tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN October 20, 2015 6:15pm-7:01pm EDT
better equipped to address the isis invasion attack. the earlier questioner is quite right. he did not perform well at first. they have made greater efforts and have had more positive outcomes in creating security areas and protections for them. i think there's a recognition in the krg's part that they under performed and they need to do more to protect ethic and religious minorities across iraqi/kurdistan, by providing security and legal guarantees for their self expression. >> i would close, thank you for the comment and wisdom and expertise, no one knows the legality better. in terms of the performance of
the forces and the presence of the pkk, none of these issues are easy and none of them are going to go away tomorrow. the kurds are fighting isis right now, they are kind of the pointy end of the spear, they are not perfect and they need more support in our view. i think eventually the international community will come around to giving them that support. i would like to see it happen sooner rather than later. that does not mean there's not questions with the impact on the pkk, how turkey would address that, and nervousesness in iran and others. but the truth is, the most urgent challenge right now is defeating isis, and retaking the territorial integrity of iraq and syria. so long as that's an equation, none of the other issues can move forward and things are going to get worst and hundreds on of thousands of people are going die. so, i think we need to look at the kurds as an integral and
essential part of the battle and treat them as an ally accordingly. and all the other issues. what happens to the sunnis, how do you resolve the challenges of what, of assad and the russians? all of those get easier once you can address the issue of isis. and all of this chaos, what we are urging and the reason we are doing this report. is to show that a unified iraq does not exist and kurdistan are not going to be working with baghdad. so that opens up a bunch of policies that we urge all of you to look at more than has been up to today. thank you for everyone for coming. >> could i also say a word of thanks. having participated in other task forces, i never have seen
one so ably led as our task force by ambassador soderberg. of course, when you get 20 people together, there is a democracy of different views. but nancy was able to keep us focused and achieve some consiliation on the group, and the pages of the report reflects her stewardship. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ] vice president joe biden said today, he had privately urged president obama to order the raid that killed osama a bin laden, a report that yahoo news reports to conflict his claim. and conflicts hilary clinton's account of what happened. here is what he said at a forum on the vice presidentsy. >> for the president and i and
two others in the administration, knew about abadabad, as early as august. we did not go for almost a year to get him and major players in the cabinet didn't know about it until january or february. and so, it was something that was difficult call for the president. so we sat in the cabinet room, and at the end of the day, making the decision, he said, now, i want everyone's opinion. and everybody went around and room, and there are only two people that were definitive, and were absolutely certain. leon pennetta said go. and bob gates who is already a publicly said this, said don't go. and the others were 49-51, and i joked and said, y'all sound like 17 larry summers, an economic, to one hand and the other hand and they said, well, joe what would you do? and there was a third option
that i didn't really think we should do, i said, well, i think we should make one more pass with another uav to see if it's, if it is him and the reason i did that, i didn't want to take a position to go if that was not where he was going to go. so, as we walked out of the room and we walked up stairs. i said, i told him my opinion. that i thought he should go, but follow his own instincts. but it would have been a mistake, imagine if i said in front of everyone, don't go, or go and his decision was a different decision. it under cuts that relationship. >> you can see all of the george washington university forum on the vice presidents, that highlights the legacy of walter mondale, on our sister station,
c-span 2. the future of u.s. military policy action in asia. >> the senate armed services committee meets today to receive testimony on the u.s. policy in the asia pacific region. i want to thank our distinguished witnesses for appearing before us today and for your continued service to the nation. america's national interests in the asia pacific region are deep and enduring. we seek to have a peaceful expansion of free trade, free market and free commons air, sea and space and cyber. these are values that we share with increasing numbers of asia's citizens. for seven decades, administrations of both parties have worked with our friends and allies in the region to uphold this rules based order and enlist new partners in the shared effort. an effort that now extends to
states like indonesia and vietnam. no country has benefitted more from a peaceful regional order in the region than china. i am betraying my advanced age when i say that i remember being in the great hall of the people on the occasion of the normalization between our countries. since then, china's development has been remarkable and it is added to the prosperity of the world. unfortunately, we increasingly see a pattern of behavior from china that suggests that some of our highest hopes for our relationship are not materializing and they call in question formations across the pacific whether china's rise will be peaceful. indeed, many of the troubling activities have only increased under the leadership of the new president who will arrive here next week for a state visit. china's military modernization continues with its emphasis or advanced systems that appear designed to project power,
counter u.s. military capabilities and deny the united states the ability to access and operate in the western pacific. at the same time, cyberattacks against the united states are growing in scope, scale and frequency. billions of dollars worth of intellectual property, including sensitive defense information, have been stolen. many of these attacks, personally the recent breach at the office of personnel management, are believed by everyone to have originated in china despite the administration's unwillingness to say so. these growing threats are compounded by china's assertion of vast territorial claims in the east and south china seas which are inconsistent with international law. in 2013, beijing proclaimed an air defense identification zone own large portions of the east china sea. more recently, china has
reclaimed nearly 3,000 acres of land in the south china sea, more than all other claimants combined, and at an unprecedented pace. last month, china's foreign minister said it had halted these activities. but recently released satellite images show clearly this is not true. what's more china is rapidly militarizing this reclaimed land, building garrisons, harbors, intelligence and surveillance infrastructure and three air strips that could support military aircraft. these new land features could enable china to declare and enforce an air defense identification zone in the south china sea and to hold that vital region as risk. china is incrementally and unilaterally changing the status quo through intimidation, even force. its goal appears clear.
the assertion of sovereignty over the south china sea, a key economic artery through which approximately $5 trillion in ship born trade passes every year. as one chinese admiral told a conference in china about the south china sea, "it belongs to china." the united states has rightly rejected this view. as secretary of defense ash carter said in may, turning an under water rock into an air field does not afford the rights of sovereignty or permit restrictions on international air or maritime transit. secretary carter vowed that the united states will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows as u.s. forces do all over the world. unfortunately, it has been four months since that speech, but the administration has continued to restrict our navy ships from operating within 12 nautical miles of china's reclaimed islands. this is a dangerous mistake that
grants recognition of china's man made sovereignty claims. these restrictions have continued even after china, since its over naval vessels within 12 miles as the president concluded his visit to alaska. after that, u.s. officials emphasized that the chinese ships did not violate international law which allows countries to transit other nation's territorial seas under innocent passage. that is true. but we have not been asserting our rights just as forcefully. we must uphold the principle of freedom of the seas for commercial and military purposes on, under and below the water. the best sign of that commitment would be to conduct freedom of navigation operations within 12 nautical miles of china's reclaimed islands in the south china sea. more broadly, the united states
must continue to sustain a favorable military balance in the asia pacific region. we must remain clear eyed about the implications of china's rapid military modernization. we must take advantage of new and emerging technologies to preserve our ability to project power over long distances and operate in contested environments. we must advance. we must invest in enhancing the resilience of our forward deployed forces and we must continue to help our allies and partners in the asia pacific region to build their maritime capacity. an initiative that this committee seeks to further in 2016 national defense authorization act. none of this will be possible, however, if we continue to live with the mindless sequestration and a broken acquisition system. all of us want to ensure we avoid miscalculation. but we only encourage miscalculation when there is a gap between our words and actions. it is that gap that china is has
exploited to assert claims, bully its neighbors, destabilize the region and challenge the freedom of the seas. ultimately, we need to think anew about deterrents. when it comes to china's destabilizing activities, it is not that the united states is doing nothing. it is that nothing we are doing has been sufficient to deter china from continuing activities that the united states and our allies and partners say are unacceptable. the cyberattacks, economic espionage and theft, the land reclamation, the coercion of its neighbors and the assertion and attempted enforcement of vast unlawful territorial claims. we need to develop options and act on them to deter these admittedly unconventional threats or else they will continue and grow. they will do so at the expense of the national security interests of the united states, the peace and stability of the asia pacific region and the rules based international order. with that, like forward to the
testimony of our witnesses today. senator reed? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me first thank you for calling this important hearing on a maritime security in the asia pacific region. and also thank the witnesses for appearing today. thank you, gentlemen, for your service to the nation, to the navy. thank you both. when senator mccain and i were in vietnam, we heard concern from almost every government official about the tension in the south china sea caused by the activities. vietnam is not alone if had this regard. china has undertaken extraordinary and unprecedented reclamation activities on disputed land features in the south china sea that have alarmed all of the countries in the region, most of which would prefer to resolve these territorial disputes through legal means under the u.n. convention on the war of the sea. these activities appear to have been the beginning as china has now turned to militarizing the features by building air strips
and surveillance towers that i believe will further destabilize the region. while there has been some progress on the bilateral strategy to decrease this to the establishment of new risk reduction mechanisms such as engagement rules for safety, our efforts to date do not seem to have had an impact on china's aggressive tactics in the south china sea. i would like to hear from the witnesses on what the department believes is the best way forward to address this activity and whether current efforts are sufficient to deescalate tension and convince the chinese government to pursue legal and diplomatic solutions to its disputes with its neighbors. i am concerned with north korea's rhetoric that it's improving its nuclear arsenal contributing to the tensions in the region. admiral, i would like your assessment and update on the threat posted by the north
koreans and how we are addressing it. i look forward to your testimony. >> i welcome the witnesses, secretary sheerer, it's nice to see you again and thank you for your continued outstanding service, including as our ambassador to vietnam. admiral harris, i know that you are relatively new in your job. we thank you for the great job you are doing. we look forward to your testimony. begin with you, mr. secretary. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you ranking member reed and all the members of the committee for inviting me to join you today. i am particularly pleased to be here discussing the defense department's maritime security strategy, the asia pacific region, and to be alongside a very capable u.s. pacific commander admiral harry harris. last month, the department of defense released a report detailing its security strategy which reflects both the enduring interest of the united states has in the asia pacific and the premium we place on maritime peace and security in this critical part of the world.
this strategy is one element of the u.s. government's larger comprehensive strategy to uphold maritime security in the asia pacific region and protect america's principled interests in international law, freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes. for 70 years, u.s. military presence in the asia pacific has placed a role in under girding regional peace, stability and security and will continue to protect these interests in the future. there are as you know growing challenges. trends and behaviors that we detailed in the strategy report. regional military modernization has increased significantly the potential for dangerous miscalculations or conflict in the maritime domain. strong nationalist sentiment inflame passion over disputes and discourage good faith
negotiations to resolve them. competition abounds over significant but finite natural resources. and in the south china sea, china has almost completed large scale efforts to reclaim land and construct artificial islands on disputed features in the islands. while land reclamation is not new and china is not the only claimant to have conducted reclamation, as the chart to my right shows, china's recent activities far outweigh over efforts in size, pace and effort. we are concerned about china's long-term intentions for these features and the potential for further militarization of the south china sea. as we stated clearly to the chinese, these actions are not only unilaterally altering the status quo, they are complicated the lowering of tensions and the peaceful resolution of disputes. let me be clear. the defense department is not standing still in the face of these challenges. we're systematically
implementing a long-term strategy aimed at preserving u.s. interests and military access, building the capability of our allies and partners and preserving the stability of the asia pacific domain. the department's strategy comprises four lines of effort. first, we're strengthening our military capacity to ensure the united states can successfully deter conflict and coercion and respond when needed. dod is investing, applying forward and distributing more widely across the region. second, we're working together with our allies and partners from northeast asia to the indian ocean to build their maritime capacity. we're building greater interoperability. we are expanding our regional exercise program with a focus on developing new multi-lateral exercises and expanding training
with southeast asian partners. the defense department ask also implementing a new southeast asia maritime security initiative. this will increase training in exercises, personnel support and maritime domain awareness capabilities for our partners in southeast asia. on that note, i would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the members of this committee for their work to include a south china sea focus maritime capacity building authority in their draft of the fy-16 ndaa. i can't emphasize enough how important this is to our strategy. third, we're levering defense diplomacy and building greater transparency. we are reducing the risk of miscalculation. the department is actively seeking to mitigate risk in maritime asia through bilateral efforts with china as well as reduction measures.
these and other elements of u.s. china defense diplomacy have yielded some positive results. u.s. and pla navy vessels have successfully employed the code for unplanned encounters at sea during recent interactions. i would note that while the united states operates consistent with the u.n. convention on the law of the sea. we have seen momentum in promoting shared rules of the road. our efforts would be strengthened by senate ratification. mr. chairman, i would like to thank you and other members for your support on this issue. finally, we're working to strengthen regional security institution and encourage the development of an open and effective regional security architecture. it's an increasingly important partner and the department is enhancing its engagement. this including efforts such as our decision to host defense
ministers for the 2014 u.s. defense forum as well as secretary carter's recent announcement to deploy a technical adviser. throughout its history, the u.s. has relied upon and advocated for freedom of the seas. this is essential. nowhere more so than in the asia pacific. the department is constantly working to evaluate the strategic environment and to ensure we have the necessary strategy, resources and tools to meet the challenges we face. we're clear eyed about the growing complexity of this task. yet we're making progress that over the long-term will be significant in shaping regional security environment. we're making calculated and careful investments. we're gaining unprecedented access in the region. our relationships and interoperability are stronger than before.
partners are enhancing their cooperation with each other in unprecedented ways. we're deeply committed to the maritime security of the asia pacific region. we don't discount the extent of the challenges. we're undertaking a comprehensive effort to ensure that maritime asia remains open, free and secure in the decades ahead. thank you very much. >> thank you. admiral harris? >> chairman mccain, mr. reed, it's my honor to appear before this committee. i'm pleased to be here to discuss the asia pacific maritime security strategies. the united states is a maritime nation. the important of the region to our nation's security prosperity cannot be overstated. almost 30% of the maritime trade, over $5 trillion, transits the south china sea annually. this includes $1.2 trillion in ship born trade bound for the
united states. the asia pacific region is critical for our nation's economic future. for decades this region has remained free from major conflicts alas vegas the united states and other nations, including china to enjoy the benefits of its vast spaces. however, the security environment is changing. potentially placing the stability at risk. rapid economic and military modernization and a growing demand for resources have increased the potential for conflict. freedom of navigation is under pressure. if not handled properly, territorial and maritime disputes could disrupt stability throughout the region. claimants to disputed areas use maritime law enforcement and coast guard vessels to enforce their claims while nominally keeping the issues out of the military speer. the united states does not take sides on issues of sovereignty
with respect to the disputes, but we do insist that all maritime claims be derived from naturally formed land features in accordance with customary international law as reflected in the law of the sea convention. the united states also emphasizes the importance of peacefully resolving maritime and territory disagreements. we oppose the use of intimidation, coercion or aggression. the u.s. believes every nation large or small should have the opportunity to develop and prosper in line with international laws and standards. if one country selectively ignores the rules, others will follow eroding the international system and destabling regional stability and the prosperity of all pacific states. part of the role in the asia pacific maritime strategy will be ensuring all nations have continued access to the maritime spaces vital to the global economy. international recognition and protection of freedom of navigation is vital to the
world's economy and our way of life. the safeguard the freedom of the seas, we exercise with allies and partners, executes freedom of navigation operations and maintains a presence throughout the region. these activities help build partner capacity to contribute to the region's stability, enhance relationship, improved understanding of challenges. the asia pacific maritime security strategy outlines our plan to safeguard freedom of the seas, deter conflict and promote adherence to international laws and standards. it reaffirms our commitment with this strategy and in pursuit of the goals pacific commands forces fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows while continuing to strengthen rule of law that enable the peaceful rice of every nation in the region. it has been the rebalance to the pacific. the rebalance initiative almost
four years ago by president obama set the conditions for this. the alliances and partnerships increased security capabilities in the region. dod's new strategy capitalizes on the momentum of the rebalancing and continues with its initiatives. we will continue to employ the most advance and capable platforms as they are deployed or assigned to the pacific. use the foreign presence of military forces to engage allies and partners to deter aggression. we enforce international rules and norms including the concepts of freedom of navigation and innocent passage. train and exercise with allies and partners to increase this and reduce this. continue deepening alliances and partnerships through efforts in places like japan, thailand and the philippines while building
new and deeper military relationships in places like singapore, india, vietnam and other like-minded friends and partners. thank you for your continued support to our men and women in uniform and their families who live and work in the vast asia pacific region. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. maybe i could begin with this news report out of defense one, defiant china's message, south china sea belongs to china. it was a gathering in london. there was chinese and american and japanese as well as other military leaders. the admiral who commands the north sea fleet, south china sea is the name indicated as a sea area, it belongs to china. what our response to that, mr.
secretary? >> thank you, senator. chinese have said that before. it was nothing new for the admiral to have said that. if he was referring to the area of the south china sea demarcated by the so-called 9 dash line, it's clear to us that that is not consistent with international law. and we don't recognize the chinese claim to the area encompassed by the line. with regard to our operations in that area, we sail and we fly and we operate within that area on a daily basis. every time we -- >> you operate within that area. but you haven't operated within 12 miles of the reclaimed features, have you? >> we have conducted freedom of
navigation operations. >> have we gone within the 12 miles of the reclaimed area? >> we have gone within 12 miles -- >> the answer, i believe, is no. >> we have not recently gone within 12 miles of a reclaimed area. however -- >> when was the last time we did? >> i believe the last time we conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the south china sea was april of this year. >> within the 12 mile limit. come on, mr. secretary. i'm very interested in the 12-mile limit. if you respect it, then that's defacto sovereignty agreed to tacitly to the chinese. have we or have we not operated within the 12-mile limit in recent years. >> i believe the last time we conducted a freedom of navigation operation within 12 nautical miles of one of those features was 2012. >> 2012. three years ago. >> i might add, senator, if i
may, that freedom of navigation operations are one tool in a larger toolbox that we're going to need to use in fixing this issue. and we're in the process of putting together that toolbox. and as we move forward, we're going to consider freedom of navigation operations along with a variety of other options to ensure that both the chinese and the region understands that we can operate and we do operate anywhere we can. >> it seems to me that we ought to do it. because you see those area that is now filled in since the last time we operated within the 12-mile limit, that number of acres has been dramatically increased. and we have watched it and
really -- well, the best sign of respecting freedom of the seas is not to defactor recognize a 12-mile limit and the best way you can make sure that that is not recognized is to sail your ships in international waters, which it clearly is. these are artificial islands. and pass right on by. and that then puts the lie to the admiral who said the south china sea is -- it belongs to china. it does not belong to china. it belongs to the international waterways that people are allows to fill in islands and therefore, they are suggest to a 12-mile limit. the best way to prove that they are not is to go ahead and go in it. we haven't done that since 2012. i don't find that acceptable, mr. secretary. with all the other tools you
have in the toolbox, the most visible assertion of freedom of the seas is to peacefully sail inside the 12-mile limit, which is not allowed to be sovereign territory of any nation. >> i agree with you, mr. chairman, that the south china sea doesn't belong to china. we have in recent years conducted freedom of navigation operations in the vicinity of those features. doing so again is one of the options -- one of the array of options we're considering. >> it's an option that hasn't been exercised in three years. admiral harris, what do you feel about it? >> sir, i agree that the south china sea is no more china's than the gulf of mexico is mexico's. i think that we must exercise our freedom of navigation throughout the region and part of my responsibility as the pacific commander is to give
options to the president and to the secretary. those options are being considered and will execute as directed by the president and the secretary. >> i have gone over my time. very quickly, with respect to china, do you agree that the united states has no effective policy to deter china in cyberspace? the united states lacked substance and mindset of deterrence in cyberspace. >> i would defer to what the president said last friday when he stated that we can have a competition in cyberspace with china or with o other countries, but we will win. >> are we winning now? >> i agree with general clapper that deterring actions in cyberspace is very difficult. >> are we winning now?
>> i think everybody knows that we have the capability to -- >> we have known each other a long time. are we winning now in your view? >> i think it's too early to tell. long time. are we winning now in your view? >> i think it's too early to tell. we're doing our best. >> thank you. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. just to clarify the type of operations, have we conducted flyovers of these artificial facilities? when is the most recent flyover? >> i defer to the admiral on that question, sir. >> we have not conducted a flyover of -- a direct flyover of any of the reclaimed lands and territories that china has reclaimed recently. >> that is another option that you have. but you have not exercised that option? >> you are correct, sir.
we have a lot of options that are on the table. >> mr. secretary, just stepping back a bit, one of the things that's happening in china is extraordinary economic volatility, growth rates that are being challenged, which if you have an insight, if you don't, then let me know, this economic and it may be long-term, it may be something that's -- is it encouraging or discouraging them when it comes to the policies? your insight. is it something that they felt several years ago that they had sort of turned the corner, that their economic power was so great that they could begin to move forward? are any of those questions being raced in china about their capacity or the alternative would be are they going to double down because they have economic problems at home and we can expect them to be more
provocative? any insight? >> those are extremely relevant questions, senator. i'm not an expert on the chinese economy. i think to the extent they rely on economic performance for its legitimacy, then i would suspect it's very concerned about recent overall economic performance. i think we have to be alert for the possibility that the chinese might use a problem in the foreign affairs to distract people's attention from their domestic problems. on the subject of chinese assertiveness, i think it's natural for a country like china that is growing in wealth to turn to military modernization. i think chinese military modernization and the growth of their defense budget has been extremely robust. we remain very concerned about the pace of growth in the chinese defense budget and the lack of transparency and the overall affect that has on
regional stability and, of course, as they modernize one would expect them to become more assertive abroad. that's just what we are doing. that's something that we are addressing with this regional security strategy. >> admiral harris, as i indicated in my opening remarks, there's concern about north korea. i recall when we met in singapore, you expressed significant concern. can you just briefly give us your latest update about north korean activities? i might add, since china shared a border with north korea, are they at all being helpful or do they recognize the threat? >> senator, i believe that as i have said before the north korea is the greatest threat that i
face in the pacific as pacific commander. i think you have a leader in north korea who has nuclear weapons and is seeking to deliver them intercontinentally. that causes me great concern. he has 20 to 30,000 artillery pieces within a range of seoul amounting to several hundred thousand rockets that place 28,000 american troops plus their families in a 700,000 american citizens who live on the korean pa sin sue la in danger. i view the threat very seriously. i think china's influence on north korea is waning. china doesn't have the influence on north korea that it had in the past. that's an area of concern. there are many areas globally where we cooperate with china. one of the areas in the past where we have received cooperation from china has been to mitigate the behavior in
north korea. we're not seeing that today. that causes me great concern. >> one of the initiatives that we have with the chinese is not just checking their disregard for international law of the sea, but also re-engaging them to work together to face a very significant threat in north korea, is that accurate? >> you are correct, sir. i've been very critical of chinese behavior in the last two years. but i've also been -- i have acknowledged where china has been helpful. they have been helpful in removal of chemical weapons from syria, in the counter piracy off the horn of africa and the search for the malaysian airlines off of australia and the support to the philippines in the november 2013 typhoon that hit that country. so we should acknowledge those good things that china has done.
at the same time hold them accountable for the negative things they do. >> a quick comment? >> we exchange views with the chinese on north korea regularly. i did so with my chinese counterparts ten days ago. the chinese reiterated to me as they have in the past that their influence with north korea is limited, particularly under the new regime. during the recent crisis related to the north korean provocation on august 4, it wasn't clear to us that the chinese had a lot of contact with the north koreans or were able to significantly influence them. >> are they worried about that? >> i think they are. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let's talk about assets current and future.
one of the dod lines of effort in our asia pacific maritime security strategy says by 2020, 60% of naval and overseas air assets will be home ported in the pacific region. okay? when you say that, right now in terms of our vessels, we have a fleet of 270. it should be 305. you are projecting saying 60% of what it will be in 2020. what kind of figures are you looking at and calculating that? >> senator, the numbers you sited are correct. we have in the 270 range now. in 2020 we should have a little over 300, around 310. we are talking 60% of a larger number, not a smaller number. >> that would we anticipate would be available by that time. i hope you are right. now, the source of those have to come up from other commands, is that correct?
if you increase to 60%, you will have to be taking some assets away from ucom and other commands, correct in. >> right. those commands don't have assigned naval forces. only the pacific has forces assigned to the pacific command. >> but they are using those assets? >> that's correct. >> are you coordinating when you make those predictions as to what we should be doing in 2020 with the commanders? >> yes, sir. as i have said before, the world gets a vote. activities in russia or other places could draw assets away. >> i understand that. >> 60% of the navy's combatants -- >> you have been around for a while. you might remember what i refer to sometimes not too affectionately the battle of viakus. and at that time, we had -- the only place we could identify in the world for integrated trading was the island of viakus.
you might remember that we had this big fight in this room. i will never forget it. primarily driven by vice president gore to do away with live range down there. interestingly enough, those things that we said were going to happen there became a reality. now they are begging us to come back. nonetheless, the point i'm making is, i went all over the world looking for areas where you can have this kind of integrated trading. where are we today in terms of our areas who have available to us for the type of training that you have to have? >> senator, in the pacific, we have integrated ranges in hawaii, the pacific missile range is one of the finest in the world in guam and we're building new range facilities in the guam operating area. but these ranges, as you said, are vital to our ability to train.
we are working with the countries involved, the states involved and environmentalists that are involved in order to do this in the right way to satisfy all of the constituents that are there and get our training done. >> you talked about some of our exercises we have out there. 22 nations were involved in one. 49 service ships, 2,200 aircraft, 25,000 personnel. looking -- it's a great exercise. i understand that. do you have the -- do we have the assets to continue that type of exercise for the near future? >> i believe we do, sir. you are absolutely right that it's a vital and important exercise not only for the u.s. but for the region. we believe we have the resources we need to continue conducting that. >> i would hope that would be