> this would be -- this would be a guess. but open-source reporting would be anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000.
>> and your best guess on what that will look like in the next few years if not managed or contained? >> well, sir, they have a -- their stated goal is to build a province that includes afghanistan, parts of pakistan, jalalabad in the east to be the capital of province so they're going to continue to fight hard, they want to spread that north up into kunar and neurastan. unchecked they'll continue to grow a base. but i do believe the afghan security forces understand this. there's operations ongoing today that are going after daesh in nangahar by both the army and the police. and based in nangahar. >> we've understood and we've read some members of the taliban have gone over toward these networks. can you give us a sense, because of the change in leadership, can you give us any other discussion
or comments about other reasons why they have made that transition? >> i think a lot of it -- there's been a lot of ttp, pakistan, taliban that has switched over, regular taliban that has switched over or at least publicly expressed allegiance to isil, daesh. i think some of it is they think they're going to get more resources. they look at it as maybe more media attention. so i think for a lot of these reasons you have some folks that don't want to come back into the government, that don't want to reconcile, that want to continue to fight. and they'll join something new like daesh that's coming up and see see what's happening in iraq and syria, and for whatever reason, why somebody would want to do that i couldn't tell you, but they see that as something they want to do and they continue to join that. again, i think from a regional standpoint, president ghani, dr. abdullah, general raheel, they want to fight this continue to
get it now before it grows out of control as you talked about. >> thank you, general. appreciate it, mr. chairman. i'll yield back. >> thank you. mr. knight. >> mr. chairman, thank you. thank you, general, for your service. i just had a couple quick questions. can you give me an idea of the definition of train and assist? when we went -- i went over to poland and some other countries with the chair and other members, and i was thoroughly impressed with the polish soldiers and the interaction that we had with u.s. forces. so can you give me an idea of what train and assist means for the afghans, what's going to happen when they're done, when they're through with their training what can we expect from them, how they're going to interact, those types of things? >> sir, thanks for the question. again, the numbers that we have right now, as the chairman asked me early on, we're really working on the ministerial level. at the ministerial level we're focusing on what we call aid essential functions. the intelligence realm,
planning, programming, budgeting, executing realm, transparency, sustainability, intelligence, strategic communications. what we do is our trainers are really our new weapon systems and we have much more senior folks, where this war would have been about privates, captains, sergeants, our advisers are more senior generals, colonels, lieutenant colonels, great senior civilians, trying to bring technical expertise to build the afghan ministry, interior, defense. we don't have people at their basic training, we don't have people providing them marksmanship train, they do all that themselves. the afghans for the most part do all their own training, eod training, all of that. the technical areas a that they don't have the expertise in the maintenance areas, in pilots, growing their air force, that's where we continue to have to do the train, advise and assist. >> very good. and with the recent issues with russia, their strikes in syria,
can you give me an idea of the level of -- maybe the weekly or monthly interaction that you get with -- i'll use different terms than i'm sure are used now. maybe between commanders and people of that level, that the four stars are going to get together and talk about what's happening in the region. i know this region is quite a bit to the west of you. but it is going to affect maybe what happens in afghanistan, maybe what happens in -- now that we're getting strikes from the caspian sea. i would expect that there are kind of connective interactions between the commanders, between what's happening now? >> i talked to general onsen, video, e-mail conversations with general breedlove, i've talked to general rodriguez, i know
that relationship between the commanders there reserve i've mostly talked to general austin through centcomm. i had the opportunity to go to india to talk to some of the senior leadership in india to talk about afghanistan, houp that mays, how they're tied in with afghanistan, what that means to china, pakistan. really quite helpful for me. also to explain how afghanistan's tied into that. president ghani again is reaching out to the entire region, i think it's quite helpful. last monday i was in germany for a day with general austin. we brought the chiefs of defense from five of the countries surrounding afghanistan to bring them together to talk pakistan, turkmenistan, uzbekistan, all came together to talk about regional issues, byrder issues, drug smuggling, what they can do to enable each other to fight this common enemy, so that was
quite good. >> very good. thank you, general. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. miss duckworth. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for being here. i want to talk a little bit about the capacity of the afghan troops that we are training. from your testimony, you characterize a security force's performance of the afghan national defense security forces as uneven, inconsistent, still require broad support. you talk about the fact that without key enablers and competent operational level leaders they can't handle the fight alone. in contrast, you talk about the assf and how they are actually able to mount operations and seem to be much more successful. what i'm concerned is that we seem to be talking a lot in our metrics about our training of security forces in terms of numbers. how many do we think they need to accomplish the mission, as opposed to the capacity or the quality of the forces?
i just think that we're a little overfocused on building up troop levels in terms of quantity. you laid out a few significant threats that we face in afghanistan, in the region. so as the president evaluates what right troop and adviser levels are, could you explain what the primary issues and variables are that continue to plague the security forces areas ability to carry out its mission and compare that to the assf who seem to have the capacity to do this on their own? >> thank you, ma'am, for the question. yeah, i was very tough on the afghan security forces in my written comments. and i've talked to the afghan partners about all of those. and again, you have to have that type of relationship to be able to continue to improve and i value that with both the m.o.d. and the moi. again, we're not at the levels of the candac brigade. we're at the six coarse, we're at the ministry level. some of those comments focus at
the senior leadership. i've told president ghani in you put the right leadership in place and you hold them accountable, that's going to take care of 70% of the issues we see day to day out there. one of the reasons that the afghan special forces, assf, are where they're at is because we continue to provide train, advise, assist at the tactical level with them today. they also have the ability based on their size, much smaller, and the training that they go through that they have a very good force generation cycle. so they're able to go training, they're able to take some leaves, they know they're going to go into the fight. for the most part and the rest of the operational force they don't have that. if you're down in helmand, you've been there three years, you've probably been in a consistent fight for $years. you've had very little opportunity to train, you've had very little opportunity to take leave. and they're really working hard at trying to figure out how they can work this force generation cycle into the convention at
side and they really want to get after that as one of their priorities if they have a winter lull after this fighting season. i think if they can get there, their performance would continue to improve. they have some very good young leadership at the captain, lieutenant colonel level. they've got to continue to progress. they need more experience. so although i was very, very tough in some of the words there, i do believe that they continue to improve and that they're very resilient. and with continued time, they'll get much, much better. >> so would one of the key contributing factors, high awol rates, this lack of sufficient force generation level, then i'll ask my second question, you can take the rest of the time to answer. since the is throwback thursday i'm going to use an old-fashioned term. i do feel like there's a hacking in the green tap leadership training that's going on here that those frontline leaders -- in your testimony you talk about
the fact that when they do execute deliberate cross operations that are plant and resource, they're actually successful. what is going on there? we have the high awol levels, the young -- even more junior than your lieutenant colonels but even younger than that. is that what's -- >> you're absolutely right, the attrition level, a lot of reason because of the attrition and the awolt, is poor leadership. they don't have sergeants, they don't have company commanders, platoon leaders that know everything about them and take their welfare into consideration like we do back in all of our services here. they don't have that noncommissioned officer corps. we're trying to build that, that's a backbone of all our services, that would look after those type of things. so they're working on that. as you said the force generation cycle. if they got that better that would reduce the level of attrition as well. what we are trying to do on the leadership piece, i know you'd be familiar with this on precommand course, we've initiated a precommand course
for lieutenant colonels. before you're battalion commander, you have to go through the course. we've started, have not run yet, a cap stone type course for their general officers. that will get initiated. the human capital and leadership piece we have to continue to work. >> it's year 14. we have i don't know how many more years we can keep doing this. but thank you for your testimony. i yield back. >> mr. russell. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i guess as i look at these colors on the wall behind us, on them are living streamers from the fill pephilippine campaign. from 1899 to the mid 1913 to '15 period is when those 11 streamers were earned. and we debated these same things in this congress about the worthiness of, can we train the philippine constabulary? can we track down aldo and bring
him to justice? can we deal with the insurgents and moral warriors? can we, can we, can we? and yet we did. we transitioned the government successfully. we did capture alguanado, executed him, bringing him to justice. we saw our warriors achieve all of that despite what we here in the halls of congress often question. i look back on 9/11. at that time, two-thirds of the country was under the control of the taliban. very little of it was under the hands of anyone that had freedom. girls weren't allowed to go to school. couldn't fly a kite. it was haram to play a radio or to play chess in kabul. i remember it. we've seen successful elections and the transition of government successfully. i remember working with the british 2nd parachute regiment 3rd special forces when the
afghan army was nothing but 600 people that showed up. and now we see 150,000. and mr. chairman, what strikes me is that isn't it wonderful that we're debating 150,000 troops in the field, and their capacity for intelligence and command and control in complex operations in an urban and rural environment? thank god we've reached that point to get to that point and that we're having the debate and this discussion. and it's due to warriors like this that are sitting before us that makes that possible. general campbell, thank you for your perseverance and patience inenduring our questions. the status of forces agreement -- often we saw that was problems with the iraq experience. and i know we're much further along with president ghani. and i know from having worked personally with dr. abdullah, afghan national security
conference in geneva, switzerland, in 200, 2 that we do have some capability there in kabul with the leadership. are there any limitations on the status of forces that you can see moving forward? as we morph the troops, their based embassy, not strike force, not train and assist -- any shortcomings that we can assist you with on the status of forces agreement? >> sir, i've seen none. if we've had issues i've gone to president ghani and we've worked through those. absolutely none right now. >> that's very encouraging. you also made note that the strength of the a.n.a. was that it was not fractured. think that's an important point. they haven't broken. they've retaken ground. they've regrouped. they are determined to fight. they don't drop their weapons and run. could you speak to that a little bit? >> yes, sir, absolutely. people try to compare iraq and afghanistan. i tell them it's absolutely different. in helmand, in july time frame, taliban took over district center komusakala.
it took the afghans a bit of time to reorganize. they changed out leadership, put a tank commander in y'all because he ran, so they did make the right corrections. they resupplied, got pack in, took over the district center. it took them a couple of weeks to do that. they were very methodical as they went about that. but they eventually got that done. in condeuce they did that much quicker. within a couple days they were back inside of the city. they've taken a hard look just like our services will to figure out why thatted when, to make sure it doesn't happen someplace else. that's the sign of a professional army, professional police, and a sign of a government that wants and cares for their security forces. quite frankly, president dawny is the commander in chief and that's different than what we've had there before. >> i appreciate that. in fact, i think about our own history in the united states army. 40 years after our formation, we broke and ran and left this capital exposed in 1812. it was set on fire. i'm glad that our nation didn't give up on us at that time.
the authority to strike daesh -- are you allowed any independent or are there any prohibitions on your command level to strike daesh independently? or does it have to go through the afghan structure? >> i can strike insurgents if they're a force protection issue to our forces. >> thank you. and thank you, sir, for your dedicated service to our nation. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you. ms. mcsally. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general campbell, good to see you again. thanks for your continued service to our country and everything you're doing. it was great to see you in may when we were over there on a congressional delegation. i know the current situation with the hospital is under investigation. but i want to ask about the targeting process in general. since the last time i was over there in uniform, with my a-10s, and my time in the air operations center, we would usually strike under two
different circumstances. either counterterrorism, dynamic targeting, in which case decisions and positive identification and collateral damage, all that was done at headquarters with approval to then strike. or we were under joint terminal attack controller's control in close air support. and obviously we had u.s. troops very much deployed all over the nation in that time. but even sometimes the jtak was back at headquarters, not in the fight we were hitting. they were still the ones that were calling the shots and making sure we had the pid and collateral damage assessment. maybe this is not in setting. it may be a classified answer. what the targeting process is right now? both if it's just on the u.s. side, but also, if the afghans are asking for support, how do we go through that and make sure we have pid and cde? i imagine you see challenges. we have less forward presence, being able to get that pid and ced done correctly. if you could just share that. if you need to talk classified we can do that afterwards. >> ma'am, i'd rather go to
classified session and give you that. i would say we continue to ensure we have pid. we're very, very precise. and it's very rigorous. and so i can cover all thousands in classified. >> is it safe to say that with the troops being pulled back more to centralized locations and less numbers that it's just more challenging for us to get that good intel in order to reach pid? >> it may be more challenging, but that means i would not -- >> absolutely, i totally agree, great. it just becomes more of a challenging situation. what about if the afghans ask for support, again, we can talk about that in a classified setting. >> like i said, if the afghans ask for support, like they do almost every day, it still has to go through our process. >> great, thank you. when we talked to you in may there was some setbacks i would say or delays in moving some of the things forward we were trying to do because of the fragility of the unity government being formed, some delays obviously in setting up
defense minister. a lot of that seemed to have brought some things to a standstill. similarly the uncertainty as to whether we we going to be there, how long we were going to be there, what time we were pulling out was creating when we talked to individuals in the afghan security forces and parliament and others that uncertainty was creating a lot of angst. just delaying a lot of things we were trying to move forward. has anything changed since we talked in may? have things gotten better? >> i think in some areas better, some they're about the same. i think on the administrative fence, although the minister is an acting minister he has really taken charge. i've got great trust and confidence in him. he's got a great vision for the future of the ministry of defense. we all thought he would be the minister. july 4th, he didn't get through the parliament. but he has been in an acting capacity, he's doing quite well. i think he would do good for the parliament to ensure the minister continues to serve in that position. in other areas there, there have been some hold-backs waiting for -- there's going to be
people that are waiting to find out where the u.s. is going to go post-2016. i think they're pretty comfortable for 2015 into 16. but after that, we do get a lot of questions on that. >> great, thanks. what else can we do to help build the afghan national air force and the close air support capability that they need? is there something else you need from us, whether it's authorities, resources, platforms? i know you've touched on it in your testimony. can you share what's we need -- if they don't have cash that's a significant shortfall for them. >> i think everybody back here, osd, everybody's working very hard to get after that. part of it's going to take time. it takes two to three years to get a pilot through. afghanistan understands they have to make some tough decisions left of the boom. two, three years out they've got to put the right number of people in with the right training to get through pilot training. if they don't make those decisions now, it's going to take longer and longer. we work with them very hard on that. but i think everybody's worked hard to get there. there are some restrictions that inhibit or have inhibited in the
long haul on their mi-35s, mi-17s, we're working through. when they started the fighting season they had five mi-35s, now they have two. they'll be down to mi-17th, not designed to be close air support platform. we have helicopters coming in. as soon as we get the fixed-wing aircraft we talked about earlier, that will help. we're taking a holistic look at what they really need based on the continued fight, wear and tear, the attrition level of the aircraft, that kind of thing. >> great. thanks. again, thanks to you and your family for your continued faithful service to the country. i yield back. >> thank you. ed general, appreciate you patiently answering all of our questions. more importantly, i very much appreciate you and those who serve with you for what you do every day to protect the security of our nation by working with the afghans and in
other ways. it's challenging circumstances. part of those challenges are external environment. part of them you are placed upon you by the chain of command. but i think it's clear to all of us that you're making the most of the situation for the country's security and we're very grateful for your service. with that the hearing stands adjourned. >> thank you, chairman. you by the chain of command.
>> is it a matter of expressing that sent i better? how do you counter those feelings of, we need to get out, we need to end this? >> well, there are legitimate frustrations. i mean, i was surprised when general campbell said -- i heard him say something like this before -- we've really been training the army for eight to nine years, air force for about the last three. why did we wait so long? maybe we were so absorbed in defeating laip ining al qaeda t taken that long. i don't think it was, you know, malfeasance. but there are legitimate frustrations. the rest of the story is, this takes a long time how long have we been in colombia, for example. look at where they are now versus where they have aboutn. so that's the reason that we're going to