tv Hearing on U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea Operations CSPAN February 23, 2016 8:19pm-10:25pm EST
kind of address it in fits and starts. and i think it's important for people to come here and kind of get a more complete understanding of slavery. >> for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go to c-span.org. you are watching c-span3. next top military officials testify on north korea and china at a senate arm services committee hearing much then veteran secretary robert mcdonald on the president's 2017 budget request for the v.a. that's followed by homeland security secretary jeh johnson on disaster preparedness. the commander of u.s. naval forces in the pacific and the general in charge of u.s. forces in south korea were on capitol hill briefing senators on north korea's recent long-range missile test and china's deployment of a missile system to a disputed island in the south china sea. this is just over two hours.
nominations to the senate? is there a second? >> second. >> all in favor. the motion carries. good morning. the senate armed services committee meeting this morning to receive testimony on u.s. pacific command and u.s. forces korea. in review of the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2017 and the future years defense program. i am pleased to welcome admiral harris and the general back to the committee. i thank you for your distinguished service and for your leadership in an uncertain time. over the past several years, china has acted less like a, quote, responsible stakeholder of the asia pacific region and more like a bully. i note this morning's wall street journal headline, china appears to have built radar facilities on disputed south
china sea islands. china's increasingly assertive pattern called into question whether it will be peaceful. despite u.s. efforts to rebalance to the asia pacific, u.s. policy failed to adopt to the scale and velocity of the challenge we face. for example, the administration has insisted that china must cease its reclamation, construction and militarization 8ñ and operate wherever international law allows. after more than a year of this rhetoric, china's reclamation infrastructure construction and militarization have all continued. last week, we saw press reports that china had deployed the hq-9 surface to air missile system to woody island.
and as i mentioned yesterday, they show a high frequency possibly over the horizon radar on unreclaimed land in the sp t spratly islands. it would represent a violation of the september 2015 commitment to president obama in the rose garden that china, quote, did not intend to pursue militarization. admiral harris, i would like to ask if you can confirm the reported militarization of woody island, the radar at the reef and if you can reveal to this committee any further examples of militarization now occurring in the south china sea that you are aware of. as china continues to use force and coercion to unilaterally change the status quo and challenge the rules based international order, the credibility of the administration's commitments to
regional security is diminished. indeed, china's reclamation and militarization in the south china sea together with china's rapid military modernization and expansion are making it more difficult for the united states to defend our allies and our interests from military aggression. simply put, the administration's policy has failed. beijing has been willing to accept a high level of risk to achieve its strategic goals. meanwhile, white house's risk aversion has resulted in an insii indecisive that has alarmed our allies. shaping rather than reacting to beijing's actions will mean adopting policies with a level of risk that we have been unwilling to consider up to this point. the administration must initiate a robust freedom of the seas
campaign flying and sailing wherever international law allows. this should include freedom of navigation, operations, designed to challenge china's excessive maritime claims as well as joint patrols and exercises with our allies and partners that span the island chain. we must also maintain our commitment to continued sensitive reconnaissance operations which are critical for gathering military intelligence, despite china's protests and ability to threaten our aircraft, the pace and scope of the operations must continue uninterrupted. giving the shifting military balance, we need to take a hard look at what the future u.s. military posture in the region should look like. a department has initiated a european reassurance initiative in europe, it's clear to me that initiative should be considered. building off the recent csis report, we should consider further steps for enhancing posture, improving
infrastructure, funding additional exercises, prepositioning additional equipment and munitions and building partner capacity throughout the asia pacific region. i'm concerned china may attempt to expel another country from disputed territoriy ies or buil new infrastructure. given this, we should consider clarifying how the united states will respond to an attack on the territory or armed forces of the philippines under the u.s. fi philadelphfil philippine defense. destab across this maritime domain. while this poses a long-term challenge, north korea's behavior presents a real and
rising risk of conflict. over the past two months it has defied the international community by testin a nuclear device and launching a long-range missile. this continues to post a risk of violent escalation on the korean peninsul peninsula. that's why i'm thankful for the close cooperation with our partners in seoul between u.s. forces, korea and the rok armed forces. a mraud the leadership of president park for choosing to close the okay song industrial region which has enriched the north with hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade. i'm proud to have supported new congressional sanctions on north korea. despite the deficit of leadership from beijing, these two steps will bring pressure on the north korean regime and its supporters. i'm very encouraged by the joint u.s. republic of korea statement that our two countries will begin the process of consultation for deploying the terminal high altitude area
defense thaad system. the deployment of this system by the alliances is a critical step to providing a further layer of defense against north koreanñi provocations. i look forward to hearing from the general on the utility of the thaad system and other ideas to enhorse tance the relationsh. i would call my colleagues reminiscence to an occasion that took here when last time secretary ash carter was here after it had been in all of the newspapers and television and radio that the united states had finally decided to sail a ship into the areas around the disputed islands. the secretary of defense in front of this committee refused to confirm that, refused to confirm what was in the media and well-known to everyone
according to the "new york times" the next day for fear of upsetting climate talks with china. that cannot be made up. and of the 30 years that i've been on this committee, i have never seen a performance like that. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to join you in welcoming the witnesses. gentlemen, we appreciate your long and distinguished service to the nation. and also the service of your families throughout many, many years. general, this might be your last u.s. forces career posture hearing. we're hearing rumors you may move to añr different command. thank you for your friendship and your service over many, many years. it's clear from the events of the last few months that we are facing a challenge of increasing complexity and instability in the region. given north core rkorea's nucle tests, the security situation in the region is more precarious
than in many recent years. the united states has historically underwritten the peaceful development of the region with sta treenlic alliances and a forward presence that has lawed all of the countries in the region, including china to make extraordinary economic developments in relative peace. one of the pillars of the strategy is to provide stability and secure the region by maintaining close partnerships and alliances from the new defense cooperation agreement with the philippines and our rotational marine presence in australia to our defense relationship with vietnam, there has been great progress on implementing theñr administration's rebalance to asia despite competing resource demands from other regions. we must continue to build on these strategic partnerships and demonstrate our commitment to the region by investing in the partner building. i'm concerned as we all are about china's violation of its commitment to president obama in november not to militaryize the
sea. they released an image that shows china placed a radar system on the reef, a land feature that china reclaimed. this is in addition to the hq-9 surface to air missiles that it added to woody island recently. it seems clear that china does not intend to be a responsible stakeholder in the region. i would appreciate your views on how china's recent actions afilt the stability of the region. general, it seems that as kim jong-un has consolidated his power, he is more and more willing to tolerate risk as evidenced by his rocket launch. i would like to hear about how you believe the security situation will evolve over the next year. again, we appreciate you joining us this morning. look forward to your testimony. and salute your service. thank you. >> general, this is perhaps your
last appearance before this committee. i want to thank you for your outstanding service and your great work, particularly in these times of heightened tension. and we thank you for your service to the country. admiral harris, do you want to begin? >> thank you, sir. i would. thank you, chairman mccain and senator reed and distinguished members. it's my honor to once again appear before this committee. before i begin, on behalf of all the men and women of u.s. pacific command, i would like to wish senator mccass kel a speedy and full recovery. i'm pleased to be here with the general to discuss how we are advancing america's interests. i request that my written statement be submitted for the record. since taking command last may, i have had the extraordinary privilege of leading the 400,000 soldiers, sailors, marine, coasts guard and civilians serving our nation.
these men and women and their families are doing an amazing job. i'm proud to serve alongside them. i would like to briefly highlight a few regional issues since i last testified before this committee five months ago. as china continues its pattern of destabilizing militarization of the south china sea, we resumed our freedom of navigation operations there. a waterway vital to america's prosperity where $5.3 trillion in trade traverses each year. we remain fully aligned in dealing with north korea's recent underground nuclear test followed by a ballistic missile launch. russia is revitalizing its ability to execute long-range strategic patrols in the pacific to include the basing of its newest strategic ballistic submarine and last month's bomber flights around japan. recent terrorist attacks in bangladesh and indonesia underscore the fact that violent islamic extremism is a global concern that must be crushed.
we have continued to strength our alliances and partnerships. japan's peace and security legislation authorizing limited collective self-defense will take affect this year. this legislation and the revised guidelines for u.s. japan defense cooperation will significantly increase japan's ability to work with us. thanks to the leadership of the general, south korea and the united states have taken a stance to maintain peace and stability on the korean pa sin knew la. in the face of north korean aggression, there was a meeting between the u.s. chairman of the joint chiefs, the chairman -- japanese chairman and south korea chairman. cooperation between japan, korea and the united states is a priority. i'm doing everything i can to enhance it. our alliance with the philippines took a step forward when the philippine supreme court recently upheld that enhanced defense cooperation agreement.
which will provide significant partnership and access benefits. i'm excited about a burgeoning relationship with india where i will visit next week. as the world's two largest democrat says we are poised to bring greater security and prosperity to the entire region. two visionary policies are now i could insiding. as the united states rebalances west of the indoation ya pacific and india implements its policy. last october's exercise between india and japan and the united states shows the security interconnectedness of the indian ocean, asia and the pacific ocean. i rely heavily on australia, not only for its advanced military capabilities across all domains but importantly for australia's war fighting experience and leadership in operations around the world. these examples clearly demonstrate to me that the united states is a security partner of choice in the area. it's why i believe our strategic rebalance has taken hold.
given that four of the four problem sets identified by secretary carter, china, north korea, russia and isil are in our region, i would say we can't rebalance fast enough. there's more work do. so i ask this committee to support continued investment in future capabilities. i need weapon systems of increased lethality that go faster, go further and are more survivab survivable. if funding uncertainty continues, the u.s. experience reduced war fighting capability. i urge congress to repeal see kwes strags. i would like to thank this committee and congress for your enduring support and the men and women in uniform, our civilian teammates and our families. thank you. like forward to your questions. >> chairman mccain, ranking member reed and members of the committee, i'm honored to testify as the commander of the united nations command, combined forces command and united states forces korea. i would like to add to admiral
harris' comment that we wish the senator a speedy recovery as well. on behalf of the american soldier, sailors, airmen and civilians serving in korea, thank you for your support. admiral harris, thank you for your vision and professional support of the entire team for usfk. i prepared a brief opening remark. i ask that my written statement be entered into the record. since my last testimony, our u.s. iraq alliance has continued to focus on advancing our combined capability. some of the advanced capabilities include the establishment of the u.s. first u.s. division, additional forces to the peninsula, excuse of our combined training exercises and steady progress on our $10.7 billion plan to relocate u.s. forces in korea. further more, the republic of korea has improved its capabilities with recent establishment of the korean air
missile defense system and center and the allied korea joint command and control system. the republic of korea has invested in modern equipment with the purchase of the f-35 joint strike fighter, global hawk, patriot advanced capability three missile upgrades as well as apa chi helicopters. these alliance advanced help counter the real and approximate north korean threat. north korea continues to conduct provocati provocations. of greater significance, north korea continues to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in violation of the u.n. security council revolutions as demonstrated with its fourth nuclear test and its fifth td-2 launch in january and february. in regards to this threat, my top concern remains the potential for a north korean provocation to start a cycle of
action and counter action which could quickly escalate. similar to what we experienced this past august. while i am proud to report that our alliance stood shoulder to shoerld and deescalatinged the situation, it could have spiraled out of control and demonstrates why we must be ready to fight. to maintain this level of readiness, we will focus on sustaining, strengthening and transforming the alliance with an emphasis on our combined readiness in four critical areas. first, i sr is my top readiness challenge. cfc, usfk required all-weather isr capabilities as well as dependable moving target indicators support to maintain situational awareness and provide adequate decision space. second, it is critical for the alliance to establish a layered and interoperable ballistic missile defense. to advance this goal, we will soon begin bilateral
consultations regarding the feasibility of deploying the thaad system to the republic of korea which would complement the patriot system's capabilities. third, we must maintain adequate quantity of munition to assure supremacy. this is further amplified by the approaching loss of cluster munitions due to the shelf life expiration. fourth, we must focus on command and control communications, computers and intelligence or what we call c-4-i. both the united states and the republic of korea are investing in new tactical equipment that will comprise a reliable c-4-i architecture, but more is required. in closing, i would like to express how proud i am of the service members, civilians and their families serving in the republic of korea who never lose sight of the fact that we're on freedom's frontier. i would also like to recognize ambassador mark lipp re t and
admiral harry harris and the u.s. and senior leaders for their commitment to our mission on the peninsulpeninsula. thank you. >> thank you. i thank the witnesses kind words about senator mckaskell. we are wishing her well and a speedy recovery. general, you have the benefit of now four years of service as commander of forces in korea. have you ever seen tensions this high? >> no, sir, i have not. particularly in august, i think the tensions then with north korea to, quote, semi-war status, was the highest tension we have seen probably since 1994. >> so in your testimony you said the situation, quote, could spiral out of control. >> yes, sir. my concern is is that in a provocation, much like we had in
august, both sides at a very high alert status. and there could be a miscalculation. with a response, it would be hard to control that situation. >> you do support thaad deployment. >> i do, sir. >> admiral harris, do you think it should be seriously consid considered an option of a second carrier based in japan? >> senator, i believe that as a -- i want as many capability as close to the fight as i can. i think with regard to the second carrier strike group in japan, there are some problems with that and the terms and the political pieces with japan cost and all that. i would defer the navy to sort that out. but again, i would welcome as much forces forward as possible. >> you've been in your job for how long now? >> just a little over seven
months, sir. i took over last may. >> and yet you have had extensive experience with chinese issue -- the issue of china? yes, sir. i was a pacific fleet commander. >> so has any of this escalation the latest -- this hq-9 surface to air missile system surprised y you? >> no, sir. it does not surprise me. in my opinion, china is mill = militaryizing the south china sea. >> one of the responses is to sail and fly over international waters? >> yes, sir. as i testified last -- >> not as a one off but as just a regular routine use of
international airspace and waters? >> yes, sir. i agree with you. >> the situation vis-a-vis china continues to escalate in your view? >> yes, sir. it does. you know, i think china's ssm, surface to surface missile -- surface to air missiles on woody island, its radar -- new radar on the reef over here, the runway, the 10,000 foot runway on the reef over here and on fire cross reef and other places, these are actions that are changing in my opinion the operational landscape in the south china sea. >> and the weapons they have developed could pose a direct threat to our carrier capabilities? >> yes, senator. they could. the df-21, which they have developed and the df-26, which
they are develop, could pose a threat to our carriers. i think that our carriers are resilient and we have the capability to do what has to be done if it comes to that. >> i note you mentioned in your remarks that the u.s. philippine alliance is important. do you tli it's important for us to lift restrictions on the sale of weapons to vietnam? >> yes, senator, i believe that we should improve our relationship with the vietnam. i think it's a great strategic opportunity for us and i think the vietnamese people would welcome their opportunity to work closer with us as their security partner of choice. >> and that also means port visits? >> yes, sir. we do do port visits in vietnam. and i advocate for more. and i believe that we would be able to do more this year. >> if you were asked for your top two or three priorities of
what we should do in light of this compelling information concerning tchina, what would yu recommend? >> i believe we should maintain our combat power. we should maintain a network of like-minded allies and partners. we should continue to exercise our rights on the high seas and in the airspace above it. and we should encourage our friends, partners and allies to do the same. >> thank you. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen for your testimony. admiral harris, you pointed out that there's a growing alliance in the pacific, including india, philippines, vietnam potentially. some of this ironically might be the result of some of the contested actions of the chinese. is that accurate? >> yes, senator reed, it is
accurate. i believe china's actions are provocative, increases tensions and it causes the nations in the region to look to the united states as their security partner of choice and away from china. >> and you are -- do you feel that we are fulfilling that role adequately, that we are engaging and that we're cooperating and leading as we should in the pacific? >> i believe we are. from india through southeast asia and east asia and japan and korea, we are improving our treaty alliances, our bilateral partnerships and in turn, we're getting increased access throughout the region. singapore comes to mind. the edca that i spoke about in the philippines comes to mind. so this is an exciting time in terms of access and agreements and relationships with countries
throughout the region. >> one of the consequences of their build-out into the islands is that they have very accurate surface to surface missiles, they have accurate radar, which would seem to put even higher premium on the water operations by u.s. submarines or autonomous veb vehicles. is that your view? >> it is. i wouldn't say it's becoming more important, because submarine and undersea warfare has always been important to the joint force. i view the submarine as the original stealth platform. the capabilities that we have is a true asymmetric advantage over any other adversary owe potential adversary on the planet. that's our capability in the undersea realm. >> thank you. let me pose a question to both of you. china and north korea is a very
complicated relationship. the chinese, i think, are s muc the south koreans or the united states, but yet they are the major fender of the banking and infiltrating money. why, in your view, have we not been able to convince the chinese to -- of the danger that they face and that their efforts and our efforts together could be effective in preventing a potenti potential catastrophe? >> sir, i wish i knew the answer to that question. i would say -- i find it preposterous that china would try to wedge itself between south korea and the united states for a missile defense
system designed to defend americans and koreans on the peninsula. if they were truly concerned, if they were truly interested, i believe i believe china would and should intervene with north korea and convince them to quit their cycle of provocations. >> general scaparrotti? >> sir, first, i agree with admiral harris. i think that they state that they are concerned about stability on their border and i believe that they place that value above the risk that they believe they're taking with kim jong-un and we certainly hope that they'll reconsider that calculus because they certainly can have a greater influence in north korea given that 80% of their trade and a good deal of north korea's banking is with china. >> thank you. general -- excuse me, admiral harris, you urged us all to repeal sequestration which is i
think the logical and obvious thing that must be done. this year, looking at your budget for this year, do you think you have adequate resources for the challenges and they are significant, that you face? >> senator, thanks to the congress, i'm in good shape in pacific command and fy '16, and the budget for '17 looks good for me. so i'm grateful for that. there's always more, of course, and i'll just mention a couple of areas. areas of munitions, submarines, my submarine requirement as a combatant commander in the pacific is not being met and that's solely because of numbers. isr, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance that general scaparrotti mentioned, and long range anti-surface missiles, weapons, which is, i'm pleased to note, is in the fy '17 budget. >> i presume you would agree, general scaparrotti?
>> yes, senator, i agree. i enjoy a priority within paycom and dod as well to ensure that my forces can fight tonight and the four needs that i noted are the primary ones. >> thank you very much. >> senator inhofe? >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, last week, we appreciate very much, admiral harris, the time you gave us. i led a delegation of house and senate members and you were very nice to spend time with us when we visited you there. since that time, we went to -- we had a personal visit with the australian minister of defense, with our marines in the northern part of australia. the singapore minister of defense and the commander of [ inaudible ] as well as diego garcia. we went all the ways around it, going back to our visit with you, we thank you very much for that. just a minute ago, when we were also there visiting with you, this would have been the 13th
last saturday, we asked you a question about the budget and you were not forecasting any shortfalls at that time in the fiscal year '17 projected paycom budget and the current threats in the pacific. that's what you just restated? >> yes, sir, it is. >> are you concerned, generally speaking, the forward forces are in pretty good shape, when you get a hostile environment like we have right now. we talked about that. but it's usually at the expense of somebody else, in this case the follow-on forces. do you feel confident that they are being treated in a way that it should be called upon that they have had adequate training and they would need to make this happen? >> yes, senator. i am confident that the follow-on forces are in good position today. >> we don't hear that very
often. i'm glad to hear that. general scaparrotti, there are currently nine ongoing operations and exercises, all vital to our international interests. we won't list those but you know what the nine are. according to the army budget, the combined operations consist of over 75,000 u.s. soldiers. how many of these strategic enablers are sustainable under the proposed army budget? now, have you looked at that? >> yes, senator. i think that we can actually sustain that pace and the operations that we have today for '16 and '17, pacific pathways has been very helpful throughout the pacific. i think that's probably the one where we would adjust tempo or pace if there was budget pressure on that. i'm pretty confident we can maintain the exercises, in particular those we do on the peninsula. >> pacific pathways is the
number two here. something happen there, does that have an effect on any of the others? >> well, sir, i think it would affect others in the sense that pacific pathways is very important to partner development. it brings a lot of capability within the pacific, not only to the peninsula itself. >> all right. in the international standoff deepened earlier this month when north korea, of course, ignored repeated warnings by the regional powers, do they pay any attention to the regional powers? we have been talking about this for a long time. admiral harris, do you think when they have all these warnings by us and by others that are out there, does that mean anything to them? north korea? >> i'm not sure what means anything to north korea, senator. but i have to think that the
pressure that's brought on by our alliance with south korea and other nations in the region, they do take note of that. if they didn't take note of it, i'm not sure where we would be. i believe that they also listen to china, though i think that the chinese influence on the north is waning compared to what it has been in the past. >> well, on the 9th of february we had a hearing with james clapper and he expressed very much of a concern with the acceleration that's taking place. a minute ago you said that we are probably in pretty good shape in pa-con. that's what you said when we were there last saturday. since that time you have got all these, i will submit these three for the record, mr. chairman, you actually talked about the wall street journal but also the "washington post" and the japan just yesterday, japan's foreign
minister canceling a visit to china and then the tensions that came out in the a.p. story just a few hours ago. i would like to submit those for the record. >> without objection, they will be included. >> then just, you know, i would like to have you for the record maybe admiral harris, kind of explain that if it seemed at the time of our visit on saturday that things were under a level of control in terms of the budget's concerned and the resources that would be allocated to you, why there wouldn't be an insufficiency now since these things happened since our last saturday's visit. just looking at it very honestly with the acceleration as to what those resources are, are they really adequate, for the record? all right? >> thanks, senator. i believe for the record that pa-com is adequately resourced in 2016 and the '17 budget. >> that's fine. i wanted you to elaborate on
that for the record after this meeting's over. >> yes, sir. happy to do that. >> senator gillibrand? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service in this hearing. i'm concerned about cyberthreats from this region in particular. how do you assess these threats and how are forward deployed forces vulnerable to them and what can we do to address them better? >> thank you, senator. i'll start. cyber is the new frontier. it's the new threat vector. we are expending enormous resources across the department in getting after cyber. in the pacific we have stood up an organization called cyberpac. cyberforces within the pacific command. they look at the dod information systems defensive cyberoperations and offensive cyberoperations. i have assigned to me at pa-com
cybermissions teams and we are learning how the use those teams. again, this is new but it's a very real threat not only to u.s. military forces, but to america in general, in my opinion. >> senator, thank you for the question. as admiral harris said, this is a domain that we are learning that's very challenging and in particular, in the peninsula, because north korea also has a very deliberate goal of increasing their cyber capability. as you know, they demonstrated that both here with the sony attack in the united states and also in korea against their banking and media industry in '13. so it's of great concern to me. we have increased our joint cyber center capabilities over the past year. we continuously work at that. i also have now been deployed a cyber mission team and i work also with the teams that are
supported by the teams in pa-com. i would just make one other comment. it's important within the alliance that i and the republic of korea's cyber teams develop a much closer relationship because we do have a unique vulnerability in that we have systems that are rock u.s. that support the alliance specifically centric. we are working hard as an alliance as well to ensure that we have a proper defense and a capability that we require within the domain. >> i also have concerns specifically about china. i think china's making significant progress since military modernization initialiinitial 5s. it's currently tfting its fifth generation competitor. how effective is our work in deterring chinese expansion and in which areas are we lacking depth at strategic operation or tactical levels and what do you think are the most effective
ways to ensure china's rise is peaceful and last, are there any particular u.s. military capabilities with which you see china closing the gap? >> i'll start. senator, i think that in the capability realm, i asked for increased surface to surface weapons. you know, when i started flying p-3s back in the late '70s, we had the harpoon missile and that's the same missile we have today. and we need to have that increased lethality reach and speed that i talked about before and i'm grateful that the service has responded to that request and the fy '17 budget, there are increased funding for programs to increase that lethality of surface to surface missiles. and i think the secretary -- deputy secretary of defense work
just recently spoke of the sm-6 missile and its capability in the surface to surface mode or against surface targets. the long range anti-ship missile which is air-launched now is another great capability that we need to bring on line fast. and i'm grateful for that. i spoke also or i wrote also about the need for increasing the buy and the rate of buy of f-35s, joint strike fighters, and i'm pleased that in the fy '17 budget that's in there. so i'm glad about all of that. as i mentioned before, we have a shortage. my summary requirement is not met in pa-com and i will tell you that but that's our principal asymmetric advantage over china and any other adversary. i think we have to keep after it.
i think it's important in the long run to modernize our force for the future and to get at your last question about what we can do, i think diplomacy is probably the key. we have to have a strong defense backed up by an active diplomacy and i think we need to use diplomacy to influence china toward an acceptable behavior in the international space. >> senator, i would just add and emphasize the last point. on the peninsula, one of my concerns is if there is conflict, what are china's actions, and you know, we plan for those possibilities. i'm sure they do as well. i think diplomacy and engagement which pa-com engages with them regularly to have these conversations, is very important so that they understand our intent and we have those communications if we should have a conflict on the peninsula. >> senator ayotte?
>> i want to thank you for your service to the country. admiral, i want to thank you for your visit to the shipyard. we appreciate the visit. to follow up on what you said today in terms of the gap of our attack submarine fleet and the needs you have in pa-com, what role first of all does the virginia class submarine play in the importance of our supremacy underseas and how big is this gap? we actually asked the navy this morning about all the combatant commands and the navy told us that there's only 62% of the requests for attack submarine support are being met right now. so what's the gap like in pa-com as well? >> the gap's about 62%. the exact numbers are classified. i'll be happy to have that discussion with you. but we experienced an attack submarine shortfall in the pacific and i would maintain that the pacific is the principal space where submarines
are the most important war fighting capability we have. as far as the virginia class submarines, it's the best thing we have. it's the best thing we have. i can't get enough of them and i can't get enough of them fast enough. >> great. thank you. i think this is the issue that you have raised as we think about sequestration, the long term impact, our investment in our attack submarine fleet which is so critical to the defense of the nation and obviously an area where we have very important supremacy underseas with the challenges that we're facing in the region but if we don't have presence, then we obviously can't address our security needs and our presence in the region is probably as important as anything else. would you agree with that? >> i do. if you don't have presence, you better have reach. and our reach comes from submarines and aircraft and the like. and we need the new ssbn, ssbnx,
in the 20/20s and we need the new long range bomber as well. >> i also wanted to ask you about unmanned underwater vehicle r & d and what you think we should be doing in terms of conducting research development and fielding advance on manned underwater vehicles. is that something we need to invest and focus on going forward? >> i think we must invest, senator, in advanced underwater vehicles and go forward with it. not only in anti-submarine warfare and all the things that uuvs can provide us in that regard but also in mine warfare to get after the mine threat we will face as -- >> how are we doing on that compared to, for example, china or other countries? >> i think we're doing okay in it but we need to do a lot more. >> okay. thank you. i wanted to also ask about, general scaparrotti, as we have
looked at the actions of north korea, that have been discussed today recently obviously underground nuclear tests, the ballistic missile launching, how do you assess what they're doing right now? i know there's always a pattern of escalation and looking for an international response, but it strikes me that this -- that kim jong-un is even less reliable obviously than his father. so where do you assess this situation and what more we should be doing to respond, and secondly, what is the next -- what is your prediction in terms of what we might see next from the north koreans or is it just so unpredictable from your perspective? >> thank you, senator. first of all, i think kim jong-un has been clear that he intends to establish himself and wants to be accepted as a
nuclear nation with a valid missile capability to deliver those assets and of course, he claims he can do that today. he wants to be recognized as such. he's said that despite international sanctions, that he'll continue to develop his nuclear and his missile capabilities, and despite our deterrence, as you have seen, he's continued to do so. so i think his calculus is at this point that those tests that he just conducted in january and february, that they were within his risk tolerance, that he could conduct those and at some point in the future here in the next three or four months, move beyond it just as he has done in cycle of provocation and relaxation over time which has been their norm. i do worry about his calculation being wrong at some point and that's when i state that that's what i worry most about. his view of the world is a very
isolated one, and given the way that he leads in terms of the brutal nature of his leadership, i'm not sure that he gets a lot of good advice or at least critical advice from those around him. >> i think you're pretty hesitant when you're around him to give any contrary advice, also. that's the problem. >> right. i think we'll see increasing tension as we go into this training period coming up here in february and march. i think what we should do is to ensure that our alliance is strong, that we maintain our deterrence activities that we have there, particularly our large exercises here. there's no doubt in my mind that he knows of our capability and believes that he can't defeat it, and i think stronger sanctions are very important from the international community. >> excellent. we recently passed very strong legislation in the senate. i think that sets the stage for the sanctions piece. thank you. >> yes, ma'am. >> senator king? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
general scaparrotti, i think your analysis is exactly right. almost all wars in history have started from a miscalculation. i think that for that reason, it seems to me that part of our strategy should be very clear about what our capabilities are, what our red lines are and when we will act so that there isn't a miscalculation or misunderstanding or underestimation of our capacity. would you agree? >> yes, sir, i would agree. >> admiral harris, what are the strategic implications for the u.s. strategy in the pacific of the chinese anti-access aerial denial, so-called a 2ad strategy. seems to me that forces us to question the strategy of the carrier as the primary instrument, the development of the standoff cruise missiles by the chinese. this is -- it seems to me a
moment of inflection in terms of what our strategy is in that region. >> thanks, senator. you know, we have predicted the demise of the carrier since i have been in the navy. we had the soviets, with all their capability, and we questioned the survivability of the carrier then. then the soviets went out and tried to build their own and then they sold it to china and china's using it and they're building their own now. so if the carrier were really irrelevant, i question why these competitors and pure competitors are trying to build their own at the rate they're building. i think the a2ad strategies that china imposes are serious and we have to seriously consider them and work around them. >> seems to me we need to think about the range of our weapons. >> we do. yes, sir. that's one of the issues i spoke
about earlier in our regular ship surface to surface weapons, we are out stuck by the chinese today. but because of this committee and the congress, we are going to be in good shape in '17 as we put money into those systems. i think again, there is the platform of the submarine and we will be able to win in any conflict at sea when we apply the joint force to that. i'm comfortable with the carrier operating in those waters but we have to consider it. we have to consider the threat. but the chinese a2ad threat is not ten feet tall. it's not even six feet tall, in my opinion. >> you mentioned the importance of diplomacy as part of the overall strategy. would part of that be the advisability of the u.s. ceding to the un law of the sea treaty? >> in my opinion, senator, yes. >> that would help us in dealing
with some of these fuzzy claims in the south china sea? >> i believe that u.s. accession is a positive. >> i have looked at the map. we ought to call the south atlantic the south american sea or something because just the name, it's nowhere near china. >> yes, sir. we do call it the gulf of mexico, the gulf of mexico. >> not the gulf of florida, interestingly. just yesterday, there was a report of the fastest sea level rise in 28 centuries and a projection that by the end of this century, sea level could rise three to four feet. are you looking at the strategic implications of that both in terms of our infrastructure that's on the coast, but also in low-lying, the stability of areas within your command bangladesh, low-lying coastal cities throughout -- >> i look at it in a capability way, because it will be pa-com forces or u.s. military forces that respond to disasters caused
by flooding or tornadoes or typhoons or whatever. so i look at it in that way. but frankly, i'm not looking at rise in sea levels and its effect globally toward the end of the century. that's just too far out for me. so i worry about what's happening in the near term and what i can do about it and how i can be helpful. >> wouldn't it be prudent, though, to analyze our infrastructure just to do a tabletop on what would happen if sea level went up a couple of feet in san diego or guam or -- >> yes, sir. it clearly would. >> finally, what is china's goal? what are their strategic goals? is it purely defensive, is it offensive, do they want to take territory? what's behind this buildup that they are engaged in? >> senator, this is my opinion. i believe china seeks hegemony
in east asia. >> simple as that. >> simple as that. >> regional control? >> yes, sir. >> thank you, admiral. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator ernst? >> thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. certainly appreciate your service. admiral harris, in 2014 the marine corps announced its expeditionary force 21 doctrine which stated that after over a decade of land-based combat operations, the marines were going to start returning to their amphibious roots. i believe the success of this effort is vital in order to respond to a rising china and to assist our allies in that region. are you comfortable with the navy marine corps forces that are postured to provide expeditionary capabilities to meet your requirements? >> senator, i am, but i'll be the first to say that 14 years of fighting in iraq and
afghanistan land wars, there are majors in the marine corps 04s that have never served at sea in the fleet marine force. so i welcome their return but it's not just the marines. the marines are involved in training our allies and partners as they see the benefits of having an amphibious capability for their areas. for example, indonesia and all the archepelagic islands that comprise that country, japan and their interest in amphibious warfare and on and on. so i'm pleased with the work we are doing and especially pleased with the work that the marines and the army are doing to increase the amphibious capability of our friends and allies and partners in the region. >> you have a strategy for closing that gap like you said, the 04s mostly have land-based combat operations? >> i had a strategy when i was
the pacific fleet commander. now i get to task the pacific fleet and marine force specifically to come up with that strategy and work it. >> very good. i'm very excited about that. we are getting back to the basics. i think for all of our forces out there. do you agree with the navy marine corps joint forceable entry capability with the validated ship requirement of 38? >> i do. and the forceable entry requirement is critical not just for the marines but for the army as well. >> and do you think that that will be able to be maintained then moving into the future? >> i don't know. i hope so. i hope that we will be able to get our ship, amphibious ship levels to that standard. >> okay. thank you, admiral. over the past several weeks, just a slightly different topic but over the past couple of weeks we have had a number of very distinguished witnesses such as lieutenant general thomas conant, former pa-com
deputy commander and general carter hamm, former commander of africom and u.s. army europe. they have spoken very highly of our national guard state partnership program and i do believe that this program is key in working with our allies and developing our allies and their capabilities but i am concerned because in the pa-com or the asia pacific area, there are very few state partnership programs out of 70 different unique programs that we have worldwide. i think it's important that we exercise these types of programs and develop those relationships with those countries. could you speak to that a little bit, sir? >> i can. i'm a huge fan of the state partnership program. i have seen it work in the pacific. general grass and i have talked about it and i have asked for an increase in state partner relationships out there but for
the countries in the region, their state partners, our guard forces, are often their principal training relationship. so it's critical for all the reasons you mentioned and general grass and i are in lockstep on the way forward in the pacific. >> are there certain countries that we should be working more with, with a state partnership relationship? >> sure. mongolia comes to mind. we have asked for that. mongolia is a perfect case in point. for a country that would benefit greatly from our state partnership program. >> that's very good. we have many states that already have developed relationships and sometimes look for second partnerships as well. so thank you. general scaparrotti, do you have any thoughts on the state partnership program? >> i, too, am a big fan of that. the relationships that are built over time, the trust that's built is very important and
that's really the glue that helps us improve not only that relationship but importantly, to develop capacity within our partners. >> fantastic. thank you. thank you very much. >> some of that depends on the attractiveness of the state, don't you think, has a lot to do with that? senator nelson? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, when does china yank north korea's chain? what is the point at which they really get serious that north korea is getting out of control with the nuclear weapons capability? >> sir, i wish i knew that answer because we have been trying to find that spot, frankly. i think they have underestimated the danger of kju at this point. he is clearly confident in his
ability to provocate and control a situation. i would urge them to reconsider at this time, that obviously despite these recent events, they appear to be reluctant to take some serious steps which they certainly could. >> well, do they seem to be certainly the one that applying economic pressure and so forth, i mean, do they fear a united korean peninsula so much and/or do they fear too many refugees coming in that this nuclear threat is not enough for them to pull that chain? >> well, i think first they fear instability on their border if that were to occur. the refugee problem it would create for them along the border and then also, the security of wmd. north korea not only has a
nuclear but they have probably one of the largest chemical/bio stockpiles, chemical in particular, but bio capability around the world. so that's their first concern is getting control of that, if it were to be an unstable country and secondly, i believe too that a buffer, it provides them a buffer and they would fear a unified korea particularly with a u.s. ally that they would be concerned with where our forces would be stationed then. >> as you all war game this, what is ñrchina's position if t young gentleman goes off his rocker and launches an attack against us, an attempted attack, because presumably, we would have the capability of knocking it down. in a war game like that, what do you expect china's reaction?
>> sir, we actually have that as part of our war gaming and planning. i think our first thing is as i mentioned earlier, is that we count on engagement with them. we work on engagement particularly with pa-com on a regular basis in order to give us that relationship if and when there's any, even a provocation on the peninsula today, we make contact and make sure they understand our intent. this is my personal opinion. i think that china is also looking at those possibilities in their calculation and probably more inclined lately to intervene potentially, at least in the border areas and to the extent that they would be concerned about control of that wmd as well. so i think intervention is more of a likelihood in my mind in the few years i have been in command now than it was say two years ago or three. >> it may be one of the areas
that china would suddenly see that it's got its interests aligned with the interests of the united states. admiral, it's great to see you. mr. chairman, he's a great product of pensacola, florida, as a native floridian, you can hear it in the lilting tone of his voice and admiral, share with us your thought of the importance from a national military perspective, the trans-pacific trade partnership. >> sir, i'm just going to bask a little bit in that liltingness just for a second. trans-pacific partnership i believe is an important component of the economic part of the rebalance. i have spoken of the rebalance
being comprised of a military, diplomatic, political and economic parts, and in the economic sphere, which i have said is the most important component of the rebalance, the most visible piece is the military piece because you can see an aircraft carrier or joint strike fighter or striker vehicle and all that, but the most important part of the rebalance to america is really the economic component and in that economic component, you have energy and you have tpp. i think that tpp binds us to the 11 other nations that are part of tpp, and the standards that it takes for a country to enter tpp is helpful. it's helpful to the global trade piece and it's helpful to those things that we view as important as conditions of entry, and i think that the fact that there
are countries waiting in line to figure out how to get in i think is important as well. and indicative of how tpp is viewed now in the pacific. >> senator sullivan? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony. appreciate the opportunity to get caught up yesterday. admiral, i appreciate you talking about the tpp not only in terms of economics but energy as we discussed yesterday. the united states has an enormous opportunity now in terms of our competitive advantages in energy, lng, oil spor exports to other countries in the region is something we need to be taking advantage of. i wanted to follow up on the chairman's questions on the south china sea. secretary carter was testifying here a few months back when we had done the first -- and i think it was a little -- i'm a big supporter of secretary carter's, but i think there was
some concern here on the committee that an opportunity to actually announce in a robust, articulate way what we were doing was missed because we literally had to press it out of him just to get any details on what the heck was going on, and so from your perspective, what exactly is our policy with regard to the south china sea, our freedom of navigation operations, what's the purpose, what's the goal and should we be doing this on a regular basis as the chairman said, also with our allies? >> thanks, senator. i believe the purpose of freedom of navigation operations and the other operations we do in the south china sea is to exercise our rights on the high seas and in the air space above it on a regular basis. >> to what end? what's the goal?
>> the goal is international rules and norms. this is international water and international air space, and if we don't exercise our rights or if those rights aren't routinely exercised by someone, then we stand a chance of abdicating those rights to someone else. so the regular exercise of freedom of navigation, in my opinion, is critical. it's important. and it's something that we must continue to do. >> do we have allies who are interested in doing that with us for the same reasons, and are we looking to coordinate with them in terms of future operations? >> we have allies, friends and partners that are very supportive of our freedom of navigation operations, and there are some of those that are willing to consider doing them with us, but there are others that are unable to either because of their own military
capability or lack thereof, or of their internal politics, i guess, and of their relationship with china. >> you're saying that would be helpful to have additional allies, whether they're from the region or maybe some of our nato partners? >> it would be helpful. i have encouraged, you know, other countries to conduct operations in the south china sea because at the end of the day, south china sea is international waters, in my view. >> we talked about okinawa yesterday. can you give us an update what more we should be looking at doing or helping our allies particularly with regard to japan in terms of the marine re-deployment there? >> so we have this relationship with japan in okinawa. we have an obligation to defend japan and they have an obligation to provide us a place from which to defend them. and okinawa is one of those
critical places where we must be in order to meet our treaty obligations to defend japan. a few years ago, through a lot of increasing tensions over the years, japan asked us to move our forces out of futenma to some place else. our response to that is sure, you build a new place and we'll move our forces there. that's a simplistic view but that's how we agreed to move from futenma to the futenma replacement facility, camp schwab. in that process we agreed to locate 8,000 to 10,000 marines out of okinawa. from that you have the guam piece, the hawaii piece and part of the marine rotation forces in darwin. you have all that which is a follow-on to once we start moving marines from futenma to
the futenma replacement facility. the challenge we have is to get the build done on the futenma replacement facility which is japan's responsibility. that's their obligation to us. right now, it's slowed. it's about two years, little over two years late. it was going to be done by 2023 and now we're looking at 2025 before that's done. and then that's when the big movement of marines from okinawa to guam and hawaii will take place, in the 2020s. so i believe we have to continue to fly and operate out of futenma and continue to work with the japanese as they start to build the replacement facility at hanoko. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> i would like to thank both admiral harris and general scaparrotti for the time you spent with me yesterday. i appreciate that very much. and for your service. and general scaparrotti, our very best wishes to you as you go forward. admiral harris, i'm happy to see in your written testimony that you raise the asia pacific center for strategic studies and the center for excellence disaster management. can you talk briefly about the importance and the benefits that these two organizations provide to you as a commander of pa-com? >> yes, senator. i believe the asia pacific center for security studies is a true force multiplier for my operations in the pacific. dkiapcss is able to bring countries to hawaii that i can't go to.
relationships, they enjoy special ability to link together students from all over the region in very positive ways and in building those relationships, it helps me in the region and it also helps those countries to realize the benefits of a relationship with the united states. so i can't say enough about dkiapcss and retired lieutenant general dan leaf, who commands, who directs that thing. i'm pleased to be able to work closely with him and the center and i'm pleased that the center is a direct report to pa-com. so, too, cfedm, the center for excellence and disaster management. i think that center has the capability and the potential to be a true storehouse of knowledge and lessons learned on
how we do disaster management not only in the region but that can be shared globally for people who seek that information. >> i think particularly as we see natural disasters occurring more and more, that the center is very important and i have visited the center for strategic studies a number of times. i totally agree with you that that is a really important resource, a resource for you as well as our country. i want to turn to the relationship, the trilateral relationship among japan, u.s., south korea. this is for general scaparrotti. the tensions as you say are higher than ever and there are some historical issues between japan and south korea that make the relationship between these two countries particularly challenging. from your perspective, how do you see this relationship currently and moving forward,
and perhaps with the tensions between south and north korea now, perhaps south korea will be more -- will be moving more closely to japan. how do you see this developing? >> senator, thank you. important question and important relationship for us. i see it positive and i see it's moving in a positive direction. a year ago, we were having difficulty with trilateral relationships and encouraging relationships, et cetera. over this past year, there has been i think a concerted effort on both parties with the u.s. as a partner to both to improve that relationship and as you know, japan and korea recently had high level discussions as well as a meeting between the prime minister and president pak that resolved the comfort women issue. i think that was significant. as well as the pressures from
north korea. i think both have encouraged them to increase the trilateral relationship. admiral harris just toasted the conference with the two chairmen as well as with general dunford and i think we have the foundation now to move forward in the future with greater mill to mill exercises as well as probably an encouraging environment for increasing information flow between the three countries. >> thank you. this is for admiral harris. the actions of north korea have been particularly troubling and especially with their so-called hydrogen bomb test and their rocket launch into space. do you see north korea as a nuclear state and if so, what does this mean for the u.s. and the un? >> well, they clearly have some nuclear capabilities. i'm not convinced that the bomb
that went off was a hydrogen bomb but they clearly have some degree of nuclear capability. i think they pose a very distinct and real threat not only to peace and stability on the korean peninsula but globally. as they develop their nuclear capability and as i have said before, they're on a quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them intercontinentally, they pose a real threat to hawaii and to the west coast of the mainland united states and soon to the entire u.s. they pose a threat today with their hundreds of thousands of rockets within rocket range of seoul to the 28,500 americans -- american troops that are posted there, their families and the hundreds of thousands of americans who work in korea and are korean ally and japan.
so they are a real threat today and i encourage china, for example, to be helpful and to try to bring north korea to the negotiating table and to do the right thing. >> well, our best wishes on your continuing efforts on that score, because i know it is quite the challenge to have china step up and deal with north korea in a way that would be helpful to stabilizing that region. thank you very much. >> admiral, first of all, let me say how much i appreciated the opportunity to visit with you at headquarters this past week. your message was striking and yet at the same time, i came away a little bit puzzled with one part. we have been working on the issues surrounding rebalance or rebalance strategy since 2011.
the rebalance, a strategic whole of government effort guides and reinforces our military efforts integrating with diplomatic, political and economic initiatives. in august of 2015 secretary of defense carter described four elements of the military component of the asia pacific rebalance. do you have -- have you seen a doctrine that you put your strategy around, which is the rebalance, or is it a series of concepts that are still being developed? >> i believe that we have a strategy now. it's the east asia military strategy that was put out by osd last december, november-december, and i think it captures it well. there are probably other things that will come out on that but i'm satisfied in reading the east asia military strategy piece that the asia pacific strategy piece, rather, that it's captured in there. but i think all the elements that i spoke about earlier of
the rebalance are in play in the asia pacific region. just in the diplomatic and political spheres, for example, we now have the edca that enhanced defense cooperation agreement with the philippines which gives us access to their bases. we have the new defense guidelines with japan which is the follow-on to their piece of security legislation which allows them some limited collective self-defense which moves that relationship forward. we have access agreements with singapore which allows us to put our lcs there and pa-p3 aircraft there on a routine basis and of course, all the agreements we have with australia which is the cornerstone of our marine rotation of force darwin deployment. so i'm very pleased with those initiatives which are in that diplomatic political sphere part
of the rebalance. the military piece is, you know, as i said, the most visible piece. you can see that. then we have the economic piece which is the most important part to the united states, in my opinion. >> in the effort with regards to a2ad, there seems to be a quick movement on the part of china in this area. do you have the appropriate intelligence gathering information? do you need more tools than what you have right now? >> i can always use more tools, senator. i would like to know more about china's intent but in that regard, what i need more than anything else is persistent isr to keep that never blinking eye on korea. >> specific platforms that are not available to you now that you need? >> there are platforms that are not available now that i have asked for. >> okay. they're coming? >> it's being considered.
it's part of the global allocation of forces. so i compete with platforms along with central command, ucom, european command and the like. >> in their current posture, chinese have clearly put us in a position where they are moving us in terms of our safety zones farther out, farther away. the lrsb is being proposed right now. is the lrsb an asset that you would consider critical with regards to our future capabilities in the south china area, seeing as how they could be deployed out of north america, they basically would be in a position to make the strikes necessary at that time that perhaps some of our other carrier based units might not be able to maintain, just based upon size and capabilities. >> senator, i'm sorry, i don't know -- >> long range strike bomber. >> yes. it would be helpful.
i would like to, as i mentioned before, in talking about the next generation bomber, all of that capability is important. not only the next generation bomber but the next generation ssbn and we need those to maintain our position of strength into the 2020s. >> mr. chairman, thank you. >> on behalf of chairman mccain, senator shaheen? >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral harris, i'm so glad to hear someone in your position who doesn't know one of the acronyms that's being used. makes me feel so much better. >> acronyms kill. >> yes, they do. that was a very good pun. i want to thank you both for your service. i want to start, i'm not sure, i assume it should be with you, admiral harris. there is a report that was just
given to congress this week that suggests that chinese investments in the national security sector in the united states growing. is there any reason why we should be concerned about that? >> sure. i think that depending on the area that they invest in, there's every reason to be concerned. we need to look at each one of these investments carefully. we have a process that allows us a mechanism, a legal mechanism, to perhaps prevent china from buying or investing in certain areas. i used it before when i was at pacific fleet to prevent the purchase of some facilities which were near our key military facilities. >> and so does the economic
reliance on china by some of our american allies create complications for our security strategy as we are thinking about chinese investments in our national security sector and what's happening with some of our allies with respect to their reliance on what's happening in the chinese economy? >> clearly, senator, it does. china is the principal trading partner of many of our friends and allies and partners, not only in the indo-asia pacific but globally. so that's a factor that each country has to make and it's a factor in how we regard their reliability in certain cases. so i tell folks, i'm often asked, we have this size of the chinese military and we have this size of the u.s. military west of the dateline, but surely
if you added to that all of our capability resident in our friends, allies and partners that they would match the chinese in terms of numbers, and you can't always count on that in every case, because each country will make their independent sovereign decision on whether to participate in a given operation or whatever. and so china's investment in those countries and those countries' trade relationships with china is important, it matters. just as it matters to us. >> thank you. general scaparrotti, in your testimony, you mentioned north korea's recent actions that suggests that it will do whatever it wants to defy un security council resolutions and other norms. to what extent does -- couple weeks ago we passed additional
sanctions on north korea here. to what extent do those help or hurt as we are trying to influence north korea's actions? >> senator, thank you. i appreciate the action that congress took here in terms of sanctions because i do believe they have an impact. we know that we have slowed his capability to develop these -- his munitions, missiles, et cetera. he is somewhat cash-strapped and i think additional sanctions which can -- there are areas that we have not taken, that we haven't -- steps we haven't taken yet. i think the more that we do, the more pressure we then put on kim jong-un. he's got a fairly shaky economy, not a good hand, and so these sanctions create i think could create a good problem for him. certainly to someone that puts 30% of his economy into his military. >> thank you. i'm certainly a big proponent of our having passed those sanctions. i would like to say for the record, mr. chairman, that one
of the things i'm very concerned about with respect to the sanctions and their enforcement is the fact that we still have sitting in the banking committee the nomination of adam zuben to be the person at the department of treasury to be the person in charge of enforcing those sanctions yet he has not been officially approved. i would hope we could enter that into the record. i would urge that we see some action on his nomination. i'm out of time, mr. chairman but can i ask one more question? >> yes. >> given the recent action by z>háhat affect the chinese thinking or support for north korea and their willingness to try and encourage them to pull back on their nuclear efforts? and for either of you, both of you? >> well, as you know, they denounced the actions as well.
they stated their concern with them. i think they are in active conversations with us now, but to this point, we haven't seen the steps that we would like them to take, in my opinion, and that they could take. >> thank you. thank you both very much. thank you for your service. >> on behalf of the chairman m?qñwoccain, senator graham. >> general, let's pick up with what you just said. are we overly relying on china to discipline and regulate north korea? every time somebody mentions north korea, the first thing out of their mouth is we got to have the chinese help us. >> sir, my opinion, i don't know that we are overly reliant but certainly, there's actions for instance unilateral actions that this body just took that we could certainly apply as well. >> could you give me a list of things that we could do that we haven't done regarding north korea? not right now, but later? >> yes, i could. >> okay. have you ever found a situation
in military history, modern military history, where sanctions stopped a dictator from acquiring weapons? >> i'm not aware. i i'd have to look at that, senator, to be honest with you. >> do you think he cares how his people live? >> no, he does not. >> if he had a missile to reach the united states, would he use it against us? >> his stated purpose is to protect his regime. if he thought it were challenged, he states he would use wmd. >> is it in our national security interest to allow the north koreans to develop missile technology to hit the homeland? >> no, sir. >> should we stop that? >> ifñi military force was necessary, yes, sir, but i think -- >> but that should be one of the options. >> yes, sir. >> do you agree with that, admiral? >> i do. >> i want the committee to understand that we're about to have to cross a road here
eventually. don't you think that in the coming few years we're going to have to make a decision about this. does that make sense to you, admiral? >> the united states is going to have to make a tough decision regarding north korea as whether or not to let them know if you continue down the missile development road we'll attack that program. >> at some point, it may come to that. >> do you think u it would be good for north korea to understand that's a consequence of what they are doing? >> i think they do understand. >> do you think they really believe we would use military force? >> i don't know what they believe. >> what about you, general? >> i would say the same. our difficulty is understanding -- >> could we make it more clear to them? is it possible to make it more clear to them? >> i think it is possible to make it more clear to them. the second thing i would add, senator s that as you look to the future i'm concerned not only about his nuclear missile
capabilities, he's developing a strategic launch ballistic missile and his air defense capabilities. all of those things in about five or six years are going to be a more formidable problem. >> in light of the threat from north korea, if sequestration goes back into effect, does that affect the army's ability to participate in south korea? >> yes, sir, it does. >> if we are in sequestration, what does that to your ability? >> i think it hurts me greatly. not only for forces that are fully deployed but follow on forces. i worry most about those. >> we have a five-year window here of with where north korea is advancing missile technology and cyber capability. they are becoming more of a threat in the next five years unless something change is that what you're telling the committee? >> you said five years. i did not.
>> let's just say in the next five years. they are going to be a bigger threat to the united states. >> clearly. >> is that true? >> i agree. >> so we have that die nam i guess u. the congress's response is to reduce your capabilities in the next five years. is that what congress is doing to you? >> if sequestration remains the law of the land, as i testified during my confirmation hearing i think it will hurt us significantly in the 22 time frame. >> from a policymaker point of view, your advice wub to change that construct? >> my military request of you would be to end sequestration. >> because what we're doing is having the enemy increasing capability and decreasing your ability to confront that enemy. that's a bad combination. >> it's not just -- in my
theater it's globally. >> what does north korea want? just survivability? >> to protect his regime and he wants to establish himself as a recognized nuclear state. >> admiral, would the tpp be help fful if passed? in your region? >> it would be helpful. >> what if we fail to pass it? >> then the country and the region will question the seriousness to the commit memeno the rebalance and turn somewhere else. >> would that likely be china? >> it will be china. >> thank you both for extraordinary careers. thank you both. >> thanks to the witnesses. i appreciate this testimony most. some of us are running back and forth to a foreign relations committee hearing with secretary kerr where where many of the same issues are being discussed and we apologize for that. i enjoyed our visit at the security conference in november.
one of the issues we talked about was raised by senator king, but i think it was raised briefly. he asked you whether you thought the united states should ratify the con and you said yes. i want to dig into that a little more. a lot of the testimony in discussion has been about the chinese island building and other activities in south china s sea. you said a few minutes ago and you were asked about china and what our posture is. the goal is international rules and norms. i think we should be an enforcer of international rules and norms. but i just find it fascinating that as much as we talk about the chinese activities in south china sea that we're against because they violate international rules and norms
we're the only major power that has not ratified the convention. now as a practical matter in terms of our own activities, we act as if that is law. we act in acord with it, but our refusal, and it's a refusal by this body to ratify means, that we really lack standing to hold it up against the actions of anybody else and complain about their failure o to follow the requirements of that convention. and this is not only a matter with respect to russia -- i mean, with china, it's also increasingly becoming an issue with russia in the arctic. if you could, instead of saying i support it, talk to me about from the security standpoint, the safety of the united states and the mission that we have in the pacific what would ratification of that u.n.
convention do for the united states? >> thank you for the opportunity. let me begin in response by saying that i have been -- i have talked to quite a few folk who is are opposed to the united nations commission law of the sea. i have been informed by them and appreciate their position. and i understand their position. i don't agree with it, but i want to acknowledge that there are good reasons -- there are reasons to oppose. my personal opinion is first and foremost, it gives us credibility. it gives us credibility in the international space that we lack today because we're not a cig toir u clause. in a purely military sense, in a projection of power, whether we sign or not is not going to affect that.
but i think by not signing on to it that we lose the credibility for the very same thing we're arguing for, which is following accepted rules and norms in the international arena. the united states is a beacon on a hill, but i think that light is brighter if we sign on. we're going to find ourselves in this odd situation here in a few months if the international tribunal on the law of the sea agrees with the philippine position with regard to their claim against china's line. so we're going to find ourselves supporting that outcome and yet not be a cig toir to it. that puts us in an awkward position vis-a-vis the other countries in the region. russia is going to reap the
benefits of almost half of the arctic circle because of this theory of continental shelf. and we, on the other hand, are not going to reap those great benefits because we're not a cig toir clause. so i think it affects our commerce and trade which is part of that rebalance ask one of the four big spheres. >> so the absence of ratification doesn't only e deprive of an argument against activities of others that we would argue are not lawful, but it also deprives us of positive benefits with respect to the extended continental shelf argument. >> in my upon, that is true. >> i have no further questions. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. >> i apologize for my absence.
page 12 we will continue to work closely with the republic of korea to ensure the appropriate types and numbers of critical ammunitions for6foyç the early s of hostilities. the potential ban could have a significant impact on our ability to defend the republic of korea. could you say a little more about that significant impact? >> yes, sir, thank you. there's presently a policy that in 19 will go into effect that it the use of ammunitions with a dud rate of grate greater than 1%. i rely in a very large way to affect operations if we go to crisis on the peninsula. my concern is that we will not be able to replace those cluster
with proper or use unitary rounds, which they have the same effect i have u to fire u three to five rounds for each one of those. so my point is we need to work now to both develop that are acceptable with less than 1% dud rate to e replace them. until we do, i need to be able to use those that i have in storage now in the peninsula in the interim. >> is the rational a humanitarian concern based on the nature of cluster my in additions? is it more humanitarian to preserve these in our arsenal and deter from having to be used? or to remove them from the arsenal and perhaps increase the likelihood of conflict in which thousands could die? >> i think that particularly in this case, if we were not to use
them in a crisis, it will result in greater military and civilian casualties in the long run because the extension of the campaign and also the affect that it would have tactically on our forces. so i'd be having to share u. we have done some modelling on this and testing on it. i'm quite confident of that opinion. >> have your predecessors relied on these going back to the 1950s? >> we have used them in the past. they are being used today. the russians have used them in a devastating way in ukraine. >> admiral, i'd like to turn to your testimony. page 20 under the heading critical munitions are a top priority and concern. do you mean to say that you are actually facing shortfalls now in critical munitions? >> that's true.
there's a shortfall in the arena. part of the shortfall should be paid for by our korean ally and that's a subject of discussions that we have with korea. >> is this not just in korea, though, but theater wide do you face this kind of shortfall? >> i do, but with the focus of that part of my written testimony centered on korea. >> in this kind of unclassified settings, it's something you can get in more detail about the shortfalls you're facing? >> i prefer not to in this setting, but i would be happy to come back to you in a closed session. >> i understand. we might submit questions for the record. i think it would be irresponsibility for civilian and military leaders in this country not to at a minimum have sufficient munitions to fight and deter the wars that we might
face, whatever we might disagree about on large ticket budget items. we need to have our rounds for our soldier, sailors, and marines. i'd like to turn to the u.s./philippine alliance. we should consider offering a guarantee to the philippines that the u.s. will respond under the mutual defense treaty to attack on the military in disputed water or territory. do you think this option should be considered? >> i think we should consider it and have a discussion of it in the policy arena. our obligations is pretty clear. whether we extend that to which we don't hold is ful peen sovereign territory. we should have that discussion. >> i think deterrence works best
as with relationships that we have with nato and taiwan. my time is expired. >> if you'd like to take additional time because we have until senator blumenthal returning. on behalf of the chairman, let me recognize senator blumenthal as he gets seated. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate your great work on behalf of our country and the work that you have done particularly in the theaters that you have covered. general, i want to come back to one of the points that was raised by my colleague senator gillibrand about soft targets in terms of cyber. how vulnerable to you think those targets are in the area
under your command? >> i think that, first of all, i'm confident in our military u systems and my command and control systems. we red team that and exercise it. i think we have a good defense, but the problem with cyber is it's very dynamic and change cans every day. it's something we have to stay focused on. i'm concerned about obviously the civilian cyber network that we're all connected to. and has an influence on us militarily. that requires work with civilian koupt parts as well. >> in your view, is there any action we could take with respect to north korea that would deter their invasive action, such as we saw with sony, such as we have seen and
you see in your theater? >> e yes, i believe there are some actions. i'd prefer to provide that to you in a either closed session or classified document. >> i understand that point. without speaking to them specifically, have you made recommendations about them and do you think there is the prospect of even an action that will widen and increase the effectiveness of what we're doing? >> we're actively discussing some operations. but that's presently just a part of the planning. >> in terms of the submarine capability of this country, we face no shortage of challenges
in the asia specific and we also i think many of us have no doubt about the importance of submarines. i know my colleague asked you about the sufficiency of the funding that we have in prospect. if you were to talk to the american public, how would you put it so that they could understand the importance of our submarine capability of the asia pacific? >> senator, i would say that submarine force has been principle advantage over all theedthe adversaries we have faced in the submarine service. and and it is such an advantaged that every country builds their
own submarine force. those countries that are building those submarine forces are building some very capable vessels. the russians, the chinese lead that effort. the japanese make a great submarine. but i'm concerned about the russian and chinese submarines as they increase in their capability. the russian submarine force did not take a high ya tis. so now we have the class that their newest submarine is now in their fleet. which has the capability if made it with the right missile to threaten the united states. so these are submarines that we have to, we must place them and keep them at risk whenever they
are under way and on patrol. and i face a submarine shortage in the pacific. my requirements are not being met. that's a function of numbers and global demand. i get all that. but i'm also worried about that delta shortfall between requirement and presence. >> my time is expired. >> thank you. gentleman, i'm sorry i wasn't here for the committee meeting. but thank you for coming before the committee and thank you and your fam for your service and all the folks that back you up. admir admiral, when you and i had a briefing you made the comment
that we have a quantitative advantage but has a quality of its own. either its geographic footprint or continues to build ships and other assets. has there been any modelling or focus on what it's going to take to operate these things. anything in your analysis to say at some point you have to maintain them and operate them and with their financial woes, any thought in a that or analysis being done? but what i have seen is an inkre increased number of front line capable ships, submarines and aircraft well into the 2020s.
so i'm worried about that. but i have not looked at their ability to fiscally sustain that force. >> another point that you made that really struck me was the difference in when you talk about our qualitative advantage. it's not only our technological and our power projection capability, but also has to do with important things like survivabilit survivability. and producing we're clearly going to have to spend more and sometimes take longer to increase what the assets that we have in the area because of the premium that we place on force protection and survivability. just think that's important for people to understand. e we would never feel like given china's priority wes need to match them ship for ship, but we need to figure out when those ratios, and i think your concern is even with our advantage that the ratios are getting to a point where you express concern. is that correct?
>> it is correct, but i'm less concern canned about matching the chinese ship for ship than i am matching the missile for missile. so their missile range is far exceed ours ship u to ship. >> that's a very good point. >> the '17 budget we have to put some funding against improving our surface to surface missile capability. >> now if i can flip it for a minute we're viewing china as a kind of emerging threat or growing threat in that area of the world. what sort of work can we do to identify instances particularly as it relates to north korea to find partnerships and common interests and what kinds of things are we working on that you think could potentially bear fruit? >> so i've talked to in public before about there are more things that link china with the
united states than separate us. the things that separate us are noninsignificant. let me talk about the things we can do together in shared security spaces. so we have a military consulted working group where we meet with them on a a regular basis to discuss instance at sea and in the air. we have our rules of behavior working group. we have all of these positive where we can engage in discussions with our chinese counterparts. they are active globally in positive areas and we should talk about those and commend them for it. they are involved in the removal of chemical weapons in syria. they were involved in evacuation from yemen. they have been involved in counterpiracy operations off the horn of africa for years. they have the largest number of ships off the west coast of
australia in the search for the missile malaysian airliner. these are all positive things. they are doing good things in that international space. it's just those provocativeñr things they are doing in southeast asia and south china sea which raises tensions of provocations that causes problems in the area we have to work with them on. >> thank you, in closing two things. i suspect that my colleague here is going to bring up the 425. i want to associate myself with any concerns e he may have with th that. it's also to communicate back to us how the current budget request helps you, what the priorities should be, communicate those back to our office and continue, i think, to pound the table to avoid sequestration. i look forward to working with you. thank you for your service. >> on behalf of the chairman, senator.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. my colleague senator tillis is wise in terms of his ability to anticipate questions. i did want to talk a little bit about some of the force posture. admiral harris, in your testimony you talked about the tyranny of distance and the importance of forward station forces at high levels of r readiness that can rapidly respond to a crisis in terms of a full range of military options. the president when he announced the rebalance, which i think has brought support here on this committee bipartisan support, he talked about no force reduction in the asia-pacific theater. despite that, as you may be aware and we talked a little yesterday, the army has decided to essentially get rid of the only airborne brigade combat team, the 425.
also the only arctic trained, only mountain trained. they are certainly a team that brings a lot of onlies to the fight. and although it's an army decision, it certainly impacts the two of you. i know general you view the 425 as an important strategic reserve that can get to korea within serve hours. we have a strategic lift capability coupled with the 425. admiral harris, you actually own those forces in terms of operational command. general, to his credit, has said he was going to take a look at this decision. he's actually put the decision on hold. i was up in alaska with him. he was on a fact-finding mission just a couple days ago. if e he were to reverse that decision, would you support his decision to do that if he were? both of you? >> yes, sir, i would.
it brings a very specific set of capabilities to the theater. as you just stated. i would just say that the general with the downsizing of the force has got to make a decision to take that some place. and with that comment, i would just say i think my personal opinion is that we need to reconsider the downsizing of the army at this point given the challenges we have around the globe. we have a mismatch between the requirements in our strategy and the force that we have today. >> i couldn't agree more with you on that, general. to his credit is locking hard at the ratio and wanting to cut. if it he has to cut anybody, the infantry, armor, tooth element of our forces, but. i think your broader point on not drawing down to 450 is a really good one. admiral harris, do you have any thoughts on that? >> sure, senator. i will be the first to say it's
more fun than to be a service chief. i don't envy the position that service chiefs are in as they have to make these difficult decisions. i would say our nation has an insatiable desire for security, and rightfully so. so i welcome the general's decision to reconsider the reduction of the 425 and that great capacity that's resonant in alaska. these are forces that without them i don't know where we would be if we had a major fight on the korean peninsula. >> thank you for that. i was just out at the fork polk. the 425 is doing their month-long training out there. to watch close to 1,000 airborne soldiers drop out of the sky in the middle of the night on a force entry military exercise shows you what an awesome instrument of american power this unit is and i certainly
think it's a strategic mistake for the country to be getting rid of them. let me ask one final question just switching gehere. beth of you have reviewed it. recommended that we should consider offering an explicit guarantee to the philippines this the united states will respond under the u.s.-philippine mutual defense treaty to an attack on the philippine military in the disputed waters or territory. i think to the president's credit, he did this with regard to one of the islands with regard to our treaty obligations to japan recently. should this option be considered? what do you think the effect of such a declaration would be? what do you think the effect of the president's previous statement vis-a-vis japan and our treaty obligations to japan?
what do you think the impact of that was? >> so i'm trying to decide which question to answer first. i'll start backwards. i think that the secretary of defense and the president's +- declaration ñrunequivocal declaration that the islands fall under the protections afforded by the treaty with japan had a positive effect on the situation in the east china sea. and i u responded to a question earlier about the recommendation about the philippines. and i believe that our obligations to the philippines under that treaty, which is different than -- every treaty is different. i understand my obligations. i think we should consider it for sure. e we should consider clarifying
our position on the philippine marines on the shore. but we have maintained as nation that the territorial maritime dispute, we don't take a position on that. so we have to study this and get into it, but i think it clearly should be considered. >> why do you think? your first statement about the president's statement. you said you thought it was positive. why? why do you think it was positive? what did it do? >> it sent a clear signal to china that we would protect the zin islands just as we would defend tokyo. >> thank you, senator. on behalf of the chairman can, thank you for your testify, your service, your continued service. let e me adjourn the hearing. . thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, sir.
wednesday morning a house subcommittee hears from attorney general loretta lynch on the justice department's 2017 budget request. that's live at 10:30 a.m. on c-span 3. homeland security secretary jeh johnson returns to capitol hill to talk about his department's budget proposal for the 2017 year and the senate homeland security subcommittee hearing live tomorrow on c-span 3 at 2:15 p.m. eastern. i am trying still to decide which candidate to support. i'm trying to decide between the governors who have executive experience or some of the other candidates like ted cruz and marco rubio. >> the most important issue to me is national service. there are more than 5 million young americans that are ready to step forward and serve their