tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN April 7, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EDT
captioning performed by vitac >> for five years after that speech, somewhere between a quarter of a million and a half million people are dead. four million people in syria are refugees. it almost -- we've talked a lot. give us a sense of what do we know about assad explains just the brutality of the war, the barrel bombs, the cities that are made to starve, the indifference to civilian life. the way the war has been waged, not just its persistence. >> if i could take a stab at that, i've tried to compare what's going on in the larger middle east, to what happened in world war ii in central europe. all these nations pull into palestine, multi ethnic, religious empires, lines were drawn. people who didn't want to live together were stuck together.
in world war ii, that explosion took place. and the borders weren't changed, but the people were changed to fit the borders. poland was 64% polish, 100% by the end of the war. that was true right down through romania. 12 million germans ethnically cleansed from central europe. six million jews. yugoslavia came later. seven nation states made out of it. you could argue that ukraine is being sorted out today. this is the great sorting out. as i've called it. the middle east is going through a great sorting out. we've already seen that with the jews being booted out of every city in the middle east and europe. they collected in palestine, they're the only minority that was able to in a sense become a majority in palestine. but all the other states were minority states because of colonial experience.
sunnis in iraq, alawites in syria, and those minorities are clinging on for dear life. because they see it as a zero sum game. 20% christians in anatolia, all ethnically cleansed during the turkish revolution. almost all the christian minorities gone from iraq as a result of this sorting out. and the sunnis and shiites fighting it out. now, syria's the same way. the alawites look at this world. they say there's no more christians in turkey. there are no more palestinians in palestine. of course there are, but there's not going to be a two-state solution, probably. the marinites lost. the batists lost in iraq. they look at a grim future. if they lost, high chances they would be ethnically cleansed. so they barrel bombed. they would use any methods in order to destroy their enemy.
and they have. and that's because they see it as a quintessentially, you know, existential fight. and so the numbers haven't arrived to eastern european numbers and of course it's religion that defines in a sense nationalism in the middle east not ethnicity as it was in central europe. so it's quite different. it's aloites, sunnis, jews, shiites, marinites. but what we're seeing, how do you put that back together? america wants to put all those people back in power-sharing units. they're trying to destroy this giant sunni state that's been created by isis. and to put everybody back into these 1919 states and make shi'ites and sunnis and everybody get along and i fear it's going to be very difficult to do that. >> what role, though, did assad play, do you think, in making
this more of a sectarian and less of a political conflict, which it had some hints of -- maybe it never was one, but in himself becoming more alawite than he'd ever been, of other sides, seeing it more in religious terms, what role did he play in that? was there a deliberation, was there an attempt to appeal to those sentiments? >> well, you know, it's much more nuanced than, you know, the aloites versus the jihadis, sunnis and so forth. the aloite leadership in syria, they've cultivated ties with the sunni business class, mercantile class. bashar played a particularly active role in cultivating
suffi orders, largely sunni, and it's much more mixed, his power base, than most people figure. many aloites were alienated from their fellow aloites who were in power. now they're coming together, congealing because there's no other alternative. and that's kind of the binary situation that assad and his supporters have been trying to create in syria since the beginning of this crisis, that he is the only alternative. he's the least worst alternative. and the other -- the only other answer to this, the only other alternative is this jihadist state, with isis and al nusra and that's unacceptable to most syrians. >> i think one way that he's made it sectarian and dave is right, it's complicated. it's not like all minorities back assad -- the sunni community is extremely diverse. the one way he has made it sectarian, the biggest problem for the regime in syria is reliable manpower. because of the president's
response to the uprising, recruiting that reliable manpower from the majority sunni population is difficult. so what he did, and what has subsequently happened, they re-organized the syrian forces. it's not just the syrian air bombing anymore. you have the syrian defense forces which were partially trained up by the quds force from iran, but also invited in hezbollah and shia militias from iraq, pakistan, and afghanistan. and that's not new. what causes problems is when they start showing up in places -- when these shia forces start showing up in places where there aren't a lot of shia, like in southern syria, for example. so with that, unfortunately, it plays into the jihadist narrative that there's this, you know, iranian-backed alliance supporting assad which is true, but they take it a step further and say the united states is in
league with it, and that caused all -- they use it in different ways that end up costing americans their lives. >> talking about power, power means you can do something. or that's one meaning of it. could assad end this? could he do something that would end this in some way? even theoretically, and what would that look like? you're laughing, so you get to start. >> he could walk out the door. that would end it. but he's not going to do it opinion. >> but would that do it? >> no. >> we talk a lot about the structures and -- >> let's put it this way, he's not going to do it. i was in brussels, leila was there with me, about a month and a half ago. and there was a group of ngos working on this situation and, you know, talking about and we were informing stefan, making recommendations at the time the negotiations were going on.
and i just made this impassioned speech, if you will, that there's just no way they're going to give up power. there's just no way. they will fight. they think -- and i saw this even before the uprising, that the well-being of the country is synonymous with his well-being. this bubble, this alternate reality that he talked about in his book, presidents for life, it's constructed around the authoritarian leaders and they see the world in a different paradigm, and the nature of threat is different. and they define that threat and what to do about it in a very different way than people outside of the bubble, even in syria. >> i think he thinks he's going to reconquer the country, russia's going to help him, and that will help him make everything right. and the foreign jihadist conspirators will all be kicked out and that syria will be saved. that's his slogan.
that's what he believes. that's what he's intending to do, and i think he believe its. >> agreed. >> but speaking of leaders in a bubble, let me ask you, we're about to open up to members, questions. so let me quickly ask you just a lightning round thing. it's next year, you're advising president trump -- [ laughter ] -- on dealing with assad. you're not going to get him to read a briefing book. so what's the one phrase you want him to keep in mind when he's dealing directly with assad in the way that he wants voters to keep low energy in mind when they're dealing with looking at jeb bush or lying ted. what's the slogan you want him to have in his head when he's dealing with that name, that nickname, that one little phrase that sums -- that would be helpful for president trump? >> you mean directly engaging
with assad? >> maybe not in a room, but in dealing -- yes. >> i don't think any american president will be directly engaging with assad. >> or indirect. >> or indirect. but you're saying, how would you essentially deal with this? >> what would you tell him, when he he's like, jeb was low energy, he was lying ted, who is this guy? >> it gets back to the original set-up. which guy is this? how do we figure out, is it bashar the reasonable reformer or the hardline dictator who's killed all these people? the only way to cut through that, that i know of, you would have to put him into hard dilemmas. and the only way to put him into hard dilemmas, you have to be willing to follow through on whatever dilemma you put him into. >> this is president trump, you just have to give him one sentence advice. [ laughter ] >> i'm not sure there is really an easy, one sentence -- i would
say, set up your dilemmas well. >> i would say, if he was meeting with assad, and i'm president trump right now -- [ laughter ] -- which is the first and only time this will happen, i'd say, mr. president, you have to give up enough power. the crux of any sort of political settlement, is, you have to give up enough power, if you're still in power and remain in future for the foreseeable future to satisfy the minimum demands of a critical population of the rest of the syrian population that has moved on, and that has gone on with their lives and have been empowered after five years without the state. >> so he's a guy who's got to give up some power. >> ain't gonna happen, but -- >> i would say, it's a bad deal. [ laughter ] that's what i would say. it's a bad deal. he's said it himself many times. this part of the middle east is a bad deal. we can spend trillions of dollars -- >> so your advice is stay away
from there? >> get out of there. >> the guy to stay away from? >> there are more shi'ites from one end of lebanon to the other end of iraq. there's a majority. iran and russia are committed to a shiite crescent, if you will. a new security zone that's theirs. we can fight them for it. and i'm argued with many people, there are people in washington who want to fight russia for that security belt. >> and i bet there are people here who have questions. how about you right there. oh, and identify yourself. >> claire rossgoff. so much of this conversation has been about should assad leave, will he leave. is that irrelevant? what i'm hearing you say is the institutions and the regime without assad is still unworkable. >> that's a great question, because it has been the tension running through what you've said. >> i don't think it is. i think many of the middle eastern states are too brittle. you take out the leading family, it's like taking out saudi
family from saudi arabia. what would you have left? you would have nothing, a bunch of tribes fighting each other. probably in jordan if you got rid of the hash might family, it would crumble. in syria, the generals would fight each other, the same way the sunnis fight each other. there is not a democratic tradition. they all want power. they've been played that way to keep them balanced, so they'll have to fight each other in order to consome tate a new regime. so if russia were to pluck him out with his brother and all of his attendants and his loyal people, you would get a hole in the middle of that regime that would cause chaos, coups, instability, and russia won't do it. because assad has rigged, he has made the state into a reflection of himself with alawites stacked and his family at the core. because he knows that a lot of people are trying to do just what we're talking about. and america's been trying to do it for decades. he needed to coup-proof that regime and he's made it into a
mine, so it will turn out to be an afghanistan if they get rid of him. >> indeed that's russia's -- one of their main arguments. what has regime change done in the middle east? with the u.s., particularly in iraq, and what happened in libya? you've had the collapse of the state. so regardless of whether or not you like assad, this is keeping at least what's left together, and any hope of something that resembles syria staying together. >> the problem, though, it's not stable. you know, if this is stability, i realize it can get more chaotic, but the sectarian war that's generated and attracts foreign fighters, the number of migrants and the cleaning that josh was talk about, those kind of things are unhinging european security. unfortunately assad staying is going to mean instability to a very high degree, and the question is whether we can live with that or not.
>> good afternoon. ariel cohen, "the atlantic council." looking at the instabilities that you all described in syria, iraq, et cetera, is it in our interest to sort of facilitate and develop the ostensible alliance with the sunnis and draw russia and iran in a protracted conflict there? because we don't want them to dominate that area. can we do that? are the sunnis capable of doing it? or we need to take a neutral, sort of obama-like position and say, well, we're talking to everybody, but we're not committing? >> i think you've spoken to it a little. david, do you wanna -- >> i have taken the position in some places it's popular and some places it isn't, that the obama administration has carried
out the correct policy with regard to syria. i tend to agree with what josh has said. in that trying to interpret and calibrate your actions in an area like the middle east, especially in what it has become, is just foolhardy, in my opinion. the mistake the obama administration has made is in managing expectations around this. the biggest mistake in this -- certainly assad's initial mistake of cracking down hard on the protesters was the west assuming that he was going to fall. following what happened in egypt, tunisia, libya and elsewhere, and of course that didn't happen. and what that did is, by saying he's a legitimate -- by telling him to step aside, or step down, it backed the regime in a corner where the only choice was to fight in order to maintain power. in my mind, in meeting with
russians from very early on, they had a better understanding of the situation in syria very, very early on that assad was going to stay in power and that this thing was going to be a protracted conflict for a number of years. >> patrick theros, u.s. business council. served damascus in other days. i noticed the word ba-ath never appeared in your conversation. are there any larger sectarian institutions left in the levant, or have they gone away? >> yes. theoretically, you have not just the ba'ath party still functioning and the syrian state. what does it mean anymore? theoretically, it's there at the core of the regime. it gives the veneer of some sort of pan-arab rallying ethos or whatever you want to call it,
theory. but the sectarianism which was always right below the surface in syria, i think now is the primary dynamic. josh was talking about the shia crescent. it used to be when i first lived in the middle east that sunni and shia didn't come up as much. in syria, it was always discouraged. now people talk about it a lot. even businessmen from damascus that i meet when they come to beirut, speak in those terms. which is interesting, because it's in a mixed area where these things traditionally didn't mean as much. >> the woman in the back. >> thank you. hi, barbara slaven from the atlantic council. great panel, i agree. one of you, perhaps it was david lesch said we thought that assad was freddo and he turned out to be michael.
i think that's your line. so i hope i'm quoting you correctly. given everything that you said, what's the purpose of these that aid can be distributed? resume, supposedly in geneva? what's the best possible outcome? is it just a continuation of a lesser level of hostilities so that aid can be distributed? do you have any expectation that it would actually lead to a quote/unquote settlement? >> yeah, good question. i have a good friend of mine who is a u.n. liaison in damascus. remarkable guy, i saw him in one of my trips to beirut last year. and i put to him kinda that same question. i said, you're putting your life in danger in all of this for what? because it's almost an impossible task. and in a very emotional way, he said, we have to try.
people are dying. the country is falling apart. and so you have these remarkable people that are trying to do the impossible. and they've given up these grandiose attempts in many ways and some of the u.n. special envoys, they came in and they announced they wanted a holiday or a three-day holiday, and these things never had a chance from the beginning, but there's political pressure to do something dramatic. i think there's been a change with the u.n. approach to this, after a lot of people got to them and after the reality of the situation, that you have to try this incremental slow fix. and you have to work on the humanitarian issues. now, on the other side of that, the u.n. approach is the small steps, hoping to build up
confidence and trust and the ink blot ceasefire type of approach. but now you have russia and the united states as well, trying to congeal the regional allies behind a common approach, and that's been a positive thing, in my view. but no -- as long as assad is there and saying such things -- and i'm not -- we were talking about this beforehand, maybe you want to comment on it. i'm not convinced that the russians are going to really put pressure on assad to accede to manage transition, even though in talks we've all been involved in with russians and speaking with russian officials, they all say, one of the first things out of their mouths, we don't really like assad, we're not really committed to him. yet gee they're putting all the troops but they're committed to him being a strategic ally, committed to keeping this regime in power, and it happens to be assad there. and what we were saying about assad, in his view, in terms of staying in power, i just -- i just don't see something happening with regard to these negotiations.
particularly cause the kurds aren't in there, which is a major issue in my view. and so it's just -- i just don't think anything can happen in the short-term. but the key is to keep it going. that's what staffan de mistura is trying to do, keep a process going, so it doesn't break down as dramatically as geneva 2 did. >> what the regime people say is, we would go to any meeting that de mistura invited us to, even to the wedding of his son. then they say, well, what are we going to negotiate with, with this delegation that's there? the only militia leader that's there is mohammed el al ush and he owns douma, or half of douma. and we could negotiate to get that half of douma back from him. but none of them own anything. they don't own any territory in all of syria. what are they going to negotiate
with us? they want assad to go, we're not going to give it to them, and that's the end of the discussion. because they don't own any land. >> can i just add something? i talked with one of the top security guys of assad in beirut, it was after geneva 2, and he was the guy in the back room who was running things. this is the guy who was running it. and he was bemoaning this geneva 2 meeting and he said exactly, reflecting what josh said. he said, i can get on the phone and stop fighting on our side on all the fronts. i don't know if they could do that again, because it's become kind of dispersed. the regime forces. but i can get on the phone and i can stop it. who in this delegation can call and stop the fighting on the opposition side more than one little area, one little zone? so it's an issue. >> so in a way, there's a power question on the other side? >> yeah, from the -- but the grouping does represent a number of groups from throughout the country.
but the problem with umbrella organizations is that you're never really sure -- you don't just have one address. and that's difficult. that's actually the u.s. homework in the negotiations, whereas the russians have a different bit of homework. theirs is to make less rigid a historically very rigid regime. >> simon henderson, washington institute for middle east policy. thank you very much. the title of this is "power profile." and at the moment, i don't feel that i know bashar assad any better than what i did when i walked in the room. s and what are the adjectives that -- or the single adjectives that you would use to describe him? we've heard he's influenced by the hardliners, the reformists, his wife.
but you probably haven't seen yet and i haven't seen it, but there's presumably a personality profile written of him somewhere in the cia. what does it say? to me, he looks like a chinless geek. but is he indecisive? is he evil? is he delusional? what are the words, the single words you'd use to describe him? >> which again might be useful for president -- president -- >> so i think the appropriate term here, and i've struggled with this over the years, and when i lived in syria, and i earlier used the word "moody," i think that's true. but it doesn't mean that he's not intelligent, certainly, and able to maneuver. i think the term that i've settled on is borderline personality. i think he sometimes has bouts where he's extremely rational, and you can deal with it, and other times when i for the life of me can't figure out what he's
doing. and i don't think the people around him can either. >> all right, what words? >> measured and desperate. measured because he doesn't make decisions decisively or dramatically. and he likes to think things over, whether that's an active or passive approach, it depends on the situation. desperate, i think now because i think he realizes that for one, this dream he had of syria being, you know, this internationally recognized country that's integrated into the world community just isn't going to happen. and he realizes that he's -- he has to rely on the russians and the iranians and hezbollah to stay in power. so -- >> all of this event available
at cspan.org. here on c-span3 we take you live next to a senate armed services committee hearing in the back of the room on the right is senator jack reed, the ranking democrat on the committee. this morning the committee will hear from acting army secretary patrick murphy and army chief of staff general mark milly testifying on the force posture and the readiness levels of the u.s. army. john mccain chairs the committee. live coverage should get under way momentarily on c-span3.
year 2017, and the future year's defense program. i'm pleased to welcome acting secretary much too young patrick murphy and army chief of staff general mark milley. i thank you both for your years of distinguished service and continued leadership of our army. 15 years of war have tested our army but time and time again our soldiers have met that test, and proved their commitment, courage and determination. it's the duty of this committee and this congress to do our utmost to provide them the support they need and deserve. that starts by recognizing that our army is still at war. at this moment, 186,000 soldiers are deployed in 140 locations around the globe. they're fighting terrorists and training our partners in afghanistan and supporting the fight against isil, all the while defending south korea and reassuring our allies in eastern europe.
the demands on our soldiers only continues to increase as the threats to our nation grow more diverse, more complex and more severe. but despite the stark and urgent realities of the threats to our nations and the risks they pose to our soldiers, the president continues to ask the army to do more with less and done so once again with his defense budget request. the president should have requested the defense budget that reflects the scale and scope of the national security threats we face and the growing demands they impose on our soldiers. instead, he chose to request the lowest level of defense spending authorized by last year's budget agreement and submitted defense budget that is actually less in real dollars than last year. budget that will force our army to confront growing threats and increasing operational demands with shrinking and less ready forces and aging equipment. by the end of the next fiscal year, the army will be cut down
to 450,000 active duty soldiers from a wartime peak of 570,000. these budget driven, i repeat budget driven force reductions were decided before the rise of isil or the russia's invasions of ukraine. ignoring these strategic facts on the ground the budget request continues down the path to an army of 450,000 soldiers, an army that general h.r. mcmaster, an individual known to all of us as one of the wisest soldiers, is, testified earlier this week "the risk of being too small, risks being too small to secure the nation." we should be very clear when we minimize our army, we maximize the risk to our soldiers, the risk that in a crisis they will be forced to enter a fight too few in nun and without the training and equipment they need to win. that risk will only grow worse if mindless sequestration cuts are allowed to return and the
army shrinks further to 420,000 soldiers. as our army shrinks, readiness suffers, just over one-third of the army's brigade combat teams are ready for deployment and decisive operations. indeed, just two, just two of the army's 60 brigade combat teams are at all combat readiness, and the army has no plan to return to full spectrum readiness until 2021, at the very earliest. as the national commission on the future of the united states army made clear in its recently published report, both the mission and the force are at risk. meanwhile, the army is woefully behind on modernization and as a result america's capability advantage in ground and airborne combat weapons systems is not nearly as great as it once was. decades of underinvestment and acquisition malpractice have left with us an army that is not in balance, an army that lacks
both the adequate capacity and the key capabilities to win decisively. as vice chief of staff of the army, general daniel allen recently testified, the army can no long ear ford the most modern equipment and we risk falling behind near peers in critical capabilities. indeed the army currently has no major ground combat vehicle development program under way and will continue to rely on the increasingly obsolete bradley fighting vehicle and abrams tanks, for most of the rest of this century. as general mcmaster phrased it earlier this week the army is "outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries." confronted with the most diverse and complex national array of national security threats since the end of world war ii, the army urgently needs to restore readiness, halt misguided reductions. instead the request is another empty promise to buy readiness
today by reducing end strength and modernization for tomorrow. mortgaging the future of our army places an unnecessary and dangerous burden on our soldiers and i believe it is the urgent task of this committee to do all we can to chart a better course. i look forward to the testimony of our witnesses today, and their recommendations as to how we built army the nation needs and provide our soldiers with the support they deserve. i would like now to call on a former army person for his remarks. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for calling this important hearing. let me welcome secretary murphy and gen malmilley, thank you for your distinguished service to the nation and as the chairman indicated, we are reviewing the army's proposals for the fy '17 budget request and they're absolutely critical and we are facing extraordinary challenges,
the chairman has outlined them very eloquently and precisely. we have to rebuild readiness. we have to modernize the force, also in this line i think another message with all respect to secretary murphy getting at not an acting secretary but a permanent secretary and i hope we can move mr. fannic's nomination as soon as possible. the president's fy '17 budget submission for the department of the army includes $148.1 billion in total funding of which $125.1 billion is the base budget and $23 billion for overseas operations in the oco account. while the budget request complies with the funding levels in the bipartisan budget act of 2015 the army's top line is essentially flat as compared to the fy '16 enacted levels. as the committee considers the army's funding request we must be mindful of the risk facing our country and national security challenges. . is highly unlikely that the demand for army force also diminish any time in the near
future. currently as the chairman indicated, 190,000 soldiers across the active reserve component and active forces are serving in 140 countries and while we continue to field the most capable fighting force in the world, 15 years of sustained military operations focused almost exclusively on counterterrorism and counter insurgency has taken a toll on the readiness of our soldiers. today, less than one-quarter of our nation's army is ready to perform their core war time missions and some critical combat enabling units are in far worse shape. in addition the evolving threat facing our nation impacts readiness as the army needs to train and fight a competitor in a full spectrum competitive envimpb. . while additional fund something important it's not the solution to restoring readiness levels. it takes time to build strategic deep and relief from high operational tempo. plaud the army for making readiness the number one priority. general milley i look forward to your thoughts on the army's
progress in rebuilding readiness within the time lines the army set and what additional resources may be needed. while readiness is vital we cannot neglect investments in the modernization of military platforms and equipment. building and maintaining readiness levels maintains the force are sustained and upgraded. the fiscal '17 budget request for modernization efforts, $7.5 billion for research development test and evaluation is a start. i'd like to know if our witnesses feel confident this funding for modernization is adequate and will not adversely impact the future readiness of aviation units particularly or at substantial costs. related to the army's acquisition process, they made important policies in the fy '16 national defense authorization act including giving the service chiefs significant responsibilities and i would be, appreciate the chief's and the secretary's comments on how these procedures are being
worked into the system. the men and women in uniform in our military and civilian workforce remain a priority for our committee. we need to ensure the pay and benefits remain competitive in order to attract and retain the best for military and government service. the committee also understands however that military and personnel costs comprise nearly one-half of the department's budget and your insights how we can control the costs we very much appreciate it. finally, as i have stated and the chairman emphatically stated the budget control act is ineffective and short-sighted and i believe in a bipartisan fashion that we have to repeal the bca, establish a more reasonable limit on discretionary spending and equitable manner that meets domestic and defense needs and then move forward. again, i'd like to thank the witnesses and the chairman. >> thank you, secretary murphy? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, senator reed and members of this committee for allowing me to be here to talk about your army. it's my 12th week on the job as
acting secretary of the army. it's truly an honor to be back on the army team. i've traveled to see our soldiers, our civilians and their families in kentucky, missouri, texas, and kansas, and also to iraq and afghanistan. and the self-less service and dedication of our team should inspire us all. we are tasked with the solemn responsibility to fight and win our nation's wars and to keep our families safe here at home. our army must produce ready units today to deter and defeat our nation's enemies, defend the homeland, project power, and win decisively and by ready, we mean units that are fully manned, trained for combat, fully equipped according to design structure and led by competent leaders. we must also be ready for our future fights by investing in
modernization and research and development. we do not want our soldiers to have a fair fight. they must have the technical and tactical advantage over our enemies. with $125.1 billion based budget request, our army will focus its efforts on readiness for large scale high-end ground combat today. we do so because ignoring readiness shortfalls puts our nation at greatest risk for the following reasons. first, readiness wins wars. our army has never been the largest in the world, and at times we have not been the best equipped but since world war ii we have recognized that ready soldiers properly manned, trained, equipped and led can beat larger or more determined forces, whether confronting the barbaric acts of isis or the desperation of north korea, our army must be prepared to execute and to win. we train like we fight, and our army must be ready to fight
tonight. next, readiness deters are most dangerous threats and assures our allies. we are reminded with alarming frequency that great power conflicts are not dead. today, they manifest themselves on a regional basis, both russia and china are challenging america'sleness and ability to enforce international standards of conduct. ready army provides america the strength to deer is such actions and reassure our partners throughout the world. readiness also makes future training less costly. continuous operations since 2001 have left our force proficient and stability and counterterrorism operation but our future command sergeants major and brigade commanders have not had the critical combat training experiences as junior leaders, trained for high-end ground combat, investing in readiness today builds a foundation necessary for
long-term readiness, and finally, readiness prepares our force for potential future conflicts. we cannot fight the last fight. our army must be prepared to face the high-end and advanced combat power of an aggressive russia, more likely russian aggression employed by surrogate actors. the budget, this budget dedicates resources to develop solutions for this, to allow our force to develop new concepts and formed by the recommendations of the national commission on the future of the army, our formations must first be ready to execute against current and emerging threats. the choice though to invest in near term readiness does come with risk, smaller modernization investments risk our ability to fight and win in the future. we have no new modernization programs this decade. smaller investments in end strength risk our ability to conduct multiple operations for
sustained periods of time. in short, we are mortgaging our future readiness because we have to ensure in today's success against emerging threats, that's why initiatives like brac in 2019 are needed to be implemented now. let us manage your investment and this will result in $500 million a year in savings and return on your investment within five years. lastly, while we thank congress for a bipartisan budget act of 2015, which does provide short term relief and two years of predictable funding, we request your support for the enactment of our budget as proposed. we request your support for continued funding at levels that are calibrated to our national threats and our interests and we request your continued support for our soldiers, civilians, and their families, so that our military and our army will continue to be the most capable
fighting force in the world, and will win in the decisive battles and keep our families safe here at home. thank you. >> general milley? >> thank you chairman mccain and ranking member reed and other distinguished mechanics members of the committee for the opportunity to discuss the army. thank you for your support and commitment to our soldier action our civilians and our families. the united states army as i mentioned six months ago when i took this job must remain the most capable versatile and lethal ground for us, feared by our enemies. this mission in my view has one common thread and that thread is readiness. ready army is manned, trained, equipped and well led as the foundation of the joint force. in order to conduct missions to deter and if deterrence fails to defeat a wide range of state and non-state actors today, tomorrow and into the future. as mentioned by the chairman, 15
years of continuous counter insurgency operations combined with recent reduced and unpredictable budgets created a gap in our proficiency to conduct combined ops operations against conventional or hybrid forces resulting in an army today that is less than ready to fight and win against emerging threats. america is a global power. our army must be capable of meeting a wide variety of threats under varying conditions, anywhere on earth. our challenge today is to sustain the counter terrorist and counter insurgency capabilities we developed with a high proefficiencily over the last 15 years while simultaneously rebuilding the capability to win in ground combat against higher end threats such as russia, china, north korea and iran. we can wish away these cases, but we would be very foolish as a nation to do so. this budget prioritizes readiness because the global
security environment is increasingly uncertain and complex. today in the middle east, south asia and africa, we see radical terrorism, the blind influence of iran threatening the regional order, destroying isis is the top operational priority of the president of the united states and the army conventional and special operations forces are both playing a key part in that effort. in europe or russia, modernized its military, invaded several sovereign countries since 2000 and continues to act aggressively toward its neighbors using multiple means of russian national power. army will play an increasing role in deterring or if necessary defeating an aggressive russia. in asia, and the pacific, there are complex systemic challenges with the rising china that is increasingly assertive militarily especially in the south china seas, and a very provocative north korea, both situations are creating
conditions for potential conflict. again, the united states army is key to assuring our allies in asia and deterring conflict or defeating the enemy, if conflict occurs. while none of us in this room or anywhere else can forecast precisely when and where the next contingency will arise it is my professional military view that if any contingency happens t will likely require a significant commitment of army grouped forces because war is ultimately an act of politics, requiring one side to impose its political will on the other. while wars often start from the air or the sea, wars ultimately end when political will is imposed on the ground. if one or more possible unforeseen contingencies happen, then the united states army currently risks not having ready forces available to provide flexible options to our national leadership, and if committed, we risk not being able to accomplish the strategic tasks
at hand, in an acceptable amount of time, and most importantly, we risk incurring significantly increased u.s. casualties. in sum, we u.s. casualties. in sum, we risk the ability to conduct ground operations of sufficient scale and ample duration to achieve strategic objectives or wind decisively where the unforgiving environment is ground combat. the army is committed to winning against radical terrorists and deterring conflict. right now as we speak, the army provides 46% of all of the combatant commander demands around the globe and 64% of all emerging combatant commander demand and as pointed out almost 190,000 soldiers are currently deployed in over 140 countries globally. to sustain current operations and to mitigate the risks of
deploying the unready force, the army will continue to fully fund readiness over end strength, modernization and infrastructure. this is not an easy choice. we recognize the risk to the future. while the army prefers our investment for both current and future readiness, the security environment of today and the near future drive investment into current readiness for global operations and potential contingencies. specifically, question ask your support to -- we ask your support to conduct realistic combined arms combat training at both home station and a combat training centers. we asked for modernization in aviation, command and control network, integrated air missile defense, combat vehicles and the emerging threats programs. finally we ask and appreciate your continued support for our soldiers and families to retain high quality soldiers of
character and competence. we request your support for the fy-17 budget and thank you for the bipartisan budget act of 2014 which did provide some short term relief in two years of predictable funding. with your support we'll fund readiness to meet our current demand and we will build for contingencies in the future. thank you for your continued support. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, general. i read yours and secretary murphy's written testimony which i think is excellent. it's not often that i quote from it, but in reference to the budget control act, you state this continued fiscal unpredictability beyond fy-17 is one of the army's single greatest challenges and inhibits our ability to generate readiness. i think that's a pretty straightforward -- it goes on to say, this will force the army to continue to reduce end strength and delay modernization,
decreasing army capability and capacity. a risk our nation should not accept. those are strong words and i thank you for them. i'm often a critic of the administration's policies, but that sentence can be laid at the doorstep of the congress of the united states of america and our failure to stop this mindless meat ax reductions in our capabilities to defend this nation. i thank you for the straightforward comments on that issue and if god forbid a crisis arises, part of the responsibility for our inability to act as efficiently and rapidly as possible will lay at the doorstep of the congress of the united states of america. which by the way is a majority of my party. general milley, you -- in your
statements you made it very clear, but let me just -- are we at high military risk? >> senator, yes. and i wrote a formal risk assessment as you know which is classified to the chairman -- through the chairman and on the secretary of defense and i characterize us at this current state at high military risk. >> high military risk is a very strong statement and i'm sure you thought long and hard before you made it. couldn't we substantiate that high military risk by pointing out that two of the brigade combat teams are at category one, the bcts, and approximately is it one-third that are category one or two? is that correct? so two-thirds of our bcts are -- would require some additional
training equipment, whatever, before they would be ready to fight? is that the correct interpretation of that classification? >> yes, senator, in short, yes. i would say even those that a are -- the couple that are at the highest level we could deploy them immediately. in fact, one of them is forward deployed already. the others even the ones in the second, third and all the rest of them they're going to require something. in terms of training to get them ready. but roughly speaking one-third across the board of our combat formations and our combat support is ready to go. >> so it would require depending on the unit some length of time to make them ready, to get into category one or two? >> that's correct. >> so two-thirds are not ready to defend this nation immediately in time of crisis? >> that's correct.
they would require some amount of time to bring them up to a satisfactory readiness, that is to deploy in combat. >> you pointed out at the beginning and so did i of the 190-nation -- 186,000 soldiers and 1 -- in 140 locations around the globe. can we maintain that if we continue to reduce the end strength of the army down to 420,000? taking into consideration we're an all-volunteer force. >> yeah, if we -- to my knowledge, 420 is only under sequestration. this budget takes it to 450. but even at 450 for the active force, and some of those forces deployed overseas are national guard and reserve. 980 total army is stretched to execute, you know, the global
commitments. the real issue is if a contingency arises and then tough choices would have to be made. >> any sane observer of what's going on in the world would surmise as we incrementally increase our particularly army special forces deployments that the requirements at least in the short term or at least medium -- short and medium term is going to require more deployments, more training, more equipment in order to counter the rising threats that we see that secretary murphy outlined in his opening statement. is that true? >> i think that's a correct assessment, yes, senator. >> which is why you have a assessed, come to the conclusion we are at quote, high military
risk? >> that's correct. on the high military risk to be clear, we have sufficient capacity and readiness to fight counterinsurgency. and potential for great conflict and i'm talking about the time it takes to execute the tasks, high risk i would say we won't be able to accomplish all the tasks in the time necessary and the cost in terms of casualties and combined that equals my risk assessment. >> i thank both you and secretary murphy for your very forthright testimony before the committee today. i think it's extremely helpful. and senator mansion? >> thank you, i appreciate you being here. the past few day, general milley, i had a chance to talk with your general officers and i came away with the size of the
military and the size of the predictabili predictability. i have been shaking my head at sequestration for years now, it was a penalty that we put on ourselves because we never thought we'd go there, we'd be dysfunction or couldn't come together to prevent that from happening. we have to move on. so general milley, what i would ask could you walk me through specifically how the sequestration has forced the army to do its size to the most critical -- reduce the size to the most critical level with all the threats we are facing? >> i think there's a couple of points to be made. one is the unpredictability, the year to year budgeting and then in reality because we go with continuing resolutions, it really ends up being a nine month cycle. so the short term nature of it does not allow for longer term planning projection and some certainty for equipment, for example, with industry, or for training plans for units it's -- that's a big deal. the uncertainty. the second piece of it is just
the magnitude of the cuts. since 2008 we have had the army -- the army has had about a 74% or 75% cut in the modernization account writ large. and about a 50% cut in r&d writ large. so in eight year -- less than ten years that's a significant cut. so if we think ten years ahead, and look ten years behind if that trend continues, that's not good. so if you are a -- if you're -- we're focusing on today's readiness. so the 20 and 21 and 22-year-olds, et cetera, that are in the army today, we're focusing on them being ready to deploy and conduct combat operations because that's necessary. but if you're 10 years old today, i'm worried about the 10-year-old who's going to be the soldier ten years from now. that that -- that is the -- that is a bigger risk that we're taking but we're compelled into the risk based on the top line we're given. >> with time limited we're going to 180,000 i guess troop
strength. >> that's correct. >> i -- everything i heard from all of your front line generals is basically there's no way that question meet the imminent threat we have around the world with 980,000 people? >> high risk. >> if you confirm that at high risk what would it take for us not to be at high risk? these artificial caps and all the other bull crap we're dealing with. >> i have a series of studies that are ongoing. if we operate under the current national security strategy the current defense planning guidance, in order to reduce to significant risk or moderate risk it would take roughly speaking about a 1.2 million person -- >> so with we're over 200,000 troops short? >> right. for every 10,000 soldiers that money is not there so we're making the most efficient and effective use of the army that we have. >> secretary murphy, if i may, i
have a lot of -- a lot of concerns regarding the level contract support. we have talked about this. i have never gotten a good handle on it. i've heard it's two for one. for every one soldier we have in uniform we have two people backing that person up, roughly. so anything -- so my question to you, how are the long term savings that some of your bean counters tell us by having a contractor, long term savings, that provides substantial or is the number of contractors driven by the arbitrary troop force caps that prevent from us deploying the soldiers from doing the jobs? are they telling us it's long term savings here and with these caps here the only way you're getting around the caps is by having more contractors on the back end that more soldiers should be doing? >> after 9/11 we went from the
gate guards in bosnia, to private contractors. i'm not trying to be disrespectful, but they were not at the level of readiness. that's what we have been doing for 15 years. we have cut civilians 46,000, 16% civilians and contractors, 16% that's 146 -- 46,000 of them. so i'm looking at this. i mean, the -- >> how many troops have we cut over the same period of time? >> we cut 150,000. 13% is soldier, 16% civilians and contractors. i'm trying to balance this, senator. we talked about the cuts. >> making decisions based on the caps that we have -- >> right. >> somebody put caps in there for some reason, because we didn't want people in uniform. i can't explain to the good people of twv why you don't want -- of west virginia why you
don't want people in uniform who are trained to do the job. >> when i was where you were five years ago in congress, we didn't know how many contractors we had. >> still don't know. >> we're making sure it makes the most fiscal sense but mostly for national security. >> if i could say this. if we go with 1 million 2, if we somehow we had the resolve to do what we needed to do to meet the imminent threats we have, do we proption nat contractors, or would that 1 million 2 do the jobs that the contractors are doing right now? >> i would say some more of the soldiers will do more of the jobs but they're trained for brigade combat teams and to win. >> we look forward to the day you can tell us how many contractors are employed by -- in the department of defense.
that'll be one of the most wonderful days of my political career. senator fisher? >> thank you. general, this committee has held a number of hearings about the future of warfare and what new technologies are going to be required and this is something the secretary and the deputy secretary have discussed at length as well. we have heard some very bold predictions about incorporating robotic systems on the battlefield as soon as the next ten years. do you think we're going to see a real revolution in the role of unmanned systems on the battlefield in the next ten years? and do you think that's a goal that we should be working towards in the view of other near term requirements that you are facing? >> thank you, senator. i think revolution might be too strong a word, but i do see a very, very significant increased use of robotic, both manually
controlled and autonomous in ground warfare over the coming years. specifically, i don't see some sort of revolution like we'll go from the horse to the tank or the musket to the rifle. but i do see the introduction at about the ten-year mark or so really widespread use of robotics in ground warfare. we are seeing it in air platforms and we're seeing its in naval platforms. the ground warfare is a much more complex and dirty environment but i do anticipate that we'll refine the use of robots significantly and it will be a large use of them in ground combat by call it 2030. >> okay. as the service secretary, what role do you have in the third offset initiative? we have heard that it will be exploring some new operational concepts and capabilities for ground combat. is that something that the army is leading on?
>> senator, i would say that with -- with the third offset we need to lead from the front. we are talking about leap ahead technologies. as you look back at the second offset we are talking about precision munitions and gps which gave us the -- you know, when i was in iraq, you know, we did our operations -- most of the operations at night. we had night vision goggles. this is the technology when i say we want a fair fight. when you talk about the leap ahead technology the third offset i think it's robotics. you know, i think robotics, cyber, electronic warfare, the gains we need to make there. by the way, ma'am, you know, other -- our peer competitors are investing in those things too. and we can't be outmanned and outgunned. we need to make sure we have the technical and tactical advantage. so i am definitely part of that within the army and within the department of defense. >> comment, ma'am? >> yes, certainly. >> i think for the next five or ten years for ground warfare, you'll see evolutions around you will see -- and you will see
acceleration of some of the technologies but they'll be episodic. i think ten years and beyond i do see a very significant transformation of ground warfare. the character of war, not the nature of war. that would include robotics. cyber. lasers. rail guns. very advanced information technologies to see -- miniaturization. 3-d printing. all of the technologies that are emerging in the commercial world will have military application. just past a decade from now, and i think we the army need to invest in the r&d and the modernization of that or we'll find the qualitative overmatch gap between the united states and adversaries closed. and we're already seeing that gap closing today. >> when we talk about the third offset, many times we focus on the stuff. we focus on the new technologies
that are out there and we hear about the robotics. we hear about the lasers. i'd like to know how much input both of you would have when it comes to setting goals and missions and then trying to figure out what technologies are out there, what needs to be designed in order to meet those goals instead of reacting to technology that's there. how do you view that? >> i mean, it's an interactive process, number one. number two, say 25, 30, 40 years ago much innovation was done by the department of defense. in terms of technology. today, most technological innovation is being done by the commercial world. so it's important that we have linkages into the commercial sector. silicon valley, boston, so on. all the innovative centers. we need to keep in touch with them closely and we do have a
lot of input, not just personally, but also through the organization of the army. so we do have a lot of input into it. there's a lot of technological advances out there. the challenge -- there's a couple of challenges. one is what does the year 2025, 2030, 2040, 2050 look like demographically, politically, socially, et cetera, but also technologically. once we can figure that out, then we can derive the ways in which we desire to fight, once you figure that out then you can figure out the equipment. the organizations. the training plans, et cetera. to create that organization. but we first have to define what exactly is that world going to look like? at least as best we can. we won't get it exactly right, but we want to get it more right than the enemy. >> thank you, general. i wish you good luck in trying to figure that out and meet
those goals for the future. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, thank you for your testimony again and you have put the focus on readiness which is i think appropriate. if additional resources could be freed up in this process, general milley, where would you focus in terms of more emphasis on readiness? >> couple of key places. senator, thank you. one would be aviation flight hours. i think that's important. we dropped aviation flight hours to about 14 or 15, down to about ten. we bumped it up to 12, but we need some more. secondly, more importantly, home station training. we want all of the brigade combat teams to go to the national training center or the training center in germany. so key to success at one of those big ticket training centers is the home station preparatory training prior to
going. all the gunneries, et cetera. that has been underfunded over the past years. if we can get home station training up to a level then the units will come out of the ctcs at a much higher level. so i would put it probably in aviation flight hours and in the home station training. lastly, and third to last would be if we did have additional monies i would probably put it towards additional ctc training for the national guard. the national guard is going to be very, very important because of the capacity issue of the regular army to deal with the current day to day, but also the contingency operation. so we need to increase in short order we need to increase the readiness of the army national guard's combat formations. >> this year i believe you have two scheduled rotations, training centers for national guard brigade. >> that's right. we're trying to increase it to four. >> four, okay. a related issue in terms of the
emphasis on flying hours and readiness, et cetera, particularly in army aviation, the procurement and the acquisition process, are you at a point now where you could jeopardize long term aviation programs or do you still have a little bit of head space? >> i think we're approaching the margin of -- it's very tight right now. so what we have done is we have had to stretch out aviation modernization in order to reap that for readiness. aviation is about roughly speaking, you know, 20% or so, 25% of the operating budget. so we have stretched out aviation modernization to take that and those monies and put it into readiness. >> one of the points i think that you have made in your comments is that the emphasis on training which means at home station which means the units
have to be at home essentially. it's the time element, it's the dwell element rather than deploy element. >> that's correct. >> so if we were -- not in terms of the major contingency, but in terms of the current situation began to increase our footprint in places around the world, that would -- the dilemma that would rob you of the time and the available troops to get ready for the next big battle. is that a fair statement? >> sort of, senator. in that some of these overseas exercises actually improve your readiness. >> i'm not talking about readiness, but i'm talking -- >> operational commitment, that would consume readiness, that's correct. >> if it happens we'll do it. but we have to understand the cost not only short term, but long term we fall further behind in the readiness curve. >> that's correct. >> the point that has been made very, very powerfully by the
chairman and myself is the sequestration has to be eliminated because this year might be manageable. next year if sequestration is imposed it's impossible and you have to tell us that you probably could not perform your mission. is that a fair -- >> i think if sequestration were imposed and went to those levels that we could not perform the missions assigned to us under the current strategy. and we -- most important to me is as a commissioned officer and important to this committee is we would risk american lives if we were committed into combat. >> again, thank you sir for your service and thank you mr. secretary for your service. thank you. >> thank you. thank you, gentlemen, for appearing before us. general milley i want to return to the priorities you laid out for senator reed. if i heard them right, it was more aviation hours for regular
army units and finally, more ctc training time for national guard? >> those would be three of the areas. there's other areas, but those would be three, that's correct. >> is that -- those are the priorities if you got the first extra dollar or those limited to your priorities for more readiness? >> those are readiness dollars. >> okay. you had mentioned earlier about the soldiers we're sending to fight today and your priority for readiness. which you have said repeatedly during your tenure is the chief -- as the chief. so america's moms and dads whose soldiers are serving in your army at 25 as an e-5 or first lieutenant can be assured you'll never send one of the sons or daughters into come bat unre -- combat unready to fight? >> that's correct. >> that has a cost in modernization, so the moms and
dads around america whose 15-year-old son and daughter aspire to be in the army one day have to be more concerned about the qualitative overmatch and capabilities of a future army, is that correct? >> i think that's also correct, senator. >> there's a -- some discussion within the congress about mandating a certain end strength of the army at a higher level than 450,000. i think that would be a good idea. i would like to see it much higher than. could you talk about the consequences though if this congress does in fact mandate a certain end strength without increasing your budget numbers? >> i think if we were mandated to go to the higher size, more soldiers, more bigger end strength, we didn't have the dollars i'd personally think that would be disastrous for both the nation and the army in that we would have to at the end of the day mortgage more modernization of the future, we'd have to take down
installations, quality of life programs. all kinds of things that would have to happen and at the end of the day i think we'd -- we do not have a hollow army today, but many on this committee remember the days we did. units weren't filled up at appropriate levels, there were no spare parts. all of those things would keep happening if we didn't have the appropriate amount of money to maintain the readiness. >> because a mandatory end strength kind of budget to match would mean that they don't have the money to train, to be equipped, to go to ctcs -- >> that's correct. >> you mentioned the greater risk of modernization. i assume that's because if the army mandated a certain end strength because of your bedrock commitment to send our sons and daughters overseas fully equipped and manned you would
take more money out of modernization? >> that's right. readiness and moderation -- if end strength is up, the first one out the door is modernization. i do not recommend that. if there were a mandated increase in the size of the army, for whatever reason, then i would strongly urge that that happened with the money appropriate for the paying compensation, for the readiness, et cetera. absent that i think it would be a big mistake. >> thank you. while i support a much higher end strength and we're on the path to have, i also think it would be deeply inadvisable not to match that with a concomitant, because of the risk we're facing there. you were speaking with the senator fisher about some of the commercial technology that we have seen. could you talk a little bit about your new acquisition authorities and your desire to use more commercial off the shelf technology? you famously said in the army's handgun program if you had -- i think it was $34 million you
could go to cabela's you could buy 17,000 handguns for the army, or something like that? you see it across other domains as well. with the global response force desire for mobility or commercial technology. >> i think the proposals that are out there now in the acquisition reform are absolutely moving in the right direction. i welcome that, i embrace it. i do not claim that i know everything there is to know about acquisition by a long shot. but i think empowering the chiefs to really take greater responsibility and with that of course comes accountability, and i welcome that as well. we should get into it. roll our sleeves up, get after it. and get the right equipment to the war fighters in a faster amount of time. at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer. the pistol is one example but i'm bumping into the things all over the place. in a wide variety of programs. so there's been an awful lot of
sessions in the army over the last six or eight weeks now. i'm probably not on a lot of people's christmas card list but that's okay. our desires makes sure our soldiers are taken care of. >> maybe they want to bring you home for thanksgiving. >> that's must be it. >> i imagine we'll continue to bump up against that, unlike your counterparts who can't go to cabela's to buy the handguns. thank you. my time is expired. >> thank you. >> fortunately, members of this committee are without controversy. senator sheheen? >> thank you, and thank you both for being here this morning and for your service and i want to begin by adding my support to those on the committee who believe that we need to deal with sequestration and that it poses an imminent threat to our national security and to a lot of other things with respect to our future. but i want to follow up on the conversation you were having with senator fisher, general
milley, talking about the innovation, technological innovation to our future and when we were having hearings on the future of our military, one of the things we heard as you pointed out there's been a dramatic decrease in support for r&d. on the part of the department of defense and that the one program that has consistently provided the kind of innovation that dod needs is the small research program. can you speak to the importance of that for providing the new technologies that the army is looking for? >> i think it's a great program and i fully support it. i think, you know, small business -- not in all cases, but oftentimes small entrepreneurs are the most innovative, partly because it's vital techniques in business. but they tend to be adaptive, agile and innovative. so supporting those initiatives in order to take advantage and
leverage emerging technologies is something i fully support. >> great. hopefully we can get this reauthorized for next year without the kind of challenges we have the last time we tried to get it reauthorized. i had the opportunity recently to meet in brussels with officials from europe and from particularly eastern europe, the baltics. and they were very pleased to see our proposal to increase the european reassurance initiative four fold. you mentioned the threat from russia. one concern that they asked me about that i couldn't answer was why the decision seems to have been made to preposition the equipment to do the rotational more in western europe than in eastern europe on the front lines. so how do we explain the decision to do that? >> first of all, i'd defer to
the authoritative answer to general breed love because he determines where that equipment goes and so on and so forth, but there's a couple of issues here. not the least of which are political and negotiations with foreign governments as to where it goes, where you base it and building the infrastructure to support it and so on and so forth. what we'll do is the initial trounce, the unit will bring the equipment. so the rotational units will bring the equipment and then you what see in '17 and '18 we'll have preprocession-propitioned europe. there's advantages, the advantage of deploying with your equipment is to exercise the
strategic deemployment systems, the army and the navy and the air force in order to long haul the equipment. the pre-positioned equipment, the big advantage is the speed. so a combination of both actually is what would be required in time of crisis, but the positioning of that equipment physically inside europe, i'd like to defer that logic and rationale to general breedlove if that's okay. >> it is and i've had the opportunity to ask him about its. but it sounded to me like you're saying that the locations are based not just on their military effectiveness, but politics have also been part of those decisions. >> sure. sure. >> i'm not suggesting -- >> diplomatic negotiations between countries they have to occur before we get that locked in. >> okay. one of the things that obviously our continued readiness depends on is the effectiveness of the guard and the reserve.
i was pleased to see that this budget included two military construction projects in new hampshire that are very important. right now we rank 51st out of 54 in terms of the condition of our facilities and armories and so can you -- i don't know, maybe this is appropriate for you, secretary murphy, to talk about how we ensure that the national guard has the resources that it needs to be ready whenever we expect them to deploy. >> yes, senator. the national guard, we're total force. we're not three different forces. we are one army, one team. specifically -- >> sorry to interrupt, but sometimes the resources don't always seem like we're a total force and one team. >> ma'am, i -- all i can tell you when you look at the $1 billion budget, 10% went to -- and again the mill con,
it's been the lowest it's been at 24 years but when you dive down in the numbers, hook set, $11 million, rochester, $8.9 million, so 10% -- because we are one team. there is a different leadership that would make sure of that because we were asking a whole heck of a lot in the last 15 years and the next ten years. so, you know, there's not two different teams. we are one team. so we're getting after it and we're giving them the resources they need to make sure they don't have a fair fight and they have the resources in mill con, for example. we have mortgaged modernization and i know time has run out, but i can expand on its later if you'd like me to. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general milley, earlier this week lieutenant general mcmaster testified before the
subcommittee. our chairman has alluded to this in the opening statement, but the quote is as follows. we are outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries. he also said our army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation. now, do you agree with this statement in whole or in part? >> in part. i think nhr is one of them, like a brother. to say many is an overstatement. >> okay. >> but to say we're -- the gap is closing. the capability gap is closing between major great adversaries, absolutely true. i think that was the intent of what he's trying to say. >> okay. >> in terms of the size of the force, i agree with his comment on the size of the force. outranged, outgunned on the ground it's a mixed bag. >> are we outranged by any potential adversary at this point? >> yes. >> which ones would that be?
>> the ones in europe, russia. on the ground. >> would you tell the committee what it means to be outranged by russia? >> well, with either direct or indirect fire systems, you know, the ground based systems, tanks, artillery, those type of things. i'd have to get you the actual range. so its's not overly dramatic, but it's the combination of systems. we don't like it. we don't want it. but yes, technically outranged, outgunned on the ground. i think that's a factual -- >> outranged and outgunned would have the same definition as far as you're concerned. we are outranged and outgunned by russia to some extent. >> that's correct. >> what does that mean for the nation's security? >> again, it depends on what we want to do relative to in europe for example. so the fundamental task there is to deter, maintain the alliance, assure our allies and defer further russian aggression.
if we got in a conflict with russia, then i think that it would place u.s. soldiers' lives at significant risk. >> and what specifically should we do? what steps should this committee and this congress take to reverse these trends and maintain the army's supremacy over our adversaries? >> i think that's a couple of things. one, i think in terms of the capability of the force, a subset and the most important one is what's emphasized in this budget is readiness. that has to be sustained. so what is readiness? it's manning, making sure that we get enough people to man the organizations at appropriate levels of strength. >> we're okay there. >> it depends on the unit.
we have a lot of nonavailables in the force for example right now. it depends on the given unit. right now, ideally you'd want a unit to be well above 90% before you sent them off to combat. that is not necessarily the truth. then when you get the availability of the force, you start peeling this back unit by unit. you'll find that the foxhole strength, the number of troops in a given brigade is not necessarily what you might have expected just from the paper numbers. so manning is an important piece. that's the end strength. the equipping piece is critical. spare parts, first of all, do they have the right and modern equipment and secondly does the equipment work? more or less manning and equipping is not too bad. training is the long pole in the tent. it's leadership, cohesion, good order and trust and discipline of the force. all of that equals readiness.
i would say the number one thing at least near term would be readiness. in addition to that, because we have to look past lunch time here, that the -- in addition to readiness, we have got to reinvest in our modernization and r&d over time. that's what hr was getting at. if we continue to attrite that over the last eight years, eight to ten years or so, if we continue to attrite that that will result in a bad outcome five or ten years from now. those are the two things i would offer to you senator. >> thank you very much. i need to ask you about the light utility helicopter. you recently published an unfunded requirement for 17 lakotas. of course i was relieved to hear that. but can you elaborate on how these 17 lakotas in your --
would be utilized and what risk we would incur if you did not receive the 17 lakotas? >> those 17 are specifically tied to the national commission's recommendation, so which we owe you a response to their recommendations. they have got 63 recommendations. a lot have to do with aviation. so the 17 lakotas are specifically tied to their recommendations around they would be utilized at ft. rutter to free up apaches to go to the guard. they would be specifically utilized to train new helicopter pilots. we have divested and stopped procuring it. it has great utility for training areas, and using it as a medevac helicopter, use it to train pilots. but it's not a combat aircraft so we have chosen to divest ourselves of i. but the 17 are used as training aircraft and it's linked directly to the national recommendations. >> they'll free up combat? >> they'll free up combat
aircraft to execute the other parts of the commission's recommendations. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> general, would you add retention to that list? >> yes. retention, recruiting talent. and i -- you know, i mentioned the modernization piece, but this -- but the readiness piece is the most important piece. absolutely. >> senator king? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to associate myself with the opening statement and perhaps put a bit of context. we had a meeting yesterday talking about overall budget. the issues. i think what a lot of people don't realize is that the expenditures for the defense and nondefense discretionary as a percentage of gpd have fallen dramatically in the last 50 years and in the last 25 years to the point where defense as a percentage of gpd is now the lowest it's been in 70 years.
3.3%. in 1965 it was about 9%. it's fallen almost by two-thirds. so this -- we always focus on the numbers which are very big, but as a percentage of our economy we are as i say at one of the lowest levels since world war ii. secondly, the budget numbers that we're now working with were established in 2011. before syria, isis, ukraine, russia's militarization of the arctic, china's race to military modernization. north korea's nuclear capacity, cyber encryption and on domestic side the heroin epidemic. we have locked ourselves into the financing that does not allow us to deal with current realities. it is absolutely beyond
comprehension we should do this given the sacred responsibility to provide for the common defense. that's the most fundamental responsibility of any government to keep its people safe. and we are knowingly just blindly going through this process of trying to continually meet these new challenges that were established since the numbers were set up as the limits. and fit the response of this country into a continually shrinking package. it's irresponsible and we have to start talking about the larger -- the larger picture. okay. to move beyond budgets, during the break i spent some time in poland and ukraine. they're talking about a new kind of war. i want to ask you, general milley, about a strategy and
they're talking about hybrid war. what happened in the ukraine. not a frontal attack. not sending in the russian armies, not sending tanks across the border. but using some indigenous russian language speakers. some troops but not in uniform necessarily. a new kind of incursion which clearly is a possibility in the baltics which are your nato allies. general milley, what is your thinking? this is probably what the next conflict might look like. >> well, it's clear that in the russian case they're using a new doctrine that was developed in 2005, 6, 7, 8 time frame by the generals and they have various names for it. hybrid war, indirect war, et cetera. what they're trying do is
advance their interests at levels below direct armed conflict with the united states. >> how do we respond? >> so i think one thing is the indigenous peoples of that region, the front line states if you will, the baltics as an example they want to be able to defend themselves and we should take actions and authorities and appropriate resources and help them defend themselves because they're nato article 5 members. i think that's fundamental. secondly, i think a lot of training exercises and i think what's embedded in the eri relative to the army pieces is very, very important. but we need to send a very strong message to the russians. i think we're doing that. by prepositioning equipment, rotating heavy forces in this case an armored brigade and conducting exercises in europe to let our allies know we're there and to let our enemies know we're there. >> i was surprised to learn over there, one of the ways we're really getting hammered is by a
very effective propaganda and disinformation campaign on behalf of the russians. >> correct. >> and it drives me crazy that the country that invented hollywood and facebook is losing the information war. we have got to do that better. they're laying the groundwork for this hybrid war by disinformation and propaganda campaign that is creating the rich soil in which a hybrid war can take place. >> they're using all means of national power. they're using information, they're using the cyber domain. using space capabilities as well as ground. special operations, naval, et cetera. so they're acting very aggressively, relative to the neighbors and they're using all of those techniques. many of which are not necessarily new. there's new systems to deliver those techniques. >> but we put the usia out of business in 1997.
>> that's right. >> we have to get back into the business of communications its seems to me. >> that's correct. >> i want to commend you for the comments you made about procu procurement. we have to talk about 80% solutions and not commercial off the shelf. the old saying is the best is the enemy of the good. we need more timely and more affordable development of systems that use commercial already available, already developed, already r&d'd equipment to the maximum extent feasible. we can't keep going for the very perfect weapons systems that everybody has a piece of and i think your role as a commander -- i mean as a chief in this process is very important. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to thank both of you gentlemen for a couple of things
as the chairman mentioned, general milley, your forthright testimony it is very much appreciated on these what are clearly difficult issues and secretary murphy and general milley, you know the commitments you had made earlier about coming up, taking a look at some of the issues in alaska and kept your word on that, made an independent judgment after very thorough review, i appreciate that as well. and i also want to let you know that i think it's safe to say on this committee we're working not that you're not doing a great job there, secretary murphy, but we're also recognizing the importance and quality of mr. fanning in terms of what he represents for the army. i think a number of us are committed to working on that issue. general milley, i want to go back to your statement and your testimony which i think is a really big deal. it's kind of a warning bell, but when, you know, the service
chief of the most important ground force for the most important military in the world talks about high military risk, that is pretty remarkable statement. and i certainly hope that members of congress will recognize what a remarkable statement it is. at what point does that become unacceptable risk? there was a subcommittee hearing recently with a number of the senior members of the military and whose call is that? is that our call as oversight and policymakers? is that your call? is that secretary carter's call, the chairman, the president's? but, you know, we use high risk, but at what point is that unacceptable for where we are? are we looking at another task force smith situation that i know the army and many other historians look at with a lot of trepidation? >> thanks, senator. my job is to provide my best
military estimate of what the risk is. it's our civilian leadership to determine whether that risk is acceptable to the nation or not. >> just for the record i believe when you are saying high military risk, which not many service chiefs in my -- you know, in my recollection make that statement. it's a pretty important and significant statement. i certainly believe it's unacceptable risk for the country and as you mentioned for our troops. >> again, it's up to the -- this body here, the united states congress, it's up to the president. it's up to my civilian leadership to determine if it's acceptable to the nation. i think it's high military risk. >> thank you, again, for your forth right testimony on that. i know that's not an easy statement to make. i want to go back to senator
mansion's questions. he asked you at what level of forces would we need to actually bring that risk down to something that's medium or low risk. he talked in terms of the overall number. i want to actually ask the question more specifically with regard to the active force. so the high risk -- just so i'm clear. the high risk assessment is 450,000 active duty soldiers is that correct? >> high risk assessment is based on the total army, not just the active. so i base it off the 980 beca e because -- and again, it's based on the contingencies of the higher end threats. the national guard and the united states national guard will play a key role in case a contingency happened. >> have you looked at the 450 number and what we need to get to the number on the active force that would bring down that risk? i think again a number of us on
this committee, bipartisan, believe the 450 number is too small. >> well, i did. we have a variety of studies that we did to determine the size of the force, relative to the national military strategy and the defense planning guidance. so that answers the question of, you know, for what, what do you need the army for? well, you need it to do these tasks. so we did that, we did the associated force structure requirements. it's my estimate about a 1.2 million total army would be required. again, the money is not there so -- >> do you have that broken down? >> we do. we have it broke down with act tich -- active guard and reserve. the active piece is more than 500 "k." but it's not just numbers of course. i know you know this, but it's not just numbers. it's the readiness of that force, it's the technological capability of that force, how it plays into the joint force.
how we fight. it's the doctrine. it's the sum total of all of those things. we tend to laser focus on size. i think that is critical. capacity size. i think that's fundamental to the whole piece. but there are other factors to calcula calculate beyond just the numbers of troops and i think it's important to consider that. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> secretary murphy and general milley, i think from the hearing today it's clear that we all agree you're rightly prioritizing the readiness of our men and women in uniform. but it's also very clear that because of the budget box that we have put the army in we are not modernizing at a level necessary to stay ahead of our adversaries the way that we have in the past. i am a big believer in directed energy. it's where i started my career. i have seen not only what is possible, but what is capable today and i believe it should be a fundamental piece of the department's third offset
strategy. if we're trying to truly develop a future weapons system that changes the nature of warfare as we have in the past, just like secretary, you talked about with the advantages of night vision goggles, gps, we have to invest in the technologies that will give us a qualitative technological advantage to ensure that we have an unfair fight with the enemy. unfortunately, this committee was informed that none of the funding provided last year by congress for the initiative is going to directed energy, despite a clear direction from congress to do so. i'll give one example. the army's high energy laser mobile demonstrator has proven capable of destroying 90 incoming mortar rounds and uavs with the ten kilowatt laser and there's a lot more to come. so i want to ask you why there isn't more emphasis on directed
energy and what is the army's plan to deliver an operational directed energy system in an environment where i think it's too easy to invest in more r&d and the next big fancy i think the that's perfect like senator king mentioned. when we could be developing and fielding programs today. >> senator, part of the acquisition and if i could just make one mention about white sands real quick, if that's okay. >> absolutely. that was kind of the next question. >> okay. so it's not direct energy, but i want to make sure it's at the top of my head. >> absolutely. >> you have the largest oil field in america in the army. and that gives us the savings of $2 million, but when you talk about modernization, you talk about directed energy, et cetera, and modernization programs, when we talk about science technology, modernization, i mean, you have to follow the money.
i mean, when i left congress six years ago the budget of the army was $243 billion. we have had a 39% cut. so we're asking including ocal, then and now, we're asking 125 base and 148 including oco. but when you talk about modernization. we're asking for $25 billion in this budget. it was $46. billion six years ago. >> i think we recognize the stresses you're under. i think more specifically what i'm saying is given the money that was directed by this committee last year to look at third offset and to utilize those specific funds to look at the future of war fighting and how we maintain that qualitative edge, why not more emphasis on
directed energy within that specifically? >> i'll defer -- >> let me pile on here. again, hard choices. so chosen to take and put them into some other areas. we are putting money into -- i think you're talking about in term also of scale and proportion, it is less than some of the other areas. one of the reasons is because some of our sister services and we operate as a joint force, are doing a lot of work. i don't want to duplicate or we don't want to duplicate their work. we'll let them pump their money into it. and then we'll modify that research for application to ground warfare. we can leverage the work of some of our other services, senator. >> i want to thank both of you for your leadership in strengthening the army's integrated air missile defense. and certainly in announcing an air defense attachment at white sands. we are all very excited about
that. the increasing proliferation of missile systems by our adversaries means that we have to enhance our training and our expertise to better protect men and women deployed around the world as well as our homeland. can you just talk about the sophisticated missile threats that are emerging, what the army is facing today and what steps are being taken to counter that threat. >> the countries i mentioned in the opening statement, specifically russia, north korea. all have increasingly -- very sophisticated now and increasingly more sophisticated tiered integrator defense systems that are very complex, very lethal, very robust. to the point where u.s. fixed wing air from the u.s. air force navy assets or rotary air from army marine helicopters are at risk. and these are terrestrial-based
integral air defense systems in combination with the adversary's fixed wing air defense systems. so it is a growing -- increasingly growing capability. you've heard about it i believe from the air force and navy many times. those are real. and they're in place today. and they're growing in capability. >> thank you, chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to both of you for being here. thanks for your sacrifice and commitment on behalf of our nation's security. the national commission on the future of the army recommended in its report earlier this year that the army maintain four battalions of age 64 apache helicopters. in the army national guard under the aviation restructuring initiative. i'd just like to know from either/or both of you what has been the army's assessment of this recommendation and how does
the army plan to react to it, respond to it? >> thanks, senator. urn the direction of the acting secretary of the army, what we've done is a very rigorous study of the 63 recommendations. right now, more or less, about 50 or so, we think are achievable. there's one we disagree with. we recommend no. then about nine, i think it is nine others, ten others. that do incur some significant costs in terms of dollars and we're analyzing that. the one you mentioned is one of those. what we promised the secretary of defense is we'd give him a written report on our recommendations on which ones we think are good to do. of those, how would we pay for them. how would we execute, implement,
those recommendations. and that report will come to you after we submit it to the secretary of defense. so i guess whatever that is next week, we'll get a written report. it will be signed by the heads of our national guard and reserve. so a lot of meetings. all the sake holders involved. so we can come to what we think is our consolidated position. thanks for that question it it's a real important priority. working through that commission. >> thank you. i look forward to reviewing that when we get it. now, can you tell me, if the army does decide to maintain apache capability within the national guard, can you tell me how the army will determine where these units would be assigned and what metrics might
be used to review the current apache battalions within the national guard? >> it will be tim and frank grass would analyze the needs of the guard units. and where they stack in the deck of readiness, responsiveness, the speed at which that unit has to respond. if all those factors would be at play, lieutenant general, who's the head of the guard bureau, he would make that recommendation to the secretary and i and frank grass and then we would approve or disapprove or modify that recommendation. >> thank you. following the chattanooga attacks last year, my office received a lot of calls,
e-mails, letters and communications of every sort from constituents having connections to all the branches of the military. these constituents were expressing concerns about force protection at domestic bases and at international bases. especially for their families at soft targets outside the bases. tell me, what has the army done to improve force protection of the united states and at bases in europe and the middle east where they're, you know, sort of targets for attacks, and what other options are being considered, including the possibility of allowing soldiers to carry personal firearms on the base in order to protect themselves? >> i'll defer to the secretary on the policy pieces of that. but i've been involved in that issue for quite some time. with respect to post camps and
stations that are small, isolated, they're outside, inside communities such as recruiting station, chattanooga. the profit secretary authorized commanders to go ahead and conduct their assessment and make determination, whether it was appropriate or not appropriate, to arm them. he dell gated authority in the assessment to the commanders. which is appropriate. commanders should make those decision. one size won't fit all. it will depend on locate, risk, so on. some of the constraints on it. it can't be privately owned weapons, et cetera. so that's out there. secondly is on the larger camps and insulations, fort lewis, for example, in terms of carrying privately owned weapons on military bases, concealed privately owned weapons, that is not authorized. that is a dod policy.
i do not recommend it be changed. we have adequate law enforcement on those bases to response. those police responded within eight minutes and this guy was dead. so that's pretty quick. a lot of people died in the process of that. but that was a very fast evolving event. i am not convinced from what i know that carrying privately organizations would have stopped that individual. arming our people on our military bases and allowing them to carry concealed privately owned weapons, i do not recommend that as a course of action. >> thank you, general. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary murphy, general milley, thank you for your service. i was in iraq last week. where we're training iraqi security forces. i met with a number of our
soldiers deployed in the fight. as you will noknow, they're a tremendous credit to our country. set out across every component. we thank you for leading the way in this effort. recently, there's a report issued by indiana university. researchers at iu have been able to use certain blood bio markers to predict suicidal ideation with 82% accuracy. if you would, i'd like you to, mr. secretary, take a look at this report and let me know how we can be applying research like this to better identify soldiers who might be at risk. can you take the time to do that, sir? >> yes, you have my commitment. >> thank you very much. in testimony today, you stated that the army only had about
1,800 of the 2,100 behavioral health providers necessary for adequate care. it will help boost recruitment and retention. the other is utilizing nonphysician provider types.pra. do you support these tools? and do you have any other plans to address that gap that you had between 1,800 and 2,100? >> i do, senator. we appreciate your leadership. there's no doubt we have to get after it. i would say -- the embedded behavioral health teams. it's members of their own team in a brigade area where they're out there. there's 60 teams right now. but that race has been a game changer. when you talk about getting rid of the sigma of mental health. when you lookt