tv Defense Secretary Nominee General James Mattis Says Russia Trying to Break... CSPAN January 12, 2017 4:04pm-7:21pm EST
and the current law requires retired military to be out of the service for seven years. if you missed any of this committee hearing, you'll be able to watch it again at cspan.org. at the end of general mattis confirmation hearing this morning, the committee voted in favor of the waver and the full senate took action on the waver approving it on a vote of 81-17. the waver needs a vote in the full house which is expected sometime tomorrow. on cspan 3 it's today's senate confirmation hearing for general mattis. the senate hearing, the armed services committee is chaired by senator john mccain.
>> good morning, all. for the information of the members, at about 15 minutes before the last question you will be notified and asked that the committee will immediately proceed to consideration of senate bill 84, which is to provide for an exemption to a limitation against appointment of persons as secretary of defense within seven years of relief of active duty of the armed forces. this bill would authorize retired general james mattis to be appointed as secretary of
defense. it's important that we have all members present for the consideration of that bill and when there's about 15 minutes left in questioning you will be notified and i hope people will all come back to vote on this important issue of the waver. good morning and i would like to first recognize two of our distinguished colleagues who are here today, former colleagues, we were all three together during the coolidge administration and we're very glad to see you back here again. i don't know, should we do the opening statements or have them -- so i know that in the interest of our friends' time,
maybe we could begin with the senators making their inductry remarks and we're honored to have you before the committee again. two of the most distinguished members that i have had the opportunity and honor to service with. in defer residenness to your agr we'll begin with you. >> can you hear me okay? thank you, chairman mccain. it's a great honor to return to the committee with my good friend for many years bill coin. the purpose of introducing general mattis. before praising our distinguished nominee and i will praise him because i think he deserves it, i want to commend you senator mccain and senator reed for your excellent work in
passing significant reform legislation in the most recent congress. your continuous efforts to make our military more efficient and effective are essential to our nation's security and we owe you our thanks. i know from experience reform is not easy. everything you do is tough in that arena and it doesn't get the notice that it deserves, except for the people who oppose the reform. those are the ones who notice it, so congratulations on that legislation and i know there's a lot more to do, but you've made some progress. i also want to commend my good friend and congratulate my good friend senator david perdue for becoming a member of this committee and continuing the service on what i believe is the best committee in the senate. in september of 1950, my great uncle karl vincent as chairman of the house armed services committee presented to the house of representatives a strong case for congress to pass a waver to
allow general george marshal to assume the position of secretary of defense. so there's some history here. today i urge you to pass the same type of waver for jim mattis, who retired from the marine corps 3 1/2 years ago. i believe the law requiring the secretary of defense to be out of active duty for seven years does remain relevant today, but there can also be a good reason why on a case by case common sense exemptioceptions. there has been an excellent paper written on the separation from military service requirements. when the original statute was passed in 1947, the department of defense had just been created by merging the department of war and the department of navy. there were several very famous generals and admirals emerging from world war ii who were highly publicized hero,
including a few five stars and congress did not want one service overpowering the newly created department. that is an important part of the history of this legislation. mr. chairman, committee members, i believe that exceptions to this restriction should be based on the experience, the skills and the character of a nominee and our country's need to ask them to serve in this important role. i also believe that your examination of jim mattis's credentials, character and record will convince you that he, like george marshal, should be granted a waver and confirmed as secretary of defense. mr. chairman, i've followed jim's career for a long time because when i was chairman of the this committee my staff director, who is here today, also a marine, repeatedly told me that a young officer by the name of jim mattis was demonstrating strong leadership capabilities and had a very long runway ahead.
mr. chairman and members of the staff who know arnold will understand my reluctance to ever admit that ronald was right, but in the case of jim mattis he was dead on point. jim mattis became one of our nation's most effective and respected military leaders. jim has the experience and skill to be an excellent secretary of defense. he has the deep knowledge about the many challenges we face around the world today. he understands not only the importance of civilian control of the military, but he's also written the book, so to speak, on the relationship of today's voluntary force and civil society, which deserves a great deal of attention. jim's experience as combatant commander demonstrates his ability to effectively work with diplomats and national leaders. mr. chairman, members of the committee, over the last three years jim mattis has become fully engaged in civilian life
from the world of business through the ngo world, to the college campus. he has quickly learned the what i call the admiral crowd rule that after retirement as a four star, if you jump into the backseat of your car, you will go nowhere until you move to the driver's seat and turn on the key. he learned that one pretty quickly. jim mattis has learned business lessons that will help him make the department of defense more efficient. jim has gone from the marine corps spit and polish to the business coat and tie to whatever they wear on campus these days. as a professor he has developed a rap ort with young students by quickly figuring out they are not the same as paris island recruits. in summery, mr. chairman, jim mattis is a rare combination of thinker and doer, scholar and strategist. he loves the men and women of
inform and their families. he understands the structure and organization of the pentagon and he knows what the building has to do to give the troops the tools they need to do their job of protecting our nation's security. jim also knows the awesome powers and responsibility of our military forces and the challenges of our complex and very dangerous world. he understands that our military cannot be our primary tool to meet every challenge and he strongly supports the important role of diplomacy and has been outspoken in the important need of giving the state department the resources they need to be fully effective. my bottom line, mr. chairman, and members of the committee, is that i believe jim mattis is exceptionally well qualified to lead the department of defense. i urge this committee and the senate to pass a statutory waver to allow him to serve our nation in this new role and to confirm
as secretary of defense. thank you. >> thank you. >> be here this morning to testify on behalf of general mattis. senator nunn, senator reid, i think you may be the only three still here when i came before the committee seeking your endorsement of secretary defense. it's been 20 years and what a difference a generation makes because at that time when we first met you were a young captain in the navy and took us on a trip senator nunn mentioned to china where we met leaders and did great work on the way back in korea. so i thank you for all the years you devoted to this country. you remain a hero of mine and to
millions of people not only in this country, but the world over. so it's a real honor for me to be here with you. >> thank you. >> and with senator nunn. i served 18 years here in the senate. he served 24. i must say that the experience of working with senator nunn was one of the true highlights of my political career. so it's a pleasure for me to join with senator nunn. i want to associate myself with the remarks of the former senator from georgia and simply submit my own written statement, which is quite brief, to the committee and i'll try to summarize. jim mattis i first met when i went to the pentagon he was a young colonel and he had a reputation even then this is somebody to watch. he's young. he's smart. he doesn't really belong behind a desk, although he may belong there right now, but at that
time he wanted to get out into the field. he is a warrior by nature. i want to say that he has the nickname of "mad dog". it's a misnomer. it should be brave heart because what really characterizes jim mattis is his courage and mr. chairman, you have written about this in terms of why courage matters and you quoted from churchill and said that courage is the first of human resources because it guarantees all else, all the others. so we've seen the history of jim mattis in terms of being a warrior, a brave heart on the battle battlefie battlefield, but that's not only why we're here. if he were only a great warrior, you would say there are other warriors as well. he comes because he's a man of thought and action. you can judge a man by the company he makes and the friends he keeps, but also by the books
he reads. general mattis has some 6,000 books in his library, most of which, if not all of them, he has read. he can refer to either alexander the great and general grant. i suspect he's probably the only one here at this table who can hear the words trap and not have to go to wick peeda to find out what it means. he is a scholar as well and a strategic thinker as a great r warri warri warrior. these hearings are important because you get a chance to listen to the views of the nooec nominee in terms of what is his experience, what does he see as the world events that we're going to be confronted with. what does he bring to the table in terms of giving you confidence that the person making that judgment and after
all he's number two. he's number two in the chain of command. it goes from the president through him to the combatant commanders. that's why it's important that you have a chance to assess his background, but also his character. that is really what you you need to know because no one goes to the secretary of defense or any major position and can anticipate everything that's going to come at him. they talk about the tierny of the inbox. you have a tierny in the inbox in the pentagon and things come at you like a heat seeking missile. you have to say how do i deal with this. who is making the decision. in that case i think you should take great confidence in this man who understands what it means to be in battle and he understands what it means not to go into battle. he has the love for his troops is returned in a way that i've not seen before.
his troops, men and women alike in all services, love this man. they love him because he loves them and what they do for our country, what they're willing to risk for our country. and so you look at his character. he's a humble man with very little to be humble about, but if you were to go to his hometown and see that he's a devoted son to his 94-year-old mother in richland, washington, if you look you'd see he's a member of the board of the tricity food bank and on any occasion you can see him helping to distribute food to needy families. you'll see him refuse to exempt himself on jury duty. he was called to a gross misdemeanor case. he could have been exempted but he said no, i'm here to serve. he's one of six people in that
benton county district court. beyond that what is most impressive to me is that he takes the time without any fanfare to visit the gold star families. that is something that is a heavy heavy responsibility, to go to the families and talk to the people who have lost their sons and daughters, husbands, wives, in battle under his command. that tells me a lot about who jim mattis is and why you should take that into account. and finally, i feel a senatorial speech coming on so i'll try to sum up right now. one of my other heros, in addition to senator mccain. he was a great supreme court justice. he was a veteran of civil war. you cannot read any opinion of his without seeing how he reflects back upon his time in battle. i think it's 1894 memorial
speech you all should read, but in the conclusion of the speech he says whether a man accepts from fortune a spade and will look downward and dig or from aspiration and will scale the ice, the one and only success that is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart. members of the committee, this man, jim mattis, brings to the job of the secretary of the defense a great and brave heart and i hope you will vote to confirm him quickly. thank you. >> i want to thank both senator nunn and cohen. i view as one of my great privileges as my time in the senate is the honor of serving with both of you, so it means a lot to me personally and to the members of the committee that you would come here today on
behalf of that nominee. thank you for being here. >> and could i play special recognition to senator king? >> no. >> i was going to add from the great state of maine and someone we used to call governor and now proudly call senator. nice to see you. >> he represents the geriatric part of this committee. i thank both senator nunn and senator cohen for being here. obviously the committee meets today to consider the nomination of general james mattis to be the secretary of defense to the united states. two years ago general mattis, the last time he came before this committee, the idea that we would be meeting again under the present circumstances would have been hard to imagine, most of all by you, but i for one could not be happier. all of us recognize the unique and indeed historic nature of
this nomination. general mattis enjoyed a long and distinguished career in uniform, but law would bar him for serving as secretary of defense for three more years. i strongly support retaining the law, but i believe our nation needs general mattis's service more than ever. so after this hearing the committee will meet to consider special legislation to allow general mattis to serve as secretary of defense. if confirmed general mattis would have the honor of leading a team of americans. they make us proud every day. our many defense civil servants sacrifice and rarely get the credit they deserve. i am confident that no one appreciates the sacrifices more than general mattis, yet as we meet today as a time of
increasing threat of global disorders. we've not only put america first, but we've done so by maintaining and advancing a world order that is expanded security, prosperity and freedom. this is required our alliances our trade, our diplomacy and our values and our military. it's the global striking power of america's armed forces that must deter their ambitions. too many americans seem to have forgotten this in recent years. too many have forgotten that our world order is not self sustaining. too many have forgotten that while the threats we face may not have purely military solutions, they all have military dimensions. in short too many have forgotten that powers and at times using it fairly are not there is a perception around the world that
america is weak and distracted and that has only emboldened our add ver sarryes to challenge the current world order. the threat posed by violent extremism and our homeland. it should be clear that we will be engaged in a global conflict of varying scope and ensty. you would lead a military at war. you of all people appreciate what that means and what it demands. at the same time our central challenge in the middle east it's not isil. as grave a threat as that is, it's a break down of regional order. isil is a symptom of this disorder. at the same time iran's nuclear
weapons ambitions have been postponed but not halted and it continues to modernize its military and influence and seek to remake the region in its image from syria to iraq to yemen. in asia the rise of china is shifting the balance of power in ways that challenge long standing u.s. interests. we see china to confront u.s. allies and partners and make territorial claims with no basis in international law and revise the current order. north korea is testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. north korea could soon develop a nuclear capability capable of intercontinental missile that is capable of striking the u.s. this may become a defining crisis for the next president. then there is russia.
under vladimir putin russia has threatened nato allies, intervened in syria leaving a trail of death and destruction and broken promises in his wake. russia's military has targeted syrian hospitals and first responders with precision weapons. russia supplied the weapons that shot down a commercial aircraft over ukraine. russia's war on ukraine has killed thousands and in the most flagrant demonstration of disrespect for our nation russia deliberate deliberately interfered with our election and it was designed to weaken america and discredit western values. each of our last three presid t presidents have had great expectations of building a partnership with the russian government. each attempt has failed. not for lack of good faith and effort on the u.s. side, but
because of a stush orn fact that we must finally recognize putin wants to be our enemy. he needs us as his enemy. he will never be our partner, including in fighting isil. he believes that strengthening russia means weakening america. we must proceed realistically on this basis. we must build a position of significant strength vis-a-vis russia and any others that seek to undermine or national interests and challenge the world order. we must reestablish the department of dense. but for too long the department of defense has planned and optimized itself for short-term con te con contingencies. we face strategic military dimensions. what makes all of this worse is that america's military te
technological advantage is er e erodi eroding. they are modernizing their militaries to exploit our vulnerables with advanced anti-access. indeed, the entire model of american military power projection is increasingly being called into question on land, at sea and in the air and especially in space and cyber space. in light of these threats, business as usual is not just misguided, it is dangerous. all of these problems are compounded by the self inflicted wounds of the budget control act. for five years national defense spending has been arbitrarily capped as global threats have risen, defense spending has fallen in real terms. each military service has deferred critical modernization an shed capacity which has damaged readiness.
what we do spend is producing less combat power. in constant dollars we spend nearly the same exact amount on defense as 30 years ago, but we are fielding 35% fewer ships and 63% future combat aircraft sq d squadr squadrons. all this while overhead costs to increased. we have done grave harm to our military as each of our joint chiefs of staff has repeatedly testified to this committee. meanwhile our national debt has increased nearly $4 trillion over the life of the budget control act. the president elect says he wants to fully eliminate the defense quester and rebuild our military. if so he will find many allies on this committee. the budget control act is harming us in ways that our enemies could only dream. we must repeal this legislation and increase the defense top
line. this will not be cheap, but it pales in comparison to the cost of failing to deter a war or worse losing one. for all these reasons and more, i believe the nation needs general mattis. we need to stop deterring ourselves and return to strategy aligning our ins, ways and means to address global threats. we need to resize and more importantly retashape our mility giving our fighters the most advanced capabilities to they never find themselves in a fair fight. we need to reform the department of defense to the dollars are spent on increasing the lethality of the military. that especially means improving defense acquisition which still takes too long and costs too much to deliver too little. i'd like to conclude by saying a few words about trust and accountability and about the relationship between this committee and the department of defense. one of the few benefits of my
advanced age is the sense of perspective it affords. in recent years i've witnessed the steady loss of trust and deterioration of relations between congress and the department. it is felt on both sides and there's plenty of blame to go around. department leaders have too often treated members of congress as afterthoughts to be notified, not partners to be meaningfully consulted and congress has too often sought to bend the department to its will through growing legislation trying to manage it from afar rather than oversee it. we cannot afford to go on like this. the wide margin of error we once enjoyed in the world is gone. we need to take more risk if we are to maintain our strategic and technologic advantage. these are challenges that the department of defense and the congress especially this committee must manage together.
the only way to restore this trust is to start trusting each other. if confirmed, you would have to trust us to be your partners in major decision making and sharing the greater risks that are necessary to win in a more competitive world. in return, if you will be accountable to us and you will be, we must trust you how best to get the results we demand with fewer statutory impediments. let's make it our common mission to restore accountability. if we can do that though the threats we face may be great, i am confident we can succeed. senator reid. >> thank you very much. let me join you in welcoming general mattis to hearing. i thank him for his many decades for his service to the country and i appreciate his willingness to return to public service at this time. let me also recognize and thank
senator nunn and senator bill cohen for their distinguished service and thoughtful words this morning. general mattis began his long and distinguished career as a second lieutenant commissioned to the rotc program at central washington university. he has served in the highest areas of the marine corps. general mattis, if you are confirmed as secretary of defense, you will lead your department during a time when the united states faces many condominium ha complex challenges that do not offer quick or easy solutions. some of these challenges are traditional nation state tensions and others cross into international boundaries. you will help oversee national security policy for a president that lacks foreign policy and defense experience and whose temperament is far different from prior presidents. many are rightly concerned about
how he may respond when he is tested by russia,r iran, and cyber threats. considering some of these hot spots in the world in detail, i would like to start with iran, which remains a top concern for this committee. their behavior with respect to the region has not improved and iran's unsafe and unprofessional actions in the maritime arena continue, but i believe the comprehensive plan of action is the most effective way of preventing the resumption of the nuclear program. while you raised concern, you stated during a forum in april 2016 that in your words, there's no going back absent a real violation. i agree with that assessment. i look forward to hearing your thoughts about how we can build upon the jpcoa to address other
iranian threats including its influence in the region and ballistic missile programs. the threat posed by violent extremist groups remains a problem. our actions to support local partners on the ground in iraq and syria has made gains. however, isil continues to find new ways to terrorize innocent civilians. in the long team successful military action must be complimented by nonmilitary efforts by the international community. in north korea kim jong-un has destabilized the korean
peninsula. regimes as north korea are brittle and prone to collapse and how we deal with north korea's missile capabilities will be an ongoing debate and challenge for the department of defense. russia has perpetrated aggressive action against his neighbors. furthermore, russia's employment of tactics to undermine democracy cannot be ignored. in light of the intelligence communities recent assessment that vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign to undermine our presidential election, this committee will be interested in hear your views with regard to russia going forth both in the cyber realm and on the ground in eastern europe. in addition to these broad strategic challenges, we must grapple with issues specific to the department of defense. this committee has done its best
to allocate extra funding to support home station training, flying hours, depot maintenance. i would welcome your assessment of readiness levels and what should be done. the men and women in uniform remain this committee's top concern. recruiting a military with the necessary exacter and talent to meet national defense requirements is a paramount gall. i support secretary carter's decision to develop gender neutral standards and open the service to those who meet those standards regardless of their gender to include service in ground combat units. highly talented female marine and soldiers are being assigned to units previously closed to
them. this decision requires strong leadership to ensure the individual success of the service member and the success of their unit and service. i expect you to provide that leadership. too often our service members and their families fall victim to financial problems. i hope you pay particular attention to the military lending act, which i and the chairman have made a very strong priority in this committee. defense budgets should be based on a long term military strategy, however spending is subject to the budget control act. the defense investments that have been made to rebuild modernization platforms are in jeopardy. we must be aware that simply adding additional funding or
increasing defense spending creates other problems and is not an effective long term solution. one of your first tasks of a new administration will be to submit a budget that addresses these issues and goes to the point that the chairman made. if confirmed you will manage the department of defense grappling with difficult challenges and requires strong civilian leadership. in order to serve as a secretary of defense, congress must provide an exception to the requirement that prohibits individuals from being appointed if they are within seven years of their military service. earlier this week this committee held a hearing on civilian control of the armed forces. i hope you will candidly share with the committee this morning the actions you will take to ensure your tenure reflects and protects the principal of civilian control and military if you are confirmed. when he assumes office, president trump will become commander in chief over armed
forces. i continue to hope the magnitude of the challenge our country faces would encourage him to be more thoughtful with his comments. however in the two months since his election president elect trump has made a number of defense related policy statements addressing north korea's icbm capability, our trade relations with china and the expansion of u.s. nuclear weapons. most troubling is the praise of the leadership of vladimir putin and his seeming indifference to russia's efforts to influence the presidential election. many have supported the legislation in your confirmation because they believe the source that cools the coffee. i look forward to a hearing how you intend to manage a relationship with the department of defense and with the president. i thank you mr. chairman for the committee's careful process in considering this nomination and i look forward from hearing from our nominee. >> thank you. there are standard questions that we require to ask and i would go through those very
thank you. it's an honor to come before you. i request that my written statement be accepted into the record. >> without objection. >> i want to thank you for taking time to see me during my courtesy calls and i thank you for your willingness to accommodate this hearing and considering my nomination. i have testified in front of this committee and i have always held it in the highest regard and based on my past year's experience, i do trust this committee and each member of it and if confirmed i'll demonstrate that trust. i wish to thank former senator cohen for introducing me this morning and i'm thankful to senator sam nunn for his strong
support. it is humbling to be considered for this position and i thank the president elect for placing trust and confidence in me. when this unanticipated request came, i was enjoying a full life west of the rockies. i was not involved in the presidential campaign and i was certainly not seeking or envisioning a position in any new administration. that said, it would be the highest honor if i am confirmed to lead those who volunteer to support and defend the constitution and to defend our people. all my remarks today recognize that it is only with the advice and consent of the senate that i can be confirmed. i know the senators of this committee are well aware of the many global security challenges we face. we see each day a world awash in change. our country is still at war in afghanistan and our troops are fighting against isis and other terrorist groups in the middle east and elsewhere.
russia is raising grave concerns on several fronts and china is shredding trust. increasingly we see islands of stability in our hemisphere. democracy here, in europe and in asia under attack by non-state actors and nations that mistakingenly see their security in the insecurity of others. our armed forces of this world must remain the best led, the best equipped and the most lethal in the world. these demanding times require us to be put together a strong national security team here in washington. if confirmed i will lead the department of defense and be a forthright member of that team. i recognize that i will need to be the strongest possible advocate for military and civilian personnel and their families. i will foster an atmosphere of harmony and trust at the department with our interagency
counterparts and agencies. i will work to make sure our strategy and military kak can you lus are employed to reinforce traditional tools of diplomacy ensuring that our diplomats negotiate through a position of strength. the adoption of an integrated strategy, we must also embrace our international alliances and security partnerships. history is clear. nations with strong allies thrive and those without them wither. if you confirm me, my watch words will be sol van see and security for the protection of our people and the survival of our freedoms. my priorities will be to strengthen our military and alliances and bring business reform to the department of defense. our military is the envy of the
world. working with you i will endeavor to keep our unique all volunteer force second to none. we open the door to all patriots who are eligible and meet the standards, provide them with the training, equipment and leadership essential to their success and ensure all service members are treated with dignity and respect. i recognize my potential civilian role differs from my former role in uniform. civilian controlled military is fundamental tenant. both the commander in chief and secretary of defense must impose an objective strategic decision making process and effective direct its actions. civilian leaders bear these responsibilities because the core of our military, it can do spirit and its o beadance of leadership reduces the military
to oppose a policy if it is ordered to implement. if the senate consents and if the full congress passes an exception to the seven-year requirement, i will provide strong civilian leadership of military plans and decisions and the department of defense. i recognize under the constitution it is the congress that raises sustained and supports our armed forces through annual appropriations. for many years i have watched you in action and testified before you. i look forward to collaborating closely for the defense of our nation. i am mindful of the extraordinary privilege it is to be nominated for this position. i will hold service members, civilians and their families foremost in my thoughts and work to give the department the best chance for victory if you confirm me. finally, on a personal note, i have worked at the pentagon twice in my career, but few people may know i'm not the first person in my family to do
so. in the war time spring of 1942 my mother was 20 years old. she was part of the first wave of government employees to move into the still unfinished she had come to america as an infant and lived on the banks of the columbia river in the pacific northwest. little could she imagine in her youth that more than 90 years after she immigrated to this country and 75 years after she first walked true the wars of the war department, one of her sons would be sitting here before you today. thank you. may i take your questions. >> general, i neglected, would you like to introduce members of your family who are here with us today? >> thank you, senator. they're safely west of the rockies as well right now. >> very quickly, our uniform military leaders have said that -- have testified before this committee that the budget
control act has put the member and women serving in uniform at greater risk. do you agree with that? >> i do, sir. >> i believe that we are in serious trouble in afghanistan, as the taliban is able to mount greater and more serious attacks on capitals across that nation. do you agree with that assessment? >> they have made advances, and eroded some of our successes, chairman. >> and the afghan, the ana, is sustaining unsustainable over a period of time losses. >> i need to review the actual casualty figures and the recruitments, sir, but i believe that's correct. >> do you believe that we have a strategy that will allow us to regain control of raqqa? >> i believe we do, sir. however, i believe that strategy
needs to be reviewed. and perhaps energized on a more aggressive timeline. >> it seems to me that some of the actions we're taking, 50 troops here, 200 there, smacks of mission creep. is there -- do you think that there is some aspects of that? >> chairman, i'm not current on this issue. if confirmed, i will get current very quickly. >> i just returned from a trip to the baltics, georgia, and ukraine. they are incredibly worried about our commitment to them. and one of the major priorities that the baltic countries have is a continuing u.s. military presence, not a base, but a continuing u.s. military presence in the baltics. do you agree with that?
>> chairman, once the new national security team is confirmed, i want to sit down with them and come up with a coherent integrated strategy that uses -- >> i understand, but i'm specifically speaking of the baltics. >> i do, sir. >> on that trip that i took with senator graham and senator klobuchar, we went close to the front lines where we -- with the president of ukraine, where we took part in various ceremonies and meetings with these brave ukrainians, 10,000 of whom have been slaughtered by vladimir putin and his invasion of crimea and ukraine. and i know you can appreciate the fact that there was a ceremony where the president of ukraine gave their highest award
to the mother of a young man who had just been killed about i a russian sniper a couple of days before. it's always very moving, and it brings home graphically what the russians have done in ukraine, and crimea. crimea in violation of the budapest agreement for which they recognize crimea's part of ukraine, in return for ukraine giving up its nuclear inventory. what do you think we ought to do about russia, general mattis? do you think maybe we ought to have sanctions against russia? or basically sit by as we have for the last couple years and watch their aggression -- by the way, including their precision-guided weapons against hospitals in aleppo. the list goes on and on, of the atrocities that have been committed by vladimir putin, while we, again, try a reset --
i've watched three presidents commit themselves to a new relationship with vladimir putin. all three have been an abysmal failure. should we ignore the lessons of history in our relationship with vladimir putin, and what should we be doing? >> chairman, history is not a straight jacket, but i've never found a better guide for the way ahead than studying the history. since yalta, we have a long list of trying to engage positively with russia. we have a relatively short list of successes in that regard. and i think right now the most important thing is that we recognize the reality of what we deal with, with mr. putin, and we recognize that he is trying to break the north atlantic alliance, and that we take the steps -- the integrated steps, diplomatic, economic, military, and the alliance steps in working with our allies to
defend ourselves where we must. >> you are a distinguished student of history. and as we're all aware, following world war ii, a world order was established which has held for basically the last 70 years. do you believe that that world order is now under more strain than it's ever been? >> i think it's under the biggest attack since world war ii, sir, and that's from russia, from terrorist groups, and with what china is doing in the south china sea. >> and that would argue for us making sure we're adequately prepared to meet these challenges. >> i think deterrence is critical right now, sir, sutly. and that requires a strong military. >> do you think we have a strong enough military today in order to achieve that goal? >> no, sir.
>> thank you. senator reid. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you again for your service. as i mentioned in my opening statement, your comments at csis talking about the misgivings in your words, there's no going back. and short of a violation, that was enough to simulate the european actions as well that we essentially have to stay the course. is that essentially your view? >> sir, i think it is an imperfect arms control agreement. it's not a friendship treaty. but when america gives their word, we have to live up to it, and work with our allies. >> there also is, as i pointed out, and as you recognized and pointed out much more eloquently, challenge arising from the nonnuclear aspects of the proxy support, interference with shipping. in fact, there was an incident this week of provocation.
how do you apply appropriate pressure to the iranians to contain their behavior in these areas without jeopardizing the solidarity of the european world community and durability of the jcpoa? >> mr. chairman, once the new national security team is confirmed, we'll work together. but i think to publicly display what iran is up to, with their surrogates and proxies, their terrorist units that they support, to recognize the ballistic missile threat, to deal with the maritime threat, and to publicly make clear to everyone what they're doing in the cyber realm all helps to constrain iran. >> thank you. general, if you are to become the secretary of defense, you will be a critical component of the intelligence community.
you produce intelligence, defense intelligence agency. you can consume intelligence because it is the basis of most every recommendation or decision that you would make. and we are in a very unique situation where we have the president-elect disparaging the intelligence community, questioning its conclusions, and questioning its motivations. suggesting perhaps that there would be some actions taken, perhaps bordering on retribution for intelligence analysis that is being done, we presume, i certainly presume, based on the allegiance to the facts and the best judgment that they can make. do you believe, have you observed behavior such as that,
disrupting the intelligence community, disparaging it, undermining it, ignoring it -- again, i could go on. do you feel an obligation to the country and the committee to be informed of those actions? >> senator, i can tell you in my many years in the involvement of the military, i had a close relationship with the intelligence community. i could evaluate their effectiveness at times on a daily basis. and i have very, very high degree of confidence in our intelligence community. >> and if you see that community be i being undercut, not debated about their conclusions, but undercut, or somehow ignored, or selectively being listened to or ignored, again, do you feel you have an obligation to make us aware of this, so we can exercise our responsibilities? >> i'll be completely
transparent with this committee, sir, but i would not have taken this job if i didn't believe the president-elect would also be open to my input on this, or any other matter. >> you have talked about the situation with respect to russia. one aspect of that is operations in syria. there has been some discussion of -- on and off during the campaign of cooperates with the russians in syria. do you think there's a possibility of that, a likelihood of that, or would that be a good approach? >> senator, russia, to quote the chairman's opening statement, has chosen to be a strategic competitor. they're an adversary in key areas. while we should always engage and look for areas of cooperation, and even in the worst years of the cold war,
president reagan, secretary schultz were able to work with russia, the soviet union at that time, and reduce the nuclear weapons. so i'm all for engagement. but we also have to recognize reality, and what russia is up to, and there's decreasing number of areas where we can engage cooperatively, and increasing number of areas where we're going to have to confront russia. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, i'm not going to take all of my time here. because every question i was going to ask the chairman has already asked. and i liked the answers. also, i've been honored to have known you for 30 years. that's not normally the case. so i'm excited that you're willing to do this. the two things that we're concerned with are readiness and what's happening -- what i'm concerned with is readiness and the u.s. influence. a year ago you said that you stated our influence in the middle east is at its lowest point in four decades. i agree with that.
also, confirmation testimony last november by general goldstein said continuous combat operations in reduced overall budgets have driven readiness to historically low levels. i look and see senator cohen and senator dunn, i spent time with both of them, but this isn't like it used to be. right now we have one-third of the army brigade combat teams ready to fight, in all types of warfare. the current air force is the lowest in air force history, only half of the fighter squadrons are ready to fight in inn tensive combat. general mattics, in your marines, their combat, the aviators are historical lows right now, in terms of flight time. same thing with navy. we have the requirements for 308 ships, and we only have 274.
so this is not like it used to be. i would only say this, that -- i really believe that we'll have to relook at the priorities that we have in this country. and i enjoy quoting president reagan when he said, quote, starting by -- considering what must be done for peace and to review all the possible threats against our security, then a strategy for strengthening peace, the -- and defending against those threats which must be agreed upon, and finally our defense establishment must be evaluated to see what is necessary to project against any and all of the potential threats. the cost of achieving these ends is totaled up and the result is the budget for national defense. do you think he was right at that time? >> yes, sir, i do.
>> i look forward to that. thank you for being willing to do this. mr. chairman? >> thank you, general mattis, for also being willing to do this. you and i have had a chance to work together in the past and also a chance to visit. i would like to first briefly talk about the overseas contingency operating fund. and the joke that is being -- the cruel joke that is being played on the american public that we have not been able to come together in an honest way, and confront the needs of our military, and confront the needs of our domestic national security in a bipartisan compromise to allow us to quit putting base military funding in a fund that doesn't have to be paid for. and it's gotten worse every year.
you know, it -- and it's such a hypocrisy. it is one of the reasons every american is so disgusted with us, that we can't be honest with the american people about the needs of our country, and come together in a bipartisan way to meet them in a way that is responsible, in terms of the way that we budget and spend money. tell me how you intend on addressing this important issue going forward. >> senator, the need for our country to maintain a safe and secure nuclear deterrent, a divisive conventional force while maintaining an irregular capability, is completely understood. i know it is by this committee. but how do we then translate that into budgetary discipline and integrity of the budget. as you know, we will bring forward from defense what we think we need for overseas contingencies, for the base budget, this sort of thing. but i believe -- my desired
instinct would be everything is in the base budget except for something that legitimately pops up that couldn't be anticipated. at the same time, we are not in a position there to dictate that. and the bottom line, we will come to you as necessary and support this committee and the congress in justifying it, and making certain we have your confidence we're spending every dollar for what we should be spending it on, something we cannot do right now i'm aware of. but that's my goal in this effort. and i don't have a solution for what the chairman described as a self-inflicted wound of the budget control act. i don't know how to get around this in a way that puts the congress really back into its oversight role rather than salami slices of cuts where you don't actually exercise your judgment. i'm much more comfortable with you doing that, than some arithmetic. i think i'm with you. i share 100% of your
frustration, ma'am. i don't know how to get there, other than giving you my best military advice. >> thank you. i also want to briefly touch on when serving in every military occupational specialty, and you and i had a chance to visit about this at length. i'm particularly proud of the work that has been done on this in my state. since 1999, the sapper leader course at ft. leonardwood has maintained completely gender neutral standards, determining who and who does not graduate with that prestigious tab. it is a rigorous physical requirement. despite those rigorous physical demands, over the course of the grad ways rates, since 1999, the graduation rates for women and men have both been at about 50%. so understanding that none of us want any standards diminished, and that we've got to maintain
the highest physical standards for the specialties in which men and women are going to serve, can you address for this committee, how committed you are going forward to having both men and women serve alongside each other when they are capable of doing the work for our country? >> yes, senator, i can. i think you hit on the point that no standards are changed. the standards are the standards, and when people meet the standards, then that's the end of the discussion on that. i would also add that what we're talking about here is somewhere north of 15% of our force is made up of women. and the reason we're able to maintain an all-volunteer force with very, very high recruiting standards is because we go to males and females. and that same application of those -- of that human capital has got to show that where they can best serve, that's where they go. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
general mattis, let's talk about israel for a few moments. would you agree that the united states shares common values and strategic interests with israel? >> israel is a fellow democracy, and i think israel's security is very, very important to the united states. >> are there any other democracies in the middle east? >> no, sir. >> would you agree that the threat of iran's regional belligerence and nuclear ambitions are a shared threat both to the united states and to israel? >> and i agree, and i would add also to our arab partners in the region. >> and i think you said that we're going to have to live with what the administration has done with regard to the energy agreement with iran. are you confident that we can monitor the situation with regard to possible violations? do we have that capability?
>> i'll have to get in and look at the classified data. if you confirm me, senator, i believe we can have it. i just can't respond right now. if we've got those processes in place. >> in your opinion, what did the united states failure last month to veto the u.n. resolution with regard to israel do to our bilateral relationship with israel? >> sir, i'd have to get back and look at that. i say that, because i've read what's in the newspaper, and what's going on in both tel aviv and washington, and new york. but i do not have a very authoritative view of that right now. i think we have got to restore a better relationship with israel, and with our arab allies. i think there's a sense on their
part that we are indifferent to the situation they face, the security situation that they face. >> and we certainly don't need to send the signal that we're indifferent to their situation, do we? >> the greatest generation came home from world war ii recognizing whether we like it or not, we're part of this world, sir. we're going to have to remember that lesson. >> and i realize this was a foreign policy question, but you're going to be part of the national security, and foreign policy team, and let me say that one of my greatest concerns with regard to our failure to veto this resolution, and therefore, to let it be adopted by the u.n. security council, that people argue this establishes international law. and somehow, this congress and this new administration are going to have to send a signal that we do not recognize that with regard to the israeli
presence in certain sections of jerusalem, that we do not recognize that resolution as international law, and we are in a tough position there. if you'd like to comment on that, i'd be glad to hear your thoughts, sir. >> sir, i think ultimately we're going to have to promote peace between the palestinian and israeli authorities there. and that's going to take time to build that kind of trust, and we should be a partner in trying to build that resolution between those peoples. >> when one speaks of israel maintaining its qualitative military edge over neighbors in the region, what does that mean to you, general? >> sir, it has to do with the technology of the military equipment provided. i would only add that we also have improving relations between
israel and some of those neighbors, and where we can work in terms of partnership with both israel and the arab neighbors, we can strengthen everyone's security and stability in the middle east. >> do you believe their qualitative military edge needs to be revitalized? >> i'm not aware that it's not vital now, that it's not fully formed right now. >> and with regard to the trap -- of course, secretary cohen has insulted every member of this committee by suggesting that we don't readily understand that, but with regard to that, as i understand it, this occurs when a rising power tries to meet the power of an already existing and established power. do you think that is a risk when
it comes to our relationship with china, particularly in the asia-pacific region? >> sir, i believe that we're going to have to manage that competition between us and china. there's another piece of wisdom from antiquity that says fear, honor and interest, always seems to be the root causes of why a nation chooses to go to hostilities. and i would say that what we've got to do is engage diplomatically, engage in terms of alliances, engage economically and maintain a very strong military so we're always engaging from a position of strength when we deal with a rising power. >> thank you very much. good luck to you, sir. >> thanks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, general mattis. and thank you for your willingness to continue to serve this country.
i have read that in 2005, as commander of the marine corps combat development command, that you asked researchers to, quote, unleash us from the tether of fuel and explore ways to improve the efficiency of military vehicles in order to reduce the strain that energy put on supply lines. because you not only when you commanded the first marine division during the 2003 invasion, but you had also seen what happens when our troops outran their fuel supplies. so can you speak to why you think this is important? and will you as secretary of defense continue to support the military's effort to pursue alternative and more efficient sources of energy to reduce our reliance on conventional fuel supplies? >> yes, senator, we will take advantage of every advance in terms of extending our legs, extending our energy efforts,
and certainly there's a lot of progress that's been made. i've been living in silicon valley for the last several years, so you can understand my interest in what they're doing out there in the private sector. >> thank you. i think our military is way ahead of much of the rest of government, and much of the private sector. and those are lessons that can be shared that will benefit the private sector as well. chairman mccain talked about the threat that russia poses, and listening to your responses, it sounded to me like you also believe that russia poses a threat to the united states and to the -- i think you said the transatlantic alliance. today for the first time since the fall of communism, american troops arrived in poland as part of the european reassurance initiative. how important is it for us to continue these initiatives to
reassure our european allies that we will continue to support them? and how concerned are you that some of president-elect trump's statements with respect to continuing to support nato, to support our allies in europe has undermined our ability to continue this initiative? and will you support the eri continuing as secretary of defense? >> senator, i do support eri. nato, from my perspective, having served once as a nato supreme allied commander, is the most successful military alliance probably in modern world history, maybe ever. and it was put together, as you know, by the greatest generation coming home from a war to defend europe against soviet incursion by their military. yet the first time it went to
war was when this town and new york city were attacked. that's the first time nato went into combat. so my view is that nations with allies thrive and nations without allies don't. and so i would see us maintain the strongest possible relationship with nato. >> thank you. and are you concerned about some of the statements that president-elect trump has made with respect to our historic european allies, and to nato, and how -- have you had a chance to have discussions with him and how confident are you that he recognizes what you've just said about the importance of those relationships? >> senator, i have had discussions with him on this issue. he has shown himself open, even to the point of asking more questions going deeper into the issue about why i feel so strongly. and he understands where i stand. and i'll work with the other members of the team, national
security team, once the senate confirms them to carry these views forward. >> thank you. you talked about, i think senator imhoff raised the issue of readiness for our troops. when you and i met, we also talked a little bit about the national guard, and the importance of the guard as being the one force that we depend on. readiness is obviously a concern for the national guard as well. and in new hampshire, for example, our national guard has experienced a 32% decline since 2007, much more than many states that are smaller than we are. and they've had trouble with training rotations, resources, equipment, other aspects of readiness. can you commit to us that you, in addition to trying to address readiness with our active duty forces, that you will also look at the guard and reserve and try
and ensure that they also have access to what they need to be ready for deployment? >> senator, i share the chairman's view that we have shrunk our military capability. and one of the things that that forces on us is the awareness, if not just a strategic reserve anymore in the national guard, it's also an operational reserve. that means they have to be ready to go on very short notice. that's just a reality when we've shrunk our military to the point we have. so we are going to have to keep the national guard and the reserves of all the armed forces at the top of their game. we can't deploy them without having them at a ready -- a high state of readiness. mostly in equipment and training. there are some things obviously they don't do because they're not on duty 365 days a year. but as an operational reserve, and strategic reserve, they'll be critical. >> thank you, general. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
thank you, general mattis, for your past service to your country, and thank you again for your willingness to step forward and serve us once again. i was happy to see your responses to the advanced policy questions to affirm the importance of nuclear weapons, which you describe as fundamental to our nation's security. and your statement that, quote, we must continue with the current nuclear modernization plans for all three legs of the triad, end quote. when we talked in my office about the triad in our meeting last week, you brought up, i believe, a very important point that bears repeating. relating to the icbm force. and there's a broad recognition that the legs of the triad have different strengths. the bombers are visible, and, therefore, they have what i call signaling value. the submarines are highly survivable, and the icbms are the most responsive leg. and they can be launched at a moment's notice, you mentioned
what you called the targeting challenge of our icbm force, and what that targeting challenge poses for our adversaries. could you explain that further? >> ma'am, in my review of the triad that you brought up here, senator, i looked at each one of those legs, is it necessary. and i haven't had access to all the classified data, but i had a fair amount of background on this, and some of the aspects of why we have a triad have not changed. so in looking at each leg of it with the icbm force, it's clear that they are so buried out in the central u.s., that any enemy that wants to take us on is going to have to commit two, three, four weapons to make sure they take each one out. in other words, icbm force provides a cost-imposing strategy on an adversary.
and again, what we're trying to do is set such a stance with our triad that these weapons must never be used ever again. and so the deterrent value of the icbm force is that an enemy would have to basically use three or four times as many weapons to take out each individual one. so that's the targeting challenge the enemy faces against the icbm force. >> thank you. and in your answers to this committee's advanced questions about whether we are deterring hostile activity in cyberspace, you say no. and you continue on to state, quote, to be deterred, our adversaries must know they will suffer consequences from cyber attacks that outweigh any gains they hope to achieve. if they choose to act as adversaries, we will treat them as such, end quote. i completely agree. and believe that more costs must
be imposed on those who are responsible for cyber attacks. so this gets to the issue we've discussed in great detail on this committee, which is the lack of an overall policy to respond to cyber attacks. when we discussed this in our recent meeting, you made a point of, i believe, this is also very important, which is that the lack of a policy is potentially destabilizing, because adversaries unaware of our boundaries may take a provocative action that forces the united states to act militarily. i believe you characterized it as, quote, stumbling into a conflict. essentially we don't want to find out what constitutes an active war in cyberspace the hard way. can you elaborate on that point for us? >> senator, i believe a lot of crises, and even wars have started from miscalculation. so while it's important we make
clear what we stand for, i think in an area such as you're bringing up here, cyber, it's also important that our adversaries know absolutely what we will not tolerate. and by making that clear, you're less apt to have someone stumble into a situation where we're now forced to take action. that said, putting together a policy like this is not something the department of defense can do alone. we certainly have a key role, a fundamental role. but at the same time, from our treasury department, to our commerce department, to our homeland security, we need to get a lot of people in the room and put this policy together. i realize it's a new domain. but that doesn't give us an excuse not to address it on an urgent basis. >> thank you, sir. i look forward to working with you on that. this committee has been focused on cyber. we are looking for a policy. and i look forward to developing one with you. and i invite you to come to
nebraska and visitoff it and would love to be there when you're there. >> thanks. >> i want to continue some of the line of questioning started by senator mccaskill. do you plan on rolling back the opening of infantry positions to women based on your previous statements? >> senator, i've never come into any job with an agenda of -- a preformed agenda of changing anything. i come in assuming the people before me deserve respect for the job they did and the decisions they made. >> i ask specifically, because in previous speeches, one from the marine memorial club in san francisco on april 16th, 2015, you were asked specifically about whether we should open infantry positions and special combat jobs to women. and you said, you did not think it was a good idea. you said when you mix, you know
when you mix affection for one another, that could be manifested sexually. i don't care if you go anywhere in history, you'll not find where this has worked. never has it worked. and then in a previous speech in 2014, you said the idea of putting women in there is not setting them up for success. could we find a woman who could run fast enough, of course we could. could we find a few who could do the pull-ups, of course we could. that's not the point at all. it's whether or not you want to mix arrows. and so in both of these question-and-answer sessions you said you do not think you could do it. have you changed your view on this issue? >> senator, i was not in a position to go back into government when i made those statements. there were many policies that have been enacted over many years, including the year since i've been on active duty. i'm coming in with the understanding that i lead the department of defense, and if someone brings me a problem, then i'll look at it.
but i'm not coming in looking for problems. i'm looking for ways to get the department so it's at the most lethal stance. and in that regard, it's all about military readiness. i'm looking for military readiness and what we can do in that regard. >> do you plan to oppose women serving in these combat roles? >> i have no plan to oppose women in any aspect of our military. in 2003, i had hundreds of marines who happened to be women serving in my 23,000-person marine division. and this is ten years before i retired. and i put them right into the front lines alongside everyone else. >> so you no longer believe arrows is a problem when men and women are serving together? >> i believe that if we are going to do -- execute policies like this, we had better train our leaders so that they can handle all things that come from
a policy that decided this town. that's our responsibility, to train our young leaders who are going to be dealing with factors that perhaps their fathers did not have to deal with. >> in your book, warriors and citizens and the interviews that you did afterwards, you were talking about the disconnect between civilians and civilian eli elite's view of the military and the military's view of itself. and you cite various policy debates that you think there's a disconnect, and two that you cite, you said in recent policy debates such as those about allowing homosexuals to serve openly, retaining residual force in iraq and afghanistan, cutting military spending, assigning women to combat units and other items, you believe the american public is not nearly as concerned as it should be that the changes to military policies are a risk to our forces. we fear that an uninformed public is permitting political leaders to impose an ekreegs of
social conventions that are diminishing the combat power of our military, disregarding our war-fighting practitioners' advice. do you believe that openly serving homosexuals along with women in combat units is undermining our force? >> senator, my belief is that we have to stay focused on a military that's so lethal, that on the battlefield, it will be the enemy's longest day and their worst day when they run into that force. i believe that military service is a touch stone for patriots of whatever stripe. it's simply the way that they demonstrate their commitment. and i believe that right now, the policies that are in effect, unless the service chief brings something to me where there's a problem that's been proven, then i'm not going in with the idea that i'm going to review these and right away start rolling
something back. >> do you believe that allowing lgbt americans to serve in the military or women in combat is undermining our lethality? >> frankly, senator, i've never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with. >> so the answer is no? >> senator, my concern is on the readiness of the force, to fight, and to make certain that it's at the top of its game so that when we go up against an enemy, the criteria for everything we do in the military up until that point when we put our young men and women across the line of departure, is that they will be at their most lethal stance. that is my obligation, as i move into this job. that's how i will look at the -- >> thank you. for the record, i'd like in writing whether you believe a gender -- understood, sir -- for the record -- >> senator's time has expired. >> thank you. >> please adhere to the rules of the senate. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator cotton?
>> thank you. general mattis, welcome to the committee. thank you for your many decades of service and for your willingness to answer the call to serve once again. in his speech on our defense in philadelphia, president-elect trump committed to a 540,000-man army, a 36 battalion marine corps, 350 ship navy and air force with at least 1,200 fighter aircraft. do you agree that these numbers are the correct targets for which we should aim for our armed forces? >> sir, in my discussion with the president-elect, he wants to strengthen the military. i'll have to look at those numbers in particular. i would tell you that he takes the issue seriously, as you can see from what he's proposed there. and i believe that that is the right direction. the timing, the phasing of that, and making certain that whatever you've already bolt for us is fully maintained. these are challenges that we'll have to look at for current readiness and future readiness of the force.
but i believe the direction he's outlined is accurate. >> thank you. do you have a perspective on what is a more urgent priority, current in strength or aging equipment of our armed forces? >> senator, i think that we have a reset problem in several of our armed forces coming out of many years of hard use. that reset has not been achieved. we also have a current maintenance problem where ships are at sea longer because the ships supposed to relieve them are not prepared. and we have to look at the future force to make certain, like in my case, every time i went to fight, somebody had done something 20 years before that put me in a dominant position. so we're going to have to balance all that. i look forward to working with this committee in figuring this out, trying to get the right balance for that. >> thank you. i want to return to the nuclear triad discussion you had with senator fisher when you expressed your support for it. today, though, it's getting
somewhat long in the tooth. i think every leg of the triad may be older than i am. we're undertaking a significant modernization of the program today. are you committed to the continuation of the columbia class submarine? >> yes, sir, i am. >> the b-21 bomber? >> yeah. a manned bomber, yes, i am, sir. >> the ground base strategic deterrent? >> yes. >> the long-range cruise missile? >> i need to look at that one, sir. my going in position is it makes sense. but i need to look at the deterrent capability. >> secretary bob gates, for whom we both served many, many, many, many levels lower than did you, wrote in his books that a common misunderstanding in washington is the deputy secretary of any department manages the department. he said only the secretary of defense can truly run the department. and really run major critical
programs. he cited examples, the mine resistan resistance, ambush vehicle, unmanned aerial, isr assets, in theater, and the so-called golden hour of getting combat care to troops who are wounded on the battlefield. just three examples of that. had ehad to prioritize and invest his time to accomplish within the department's bureaucracy. as you look forward to serving as secretary of defense, what are the two or three priorities you think that are most urgent and most intractable in which you will need to personally invest your time and influence and prestige? >> in strengthening the military, sir, there are times when the secretary himself has to overrun any kind of obstacles. but you want to set up a department that by and large can do that, as a matter of its core processes. and in this case, what senator mccaskill brought up earlier where i cannot come before you
and tell you that we have an audit, an ironclad audit showing where we're going to spend money, means we're going to have to get some people, i don't know if it's the deputy or chief financial officer, who are focused 24/7 on getting these business practices down to a point that i can win your confidence when i come up here and ask for money. at the same time, i think that the decisions on the use of force, the act of oversight, of operations overseas, and the engagement with our allies are things that i'm going to have to spend a lot of time on based on some of the questions and comments that have been given here today. >> thank you, again, for your willingness to serve our country once again. >> yes, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to join the rest of my colleagues in thanking you for your service and your willingness to serve again. you and i have discussed the issue of civilian control over the military. and i am extremely concerned by
the precedent that your assuming this office would set. and i think you in some respects share that concern, because civilian control in the military is a bedrock principle that goes to the very founding of our republic. and i am not going to elaborate on my reasons for feeling so strongly about it. i'd like to place in the record a statement to that regard if there's no objections, mr. chairman. thank you. but let me say very blustly, if there were ever a case for a waiver of that principle, it is you at this moment in our history. senator cohen made reference to your heart and your caring for your troops and their caring for you. and i believe that your appreciation for the costs of war in blood, treasure and lives, and the impacts on
veterans afterward will enable you to be a check on rash and potentially ill-considered use of military force. by a president-elect who perhaps lacks that same appreciation. and so i think you will have a critical role as secretary of defense in providing a check on that kind of action. and in that regard, i want to focus on one of the costs of war, which is post-traumatic stress disorder. i call it post-traumatic stress, an invisible wound of war. the chairman and i worked together to support a measure called the clay hunt veteran suicide prevention act. and i thank him again for his leadership on that issue, which focuses on the difficulties that veterans have, and the impact in causing suicide among veterans.
again, an invisible and often disregarded cost of war. 20 veterans every day still commit suicide in the greatest country in the history of the world. i'd like a commitment from you that you will address the issues of post-traumatic stress, and veterans, and work with the va on attempting to fight this scourge of suicide in our military? >> senator, this cuts to the very heart of any of us here who have ordered troops into harm's way. and how could they come home to this great country carrying something that puts them into that sort of despair. i'm guided largely by dr. jonathan shay from boston, from cambridge, and what he has done in his study of this issue. and you have my full commitment on this. >> and you and i have also discussed veterans of past wars who may have been discharged with less than honorable status
because of pts that was undiagnosed at the time, partly because it wasn't even regarded as a condition, or a diagnosable condition. >> right. >> and i think you expressed your interest in addressing that issue as well. >> there are appeal processes, but i need to look at those processes, whether or not the framing guidance to those appeal pords takes this into account. and i don't know that right now. but i will look at it. >> general, you expressed your commitment in response to previous questions to the columbia class, ohio replacement program, and i welcome that, and i think it's essential as part of our nuclear triad. you and i have also discussed the virginia attack class, submarine program, the construction of two a year. i assume you will remain committed to that program, because it is so vital to our
strategic superiority. one of the areas where we have an asymmetric advantage. >> absolutely, senator. >> and i think you agree, too, because you mentioned our support for israel, that the f-35 joint strike fire program is important to our strategic edge in the world, and to our allies, like israel, and others around the world, including at nato, that will depend on it? >> yes, sir. many of our allies have got their air superiority on the f-35 program, and it bonds us tightly together with them. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, first of all, thank you for your service. thank you for taking the time to visit with us personally prior in our office. as i think back, i thought perhaps one of the biggest challenges that you may face is differentiating between a military leader versus a
civilian leader coming into the department of defense. can you perhaps just share very briefly your philosophy on the difference in how you would perhaps share the difference and address any questions anybody on this committee may have concerning how you would respond militarily versus that as the civilian leader. >> senator, the military is under civilian control in this country, and the result is that once they've had their say, the military leaders stand back and then carry out the decision to the best of their ability. in changing roles here, i have to make certain that i'm carrying out that responsibility, principally to advise the commander in chief on the use of force in a way that takes into account all of america's basically different strengths, economic, diplomatic, military, generally speaking we would use military as a
deterrent role, as a reassurance to our allies, and certainly in most cases as a last resort. so the role of the secretary of defense is a broader portfolio than that of a military officer. further, it is a position of civilian control that works with the congress to maintain civilian control of the military. this is not just up to the executive branch. civilian control of the military is also a responsibility that is shared with this committee in particular, and with the broader congress. i still remember my first day in 1969, standing at the newly discovered position of attention in the barbershop. on the wall was a picture of the president of the united states wearing a suit, secretary of defense in a suit, the secretary of the navy in a suit, and below that was a list of photos of the commanders, my marine commanders. it was on its first day in the
military, it was a graphic display of civilian controlled military. there in the executive branch. but i learned the role of congress over many years of testimony. >> thank you. two years ago you advised us that this committee must lead the effort to repeal the sequestration that is costing military readiness and long-term capability while sapping troop morale. likewise, the president-elect has called rescinding of the threat of sequestration. so did the unanimous report of the bipartisan national defense panel, which was cited by the president-elect. sometimes i think we misunderstand in this country that the number one priority that we should be looking at is the defense of our country, because if we're not free, nothing else really matters. when you talk about sequestration, we seem to have a misunderstanding that somehow expenditures for defense should be equalized with the expenditures for nondefense
discretionary spending. would you care to state your opinion and how you would advise the president with regard to sequestration and the elimination of those caps, and what it means to the united states military? >> senator, i understand the need for solvency and security, because no nation in history has maintained its military power if it did not maintain its fiscal house in good order. at the same time, i believe that this country has got to be prepared to defend itself. the idea of a government of the people, by the people, for the people remains a radical thought in many people's minds in this world and we're going to have to be able to fight for it. so as a result of that, i believe that we can afford survival. i don't believe in mathematical calculus that basically makes the congress spectators as salami sliced cuts come in, and you do not have control over
that. if i can't make the argument for you, for why we need a military program, then i'm willing to lose it. but if i can make that argument, should you confirm me, i don't want the congress in a role where sequestration is making decisions for you. and you're not able to influence this. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i have a series of questions on cyber, but i would like to ask to submit those for the record. >> without objection. >> thank you, sir. look forward to supporting you in this nomination. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you general mattis. i hope that you can provide me with a yes or no answer to this question. and then i'll move on to other questions. is there something innate in being a woman, or lgbt that would cause you to believe that they could not be part of a lethal force? >> no. >> thank you. we have strategic interests in the independent oh-asia pacific
aor. i believe the obama administration's concept of a strategic rebalance should be continued. i know that you are well aware of the armies in this part of the world, what's happening with china and north korea. will you continue our commitment to strengthening our presence in the indo-asia pacific, and the strategic importance of this part of the world to our national defense, and our national security? >> senator, the theater remains a priority in my mind. >> so you will continue that commitment? >> i will look at -- which commitment, man? >> a commitment to this part of the world, the indo-asia pacific part of the world in terms of military resources, in terms of our presence, in terms of strengthening our allies in this part of the world? >> yes. we have worldwide responsibilities, and certainly the pacific looms large in that. >> thank you.
the president-elect has taken to twitter, tweeting defense companies, program costs and expectations, understandably the companies have responded. these tweets have impacted markets, created instability and some uncertainty within the industry. and while we all agree that we need to ensure that our contractors deliver the systems for our fighters on time and within costs, i don't think that this is the best way to get that point across. especially if you are the president of the united states. so my question is, should you be confirmed, how would you deal with industry, and their concerns, and the president-elect, if he continues to use twitter to express his views and opinions about major defense acquisition programs, which have legally binding contracts already in place? >> senator, it's not my role to comment on the president-elect's
statements other than to say i believe it shows he is ser wrus about getting the best bang for the dollar when it comes to defense dollars. and thatdollars, and that is where i find common ground with him. i want to be able to come to you and say here's the money you gave us, here's what we did it with. and i see his statements about the cost of certain defense programs as showing his serious side about keeping these costs under control. >> well, we on this committee have spent all our time particularly under chairman mccain's leadership looking at the cost and the timeframes for delivery of various systems so certainly we share that. it's a matter of how best to go forward as we ask these questions, and in my view, using twitter as a means is not the most efficacious way to do that. turning to our allies, once again, in the asia-pacific area, you have indicated that you
believe we are stronger with our allies and partners in asia and the president-elect trump has made some statements regarding our -- some key allies of the region, japan and korea, suggesting at one point that we won't -- we wouldn't defend them if necessary. do you consider these kinds of statements damaging, and what would you do to strengthen these alliances should you be confirmed? >> sure, i think that we have a long history in this city with presidents, secretaries of defense, asking allies to carry their fair share of any kind of defense burden when they share in the benefits, and i lived through these kind of discussions in nato and elsewhere. so what i would do, to answer your question, is i would find common ground with our allies, but i wouldn't just take traditional allies, i'd be looking for new allies and make
certain that we're creating as many allies as we can if we try to keep peace and stability. >> i agree with you. in response to a question from senator shaheen, you said you support the eri. would you -- do you believe that we need to have a parallel effort in the indo-asia pacific area? >> each region has its own unique characteristics, senator. i believe we have a fair number of similar troop deployments in the pacific already. that send the kind of message that eri sends to europe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chair, very much. general mattis, thank you for appearing in front of our committee today. i will start with basic yes or no questions, sir. can i get your confirmation that you will make cutting wasteful spending a priority? >> yes. >> do you commit to working with me to combat and prevent
military sexual assault and retaliati retaliation? >> absolutely. >> do you commit to leveraging the unique capabilities of guard and reserve forces to enhance our national security missionses? >> yes. >> will you provide me with advance notice should you decide to make any changes to the gender integration policies that are in place? >> i will always keep this committee informed, ma'am. >> i appreciate it. when i graduated, my engineer officer basic in 1993, i and the other 11 women who attended that were not allowed to compete for the course. i am glad we have rectified that in the years since. flash forward ten years, 2003, operation iraqi freedom. i was a transportation company commander serving in kuwait and iraq. i had an assigned weapon m-9, .9
millimeter pistol but i also had assigned to me an m-16 rifle because the joke we had in the military was sometimes the most effective use of an m-9 is to simply throw it at your adversary. so when i met with you last week, you etmphasized that you'e committed to making our military more lethal. to do this, i think one place you need to start is with our military small arms. russia continues to upgrade its service rifle all while we continue to modify our m-4 s. many of our troops still carry m-16s. the army can't figure out how to replace the m-9 pistol first issued in 1982. take a look at their 350 page micromanaging requirements document, if you want to know why it's taking so long to get this establiaccomplished. our military's current rifle shoots a bullet that as you noted is illegal for shooting
small deer in nearly all states due to its lack of killing power. do you agree we cannot grow a more lethal force while using outdated small arms and ammunition? >> i do agree with that approach, ma'am. i have been away for several years and as you know, the army, the special forces, the marines, have all been working creating a more lethal round for the m-16, m-4. so i'm not current on it right now, what they've done with the actual ammunition to perhaps increase the lethality so i'd have to get kuscurrent on that. >> sure, lethality is very, very important, we need to relook that because i think we need to be on par with any of our adversaries. i'm well aware of your
experience in sentccentcom. the region will remain a major focal point web tahen talking a islamic extremism, however, i think we need to look at other regions around the globe and cannot turn a blind eye to isis such as southeast asia. many news reports have shown those area are very active. reports from last year, 57 philippine government forces have been killed in battles linked with isis groups. there was also an attempted u.s. embassy bombing in manila and many other isis-claimed attacks throughout that region. secretary carter did agree with my assessment on isis in southeast asia and president obama was made well aware of my concerns, however, we have yet to develop a strategy to combat isis, especially in these regions where we are not focusing. how should our new administration address the rising threat of isis in southeast asia, and will you commit to working with me on this, sir? >> absolutely, senator. the way we do this, i think we
have to deliver a very hard blow against isis in the middle east so that there's no sense of invulnerability or invincibility there. there's got to be a military defeat of them there, but it must, as you point out, be a much broader approach. this requires an integrated strategy so you don't squeeze them in one place then they develop in another and we really are right back to square one. we've got to have an integrated strategy on this and it's got to be one that goes after the recruiting and their fund-raising as well as delivering a military blow against them in the middle east. that way, you slow down this growth and start rolling it back by, with, and through allies. >> i appreciate it. god bless you, general. thank you. >> thank you, chairman. general mattis, in your 44 years of service, you've built a distinguished resume and demonstrated an unwavering
commitment to this country. having said that, we need to weigh your qualifications today against the need to change an important law that seeks to preserve the ultimate civilian control in the military. but in doing so, i believe we also need to consider another factor, which is the temperament of the incoming white house team. something you said earlier struck me, it was crises and wars start by miscalculation. i want to go back and remind folks about something that could have happened a number of years ago. during the cuban missile crisis, air force general curtis lamay and military commanders urged president kennedy to launch a preemptive raid on cuba. many people believed that would have provoked a soviet nuclear response. in the end, we averted a nuclear exchange and we're fortunate enough to have individuals in the white house who showed a great deal of both restraint and calm during a very intense crisis. we hope it's not so, but the next administration could well
encounter a similar situation. granted, every situation's unique, what assurances can you provide that if confirmed, you'll approach a time of crisis with the same temperament that you've shown us today? and i would point out that isn't always consistent with your nickname. and provide sound policy and guidance to the president-elect, particularly as it relates to something as serious as a use of nuclear weapons. >> senator, first, i assure you that that nickname was given to me by the press, some of you may have experienced similar occasions with press, but perhaps they didn't get it quite right. >> touche. >> i would just say, senator, that what you must always have is have a team of people together who it may not be a pretty process, but you look at all options. you don't default to one. i want to point out default,
particularly to the military one, prematurely. you have your diplomats, you have everyone in the room as we look for every possible solution, and in that regard, what the military can do by being strong is you provide the strongest deterrent unless you provide the strongest support. our diplomats to try to find a nonmilitary option. it's the peace through strength idea. it goes back all the way to george washington. so that's my overarching approach, sir, if that addresses your question. >> it does, and i'm -- in a related question, i'm fortunate enough to represent the men and women who work at our national labs. people who work every day to ensure our nuclear weapons are safe, secure and reliable. how important do you believe that deterrent is in terms of priority within your mission set, and will you continue to support the civilian control, both in authority and
administration of that deterrent? >> i consider the deterrent to be critical, senator, because we don't ever want those weapons used. and so either the deterrent is safe, it's secure, it is compelling, or we actually open the door for something worse. whether it be an accident, technical accident, or a political accident. so, to me, it's an absolute priority. >> and the issue of civilian control? >> no reservations, sir. >> you testified before this committee back in january 2015. you probably remember that. and you suggested that if you were in our shoes at the time, one of the things you would ask the obama administration is the following questions. what are the key threats to our vital interests and in what priority level? now as the potential secretary of defense in a new administration, how would you answer that question?
>> sir, i would consider the principle threats to start with russia and it would certainly include any nations that are looking to intimidation nations around their periphery, regional nations nearby them, whether it be with weapons of mass destruction or i would call it unusual unorthodox means of intimidating them, that sort of thing. at the same time, as the chairman pointed out, we face now an era where we're going to fig be fighting the terrorist threat. that's simply a reality we have to address. >> thank you for the candidness of your answers. i think i'm out of time. appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general mattis, welcome. thank you for the generous amount of time you spent with me in my office. i'm going to go back to a couple of things we discussed but i just wanted to tell you, i think
secretary cohen's characterization of braveheart couldn't more perfectly put the -- your personality and your legacy in proper perspective. now, i want to talk about this. now, unfortunately, for me, i think chairman kaine brought it up once or twice, it's actually the only instance in two years i was able to correct him on something and know that i was right. he said it was a 200 page rfp for the next-generation handgun. it's almost 700 pages. now, and i want to talk a little bit about why i think this is making our men and women on the battlefield less lethal, less prepared, less capable than they should be. when you start a program in the air force in 2008, you decide with d.o.d. it should be the next-generation handgun. then from 2008 to 2017 transpire, you create a nearly
700-page rfp and we haven't even down selected the suppliers yet. and we're supposed to replace the last-generation handguns by 2020. frankly, i think we should be replacing them sooner than that if it makes our soldiers safer and more lethal on the battlefield. this is a great testament to what's wrong with defense acquisition. and this is not about counting beans. this is about saving lives and about killing the enemy. this is what we've got to fix. i'm not going to get you into the details except here's the mentality in the d.o.d. that has to get fixed, too. i wanted the exact number, so i had my staff tell me the exact page count. 680 pages. interestingly enough, they'll probably come back and say it's only 340 because you printed out in single page, not double sided. because they already came back and said that there's only 39 pages of technical specks. well, if there's 39 pages of technical specks, what is all the other garbage in this
document? because that's the stuff that's preventing us from getting a more lethal, more reliable, more effective weapon on the batt battlefie battlefield. i'm going to keep on pounding on this thing. i could not possibly imagine what your capabilities you bring in terms of recommending to us how we need to fight wars and take the fight to the enemy on the battlefield. i do know business and i do know that the business of the d.o.d. has to change. and needs to start with this kind of stuff. you gave me a good answer in committee. i just want to keep on pounding this. i'm going to bring my prop here so we all get it right. 680 pages. seven, nine years and we're not even in down selection. ten years plus. a decade for a pist l? i can break down and put together my .40 caliber pistol easily with a blindfold on. they're relatively simple devices. i know we have special applications for special
operations, et cetera. that can be dealt with. but this one size fits all, it's okay to go nine or ten years to get a new lethal weapon has to stop. i know you're going to do a great job of leading our armed services. no doubt about that. never would presume to know how to take on the enemy and eliminate them. you know how to do that. i look forward to supporting your nomination later today. i need your commitment that we're going to get away from the words that i heard in the last administration to fixing defense acquisiti acquisition and we start operating and when you come before this committee you can invariably assume, you and your deputies, it's going to be about what progress you've made so we end this cycle that is costing us money and making it a more dangerous place for our soldiers that are out there taking the fight to the enemy. doe i have your commitment? . >> you do, senator, and i can't -- i can't defend this. i will say that at times there have been regulations that required us to do things --
>> that's going to be my last question. i'm going to be true to time. i want to get this point in and get finished in my 36 minutes. here's the oather thicng we nee to do. if somebody goes back and reviews this over the last nine years, they're going to find out congress is responsible for some number of these pages. we need, as i told you in my office, put a mirror down on the witness table from time to time and say it's this long because somebody got a provision in the nda, somebody got a provision in an appropriations bill that caused us to be less efficient. and i hope that i have your commitle to come in here and say it is this way in part because of muscle memory in the d.o.d., and it's this way in large part because you guys are forcing inefficient processes that are making my women and men on the battlefield less safe and less capable. and i would welcome that feedback from you as secretary. >> i will bring it to you, sir.
obviously it requires collaboration with this committee and i'm eager to do that. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> excellent questions. senator warren. >> thank you -- >> welcome to the committee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's an honor to be here. and thank you, general mattis, and thank you for meeting with me last week and being so generous with your time. i'm hoping i can just follow up on a couple of the conversations we had and hoping you can give me yes or no answers to cover as much ground as possible. we all learned at last week's cyber security hearing technological threats to our nation are evolving and growing in number. and to face those threats, we're going to need our best an our brightest. massachusetts leads the nation in innovative defense work and scientific research that helps protect our service members. the nadic soldier systems center
develops cutting edge equipment for our service members, nutrition and protective gear, m.i.t.'s lincoln laboratory conducts advanced research and development to strengthen our air and missile defense, cyber security and other capabilities. cambridge is one of only three places in the country with a defense innovation unit experimental diux which leverages the expertise of entrepreneurs and tech firms to accelerate the delivery of advanced products into the hands of our service members. so, general, do you agree that it's critical for d.o.d. to invest in innovation to enhance our national defense? >> absolutely. >> good. do you believe that d.o.d. should strongly weigh the intellectual resources of a region when evaluating where to locate facilities such as diux and other research-based commands, especially in situations where the military is partnering with academic and
technical organizations? >> we should embrace any area where we have that sort of opportunity. >> thank you. next, i want to ask about something else. you recently edited a book on civilian military relations and in one of the books' essays, makuban thomas owens, another marine corps veteran, wrote that good civilian military relations are not the same as constant agreement. and that this misperception may be, and i'll quote him, "the result of promoting yes men who are politically safe and who will not readily fulfill their obligationses to provide the best military advice as forcefully as possible." owens also wrote that effective policy requires that, "we insist that soldiers present their views frankly and forcefully throughout the strategy-making and implementation process and that this is key to healthy
civil military relations." so let me start, do you agree with these statements? >> i do, senator. >> good. defense secretary is a civilian job, but does your belief in the importance of frank advice extend to the relationship between the defense secretary and the president's other national security advisers? >> absolutely, senator, and i would not have taken this nomination if i didn't have that belief. >> good. and what about the president, himself? under what circumstances will you advocate for your views forcefully and frankly? >> on every circumstance, senator. >> i am very glad to hear that. thank you. you know, in public remarks at a think tank in may 2015, you said that russia wants to promote its own security, "through
instability" and is "trying to create a sphere of unstable states along its preriphery intimidated." i assume you stand by this assessment today? >> i do, senator. >> good. as defense secretary when it comes to advising the president on the threats posed by russia, will you advocate for your views frankly and forcefully to the president to speak about these threats and the need to take them seriously? >> i will, senator warren. >> thank you very much. i hope that that is right because if you end up in this job, our national security may well depend, in part, on your willingness to voice your opinions even when others disagree, even when you are under pressure to remain silent. we are counting on you. i see that i'm about out of time. i have some other questions i'd like to ask about women serving in the military and lgbtq in the military, but i will submit those as questions for the
record. thank you, mr. chairman. >> general sullivan. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and general, welcome, good to see you again. thank you for your exceptional service to our nation which is continuing. you wrote in -- co-wrote last august in an article where you were stated as saying, "the international system as we know it and as we created it is under assault from the forces of entropy that fill vacuums and corrode order when the united states is not actively engaged." in the arctic, russia has filled a vacuum left by the u.s. as you know, general, just in the past few years the buildup in the arctic by the russians has been quite dramatic. a new arctic command, four new arctic brigades, 14 operational airfields, 16 deepwater ports, 40 icebreakers with 13 more on
the way, 3 nuclear powered huge new land claims in the arctic for massive oil and gas reserve ares, the most long-range air patrols with bombers since the cold war, a snap military exercise in 2015 that included 45,000 troops, 3,400 military vehicles, 41 ships, 15 submarines and 110 aircraft. what is the effect on the united states not being actively engaged in the arctic, as you mentioned in your article? >> senator, i think america has global responsibilities and it's not to our advantage to leave any of those areas to the world absent from our efforts. >> what do you think russia is trying to achieve in the arctic with that massive military buildup? >> i don't know. i believe, however, that we're going to have to figure it out and make certain that we're not seeing an expansion of these
efforts to dominate what have been up until now part of the international commons. >> what role would you see of increased u.s. presence and involvement with regard to our role in the arctic versus what the russians are doing? >> senator, with the new sea routes of communication that are opening up, the retreats, i think we're going to have to recognize this is an active area, whether it be for search and rescue, for patrolling, maintain sovereignty up along our alaska coastline, that sort of thing. >> so, general, as you probably know, centuries of america's arctic are in alaska. can i get your commitment to come to alaska, see our outstanding military, in the state that the chairman knows billy mitchell called the most strategic place in the world? >> yes, sir, i'll get there, sir. >> excellent. need to get the chairman up
there as well soon. i want to turn to china. china's leaders have stated that they're not militarizing the south china sea. do you agree with them? >> no, i do not. >> yesterday in his confirmation hearing, rex tillerson commented that we should prohibit accession to the islands in the south china sea, prohibit access to the chinese. what is -- in your view, should our response to china's militarization of the south china sea be? >> sir, we're going to have to put together a policy that is put together by a state department, by treasury, by d.o.d. we're going to have to integrate this so we're not dealing with an incomplete or incoherent strategy. the bottom line is, sir, the international waters are international waters and we've got it figure out how do we deal with holding on to the kind of rules that we've made over many years that led to the prosperity
for many nations, not just for ours. this has been part of why many nations have got more prosperous because of this freedom of -- >> you emphasized, i think rightfully so, our allies as a key strategic element of u.s. national security. what role should they be playing with regard to our response in the south china sea? >> sir, my view is you always want more allies with you than fewer. i've never gone into any fight in an all-american formation. i've always fought alongside allies, but also i believe allies contribute greatly to deterrence and modifying the behavior or misbehavior of those who would disrupt the global order. >> let me end by just mentioning there's a number of us who believe that over the last several years the u.s. has lost credibility internationally where our adversaries no longer fear us and our allies don't trust us.
perhaps most glaring example of that is iranian actions in the persian gulf, harassing u.s. naval ships, taking sailors hostage. i just want to finish with one question. how do we regain our credibility internationally? and you're a historian, do you believe that the new administration will have its credibility challenged early in its tenure? >> if confirmed, senator, i have to assume that our credibility will be challenged as simply part of the responsibility that i carry. i think the way you maintain credibility is when you give your word on something, you live up to it and you put together policies even though it's more difficult by, with, and through allies, so that they're at the table as we put the policies together so they're with us when the policies come under pressure. >> is it a dangerous period when you're trying to regain
credibility? >> it is, sir. >> senator's time has expired. maybe you can stop by while refueling, it's a good place for refueling, i think. senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, general mattis. i'll join my colleagues in thanking you for your service. you've spent your entire life in service of the country, keeping us safe, and we all know the most important function of federal government is to keep its citizens safe at all times and you've done that with honor and with integrity. so, thank you, on behalf of a grateful nation. many of my colleagues have quoted from your book that you edited "warriors and citizens." i'm going to follow suit because i'd just like you to elaborate on a passage that i thought was interesting and i think is worthwhile for us to know more about as how you will approach this job as a strategic thinker, providing strategic advice to the president as well as to the
congress. i'm going to ask you to comment on this. this quote is "because the american public holds its military in such high regard, we are putting it at greater risk. we have allowed our strategic thinking to etrophy, allowing policymaking to become flagby because the military's high level of performance have lulled our sensibilities. this is both a political failure and a moral one. if you could elaborate on what you meant by political failures, moral failures and how those of us involved in policymaking have become flabby. >> it was certainly not meant in the personal sense. >> i get -- i understand that. i understand that. although i do have to have my fitbit. that's true. >> senator, it goes back to a belief i have that america has two fundamental powers. one is the power of intimidation. i was part of it. and america will defend herself
and our idea, this experiment, that we call america. that's all it is. is an experience in democracy. the other power i think, perhaps, we have used less that the last -- in recent years, last 20 years, maybe, is the power of inspiration and i think that the power of inspiration of america at times has got to be employed just as strongly and because the u.s. military is devoted to be in the top in its game in a competition where second place is last place, we should not simply be turning to the military because it's a very capable military, because it's well wlled. it's now a national treasure. i'm first to admit that. it doesn't mean we should be turning to the military to answer all of our concerns in our relations with the world. and that's the source of where i was coming from from that statement. >> very good.
in terms of strategic thinking, which you will be intimately involved in for us, and as a student of history, you know as well as anyone else that we can't fight the last war and throughout history that seems to have repeated itself to all too many times and we need to be thinking forward. in our meetings -- in our meeting together, i was struck by a statement that you made where you said that as a commander in the field, you benefited from decisions that were made 10 to 15 years before you put on the uniform and was in command. we're facing an unprecedented time of change, and when we look at technology and how it's transforming our world, we're probably one of the most exciting times to live and the word we see today is going to be radically different in ten years. that means weapons systems are likely to be considerably different. we can see how cyber has changed political warfare, has given leverage to political warfare,
in an unprecedented way, as evidenced by the russian attacks on our political system here and the interference in our political system, in the biotech area, we're seeing dual-use technologies like crisper that will give enemies a low cost yet very high-impact weapon and also areas in artificial intelligence. we recently had a study come out that said artificial intelligence may be one of our most important weapons to maintain a unique asymmetric plan over adversaries. 10 to 15 years, utilize these and understand the threat much different? >> senator, we have to make sure we're not dominant and irrelevant at the same time. dominant, past warfare that is no longer relevant, and i believe the way you do this is you get your strategy right. that starts with getting our policies right so you match your strategy, economic, diplomatic,
military, covert, education, all of this, you map that to ensure that you're going to be relevant for the future. once you do that, you have also adopted in the paradox of war the enemy always moves against your perceived weakness so you can't opt out of certain things. bottom line, you get to the point where you have the iffest b fewest big regrets when crisis strikes. we're dealing with something that's fundamentally unpredictable. it also means we're going to have to enlist the civilian communities that are leaders in some of these areas that you and senator warren have both talked about, artificial intentilligen and what the labs are doing, and make sure we're harvesting those lessons learned and the advance they have, but more importantly, we're integrating them. does no good to be the best in just the lab and you don't
mainstre mainstream, but you learned from it. so it's a matter of how do you maintain current readiness because if we fight tomorrow, the young men and women have got to be at the top of their game, but at the same time, we got to be looking out, so like me, somebody who's not even in the military yet, ten years from now looks back and says what we did today wrote the headlines that we want to read ten years from now. >> thank you. >> on behalf of chairman mccain, let me recognize senator perdue. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for your extraordinary lifetime of dedication and commitment in service to our country and your willingness to serve again. i was very impressed in our conversation this week with your humility and with your acuity of the global situation today. several past secretaries of state have actually said in recent years that the greatest threat to national security is our own federal debt. do you agree with that, sir? >> i do, sir.
>> today, a situation, 20127, have the smallest army since world war ii, smallest navy since world war i and smallest air force ever. the four plus one challenge mission we have today, with army -- with russia and china, the symmetric threats, traditional symmetric threats but growing, the asymmetric threats of isis and other terrorists around the world with rogue nations developing nuclear capabilities like iran and north korea, and then this new hybrid warfare that we're seeing in eastern europe and around the world, even here at home, cyber warfare, and now the arms race in space. sir, do you believe that's a tenable situation that we can meet the missions that we're looking at asking our military to do today? >> senator, i believe we have to strengthen our military due to the situation as you describe it. i think it's accurate what you're describing. >> sir, in the last 30 years, we have disinvested in our military
in the '70s, rekept capped it i 8 '80s. in the last few years we d disinvested again. you know this, i have a question, we need your leadership in this. you're going to be straddling the civilian advice world and military world as secretary of defense. today we're spendi ining about basis points -- $200 billion less than our 30-year average. that's not the important number, though. the most important number is the last time we had a secretary of defense actually do a bottom-up mission requirement request for funds was secretary bob gates in 2011 did a 5-year plan and for 2016 he requested a number that in today's dollars was $100 billion greater. that was before then what we allocated in 2016, and that's before isis, before crimea, before syria. sir, i have -- you can't speak to the specific number, but i'd like to know how you plan to
address your goal of solvency and security in an environment where today every dime we spend on our military, every time we spend on our v.a. and veterans and every dime we spend on most of our domestic programs frankly is borrowed given in the last eight years we borrowed 38% of what we spent as a federal government and today the baseline budget for the next ten year says it will do the same thing. that means that every dime that we spend on the u.s. military, every dime you're going to be concerned with as secretary of defense is fundamentally borrowed. in that situation, general, how will you approach being secretary of defense and addressing the needs of the military with us in that environment? >> senator, as has been mentioned by several of the members of this committee, one of the most important things we do as a government, the most important thing, is maintain the independence and the freedom of this country. so, to me, that's a priority. at the same time, we have got to try to figure out, you've seen the waxing and waning of our
military size and our strength, as we try to adapt that military to the realities. we don't want a military that just breaks the bank but at the same time we cannot solve this debt problem on the backs of our military, alone. this is why i think i need to support strongly the congressional leaders who are trying to repeal sequestration, the budget control act, to ensure that we put the congress back into a position to prioritize where this money is being spent. and we're going to have to make hard calls, but i consider it an obligation of our generation's responsibility to transfer a debt of this size to our children. >> general, thank you so much for your perspective, your willingness to serve, your history, and for what you're going to do for our country in the next decade. god bless you u. thank you. >> thank you. >> on behalf of chairman mccain, let me recognize senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chair, thank you, general, it's good to be back with you. i associate myself with the
comments of senator blumenthal that the traditional restriction to secretary of defense that requires some period in civilian life before serving is a very important one and i also agree with him that features of the times, fetatures of, frankly, m concerns of the incoming administration and features in your background i think make this an opportune moment to make an exception and in particular the fact that you are somebody who writes a lot and has a lot of things in your background you can write about, but that you chose to work with others to write this book about the warriors and citizens about the very issue that is at issue in the waiver, the connection between civilian and military life, similarities and differences, trying to understand the dichfferent cultures and find strategies -- understand, the fact you chose that is something i think speaks particularly to your suitability for a waiver in this exceptional circumstance.
general mattis, a long-term interest of mine is that we shouldn't be at war without a vote of congress. you wrote a piece in march of 2015 in which you said, "a strong authorization to use military force supported by a majority of both parties in both houses of congress will send an essential message of american steadfastness to our people and to the global audience. its passage will demonstrate our country's fundamental unity and enable a broader commitment to deal firmly with the real and growing menace." is that still your opinion? >> yes, senator, it is. >> and isn't the case that congressional engagement around an authorization of use of military force is part of what civilian control is? we exercise civilian control of the military through appropriate congressional oversight and through taking our responsibilities, like the article 1 war powers responsibility, seriously. >> i think congressional
oversight and appropriations, authorizations, are a critical part of civilian control of the military. >> general mattis, you spoke, i was very glad you did, about the complex situation in the middle east and one of the items that should be on our table, as difficult as it is, is trying to do what we can appropriately do to find a peace between palestine and israel. it's difficult just like finding a peace in ireland was difficult, but we shouldn't give up. we played a pivotal role in that important good friday accord in the 199 0s and it's important we continue to play it. i'm happy that you mentioned that. obviously this is a peace that would need to be hammered out between palestine and israel, palestinians and israelis. should the united states military stand wills to provide security assistance, for example, as it does to provide peacekeeping along the border between israel and egypt in the multinational force of observers? in your opinion. >> senator kaine, i'd have to
look at the specific commitment before i came back and answered that question, but i don't have a going in prohibition to engaging along those lines -- i'd have to look at the actual mission. >> if it were to be in the desire of the parties, as they are talking about a potential peace, if they saw a valuable role for the united states to play in peacekeeping between the nations, would you think that would be an appropriate use of the american military, similar to the peacekeeping we provide on the egypt/israel border since the late 1970s? >> peace in that area, sir, is in our vital interest, and so if we could contribute, it certainly is something we should look at. >> one last area of question, general mattis, i was really intrigued, you talked about in the middle east, israel and others, arab nations in the middle east feel they're indifferent. that's the phrase you used, indifferent. when i travel, i hear the same thing. i try to match up two feelings
because i will hear that, and i think that's an accurate perception of what i hear when the travel, but i also sit here in this body where we approve, for example, ten-year memoran m memorandums of understanding, spending significant american dollars to provide security assistance to israel. we're in multiple theaters of war in the middle east and we've been there since 2001. it's not like we're not there. i try to match up our investment of blood, talent and treasure and feeling of leaders in this countries of why are you indifferent to us? the only way i can understand it is we're actually present but we don't communicate a clear strategy. we're kind of here on this issue and that issue, but there's a good deal of uncertainty about what we'll do tomorrow and what we'll engage in and what we won't. we had a testimony before this committee a year or so ago from a military officer, senior officer, he said we have "o" plans but no strategy. a lot of "o" plans for every
contingency but the strategy is unclear. do you think that contributes to this feeling of indifference or concern among allies in the middle east and elsewhere? >> senator, i think you summed it up. there's tangible and intangible elements to this. certainly on the tangible, we're tangibly engaged across the board. intangibly, people do not know where we stand. too often there's a question and i believe, too, that the lack of an integrated strategy at times has had us working against one issue with someone while working for the issue -- and it just created confusion, sir. >> thank you very much, general mattis. >> behalf of chairman mccain, let me recognize senator cruz. >> thank you, senator reed. general, welcome back to this committee. a committee you spent a lot of time before. i want to start just by thanking you for your many decades of service. your service risking your life and leading your men into harm's
way to protect this country. we are grateful and you're being called back to service once again to protect this country. i think you're going to be an extraordinary defense secretary. i am proud to support your nomination. and i think you are going to be confirmed by a strong bipartisan vote. one of the reasons for that is over decades serving, you have earned a reputation for candor, for strength, for not blowing smoke which is a rare thing in the town of washington, d.c., and also as a marine's marine. indeed, you'll remember my chief of staff is a former marine and when you came by my office to visit, i don't think i've ever seen my chief of staff more excited. senators don't do anything for
him. if elvis presley would have walked into the office, he would have been more thrilled to see you walk in, general. thank you for your willingness to come back once again and help pull this country back from the precipice. i think we're in very perilous times. when you and i talked, you talked about what you called the strategic mismatch between the commitments being placed on our military right now and the capacity that's been provided to meet those commitments. can you share your views on what's needed to fix that? how do we rebuild the military to ensure we can do everything that's necessary to keep this country safe? >> senator cruz, first point i would make is the hard-used equipment that we've brought back from the wars, if we're going to continue to use it, it's got to be refurbished, it's got to be at the top of its game. second point that this committee and this congress has provided a lot of money for a lot of ships
and planes and other equipment and if we don't maintain that gear, it's worthless. so we're going to have to increase our operation to maintenance funds. further, as the world situation dictates this, we are going to have to adapt and strengthen the military. the one commitment i would give you, senator, is that as we're doing this, i'm going to be working with our allies to make sure that it's not only the american taxpayer who's carrying this murder. those nations that share our values, those nations that share, perhaps, just our security concerns, we're going to work with them so that we maintain the strongest alliances possible so i'm not coming to you trying to get the american military to do what is rightly more of an alliance kind of work or coalition or partnership work. >> so one of the areas we discussed was the need to maintain air superiority going forward and you referenced that need just a minute ago. and i think an important piece
of that is the f-35 program which i believe successful completion of the f-35 program is critical to future mission success. both for us and for key allies like the united kingdom and israel. and right now we have over 200 f-35s fielded today and just this week, the marine corps began the first f-35 overseas deployment. now, all of us are concerned about limiting costs and that needs to be a focus going forward, but can you highlight for this committee what separates the f-35 from legacy aircraft and the advantages it provides to our military in future combat situations? >> senator, the f-35 is critical for our own air superiority in the future because of its stealth characteristics and some of its electronics capability that's inherent to the airplane which actually magnifies each
individual aircraft's capability. but it is equally important, if not more so, to some of our allies, and i say more so because this will be the total fighter strength of their air force, so to them, it's an all-in sort of situation. so the f-35, the president-elect has talked about the costs of it, but he has in no way shown a lack of support for the program, he just wants the best bang for the buck. >> sure. i look forward to working closely with you to strengthen that program. my final question is you have long been a defender of the warrior ethos. you and i have both been concerned sometimes a political agenda at the pentagon has gotten in the way of a warrior ethos. can you describe for this committee the importance of restoring the warrior e thrthos why that matters for our ability to keep this country safe? >> senator, the primitive and often even atavistic aspects of
the battlefield test the physical strength, the mental agility, of everyone, but most of what it tests is the courage and the spiritual side of the troops we put in harm's way. and oftentimes it's only unit cohesion, leadership and the belief in themselves and their comrades that allows them to go through what they have to go through and come home as better men and women, not as broken. and so the warrior ethos is not luxury. it is essential when you have a military. >> and general, i'm confident -- >> senator -- >> -- that's the first time in a senate hearing the word, atavistic, has been used. >> time has expired. mr. king. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, mr. chairman, i bring news from the intelligence community, the hearing of the new director for the cia, all the power went out and the pow
went off. >> cyber hack. >> either the almighty or the ashl architect of the capitol has a sense of humor. general mattis, one comment you made about fear, honor, are the bases of all wars, is now in my telephone, if it ever gets hacked, they'll find the quote along with that of lincoln and chur churchill. thank you for that thought. general mattis, you've been a warrior. this job, you need to move from being a warrior to a manager. two very different sets of skills and particularly the manager of the sprawling bureaucracy that the defense department has become, and as you know, we're constrained for resources. even if they're able to get rid of the budget control act, even if they're able to get rid of sequestration, it's still always going to be limits on resources. i hope that you will examine with a fresh set of eyes the administrative structure of not only the civilian side, but the
military side of the defense department in order to be able to find and free up resources for the modernization readiness, training, all of those elements. i just think this is going to be a very important part of your job. i'd like your thoughts on that. >> i agree, senator, 100% with this. i think that right now what we face is a time when for -- with technology and with new approaches, we can do some of the things that lie behind what you're asking for there. for example, skip echelon, where you don't need something at each echelon, you remove it and you actually expedite process es in this sort of thing. what we don't want to do is continue to have layer upon layer of bureaucracy that's not value added. but how we go through and remove it is probably going to take collaboration with this committee because in many cases,
those elements are there as part of our organization set by the congress. so i'll have to come to you and show you what i propose to manage it better and show you what the problem, and if i can get your agreement there, i think we can move forward on it. >> i think that's very important and i hope that can be a specific, not just a general commitment, but a project, if you will, identified specific project to look into those. i didn't expect to quote churchill so soon but one of his comments you suggest, the sum total of all committee deliberations is usually no, and that's what makes it so difficult -- >> yes, sir. >> -- to get this done. mike lar modernization. one of the things that concerns me looking out beyond the budget of this year or next year is what i call the nuclear modernization bulge. the cost of the ohio class replacement, the b-21 which is moving forward, missiles, also not often mentioned, a serious
upgrade of the command and control system, the naioc, national airborne operation center, is a plane that's older than many of the people in this room. not you and i, but many of the people in this room. i think how we deal with that is something that has to have some special attention because if we don't find additional funding for that bulge, then all the other acquisition programs will be squeezed out. do you agree with that assertion? >> i agree both that the additional funding has got to be found because it will squeeze out everything else if we don't find a way to do it, but also that the command and control in light of the cyber situation we face right now, sir, that has got to be a high priority when we look at the modernization of the triad. >> another subject. i believe i understand your position on this, but are you supportive of elevating cyber command to a full unified combat command? >> i've got to look at the
actual breakout, senator, so i understand which duties stay in which place because the way they're set up right now, it may not break apart quite as well if we hold that same organization. so we'll just have to look at it and if we go down that road, make certain that they're fit for function at that point. philosophically, i am okay with it. >> yeah, and i appreciate the subtlety of your answer because the worst result would be to create a new unified combat and command and leave remnants of the function in other places so that you ended up with duplication. i think that's a -- >> you summed up my concern, sir. >> i think that's an apt concern. general mattis, i'm so pleased you're willing to continue your service to the country to come back to this side of the rockies, as you suggest, and i appreciate your testimony here today. thank you very much. >> thanks, senator. >> colonel graham. >> thank you.
appreciate that. general, what if i call you mr. mattis? how about mr. secretary? >> whatever -- >> whatever works, right? >> i'm only a nominee right now. >> okay. right. mr. nominee. what's the capital of israel? >> capital of israel that i go to, sir, is tel aviv, because that's where all their government people are, but i've -- >> do you agree with me the capital of israel is jerusalem? >> sir, right now i stick with the u.s. policy. >> okay. do you support moving the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem? >> i would defer to the nominee for secretary of state on that, sir. >> okay. do you support maintaining qualitative edge for israel against all potential adversaries in terms of their military capability? >> i do, sir. >> okay. >> do you support a two-state solution? >> i do if that brings peace to the middle east, i'm eager to
see it work. if there's another solution, i'd be happy to see who it is. >> absolutely. who's in charge of the palestinian community? >> that's a good question, sir. i think there's a number of people who think they are. >> it would be hard to have a two-state solution if one of the parties really doesn't have anybody in charge. >> there's nothing easy about the two-state solution. >> you think hamas is a terrorist organization? >> i do, sir. >> do you think they would abide by any agreement that the palestinian authority negotiated with israel given the state of affairs as we know today? >> only if forced to. >> okay. i'd like to know how we would force them, but let's move on. north korea. did trump tweet a red line when he said "not going to happen"? >> i'm not going to characterize the president-elect, sir. i would just tell you that the seriousness -- >> how would you -- >> pardon, sir? >> how would you characterize what he said? he commented on their ambitions and he says "not going to
happen." so, to me, i hope it's a red line. i mean, i'm not arguing with him. i'm not so sure i'd have done it that way. but do you think we should have a red line when it comes the icb and program in north korea? >> sir, it's a serious threat and i believe that we've got to do something about it and i -- >> do you believe it's in our national security interest to make sure that north korea never develops a missile that could hit the american homeland with a nuclear weapon on top of it? >> yes, senator, i do. >> do you believe that necessary force should be on the table? >> i don't think we should take anything off the table, sir. >> okay. when it comes to iran, you said in terms of the agreement we have, we gave our word. is that what you said? >> we did. yes, sir. >> i think president-elect trump gave his word to the american people, i'm going to change this deal because it's terrible. do you expect him to keep his word? >> sir, once the national security team is confirmed, once
confirmed by the senate, i'll work with the other members. >> do you think it's a terrible deal? >> come up with a best possible situation we can make for america -- >> do you think it's a terrible deal? >> it's not a deal i >> sir, the first thing is i would ask the congress to have a joint committee from banking armed services, and intel, to oversee the implementation of the deal. should there be any abrogation, any cheating, then the congress would be kept informed on a routine basis of what's going on. so that you know what's happening. at the same time, we're going to have to make certain that our intelligence services are fully staffed to watch over them. and that involve s working with our allied intelligence services that have unique capabilities to work inside the country. further, we'd put together a
combined missile defense, air and missile defense capability for our gulf allies so they can work together with us, and every time we catch iran up to some kind of terrorist activity, we would take that to the united nations and display it for the world to see. >> thank you very much. do you believe iran's behavior outside of the nuclear program has been destabilizing in the middle east? >> absolutely. >> do you believe when they held our sailors hostage, that was an affront to america? >> yes, sir. >> do you believe they deserve to be sanctioned based on what they have done in the middle east, test firing missiles, that the regime deserves to be sanctioned for their actions outside of the nuclear program? >> i think that sanctions will work best if they are international so that they don't -- cannot evade them. >> are we going to give the world a veto of what we do?
>> i would never give the world a veto. >> do you support additional sanctions against russia for all the bad things they've done in the past and likely to do in the future? >> senator, i would like to get with the new national security team, craft a strategy to confront russia for what it's done. >> are you familiar with the sanctions that senator mccain and i introduced along with democrats? >> i have not read them. >> i'm going to send them to you. thank you for your willingness to serve. >> yes, sir. >> senator donnelly. >> thank you general for stepping to the plate again. you have committed to being unrelenting in addressing military suicide if confirmed. i appreciate your approach to mental health just like physical fitness as a readiness issue. and it's not tied, as you know, to deployments or to combat experience. it's happening across the board.
and as we look at this, one of the things we're able to do back in 2014 is this committee and this senate was able to pass legislation that provided a mental health examine akz for every service member, army, service, guard across the board every year. and this is the year coming up that the heads of all the services have said they're going to implement this. do you, if confirmed, do you commit that you'll move forward to assure they keep to that schedule? >> i will do my best, senator, i'll look at if we have in place to allow the commanders to meet that schedule. it will probably be something where we've got to make certain that we've allowed for that. >> one of the other things you talk about assets, the most recent ndaa included a program
to train military physician assistants in psychiatric care. and that would help to fill the gap in terms of being able to provide care and treatment to all who need it. if confirmed, will you insure that program is carried out faithfully? >> that sounds like an excellent program. that would address the ceoncerni have. >> no point in doing something if the back end is not in place. we'll work hard to make sure the back end in is place so it can be carried out. my colleague and friend senator blumenthal was talking about mental health assistance for veterans. obviously, we want to make sure it's in place for service members as well, but we also want to talk about the handoff. when you're finished and when you're finished serving and you become a vet, and general chiarelli has extended an incredible amount of time in trying to prevent suicide among
veterans. in talking to him, one of the things he told me was one of the biggest challenges is when you're done on dod, department of defense side, and you're handing off to the v.a., that the drugs and prescriptions you may be receiving as a service member to help with challenges, that they're not included in the v.a. schedule. so you may be receiving treatment with prescription x and it's no longer available, and at one of the most vulnerable times, you look up and the help and care you need is not available. i would like your commitment that you will meet with the v.a. and sit down to make sure there's no gap in the formulary. that there's no gap in the handoff so that we stand up and do what we're supposed to do for our veterans. >> i will meet with them. i think there are issues like this that are characterized in the handoff from medical records to formulary. a whole lot of them, so we have to come up with some kind of
process that addresses what the fundamental problem is, and that is that we're not using the medical records coming out of dod for a seamless transfer over. i realize there's some law involved here about disability and all, but we have to address this. >> there's a whole bunch of challenges as you said, this particular one where you look up and one day you're being treated here and the next day things you're being treated with are no longer available may be the most urgent. >> okay. >> i want to follow up on senator graham's comments regarding north korea. because obviously, the icbm test would be an incredible game changer. if confirmed, what approach would you recommend to the commander in chief as a more effective u.s. strategy to send a message to north korea? >> sir, it's going to take an international effort. it's going to have to require nations in the region as well as us to work together on this and that's going to be challenging
with at least one or two of the nations but also i think we're going to have to look at our negotiations stance in working with state departments and see if we have the right stance in the way ahead. >> we look forward also working together on that because senator graham was talking about red lines and sometimes when you send a message obviously in your case it has always been that way when you send a message you keep it, you let them know what's coming and do the appropriate thing. the last thing i want to ask you about is nuclear modernization. it's very, very important. we have a lot of it moving forward. one of the things we have worked on is commonality, that we have the navy, the air force, and in many cases, what the navy has done and what the air force has done, we reinvent the wheel and have the other part of the service services redo the same thing, so what i would like to make sure is that the air force and the
navy and the respective program managers, that we enhance the cominality because it can help save us money and it will also make the modernization more effective, instead of running two parallel lines that don't -- >> senator's time has expired. >> thong, mr. chairman. >> senator sasse. >> thank you, chairman. general mattis, thank you for your service. >> did you have a response to senator donnelly. >> senator, i would like to talk with you or send someone over to talk to your staff about specifics under the commonality so i know what the problem as you obviously have studied this, i would like to get some moreidaty, sir. >> thanks, and i look forward to your confirmation. >> senator sasse. >> thanks for your past service and your soon to be future service. could you tell me, do you believe the u.s. military has a sophisticated broadly understood cyber doctrine. >> no, i do not believe so. >> when will we? can you unpack for us a little
bit of the path toward both offensive and defensive strategy? >> because of the cyber domain, senator, it is not something the military can do in isolation. this is going to require us to work with homeland security and a number of other government elements in order to make certain what we do in the military realm is connect ed to what they're doing in their realm because cyber cuts across everything we do today. so you can't do something in isolation and that slows down the process. i've not been part of it until now, but i anticipate that's part of the reason why i can't give you a positive answer right now. >> thank you, sir. i'm one of only five people on the senate who has never been a politician before, so i have been here 24 months, and over those 24 months, we have consistently heard that we're right around the corner from having a cyber doctrine. do aio think we will in 18 months?
>> sir, i've got to scope this problem and figure out what are the issues that have caused us not to have an integrated policy right now and especially being this is going to take an integrated effort by the executive branch and probably up here on capitol hill there are also perhaps privacy concerns, constitutional concerns as part of this, we're going to have to put all of it together and take it one step at a time an come out with what we can do quickly and i would hope part of it can be done faster than 18 months from now. but this is a very big issue. >> do you thick it's possible a traditional espionage operation could constitute an act of war? for example, if russia were to hack and publish u.s. continuity plans, would that be an act of war? >> senator, i think i would have to study act of war and the ramifications of making that statement.
generally to me an act of war means we're going to war if it happens. that's a grave decision and i wouldn't put it on automatic pilot. i would make certain we know where we stand, make certain we know what happened, and then you would have to act appropriately. >> many of us here are concerned that the public crisis of confidence, the accelerating public distrust is partly related to the perception that governmental responses in the executive branch to different foreign hacks are treated differently based on the partisan and political assumptions people make about them. if you look at the opm hack we were told this is a traditional espionage operation, but it seems to me when 22 million or whatever the exact number of americans who have been serving their government have their information hacked and stolen and potentially leaked, that isn't just traditional espionage
operation and certain uses of that data in the future, we need to countenance what that might mean. could you tell me, do you believe that the u.s. should be actively deterring these sorts of cyberattacks, and i assume you are going to say yes? can you tell us more about what the doctrine of deterrence looks like in the cyber domain? >> senator, the answer is yes. and my personal information was part of the leak, and i understand it in personal terms. i will also tell you we have got to put together a doctrine that works. i have looked at several different doctrines, nuclear war doctrines, mutual destruction will not work, by the way. that was not the way to goy, but we're going to have to come up with the guiding principles for how we're going to deal with this sort of thing, and right now, i can't give you a good answer. >> in closing, could you tell me a little bit about what you
think our human capital pipeline looks like in cyber space? are we prepared for the kinds of battles we're going to be facing going forward? >> senator, i think we have to get the best possible people in. this is a complex area that requires technical expertise. once we get the policy written that will help us to guide recruiting and organization and that sort of thing, we've got to get the policy up front. >> thank you, sir. >> you take me back a few years, mr. chairman. senator sasse, those were very appropriate and thoughtful questions. and i think this committee is going to have a chance to dig in, in depth, on a number of those as we explore with the future secretary of defense. there's questions about cyber.
general, i think there are a number of us here that are quite disturbed about the president-elect's attitude toward vladimir putin. how do you differ with what the president-elect has expressed about putin? >> senator, i'm not sure where it differs. i can tell you that my view of putin is that he has chosen to be both a strategic competitor to quote the chairman's opening statement and an adversary in key areas that where i certainly go along with the president-elect saying again he wants to have an engagement there. even in our worst years of the cold war we actually still engaged with the soviet union for example but very modest
expectations of areas of cooperation with mr. putin. >> what if the president-elect came to some conclusion with mr. putin with regard to nato? now, you have certainly been involved in that because you were involved in the transitioning of nato. what would be your advice to the president-elect about the best posture for nato in the future against the russians. >> senator, we did not have nato today, we would need to create it. nato is vital to our national interests. and it's vital to the security of the united states, it's vital to the protection of the
freedoms of the democracies that we're allied with. >> i certainly agree. but some comments by the president-elect have said that maybe members of nato ought to be treated differently if they don't pony up with the money. does that start to tangle up and disentangle nato? >> senator, i'm confident that the president-elect expects us to live up to our word to include nato in article 5. >> i hope you're right. and i assume by your answer that you certainly will stand up. >> 100%, senator. >> thank you, general. you have commented, general, on the political objectives must be
clearly defined to ensure military success in iraq and syria. how will your recommendations for pursuing iraq and syria differ from the obama administration? >> senator, i think the most important thing is to know when you go into a shooting war how you want it to end. and, by setting out the political conditions you're out to achieve up front and coming to agreement on that in the national security team and congress then you give it full resourcing to get there as rapidly as possible. and i think it's getting there as rapidly as possible is probably where it would differ from the current administration where it would be a more accelerated campaign from what the president-elect has already called for.
>> you are a four-star. do you anticipate any tension with a three-star, general flynn, in his position? >> no, sir, i do not. >> does that mean he will respect your rank? >> sir, the national security decisionmaking process, as you know, you need different ideas to be strongly argued. you don't want the tyranny of consensus of group think early. it's been compared in some cabinets to a team of rivals, and it's actually healthy. it's not tidy. it will be respectful, of that i'm certain. and i don't anticipate that anything but the best ideas will win, sir. >> thank you, general. >> general mattis, we're going to move forward right away on the issue of the waiver as soon as immediately we want to thank you for appearing before the committee.
i know you eagerly look forward to additional appearances before the committee in the future. so we thank you. thank you very much, general. this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you chairman, ranking member, thank you ladies and gentlemen. >> and we will in about one minute convene the committee on the issue of the mattis exception legislation. just wait just a minute while -- >> the committee will come to order. we now proceed to senate bill 84. we have a quorum.
to provide for an exception to the limitation against appointment of persons as secretary of defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commission officer of the armed forces. the bill when enacted will authorize retired general james mattis to be secretary of defense. a copy of the bill should be before you. also before you is a copy of section 179 of the recent enacted continuing resolution that provides for expedited consideration of a specifically described bill. s-84 is the qualifying legislation prescribed in s-84, as qualifying legislation, s-84 is entitled to an expedited procedure that will enable the incoming president to nominate him for the senate to give advice and consent for general mattis to serve as secretary of defense. hopefully on the evening of the upcoming inauguration day. i remind our members that this
transition of administration takes place once again at a time of war, when president obama took the oath of office in 2009, he had the distinct advantage to begin his term with robert gates as his secretary offense defense. i believe our next commander in chief will have well served to have james mattis on duty as secretary of defense as early as possible in the new administration. i will invite the ranking member senator reid to engage in a call kwee to discuss this legislation. nearly 70 years ago, the nation was also at war and congress took the action to grand an exception to allow president truman to appoint george marshall as secretary of defense. at that time, the congress stated that such granting such an exception should not be repe repeated. during the hearing tuesday, we heard from prominent historians and scholars. both with significant experience in the department of defense. both of them stated their support for the seven-year
cooling off period, but they also recommended this committee approve an exception for the sec time in seven decades. obviously i support this bill and ask that all our members approached with this task with the spirit of bipartisanship that is the hallmark of the armed service s committee. i ask you to follow the recommendation of dr. hicks on tuesday to state for the record your views on the extraordinary and historic legislation so future senators can understand the context of the action we take today. i ask it be left open for one week to allow as many of you as wish to include a statement to do so. without objection, it is so ordered. i note we have a hard stop for 3:00 p.m. for all senators' classified briefing on russian interference in our election. for that reason y encourage your members submit written statements for the record. but as many as would like to
speak an opportunity to do so before we vote on the bill. finally i invite the members of the requirement of section 179 that provides for the expedited consideration of this bill. in order to avail ourselves the expedited procedure, the bill may not be amended. it's also my preference as chairman to have full and open consideration of our amendments in committee proceedings, but today, i request our members refrain from offering amendments since it's not allowed under the legislation. i don't consider this procedure as establishing a precedent on how this committee will conduct its business. this is an extraordinary time and i thank all the senators members for their consideration. senator reid. >> thank you very much. i think our colloquy will be on the floor as we consider the bill. i want to thank you for this committee mark-up to consider s-84, a bill that would provide a one-time exception from the long standing law requiring
individuals to be at least seven years relieved from their military service before being appointed secretary of defense. also, i want to thank for holding tuesday's hearing to examine civilian control of the armed foefr eed forces and the implications waiving the statue would have on the development of defense policy and strategy. i found the testimony from both expert witnesses to be informative and it underscored the gravity of waiving this requirement of civilian control of the military. as we consider this legislation today, we must be extremely careful that we do not irrevokably harm civilian control of the armed forces. it is inshrined in our constitution and must never take it for granted. i have a number of concerns about changing the requirement, including the possible plit tuization of our armed forces and so many recently retired forces will have on the
development of national security policy and how that may shape the advice that will be provided to the president. furthermore, the waving of general mattis regarding his qualifications and distinguished military career will set a dangerous precedent to the long standing statute could be construed as an ordinary legislative change to be used frequently for future nominees. nevertheless i will support it to serve as secretary of defense based on his testimony this morning, his commitment to civilian leadership, and his military expertise, which i will believe will serve him well in addressing the many global challenges we face. however, as history has demonstrated, congress has enacted an exception one time since the declaration of the department of defense, and waiving laws should happen no more than once in a generation. therefore, i will not support a waiver for future nominees, nor will i support any effort to water down or repeal the statute in the future. this requirement has served the nation well for the past seven
decades. it's up to this committee to insure that the principle of civilian control of the armed forces which is the bedrock of civilian millerary relations remains the tenant of our democracy. >> any members seeking to make comments at this time please seek recognition. >> all right. if there are no further remarks i'll entertain a motion that the committee report out the bill. >> i move. >> second. >> clerk will call the roll. >> mr. inhofe. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. sessions. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. wicker. >> aye. >> mrs. fischer. >> aye. >> mr. cotton. >> aye. >> mrs. ernst. >> aye. >> mr. tillis. >> aye. >> mr. sullivan. >> aye. >> mr. per due. >> aye. >> mr. cruz. >> aye by proxy.
>> mr. graham. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. sasse. >> aye. >> mr. reed. >> aye. >> mr. nelson. >> aye. >> mrs. mccaskill. >> aye. >> mrs. shaheen. >> aye by proxy. >> mrs. gillibrand. >> no. >> mr. blumenthal. >> no. >> mr. donnelly. >> aye. >> mrs. hirono. >> aye. >> mr. king. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. heinrich. >> aye. >> mrs. warren. >> no. >> mr. peters. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> aye. >> 24 ayes, 3 nays, the notion is agreed to. >> i want to thank all members for their cooperation, and hopefully we can get this done before the 3:00 so that people who have plans can fulfill
tonight on c-span2, president obama bestows the nation's highest honor, the medal of freedom, on vice president joe biden. you can see the ceremony in its entirety from the white house tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> next, secretary of state john kerry and three of his predecessors gather to mark the completion of the state department's new museum on u.s. diplomacy in washington, d.c. he's joined by hillary clinton, colin powell, and madeleine albright. the privately funded center is scheduled to formally open in 2018.