tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN January 4, 2016 3:20pm-5:21pm EST
al lift would drive the satellite life spans. can you expand on that? >> so some background here, if you look at what dod does, they robust analysis on the rely ability of the operational satellites. to noaa's credit on jpss, they do a pretty nice assessment on the availability and reliability. we don't see it on goes. but even to, they need to be real clear on what their policy is on how they determine the life span. so, for instance, i've been doing this a long time looking at n pose for this committee even prior to the dates that congressman perlmutter made. on the polar constellation, we always thought the policy was you have a backup on the ground. and now i'm hearing a backup in orbit. we just need to be clear on what our policy is on ensuring a robust constellation. and noaa is not always clear. they are not always clear. and we need to get that clarity
so that we have a robust constellation. >> let me ask you this, how can noaa determine that appropriations have been made on mitigating gap litigation activities? mr. powner? >> we looked at this with our last review when we testified in february. there's a lot of good work on mitigation activities. and i do think there are some mitigating factors that yield greater benefits. we have heard like aircraft observation, some of the adjustments to the models and the like. and noaa is working on those things. so a lot of that is being worked on now and that goes back to the comments and questions earlier on the recommendations. we want to see some of those mitigation activities rounded out even further so that if, in fact, we have gaps leading up to march 2017, that we have some of the backup capabilities. >> and in that regard, and dr. volz, you may want to come back to mr. posey's questions there
at the end about having -- whether you have a satellite backup system in orbit or if you have backup systems on the ground, do you have backup launch capabilities? because if you do have a massive solar event or some other emp type of event, would you have the capability to launch more satellites? >> we rely on the launch services provided through the national assets, the same launch service that provided the support to the defense department, nasa, noaa, we all use the same commercial launch providers. in the event of a loss of a catastrophic loss of a significant asset, we also have the capability to prioritize our mission over others, i believe. >> so what i'm asking is, maybe you cannot answer this if you are relying on other agencies and other parts of the government for the launch capability, but it's not just
losing the asset in space, it's -- if you had a catastrophic event like an emp where your ground systems are eliminated, do you have backup systems or you may not be able to answer this, are there backup systems that could launch, that have been hardened, that we could get in place to get something back in orbit? >> and i'm not the right person to ask about what the launch backup capabilities are for the nation. >> mr. powner, back to you. for jpssing your report from earlier this year that focused on the potential gap in the 2016/2017 timeframe. are there similar concerns of a gap between the first and second satellites in early 2020s? >> the first and second satellite, we are not so concerned about a gap between the first and the second, assuming we hit the march date and jpss-2 stays on board.
the issue with the gap between the npp and j-1, if you didn't have the recent four-year extension on the life span, there would be a gap. so the key here is we hope that npp continues to function well and we hope that j-1 does launch on march 2017, so that we don't have a gap between npp and j-1. that's still a concern of ours. that's still a concern. until we launch j-1, we're concerned about a gap. >> if i may, sir, i have almost the exact opposite assessment. based on watching the mpp event, based on our analysis, understanding and based on the mitigations we have taken and the executions in the operations, i have a stronger confidence now that the satellite barring a meteorite or some other activity, is likely to function for a great many of years, because i have seen the satellites do that over time. i think the uncertainty in launch and of the gap between j-1 and j-2 is because we have not launched j-1 yet is
a larger probability than something i'm more concerned about going forward. but we're talking about probabilities and risks and we have to address all of these. so i don't think that once j-1 is launched our risk of a gap is necessarily gone away. we still have to worry about getting j-2 developed and delivered on orbit as quickly as we can. >> one thing if i can add, i do think mpp overall is functioning well. it is not perfect. you can read their own availability analysis and there are questions about atms lasting beyond the five-year life, not a nine-year life, so there's watch items there. and we need to continue to watch that. so i don't want -- we need to be real clear there are still risks within mpp. >> mr. chairman, i see my time has expired. >> i thank the gentleman from alabama. we're going to go into a second round of questions and i recognize myself for five minutes. i wanted to share with you guys some of the challenges i see going forward as it relates to
the commercial data by the president's budget request that is due to this congress in february. we'll do a budget process in march. then we start doing authorizations along this way and appropriations even before, i should say after. what i would be interested in is what that number might be. and i know you probably don't have that number for a line-item for a commercial data buy. i want to be clear that we're expecting that. and i would like to, if you're able to provide that to us even before february, that would be very valuable, as we go through the authorizations and the appropriations processes. so just -- you're under no obligation to give us anything until the president's budget request, i understand that, but if you can help, we want to be helpful as well. so that would be good. on the commercial space policy that came out on september 1st, it's been opened for comments. the comment period closed october 1st.
there have been 15 comments. do you have a timeline when the final policy might be released? >> yes, sir. and -- we have 15 respondents. and when we look through the responses, we came up on the order of 90 different actionable comments that we think should be attributed or addressed in some way or the other. noaa has set up a team and has a team to review those and adjudicate those. i'm expecting, and have been told by the management within noaa, that we expect the revised policy to be coming out within a few weeks, within the coming weeks. >> oh, that's great. >> and in the meantime, we have been working the process. the workshop monday was addressing that, and we would like to follow-up with a draft for comments a few weeks after the release of the formal policy. >> so after the release of the formal policy there will be more comments? >> no, a draft release of the nasa process, the next level of detail within the industry. >> got it. and you can expect that, we can expect that a couple weeks after -- >> after the release of the noaa
policy. >> fantastic. so we are talking about january, february? >> yes. >> okay. fantastic. let's see, i want to go through a couple of comments that are -- i should say, statements that were made regarding the space policy. and i want to get a reaction from you on it. one statement is that, and i'll just read it, in its entirety, the latest iteration of noaa's policy fails to makes a distinction between raw satellite data that would be ingested into noaa's operational weather models which is the intended focus of this policy versus the output of those models and derived data products. it is the full free and open access to model output derived data products and current ground conditions that underpins the robust u.s. commercial weather sector. do you agree there's a difference between the output and the raw data, the satellite data coming down from the satellites?
>> let me predicate this with saying i'm not an expert which talks about the essential versus nonessential data sets. and they address mostly the issue of the data. there is a difference between input and output products for certain. no question about that. so the -- the simple answer to your question is, yes, there's a difference between those. and i don't know that the policy was meaning to address the output products, the output services, as they are free and open to all. but it is focused on, from my perspective in using commercial data in our operations, is how we deal with the data we receive from the vendors, which is the input data you refer to. >> so going back to your mention of wm-40, there's another statement that says, wmo-40 resolutions 40 and 25 explicitly permit private sector companies to restrict the redistribution of their data. and allow those same member countries flexibility and discretion in determining which
data sets are freely exchange and under which conditions they choose to do so. so it looks to me under wmo-40 private industry that is providing data to augment the numerical weather models that data should be protected. would you like to make a comment on that? >> probably not. i am not -- i'm not a wmo-40 expert and don't know the nuances of it. >> we'd be happy to have separate conversation with wmo-40. >> i would like to get these kind of resolutions in this final space policy coming from noaa, commercial space policy, and i know it's going to be in a couple weeks, but these are the kind of things that absolutely must be definitively determined before -- if we're going to have a robust commercial segment that can augment our numerical weather models and save money for the taxpayers. that's my concern.
more data, better data, and cost savings to the taxpayer. and i think we can do that but we've got to be really clear about what is required here. i've got about -- well, i'm out of time. so i'm going to stop now and recognize the gentleman from virginia, mr. buyer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. volz, he talked about the delivery of the atms advanced technology and microwave sounder has been delayed. but in the last quarterly update this committee received, noaa said it had to be delivered in the end of november to maintain jpss-1 launch date. but your testimony now, you can say that you maintain that launch date despite the fact that the mts won't be delivered until december. can you explain the conflict? >> the atms delivery was no later than the end of november to support the plan going forward to a december 2016 launch date, correct.
the atms has slipped and now late december/early january. we have had to look into what we have had to take time out of reserve, schedule reserve. the late november date was planned for and did not encumber,fully of the reserve schedule reserve left in the schedule beyond november. we have had to take it, had to debit against those reserves to accommodate the late delivery of the atms. so we had flexibility. it was not a no reserve date for delivery. we have been using it. >> in your testament, you talked about the gozar team applying all the lessons learned from the last two years to do timely and goes-stu satellites. does the same theory of work with the gpss, because i know you're -- you have now moved to a new contractor for jpss-2. any risks because you're not building with the old contractor on what you learned doing that? >> yes.
and i agree with mr. powner that going -- let me go two points. first, what i said is we are applying the lessons learned over the last two years in the integration test of gozar to make sure the schedule we have laid out there this time next year, october of next year for the launch, includes those lessons learned. that's why we have confidence that we're meeting schedules. we still need to revisit what that means for the goz-stu schedules and we are doing that right now. now, as far as changes in the contract going from one spacecraft vendor to another for the jpss, that does increase risk. that's a risk factor we have now added to the system. it was not there before. and i agree that it does. you can't say that's not the case. whether that was -- that risk is -- where that ranks in the overall risks of different risks in the program is something we had to look at when we made the procurement of going through the process. it is an increase in risk, but not necessarily an increase in the overall program and execution risk as we look at the
many factors when we consider program risks. >> when you made the new award, it was understanding this was a piece of the overall puzzle. >> correct, sir. >> mr. powner, you just said that the very attractive idea that perhaps congress could reduce this expenditure in upcoming years. can you expand on that a little? >> well, clearly when you look at the outyear satellites, the follow-on for the polar constellation and then get into the outyear goz, there's a question about what is the most economic way to go forward. do you build everything as quickly as you can and get economies to scale there and perhaps store them on the ground? perhaps. do you perhaps slow down the acquisition of some of the out-year satellites? perhaps. and i think what -- and i know this committee, we have worked with both your staff and the majority staff, they are looking for analysis. and there was a comment made that congressman johnson asked a
question about this tradeoff assessments. i'm not aware of the tradeoff assessments that satisfied your staff on this committee. i think they need the tradeoff assessments to make the right decisions on out-year deliveries. >> thank you. dr. volz, do you have a response? >> i agree entirely that the outyear execution is -- needs to be addressed. what we have focused our activities on the last five years as we came to the assessment of risk on both polar and geostationary satellites is that we did no the have a robust configuration on orbit. our first and overriding priority was to get to a situation where we had, we were tolerant and had a single fault. we could suck for a loss of a satellite asset and not disable the weather system. and that has dictated the aggressive approach to building the gozar satellites in our aggressive schedule. as we went through what could be a mission-ending failure. the same with the jpss.
so that's been our primary motivation. once geet to the fault tolerant situation on orbit, exactly as mr. was mentioned, we need to have the assets available to have the flexibility of those choices. until we have that, we cannot do anything to make it better or worse. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i want to thank the ranking member. and in closing we're -- oh, very good to see you down there. recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. palmer, for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, thank you for recognizing. i'm trying to do my job. >> that's what the taxpayers in alabama expect. >> exactly. mr. volz, the president budget requested $380 million for the program.
having seen the costs overruns and delays faced by the current satellites, and i think maybe you can understand our hesitation to fully or some of us our hesitation to fully funding this program. how exactly are these funds going to be used? >> thank you for the question, sir. the polar follow-on is the third and fourth series of the jpss satellites. the funds for this -- the initial $380 million are primarily to start and to the extent about 85% of those going directly to the instrument providers who have built the instruments for jpss-1 and jpss-2. the benefit of this approach that we've tried to articulate is that we are buying the satellite instruments, which are the highest risk, potentially the highest impactful satellite system at any time. in a bulk buy. we are buying two at once, maximizing the efficiency to the procurement at a time the instrument builders are ready to build them. having just finished the same instruments on jpss-2 so the money is going to --
extent of 85% or thereabouts directly to the main four vendors who are supplying instruments for the jpss-3 and jpss-4 satellites. >> are those vendors building the components you think are most crucial? >> they will be prioritized, yes. >> so the majority of the money is going to that? >> yes, sir. >> all right. let me ask you one other question that i will ask to mr. powner, in gao's opinion, would noaa incur higher costs if they did not receive the all of the requested funds for the polar programs? >> i'm not certain. this is back to where the appropriated analysis and the tradeoff assessments needs to be given to this committee, to gao, so that we can actually answer that question. you need analysis that supports it. >> well -- to close this, and i assume this will close the
hearing, i just think handing noaa another blank check to build satellites when they can't get the ones that they have off the ground, it appears a bit irresponsible, mr. chairman. and i think noaa needs to fix their systematic problems that have plagued the program for years before we throw any more money at it. i yield to balance my time. >> i would like to thank the gentleman from alabama. it is -- it's a very challenging issue that we have -- we have delays, we have these challenges, and it seems the only answer is more money, more time, more money, more time. if we don't provide it, then we have quite frankly even bigger problems of data gaps and the inability to predict weather. so it puts us in congress in a tough pentagon when we have these issues. but i want to close that i believe we can augment the challenges with commercial data.
i believe it can reduce the cost. i believe it can -- it can prevent these kind of scenarios from even occurring if we do it right. and we might not be there today, and i understand that, these kind of things take time, but what i'm very grateful about is in the next couple of weeks before the end of the year we'll see a final commercial space policy from noaa. and then more policies that come after that so that our private sector knows how to work with noaa in order to provide the data to augment our systems. when i see that final commercial space policy, i would really like to see two major things. one is that there's a difference between upstream and downstream. a difference between flat-out raw data, ones and zeros coming off the satellite, and the downstream end products available to the public and in the national interest.
and i also would like to see a very clear resolution that, in fact, wmo-40 and wmo-25 explicitly permit private sector companies to restrict the redistribution of their data and allow those same member countries flexibility and discretion in determining which data sets are freely exchanged and under what conditions they choose to do. so i think that's important as we develop this commercial industry that is going to be good for the taxpayer, good for those of us trying to protect lives and property. and i think these are important issues that need to be put into the commercial space policy. with that, i want to thank our witnesses for all your time today. thank you for the hard work both of you do. and with that, we are adjourned.
bill clinton heads to new hampshire. for his first solo campaign event on behalf of his wife, democratic presidential candidate, hillary clinton. c-span will a stop in exeter, new hampshire. followed by phone calls. hillary clinton is on a two-day river to river tour of iowa. republican presidential candidate rand paul will be in new hampshire tomorrow, c-span2 will have live coverage when senator paul holds a town hall meeting in exeter, 6:00 p.m. eastern. c-span takes you on the road to the white house. best access to the candidates, town hall meetings, speeches, rallies, and meet and greets. taking your comments on twitter, facebook, and by phone. and always, every campaign event we cover is availablen our website, c-span.org. >> foreign affairs and pentagon
correspondents now talk about reporting on the world's conflicts. women from "the new york times," sbs news and "the washington post" talk about isis, climate change, and republican presidential candidate donald trump's proposed ban on muslims entering the u.s. the imand's foreign policy group hosted this discussion. it's about an hour. >> good afternoon, welcome. i'm patricia ellis. we promote women's leadership and women's voices on pressing international issues of the day. thank you for celebrating this women's leader luncheon. we're so pleased to have you here with us today. this is the last event on the women's foreign policy group 20th anniversary celebration. and it is befitting one, indeed.
first is the third year we've done this event which exemplifies what the women's foreign policy group stands for. outstanding journalists and other speakers speaking about the hot issues of the day from syrian, isis, to russia, to terrorism in paris and the u.s., to the climate summit, to iraq, and to afghanistan. it is my great pleasure to welcome back and. introduce today's moderator wfpg board member, elizabeth b. miller, "the new york times" washington bureau chief who previously covers the pentagon and the white house. elizabeth.
>> thank you. i'm going to stay right here. i am delighted to be back. this is a wonderful event. thank you, pat, ann, our panelist. you can read as well as i can, but i have a few things i can add. here's heline. one of our pentagon correspondents of "the times" before that, editorial page editor reported in 64 countries including recently native liberia. i don't know if you saw the story in yesterday's paper about the burners, really powerful story. helene is part of the team this year, won the pull lizzer prize for her coverage of ebola in liberia. applause an she is the author of "the new york times" best-seller the house of sugar beach in search of the lost african childhood.
and she's going to soon pub lsh publish i biography. and she, again, came back from liberia, and i see her every day at office. >> see what she's not saying she's actually my boss. >> second speaker is margaret brennan, foreign affairs correspondent and a white house correspondent for cbs news. i have no idea how she does that. she has been with the washington bureau cbs since 2012. her reporting on national security and foreign policy taken her to iran, iraq, afghanistan. and most recently, at the climate talks in paris. she was in vienna and switzerland for a month each during iran talks with secretary kerry. she's also traveled with defense secretaries carter and with hillary clinton within she was
defense secretary -- no, secretary of state. third panelist, missy ryan, covers the pentagon for "the washington post." we used to travel together when i covered the pentagon. she's been posted in baghdad, mexico, central america. reported from afghanistan, pakistan, egypt, sudan, lebanon, libya. she was most recently -- just got back from san bernardino, i don't know what that has to do with pentagon, but talk about that, very tough story. also in paris reporting on the aftermath of the paris attacks and before that was in libya. this is quite a group. i'm just -- i'll have everybody talk for three, four minutes about issues they've covered. i'll ask questions and open it up to your questions on cards. helene? >> so thank you very much. it's always great to be here with this group of amazing women and maybe a couple men i see.
thanks a lot, b. miller is now the washington bureau chief of the new york times and we're all thrilled to have her. i probably know ho you to suck up to my boss. before i start, did you guys see the photos on the program? i just want to point out that margaret, me and b. miller have posed shots and missy has this badass i'm out in the desert with my sunglasses. and -- >> i'm wearing a flak jacket. >> this is ridiculous. so if we ever do this again, can you please, i'm going to send a different picture for me, okay? both missy and margaret, i've traveled with both of them and we often do these trips where we're following the defense secretary, secretary of state, around and they're always really interesting getting out and
seeing american diplomacy at work around the world. and i think that sort of one of the things i just wanted to touch on a little bit. this year has been so in flux and i think you've seen the challenges of america and managing its relationships around the world. we started the beginning of the year with isis at front and center. we're ending it with isis at front and center. i think the everyboolution how view the islamic state, it really come a long way this year and now having polls coming out, including one that came out yesterday saying that terrorism is now the number one concern of americans, american voters. people think there's going to be another attack here and people are more worried or as worried now as they were right after 9/11. and that's really -- i think that's one of the challenges that i have in my job as a pentagon reporter, figurer out a
way to connect all of these dots. we cover the american military, and i cover the american military which is one of the most forceful projections of american power power abroad thae is. i spent this year on-air craft carriers and fighter pilots that weakened. i cover military and missy and margaret do that can do anything that they're tasked too. when you look against the fight, it can get frustrating when you're in the defense department, and you have the very strong military and the about to cover the threats is limited and because of the political realities on the ground and it's because of the war of the american population
that's we are erie about going back to war and a president that's more cautious than a lot of the politics many washington. you're seeing a strategy on fold and it's weird to be writing this from where you can go out and do so much, so in many ways they feel like they're shifled and then the american troops ask there are ground combat troops on the ground in syria or not even iraq, so a lot of the chatter that you hear right now is all much more about special operators and that sort of thing. it becomes an issue, and so it's very challenging to figure out how to cover ways and interesting ways to cover that.
i think that's one of the things to find new ways on the story. i also am partly have a deep interest in the west african story and after covering the full epidemic and ginny, i wanted to follow to follow up on that this year and so i went back and came back a couple of weeks ago just to look at now that the country has gone down and people have picked up and then that's been probably one of the most emotionally draining stories that i have ever had to cover as a reporter because in part it's my country & then it's
the population that's been knocked down by the civil war and then by the cues and then the disease and to see the people getting up and moving along and showing the resilience and that's been a reporter but also an american that's been really good for me to see. so that's it. i am happy to talk about anything else and going to turn it over to margaret. >> thanks. so i cover national security mainly through the primpl where the decisions are made to set the course of the other two. to me it's interesting to follow up on what you were setting the
stage on syria and isis and where the american public's head is and the foreign policy changes that they see them setting. that's where you can draw the divide. from the climate deal will not be made today and go through the deadline in paris today. exactly what's in it, we're not sure yet. we have seen drafts and broadly speaking the story i will say despite the fact that you walked around on paris and then the states showed up in the capital there to say despite the resent attacks, we're going to go through this meeting of heads of the state and then turning the city that was literally hit very hard and shaking to the core by the terror attacks ten days beforehand and then the many states convened was meant to underscore the report. i don't know if that's what was
in the press and then that was a wow. the risk of going to paris. the climate change in this country does not get as much attention like those over seas. and not much over stated when you look at the impacts. this and what is interesting that it's not legally binding. one thing that i think is interesting and the need to work with the private sector and what's not had the best relation with wall street and the financial sector is reliant on those private sector entities stepping you up to help sort of
grease the wheels and get more of the reluctant count rips on board to help take the financial risk and basically sub diez some very expensive things to green technology down the road. so what is interesting is that you have china and the u.s. saying that we created the problem, so hopefully we will do the solution. they will say this does not go far enough and does not do enough. the administration says we know, it's a starting point and we got that. it's an interesting decision and trap for the administration to say as the obama administration to say that this is where we think the united states needs to be focused long term. that's not at all where the
public heads are. they're feeling short term and threatened. that's what we're seeing when you look at the do memestic tie and when you talk to the allies, they're saying we need to talk about the immediate and now and attacks. here are the allies saying that we need a very meimmediate response because they feel threatened. it's a threat and the immediate one with the face of terror on it. i think coming from the state department where i have been for the past few years and covering the american de pla that si, it's been a rich and something that's not gotten there yet and the slow going and ongoing into the tracks threat is syria.
whether it was given birth to what the administrators like to call one of the most deepest best funded terrorist groups out there with isis or whether it's using the term and happening in parts of iraq and syria and then the carnage that you see there and then going on in the four and a half years on the war they seem to be saying and they have seen pit for years and covering the story that it's not necessarily their guide.
they're going to be what they watch here. you're seeing them watching and saying that you're going to try to start the track because they basically have been at a loose as many of the world powers have to stop the finding there that continues to feed the terror threat, so while it's easy to do, it's the only gain in town at this point. it's going to be in credibly important to watch to see if they can get a small scale and cease fire in syria. that's really where i think that everyone's going to be focused as isis seems to be focused and bringing attention back there as well. >> okay. great. it's such an honor to be here with colleagues and a room full of experts and pat asked me to speak about a couple of stories that we have talked about
recently and i will start on paris & they picked targets that respect what french targets are about and think about paris i am sure. everybody that's been on a vacation has sat out at on outdoor cafe and taking on music and this is what the attackers have picked to do. they pick people that are dining outside and attacked a concert hall. for me it was denounced in a defiant way and what happened and refused to be cowed by it.
i got there a couple of days after the attacks and maybe there was a little bit of the defense in the way that people were enjoying the outdoor sites that they normally would have. i think that was really impressive that, you know, this was the worst tori attack in the west. the attacks illustrated the state to triek other tack in the west and it seemed like they had the plots in syria. that makes it different than the reacceptability shooting in san bernardino that i will also talk
about. the attacks were a turning point, and i say po potential because it remains to be seen how significant the actual concrete response will be -- i think on balance it's a limited response. germany has not agreed to do air strikes in syria. certainly they see the threat and i don't think that they will jump in in a campaign especially
when no one really think that is the increases are going to make a deal. >> and the things that would show that this is a turning point would be for example the countries committing to the troops into syria and special operation forces and like the administration is doing and turning the screws on some of the gulf countries. i just got back from san bernardino and we do not have a picture of the attackers and who they are. it's a little bit confusing because in some ways it looks
like a workplace attack. the shooter had worked with the county health in sectors that they went down. they appear to have been motivated in large part by radicalization and the support for sort of the violent islamic groups, so this is sort of what the nut of federal investigators are trying to unravel is how are theyradicalized. did f you have any connections with militant groups over seas? so far it seem that is they did not. they may have been drawn to each other and it's interesting to think about they meet online. it's interest og to think how people from different part
approximates of the world share something and it manifest itself in this way. i think that the key point here about san bernardino is that it just underscores the difficulty of detecting and proventing attacks by people in the united states that don't have any significant ties to militant groups over seas. in contrast where you had them, so far there's no evidence they were online chatting or raising a flag for the intelligence community. i think that just goes to show the difficulty that the u.s. law enforcement and intelligence face within the threats. i think that it really raises the question as what we as a country need to be prepared for and what the response should be and sort of the por portion of
what we think the government should be doing when you have an attack. in terms of the scale oift, it's not much different than the other mass shootings that happen in the united states with the regularity on the stage. finally pat asked me to speak about libya. i went there a couple of months ago to report on the islamic state there. i will talk about that but they have two governments and two foreign ministries and two central banks. they have a number of groups but none have control of the territory of libya.
that's given rise to the whole stew of of islamic groups to take over different parts of the country. they have done there what they do elsewhere. they be head people that are either not adhering to them or coming to other religions and stated the same kind of rule that they have in places like iraq and it's not something that the local government has really been able to deal with or even trying to deal with because they have their own probablems so that's under way and they're
about to go bankrupt. it's sad to see what's happened in libya. it's a highly educated population. not with the major religious situations and other country in the middle east and africa. i think that the libyans themselves missed numerous opportunities, and it seems like the window for dealing with this is closing pretty quickly.
while it's not on the same level for the policy makers and i don't think that's likely and given the sort of safe haven that the law has provided for the islamic state. >> thank you. these are fantastic questions this year. i am not going to ask too many of my own. i have one for all of you and you have all touched on it and it's on our minds. are americans right to be as fearful as they are of a terror attack on this country since in 9/1145 people and tens of hundreds of thousands have been
killed with murder or accidents? what do you -- i mean -- >> i think that there's a right to be concerned about the concern about the threat that some of these threats pose -- as the threats that american's face and then those that launch the shootings for domestic reasons to environmental and health problems to traffic accidents, and i think that we tend to focus on those kind of threats. we see the american conscience,
and it really strikes a nerve. it's over state in the way that people think about it. >> what do you think? >> well, i will not tell people to be concerned, but i think that the way that the model that people have in the minds of what a terrorist attack means, 9/11 for those of you that grow up in the new york area, you have a very reaction to that memory and to that idea. if you're fearful of that attack on that level with that level of coordination and perhaps you're not in terms of trying to adapt
and in that threat that al qaeda was directly interested in pulling off and certainly -- is this a new version that's coming out of isis? >> you should probably be worried about that. knowing and this is one of the frustrations of the intelligence community is how do you scene what's on someone's head? if you're looking at the model and the wife just -- i was looking recently at how they got the visa and it's relatively easy to get. they're about 35,000 that were given out in the same year that they came here, and a lot of the the questioning during the face to face. she walked in, and i have been there and you know how heavily
guarded that place is. she did though the walk into just any place and say that i wanted to go united states. she sat there with someone that was breached and adpar and arngsed questions. you're specially filling out a form of the ds 160 and saying do you know the terrorist group? did you provide funding? did you participate in the gin said? i don't know who checks yes?
and the shootings that we have had have nothing to do with the state or terrorism as it's defined. i think margret is completely right that it's going hard to pull off the 9/11 style multiplace airline bringing down buildings that we saw 14 years ago. that's a lot has had er and there have things in place to prevent that now if you're looking an attack and see that
now. we saw yesterday active shooter and it's like how often is it an islamic state do you think that they have -- your not going to want to answer this one because you're a journalist. a year from now when the new president is coming in, where are we going to be with the fight against isis? what is it going to look like? is there anymore troops on the ground? i guess that i can ask it that way? >> well, my expectation social security that there's a continuation of the expansion
and then it's lodging some of the places that's now in iraq and syria and this is something that's been described by the white house that's a multiyear campaign. >> do you agree with that? >> yeah, there are hundreds of more operators on the ground and in syria and iraq. i think you will see a deadly weaponen ing and you will go out
and finally take them. this has been going on for how many months now and they're a lating and going back to take them. we're still trying and just recently we banned the train and now we're trying something else. that's much more in flunlt. i will not predict where it will be. >> okay. so speaking of that iran's role is interesting in the talks. would you like to expand on that? i know carrie is very close and
with the talk, we reported that he is now talking to the iran's about syria. so where does that go? >> this is the long gamble what is happen in the next ten to 15 years and that's to a large extent on what this responsibility and faith can put in and is about. i will take them at their word and do not have control. you have you have the regime very split within itself and they don't have that part of the portfolio. the guys that we talk to, do not own that. the guys that we don't talk to own that when it come os o os t balance on the ground and then
the forces of iran and helping to fund and have been sacking up a lot of losses. they have been much on the frontlines, and if you believe the russians weren't necessarily win winning in a way that gave them confidence in a way that the regime was going to hold on if they did not intervene when they did. w bigger picture from the u.s. point of view and what is going to be interesting to see if they can convince the regime and the supreme leader that they should have some of that portfolio and that there's a value in iran being involved in the negotiations because they can deliver something at the end of it. i don't know. we will see if he shows up in new york city on the 18th on what's the next round of syria talks that are pencilled in. they're not pendant.
i will say that it's important for us to say as journalists whether or not he comes home from iran and what happens to the americans, we're still being held in iran is going to have a big impact on what people think the that the administration achieved with the outreach. nuclear weapons aside, bigger picture what happens next to the u.s. in iran and those americans are going to be a big part of it. in terms of the american point of view. >> let me ask another question from a couple of people in the audience. >> what's the fundamental reason why the middle east countries are not willing to fight isis? it's clear that the community must take an active and strong and military roll in eliminating isis. what do you all say to that?
gent agendas. they were the primary partner in the united states and the antiisis coalition. since the campaign has kicked off, i don't think that they have done an air strak ike in months. same for the gulf partners. this is one of the areas to focus on in the pentagon and ash carter is talking on and turning from being sort of a coalition to an actual concrete real military coalition when you're talking about them. >> to be on that turning from the military which the air strikes that we're all focused on is really what many officials will say. you went to war on the ground and that's where we're so is focused on the patch work to finish the fight. who is add odd to that coalition is in many ways window dressing. it's important, but where the
u.s. actually thinks that they can get it to pay off with bringing some of the arab states to the table and putting real pressure on them is on the diplomatic front. they're putting a lot of push to say get the opposition together because that's the russian's can deliver er before we can do opposition. he is saying round them up and get the structure. they're putting a lot of pressure on them there and they're putting some pressure to sort of be the keeper of who is okay to sit at the table and who is not. we may not see the troops on the ground, but they're hoping on the front that you will see a role, and that's part of it. >> this is semirelated, but what impact is his rhetoric on muse limbs having on the embassies in the middle east? you have not been there recently
but not since he made the comments? what do you think or what do you know? >> i have been to turkey and egypt a few times since he started to make the kmecomments. i have not been out since the ban on muslims. i will say in a -- people ask about this over seas all-time. can he be the president of the united states. so what is interesting is that we do not pay attention to the election cycle. in other countries the way that the rest of world pays attention to what's being said right now at this point in the election cycle, so i do think that it has an impact. can i measure it? not necessarily. there's radicals that add to the fuel of the fire and then adding just one more hurt to the list
of, you you know, amnesty to it. >> i think that it just plays into a perception that some people have that the united states is a country that does not -- fears them but does not welcome them. that may differ in what they have for the most part, but that's a perception that out there in some quarters. >> let me ask on that bright note there are questions on how you do what you do. before you that, i am curious what did you do in paris. how did you report? you got there how soon after the attacks? >> well with, we had a team that got there the night of the
attacks and we had a team of reporterings in europe that got on a train and e with had a team of eight reporters. >> where did you go? >> well, people were out and reporting different areas and it took place and intervying people it was trying to unravel to the extent and how it came together. we with do not have the full story yet. it was interesting how quickly the identities emerged.
>> just to talk about the trade craft, you went to the hotels and then went out to talk to the french officials or -- you went to -- where did you go? i think people like to know. >> i was in the hotel mostly writing. >> okay. >> the other member approximates were going out and watching the french law enforcement or going to the scene of -- i went out and did some reporting. we went out and visited one of the hotels that the attackers had rented the room and then we're at another safe house across the city, so going and talking to people that may have seen them and things like that. then in the beak we had people that know the attackers and
organization that is deal with bringing people back from radicalization and things like that. >> yeah, because we have a -- we had the and then we had it. >> and then people in europe and then there's a lot of staff and people in paris ask then other parts of europe and then you would wake up at 6:00 in the morning here and everybody has been up six hours earlier in paris, and there was a flood of information. we were all struck by just this army out there. >> yeah. >> it was every morning it was before you had your coffee, it was completely overwhelming and depressing. >> you could spend your whole day reading that.
>> yeah. i know. just talk about -- i mean you have been in a dangerous sit you wags in libya. how do you get yourself prepared for these dangerous assignments? that's what somebody asked? >> well, i have been lucky enough to work for organization that is have people dedicated to thinking of the what is it and the risk and even though that we cover the security issues, i am not an expert in security myself and basically they try to talk to colleagues. we rely on people that think about things like antisurveillance, measures and things like that. we take risks and as you all say number of times say no to
things. >> there are a lot of times that we do say no to things. one of the most scary people out there, and i remember going out to the iraq war and being terrified in the paper at the time sent us to training. we did a week's training on what to do. the one thing that i took on that is any sound that you hear, hit the deck. i would -- we were strapped up in jackets and all of that. at the end of the day, what's going to protect you the most is your own common sense. you have to be careful when you're in certain places. it does not just go war but it's also with the ebola story last year for in stance. i had big fights with my family about going there and while i was in the area, you learn and find that this is the case with war cardiovascular rage as well at least it is with me that i am
far less afraid when i am there and in the middle of it than when i am before. once you get there and in the middle of it, you trust yourself and you're not go to do anything. you're going to not do anything stupid. it's, you know, i think common sense helps a lot. >> trast true. you worry a lot more. >> you see people that are there and living the normal lives. i worked in iraq and living for 20 months and we had guards and jackets to go out. all of the stats dropped the kids off before school and become coming to work and had elderly parents. it puts things in context. >> i remember going out and feeling stupid. >> that's after paris and the
public media and not giving attention and we're just as -- is that a fair criticism? is it fair? >> i think that it's fair. i know that there's a lot of dispute about that. we have got into arguments about that with some of the other colleagues and i think that it's fair. i often feel as a west african that some lives are valued more than others. this is something that i carry with me day in and day out. there's another point of view that we're the west and we have more in common with paris and it's natural that we're going to focus more on that. we can land anymore on that line, but i certainly felt particularly given that paris happened to close and thn molly came after that. with molly was one day that we're all and then it went away and we did not care anymore.
a happened as well. >> yeah it's a young filter that editors build up and then when you're tracking something day in and day out and in terms of the reaction of the public, part of that was sort of this is a functioning well structured state with a very capable intelligence and security service. whoa. in a way that people don't have the view of other countries necessarily. there was a scene. wow. that's a real threat verses the value of life. i really hope that's not true. i do think, and i see that. i see that with other o stories too. it's hard to register for people the level that you see in other countries on a daily basis.
it does not make the news. >> okay. i have a minute left. qui quickly and you said a climate deal on monday. is it going to be toothless or way better than cap hagan? >> well, i did not cover that but having read up, a lot is going to be decided in the last 24 hours because in the draft that was released, there were a lot of brackets that were unfinished. the goal was set and a hard target. the whole thing is green house gas admissions and that's for global warming. does not sound like it's necessarily enough for environmentist and necessarily as some would hope going in.
as i said, there's a self-reporting and monitoring aspect to this deal where you might see the countries follow through on that. it's not going to be legally binding. they're not going to have a say. administration is not asking. i know that they can not get it anyhow. it's a little bit of a leap of faith in some bits. that's why i have highlighted that private sector and role because that's one of the more tangible things where you're getting pledging of money and financing to help to set up the transition. >> okay. my time is up and you're time is up and my time is up. all of you. thank you. [ applause ] >> what a discussion. thank you e liz, margaret and missy. we hope that you will come back soon. we learned a lot and we're for in formed than when we started today. thank you for being here.
[ applause ] bill clinton is back on the campaign today. he has stops planned in new hampshire. cspan has live coverage rebeginning at 5:15 eastern. we will take the live phone calls. hillary is on a river to river tour of iowa. tonight on the communicators and the issues that he accepts in 2016 and why they changed the name in the past fall to consumer technology association. he is joined by tony roam. >> in over 2.4 million net square feet and that's up from
2.24 million in 2015. it's going to be more innovation and technology. it's the future and a show that the solving problems and real life problems for the world. not just entertainment and education. and we're solving the technology with the big problems. >> tonight on the communicators on cspan 2. panelists took questions and this is about an hour. >> my name is kelly, and i would
like to welcome you to a panel that's designed to explore various aspects of the conventional and nuclear deterren deterrence. secretary outlined for us earlier and we're starting to see in resent years reemerging of the power of the politics that were to a earn extent on skurd by the resent wars in afghanistan. we're seeing a rise in china that's undertaking an aggressive program of military modernization. it's increasingly assertive in the south china sea. and so we think that now is a critical time to be discussing
and thn the deterrence. so to discuss the issues, i am joined by a group of very creative and group of minds. to my far left we have colby and robert geets fellow and prior to joining cnas he was the principal analyst for the he is the defense strategy and a retired captain in the u.s. navy and the former director of the navel history and and he has
played a role in the centers work and unmanned systems. he has served in government as a so i would like to ask each of the panel lists questions to kick us off, and we will turn to all of you. i am sure that you will have a lot of questions for them. so mike if i can start with you. i would like to draw upon some of your work on unmanned systems and emerging technologies. what kind of trends do you see with these systems? and do you see them impacting if at all the dynamics and stability of the future?
>> thanks. i think that the proliferation of the unmanned system and then referred to as the morning and these are moving a lot master than i think a lot of people are are anticipating and thin we thought about the predator strikes as something that the united states can do and not many countries. this year pakistan launched the armed strikes for the first time and iraq purchased them from china. this technology is spreading and it's spreading quickly. in large parts for the discussion, the under lying
commercial basis and it can be profound but different than many people have talked about the reason is that what most missions are about is surveillan surveillance. what it does is gives you the ability to figure out what they're doing something or not. so instead of the disputed regions, i think they can provide to deescalate crisis and to avoid the crisis escalation
not lead to war. they squak more than they fight. the reason that there's more time to prevail. one of the concerns about the systems is that as the decisions get softer and if a person is out of the loop, that could contain within it the seeds that either there's not time for cooler heads to prevail, or those cooler heads are not actually in the decision cycle anymore. that's one reason why i think that militaries around the world will be slow and cautious when it comes to the further immigration and when it comes to the use-of-force. no military wants a weapon system that it can't control and that it's not sure the going work well. so i think those are limiting on those technologies and what that can mean if the systems hit the
battlefield. >> for those countries that feel less constrained, is there anything that the united states can do to detour the deployment? >>. >> i don't know. they believe that the weapons are important for their own security:in some ways it's one of the issues with the military because the united states is the best in the world at what it does. the best in the world of carriers, fighters, best soldiers in the world, and that contains within it for other countries to push hard and disrupt the technologies. whether there's a source of technologies or robotics or elsewhere and then others to innovate. they can not beat the united states and the gain. we see this in insurgent conflicts around the world and
have experienced it. we will see that emerging. the countries trying to figure out -- lots of these technologies and i am not sure there's to stop them from doing it. they have an interest in doing it. that's why it's critical for the united states. >> it's providing weapons and other capabilities that are designed to limit the freedom. how would you access the current state in the ability to operate or were the vulnerable to the system that is the competitors are developing? >> i want to start with what michael made.
i think that it in forms the way that we have to look at the u.s. and capablilitiecapabilities. that goes to what there's a similar view on the warfare as we do. in a lot of cases i am not sure that it's true. now the rapid movement into syria and then what they brought with them when they did what we saw with them moving in tells us that these things can turn left or right and not follow on the same track that we would expect them. when they sent them in, we did not see that they were dropping wens and laser guided bombs. they were dropping gum bombs and
not trying to be deskreet in what they killed. some of the rules that we would apply and the precision strike and unmanned, are not prelive rating. that's the divergence of the line and why i am concerned about it. yes, it does increase the awareness. we think that the awareness and the school of art is that the awareness is going to bring about the stability in light of what you said. also when you have someone that's an aggressive and takes an approach on the great power struggles, putin can say i just need to know where you're not, and that's where i am going to be. rather than the stability, it's a tool that in ables it. with regard to that, we have seen that and we were expecting everyone to develop missile systems and laser guided bombs in line of what we had done.
we were confused for a long period of time as to why it was not in the way that we expected it. what we failed to take into account and some of the things that the research is suggesting is there's also things like geography that takes play. the indians, for instance, cruise missiles don't play in himalayan situations. russians, for long time precision didn't matter because they didn't place as great emphasis on limiting collateral damage as what we did in some of their earlier developments. so as we look at where they're proliferating and what's proliferating, what we do know with regard to the chinese and with the russians, we are seeing rapid development in a2ad, both in the high north with the russians, which is an area we aren't spending a lot of time talking about, the ability to establish a2ad environments over the baltics is something that
should trouble us, as well as chinese df-21 and follow-on miffs with the warhead. the united states is dealing with the idea of pushing back some of its traditional conventional forces being unable to operate in those zones. i think that we are behind in adapting to that. we sort of made a strategic bet after the end of the cold war that shorter range, the ability to operate in close, would be in permissive environments would be what would characterize that. like the def sec said, that ended. he gave us a good date. as a historian, i am inclined to accept his date with regard to the chinese buildup of the artificial reefs, then russia's moves. that that post cold war era is over. but we have lagged strategically in our approach and i think the time has come to make some significant investments and buy back range, gives us an ability to operate
within the envelope. >> you spent a lot of time thinking about some of these emerging power dynamics, as well as the relationship between conventional and nuclear capabilities. what do you see as being different of the politics? what are some of the key challenges to the united states' deterrence strategy and what are components of a successful strategy going forward? >> thanks very much, kelly. look, i think what the deputy secretary said was not only right on in refocusing the department and the nation's focus but encouraging. it is important and encouraging to see it's receiving that degree of attention because it is a growing and intensifying problem. i very much agree this is the most significant potential contingency our nation can face. especially when, we bear in mine, we're extending deterrents to over 30 countries in far-lung areas many koes close to our ma
power adversaries and very far from us. the department has already fixated or beginning to focus on the issue of major power conflict and applaud it for that. i sometimes fear is a bit neglected is that any such conflict, certainly if it actually happens but even as preparation for it, kind of imagined wars that shape the political force field, the strategic force field between and among major powers, is that any such conflict is going to operate under the nuclear shadow or may actually involve nuclear use. that's vital to bear in mind but sometimes forgotten. the most obvious and in our face example these days is the russia escalates/deescalates strategy. russians have been thinking very clearly and carefully about how to employ nuclear weapons in a limbed tailored way to try to favorably terminate the conflict. but the chinese are also less directly
i think and less overtly but they are also thinking about the role of nuclear weapons in a potential conflict. seems their strategy is more likely to gain dominance in the western pacific and shift the only us in of escalation on us. but their somewhat expanding nuclear force will give them more options for limited nuclear use. any conflict that involves the united states and china or united states and russia is going to involve nuclear weapons. for us to have an effective defense strategy to deal with this and serve our traditional strategy which we should continue is figure out how to deal with this problem rather than hope it goes away. which is not unreasonably sometimes been our inclination the last quarter century. i think this means having a defense strategy that very clearly and practically has ways of plausibly deterring an adversary from using nuclear weapons or, god forbid, if they have been used, terminating their usage on term that's are sufficiently
favorable to us. the qdr of last year made noises this direction when it said we will not let an adversary escalatite way out of defeat. this is one species of the problem. the qdr is to be -- i think it is well known that that was probably more of an aspiration than reality in terms of defense planning and procurement and so forth. i think some initial steps in this direction are deghettoizing the nuclear thought within the department of defense. of having nuclear integration because this is how our adversaries are thinking about it. i think that's part of the beginning. i think more broadly -- a lot of this is going to be thinking creatively, clearly and carefully about the problem with limited war. we are dealing with potential adversaries whose conventional militaries are extremely formidable and abroad, and may be able to contest our ability to prevail over certain time frames and under certain conditions but also have survivable nuclear forces.
in the case of the russians a diversified and large nuclear arsenal. in the case of china, conventional challenge but moderate nuclear force, if current trends continue. i think the point of this is that we need to be thinking about how the united states and its allies can fight wars and can set and operate within the terms of limitation in a way that's sufficiently favorable that we achieve our objectives but the adversary doesn't escalate in a way that puts the onus of escalation back on us. in other words, we need to think about ways to have the defense department fight this push the onus of escalation on them to where they are the ones being pressed to escalate in such a dramatic way. i want to emphasize that i think this way of thinking sounds disturbing, cold war, et cetera, to a lot of people. in some ways, i can see that it is. but i think this is the best way to deter or prevent potential adversary aggression, coercion or even use of nuclear weapons.
i think in this audience it will be less controversial to say vulnerability creates its own challenges and its own form of instability. i think it is incumbent upon us that we should be strong but not in ways that are unduly provocative but in ways that counteract or could credibly counteract an adversary attempt to manipulate both conventional forces and manipulate. a clear example, in the baltics today the u.s. and nato have a modest force. russians, these are capabilities to create favorable political conditions. they also have a relatively formidable core of conventional forces that can be deployed very quickly and are very lethal and would pose a very severe threat for not just u.s. but nato forces in general. then they have a nuclear strategy where they think about using limited nuclear threats or attacks to try to spook nato into backing down.
just the other day, the general mentioned the russians were conducting mock exercises. but this is also a problem of saying how can we be cohesion that our use of force is seen as legitimate and less escalating than the opponent. i this is important -- i wanted to touchen what deputy secretary work said, where he's going is absolutely right but i do think we need to think a bit more of what is the right standard for deterrence under what conditions. what happens if the only way to defeat leads them to escalate and leads way to escalate that seems more reasonable. for that reason we need to think about alternative mixtures of forms of deterrents. in the baltics my proposal is we should have a conventional force
that's enough to make any russian aggression in that area clearly brazen or costly. baer if mind, that's not a trip wire which i think is more where we are thinking today but it is something that wouldn't necessarily defeat the russians on their own but it is a way of saying if the russians go in they are clearly be the aggressor and that will legitimatize or counter more effectively and more reliably. i think this is the kind of thinking we need to get back into which is to think about limited war, to think about the political element of conflict that is going to be uncomfortable for many in the defense establishment but our adversaries are thinking in that way and we can't be put in the position where our lack of forethought of this can't let them get away with murder. >> i think in many ways it goes against the thrust of some of the thinking that we've seen lately in the obama administration. so sid's like to ask you a bit about investments, particularly
as the united states has reduced its nuclear arsenal. as president obama has made statements like the prague speech in which he professed an interest in moving towards a world without nuclear weapons. how do you assess the current nuclear arsenal? are there particularly investments that you think we should be making and how should we be integrating that into our broader capabilities? >> well, thanks. i think the first thing is to -- again this conceptual, organizational sociological piece that is integrating them so nuclear doesn't seem like something that, deal with it. rather something that people are thinking about in the process of conceptualizing their own plans and thinking about the kind of procurements that they want to pursue or seek that is involved in the development of policy documents, i think structurally what i'm talking about does not involve radical shifts either in conventional or nuclear forces.
on the conventional side, when we think about particularly high-end conventional systems, i think it means putting some degree of a premium on the capability to limit their employment in a way that's more favorable to us. you don't want to order the use of a certain capability inevitably renders a war more total. and we can talk about the specifics there. on the nuclear side i think it is having -- preserving what capabilities for discrimination and tailoring that exist which is a problem especially in light of developing adversary air defense other defenses, and expanding them where reasonable short of doing something crazy but basically having the ability to have the president be able to order relatively precisely a certain kind of strike and have that strike go as ordered in a world where b2 and other systems are increasingly vulnerable to systems like the s-400. that's not something we can necessarily bank on
as existing technology. i also think that it means having a nuclear command and control system able to do the kind of battle damage assessment, et cetera to put us in a favorable position should conflict ever escalate. russians should not be able to think they can manipulate the ladder of escalation better than we can. that's not to say we are enabling this kind of conflict. that's to say, russia -- china, that's to say, russia, china, you can't put us in a position where we don't have an appropriate response even though we are fighting over a territory 5,000 miles away from us. but in terms of numbers, i don't think what i'm saying involves radical change. i would also shift the way the country talks about nuclear weapons. i think the goal of abolitions a laudable one, in many respects. but we are entering a period of major power competition and, god forbid, conflict. but we may try to minimize their we should talk about things like stability, like the responsible manage on thement of the absolute weapon of the horrible
weapons and speak frankly about them but not give the impression ta we are trying to reduce their role necessarily. we may try to minimize their role but recognize there is a certain equilibrium that will exist based upon the strategic situation that exists. >> jerry, i'd like to ask you the same question with regard to conventional capabilities. you recently released a report that looks at the decline in range in the carrier air wing. i think you alluded to some of the deficiencies in u.s. military capabilities as you see them. what kinds of investment should the united states be making in order to ensure that it's prepared to operate in this environment we've been discussing? >> there was three major themes that emerged out of the report which i did the historical research on the back of it. the characteristics of the air wing, as they emerged in the 1930s during the period of fleet experimentation were mass, meaning the size of the air
wij wing, how many airplanes can i actually put on aircraft carrier deck, how much ordnance can they carry or payload capacity, then how far with those aircraft, en masse, carry the payload to have an effect on the opposing fleet or opposing enemy land forces. that's governed the evolution of the carrier air wing throughout most of its history until we reached sort of the post cold war era, then we made a series of decisions. one saw the decrease did range as the a-12 program was canceled and the a-6 naturally retired. then some decisions made with regard to a flat budget. when have a procurement that is flat but you have a steadily increasing cost per unit, we actually saw the size of the air wing come down. for instance, when i deployed onboard nuclear aircraft carrier in the early 1990s, we had an air wing that was about 84. at one point in time we had an
air wing that was 94 aircraft. we see overall size come down. but we are phasing an environment right now where numbers matter. not only matters with carrier air wing, it matters with the size of the fleet, it matters with the size of the army as the general spoke of this morning. the number of units in contact is something we have to pay attention so because we cannot be virtually present when it comes to some of these operations. however, doesn't necessarily mean that everything has to be manned. think there is a role for manned/unmanned. we have to find a way of breaking the cost curve to grow the size of the military. i think the strategy that emerged after -- during the end of vietnam, we were in the end of vietnam and recognized some budget decreases were coming and we went with a high/low mix. the f-18 hornet and f-16 came as matching aircraft in line with the f-15 and the f-14 that we knew those were going to be very
high priced units that we couldn't purchase in large numbers. we had to purchase these other aircraft in higher numbers so we could fill out the air wings of those days. that high/low mix, that ability to vary your purchase in order to maintain the aviation fleet size in that case, and i think we can do a similar thing with the surface fleet so we could grow back above 300 ships. my estimates while i was on active duty was we had an actual requirement of 350 ships. now we seem to be hoping we can get to 308. i think we have to use some alternative acquisition strategies to do high-end technologies in low-end capabilities in come in matching pairs. there is a lot to be said hornets carrying a boat load of weapons in a network environment, or manned and unmanned teams that can carry things in greater distances. those are the types of
innovative strategies i think that are begging us to pursue at this point in time. we need to break out of the calcified thinking that's dominated us for the last generation. >> mike, i'd like to ask you about investments in emerging technologies. the offset strategy is something that's come up several times today. secretary work mentioned his approach to the offset strategy as did general mili. as you're thinking about these technologies as a whole, are there particular areas that you think are particularly promising in terms of strengthening deterrence and we should be investing in more heavily so we're better prepared for the long term? >> i think consistent with what bridge and jerry both said, they both emphasized, in different sorts of ways, decline in numbers that we've seen over time and growth in quality. this is consistent. if you go back to the end of the vietnam war and the end of the
conscription and shift to the all-volunteer army, what you see then? you see an increase in the investment in people because you need to essentially pay for your people in a way that you didn't have to before, and an increasing emphasis on a smaller number of higher quality platforms. that has been the fundamental basis of american military superiority ever since then. but if you think that a new generation of technology is not just robotics but think about cyber, human performance, a bunch of different areas, if the underlying basis of these technologies is going to spread around the world much more quickly, then the underlying basis of u.s. military spearty superiority also will have to change somewhat in investing in a number of high-quality invest. systems isn't necessarily going to do it. there is no better area where we see this in some ways than
debate with the u-class, the navy's next generation of unmanned carrier air system. this is in some ways what was being said this morning about defense reform, and that gets to acquisition reform. the debate that's been going on for several years now about whether the navy should buy the more advanced -- design more advanced version of the u-class or develop a reaper on a boat. both are useful capabilities that the navy could -- i'm being a little pejorative in the way i describe reaper on a boat -- but they're both useful capabilities that the navy certainly can and needs and should use. the problem is the way our procurement acquisition system is built now, we'll basically get one shot of it. we'll build one of those. it will take us, i mean, however long it takes to do that. what happens after that? if our decision cycles need to speed up because new technologies are spreading more
quickly, that means that our acquisition system also needs to speed up. so these one-size-fits all sort of 30 years military procurement systems can't necessarily be the way that the u.s. does business in a world of emerging technologies. rather than basically putting -- think about it from a poker perspective. rather than pushing all of our chips to the middle on one version of the u-class or another, just to stay on than analogy, what the u.s. needs to be doing more -- that's why i was heartened to see deputy secretary work talk about experimentation -- is making a larger number of small bets that the united states is able to take advantage of as the security environment evolves. since it is hard to tell in the last 15 years have taught us, if anything, frankly, we're not always the best at predicting what the future security environment is going to look like. four, five years ago thinking about russia invading a
sovereign country in russia seeming and what russia is doing in syria didn't necessarily seem like the highest issue on the u.s. foreign policy agenda. now, things are very different. as bridge was describing, we have to rethink the way -- what the nuclear conventional mix potentially looks like in deterrence in a new era, precisely because of that uncertainty because of the future security environment, combined with these shifts in the speed with which technology is evolving, getting into things like machine learning and artificial intelligence and other areas, we need to be more agile. agility in this case means not placing really large bets on a small number of systems but instead retaining the ability to innovate faster and to build essentially smaller numbers of systems with shorter production cycles in a way that does potentially shift the cost curve a bit when it comes to future military system. this will not be easy in large
part because this runs against going back to what jerry mentioned about culture before, goes against the bureaucratic culture of a system that's been designed to do the opposite over the last 40 years, to build a small number of the best military platforms in the world and pair those with the best people. we don't only need to make sure we still have the best people in the world moving forward, we also need to ensure the way we develop these platforms is in line with the way technology is changing. >> i'd like to open it up to the audience. but before i do i have a quick question because all three of you mentioned some major impediments to some of the proposals that you made. mike just gave us one of his ideas in terms of making small bets for overcoming some of these impediments. are there other types of actions that we could undertake that might help us along?
>> i mean, i think that one of the things that secretary alluded to this morning is something we ought to look at which is re-igniting that experimentation loop that goes on between the building, going on with universities like the naval war college or the air war college, and then industry and our laboratories. so that ideas are being tested. a lot of things -- one of the things -- i always hearken back to the f-100 series or the century series of aircraft, how quickly you develop a number of iterations during the late 1950s, 1960s but a lot of that has been overtaken by computer simulation and modeling. i understand that but that should be taken up in places like labs but it needs to be integrated at the war college, but right now the loop seems to be broken. right now the loop seems to be back and forth between the hill and the pentagon in a ping-pong
match rather than an outreach. i think reigniting that experimentation loop and re-energizing ahead. >> i think broader issues, i think the recognition that in the foreseeable future the united states could lose a potential adversary under the conditions i'm -- the types of conditions i'm talking about. i think once there is that recognition i don't think it is the case in a broader defense policy conversation, then people will say, oh, wait we really do need to do these different kinds ever things because it is more important because this really catastrophic thing could actually -- i'm not talking about marching into washington but i'm talking about limited conflicts where an adversary does have a strategy for cutting the thing off before we are able to respond or want to respond sufficiently.
and that's why i think the deputy secretary, secretary carter, and secretary hagel and others, what they're saying is true. there roo people, sometimes here in europe, don't exaggerate the threat. it is true you don't want to give the russians, the chinese or others more of an appetite but i think that there's -- they see what we're doing. but i think it is important in our own conversations being the political system that we are and that our allies are that we understand how serious this problem is and that it is getting worse. you look at the rand scorecard report on china and it's heading down. unsecretary kendall's charts in space, maritime, et cetera, et cetera, it is a sobering picture. i think that has implications across the force and a conventional nuclear phase. >> let's open it up for questions. if you could please wait for the mike to come to you.
please also introduce yourself. >> thank you. i'm with the naval post graduate school. i recognize this is primarily a conference on what i'm going to call technology, but it seems to me the biggest problem we have is we don't understand the other. it was easy when i came to the defense department 38 years ago, it was the soviet union. we understood how they spoke, how they thought, what they would do, and they did the same for us. i don't consider that a large part of the problems that we're facing today. how do we build that into our education and training and what i would hope would be a learning organization? maybe you're the wrong people to ask, but i think it's a subject that we have to address in a very broad way. >> jerry, do you want to tackle that one? >> so i'll start. because i think actually all of us would look at this as what a
learning organization is in a different perspective. as a lifelong devotee of humanitarians after my failure of calculus 1 of purdue in the aerospace program when i became a political science major, i've been in love with ideas and people and cultures and interactive groups and organizational behavior, and that really has characterized most of my study and research over the years. so one of the things that i've always enjoyed is the exploration of the other which goes into their cultures and their viewpoints. and again, i've always been skeptical of the sort of u.s. view that everyone wants to be like us. the fact is they don't. most of the countries that i've traveled to, sometimes at their invitation, sometimes not, most of the people i dealt with did not necessarily want to be like me. they did not want to wear blue jeans and listen to john cougar
mellencamp songs. >> that might be you, though. >> that could have been me. and also, like food. i don't understand a lot of foreign food. but that being said, i think that we have to be more respectful actually of the viewpoints and challenge those viewpoints represent in that a lot of our ideas that comes out of our own particular cultural experience don't naturally translate, nor are they naturally adaptable. i think that's important as we consider strategy. this comes back to what i was alluding to after mike's initial comments here. i'm not sure that the russians want to be precise. i think that there's an aspect of the way the russians wage war that says i'd like to be indiscriminate and i like to be to be a little more fearful. we actually want to garner people's respect, admiration and affection, we want them to be like us. i'm not sure the russians move in with that type of perspective, nor do i think that translates, frankly, with the chinese. our views on the individual and reports of the individual in our culture doesn't necessarily translate within their culture.
how do we take that into account in war and strategy? and those things have to be brought up. with regard to learning organizations as to how technology -- i'm the wrong guy to ask about that. it was difficult in enough for me to learn the technology i was presented with in my career. but i think bridge and mike can take that up. >> i think the learning of technology [ inaudible question ]. >> yes, sir, right here. >> good afternoon. i'm stew braden with the global special operations foundation. in recent years we've seen a massive growth in special operations worldwide. everybody seems to be doing it. the uk just doubled their budget to their special operations. how do you account for that growth of special operations in the current and future operating environment?
>> i think the growth in special operations has been one of the most interesting trends in militaries around the world. including the united states military. in some ways from the perspective of some of the things that we are talking about, special operations forces embed a lot of the qualities that we want to be in our broader military services. they are a little more agile, for example able to deploy new technologies a little bit faster and a little bit more organizationally nimble. while a lot of this panel has been about technology, technology is only useful when it is used by highly trained people and with operational concepts that help you achieve your objectives. it's those things in combination that have say maybe the united states military and u.s. special forces the best in the world. i would expect in some ways the role of ia