tv Hearing on Afghan Security Forces CSPAN February 12, 2016 10:30am-12:46pm EST
revenue to fund its terror activities, to fund its war fighting activities. in iraq and syria and around the world. that's what we're focused on and that's exactly what we're doing. we don't have fresh numbers, so we'll stick with the old numbers that we briefed about a month or so ago, reduction of approximately 30% of this enemy's ability to generate revenue from oil. we'll don't keep an eye out for new numbers to come out but right now we're sticking with those. >> you can see the entire defense department briefing online at c-span.org. we're live on capitol hill for an update on afghanistan national security forces. several defense department officials will be testifying before the house armed services subcommittee on oversight and investigations.
welcome. i'm delighted to convene this hearing. this is a very important topic and one i know the ranking member finds significant. i'm happy to partner with her in exploring this subject. i also know the gentleman from north carolina mr. jones is attending the hearing with us today, therefore i ask unanimous consent that mr. jones and any other committee members not assigned to this committee be able to participate in this hearing with understanding all ♪ members will be regulared for questions prior to those not it is tongue subcommittee. without objection so order. this morning we continue the committee's oversight dialogue with the department that began last week with the foundational testimony that general campbell
laid out before the full committee. general campbell testified about the evolving security situation in afghanistan and the policy, strategy and posture required from our nation in toward develop, sustain and support the people and unity government of afghanistan well into the future. the goal of our hearing is to learn about and assess the department's efforts to train, advise and assist the afghan security forces as we and our coalition partners strife to balled capable and less theoretical security force. afghanistan needs to maintain its sovereignty and protect its population and for the benefit of afghanistan united states and the international community it must also deny terrorists safe-havens. in reading the recent congressional report submitted by our witnesses and listening to testimony by general campbell the ♪ understands the afghan security forces are still in initial stages of becoming a professionalized self sustaining
and capable institution. but there's still various short falls and insufficient capabilities in important functions. afghan force do not have enough airplanes or helicopters, especially those capable of providing close air support. while there clearly has been improvement the ability to collect and disseminate and pull intelligence is lacking as is the ability to maintain an account for equipment. even the bread and butter administrative issues such as pay, leave, medical services for afghan forces need attention. according to last week's testimony these challenges are compounded by the fact that 70% of the problems facing afghan security forces result from poor senior leadership within the afghan ministry of defense and interior. the taliban are embolden. the haqqani network continues to support terrorism. we need to ensure afghan security forces and civilian
leadership are properly positioned on the critical path of success. however, i am concerned that the president's current budget request for aiding afghan forces is $200 million less than last year's amount. and the administration plans to withdraw u.s. forces down to 5,500 beginning as soon as april. we must not reduce our commitment to people of afghanistan. we must look at early withdraw in iraq. general campbell noted last week devotion of the afghan people in fighting for the country. this is a positive sign. while the material and support is something the american people can assist with having the heart and willingness to fight is something the afghan people must offer. he also suggested last week the u.s. should begin instituting a five year planning cycle instead
of the one year approach. general campbell also readily acknowledged our sustained engagement in afghanistan will continue through 2024. per this strategic partnership agreement signed by the governments of afghanistan and the united states we must also ensure there are appropriate mechanisms in governing structures in place to provide significant insight in order to overseries, account for and safeguard the security assistance the u.s. and our international partners are contributing to the afghans. we need to limit as much as possible opportunities and activities or operations that would encourage or enable individuals to exploit or conduct any fraud, waste or abuse activities. activities of this nature can undercut the trust of the american people, impede's moral of our troops and field skepticism we're not seriously committed to effective use of our resources. like forward to discussing the department's strategy for
addressing the issues i've outlined and to hear from some who have conducted their own assessment of these activities. but before i introduce the witnesses i turn to the oversight investigation subcommittee ranking member for any opening remarks she wishes to make. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for joining me in seeking this particular hearing. i want to thank all of our witnesses for appearing today. our troops are in afghanistan performing an important mission. which includes training, advising and ekwipg the afghan national defense and security forces. so that they can sustainablely defend themselves against insurgent groups such as the taliban. having said that i'm concerned that our strategy hasn't yielded the positive results that would inspire confidence that the afghan security forces can go it alone. any time in the foreseeable future. which leads to the obvious
question. will we ever leave? can we ever leave? i am not convinced that our existing plan is one that we can take to the american people and assure them that our presence in afghanistan is worth the cost in money and in lives. by many accounts 2015 was the worst year for security and stability in afghanistan since 2001. 2015 was the first year that the of a against forces took the lead. meaning some level of instability was expected. but it was alarming nonetheless and i'm not convinced that 2016 will be any better. is there a clear strategy to support our troops and accomplish our goals or are we just moving chess pieces around the board because we're forced to make a move? underpinning these concerns i don't get a sense we're frankly addressing the fundamental challenges we face in afghanistan. corruption, weak afghan military
leadership and a tenacious insurgency which seems to be getting stronger undermining our effort there's and i want to know how these issues get resolved that allows us to leave in a timely manner without creating a security vacuum. again the question is do we ever leave? the american public has a right to know. one thing is for sure, congress needs high quality information to understand the situation we're confronting and effective oversight from inspector general is essential to our ability to under these issues. some might argue that this is one of the world's greatest producers of sheep. i just want to make sure we're not getting the wool pulled over our eyes. we need to make sure that the information we're receiving is reliable, that we're asking the right questions, and are able to travel the country to assess the conditions. here are some bedrock issues that require far more clarity.
we need to know how the afghan forces progress is being measured. what we've learned from the challenges of the last year and how gaps in the andsf capabilities will be addressed going forward. are the afghan forces on a positive trajectory for meeting and sustaining their capability objectives? for now it's apparent our assistance is still needed to build and sustain ministerial institutions to lead the afghan forces. they need a capable air force, other key enablers including sound operational planning,ing logistics and maintenance systems. just this week it was reported the u.s. military advisors are being cents to southern afghanistan to give additional support the afghan national army in that region. in short the afghans are not ready to secure their own country without assistance from the u.s. and our coalition partners and if recent experience is any indication it could be years until they are. we need to be clear eyed and
better informed by the afghan forces abilities now and in the future to secure the country teen reliably prevent extremists from using afghanistan as a safe-haven for terrorists to threaten the united states. we need to make sure we have realistic goals and applausible strategy that fits our goals. above all we need to make sure we're telling ourselves the full story about our situation so that we can figure out where to go next. i look forward to all of your testimony and assessments about the developments of the afghan force which i hope will provide us a fuller picture of the forces progress, performance and capabilities. with that i yield back. >> thank you, miss spear. i'm pleased to recognize our witnesses and i want to thank them for taking the time to be with us. we have deputy assistant secretary of defense for afghanistan, pakistan and central asia from the office of the secretary of defense.
colonel steven michael deputy director for the pakistan, afghanistan and transregional threats coordination cell from the office of the chairman of joint chief of staff. the senior defers analyst for afghanistan with defense intelligence agency. the president appointed special general and mr. michael child deputy inspector for overseas contingency operations for the department of defense. thank you for being with us today and we'll begin with our opening statements. thank you very much. chairwoman, ranking member, members of the subcommittee, congressman jones thank you for your steadfast support for our efforts in afghanistan and for inviting me to discuss the department of defense efforts to develop the afghan national defense and security for the ansdf. i'm honored to have the opportunity to update you
alongside my colleague from the joint staff, the defense intelligence agency, the office of the dod and inspector general and special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction. all of the witnesses before you today take very seriously our responsibility to ensure u.s. pirnl in afghanistan have resources, authorities and guidance they need to accomplish their mission. i would also like to acknowledge the 2236 u.s. service members who lost their lives while serving in afghanistan. the 20,115 military personnel who have been wounded in that country. and the thousands of families who have also sacrificed for this important mission. their efforts represent a strategically significant contribution to the security of our homeland. now, within the department of defense my office provides overall policy guidance for and oversight of the mission in afghanistan. including dod funded security
assistance for the andsf. we have daily contact with key personnel in theater at the combined security transition assistance command, afghanistan, which has primary responsibility for the execution of the dod security assistance mission. we also work closely with other office within dod, the intelligence community and the department of state as we continually assess the status of our efforts in afghanistan. my office supports the efforts of the dod ig ensuring they have the information and importantly the context required to fulfill their mandates to review our efforts. now our priority in afghanistan remains to prevent it from once again becoming a safe-haven from which terrorists can plan attacks against the united states homeland, u.s. interests abroad and our international partners. in pursuit of this objective we're conducting two complimentary missions in
afghanistan. a counterterrorism mission against al qaeda such as the islamic state and nato-led train and advise and assist mission. in october 2015 following a comprehensive review of the mission, president obama announced that we would retain up to 9800 u.s. military personnel in afghanistan throughout most of 2016, drawing down to 5,500 personnel by january 2017. importantly this presence will not just be based in kabul but also in other locations including bagram airbase and kandahar. this decision provides u.s. force sufficient capabilities to continue the development of afghan ministerial capacity along with key capabilities in aviation, logistics and maintenance.
the united states can pursue counterterrorism targets and further develop those critical counterterrorism capabilities that we know are critical to our mutual security interests. the financial support of the united states and the international community is critical to sustaining the ansdf. over the last decade congressional appropriations for the afghan security forces fun have been key to the development of afghan security forces responsible for the security of afghanistan. as we develop the ansdf our support is focused on ensuring they can counter and degrade the taliban and establish a baseline of security that benefits the afghan people and the international community. for more than a year, the mission prove providing security for all of afghanistan has been the sole responsibility of the afghan government. while the security situation remains fragile, afghan forces will continue to require u.s. and coalition assistance for many years, we have witnessed
important progress in their development over the years. as general campbell noted in his testimony last week, the ansdf proved clearing operations in the country and when insurgents attempted advances the ansdf was rally and recapture those areas. significant challenges do remain and our train and advise and assist mission is focused on helping afghans overcome them. it's notable even in the mid-of fight warring the ansdf continue their capacity to manage complex tasks such as budgeting, personnel management and to address key capability gaps in aviation and intelligence. u.s. taxpayers have been generous and patient and it's our responsibility to review how best we can assist our afghan
partners. finding the right balance between the effectiveness and affordability is a key effort of this department. i would like to high like a few areas where i think progress success made. first, we continue to focus on the development of the aviation capabilities including addressing their critical close air support means as well as long term lift requirements. this is very complex and represent as significant portion of our investment in the ansdf in going forward. in 2016 the afghan aerial fighter will triple. second, we are spending a significant amount on ground forces equipment. which has relatively high sustainment costs. we'll significant numbers of humvees and other vehicles to ansdf to improve combat survivalability.
afghan ministry pay and personnel expenses are a major cost driver. about 20 puerto rico of the roughly 5 billion total costs for the ansdf. dod funds the majority of this cost for the afghan cost to and we have been working with their security ministries to develop an integrated pay and personnel system that will ensure we can verify we're paying the right people for the right jobs. finally, corruption is a critical issue and president ghani is a great partner. he's made procurement reforms to address corruption and after we helped him identify corruption in fuel contracting processes he fired those responsible and now new contracts are in place. he also pulled up responsibility for procurement to a national level authority. demonstrating the seriousness which he takes these issues. in each of these areas as well as many others dod, ig and sigar
has helped us achieve our goals. in closing i want to thank the subcommittee for this opportunity to discuss our efforts to develop the ansdf and ensure we're doing so responsibly. the afghan government will continue to rely on arrange amounts much financial assistance to the ansdf until such time as fighting significantly diminishes. we are in the process of working with our allies and part noers extend international funding commitments through 20 and we look forward to working with congress to ensure effective oversight of these efforts to achieve our national objectives in afghanistan. thank you. >> thank you. colonel michael? >> chairman, ranking member, i'm grateful for this opportunity to talk to you and this subcommittee and provide you with information on the development of the ansdf. i ask you submit my full statement to the record and i would like to focus on some key
essential points. as the chairman looks at afghanistan he looks at it through a couple of lens. first of all, afghanistan isall important to us because it affects the vital national interest and key one is making sure nothing that happens there nothing in afghanistan threatens the homeland our threatens our interests. that is one of the primary lens the chairman views this mission. the second, he looks at the resiliency of the ndsf and its leadership. is this force well led? are they willing to do what it takes or are they willing to sacrifice? do they wanted this more than we do? do they understand they serve the people, that they serve the civilian government? do they understand that you cannot harm the people, you know, whom you're trying to protect. do they understand how to
lead -- you know, how to lead a force? so resiliency to the ndsf, ability to fight back in adversity, the ability to lead at the appropriate level, the tiblt make the right decisions. he assesses whether we are committed to afghanistan, those are the questions he consistently asks of us. the second bid a chairman looks at is the viability of the government. now, the military mission sets the conditions for everybody else. we set the political positions for the whole government to work. from the chairman's per speck tifshgs understanding whether the government is viable or not, same thing. are they well led? are they corrupt? is this a government the people believe in? those are all questions he consistently asks of himself to inform his best military advice. and his current assessment is
the ndsf is resell yent. this is a force we should partner with. they deserve our support. likewise, he seeings in president ghani. the chairman's assessment is a stable afghanistan meets and supports our interest and a stable afghanistan also lends, you know, to stability in the region. as we look at the ndsf development. so beginning in 2013 they were in the lead but in 2015, is the first year they were fully responsible for the security. our strategy is focused on they own the tactical fight and we're focusing on things that are really guaranteed, you know, long-term sustain ability and viability to force.
do they have the ability to man, train and equip and field a professional force? do they have the ability to sustain that force, direct that force in the counterinsurgency fight. the tactical fight, they own -- this has been a pretty tough and contested year. probably biggest difference is they're operating in areas -- areas the coalition has been operating in. they're fighting all across the country. and across the board, they're doing well. they're getting their noses bloodied but also -- they're also doing a great job in securing afghanistan. as we look at it across the board, you can clearly see most of the major population centers are controlled bit a-- by the
ands. about 18 of those, or 4%, can say are under the influence of the taliban. this year has seen an increased month of casualties in the andsf. as we look at the numbers, it's probably about 26% increase. much of that is felt by the police. also as we look at the numbers, most of the increases came in their directed multicorps operations. much done in the south. then in the east and also centrally in support of security capital in kabul. the impact of their operations is that there's also increased month of casualties that the
taliban has taken. by conservative estimates, the conservative estimates that the taliban sustained some of their highest casualties since 2011 and casualties at a rate two times of that the ndsf. our assessment is they own the tactical fight. our job is really to support them in the tactical fight but we have to focus on the pieces to sustain long term, their ability to man, field and equip this force and direct this force. isr and things that are essential to keeping this force viable in the long term. as we look at fighting season, this current fighting season, as
ms. abizaid says, we have a dual focus, train, advise and assist and separately counterterrorism. training this force and to making sure it can secure afghanistan is critical to securing our interest, and secondly the counterterrorism mission gives us the ability to do things that the afghan force has not -- doesn't have the capability or the resources to do, or things that we see that directly impact our interests. and as we look at the -- kind of the long term and, you know, so the president made the decision, about a 5500 footprint going forward. that decision was informed by the best military advice of the chairman, the centcomm commander in the field. and that mission and the critical thing of that mission is one of the first times the
decision was made to where it was really not necessarily tied, you know, to time frame. it's an enduring mission, tied to our enduring partnership with afghanistan and to cover and address our strategic interests in the region. additionally, as you all know, we're going through a leadership transition in afghanistan. general nicholson was confirmed by the senate and over the next period of months, he will transition into afghanistan. and as he said in his testimony, as he comes in, he'll do an assessment and based on his assessment, he'll recommend, you know, his best military advice. and both the outgoing chairman, general dempsey, said he has access and influence. and his ability to present his best military advice to the secretary of defense and the president and likewise general said the same thing. as we transition leadership, if
general nicholson assesses any requirements or adjustments that need to made, he has latitude to bring that forward and for the chairman to present that as his best military advice. thank you for your time. >> thank you. mr. breedlove. >> thank you. thank you for the opportunity to come before you today to discuss this important topic. my comments this morning will be brief and built upon my written statement and the previous opening statements from my colleagues. afghanistan faces a diverse collective of threats from insurgent groups to extremist networks and from terrorist groups to narco criminal groups. this includes names we're familiar with the taliban as well as the emergence of groups like the corazon province or indian subcontinent.
they constitute a resilient and persistent threat to afghan's stability and general stability in the region. their activities range from opium trafficking, extortion and kidnapping that fuels the insurgency to high-profile attacks in pop late areas and improvised exclusive attacks along road networks that both typically result in high afghan casualties. rural areas of afghanistan and the afghanistan/pakistan border regions remain a sanctuary for these various groups and the remote and rugged terrain of these areas only adds to the security challenges they pose. in the first fighting season against an afghan-led counterinsurgency, taliban-led insurgents remain resilient. fighting has been nearly consistent since last february, resulting in increased casualty among both afghan security forces and insurgents themselves. the taliban has proven capable of taken ground and contesting
key terrain while continuing to conduct high-profile attacks in the capital city kabul. these high profile attacks, in particular, achieve one of the taliban's main objective of garning media -- following pakistani military -- many out of area fighters to include some al qaeda leaders were displaced in afghanistan. al qaeda activities focus on survival, regeneration and planning future attacks. the organization has a sustained presence in afghanistan, primarily concentrated in the east and northeast of the country. of the groups involved in the taliban-led insurgency, the connie network remains the biggest threat, particularly with the demonstrated capacity and intent to launch these high profile attacks across country and, in particular, the kabul
region. acan any network leader elt operation as new leader has further strengthened the network's role in the insurgency. over this past year, the taliban-led insurgency remained determined, maintained or consolidated its influence in traditional rural strongholds, dominated the information space and cared out attacks with ib creased frequency compared to last year. they range from small scale checkpoint overruns to the temporary capture of kundu city. however, i want to emphasize that the insurgency is not immune to its environment. the announcement of mullah oel march's death and led to the emergence of a taliban opposition faction in late 2015.
in-fighting between monday sour supporters is ongoing and taliban has faced competition from isil regional affiliates in the region, the isk. while the insurgency mounted larger coordinated attacks, they were generally outmatched when engaged with afghan security forces. they also could not capture or defend key targets they may have captured. and unable to hold some of these key areas of terrain for extended period of time, such as we saw in country deuce. they suffered higher levels of reported casualties as well as resource shortfalls. let me close with a brief outlook to the coming fight this year. we expect the taliban-led insurgency will try to build on its temporary vick tour in kundutz last year by attempting to vountd other population centers, exploit vulnerabilities in afghan security by massive
attacks, primarily in remote or isolated rural areas. and attempt to impede ground line communications ahead of these attacks in those population centers. they will also seek to continue high profile attacks against government and civilian targets in key populated areas such as kabul. thank you again for this opportunity and i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you, mr. breedlove. mr. sopko. >> thank you very much and good morning. chairman, ranking members and members of the subcommittee, i'm very pleased to be here today to discuss the development of the afghan national security forces or andsf. sigar has produced a substantial body of work on the andsf over the past years and has more work in progress. in addition to audit, investigations, and special project reports, sigar publishes a quarterly report that
continues to be the single most comprehensive and detailed source of information on the andsf specifically and on afghan reconstruction in general. to conduct this work, sigar has the largest single investigative and auditing presence in afghanistan with more people on the ground than all other u.s. oversight bodies combined and enjoys a unique direct oversight relationship with the afghan government and the personal support of president ghani and ceo abdullah, who i meet with on a regular basis. as we all know, afghanistan is one of the most difficult places in the world in which to work and to do business. the dangers there are very real. and our military, civilians and contractors, and we can't forget the contractors, have accomplished so much over the past 14-plus years that it's impossible not to be proud and
humbled by their efforts and great sacrifice. nevertheless, based on our work, we see five major challenges that could have a significant effect on whether the united states is able to achieve its strategic objectives in afghanistan. we believe that that the five questions provoked by these challenges should be at the center of yours and other policymakers' discussions. the first chal epg is that the drawdown of troops has em per perilled u.s.'s ability. u.s. military advisers and their coalition partners now havegoñg little or no direct contact with andsf units below the army corps and regional police headquarters level. this provokes the obvious
question -- is the current level of u.s. military personnel in afghanistan adequate to ensure that the andsf do not fail in their mission? the second question, the reported force strength of the andsf is questionable. the u.s. now has no option but to rely on the afghans to report on the number of troops and police in the field. yet sigar audits show record keeping in the field by afghans is generally poor or nonexistent. we continue to see repeated reports of ghost soldiers, ghost police, as well as ghost teachers, ghost schools, ghost clinics throughout afghanistan. and these are even reported by the afghan leadership. this leads to the next question. does the united states have an adequate understanding of the number of andsf troops and
police? thirdly, assessments of the andsf's capability and effectiveness have never been reliable and appear to be getting worse. sigar audits show that over time, u.s. capability ratings of afghan military units have become progressively less demanding and more vague. for example, only a few years ago the top rating was, quote/unquote, fully capable. which was later changed to, quote, effective with ambassadors. and has now declined to, quote, independent with advisers. the latter being something of a head-scratching oxymoron. this leads to our third question -- does the u.s. have a realistic understanding of the andsf's real capabilities? fourthly, the afghan ministries
of defense and interior obviously lack the capability to account for on-budget assistance. and this is important. because since 2010, our government, as well as our allies, have gradually increased, based upon promises at international meetings, the level of direct on-budget funding to the afghan government. yet there is less u.s. visibility and control over those funds. our work has uncovered several cases in which the mod and moi were incapable of properly managing on-budget assistance. the question, therefore, is if m.o.d. and m.o.i. lack of capability to manage on-budget assistance, does cstica need to resume more control of more assistance to the andsf? now, lastly, a year after the coalition draw down, the andsf is still far from being
sustainable. and, remember, that is our goal. sustain ability. the afghan government simply does not generate enough revenue to sustain the andsf or even the rest of their government. now at or any time in the foreseeable future. at the same time, sigar's work reveals the accountability for funding is lacking in many areas. this leads to us our last question for you. is the u.s. government conducting adequate oversight and management of the billions of dollars promised in the future to fund the andsf? now, in recent testimony just this week, before the u.s. senate, the director of the national intelligence predicted that, quote, fighting in 2016 will be more intense than 015,
continuing a decade-long trend of deteriorating security, unquote. he went on to say that the andsf will, quote, probably maintain control of major population centers, however, it will cede control of various rushlt areas. he went on to say by saying without national funding the andsf will probably not remain a cohesive or viable force, unquote. now, i think his statement highlights the importance of honestly answering these five questions and taken realistic action accordingly. thank you very much. and i look forward to answering your question. >> all right. votes are being carried out right now. we have 11 minutes left. so, i'm feeling like we probably ought to suspend the hearing at this point and go vote.
the committee is taking a break. members are voting on a bill increasing north korea's sanctions as a result of the country launching test missiles. they'll also test on a bill advising the administration's bill requiring restaurant chains to list the calorie count of their items. we'll show you the pentagon news conference earlier this week where officials explained budget requests released this week for defense department branches.
good morning, steve. or good evening for you. >> good evening. is there still any snow on the ground over there? you want to get started? if so, we'll let you do so, otherwise we can wait for another minute for your slide. there it is. you're up. >> might as well get the show on the road, right? >> well, good morning, pentagon press corps. i want to start out today by thanking canada for their commitment on february 8th the canadian government announced its plan to expand its contributions. canada will triple the size of its train, advise and assist mission. we welcome this. canada will increase its
good afternoon, everybody. thanks for joining us as we roll this discretionary funding for our base budget and $58.8 billion in overseas contingency operations for a total of $582.7 billion. that sustains the president's national security and defense strategies. and they conform -- the figures conform to the budget levels found in the bipartisan budget agreement. now, in building this program that informs the budget that we're going to talk to you about today, secretary carter first asked the department to take the long view. the way he did it is say, well,
how is the next 25 years going to differ from the last. how is it likely to be different? of course, the future is inherently noble, but five of the strategic challenges would most likely drive the focus have our planning program and budget processes. the first two challenges are the most significant shift in the future security environment. that is a return to an era of great power competition. today we are faced by a resurgent advance in russia and a rising chooiina. both are nuclear powers. both building capabilities at a rapid rate. both are permanent members of the u.n. security council and both take aspects of the internationaled principle of order that has enabled the peaceful pursuit of prosperity for decades. russia on its western borders of nato and china in its near seas.
as a consequence, even as we continue to cooperate on issues of mutual interest to both countries, we included the department must be prepared for a period of increased competition over the next 25 years. the third strategic challenge is a unpredictable and dangerous north korea. north korea is an armed nuclear power and now pursuing advanced ballistic capabilities that threaten our allies and those in the broader pacific asian region. it is committed to developing long-range missiles which could propose a direct threat to the continental united states if it's successfully designed and fielded. that is a new thing. moreover, another new thing is the new leader, kim jung-ung has demonstrated propensity to provocation and is very, very, in our view, destabilizing and
risky. threatening our ally, the ally of korea. for these reasons we must continue to retain forces on the peninsula that can fight tonight if called upon to counter north korean aggression. the fourth involves countering and deterring iran's maligned influence throughout the middle east. they seek to become the dominant regional power and in support of its goal, it's pursuing wide range of destabilizing activities throughout the region, threatening allies and partners, particularly israel. while we hope iran will moderate malioned activities over time, we must be prepared to counter them as well as any moves that country takes to violate the recent agreement to curtail its pursuit of nuclear weapons. the fifth challenge is our sustained global campaign
against terrorist networks with near term emphasis with degrading isil and sustained effort to defeat al qaeda and counterthe spread of isil in south asia. now, from our perspective, the campaign against global terrorist networks will be in condition for much of the next 25 years and we must be prepared to monitor it constantly, respond to and treat it whenever necessary. i want to make clear that this list does not reflect a prioritization of strategic threats. should miscalculation occur or deter rents fail, the department of defense has to be able to provide the president with options to respond to possible unexpected contingencies involving any of the four aforementioned state powers as well as those associated with the one enduring condition, our global fight against global -- against terrorism and so we,
therefore, sought to develop a portfolio with the capabiliciti capabilities ready to address all of these challenges with some degree of risk. that's important to note. the budget allows us to execute budget. given the current level of funding, we simply cannot reduce every risk associated with every strategic challenge. we, therefore, developed a program that addresses all five and the secretary said, if we cannot reduce risks in all challenges, we have to prioritize. he told us to do three things. first, we should prioritize strengthening our conventional deter rent against the most advanced potential adversaries. when doing so, we didn't expect us to match advanced capabilities either numerically or system trickily. he instead told us to offset their strengths using new technologicalic operational and
organizational constructs to achieve a lasting advantage and to strengthen deterrents. like previous offset strategies, the advanced capabilities we are developing for our advanced competitors on directly applicable against lesser states. and also strengthens deterrent in that regard. second, with respect to the services, the secretary asked us to focus far more on shape than size. he asked us to try to achieve the best balance of capacity, we call size or force structure, modernization or capability, and readiness within the existing budget level. seek that balance. and in terms of readiness, he expected us to focus on reconstituting full spectrum readiness. he charged us to place heavy emphasis on. one, ensure we retain the advantage we enjoy in our human capital.
our people are the best and most competitive we have. secondly, update our plans and operational concepts. the secretary and the chairman are pushing the department to look at each of the of these challenges in terms of transregional, multidomain, multifunctional. don't look at it regionally. look at it by exploiting our global posture. third, he asked us to seek game-changing technologies and make discreet technological bets that exploit our advantages as well as adversary weaknesses. finally, he asked us to pursue widespread institutional reform. he wants us to become a lean and agile 21st century organization and, just as importantly, we want to free up additional resources to buy down any residual risks that remains in the program. i would like to pass it over to
the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general paul selva, and then we'll be happy to take some of your questions. >> thank you, mr. secretary. good afternoon. let me express my deepest to the professionals who are the men and women to develop the defense budget submission. no easy task even in the best of times. this week we face the inhave iable tasks of expanding complex challenges to national security entrance despite the enduring train. the result of this collaboration is what the chairman, the service chiefs and i believe is the one possible balance of capacity, capability and readiness investments based upon the resources available. today's strategic security environment is more predictable than i have seen in my 35 years of service. our dedicated soldiers, sailors
and marines have been battling terrorism around the globe for nearly 15 years. the pervasive threat posed by violent extremist organizations has been and remains an immediate threat. yet focus on this protracted fight in common with the burden of sequestration and budget uncertainty has come at a degrading cost. delaying modernization and decreasing our overall capacity. as you're well aware, the rest of the world has not remained stag nanlt during this time. concerns posed by agreeses ively state actors also demand our attention. we face growing challenges from russia and china, which are asserting their power. north korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic technologies which continues to plague korean peninsula.
this budget works to invest in capabilities needed to meet these growing challenges while to the best extent possible, preserving structure and advancing readiness. for the army it supports the ongoing transition back to high-end combat and full spectrum capabilities. it invests in the navy's lethalities and improvements in security capabilities, tactical and undersea capabilities. it maintains the marine corps's preeminent role as the nation's most capable expeditionary response role. and for the air force this budget invests in high-end capabilities across the range of domains that we expect our air force to respond in while attempting to improve ready areness through training for the high-end fight. in closing, this proposal reflects the hard choices we've made and the context of today's security environment and
economic constraints and does not leave much room for needed flexibility. i look forward to continuing to work to eventually get an approved budget which addresses the military readiness concerns of today and provides for the flexibility which allows us to continue to address our national security interests into the future. thank you again for being here today. we look forward to taking your questions. >> for either one of you or both, if possible, i just wanted to ask a couple questions on the accounts. first, can you talk about the thinking behind the new $200 million that's aimed at countering threats in north -- north africa, west africa, that region, and what you expect to buy with that money. and then for the afghanistan amount, about what troop levels will that support in afghanistan
for the coming fiscal year. and then maybe just an overall, the increase in funding. what do you expect to buy from the $5 billion to new $7.5 billion, what are you hoping that buys? >> let me give a little overview and then i'll turn it over to the general. the request for $58.8 billion, let me just emphasize, that was built from the bottom up. we said, what do we need to do to do what we need to accomplish in afghanistan. the president, as you know, made a decision to keep 9800 troops through some time this year, probably through the fighting season and down to 5500 at the end of the year. this budget fully funds that. it fully funds all of the operations that are going on in both iraq and syria. and it asks for iraq, train and equ equip, as well as syria train and equip. so, this budget prois us everything we need, we believe,
right now to execute our global operations. that left over about $5 billion to cover base needs. we didn't have a specific -- i'd have to defer to mike on the specific $5 billion, but generally $5 billion was able to address base needs. >> the only thing i would add to that is to ra-emphasize the fact that in the budget as submitted, we have anticipated all costs in south asia as well as across north and west africa portions of our transregional fight of terrorism and violent extremist organizations. that's been fully covered. each services as you get their briefs later today will likely be able to cover the detailed request inside that budget, but we've covered all the anticipated expenses in that endeavor. >> what about this $200 million for the africa region. what is the thinking behind that? what is the threat you're trying to address?
can you expand on that a little bit? >> i'll expand on that a little bit. if you think of the threats that exist across all of africa, al shabab in the east, boko haram in the west, the newly formed isil province in libya, the monies we put into the budget to address, those threats in africa are to be able to work with indigenous forces as well as partner forces to get at those three particular threats as well as others that might emerge. >> this goes back to what the secretary and chairman are saying. we have to approach this as a transregional problem. we have to approach the problem all the way from the western coast of africa all the way to afghanistan and potentially in southeast asia. so, none of these problems we look at as just a central command problem. we look at it, what do we need transregionally to address these threats. the thing we anticipate doing in northern africa would be in the broader support of our global
campaign against terrorism. >> question to you and then, general. this is the last obama administration budget. you've been discussing within the building the looming biway the next administration faces in terms of nuclear modernization and air force issues after 2021. how serious is that that the next administration faces and what are some other options? general, since august during the debate, there's been a constant drum beat of claims that the american military has been gutted. i don't know why i -- but how do you address someone who is watching today to hear that it's been gutted? you're talking about degrade overall capability, reduced modernization. can you put this in context in terms of the condition of the u.s. military today versus the hyperbolic word gutted? >> let me talk about the bow wave and i'd like to turn it a little bit and talk about the
fiscal risk we see going forward. the primary problem we're faced with is we really like the budget deal. we applaud congress being able to provide us with two years of statement. stanlt. in 2018 we're planning on going up again significantly above the sequestration caps. if you take all of the money between 018 that's $100 billion we're counteding on that we don't know for certain we're going to get. the third is future of oco. how will it be done in the future? that's another big uncertainty. we have money that is in oco that should be in base. it just happened over the last 14 years of war. we have to address that. as you said starting in -- between '21 and '35, it's $8 billion a year to recapitalize
our strategic nuclear deterrent. if that comes out of our conventional forces, that will be very, very problematic for us. so, rather than talk about the bow wave, there is future fiscal risks that the country, congress and future administrations and this future administration must come to grips with because once we have a better noting of that, we'll know for sure our defense strategy is on the right track. >> i won't be argumentative but i will take hum braj with the notion our military has been gutted. i stand here as a person that has worn a uniform for 35 years, we have the most powerful military on the face of the planet. we have challenges, of course we do. when are you face with the a global set of threats, have you to make choices on where you focus your energy. we focus the our energy on this violent extremist terrorist thread of threats for the better
part of the last 15 years. that consumes the readiness of our force to do other tasks we're given as part of our mission. you would say we are far from gutted. have you in your joint force today the most powerful army on the planet. the most flexible and determined air force on the planet, the most capable navy on the planet and the marine corps no one can match. i would argue that's far from gutted. i don't engage in politics. this is the reality of the men and woem that serve in our army, navy, air force and marine corps. >> we have time for one more. gordon. >> two quick questions. can you expand a little on the lcs. i've seen a lot of that. if you could expand on your thinking. also, update us on the growth to 90 caps of isr and if you see -- is that being delayed?
is it being accelerated? what in this bung specifically addresses that growth? >> thank you, gordon. first question. lcs is a perfect example of what the secretary meant by focusing more on shape rather than size the requirement for the u.s. navy is a battle force of 308 ships. there's a requirement for 88 -- and there was a requirement for 52 lcss for a total of 140 surface come babatants. last year the navy was going to build up to 321 ships and then come down. we asked ourselves, what can't we buy because we're going from 308 to 321? we said, well, we can't buy a lot of capability. and so it was a very -- this is not an indictment against the
lcs. if we didn't like the ship, we would stop buying it. but those 12 ships would take us from 321 to 309 ships. and allowed us to put more money into torpedos, more money into p-8s, into advanced munitions, more money into tactical aviation so it was more about achieving that balance between size, readiness and modernization. we think the navy is much stronger because of this decision. and we will get to 300 ships in fy' 19, 308 in fy '21. this was the type of challenges is trades the vice chairman was talking about where you look at it and say, would i rather have those 12 extra ships or all the capability that that allows us to buy and we made the decision to go for capability. on the isr caps we're building a
90 low end permissive isr caps like reapers and predators. 60 will be healthy isr caps in the air force, which means they'll have ten pilots per line, per orbit, and that is a sustainable -- a sustainable force structure. the army is going to add 16 caps in what we call the global force management allocation fund and they will actually have 16 orbits. then we're going to buy ten government-owned contractor-operated orbit which is will be our bumper -- i mean our shock absorber. that gets us to 86. four are supporting our forces to today. that's how we get to 90. we won't get to 90 until the latter part but we're on track. there's no slowdown. that plan is fully funded. we hope that congress will support us in that goal.
>> general, did you have anything to add? >> i got it all. >> thank you again. >> lcs -- i have to push you on this one. why did you add one more lcs for two when in december the secretary said you're only going to get one in '17. can you square that? >> sure. the secretary is very flexible on these points and the navy came back in and said, hey, in terms of competition, it would help us if both of the yards had a ship in '17. both could compete and then we'll do the down select. if it doesn't change to 40. it was just a slight change in the profile. it was allowing us to make sure the down select to the frig et, the frig et was a way to do it. again, on all of these things, these were hard choices. choices between size, modernization and readiness. and each of the services are going to explain to you this afternoon the choices they had to make and the choices that we approved to achieve what general
>> this is under secretary of defense comptroller, mike mccord. on his left is the director of force structure, resources and assessment for the joint staff. when you're ready. >> thank you, mark. good afternoon. first of all, i want to say the deputy and the vice chairman have done a great job leading the internal effort with stretches over many months. it seems like forever sometimes. since this is the last time i'll likely be doing this, i want to recognize the hard work that goes on all across this building in the department by so many people in the surfaces, comb combatant commands to get this budget done. i especially want to take a second to recognize the enormous contribution to two people. one, my colleague, jamie, the director of cost analysis and program analysis, leads a great team over there. and i'll get to the second one in a second, i guess. it wasn't until early november we got a budget deal that told
us what top line we were going to get for all the work we've been doing starting back in late spring. we were very far along in our process by then in building this budget and we really had to scramble to last six weeks or so to cut $17 billion, i'll explain is that number, in the last six weeks. it was probably in the last ten days of our process that we knew what congress had done to the '16 budget in the omnibus appropriations bill. a lot came in late. my staff worked through the holidays to wrap this up, get it done and get a quality product. i want to close my introductory remarks by thanking mary of my staff, who did the work of two people throughout this entire late in the year process from november on. when we missing and still missing the top career budget official in the department. he's been out for illness for an extended period of time. in the meantime, mary has done enormous work to do her job as well as his. i want to thank you for that. if i could go to the first slide. the deputy kind of covered --
first of all, three things here. i think the deputy touched on that. he talked at some degree of spes fessty about the secretary's guide to us and you have to fight and win across a range of challenges. what problems are we trying to solve? what problems does the secretary want us to solve? for anyone listening who didn't read the secretary's remarks from a week ago, i would encourage people to go to defense.gov website and start with his speech on the 2nd for what he's trying to do and a little more meat on the bones of the five challenges, which is what this budget is trying to address. and then finally, the deputy touched on this, a word on the future as we hand this off to the next administration who will do the '18 budget, '19 budget and so on. the sequester issue is still hanging around like a bad cold. it needs to be taken care of purr our plans have been consistent and we'll talk about that across several years.
but our plans aren't going to work if we can't get the sequester problem solved and get back up to the level of resources that we need to keep this progress going. we do think we're making progress in this budget. i'm going to skim past the next slide which shows you the history of the base budget and the oco budget layered on top of it since 9/11. we've done a slide like this before. i want to drill down a little bit on the three-year period we've just been through and are about to start. so, what's important about the budget addition about the budget situation, the budget deal. a couple things. from '16 to '17, the two bars on the right, we only got about $2.5 billion more this year than last year. that's under the terms of the budget deal, which was very flat from year to year and was exactly flat in the oco budget for those two years. we're only up about $2.5 billion, what i would call kitchen table math, what did you
have this year compared to last year? the pay raises we have in the budget basically consume about that amount of money. taking that aside we had a flat amount of money once we got past the compensation part to work with. that speaks to the deputy's point about this being more about the shape of the budget than the size because the size isn't growing. if you look back to the year before, one of the reasons the secretary will say and has said he was grateful for the budget deal is that it jumped us up a good 20, $25 billion where we were stuck in a rut. so i would certainly much rather be in the 520 neighborhood than in the 490 budget. that's what this budget did for us. it's a better jumping off point for trying to get the next jump up we need in the future. when the secretary talks about being grateful for the deal, i think he's speaking primarily in terms of it was compromised. he called for a compromise. make a decision.
get something done. when he says grateful, he doesn't mean he had to get everything he wanted and still think this was a good deal. we got stability which was important to the troops for our own planners, industry partners. in that sense the deal was a step up to where we think we need to be and near-term certainty, which was probably the best we were going to expect under the circumstances. if i could get the next slide. i want to take you back to where we were a year ago at this time. we were coming off the second year of the murray/ryan deal back to free for all land in terms of what was going to happen in the budget. so, we were seeking in last year's budget a huge jump after three years of being stuck down in the mid-490s we were seeking to go up about $35 billion. a very large increase. that's what we were trying to accomplish last year. now i'll flip to this year's picture of where we are now.
the budget deal came in, raised the caps for '16 and '17 in the bipartisan budget agreement from last november. jumped us up a good bit of the way. so, what we need this year -- this year our top line is there's no drama because it was set by the deal the president signed last november. we're looking ahead a little to the future now. we need to jump up again just as we did from the '13, '14, '15 level to the higher '16, '17 level, which is about -- we need to make another jump in '18. if you look at two more things i want to point out about this chart. this, i think, has been the most consistent administration i've ever seen in my 30-something years in terms of the outyear profile, the '16 budget, '17 budget, those lines are in purple, blue and green on this chart. very similar top lines. what you used to see all the time was in every five-year plan was slanted down lower and lower
than the previous five-year plan. we stuck through our position pretty well in advocating in what we need, the size we need, the resources we think we need. this chart also speaks to the point the deputy was making about the $100 billion, the caps in law have four more years whether they're still in force if nothing changes from fy '18 through '21. the difference in our position represented by those three lines and the red line below that's about $100 billion so $25 billion a year or so per year over the next four years is what's at stake for us between the resources we think we need and what weesh going to get if the law is not changed. if i could get the next slide. i'm going to pivot for a second from the numbers picture, the top line picture, to the secretary's priorities. the deputy talked about this and i don't think we need to say too much more here. the thing that strikes me about what the secretary wants us to be doing is just the breadth, i think, of what we need to be
addressing. our military as vice chairman said is the best in the world and probably nobody else would contemplate being excellent in all the things the secretary wants us to be excellent at. you think about what he's asking us to do. it's to be -- is to be able to fight and win today and far into the future. you think about the five challenges the deputy enumerated. they span europe, middle east, asia. the world's geography, time from now into the future as well as domains, the typical air, sea, land and space, and now cyberspace. the breadth of what we're taerpting to be excellent at, i think, is really something only our military could do. now, if i could go to the next slide. i'm going to do something i wouldn't normally do in a budget brief which is to talk about what's not in a budget. i know this is of some interest to folks and we're going to have two slides on this. looking at the base budget, which is the predominant part of
our budget and the predominant part of the budget agreement, the caps were reduced about $22 billion below what we had planned for this year. now, a couple slides ago i was talking about what i call the kitchen table math. this is different math. this is what did we plan for in those lines i just showed you that have been consistent year after year after year of what did we say we needed in fy '17, compared to that plan the budget deal cut us $22. as we discussed a little when the deputy was up here, the budget agreement for the first time had a specific number for so-called oco or wartime spending. when we built all our requirements, as we did from the ground up, as we always do in the oco budget, we came out to about $5 billion less than that. we had $5 billion basically of relief, which was, as i think everybody who covers this knows, directly intended by the --
thank you for much for your patience and for waiting until we got done with votes. let's hear your testimony. >> thank you. chairwoman, ranking member spear, distinguished members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to discuss capable gaps in the afghan national security forces. as the deposit fi inspector general overseas continues the operations, i manage operation for freedom sentinel in
afghanistan. as the chair of the interagency southwest asia joint planning group, i help coordinate oversight among the several inspectors general in afghanistan. i serve a similar role for operation inherent resolve, the iraq syria counter isil mission. i zroib that coordinating role in more detail in my written statement. regard afghan security forces, my observations are based on our oversight work in recent published reports. we view the challenge of developing sustaining afghan fighting forces is two-fold. balancing the requirement to provide near term fighting capability against the afghan's sustaining their fighting forces. in buildings institutions where those have not previously kpised. shortcoming in afghan sustainment capacity are a
recurrent theme in our work. i would like to highlight three examples. supply and may not nents, property accountability and key commodities. as the supply and maintenance, for many years in during freedom, u.s. and nato partners emphasized rapidly growing the army and police forces' robustly supported them and pushed the supplies to afghan units rather than requiring unit to pull supplies based on need and validated requirements. the result is the afghans have little experience with demand driven support systems. a recent assessment found that the afghan national army was unable to properly forecast their material requirements. regard property accountability, we reported in april of 2015 that the ministries of defense and interior did not have effective controls to manage the 95,000 vehicles procured by the u.s. and coalition partners. the long term solution to
equipment readiness and may it please the court innocence should be the implementation of the afghan maintenance strategy. this strategy will place contractors at 23 locations to maintain equipment and train to afghan to conduct their own maintenance. the goal is to achieve full afghan responsibility for maintenance by 2021. regarding key commodities, our overnight has found significant finding. we found a lack of adequate internal controls to manage fuel and ammunition. last month we reported deficiencies in control involving fuel procured for the ministry. we found that coalitioned a viedsers has no assurance that all u.s.-funded fuel valued at $438 million was used for its intended purpose. we'll conduct a similar audit of fuel procurement for the minute city of defense later this year. future d.o.d. work with include
assessments of u.s. efforts to build an independent afghan special forces and intelligence capability. we'll soon evaluate the progress of u.s. special operations forces in training and advising, assisting the afghan special forces. and this month we will send a team of intelligence specialists to assess progress in developing effective afghan intelligence operations. looking forward, my office is engaged in a review of current programs and operations to identify future oversight work as lead inspector general for operation freedom sentinel. as you may recall, congress created the lead ij for overseas contingency operations in the 2013 national defense authorization act. the ijs of department of defense, department of state and united states agency for international development execute the lead ig man gait which was enacted to provide
improved coordinated whole of government oversight in overseas contingency operations. we appreciate the support of this committee, subcommittee as we discharge our oversight responsibilities and i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you. start the questions. i was wondering, what is the rationale for beginning the drawdown before the upcoming summer fighting season and before a new u.s. administration has an opportunity to conduct its own assessment of the mission and needed troop levels? >> so, my understanding of the drawdown time line is noo that it will begin in the summer of 2016. the president has directed that general campbell try and keep at the 9,800 level through as much of 2016 as possible to we can do what we can in our mission to get the most out of our
relationship with the afghans as they improve throughout fighting season '16. the rationale for the drawdown to the 5,500 is about how we set ourselves up for a future sustainable presence in the country at kilo occasions outside of kabul. the fact that we will maintain facilities in kandahar are key differences between the plan that was originally approved and the one that president obama revised that i think provide us the kind of flexibility we need to adjust the mission accordingly. >> very good. thank you. colonel michael, afghan security forces have capability gaps, as we have heard you testify, and helicopter airplane capablabil s capabilities. thee include the missions that the professional militaries need to be effective and lethal. what limiting factors are
precluding the amdsf from effectively establishing these capabilities? >> ma'am, i would say that there isn't anything specific that -- i wouldn't say there's anything specifically that's limiting them. it just takes time. first is time in getting the material and time in training process. we look specifically at the cast. we're feeling the 829. there's four platforms that are already in country. there's four more that will be there by april. and then there's a total of -- correction, eight more that will show up after that. part of it is procuring the equipment on time and then the other part is training the capability. as you know, developing pilots is something that takes, you know, taking a lot of, you know, specificity and time.
>> how will the development of these capabilities be affected by the upcoming drawdown to 5,500 troops? >> ma'am, as the 5,500 also has the capacity to pain train train, advice and assist with the afghan air force. and in addition we're also specifically focused on train, advice and assist the afghan special security forces. both of those components will maintain train and advice oversight. >> mr. breed love, how do you believe the afghan taliban would react if the u.s. coalition forces were able to target the afghan taliban directly as part of the counter terrorism mission in only extremist type situations? >> i think the best way i would phrase it is we saw -- we have
seen how this insurgents, and in particularly the taliban do we act when we were under the surge, when we had u.s. and coalition forces in the fight backed up by their own air support, as you know. and we saw adjustments in how they approached their tactics. with your specific questions, i don't think we would see much of a change as far as the fight on the ground. i think the fighters on the ground will adjust. they are an adaptable enemy. they'll adjust to their environment as we saw this year. same as we saw them adjust when u.s. combat forces were much larger or much more aggressive in previous years. but it doesn't stop them from fighting. so at best we may see hesitation among some operations. we may see changes in how they maneuver. but i think at a tack call level
that would be the most we would expect to see. at a senior level, i don't think it would have much of an impact. most of the senior leaders are not in the country anyways. >> would direct targeting bring the afghan taliban to the negotiating table quicker and bring breathing room to the afghan government in. >> ma'am, many my opinion, that would be -- it could be a factor, one of many tools that could be applied. but in and of itself i don't think that's enough. it would have to be one of many tools to help change their belief that they still have the time to win this fight. >> okay. thank you. and, in your professional opinions, has the department of defense made adequate progress in establishing sufficient oversight and accountability mechanisms within its command govern answer architecture to men mize opportunities or identify quickly if they occur,
fraud, waste that have plagued the department's execution over the recent years? >> very briefly, no. and part of that is because we don't have the resources for doing so. and i think i note in my longer statement, which i offer to be made part of the record, that we've even noted some of the task forces set up to fight and combat corruption, have had to be abolished because there are no resources. so i would say no. >> okay. mr. chau? >> ma'am, i believe from our oversight they have established systems. the challenge is properly and fully implementing the systems. and i would offer through examples. they have begun the process of moving the afghans to electronic
pay and information system. they have, the department, improved the process for identifying training, the proper both military and civilian advisers to conduct, train advice and assist. and they've increased the enforcement of the commitment letters. but again, i would not say that they have adequately progressed in that. this is part of a process. and i think there are also complicated factors. it's real important to consider. you've got illiteracy, endemic corruption, the political tribal decisions for selecting commanders. general campbell said that 70% of the problems that he saw was based on leadership. both selecting and being able to relief commanders and senior leaders is too often based on
these other factors rather than competency. and i think for understandable reasons, we don't have the stability of advisers because the tours are nine months to a year. it's very difficult to the kind of relationship over time. instead the contractor force is really the institutional memory in afghanistan. and that's a challenge. and finally, as mr. sopko properly pointed out, the insecurity of afghanistan to have both the department and oversight agencies check, kick the tires, be downrange properly at the proper level to check, we really are defend dependent on afghans in their reporting. without implementing those types of systems where we can better detect that the money is being properly used, there is no adequate progress. but i do believe systems have
been identified and properly put in place, will provide that kind of progress. thank you. >> thank you. ranking member spear. question? >> madam chair, thank you. i want to apologize to all of the witnesses. many of the members who were here earlier wanted to be able to stay but because this is a getaway day, you know, people's schedules are such that they have to make planes. i think this hearing is so important that it should be held as a full committee hearing. we are sending so much money in afghanistan and from the testimony we've heard today, there's virtually no accountability. but let's get to a couple of the points that you've made. colonel michael, you said in your statement significant long term capability gaps remain in the areas of andsf leadership. rotary wing aviation, combined arms operation, intelligence collection and dissemination,
closed air support and maintenance. that's a pretty significant indictment. if it's not improved in 2016, what are you going to do differently or what are you going to recommend that be done differently? >> ma'am, the key thing to highlight is that it's a process. we talk about there's capability gaps in leadership. but it's something that's being developed, you know, develop over time at the tack call level and the core level. the main thing to reinforce, we've been building this force since 2009. initially we started off, this was an american fight. we were in the lead, we were pulling, yaw know -- >> i know all of that. >> yes, ma'am. >> the question though is we've been there for a very long time now. at some point if we don't put conditions on money coming in,
the spigot being turned off and not being turned off, we're not going to get the results we're looking for. and if you don't develop a plan and specific expectations that are going to take place in 2016 or else, funds aren't going to be available in 2017. we will be there indefinitely with no success and with the american people literally pulling out their hair saying, what are we doing here. that's more rhetorical than anything else. i don't think your answer, frankly, is adequate. let me ask all of the others of you, if 2016 is as bad as 2015, what would you recommend be done differently? >> ma'am, first, thanks for the question. i would start by saying, you know, the capability gaps that you have identified that we've all identified in our statements are thex4)ñ capability gaps thae
among the most sophisticated aspects of the force we're still trying to build. we've always planned for those to be the focus of the long term relationship with the afghan government and the andsf. and the president's decision to maintain a presence at 5500 will allow us to kus on the aviation, the special operations, the intel development. this is an investment that we think is important for the long term future of the partnership between the united states and the afghan government on key ct relevant capabilities. >> so do you anticipate there will be at least 5,000 troops in afghanistan indefinitely? >> i wouldn't say indefinitely. i think that the plan is to ensure that they progress and as they progress we can have more and more confidence in reducing our own troop level. which is part of how we got to the drawdown that we're currently planning on now. the 30,000 to 9800 did assume that the afghans could assume
full responsibility for the security environment in 2015. and despite very real challenges that we mostly anticipated, they have performed as expected. now the drawdown to 5500 anticipate gaps remain but we're going to make up the gaps over time. i don't have a good estimate for how much time that will take but i do not think it is an indefinite investment. >> what do you think we should do differently in 2017 if 2017 is as bad as 2015? >> well, i think 2016 will be as bad as 2015. i support the judgment of the head of national intelligence who predicted that. i would say if things look bad, and i think they do, i would
have four suggestions to you. number one, fully support and ensure that general nicholson actually has the resources and the time to conduct that 90-day assessment. a true 90-day assessment of what's going on and what his needs are. and bring him back and have him explain to this committee and other committees as to what those needs are. he is the person on the ground, he's got to get there out with his people and see what's going on. the second thing is i think this congress should require u.s. aid and dod and the department of state to actually rate and rack and stack their programs as to what's succeeded, what hasn't and what do you want to get rid of in the fact that we have a physical crisis in the government. why are we paying for programs that make no sense. they have never done that.
i sent a letter to the head of the aid and secretary of defense after i was on the job one year, three years ago, asking them to rack and stack all of their programs and at minimum give me some of your success stories and why and they wrooeren't able to it. all i got back is balloons and kites and happy talk. we're helping the afghan military. great. what program helped the afghan military. if you have an unlimited budget, you can fund everything. but if you have a limited budget, limited time and limited security, which programs are the most important programs. i would think that's something congress needs to do. and going into 2016 that's what you really need to do. and they have to come up with real measurements of success. right now the measurement of success seems to be do you spend the appropriations. i'm not seeing real measurements of success in the work i do, not
only with d.o.d. but with a.i.d. and state. and i think that's something congress needs to hold somebody's feet to the fire on. >> mr. childs? >> ma'am, i can't argue with what he has said. i think in terms of the agencies. but i do believe it's beyond my expertise as an oversight organization to address the actual policy and the prescriptions. when policy is decided and objectives are declared, i see it as our job as oversight to see how that's being implemented. but the idea of providing general nicholson the opportunity to come back and to, after his assessment, to make clear what he thinks he needs to properly do his job, i think that is a proper way forward and likewise, i think it's very important that the agencies, as
they discharge their responsibilities, they will assess what works and they may then change their policy. when they do, i think it's my job representing the oversight community to see how that's being implemented. thank you. >> so there were two issues that were brought up this morning. one ghost troops and few that i would think we should be able to get our handle on. $438 million being spent on u.s. fuel to afghanistan and mr. childs, you testified that there really is no accountability. is this fuel being sold on the black market? is that a potential effect of what's going on? >> ma'am, to be precise, we found that there was no reasonable assurance that all of the fuel was being used for its proper purpose. we couldn't pin down more
precisely. and as to the ghost soldiers, we have direct funding audit that inpart concerns the pay system. and that will address some portion of the concern that we're paying for troops that are not actually there. >> so these troops that could be in provinces that we don't have the ability because it's so unsafe to send personnel to audit, would suggest that we really have no way of knowing whether these troops exist or don't exist and whether they are functioning as members of the afghan armed services, correct? >> it is, it is certainly the fact that we can't properly assess. they clearly have troops in the role or on the roles because it's a tough fighting year. in fact they do have -- the
question is how many other are we paying for that are not on the rolls. and that's in part what the pay systems are designed to address. and as i was saying, i believe we've established, the department has established that type of mechanism to address. but it hasn't been fully implemented. >> mr. sopko is shaking his head, so -- >> i think, i think my colleague mentioned it. we've got a program out there, we've got a contract we let but it hasn't been implemented. we tried and i mentioned it in my statement to ping the system. which is supposed to have all of this great data and they couldn't give us any answer from it. that's the big problem. we're relying still on the afghans who have an incentive to lie because they can collect the money to fill in the data cells. we don't have the people on the ground. remember, we're at the level of
the core. we are not at the level of the briga brigade. we have no visibility. so at the core level it may look good. i mean, that's like measuring air effectiveness by going over to the pentagon and understanding what's going on in afghan stan. you've got to have people out on the ground and that is the inherent problem with that. i don't care how many i.t. systems you put into place, if your data going in, it's garj in, garj out and that's what we' seeing, particularly in a country in afghanistan where there is an incentive. my concern is we saw in iraq where there were paper division. and apparently if you listen to the reporting coming in by afghan officials, they were paper units. which may explain what the
problem is. my concern is how many of those units are actually just paper units. >> and we're paying for the salaries of each and every afghan soldier, is that correct?? >> we and our allies, yes. we're paying the bulk of it. >> and the police force as well? >> that's correct. >> all right. i have many more questions but i'll yield back. thank you. >> sure. mr. scott. >> thank you, madam chair. ma'am, gentlemen, thank you for your service. colonel michael, i know we're discussing afghanistan today, but king abdullah was here one month ago today and discussed that whole region of the world, if you will, including libya and the saudi and iran situation. you're in charge of pakistan as well as afghanistan and the transregional threat. how do you assess the region as
a whole right now, the threat level? >> well, i think if you look regionally, the threat level is fairly high. that's one of the reasons we're there. we're there to make sure that we set conditions, so that what happens there doesn't imnate and touch here. from that perspective, the fact that we're presence reinforces that the threat level is high. as we look at iskp -- and you heard mr. breedlove's assessment and general campbell said iskp was operation emergent and we have the, you know, he has the target authority to target them. primarily looking at iskp from a global perspective, given the fact we're fighting in iraq and syria, making sure we have the ability to engage and defeat them wherever they show up. >> it's -- i mean, and today
we're talking about an individual country. but sit a regional issue to me. when you look across that whole spectrum, libya, from what i understand is in worse shape than syria. there's not much reporting there because the press can't get in there. king ap due la was blunt with his statement that the volatility can no be overexaggerated and the whole region is very close to potentially an all-out war. and that's very concerning to me. and we need to make sure that we keep our friends as strong as they can possibly be in that whole region, i would think, to hopefully bring about stability. mr. sopko and mr. childs, this may be more of a statement than a question. we talk a lot about individual things but it seems like we
waste a lot of money on not just the process that seems to be broken but a procurement system that seems to be broken. colonel michael mentioned the a-29 program. i'm somewhat familiar with that as they're trained in any district. and if things had gone as planned, they would be in country right now, is that correct?? and so where we sit today is that they should be there three years from now. >> sir, there's four a-29s in country. the rest will wait until 2018 to be fully -- >> but the completion of the whole -- they should all be there right now. >> yes. contract delays did delay the arrival of the a-29s. >> and it will take three years from now because of those contract delays to get the rest of the pilots trained and the unit actually in country so they can help carry out the fight. so that delay came as the result
of a lawsuit from beechcraft defense if i'm not mistaken, is that correct?? >> i think that's my understanding. it was a lawsuit, i believe that was the company. >> in the written statement it names them in the footnotes. is it possible to calculate how much that lawsuit cost us, cost the united states by delaying that program for three years? >> you know, i'd have to check on that. i assume there are some costs involved, but i really don't know. we could take a look at that if you would like us to, sir. >> my point is, the situation on the ground may be very different and may be very much more in our favor if with we had been able to get the equipment in that our soldiers and friends need to carry out the fight. this isn't just with this situation. it's with situations all across the d.o.d. where the contractors are suing us and those lawsuits
are preventing us from getting the men and women out there carrying out the fight the equipment that they need. colonel michaels, if you had the, if you had the a-29s that you're supposed to have today, could it change the fight? >> sir, absolutely. the maneuvering that they're doing is greatly enhanced by closer support. >> is it possible that what happened on september 28 may have had a different outcome if we were able to provide the air support in. >> i can't necessarily guarantee the outcome but the bottom line is that the maneuver operations on the ground is much better and enhanced with proper closer support. >> so these lawsuits that are delaying our ability to carry out the mission are costing us more than the legal cost of the suit is my point. and it's costing us in lives as well. one last question that i have, if i may madam chair before i turn it back over.
when we pull down from approximately 10,000 troops to 5500 or 6,000, whatever it may be. when we pull our soldiers out, how many of those men and women are being replaced with contractors? >> sir, it's not a one for one exchange. i think right now the level of contractors are almost about the same. i think when we go down to 5500 it will be an increased number of contractors. but if you look at what they're doing, they're not necessarily -- a lot of it is support capability. >> absolute lit. maintenance own aircraft and helicopters. it seems to me we have this number and we say we want to pull this down because we have this perception that as long as we have fewer men and women in uniform in the country that we're not spending as much and
that we're not engaged as much. but when we pull down a maintenance unit, for example, and we turn around and send contractors back in to do that exact same maintenance and we pay those contractors three and four times as much as we were paying u.s. service personnel, we're not, we are not being honest really about the cost of things. and i would ask, mr. s.o.p.k.o., is it possible to calculate how much more, i would think it would be, we're spending on contractors as we draw down than we were spending on u.s. troops? >> we have not done that type of assessment. but i'm certain we could test that. we could take a specific contract or a specific program that was run by the military and then compare the costs. that's something we could do. we have not done it. >> if i could make one final
point, colonel. in talking with the soldiers, it creates a problem when you have a united states soldier who is making a couple of thousand dollars a month sitting right next to a contractor who's making $10,000 a month doing the exact same job. and the soldiers that i talk to, when you get to the point that you have enough trust that we're honest with each other, that creates some strife in an operation. because our soldiers are not treated as well as the contractors are, if we're honest about it. and so that's more of a point than a question. but something i'm very concerned about, making sure that we take care of our soldiers. >> very good point, gentlemen. now, ms. spear, have some more
questions? >> i do. i think in that last round, you wanted to say something, because i thought my time should be shifted to someone else. i did not give you the opportunity to speak. so if you have a comment on that last round. >> sure. i appreciate the opportunity to come back to it. first of all, i think that the go soldiers problem, the problem with accountability or afghan soldiers that we're paying for is a real problem and one that we work closely with mr. childs and mr. sopko to understand. we also work closely to develop a comprehensive solution to address it. we are working toward an integrated pay and personnel system that will mitt tate opportunities for corruption in the system. i think it's a really important initiative that we're putting in place. it's one that we're focused on and it's taken a while to develop given the unique terrain
that is afghanistan. but it is something that we're absolutely focused on and think is an important aspect of the mission. in terms of the difference between fighting season 15 and fighting season '16 and how we're trying to account for those, i do want to assure you that general campbell, in speaking with the secretary of defense, the interagency has communicated the work he's doing already to evaluate fighting season '15. and what changes that the afghan security forces need to make for fighting season '16 but that we need to make in our mission. it's a clear focus that we're not sort of blindly following the template that we started with in fighting season '15. we're look to improve upon and ro progress in the development of the andsf so we set ourselves up for success in fighting season '16 and the long term
mission in afghanistan. thank you. >> so as it relates to ghost troops, can we be confident that by the end of 2016 there will be a system in place with retina detection or something so that we'll have a competent understanding of how many troops the afghan military service has? >> we will certainly have greater confidence. we are instituting a biometric id card system and issuing those to all m.o.d. and afghan national army elements. >> when will they all be distributed? >> i believe by the middle of the year. the integrated pay in personnel system will be fully implemented in the middle f the year as well and by early '17 we'll transition to the m.o.d. as well. >> thank you. mr. breedlove in terms of our intelligence capability there, we were surprised with the death
of mullah omar and did not know he had been dead for some time. is that correct?? >> yes, ma'am. >> so with that knowledge, what can you tell us about what we need to do to have better intelligence? >> well, i think it's ill lose tra tif on that particular account that we need to keep in mind that somebody like mullah omar was in self exile. he wasn't out there. he had always been that way. so trying to get at it from an intelligence perspective, if somebody wants to stay hidden and he's surrounded by people that want to stay hideden and he doesn't communicate and doesn't move, it makes it very difficult to find the need until the hay stack. i think that was illustrative of
this particular situation and as well as the conspiracy to perpetuate the fact that he was alive. >> i guess my question though is, are you comfortable that we have enough resources being expended on intelligence in the region, particularly in afghanistan? >> i am. it's never perfect. it's never enough. you're asking an intelligence professional if we have enough information. we can never have enough information. we're always going to want more information. our gaps are always large. in this particular case they've grown since we've reduced our footprint. but we're adequate to get after what we need to do. and speaking for my agency, i think we're sufficient in order to do our mission set, which is to support the war fighter in theater. >> mr. sopko, is it true that we just built a new headquarters facility for the ministry of defense in. >> that's correct. >> what was the cost of that
facility? >> i think the project cost was $155 million. it was $100 million over budget and completed five years late. >> who is the contractor on that? >> i don't have that data handy. but i would have to get back to you. >> $100 million over budget in. >> that's correct. >> and who was watching the store on that one? >> well, i think it was the -- i'd have to double-check. maybe ms. abez say would know. it was air force contract or corps of engineers. >> could you get back to us on that? >> absolutely. happy to do that. >> the maintenance cost, is that going to be able to be supported?
>> well, i wouldn't know since the afghan national -- i mean the afghan government can't pay for the military. i don't know that they can pay for those costs which is about $2.6 million, $3 million a year to maintain the building. that's our best estimate. >> so if they don't have the money to maintain the building, the building will be a white elephant in short order? >> or we'll pay for it, like we're paying for most of the other oem. >> what about the other facility. >> we're in the process of building a new facility. that should be compete completed soon at the cost of $100 million. >> is that on budget? >> no. but i don't have those exact figures since it's not finished. >> so the ministries, or the ministers want lavish facilities
and so we say, okay, and we build them. do we consider the construction of these buildings on any accountability? >> not that i know of. and that is an issue -- i remember having a lengthy conversation with general similar night who said that prior to 2013 we did not have any conditionality on the money that they were spending or giving. so i think basically 2013 and then he was a big advocate of conditionality. but these building, the construction started before he got there. >> so moving forward would you recommend that there be conditionality on the construction of any palace? >> i agree fully with that. this is something i've had long
conversations with the general, he's now been replaced. and it was the whole issue. he had smart conditionality. i mean you can't stop giving the afghan national security forces guns or bullets because they'll lose the war. but identify the shiny objects that the local official wants and then focus on that as your condition. that was the general's approach to smart conditionality and it's something that we should consider following. >> okay. mr. chairman, i don't know if you intend to do another round. i don't want to continue to ask questions without giving you the opportunity to -- >> i have a couple of brief ones, but i don't have anything long. i'll be happy to go briefly and then turn it over to you and then we'll close out. >> great. >> this may be along the lines, more along the lines of
suggestions that you could make. but in most vehicles in america that you buy now, you can call the manufacturers if the vehicle is stolen and they can tell you exactly where it is and they can actually shut the vehicle down so that it can be recovered. seems to me that we could use the same types of technology in some of our military equipment that if the equipment ends up in the hands of somebody we don't want to have it, that we could stop that equipment from being used against us with stuff that we have in every gm or ford vehicle in the country. just a suggestion that bothers someone greatly to see our enemy riding around in vehicles that the united states purchased. we're going to be pulling from 9800 down to 5500 uniform personnel over the next ten and a half months nap's the current
plan, is that correct?? >> yes, sir. >> so that's approximately 50% of the men and women that we have in uniform. i want to go back to the issue of the contractors. how many contractors do we intend to hire over the next 11 months to replace the work that our men and women in uniform are performing? and will those contractors be predominantly from the united states or will they be local. >> sir, we don't have an exam number of, you know, contractors we're looking to hire. and it's not the replace, you know -- the 5500 is really designed to accomplish exactly what we need from our military. as we draw down, we're not just increasing contractors to replace the fact that we've drawn down the military. the assessment is as we go forward we need to focus on a regional counter terrorism platform as you talked about.
regional is based out of kabul in the south and the east and that gives us the capability to search capacity if we need to and the capability to address any threats. it focuses advice and asis at the ministerial level and the afghan security institutions when a focuses advice and assist at the kritable capabilities that we think we need long term, in the afghan air force and the afghan special security forces. so the number of military is the assessment, that is exactly what we need. obviously we will also be able to lechblg contractors. but the intent was not to draw down military and replace them with contractors. the number of military is the assessment of what we think we'll need. >> but you understand the point. i mean soldiers that i talked with were like, you know, they say they're drawing down, we're losing uniform personnel but in the end we're putting other
people in there doing the exact same job. and contractors aren't necessarily carrying rifles. many of them are operating on the equipment maintenance and other things. but i think the soldiers who are flying the aircraft prefer to have the men and women that are taking care of the men in the united states. i would point out on the a-29 program, it's not just training the pilots. when they come to the united states, they bring the maintenance people as well. so we're sending a whole crew back to take care of that system. i hope we get it to you sooner rather than later. i don't have have any further questions. i'll turn it back over to ms. spooer if she has any. >> thank you, mr. scott. one of the issues that many of you have raised, that general campbell raised was the fact that the andsf have fallen short
in terms of their aviation capabilities. part of it was referenced by mr. scott in terms of getting the actual platforms there. but it appears that part of the problem is that you're dealing with a population that for the most part is illiterate. so i'd like your thoughts on whether or not we're bringing in equipment that is too sophisticated for the population that we're trying to train in terms of the air force to be able to commandeer these aircraft. >> thanks for the question, ma'am. human capital shortages are significant when we talk about the aviation cape thablt the afghan air force needs and it's one of the drivers as we look at how we should build a force that the afghan government can actually afford. we do focus literacy training, we do focus technical training
on those high-end skills associated with aviation maintenance, that with associated with the piloting of the aircraft to the key population that we think is going to be necessary for the afghans to be able to operate the air force that they need. but in terms of the sophistication of the system, i think what we're trying to do is establish a contracted logistic support system that both incorporates, you know, contracted maintenance that we, the united states military often uses for our own sophisticated systems but also increases the training of afghans to be able to increasingly do the maintenance on their own so it become as more organic capability. we're aware again of the human capital shortages and that is a key driving factor in how we balance and plan for the air force that is actually absorbable. >> yes, mr. sopko. >> congresswoman, i think you're raising a really critical point.
it goes beyond the literacy. it goes back to the sufficiency of the resources that the generals have. due to a lack of data we do not know right now how many amdsf people will lit rail. our best estimate is it's less than 30%. why? even though we spent $200 million dollars in literacy training, they don't have the ability because they don't have the resources to measure the effectiveness of the literacy program and determine the extent to which overall literacy in andsf has improved. remember, we transitioned the literacy program to the afghans. and once we did that we lost all visibility. so we don't know how many people have been trained. but more importantly, how many of those soldiers and police we trained are still in